Double faulting

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by aznhippos, Feb 26, 2013.

  1. aznhippos

    aznhippos Rookie

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    Hi, how can I fix double faulting? Should I always aim for my first serve to be in, or flat and fast?
     
  2. WildVolley

    WildVolley Legend

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    Learn how to hit a topspin second serve. That's going to be the best solution.

    A properly hit topspin serve will require you to take a full swing at the ball and use the racket head speed to put spin to force it down into the court. The topspin will greatly increase your target window above the net without hitting long.
     
  3. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Practice.
    Like a flat first serve, a heavy spinning topspin second serve cannot be attained without tons of practice.
    Any decent player should be able to swing at least 95% fast and get his second spin serve IN.
    That same player might swing the same speed on a flat first attempt, and get maybe 50% of them IN.
     
  4. BU-Tennis

    BU-Tennis Semi-Pro

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    How aggressive you can be with your first serve depends on the reliability and also effectiveness of your second serve. If your second serve is going in 100% of the time and its easily attacked by your opponent, then you can take more chances on your first. However, if your second is faulty (pun) or can be attacked then you need to try and get more first serves in.

    I always get a kick out of playing guys who would blast their first serve and never get one in and then power puff the second and you could just lay into it for a return winner almost every time.

    With that said, a topspin second serve is a good option also a slice serve can be just as reliable if it has a little more topspin than a typical slice (i believe this is a Kick serve, as in it kicks up and away).
     
  5. Wes_Loves_Dunlop

    Wes_Loves_Dunlop Professional

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    A topspin-slice serve is different than a kick serve in that for a righty, a topspin-slice will still bounce to the server's left while a kick serve will bounce to the server's right

    The best solution for a good second serve is to develop one with a lot of topspin, or learn a kick serve if you can manage it. Like eveyrthing that needs to be reliable, it will take time.

    The most important thing is to not be scared to hit your second serve. Swing at it with everything you've got. That will be hard to do unless you've practiced it enough.

    Practice,practice,practice
     
  6. BU-Tennis

    BU-Tennis Semi-Pro

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    Its a myth you swing as hard as you can at your second serve if you're attempting to hit a topspin serve (or kick, or twist, or topspin-slice, or American twist, or twist kick...whatever lol). You can have an effective and reliable topspin serve without swinging at 100%. What is true is you do swing just as hard, and maybe a little bit harder, at a spin serve as you do at a flat serve, but this doesn't mean 100% of effort.
     
  7. Nellie

    Nellie Hall of Fame

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    If you are double faulting a lot, you need to put away any type of flat, low percentage serve and hit two second serves in a row. Even if you don't have a great second serve percentage (let's say you get two-thirds in), you will significant;y cut down the number of double faults. I can't suggest a particular type of second serve since I don't know your game.

    Also keep in mind that you can improve your serve percentage with location and not just type of serve. Obviously you can aim for the center of the service box to give yourself lots of margins for error. I like to aim over the low part (center tape) of the net. If you are feeling good one day (i.e., every serve seems to be going in), go for more agressive placement near the lines instead of more pace.
     
  8. Relinquis

    Relinquis Hall of Fame

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    try to get your first serve % up (say 50%+ go in), either by occasionally using a topspin serve as a first serve or by adding some spin to your flat serve to give you margin. the idea of a 1st serve isn't to get an ace or service winner, rather to start the point on a good footing and in control.

    Also, develop a solid topspin serve for your 2nd serve so you can rely on it every time on your 2nd serve. It will make double faults a rare occurrence and you will start points at neutral or better even on your 2nd serve.
     
  9. Mahboob Khan

    Mahboob Khan Hall of Fame

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    Obviously, you need to improve your first serve percentage, and learn an effective kick serve to act as a "double insurance". High percentage of first serves and a reliable kick serve will solve the double fault problem.
     
  10. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    As seen on TV, every pro tries to hit a hard first serve for a winner or weak return, then hits a heavy topspin of some kind second serve that is much slower but always goes IN.
     
  11. aznhippos

    aznhippos Rookie

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    So what you guys are saying is that a topspin serve is the highest percentage shot?

    I've practiced many hours trying to perfect the kick serve. It just doesn't work for me
     
  12. OTMPut

    OTMPut Hall of Fame

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    What breaks my heart is the 3s hitting monster flat first serves and then tapping the ball in weak seconds and still double faulting.

    Why not adopt a "take no prisoner" attitude and die gloriously? Long live Goran.
     
  13. maxpotapov

    maxpotapov Hall of Fame

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    Pete Sampras hit two first serves, pretty much. I think this is mentally more stable approach and more productive for non-professional player development. Or two second serves, does not matter. Use second serve as another chance to make it right, not to risk doing something completely different.
     
  14. TheCheese

    TheCheese Professional

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    Add topspin to everything. Add a little more topspin to your first serve to get percentages up. Add way more topspin to your second serve to make it consistent.
     
