At what point does serve actually become an advantage ?

People with crap serves have no real advantage of serving.
They probably win or lose 50% of their service games.
In fact, serve may be a liability at lower levels, since DF chances.

So, why do these players insist on serving first?
What does it matter? Holding serve is a coin flip for them.
The serve is just a dink to get the point started.

In fact, anyone I ever play, I just let them serve first.
Unless they've read Winning Ugly, and want me to serve first.
 

FRV2

Semi-Pro
As long as your second serve is not easily attacked and your first serve is at least slightly offensive.
 

Cawlin

Semi-Pro
People with crap serves have no real advantage of serving.
They probably win or lose 50% of their service games.
In fact, serve may be a liability at lower levels, since DF chances.
Speaking about dubs, this is even more true. In dubs they always say placement over power - but you need to hit a certain "power" or "pace" floor for that to be accurate...

People get so manic about double faulting that they resort to crap dink serves or gimmick "lob" serves... (especially in mixed)... they'll tell you how great it was that they didn't DF the whole match - meanwhile they didn't hold a single serve game either...

I used to get this sort of crap all the time when I played mixed dubs... "How about if we do this - for every double fault, you owe me a beer, and every double fault I hit I owe you a beer... at the end we'll total it up and see who buys drinks?" to which I would always respond "DFs don't really matter if you hold your service game - how about this instead - whoever's serve gets broken the most buys the drinks?" they ALWAYS decline that counteroffer...

Most of the rec players at my level do not get proper training, either because they don't seek it or because coaches don't take them seriously enough, I don't know... but they are so manic about double faulting, it's absurd. This is why so many of the women rec players I see (and a fair number - but considerably fewer of the men I see) serve dink serves that get their partner killed at the net, but hey! at least they didn't DF...

I'd be satisfied if these folks without strong serves would just work on a little bit of placement - moving their dink serve towards the T, for instance, instead of hitting a stupid lob gimmick that lands in the middle of the service box and bounces high enough to give the receiver an overhead...

So, why do these players insist on serving first?
What does it matter? Holding serve is a coin flip for them.
The serve is just a dink to get the point started.
Because someone told them that they should and they don't really think it through with an objective and honest appraisal of their own service game.
 
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brt

New User
The serve is the only point you can really control where the ball goes and what it does without being influenced by the other person so it becomes effective when your control is good enough to put your opponent on defence or set up the point
 

R1FF

Semi-Pro
Please explain?

1. In the last two weekends I’ve played doubles, my serve was only broken once. And if my teammate is competent at the net, I never lose a service game. (Playing against mostly 4.0’s)

2. I do not like to serve first in singles. The reason being is that I like to serve AFTER a changeover. My shoulder is more rested. I’ve found I serve better in this case. But in doubles I always try to serve first, so I can keep my serve warmed up. It’s very easy for me to go “cold” in doubles but Im improving.

3. @Cawlin has seen my first serve in a full match video. His appraisal is what it is.
 
No, the part about people just doing things on auto-pilot!

because someone told them that they should and they don't really think it through
 

Cawlin

Semi-Pro
Heh, I forgot to even add my opinion of when the serve becomes an advantage:

It becomes an advantage when you are able to start off the point more often than not, with an advantage as a result of your serve - pretty simplistic. It doesn't mean that you have to get aces or even free points from the serve, but that more often than not, your opponent is hitting defensively and you (or your partner in dubs) can attack their return.

If your serve is "just getting the point started" it still may be an advantage as long as you're getting the point started on your terms, but if you're getting the point started and the return of serve automatically has you on the defensive, your serve is not an advantage.

Obviously the quality of the serve required to start off the point with an advantage is relative to your opposition, so... if you're playing against a bunch of 2.5s or maybe even 3.0s who are wildly inconsistent, that may be any serve that's in the box and can't be returned as an overhead, against tougher competiton, it may be a serve in dubs that gets fed to your net partner, in singles it may be a serve that they can only return short in the court (and not a drop shot). Specifics of what that specific serve looks like are very relative to the situation and the opposition.
 

Dartagnan64

Legend
If I'm up at the net/service line after returning your serve, it's weak.
If you can get me to make a few errors on the return or ace me, it's strong.
If I can return it but have to remain defensive, it's average.

