At what point does serve actually become an advantage ?

Cawlin

Semi-Pro
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.
This right here is a gem.

The fundamentals of technique apply from the pros on down, but most of what the pros do that we see on TV just isn't relevant to our games.
 

R1FF

Semi-Pro
This right here is a gem.

The fundamentals of technique apply from the pros on down, but most of what the pros do that we see on TV just isn't relevant to our games.
Correct. Because what you see on TV is merely a small fraction of their makeup. Dont confuse their performance/results with what we assume got them there to that point.

As TTPS said, few credit the long years of training.

And even fewer credit the role of genetics.
 

thehustler

Semi-Pro
I always defer and return first. They're expecting to hold and I'm expecting to break. That first game can be huge in determining things. I actually experienced it yesterday. There were 4 of us, each playing singles. My first opponent and I finished the first set at 6-3 and then 3-0 in the second before we switched (I won both). My next opponent beat his first opponent 6-0, so he had less games and was fresher. First game of our set and I win the spin and have him serve first. He got up 30-0 quickly since we hadn't played in a while and he made some changes to his serve. Then I adjusted. Got a break point and squandered it. Got about 10 more break points, and blew them, but I was being aggressive and not playing 'pusher bunty dinky tennis'. He had a couple game points, but the pressure I put on him thru that game forced some double faults out of him. I finally got the break after a 20 minute game. Yay. I then held quickly and the route was on. 6-1 was the final set score. That first game was just deflating to him. Had he held it still could've been 6-1, but maybe not, could've been closer as he would've had confidence knowing he could survive a long game.

As for when the serve becomes an advantage it changes from opponent to opponent. My serve against a pro? No advantage. Mine against someone at my level who sucks or is mediocre at returns? Huge advantage. Having a hard serve isn't an advantage unless the person returning can't return it consistently enough. Same for someone who can place the serve but have no pace on it. For me I'm aggressive on both serves. I may get a DF here and there, but I'd rather be aggressive and keep my opponent back rather than let them take advantage of a weak serve. I also find body serves are underrated. If your opponent has crappy footwork then you need to take advantage and jam them. You hit one down the T or out wide they can get a lucky stab, but a jam forces them to move in an uncomfortable way.

As others stated I don't even count my DF's. I look at all the games I played, how many I served/returned and the # of holds/breaks. Yesterday I wound up playing 19 games. First opponent I played 12 and held 6 times and broke 3 times. 2nd opponent was 7 games, I was broken once at the end when I was closing out and tired. Held 2/3 and broke him all 4 games. I'll take those stats any day.
 
Correct. Because what you see on TV is merely a small fraction of their makeup. Dont confuse their performance/results with what we assume got them there to that point.

As TTPS said, few credit the long years of training.

And even fewer credit the role of genetics.
Skill = genetics + (correct) practice

I think MOST people credit genetics. (Lucky, talented, gifted, etc all equal genetics)
What else is there? They certainly don't credit the 3 decades of daily practice.

Take the most average person
and subject him to the exact training regiment of Federer starting at age 7
and you will have someone with a very excellent game who people are jealous of.
Not ATP level, but certainly the king of the local tennis club.
 

Cawlin

Semi-Pro
Correct. Because what you see on TV is merely a small fraction of their makeup. Dont confuse their performance/results with what we assume got them there to that point.

As TTPS said, few credit the long years of training.

And even fewer credit the role of genetics.
Yep, there's a definite point that the right training and coaching at the right time and the right intensity for long years can take you, but that isn't a guarantee to reach the pinnacle of the game, as played by the world's best... to get there, genetics are required.
 

Cawlin

Semi-Pro
Skill = genetics + (correct) practice

I think MOST people credit genetics. (Lucky, talented, gifted, etc all equal genetics)
What else is there? They certainly don't credit the 3 decades of daily practice.

Take the most average person
and subject him to the exact training regiment of Federer starting at age 7
and you will have someone with a very excellent game who people are jealous of.
Not ATP level, but certainly the king of the local tennis club.
I think that person might have a shot to make it to the ATP level, but they might not break into the top 100 without genetics.

It should be noted as well that not JUST physical coaching is required - but mental coaching too... the whole environment around developing a junior is important - coaching, support from family - keeping focus, positive outlook, not turning it into drudgery, etc...