  15. Buford T Justice

    Buford T Justice Semi-Pro

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    I can say with some amount of certainty, after closely paying attention to this at the DelRay qualies, that most pros are not hitting their first serves as hard and flat as they can most of the time. Id say a good 50%+ of the time they are hitting first serves that are not flat at all. They are p[rimarily spin serves of some kind.

    Certain guys (Gulbis, etc) absolutely pound every serve, but they were the exception.

    I believe this is a good lesson for us rec players.
     
  16. Buford T Justice

    Buford T Justice Semi-Pro

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    I think this is more true at the highest echelon of pro tennis (i.e. the guys we see on TV most of the time), but not as much true of the "regular" pros.
     
  17. Bobby Jr

    Bobby Jr Legend

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    Perhaps this is not so much a technical question but one of how the second serve is approached.

    Most players hit their second serve with a component of 'hope' involved. I.e. as they're hitting it they hope it goes in. In long matches or pressure situations for most people the natural tendency is for this to worsen. Hence why the vast majority of club players hit their double faults in groups and/or as they get more flustered/bewildered.

    Caution in serving (and other shots but serving in particular) leads to tightness/lack of fluidness and pretty soon it becomes a scenario where most people are wishing their second serve in instead of making sure they actually hit a good one.

    I used to be a terrible server because I was too cautious when things were tight but one year I decided to change. I started making certain I went up for all of my serves and that I swung fluidly (easier said than done mind you) in all matches. Now, you'd expect there to be a honeymoon period where this caused lots of issues but I discovered that there barely was one. Straight away my serves - both first and second - improved out of sight.

    It takes some effort but if there is one shot in tennis where you must rid yourself of any element of "I hope this works" if you're ever to have a truly dependable shot it is the serve.

    It is the mental habit, often moreso than technical habits, which must become that: a habit. No fear, no hesitation, no meekness - hit the serve how you know you can in practice.
     
  18. Govnor

    Govnor Professional

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    The timing for a second serve is critical, it is not easy to hit a second serve swinging at top speed. It takes practice. As others have said, that is the key to everything. It's one thing I need to work on this year for sure. I don't get enough racquet head speed on my 2nd serve so it get's caught in that no mans land of not much speed and not much spin. More spin is "safer", which is generally why it is used on the 2nd serve.
     
  19. Fintft

    Fintft Hall of Fame

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    That's why I never "power puff" my second one; I'd rather use my first serve twice :) Or just a slightly more top spin one.

    Anyhow, didn't have the time to develop a second serve per say, just focusing on serving a more...relaxed first serve with the second ball (using the first one as warm-up so to speak).
     
  20. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Remember, while a second serve is swung very fast, it is not swung with maximum effort. Rather, it's maximum speed of swing with repeatable effort.
    Same with a flat first serve. While we like to think we swing 100%, in reality, it's 100% within our own individual parameters.
    If we really swung as fast as we could, with maximum effort, our percentages would be rediculously low.
    Speed and power always governed by CONTROL and REPEATABILITY.
     
  21. 10s talk

    10s talk Semi-Pro

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    so what happens ?
     
  22. Mahboob Khan

    Mahboob Khan Hall of Fame

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    The kick serve (or topspin serve) is more effective if it has maximum racket head speed just that the bypass of the strings at contact with the ball is from 7 to 1 o'clock positions i.e. you are spinning the ball upward-foward and into the correct service box.
     
  23. WildVolley

    WildVolley Legend

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    Actually Sampras didn't. Studies of his serve show he actually changed both his toss and racket path on the second serve to hit more topspin, even though his first serve had plenty of topspin.

    Yandell had a good article on this showing that Sampras would toss even more to the left on his second serve and hit a lot more spin. Yandell measured a second serve with more than 5000 rpm.

    While I think you need to be cautious trying to toss a lot more left if you are a rh, especially if you're not as young and athletic as Sampras, hitting with a lot more spin is the key to hitting a good second serve.
     
  24. TennisCJC

    TennisCJC Legend

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    Good reply. Sampras had a ton of RPM on his 1st and 2nd serve. That's why he could smack the heck out of both.

    Unless you are over 6' tall, it is impossible to hit a straight line flat ball into the box with any margin of error. Basically, a flat line from your contact position and into the service box would have a clearance over the net of about 3 inches and would just scrape the service line. In order to have any margin of error, your service ball flight must BEND IN THE AIR as you cannot have a straight line thru the air unless you are a tall as John Isner. There are 2 ways to bend a ball's flight in the air. Method 1 is to use gravity where you hit it slow enough so gravity can pull it down, and Method 2 is to hit it hard with spin to bend (curve) the ball's flight. You want to learn Method 2 and use spin to pull the ball down into the service box. Curiously, even John Isner hits a fair amount of spin on his 1st serve.
     
  25. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    To OP, read post 20 again.
    Yes, the faster the swing, the better, but more important, the fastest YOU can swing under control and repeatability.
    Obviously, Sampras can swing faster than most other players, but that's just indidvidual gifts and physique.
     