Everything Average or better is an advantage. Everything less than average is a disadvantage.

That being said, there are oddballs out there with unreturnable first serves and patty cake second serves. Their advantage strictly comes down to first serve percentages. But for most people, if the first serve is good, the second serve is decent and if the first serve is lame the second is even lamer.
 

ShaunS

Semi-Pro
In fact, serve may be a liability at lower levels, since DF chances.
As @Dartagnan64 said this isn't a particularly hard question to answer. I don't think there's a clear correlation between your level of play and whether serving is a strength/weakness, unless it's so low that people literally can't hit a ball in. It's about your serve quality relative to the people you're playing.

Bottom line if you're:
A) Winning more service games than you're losing OR
B) Facing an opponent who has a strong serve, so you don't let them go first
...
then serving first is an advantage.

Returning to my point earlier, my serve is very strong compared to the rest of my game, and comparative to the level of tennis I'm at. I almost never have someone defer service to me because they know their chances of beating me, even with a weak serve, is better than breaking my serve.

From a strategic standpoint, I think it's easier to win my serve if it's the first game too. I've likely warmed my serve up sufficiently to hit with some accuracy before we started, but actually getting in to the groove of returning serves takes me some time. I want to jump on them early with some good, not great, first serves that are in to pressure them before they are fully engaged.
 

OnTheLine

Hall of Fame
In terms of electing to receive or serve and when it becomes an advantage.

It really depends on what you know about yourself and your opponent ....

I have a really solid serve ... I win my service games with or without a partner's help in dubs and in mixed I simply don't drop serve. In singles even more so.

I tend to like to receive if I win the toss .... (or I defer .... they pick serve almost always, then I get to pick the side from which I want to serve in dubs)

Because I have a lot of trust in my return game ... in dubs I play ad and either we win the game or I am going to put them into deuce hell and wear them out.

We then have serve, I take the first service in dubs and it is usually an easy hold. Now they are quickly down 2-0 .... tough mentally to then be serving again.
 

Cindysphinx

G.O.A.T.
Most of my partners claim they like to warm up more before serving, so we elect to receive.

At my level, serves are not strong, so you have to break every chance you get. This, eventhough I dont return hard. I return and co.e in, and from there opponents are often in trouble.

I think if my partners and I never served and always returned, we would win more.
 

tennis4me

Hall of Fame
At what point does serve actually become an advantage?

When you/one starts investing time in improving his/her own serve. Most people (including myself) don't practice serving enough, but they practice the groundstrokes a lot. When you can reliably pick your spot when serving, when you feel confident enough that you almost never double fault, when you know your 2nd serve is not easily attackable and almost as fast as your 1st serve - then serving first can become an advantage.

There is always nuances ... E.g even if I think I can serve better than my partner, but if I know my partner (assuming playing doubles) is a liability on the net and is not very active, then I may let my partner serves first if I can be more useful on the net and feel somewhat confident that he can hold with my help at the net. Then, it gives me more time to warm up my muscles to serve later.

It also depends on what level you're playing. At higher level, most players have reliable serves and expect to hold so they usually elect to serve first.
 
There was a paper published recently with data from thousands of ATP matches that suggests - paradoxically - that returning first is a significant advantage. This was true despite serving being clearly advantageous for winning a given point at the pro level.

It turns out that the first game of every set, and especially the first game of the match, has a significantly higher chance of being a break of serve compared to other games in the match. It’s not clear whether this is due to psychological reasons, physical reasons, or both.

I have never elected to serve first since I read that paper. I think I do tend to see higher first-game break percentage in my own matches, regardless of whether I am serving first or not. I feel like it is advantageous to start the match without the pressure of expecting to hold.
 
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Moveforwardalways

Hall of Fame
I have never understood why so many adult women (and older men) do not hit a proper continental grip serve. The racquet is not that heavy - it weighs less than a can of soda. You can hit a proper looking serve with spin. They just do not seem confident enough to do so for some reason.
 

Cawlin

Semi-Pro
I have never understood why so many adult women (and older men) do not hit a proper continental grip serve. The racquet is not that heavy - it weighs less than a can of soda. You can hit a proper looking serve with spin. They just do not seem confident enough to do so for some reason.
80+% of them have no idea that this is what one should do.
 

