Shoulder injury: What's the best underhanded serve technique?

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by Joyce Marie, Jan 28, 2007.

  1. Joyce Marie

    Joyce Marie New User

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2005
    Messages:
    11
    Just last week, I returned to play even as I continue therapy for my rotator cuff injury. My physician, a tennis player, advised me to serve underhanded and avoid overhead shots.

    Now, I need a technique that prevents the receiver from killing the return. I tried a high ball with lots of underspin; I tried a flat drive. I'm unhappy with both because even though the receiver slammed returns into the net a few times, thinking as she did "what a softball this one is," I want an effective serve until I recover fully. (I was a 4.0 player at the time of my injury.)

    Thank you for any advice. If I have a decent serve, maybe the rest of my game will stay competetive, but in the two games I played last week, I lost points mainly on my serve (a demoralizing loss at that).

    Joyce Marie
     
    #1
  2. joeyscl

    joeyscl Rookie

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2006
    Messages:
    277
    Put some side spin on it? Don't know how well that would work, but just a thought
     
    #2
  3. travlerajm

    travlerajm Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2006
    Messages:
    4,415
    I prefer a heavy topspin forehand with a slightly inside out swingpath. Unless you are playing a 5.0 player, you should be able to hit it hard enough to keep your opponent from attacking you.

    The other option (if your shoulder can handle this) is to toss it way out to your right, and use a big slice that is half underspin, half sidespin. This will bounce lower than the net to keep your opponent from attacking it. You can hit this one slow enough that it curves in the air and is traving almost parallel to the net after the bounce. This is an effective serve for a woman serving to a man in mixed doubles, because it can be hit softly and still be effective against a strong player.
     
    #3
  4. Joyce Marie

    Joyce Marie New User

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2005
    Messages:
    11
    Thanks to each of you about the side spin. Now, I can visualize (as a right-hander) a slight toss out to my right, but I cannot visualize coming into the ball with both a side and an underspin. Would the racquet face be at a 45 degree angle at impact? Would I also be able to keep from extending my right arm upwards before hitting the ball (that's a decided OUCH!!!)?

    I hadn't thought of a sidespin. I'm just not savvy enough to figure out how to do it! If you can help further, I'd be ever so grateful!

    Joyce Marie
     
    #4
  5. travlerajm

    travlerajm Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2006
    Messages:
    4,415
    Just think of it as a regular slice serve, but instead of tossing it up over your head, you toss it 3 or 4 feet to your right and a couple of feet in front of you. Make contact when the ball is just above head level by extending your racquet out toward the ball. Your racquet will be naturally moving outward and downward, imparting both underspin and sidespin. You will contact the outside of the ball.
     
    #5
  6. OrangeOne

    OrangeOne Legend

    Joined:
    May 31, 2006
    Messages:
    6,297
    Errr... the OP is wanting an under-handed serve. I can't comprehend how someone could serve under-handed and contact the ball just above head level?
     
    #6
  7. travlerajm

    travlerajm Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2006
    Messages:
    4,415
    You didn't see that I incuded the disclaimer "if your shoulder can handle it." A 3/4 sidearm serve is generally much safer on the shoulder than a regular service motion.
     
    #7
  8. goober

    goober Legend

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2004
    Messages:
    8,491
    #8
  9. Joyce Marie

    Joyce Marie New User

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2005
    Messages:
    11
    Thank you!

    That's a "wow" of a tennis site! I "googled" underhanded serves and spent so much time searching --and coming up empty-handed--but never found that one on Google. Thank you--and thanks to all the others who came to my rescue. It never occurred to me to put some body weight behind the underhanded serve. I'll go try it out after work tomorrow.

    Thanks again!!! I might add that it was easy enough for me to direct the underhanded serve last week, even though I lacked pace--far easier than to direct my former "normal" second serves, so the article makes sense on another level, too. I'm getting eager again to play . . . Best to all.

    Joyce Marie
     
    #9
  10. OrangeOne

    OrangeOne Legend

    Joined:
    May 31, 2006
    Messages:
    6,297
    I didn't indeed - I only read the second post. My bad....
     
    #10

Share This Page