A whole lot of factors need to align to get someone into the top tiers, but there is NO chance without the years of proper coaching and genetics.
 
I think we can all agree that making it to ATP is a perfect storm of literally dozens of variables.
Motivation, coaching, money, genetics, family support, obsessive dysfunctional desire, skill, practice, health, IQ, etc.

For the rec player, the biggest factor is ignorance.
Ignorance that lessons make a difference.
Ignorance of how many lessons are needed to make a difference.
Ignorance in thinking watching videos translates to execution (Tips are 1%. Drill is 99%)
Ignorance of the development process. We all know the guys that have played USTA for literally 30 years, who are then overtaken by a player on the correct development path within 1-2 years.

Most people have poor serves for several reasons.
1) Playing matches and fear of faulting
2) Having no idea how to begin correcting it
3) Not being able to execute a development plan (practice correct strokes 6x a week)
 

R1FF

Semi-Pro
I think we can all agree that making it to ATP is a perfect storm of literally dozens of variables.
Motivation, coaching, money, genetics, family support, obsessive dysfunctional desire, skill, practice, health, IQ, etc.

For the rec player, the biggest factor is ignorance.
Ignorance that lessons make a difference.
Ignorance of how many lessons are needed to make a difference.
Ignorance in thinking watching videos translates to execution (Tips are 1%. Drill is 99%)
Ignorance of the development process. We all know the guys that have played USTA for literally 30 years, who are then overtaken by a player on the correct development path within 1-2 years.

Most people have poor serves for several reasons.
1) Playing matches and fear of faulting
2) Having no idea how to begin correcting it
3) Not being able to execute a development plan (practice correct strokes 6x a week)
Agreed on all accounts.

Except that most people give due credit to genetics. Because most people have never seen it up close & private just how big the gap is. And because most ppl wanna live in the fantasy world that they can accomplish anything if they out their mind to it.

Most sports fans honestly think they can hang with the pros if they “had just ben given the right opportunities”. .... DELUSIONAL.
 
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undecided

Rookie
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.
I never serve 1st as my serve currently blows.
 

iceman_dl6

Semi-Pro
It depends, if you’re stronger on serve or on stronger on your return game:

i.e.:

A: After you return first, you’re down 0-1 and feel that “must hold serve” feeling the next game.

B: Of course you can look at the flipside and say: “I got broken when I served first, so I must break back!!”

If you have a strong service game, scenario A shouldn’t be a problem

If you have a strong return game, scenario B shouldn’t be a problem
 

Cawlin

Semi-Pro
Agreed on all accounts.

Except that most people give due credit to genetics. Because most people have never seen it up close & private just how big the gap is. And because most ppl wanna live in the fantasy world that they can accomplish anything if they out their mind to it.

Most sports fans honestly think they can hang with the pros if they “had just ben given the right opportunities”. .... DELUSIONAL.
Another thing I think people don't understand is the toll playing a sport at a world class level takes on the body. Even these genetically superior specimens literally wear their bodies out, not just from the repetitive stress injuries, but because they have to make their bodies do things that are at or near the physiological limits of the structural capacity of the joints and other structures.

As rec players, with our goofy mechanics we still never really even get close to putting the stress on or bodies that pros do... for example, if one of us could somehow muster the actual technique to put the kind of spin on the ball that Rafa does for just one day, we would probably break or injure our wrist/elbow/shoulder within the first set of play.
 

mcs1970

Hall of Fame
I think the worst advice I received on this forum is to just serve 2 solid 2nd serves every time. I spent months practicing and doing that. But the reality is that it is no advantage in a real game. Yes you don’t give up cheap points but you don’t get any either considering all the time you put in.

Crank that first serve in even if you miss a ton. Try to get some easy points. Use a solid 2nd serve on your 2nd serve as it was meant to be used.
 

OnTheLine

Hall of Fame
I think the worst advice I received on this forum is to just serve 2 solid 2nd serves every time. I spent months practicing and doing that. But the reality is that it is no advantage in a real game. Yes you don’t give up cheap points but you don’t get any either considering all the time you put in.

Crank that first serve in even if you miss a ton. Try to get some easy points. Use a solid 2nd serve on your 2nd serve as it was meant to be used.
So happy the like button is back!

Yes .... I have heard that advice from the boards, from players and from pros .... I think it is terrible advice.

