Reliable 2nd serve that's not a kick serve

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by Golden Retriever, Apr 30, 2004.

  1. Golden Retriever

    Golden Retriever Hall of Fame

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    I usually use a lukewarm kick serve for 2nd serves but it bounces just high enough for a good returner to really eat it up. If I put more heat on the serve it usually translates to a double fault. One of my partners has a floater with no pace and no spin for 2nd serve but it bounces low and it is difficult to punish. For my level (3.5 to 4.0) would it be better to use a floater for a 2nd serve instead of a kick serve that kicks just high enough to be attacked? Any ideas for a reliable 2nd serve that is hard to attack off of?
     
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  2. Bungalo Bill

    Bungalo Bill G.O.A.T.

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    I would work on a slice serve.
     
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  3. Golden Retriever

    Golden Retriever Hall of Fame

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    Well, but my slice serve usually goes to my opponent's forehand making it equally as easy to be attacked. Just can't slice serve to my opponent's backhand, I am only 3.5 something after all.
     
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  4. Bungalo Bill

    Bungalo Bill G.O.A.T.

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    Well, I guess we are hitting on two points. For one, you need to keep practicing placement of different serves. The other is to work on both your topspin serve and your slice.

    Not too many other ways to get around this stuff. Placement, spin and pace are things we all have to work on.
     
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  5. kevhen

    kevhen Hall of Fame

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    Yes, I have used a low, backspinning 50-60 mph serve for years at the 3.5 and weak 4.0 level and it works just fine as I get it in 95% of the time and don't get punished by weak 4.0 level players. But now I am hitting a hard 80mph kicker for a second as I want to get to 4.5. Most strong 4.0's will take advantage of a weak second but a few are consistency players who won't. Every 4.5 player I have played has totally taken advantage of it and made me run my tail off and not win many 2nd service points. But at the 3.5-4.0 level, you can get away with it and actually use it to your advantage if you can keep it low and get it in at a high percentage rate. Good luck.
     
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  6. Golden Retriever

    Golden Retriever Hall of Fame

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    How to do a backspinning serve please? Don't get me wrong, I will still work on my kick serve and slice serve but I need something that works right now.
     
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  7. kevhen

    kevhen Hall of Fame

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    It's basically a slow flat serve with an eastern grip. I toss the ball fairly low and a little bit out in front. I get my elbow straight out under the ball with my arm bent 90 degrees with my forearm back all the way with my wrist back too. I then swing my forearm forward and use a little wrist snap which puts backspin on the ball since I am aiming at maybe a 10 degree upward trajectory. Because of the backspin the ball usually skids and stays low if you can keep the trajectory low enough and still clear the net.

    I got away with using this serve for the last 33 years (well 5 years of competitive 3.5 and 4.0 tennis). But started hitting a big kicking second serve last summer since I switched to a continental grip and practiced hitting the hard kicker where it became effective and consistent enough to replace this second serve. I will still use this safe serve when it's very windy and even in doubles sometimes, but my partners usually prefer my big kicker (even if I doublefault) since they are exposed more to a return rip on this one! I also use this serve against returners who are very consistent but not aggressive so that I avoid doublefaults.

    Not sure you want to imitate this serve but it has it's place in 3.5 level tennis and holds up well there. Too many 3.5s lose serve on double faults alone.
     
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  8. Kobble

    Kobble Hall of Fame

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    If you remember Jeff Tarango, you would remember that he didn't have a big kick serve for a second serve. However, he had more of a slice second serve that worked well against most returners. You said your slice serve goes goes to the forehand, so why not aim farther right and allow it to curve into the body. It should take you less time to accomplish than the other suggestions, and it is a serve that should help you fend off many returners. Take a bunch of balls to the courts and practice serving to the backhand, it is the only way you will groove it.
     
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  9. Lambro

    Lambro New User

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    serve idea

    I am a lefty, the one serve I don't see enough righty 3.5-4.0 club players use is the slice down the T, this means the serve comes into the body on a righty returners backhand.

    I think the problem is lack of confidence in aiming slightly towards the ad side. Instead too many righty serves on the duece side go to a righty returners forehand.

    So work on placement and also vary the serve position from the baseline, Stan Smith had an article on this recently in Tennis.

    If you have a Flat burner, Slice & Kick, 3 serve positions on each side and hit 3 targets on each box you get a lot of variety.[/b]
     
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  10. Feña14

    Feña14 Legend

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    I love a slice serve!

    I just toss the ball out wide and lay into it, this just makes the ball swerve severly from right to left and bounces really low.

    I can't hit a kick serve but this works well for me!

    Liam
     
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