the advantage of not being a big server

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by Chenx15, Mar 25, 2011.

  1. Chenx15

    Chenx15 Banned

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    My serve was never my strength and there were times it was my greatest liability. i can hit 100mph to 105mph but maybe that's 1 out of one hundred first serves. but i do have good placement and enough spins on the ball that it can not be easily attacked.

    I have seen a lot of posts here asking for serve improvement because it is a very glamorous shot and it's awesome when you can get some free points but at the end of the day your serve can only take you so far.

    With that being said i for one am glad that my serve was not my major weapon and because of this i was forced to work on my ground strokes and game strategy. it made me think and it made me patient. it help me realize the importance of a good return of serve specially when i am playing with a good server and i can see the frustration in their eyes because i can return the serve with interest and just pound them in the ground strokes department. Big servers who are use to players who are just bowing down to their serves are having panic attacks when a player has excellent ROS and game plan Roddick vs. Fed, Fed vs Nadal.

    And it's amazing that because i know my serve is not my biggest weapon it takes the pressure off it. it takes the pressure off the mentality to finish the point in one shot instead i focus on winning the point and placing the serve conservatively to open up the court for me or to put enough spins into it to so i can dictate the ground strokes or get the point going without giving a freebie. and knowing that i can win a point without depending on the serve is quite a sigh of relief.

    I think what i am trying to share is, yes it's nice to have a big serve and deep in my heart i will not deny it that i wish i have one but for the time being i am glad that the serve i have is enough to start the point without giving it away. So should you, just think of the serve as a way to start the point and the pressure will be lifted off.
     
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  2. dozu

    dozu Banned

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    videos videos!

    come on, if I can post my woman 6.0 serve without getting embarrassed, so can you lololol.
     
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  3. Chenx15

    Chenx15 Banned

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    it's you again you bastid!!!:) is there a way to cut videos? i have a video helping my friend with his return of serves and there is about 30mins of crap in it. I don't mind posting it i just want to clean it up. it's also 4GB so i am not sure if youtube or the tinyurl will accept it.
     
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  4. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Ah, the curse of the big serve.
    When opponent returns my serve well, what a shocker.
    Of course, when I can return my opponent's serve well, that's a shocker too, for both of us.
     
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  5. dozu

    dozu Banned

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    granitechief, you are the expert, how do you edit videos?

    seems like a lot of work, to cut out all the periods between points.
     
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  6. Fuji

    Fuji Legend

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    I'm in the same boat as you! My serve is average at best for my level. It forced me to be really quick at the net, and develop solid foot work and ground strokes. Playing doubles for about 80% of my game time, the serve is something that "should" be the stroke that is attacked, it isn't because of good placement. I'm glad to see someone else like me! :)

    -Fuji
     
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  7. dozu

    dozu Banned

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    well... jokes aside...

    today I did bring a junk racket to the court and threw it a couple of times.... from a serving stance, I can only throw to the service line on the other side.... so now I am even more proud to have a 6.0 woman serve, with such limited physical ability.

    Imagine years ago I mostly played S&V (probably was about 4.0 level back then).. had no serve, no forehand, no bh drive... but volleys were excellent..

    and in recent years had to patch up all the holes, now FH (despite weird looking) is weapon, BH is a weapon, good from everywhere in the court.

    a sucky serve does force you to get good in other parts of the game.
     
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  8. fuzz nation

    fuzz nation Legend

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    The best high school team in my area is specifically coached to not go for big first serves. Their coach understands the value of a consistent, well placed first serve and gets his guys to use spinners and kickers on a regular basis for both singles and doubles. They've won a straight decade worth of titles, so I'd say they're doing something right.

    A serve with lots of spin and an unpredictable bounce can force lots of weak returns just the same as a big heater, but it also has the advantage of going in with a much greater margin for error. Players in a doubles or serve and volley singles setting also need a slower traveling spin serve to create extra time to close the net.

    My doubles pals have even convinced me to employ more of my spin serves, since they usually make more trouble for opponents than a flatter ball that can often be redirected with a lot of authority. We all want to at least be able to put a good dose of pepper on our serves, but the big flat heater really isn't as essential in any player's tool kit as a reliable spinner, at least on my list of priorities.

    I'm also convinced that with all the things that we need to synchronize to produce a decent serve, this is one shot that's often worth the money for a lesson if you feel a real need to improve your own. We can describe what we think is happening with our own shots to our pals here, but there's always a degree of "lost in translation". A trained eye on the courts is usually the best investment toward a better serve.
     