  26. luvforty

    luvforty Banned

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    double faulting is result of poor technique. period.

    practice is needed, but has to do it the right way.

    pay a pro to teach you, or post a video here and LeeD will teach you for free.
     
  27. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    I won't bother to teach you, but I can tell you what you're doing right, and what you're doing wrong.
    Ya dink someone's who played tennis for over 30 years might be able to tell?
     
  28. Fintft

    Fintft Hall of Fame

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    Well, even if there was just a rumor that Sampras hit two first serves, then (since there is no smoke without fire), all I can say is :"great minds think alike" ('cause that's what I do).

    Oh and I'm 6'2". It's mainly flat, but with some spin.

    On a slightly different topic: how many of you do the letter 8 move with the racket on the serve(you know, for the racket head drop)?

    I've seen Feliciano Lopez and Djokovic doing that in a very clear manner...
     
  29. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Everyone who can serve.
    That's just the arc of the rackethead from trophy thru the swing.
     
  30. Fintft

    Fintft Hall of Fame

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    You talking about the letter eight, correct?

    But it seems to me that only some pros do it (like Djokovic and Lopez), unless they do it slower then the rest of the field, so that it's easier to notice?

    (My feeling being that some players just drop the racquet head and then bring it back up, as opposed to doing the eight)
     
  31. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Trophy is a static position or a moment in time during an arc of the rackethead.
    Like a loop forehand, you need the loop to create extra RHS.
    Nobody just "drops" the head, unless they are named JayBerger with an injured shoulder.
     
  32. Fintft

    Fintft Hall of Fame

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    Or if the toss is too low?
     
  33. luvforty

    luvforty Banned

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    i wrote a bit in my 'serve break thru' thread.... i can't do the figure 8, and won't bother....

    finally got this ESR/ISR thing down, and the racket feels like a door opening and closing.

    no figure 8.
     
  34. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Don't matter what you call it, the rackethead takes a loop similar to a modern forehand, not a straight down and straight up motion.
    As long as you hit your serve relatively hard for your level, both first and second, you're doing fine.
    But if you have the weakest serves FOR YOUR LEVEL, then it's time for work and improvement.
     
  35. Costagirl

    Costagirl Banned

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    Funny I was going to say - develop a solid slice second and run with it. My percentages are sooo high with this ace in the hole. Not a topspin...I'd be hitting long all the time
     
  36. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    I suppose you hit with sidespin slice, something most player's do when first learning a consistent spin serve.
    As you improve, you will find topspin actually curves the ball INside the service line more effectively than pure slice, while retaining more ball speed and a hop effect that bounces high and is harder to attack than sidespin.
     
  37. Roy125

    Roy125 Professional

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    I can relate to that. My second serve still has a slice component to it along with a some topspin. It's so much harder in my opinion to get that slice out and hit a kick or twister.
     
  38. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Toss location over your head helps a bit, as does the altered swingpath up and out, as opposed to up and into the court.
     
  39. OTMPut

    OTMPut Hall of Fame

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    underhand serve with side spin is not a bad option. i tried this couple of times yesterday when playing mixed doubles and it was cool. it did draw indignant looks, but who cares. sheeple deserve to be jolted once in a while.
     
  40. Relinquis

    Relinquis Hall of Fame

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    what about roddick? he doesn't seem to do the loop thing.
     
  41. Fintft

    Fintft Hall of Fame

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    His raquet take back is so abbreviated: he just seems to take it straight up in the trophy position...I think that rather then the loop he gets his speed from a very fast knee bend and extremely fast arm.
     
  42. WildVolley

    WildVolley Legend

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    What is this loop that everyone is talking about?

    The takeback sequence has little to nothing to do with the racket head speed. Roddick actually has an offset trophy and a very deep racket drop which is part of the reason he can hit the ball so hard. The racket goes up over his shoulder line and drops and falls to the right as his body and elbow drive up to the ball. That's sort of a figure 8 motion, but I don't know if it is the one being described.

    In reality, there's almost no difference in power from starting the serve from the trophy pose if you get your body in the correct and athletic position than if you do a standard windup. Think of the windup as being more about timing and ritual than in generating power, especially if you pause during the trophy.
     
  43. luvforty

    luvforty Banned

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    forget about loop.... roddick gets that speed from the natural born 135 degrees of external shoulder rotation.

    his parents gave him that serve
     
  44. Fintft

    Fintft Hall of Fame

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    Personally by the loop, I'm referring to the figure 8 that the hand/wrist does with the racquet, especially during the head drop...

    You can clearly see it with Djokovic, Lopez, Giraldo (just to name a few on TV these past few days), but maybe not as much with Federer.
     
  45. aznhippos

    aznhippos Rookie

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    Thanks, I will try variation
     
  46. aznhippos

    aznhippos Rookie

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    Btw guys if you watch roddicks serve, his back arch is insane
     

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