Cindysphinx

G.O.A.T.
I have never understood why so many adult women (and older men) do not hit a proper continental grip serve. The racquet is not that heavy - it weighs less than a can of soda. You can hit a proper looking serve with spin. They just do not seem confident enough to do so for some reason.
: hand shoots up :

I do! I use continental grip for serving!

How can this be? Well, when I first started playing, I was taking group clinics. Four women per court, one pro per court, two hours. The first time one of the coaches (I'll never forget Ed) saw me serve, he said I should hold my racket in continental and shifted my grip. I tried it and hated it. He said I should go out and practice it for two weeks, and if I didn't like it after two weeks of actual practice I would never have to do it again. Sure enough, I got it within the two weeks. I was just a 2.5, but suddenly I had an unreturnable serve!

I also remember one of the other teaching pros in that clinic, Greg. Greg had us line up and show him our BH volley. I stepped up with two hands on the racket, and Greg said, "No, you shouldn't use both hands. Just keep your racket head up, step forward, and punch." Elementary, but it worked, and I still hit a OHBH volley.

So the answer is the reason people serve without a proper continental grip is that no one asked them to do anything else. Probably.
 

R1FF

Semi-Pro
I feel like it is advantageous to start the match without the pressure of expecting to hold.
This plays a big part also in why I like to return first. Even though my serve is strong by @Dartagnan64 well articulated standards.

I break them, now I have a VERY strong chance to go up 2-0.
 

OnTheLine

Hall of Fame
I have never understood why so many adult women (and older men) do not hit a proper continental grip serve. The racquet is not that heavy - it weighs less than a can of soda. You can hit a proper looking serve with spin. They just do not seem confident enough to do so for some reason.
I wonder the same thing every day. Why, why, why?

And then these same women whine at me .... "your serve is so good, I wish I had a serve like that" Well .... do you want some advice? Use a continental grip and practice it. "but I don't like the way that feels and I don't like going and hitting serves" Well kill me now. Stop complaining your serve will always suck.
 

OnTheLine

Hall of Fame
: hand shoots up :

I do! I use continental grip for serving!

How can this be? Well, when I first started playing, I was taking group clinics. Four women per court, one pro per court, two hours. The first time one of the coaches (I'll never forget Ed) saw me serve, he said I should hold my racket in continental and shifted my grip. I tried it and hated it. He said I should go out and practice it for two weeks, and if I didn't like it after two weeks of actual practice I would never have to do it again. Sure enough, I got it within the two weeks. I was just a 2.5, but suddenly I had an unreturnable serve!

I also remember one of the other teaching pros in that clinic, Greg. Greg had us line up and show him our BH volley. I stepped up with two hands on the racket, and Greg said, "No, you shouldn't use both hands. Just keep your racket head up, step forward, and punch." Elementary, but it worked, and I still hit a OHBH volley.

So the answer is the reason people serve without a proper continental grip is that no one asked them to do anything else. Probably.
Like Like Like

Especially the OHBH volley.
One of my favorite teammates took a private lesson. It was all about the OHBH volley. She was thrilled and went on about how much better it was than the 2HBH and she thought it would make a big difference. We started playing: immediately back to the 2HBH :rolleyes:
 

Sparta-cus

New User
Don’t screw your game by following what other people figured out what works for them, learn your answers by trying everything and lots of practice and playing matches. It takes lot of time to be good. If you don’t have a strong serve try placement. Good placement will beat anyone with power. Add things slowly that complements your strengths that when everything on court becomes advantage.
 

Cawlin

Semi-Pro
If you don’t have a strong serve try placement. Good placement will beat anyone with power.
Only true if you have a basic minimum level of pace/power on your serve... if you're serving some sort of eephus serve all the time, it doesn't matter where you place it...
 
I wonder the same thing every day. Why, why, why?

And then these same women whine at me .... "your serve is so good, I wish I had a serve like that" Well .... do you want some advice? Use a continental grip and practice it. "but I don't like the way that feels and I don't like going and hitting serves" Well kill me now. Stop complaining your serve will always suck.
Impressive they got that far.
Most people don't know that you need to practice tennis or that there is even a correct technique.