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  9. Andre D

    Andre D Rookie

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    where can i find that 6.0 woman serve? :p
     
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  10. dozu

    dozu Banned

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    in my signature video
     
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  11. Tennis_Monk

    Tennis_Monk Hall of Fame

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    A well rounded game makes one compensate for other weakness/things that may not be working on a given day. Depending on the level of play, a big serve isnt just a 'nice to have' but a MUST. For me, it made the difference between playing #1 on my team instead of a sub. It could be the difference between saving a break point Vs getting down a break. I am not saying it cant be done with other aspects of game but it is probably a lot easier to do with a good serve.

    A few free bees on the serve keeps a person little less tiring ;)
     
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  12. dozu

    dozu Banned

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    #12
  13. arche3

    arche3 Banned

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    I think the serve is probably the most important shot. It allows you to dictate the point. Even though my serve is not a heater I am very hard to break. And I am used to getting at least 1 free point on my serve. I am always changing pace, spin, and placement to gain the advantage. If I can hit a 120+ flat I would be in heaven....
     
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  14. HunterST

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    Geeze, that is truly horrendous. I wonder what kind of MPHs she gets on her serve. I'd be shocked if either of those went over 90.
     
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  15. dozu

    dozu Banned

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    come on arche3, post some serves, me tired of looking at your jumping FH and screwed up BH.

    on a serious note - agree that serve is the #1 important shot in tennis.
     
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2011
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  16. dozu

    dozu Banned

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    that's a 75mph serve.... it's just funny to see her back peddle as soon as the so-called serve is hit.... but you can see the rest of her game is superb, which is exactly the point of this thread.

    and notice that after she missed the 1st serve, the baby goes - 'mama, that's an ugly serve!'

    http://antonella-serra-zanetti.co.tv/

    career high singles no.60, 2 doubles titles.... not too shabby with that kind of serve.

    Lee, you under-rated my serve... Antonella obviously is 7.0 woman.
     
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2011
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  17. arche3

    arche3 Banned

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    underhand baby! that pisses people off. :)
    I went to video some serves today... got to the court. was only 40 degrees but sunny. got out... felt the chill of the wind... packed it up and went and got a chicken cutlet sandwich.
     
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  18. dozu

    dozu Banned

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    lolololol - what a sissy

    I had to strap up my hurting ankle and battle for 2 hours....

    went to Princeton Jadwin Gym earlier to watch the men's team hosting Penn. Me, wife and kids were amazed by the facility - above ground level indoor track + hoop court, plus underground levels of squash courts, fencing, wrestling rooms and 6 tennis courts..... amazing.

    good tennis, Penn won both double matches, and we watched a few games of singles..... would be lucky for me to win 2 games a set against the 1st and 2nd singles guys... but the 3rd single from Penn is a baseline grinder also with a sucky woman 6.0 serve.... so I may have a chance there.
     
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  19. arche3

    arche3 Banned

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    wonder if Penn uses Penn tennis balls? I really think penn balls suck.

    also I really want to serve over 100. So the serve is my priority this spring. I think I do it now but only rarely.
     
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  20. dozu

    dozu Banned

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    well, it's Princeton home game so those gotta be Prince balls.

    ok, I am holding my breath for your 100 mph serve video.
     
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  21. arche3

    arche3 Banned

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    I can do 85... I hope I can do 100.
     
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  22. TenFanLA

    TenFanLA Hall of Fame

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    I didn't realize there was a white female tennis version of Charles Barkley's golf swing.
     
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  23. dozu

    dozu Banned

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    could never understand Bark.... guy used to be a decent amateur, something like a 3 handicap.
     
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  24. enishi1357

    enishi1357 Rookie

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    there's a common element in all my strokes. now that i figure it out, all my serve start hitting the spots consistently.
     
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  25. SuperDuy

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    I use a program called pinnacle studio, works well.
     
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  26. Steady Eddy

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    100 miles per hour is not a big serve? I know it's not big on the tour, but isn't it in other places?

    A mall in the Minneapolis area had a fast serve contest. Anyone could serve, no fee, they just time your serve with a radar gun. Few could go over 100 mph, I saw a guy who worked in a pro shop go over 130 mph, but they didn't have to be placed, it was only about speed.