Yes, have a solid 2nd serve that gets in better than 75-80% but it has to cause at least some trouble

But have a real 1st serve so that you can get some "free" points.

Aside: When commentators mention getting "free" points on serves. They are not free. They were paid for with hours and hours of work, even at the rec level.
 

mcs1970

Hall of Fame
So happy the like button is back!

Yes .... I have heard that advice from the boards, from players and from pros .... I think it is terrible advice.

Yes, have a solid 2nd serve that gets in better than 75-80% but it has to cause at least some trouble

But have a real 1st serve so that you can get some "free" points.

Aside: When commentators mention getting "free" points on serves. They are not free. They were paid for with hours and hours of work, even at the rec level.
One of the few threads that TTPS has started that actually asks a relevant question. I have seen videos of navigator playing Matt Lin. The 2nd serve is just basically something to get the point started and yet even Matt (a solid 4.5 or close to a 5) very rarely kills it. At the rec level upto a 4.5 which is where most of the rec population would end up, it is valid to question why spend hours on a beautiful looking 2nd serve, when you'll never get it to kick consistently like a high level player. A dink 2nd serve also seems to probably give you the same percentage of points. Might as well work on other aspects of your game (assuming you have to make a choice due to time/familial commitments) such as fitness, ground and net strokes.
 

ptuanminh

Hall of Fame
One of the few threads that TTPS has started that actually asks a relevant question. I have seen videos of navigator playing Matt Lin. The 2nd serve is just basically something to get the point started and yet even Matt (a solid 4.5 or close to a 5) very rarely kills it. At the rec level upto a 4.5 which is where most of the rec population would end up, it is valid to question why spend hours on a beautiful looking 2nd serve, when you'll never get it to kick consistently like a high level player. A dink 2nd serve also seems to probably give you the same percentage of points. Might as well work on other aspects of your game (assuming you have to make a choice due to time/familial commitments) such as fitness, ground and net strokes.
The dink serve works because most rec players don't know how to effectively return a serve.
 

FRV2

Semi-Pro
Against 3.5s, all you need to do is dink to the BH.
Yes, this was done to me many times when I used to be a 3.5, or maybe still 3.0, not sure. I would hit a slow second serve then would always get a slow forehand to my backhand corner with them rushing the net and my lob would go long. Well, it wasn't many matches or else I would have worked on my lob more, but it happened in a couple matches that could have gone either way that I ended up losing.

Well the forehand wasn't so slow that I wouldn't have to run. I would have to hit a slice backhand lob as there was no time for a traditional lob. I couldn't hit the traditional lob back then anyways.
 

R1FF

Semi-Pro
Show me a 3.5 that can do that consistently. :) . Against 3.5s, all you need to do is dink to the BH.
Agreed. The biggest difference between a 3.5 & 4.0 in my area is 4.0’s punish weak/short balls with pretty good consistency.

But I disagree that dinking to BH beats 3.5’s in my area. But your region might be different. True 3.5’s should struggle with BH.
 

FiReFTW

Legend
I think the worst advice I received on this forum is to just serve 2 solid 2nd serves every time. I spent months practicing and doing that. But the reality is that it is no advantage in a real game. Yes you don’t give up cheap points but you don’t get any either considering all the time you put in.

Crank that first serve in even if you miss a ton. Try to get some easy points. Use a solid 2nd serve on your 2nd serve as it was meant to be used.
Its not bad advice to work on ur 2nd serve if you make too many dfs or if ur 2nd serve is too attackable.
A guy I know that had DF problems served nothing but 2nd serves for 2 years straight.
He now has a solid reliable and extremely potent 2nd kick serve.
 

ptuanminh

Hall of Fame
Agreed. The biggest difference between a 3.5 & 4.0 in my area is 4.0’s punish weak/short balls with pretty good consistency.

But I disagree that dinking to BH beats 3.5’s in my area. But your region might be different. True 3.5’s should struggle with BH.
You mean tru 3.5's should not struggle against BH dinks?
 

mcs1970

Hall of Fame
The dink serve works because most rec players don't know how to effectively return a serve.
As I mentioned, I didn't even see Matt Lin teeing off on those types of 2nd serves, and that's a 5.0 player. Given that most on this forum are going to taper at a 4.5 level (if that), you have to question the dictum to keep practicing those great kicker 2nd serves. I've watched my share of 4.5 and 5.0 matches, and the number of even 5.0s who have the confidence to swing out on their 2nd serves in clutch situations and consistently get that 2nd serve to kick up sharply is very rare.