Most players think skills are innate. This applies to all levels.
People think Fed is "lucky" because he's good. Or gifted.
Yes, he's gifted with the ability to practice 10 hours a day for 3 decades.
Unfortunately, you don't see that on TV.
 

ChaelAZ

Legend
It is an advantage at any level when you can constently get it in and not double fault. You lose 100% of points you DF, but have 100% chance to play a point if you get one of two serves in.

As you progress, the next level of advantage is placement.
After that comes variety.
And then last would be adding incremental speed.
 

r2473

G.O.A.T.
It is an advantage at any level when you can constently get it in and not double fault. You lose 100% of points you DF, but have 100% chance to play a point if you get one of two serves in.

As you progress, the next level of advantage is placement.
After that comes variety.
And then last would be adding incremental speed.
Speed is first. Getting it over the net and in the box is last
 
Merely getting it in is not an advantage.
That is neutral, and possibly a disadvantage, since opponent has a short ball, if serve is weak.
 

Cawlin

Semi-Pro
I wonder the same thing every day. Why, why, why?

And then these same women whine at me .... "your serve is so good, I wish I had a serve like that" Well .... do you want some advice? Use a continental grip and practice it. "but I don't like the way that feels and I don't like going and hitting serves" Well kill me now. Stop complaining your serve will always suck.
Hahahaha... this is SPOT on in my experience as well - I taught my wife to serve "like a man" (her words, not mine), and every woman she plays with remarks on her serve. She tells them the same thing you do... she hears the same things you hear...


Most people don't know that you need to practice tennis or that there is even a correct technique.
I would only amend this to say that most people don't realize there is a correct technique - they realize you have to practice, but they also think that playing sets/games with others who barely know which end of the racquet to hold counts as "practice".

Most people would quit altogether if they had any idea how many reps it takes just to get a good forehand or a decent serve or whatever else...

I suppose all in all, it's a good thing that there is a place for these people to play though because even playing this kind of tennis sure beats the hell out of sitting on the couch. All those people still buy racquets, tennis clothes, group clinics, pay league fees, etc.
 
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Cawlin

Semi-Pro
It is an advantage at any level when you can constently get it in and not double fault. You lose 100% of points you DF, but have 100% chance to play a point if you get one of two serves in.
This line of thinking is DIRECTLY responsible for the legions of 3.5 and below women playing dubs in the greater Atlanta region who have been playing for 10+ years and still dink a serve in and think that the match went great if they didn't DF, even though they failed to hold their serve a single time...

The "advantage" is relative to your level of competition...

The goofball dink serve you get away with in ALTA C-1 women's dubs will get smeared by the man at least in ALTA C-1 mixed.
 

ChaelAZ

Legend
Merely getting it in is not an advantage.
That is neutral, and possibly a disadvantage, since opponent has a short ball, if serve is weak.
This line of thinking is DIRECTLY responsible for the legions of 3.5 and below women playing dubs in the greater Atlanta region who have been playing for 10+ years and still dink a serve in and think that the match went great if they didn't DF, even though they failed to hold their serve a single time...

The "advantage" is relative to your level of competition...

The goofball dink serve you get away with in ALTA C-1 women's dubs will get smeared by the man at least in ALTA C-1 mixed.
This is all based on level, and exactly that the advantage is relative to it.

When I have HS kids that have little to no experience, getting it in consistently is the only thing that matters. When matched against the same level, it makes or break a game/set/match. When they get there, or I have higher level kids it becomes more about placement - being able to hit to either side to both move an opponent and exploit a weakness. The academy kids that play HS tennis start using variety and then speed.

Pretty simple amd same can be said for those wanting to progress in rec ratings.

As far as responsiblity for someone being stuck at a level, that isn't the process that is the person. If they never venture to start doing more with a consistent serve they will never progress. Consistency will fluctuate as you work to hit spots, add variety, or get more pop, but that is the nature of progress. What I never want to see is someone try too hard to make a change and dropping their serve percentage to 50% and a boatload of DF.
 

OnTheLine

Hall of Fame
This line of thinking is DIRECTLY responsible for the legions of 3.5 and below women playing dubs in the greater Atlanta region who have been playing for 10+ years and still dink a serve in and think that the match went great if they didn't DF, even though they failed to hold their serve a single time...

