Usefulness of an underhand serve?

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by OSD, Sep 10, 2006.

  1. OSD

    OSD Guest

    I'm just wondering how useful an underhand serve is in an actual game? I've been using it along with a weak overhead "bump" serve until quite recently. Now that I have a decent overhead serve, I'm wondering if I should keep working on my underhand serve or just throw it out of my arsenal. AFAIK, ppls tell me that my UH serve are a pain in the neck to hit since they change random direction and stays so low.
     
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  2. punch

    punch Semi-Pro

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    Get rid of it, it will never be a weapon in higher competition matches.
     
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  3. darknight08

    darknight08 Rookie

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    It can be used to keep ur opponents on their toes. Use it randomly not more than twice in a match.
     
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  4. FD3S

    FD3S Professional

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    Once should be enough. Be warned though, for some reason a lot of people don't like underarm serves... Lendl was pretty p'od when Chang pulled it on him at the French.
     
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  5. boojay

    boojay Hall of Fame

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    i've actually tried it twice, in a row!! and it worked because I faked a regular overhand serve, but let the ball drop then switched to an underhand motion with crazy spin. totally threw off my opponent. he figured i wouldn't do it again and i figured i wouldn't get it in again, but lo and behold, i did it, it went in, threw him off a second time. I tried it for a third, but missed completely.

    good times
     
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  6. Nuke

    Nuke Hall of Fame

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    I saw Roddick ace Pong with an underhand serve.
     
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  7. ZPTennis

    ZPTennis Semi-Pro

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    I guess only if you have a bad shoulder and have no other choice. but be prepared to be on the defensive immediately.
     
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  8. OSD

    OSD Guest

    It's actually a perma-bad wrist, but I strengthened it quite a bit and can hit a decent serve now without pain.

    I'm going to start playing my first ladder match soon and I am not confident with my new overhead serve. And my underhand serve is pretty much the only "weapon" I got in the serving department (I know, it's sad, but I'm a beginner :p) since I can put so much spin on it.

    But looking at this, it looks like I have to focus exclusively on overhead if I wanna get pass "beginner" T.T
     
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  9. ZPTennis

    ZPTennis Semi-Pro

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    If you do it really well, you might find that some people won't want to play you b/c a lot of tennis players feel they should be able to hit an outright winner on it and when they don't or they lose the point its going to be embarassing for them. :)
     
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  10. Amone

    Amone Hall of Fame

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    To answer your question: Underhanded works fine. The assistant coach for my High School team had major shoulder problems his senior year in high school (which prevented him from moving any further in the game) and had to get surgery, so he played competitively with an underhanded serve. So if you need to, or even if it's better for you, you can make almost anything into a weapon with proper technique. Think about Santoro, he's top-100 in singles, top-10 in doubles, and he's got no power to speak of, the only real advantage of overhanded.
     
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  11. MasterTS

    MasterTS Professional

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    If your groundstrokes are sound you can probably get away with underhand serve, though you'll have a harder time setting up some points, and of course the occasional freebee when the returner misses a return.

    Sometimes may even work to your advantage as the returner goes overly agressive and nets or hits the return long.
     
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  12. MasterTS

    MasterTS Professional

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    One thing is for sure.. stay away from underhand servers..

    It's a win/win situation for them.

    If you win they say: "wow you beat me with my underhand serving.. if I served for real you would have lost"..

    If you lose they say: "wow i just beat you underhand serving.. if i served for real you woulda smoked you"..

    Of course it is pretty sad if you cant break someone underhand serving.
     
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  13. ZPTennis

    ZPTennis Semi-Pro

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    haha. thats a good point. :)
     
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  14. T_S_N

    T_S_N Rookie

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    Maybe once a match, in will hit an underhand serve with alot of backspin, on slow players i can win the point but on quick players, they can return it but not a good return so i can keep to point going, it mostly just keeps the players honest... when i hit a couple deep serves, then i might throw in the underhand, to make them take a couple steps up next time, so i can hit a deep serve again .. the underhand serve is a nice weapon to have, but if you hit it to deep, you are screwed
     
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  15. dr.freestyler

    dr.freestyler New User

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    Is there a rule of where you have to hit the ball, such as below the knees or above the shoulders, etc?
     
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  16. MasterTS

    MasterTS Professional

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    No.. the ball just can't bounce
     
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  17. Bagumbawalla

    Bagumbawalla Hall of Fame

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    I play at a public court with all sorts of different opponents. Every once in a while some guy (usually in doubles) will try an underhand serve. I don't think it has ever (not even once) led to their winning a point from me. Normally, I just come in and put it away.

    At a certian level, it is just no longer a practical shot.

    If you are playing someone with a gimpy leg, bad foot, or sore back, it might work-- but it would be kind of Sadistic.

    If you have a normally great serve, and your oponnent stands way back to receive it-- it may work as a surprise, but if you already have a great serve; why bother?

    If you are playing a match and somehow injure your arm, and that is the only way you can compete-- then do what you have to do. In almost every other case, it is not respected as a serious shot from a serious player.
     
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  18. nadalito92

    nadalito92 Rookie

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    LMAO really=? AWESOME!!
     
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  19. HyperHorse

    HyperHorse Banned

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    Depends on how much sidespin you can get on the ball. Is it illegal to go hit an overhead serve, but then fake out of it and hit an underarm serve?
     
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  20. Andres

    Andres G.O.A.T.

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    Nope. Perfectly legal.
     
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  21. matchpoint

    matchpoint Rookie

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    It only works on lower rated players and is generally considered a cheap shot. It might work once on higher rated players just because you might get them by surprise. Just make sure that if you try it for the second time that you have your mouth shut because that's where you expect the ball to come back. :mrgreen:
     
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  22. kevhen

    kevhen Hall of Fame

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    It will work against 3.5s but you will struggle against higher 4.0s who will attack it due to lack of depth. I know one guy who hits a sidearm groundstroke-like forehand topspin serve for every serve and his is like strong 3.5 but he hits it harder than most underarm servers do. If you keep it low and are consistent you will do ok against most 3.5s who will try to hit it back too hard and will miss enough.
     
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  23. Nuke

    Nuke Hall of Fame

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    It's just a TV commercial here in the USA. Roddick is playing "Pong" -- a floating white block hovering back and forth on the baseline like in the old Pong videogame, and Pong gets everything back until Roddick figures out to hit an underhand serve because Pong can't move forward. Funny commercial the first hundred times you see it, but we're all sick of it by now.
     
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  24. Roy

    Roy Semi-Pro

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    It's my only serve until my shoulder recovers, otherwise, i wouldn't use it at all.
     
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  25. Zets147

    Zets147 Banned

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    Good serve when you're playing lower lvl players while you're resting your arm from fatigue the day before.
     
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