    They listed the fastest serve by gender, and the fastest female serve was in the 80s. So no female went as fast as 90 mph or 100 mph. Myself, I can only hit it 80 mph, with is pretty sorry, but I'm not that different from many weekend players. Have these speeds been verified with a radar gun, or do folks just figure that if pros can generate 130, then they MUST be at least 100?
     
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  27. dozu

    dozu Banned

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    speaking of the underhand serve that arche3 mentioned..

    the Philadelphia Cricket Club hosts annually a top junior event on their grass courts... (Graf won it when she was a junior)..

    I have seen quite a few juniors using underhands from the ad court... they'd cut under and across the ball from right to left, so the ball has both underspin to skid, as well as side spin to bounce away from righties backhand... quite effective on grass, because the bounce is so low, the receiver only has the option to chip it back and go to the net... then it becomes a battle between a passing shot and a volley.
     
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  28. nCode747

    nCode747 Semi-Pro

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    Hard to learn a good serve when you're just practicing with a spatula in the kitchen
     
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  29. Fuji

    Fuji Legend

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    I learned that serve too! I think it's called a cut serve or a chop serve. Either of them work. It's a pretty nifty shot to own! It only takes a weekend to learn too! :)

    -Fuji
     
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  30. NLBwell

    NLBwell Legend

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    The other thing about not being a big server is that you get a lot more practice when you play a match. I've had more than a few matches where the average length of point was less than 2 shots (including the serve) - more than 1/2 the serves were not returned by either player.
     
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  31. Blake0

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    A big serve (not necessarily with power) is a must. Anyone that can hit a huge heavy kick to my backhand side consistently will give me tons of trouble in doubles. Aren't the serve and return the 2 most important shots in tennis?

    Personally i find a SMART server is harder to play against then a BIG server. Smart servers have to have a good amount of pace as well though.
     
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  32. Fuji

    Fuji Legend

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    I totally agree with you on this one! I can get back peoples bomb's, but a slice serve that really stretches me out I sometimes have issues with.

    I Believe the OP meant for "big server" was someone with a really heavy and fast serve! :)

    -Fuji
     
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  33. Manus Domini

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    Two words:

    Ken Rosewall

    The GOAT's serve was slower than a lot of woman's serves, and he still won lol

    I think I max out at 60 :(
     
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  34. Netspirit

    Netspirit Hall of Fame

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    At the 3.5 level even a 70 mph serve causes a lot of damage, if placed well. 3.5 players rarely (if ever) practice ROS.
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2011
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  35. mightyrick

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    I'm a pretty big server. The advantage it has given me is that it allows the rest of my game to completely suck and I still have a chance to win if I can steal a couple of breaks.

    Having a good serve allows me to play longer matches, get into more rallies, get a great workout, work on my forehand/backhand.

    Thank goodness for my serve. Or else some days, I'd be losing 6-2, 6-1 after one hour.
     
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  36. Manus Domini

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    I'm NOT a big server, I am better at return of service than service. But my serve and the variations I have on it give me a ton of free points on a lot of my team mates if I get it in (I often DF :(). If they return it, though, when I go all out (again, I max out at 60 if I am right about it and not underestimating myself) I am kinda stuck in no man's land. :(

    But ROS is easier for me.
     
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  37. Steady Eddy

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    There's some good news about a 60 mph serve, though. A 60 mph serve travels at about 90 feet per second, since the service line is 60 feet away, it gets there in 2/3 of a second. That means your ball drops vertically over 7 feet! You can get your serve in without spin, and still have a comfortable margin for error. Don't hit your second serve any softer, that just complicates things with new trajectories to figure out. Learn to place it near each side of the service court and you'll be able to keep many players off balance on your serve.

    Like you pointed out, Ken Rosewall didn't have a monster serve. And he was one of the all time greats. With good placement and consistency, a 60 mph serve can be plenty effective in 3.5 tennis, IMO.
     
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  38. FedExpress 333

    FedExpress 333 Professional

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    Another thing is that idk why, but if i serve/volley, big flat serves arent as good, as i dont have much time to get to net and end up in no mans land. I usually use slower, more varied and spinny serves, but thats just me.
     
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  39. Manus Domini

    Manus Domini Hall of Fame

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    I think I do. I am not sure. But I use spin more than flat serves, so it's more like a 40 mph serve I think. I dunno, haven't measured.
     
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