The "advantage" is relative to your level of competition...

The goofball dink serve you get away with in ALTA C-1 women's dubs will get smeared by the man at least in ALTA C-1 mixed.
This!
I allow myself 2 DFs per set. I am not afraid of a DF as long as I am going for my serves and I am holding my service games.
Then I hear from a partner that I shouldn't have ANY DFs and yet they either don't hold serve or we struggle mightily defending the ripped return from their safe weak serve.
 

Cawlin

Semi-Pro
This is all based on level, and exactly that the advantage is relative to it.
I wonder if that's why I said:

The "advantage" is relative to your level of competition...
As far as responsiblity for someone being stuck at a level, that isn't the process that is the person. If they never venture to start doing more with a consistent serve they will never progress. Consistency will fluctuate as you work to hit spots, add variety, or get more pop, but that is the nature of progress. What I never want to see is someone try too hard to make a change and dropping their serve percentage to 50% and a boatload of DF.
The issue certainly IS at least partly the fault of the process (or at least the coaching part). There are a TON of coaches just mailing it in... telling newbies "just get the point started", and never encouraging or even showing those people as they get out of the ranks of newbie what they need to do to get a better serve... of course, the reason for that is that it's difficult to do. The serve is actually very complex and there are a large number of non-intuitive aspects of it. It takes commitment and it takes a willingness to go thorugh a serious dip in match performance while learning the new technique... that goes to balancing match play with practice/instruction... and frankly, even for rec adults, there is a huge problem with encouraging too much match play and not enough drill/practice/lessons. I have attempted to give at least 10 women besides my wife instruction on the basics of serving (conti grip, standing sidways, toss, etc.) and all but one of them was absolutely SHOCKED that the "proper technique" was to hold a continental grip. These were ALL women who had been playing for 5+ years taking upwards of 20 group lessons a year and playing around 30 matches per year each. They were SHOCKED, man... SHOCKED! How can that be when they had 100 lessons and 150 matches under their belts?

The one male I helped with serving basics was brand new to the game and very receptive to the basics that I was showing him. He has engaged a coach for regular lessons and spends about 12 hours a week practicing (which is pretty impressive, given his work travel situation which has him on the road about 15 days a month).
 
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Cawlin

Semi-Pro
This!
I allow myself 2 DFs per set. I am not afraid of a DF as long as I am going for my serves and I am holding my service games.
Then I hear from a partner that I shouldn't have ANY DFs and yet they either don't hold serve or we struggle mightily defending the ripped return from their safe weak serve.
Man I'm missing the "like" button...

A note to you of encouragement and advice - screw your DF count - worry about your hold serve percentage... as long as you're holding, I don't care how many DFs you hit, nor should you in my opinion, (provided it's not your partner going through heroics to hold your serve for you).

I posted something about the whole "double fault count" in one of the threads around here this past week - basically what you said about female partners telling me they want to rate the match performance on who DFed the most... and me replying that we should worry about who holds their serve most and not worry about DFs... *edit* LOL, that post I spoke about is in this thread at the beginning haha!
 
You should not allow yourself any specific number of DF's per set.
This is the wrong way of thinking.

I will DF as many times as it is necessary for me to still use a kick 2nd serve.
Some days, I will DF 0 times a set, others I might DF a lot of times.
It doesn't matter. The point is I still use my 2nd kick no matter what.

At some point, it all becomes a moot point.
You just serve your heavy 2nd kick and the DF happens or it does not.
Results don't affect action, since it's not like I am going to start dinking my 2nd if I am having an off day.

Sometimes, if 1st isn't hitting, or opponent is weak, I just serve two 2nds all set.

When my dubs partner DFs, I compliment him, and tell him to keep kicking the 2nd
and whatever he does, do not start dinking it. Were here to get better, period.
 

Cawlin

Semi-Pro
You should not allow yourself any specific number of DF's per set.
This is the wrong way of thinking.

I will DF as many times as it is necessary for me to still use a kick 2nd serve.
Some days, I will DF 0 times a set, others I might DF a lot of times.
It doesn't matter. The point is I still use my 2nd kick no matter what.