I'm not advocating a dink serve. If you have legit goals to try to go very far in this sport and have the time at your disposal, by all means go for it. All I'm saying is if time is a constraint as it is to most adults playing this sport, the amount of time working on a 2nd serve doesn't seem to be worth it, given that you'd get more or less the same results with a pretty average 2nd. serve. Time might be better spent working on other aspects of the game.
 

mad dog1

G.O.A.T.
@mcs1970

Matt can abuse the dink serve for return winners with consistency and ease. I’ve seen him do it and i’ve hit with him enough to know what he’s capable of. If he knows you don’t have anything to hurt him, he will ease way up to keep things fun for the opponent and extend games. There are many times where we’re playing dubs and he’s serving down 15-40. In other words, he has messed around to spot us a lead. How do we know he’s screwing around? Typically on the previous point, he’ll try a crazy tweener shot that leaves everyone chuckling. That’s usually when he dials up his serve a notch or 2 and hits it down the T or the slice wide for an easy ace. Then hits another ace on the ad side to get to deuce. He’s a nice guy so don’t assume that he’s going all out in the videos against weaker competition.

IIRC, the clay court he played navigator was pretty dry and the clay wasn’t in good condition which led to a lot of unpredictable bounces so the quality of the points wasn’t that good.
 
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FiReFTW

Legend
A good kick serve is as effective as a dink serve? Lol now ive heard it all.

Even low rec players can easily return a dink serve (unless mindlessly bashing at it) but will have ton of problems and errors returning a good kick that kicks all over the place.
 

mcs1970

Hall of Fame
@mcs1970

Matt can abuse the dink serve for return winners with consistency and ease. I’ve hit with him enough to know what he’s capable of. If he knows you don’t have anything to hurt him, he will ease way up to keep things fun for the opponent and extend games. There are many times where we’re playing dubs and he’s serving down 15-40. In other words, he has messed around to spot us a lead. How do we know he’s screwing around? Typically on the previous point, he’ll try a crazy tweener shot that leaves everyone chuckling. That’s usually when he dials up his serve a notch or 2 and hits it down the T or the slice wide for an easy ace. Then hits another ace on the ad side to get to deuce. He’s a nice guy so don’t assume that he’s going all out in the videos against weaker competition.
Ok...forget Matt. I just used that example since people have seen the video. I have seen my share of 4.5 and 5.0 tennis players. For all the talk you see on this forum on precisely placed serves and high kicker 2nd serves, the number of players actually executing those serves are very rare. That number drops even further if you're talking about clutch points.

Again, if you have the time for it or have high aspirations in this sport, by all means go for it. You might be part of that rare group who can hit those even in clutch situations. I just don't see an average 2nd serve, one that doesn't require much practice, being any great liability for most rec adults.
 

mcs1970

Hall of Fame
A good kick serve is as effective as a dink serve? Lol now ive heard it all.

Even low rec players can easily return a dink serve (unless mindlessly bashing at it) but will have ton of problems and errors returning a good kick that kicks all over the place.
Read carefully what I'm saying. I never said a good kick serve is as effective as a dink serve. I said the number of players who can really hit a good kick serve well in clutch situations is rare even at the 4.5/lower 5.0 levels. I said most rec players who spend hours/months practicing on a nice looking 2nd serve, still seem to end up with a pretty average kick serve...one that doesn't give much of an advantage in a real game situation, when measured against the valuable hours they've put into it.

Navigator is one of the darn best players I have seen in this forum. If you could one day reach his level in terms of match play and results, you'd be pretty thrilled. Look at his 2nd serve. It's just average at best. Not meaning to demean him at all because I'm a huge navigator fanboy. What I'm saying is I've seen many other players too who are at that 4.5/5.0 level and it's very rare that I find a really top notch 2nd serve. Most are just doing enough to make sure they don't commit a double fault.
 
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mad dog1

G.O.A.T.
Read carefully what I'm saying. I can also offer you cliche advice too, but I'm just telling you something based on what I've seen watching tons of matches among even high level rec players. The number of players who can really hit a kick serve well in clutch situations is rare even at the 4.5/lower 5.0 levels.

