Originally Posted by aurelius
Playing in the USTA, it seems like everyone attempts a much more timid or safer second serve but there seems to be a suggestion our there that two firsts is better than a weaker or safer 2nd.
What do you recommend? Would if differ if you're playing on the singles line or doubles line? Combo team - should the higher rated person do a double first?
Here's a link to some stats and argument - http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/30/sp...oc.semityn.www
Interesting article, thanks. Yes, I think serving two first serves makes sense -- focusing not on the power of the serves, but on varying the placement and speed just enough to keep the receiver off balance. While staying well within your power capabilities, but serving essentially two first serves, you should produce more unreturnables (more service winners) and more weak returns than hitting a faster first serve and much slower second serve.
Doing it is just a matter of getting past the mental block of the erroneous notion that serving a much slower second serve with some spin on it gives you better chances. For many, maybe most, players the better percentage play is to hit two first serves. At least that's what the numbers suggest.