Originally Posted by Fintft
“On the “The further away from the professional ranks you get, the bigger the gap between the first and second serve. The No. 1 thing you can do to improve your game is to close that gap.”-
Personally, I just serve my first serve, TWICE (the second being usually better, having the first one as a warm-up + the surprise factor).
To elaborate, I don’t vary my first serve much, but just b/c I’m more relaxed, I may get more spin and better placement…
I agree that for many club players, the 2nd serve is a liability. I also agree that there should not be a big gap between 1st and 2nd in terms of effectiveness.
Having said that though, I also think that serving your 'first' serve twice means leaving easy points on the table, so to speak.
Here's what I mean:
My 1st serve % is around 60%, serving at 90 - 110 mph.
My 2nd serve % is around 90%, serving at 70 - 90 mph.
This means I can expect to DF about 4% of the time, which is acceptable to me.
If I serve my 'real' 1st serve twice, my expected DF % rises to 16%. This is too high and means giving away too many free points.
If I use my 2nd as my 1st serve, then my expected DF % is only 1%. But then I am not getting nearly as many easy points on service winners.
There is a reason why pros have a different 1st serve vs 2nd serve, and why their serve % is lower on 1st serve. If your 'first' serve is reliable enough to use as a second, that's great... then it should be your second serve, and you need to take more chances with more power / spin / placement on the 1st serve!
What Nick is really saying is that club players need to develop a 2nd serve that is not easily attackable, and that is 100% correct.