Navigator is one of the darn best players I have seen in this forum. If you could one day reach his level in terms of match play and results, you'd be pretty thrilled. Look at his 2nd serve. It's just average at best. Not meaning to demean him at all because I'm a huge navigator fanboy. What I'm saying is I've seen many other players too who are at that 4.5/5.0 level and it's very rare that I find a really top notch 2nd serve. Most are just doing enough to make sure they don't commit a double fault.
I’m not a very good player. Solid 4.0-weak 4.5. Before I injured my shoulder, I could hit the kick serve with consistency and placement (generally to the opponent’s bh wing) that drew all sorts of errors or weak returns at the 3.5-4.5 level. Against strong 4.5s on up, it won’t do damage consistently.

if you were to see my kick serve against 3.5-mid 4.5s, it would look pretty top notch. But against strong 4.5s on up, it would look pretty weak.

The quality of a serve is directly dependent upon the quality of the opposition. :)
 

mcs1970

Hall of Fame
I’m not a very good player. Solid 4.0-weak 4.5. Before I injured my shoulder, I could hit the kick serve with consistency and placement (generally to the opponent’s bh wing) that drew all sorts of errors or weak returns at the 3.5-4.5 level. Against strong 4.5s on up, it won’t do damage consistently.

if you were to see my kick serve against 3.5-mid 4.5s, it would look pretty top notch. But against strong 4.5s on up, it would look pretty weak.

The quality of a serve is directly dependent upon the quality of the opposition. :)
I've seen your vids. You're a solid player. I've seen my share of solid 4.5/5.0 players too. I live in a pretty good market (TX) as far as being able to get to see some really good rec players. Sure, it's not CA, but TX has a pretty good tennis scene too. Someone who hits the type of serve at the 4.5/5.0 levels very well on clutch points, is very rare. In fact, when I see such a player I immediately start watching him more, because to me that's a rare bird at the rec level...one who has the ability and willingness to hit those 2nd serves in clutch situations, since it does require a lot of rhs and confidence.
 
Dink serve DOES NOT work when you play a 3.5. They just smash it into one of the corners.
LOL, 3.5 will smash dink serve into the net or into the corner of the other court in the next town.
Dink serve will generate more UE than a regular kick.

Most people on this forum would have no idea of the reality since they just make assumptions.

I have served dink serves for an entire set. Have you?
If not, you have no idea what you're talking about except what your imaginations assumes.
Why don't you tell us what sex with a supermodel is like, since you have the same level of experience with that, as well.

Here is video proof that even top 150 ATP pros can't reliably handle a dink serve.
They pound it long, just like a 3.5 does.
 
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FRV2

Semi-Pro
LOL, 3.5 will smash dink serve into the net or into the corner of the other court in the next town.
Dink serve will generate more UE than a regular kick.

Most people on this forum would have no idea of the reality since they just make assumptions.
I have served dink serves for an entire set. Have you? If not, you have no idea what you're talking about.

Here is video proof that even top 150 ATP pros can't handle a dink serve.
It generates massive rates of errors.
Yes I've dink served for an entire set when I could get away with it. Other times I would lose every point I dink served on so I had to switch to more of a traditional second serve. Obviously, I did so before the set ended.
 

mad dog1

G.O.A.T.
I've seen your vids. You're a solid player. I've seen my share of solid 4.5/5.0 players too. I live in a pretty good market (TX) as far as being able to get to see some really good rec players. Sure, it's not CA, but TX has a pretty good tennis scene too. Someone who hits the type of serve at the 4.5/5.0 levels very well on clutch points, is very rare. In fact, when I see such a player I immediately start watching him more, because to me that's a rare bird at the rec level...one who has the ability and willingness to hit those 2nd serves in clutch situations, since it does require a lot of rhs and confidence.
I had never played USTA league until this year. Captain of my team told me to self rate at 3.5 because if I had never played Usta before, I would struggle. Also based on the quotes below that I had seen on the board:

“3.5s can rally against pace and spin all day long.”

“Computer rated USTA 3.5s will scratch and claw to win every point. They will slice, lob, and dropshot you to death...”