At some point, it all becomes a moot point.
You just serve your heavy 2nd kick and the DF happens or it does not.
Results don't affect action, since it's not like I am going to start dinking my 2nd if I am having an off day.

Sometimes, if 1st isn't hitting, or opponent is weak, I just serve two 2nds all set.
I know dubs isn't your thing, especially mixed, but I strongly believe that even you wouldn't hate playing mixed with @OnTheLine as your partner.
 

ShaunS

Semi-Pro
It turns out that the first game of every set, and especially the first game of the match, has a significantly higher chance of being a break of serve compared to other games in the match.
That's surprising. The last study I saw on that specifically (it's old - 1999 on Wimbledon results) found that the first game had the absolute lowest chance of being broken.

In the same vein though, everything I've seen about serving first for ATP suggested that serving first in the first set netted you about a 55% chance of winning the set. That a statistically significant difference.

I wasn't able to Google up the newer one, if you happen to still have the link please send it to me.
 
It takes commitment and it takes a willingness to go thorugh a serious dip in match performance while learning the new technique... that goes to balancing match play with practice/instruction... and frankly, even for rec adults, there is a huge problem with encouraging too much match play and not enough drill/practice/lessons.
Here is the thread where I pushed through !!

I will FORCE myself to 2nd serve FULLY

2nd serve. It took months of going for it.
 
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Cawlin

Semi-Pro
Here is the thread where I pushed through !!

I will FORCE myself to 2nd serve FULLY
Heh, it's a valid strategy, imo. If my "first serve" isn't working on a given day, I will absolutely serve nothing but kickers (my usual 2nd serve) the rest of the match. I can move that around enough to keep most people at least slightly off balance at my level so they can't really tee-off on it.
 

ChaelAZ

Legend
I wonder if that's why I said:
I was agreeing with you. It was more to TTPS's point that consistency is not an advantage. I see it as building blocks like you, but agree it can be a point of stagnation depending on the player, or maybe coach.
 
I have attempted to give at least 10 women besides my wife instruction on the basics of serving (conti grip, standing sidways, toss, etc.) and all but one of them was absolutely SHOCKED that the "proper technique" was to hold a continental grip. These were ALL women who had been playing for 5+ years taking upwards of 20 group lessons a year and playing around 30 matches per year each. They were SHOCKED, man... SHOCKED! How can that be when they had 100 lessons and 150 matches under their belts?
Yup, I got into a war here when everyone talked like Conti grip is COMMON SENSE.
It is anything but obvious, and the most counter intuitive thing in all of sports.

Most people have NO IDEA how to explain what Conti even is.
Most just fall back on the idiotic hammer or handshake metaphor (garbage teaching)

I was ridiculed at not knowing something so "obvious"
Some liars actually tried to claim they learned Conti by watching pros on TV.
Comical, in hindsight. @Cawlin, you will like this thread

Please paste your paragraph quoted above into this thread!

I have no idea what is Conti grip anymore.
 
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Cawlin

Semi-Pro
I was agreeing with you. It was more to TTPS's point that consistency is not an advantage. I see it as building blocks like you, but agree it can be a point of stagnation depending on the player, or maybe coach.
ah... my apologies then! TTPS was basically saying (I think) what I was saying though... either way, we agree on this statement of yours here for sure.

My wife always says that it took her 6 months of literal blood sweat and tears to learn her serve - and it's true.
 

OnTheLine

Hall of Fame
Man I'm missing the "like" button...

A note to you of encouragement and advice - screw your DF count - worry about your hold serve percentage... as long as you're holding, I don't care how many DFs you hit, nor should you in my opinion, (provided it's not your partner going through heroics to hold your serve for you).

I posted something about the whole "double fault count" in one of the threads around here this past week - basically what you said about female partners telling me they want to rate the match performance on who DFed the most... and me replying that we should worry about who holds their serve most and not worry about DFs... *edit* LOL, that post I spoke about is in this thread at the beginning haha!
I only worry about it because it can freak out a partner. In singles I don't worry about it at all. I know if I even get down love-30 or worse that I can totally serve myself out of trouble ..... but I will serve all out in all but the most dire of situations. EXCEPTION: tie-breaks. In a set or 3rd set breaker there will not be a DF.

You should not allow yourself any specific number of DF's per set.
This is the wrong way of thinking.

I will DF as many times as it is necessary for me to still use a kick 2nd serve.
Some days, I will DF 0 times a set, others I might DF a lot of times.
It doesn't matter. The point is I still use my 2nd kick no matter what.

At some point, it all becomes a moot point.
You just serve your heavy 2nd kick and the DF happens or it does not.
Results don't affect action, since it's not like I am going to start dinking my 2nd if I am having an off day.

Sometimes, if 1st isn't hitting, or opponent is weak, I just serve two 2nds all set.

When my dubs partner DFs, I compliment him, and tell him to keep kicking the 2nd
and whatever he does, do not start dinking it. Were here to get better, period.
Good on you in encouraging a partner to go for it. That is totally the right attitude.

I don't have a kick serve. According to one of my fave coaches I have a mangled-top spin Knuckleball that has good net clearance and goes to the T ... it has the most odd spin.

I know dubs isn't your thing, especially mixed, but I strongly believe that even you wouldn't hate playing mixed with @OnTheLine as your partner.
If @TimeToPlaySets is ever in Vegas I would be willing to put together a mixed match for him that I am certain would change his mind about mixed. I would happily partner with him. Definitely wouldn't be a boring match.
 

J_R_B

Hall of Fame
At 3.5, you should serve first because you hit harder than Nadal.
At 4.0, you should receive because you dink and bunt and your serve is likely a liability
At 4.5, you should serve because now you've played D1 tennis and you need a good serve to do that.
 
At 3.5, you should serve first because you hit harder than Nadal.
At 4.0, you should receive because you dink and bunt and your serve is likely a liability
At 4.5, you should serve because now you've played D1 tennis and you need a good serve to do that.
Correct, but results are inverted.
3.5 hits harder than Nadal, but makes tons of DF's. So receive.
4.0 is a dinker server, but no DFs, and even ATP can't attack a dink serve, so serve first. Dink serve is a weapon
That is why 3.5 is 3.5, and 4.0 is 4.0
 

OnTheLine

Hall of Fame
Wrong approach.
If your serve is a statistical advantage, you need to use it.

Went for my first serve when match was close
I really don't disagree with you .... if I am down 4-5 I am going for my serve .... because I have multiple points in which to win the game.

However, in a match or set tiebreak ... I am un-willing to lose 10% or 14% of the total available points on a DF. I will ease up and place a 2nd serve to a troublesome spot instead and rely on the rest of my game.
 

R1FF

Semi-Pro
Impressive they got that far.
Most people don't know that you need to practice tennis or that there is even a correct technique.

Most players think skills are innate. This applies to all levels.
People think Fed is "lucky" because he's good. Or gifted.
Yes, he's gifted with the ability to practice 10 hours a day for 3 decades.
Unfortunately, you don't see that on TV.
He’s also gifted.

Pro athletes at the sharp end of performance, even in sports with shallower talent pools, are almost always genetic freaks.

You dont realize it until you live & train with them. It’s not apples to apples when comparing to the average human.

The performances of pro athletes is much more genetics related than it is their hard work & dedication. That’s not to say they didnt work hard. Im saying most people could get 10/hrs day for 3 decades and it would never make a significant enough difference.

You can get thru college on hard work. Going pro in most sports requires the genetics.

No amounts of training would ever make me 6’4” and NBA capable.

No ammount of training would make me fit to get on a NFL football field.

And the ultimate example... why Serena openly admits she’d get bageled by any man in the top-100. Is it because she doesnt train enough or lacks skill? Of course not. She’s mentally stronger than most men. It’s the genetic advantage men have. Just goes to show how impressive it is if even she’d struggle against a good man pro.

Whereas Nadal is a genetic freak that could’ve gone pro in most any sport. As is Fed & Novak.

But Im not discounting your point. Which is most any human is capable of 5.0 tennis if the work was put in and the time. But we need to be careful when using pros as examples in these discussions. Much of their success & trajectory just doesnt apply to the common player.
 
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ChaelAZ

Legend
At 3.5, you should serve first because you hit harder than Nadal.
At 4.0, you should receive because you dink and bunt and your serve is likely a liability
At 4.5, you should serve because now you've played D1 tennis and you need a good serve to do that.

lol.
 
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