I figured 3.5 would be pretty tough. I played singles and won every set 6-0, 6-1 or 6-2. I basically just hit kick serves to my opponent’s backhands and watched them completely flummoxed by the bounce and spin. The only service games I lost were due to my team telling me to tank some games because they were afraid I would get DQ’d. So how did i tank without making it completely obvious? I just hit all first serves working on hitting specific spots. No kick or topspin serves. I missed enough to lose a few games. But when I wanted to end the match, i had enough confidence to just go back to serving kickers. Fortunately for my team, I hurt my shoulder and sat out the rest of the season. USTA 3.5 turned out to be the most boring tennis I have ever played. Didn’t matter where I hit the ball, it generally wasn’t coming back. Based on my first hand experience at 3.5, I laugh when I read posts talking about how 3.5s hit harder than pros or how a 3.5 can win a point off a pro or D1 player. :rolleyes: :laughing:
 
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OnTheLine

Hall of Fame
As a lady at 3.5, I have seen my fair share of dink serves. Probably a few more than y'all.

When I was a beginning 3.0 I would dump these into the net or straight into the back fence ....

These days, I simply do not miss the opportunity to put these away for a winner. In dubs they are going hard and low down the middle (from ad side to my FH), Heavy TS angled wide (from ad side to my BH)

How anyone can win on a true dink serve (soft, no spin, high arc and bounces high) at the 3.5 level is a bit baffling to me.
 
Even low rec players can easily return a dink serve (unless mindlessly bashing at it)
Well, yea, that's kind of the point.
Low level players can't handle no pace balls
Even ATP players like in the video above can't attack a dink serve.
VideoPROOF, FTW
 
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mcs1970

Hall of Fame
As a lady at 3.5, I have seen my fair share of dink serves. Probably a few more than y'all.

When I was a beginning 3.0 I would dump these into the net or straight into the back fence ....

These days, I simply do not miss the opportunity to put these away for a winner. In dubs they are going hard and low down the middle (from ad side to my FH), Heavy TS angled wide (from ad side to my BH)

How anyone can win on a true dink serve (soft, no spin, high arc and bounces high) at the 3.5 level is a bit baffling to me.
Watch navigator's videos here. That's a solid 4.5 Many on this forum would love to accomplish what he has. I'm sure he wishes his 2nd serve was much better, but overall, he's done pretty well at a 4.5 level with that.
 

FRV2

Semi-Pro
Watch navigator's videos here. That's a solid 4.5 Many on this forum would love to accomplish what he has. I'm sure he wishes his 2nd serve was much better, but overall, he's done pretty well at a 4.5 level with that.
That's not a dink serve
 

mcs1970

Hall of Fame
I had never played USTA league until this year. Captain of my team told me to self rate at 3.5 because if I had never played Usta before, I would struggle. Also based on the quotes below that I had seen on the board:

“3.5s can rally against pace and spin all day long.”

“Computer rated USTA 3.5s will scratch and claw to win every point. They will slice, lob, and dropshot you to death...”


I figured 3.5 would be pretty tough. I played singles and won every set 6-0, 6-1 or 6-2. I basically just hit kick serves to my opponent’s backhands and watched them completely flummoxed by the bounce and spin. The only service games I lost were due to my team telling me to tank some games because they were afraid I would get DQ’d. So how did i tank without making it completely obvious? I just hit all first serves working on hitting specific spots. No kick or topspin serves. I missed enough to lose a few games. But when I wanted to end the match, i had enough confidence to just go back to serving kickers. Fortunately for my team, I hurt my shoulder and sat out the rest of the season. USTA 3.5 turned out to be the most boring tennis I have ever played. Didn’t matter where I hit the ball, it generally wasn’t coming back. Based on my first hand experience at 3.5, I laugh when read posts taking about how 3.5s hit harder than pros or how a 3.5 can win a point off a pro or D1 player. :rolleyes: :laughing:
Yeah...there's only one person who says 3.5 hits harder than Nadal or that a 4.5 strokes would be indistinguishable from a pro during practice. I'm not going there. As for you, anyone could see from watching 30 secs of your clips that you'd be sandbagging at 3.5.

My point is what you put in previous post. How you had a great kick serve that seemed to work against 4.0s, but against 4.5s, not so much. That's where I was going with this. To achieve a deadly kick serve at the 4.5+ level that will get you easy points or a clear advantage, is not an easy thing to do. Then to have the confidence to do that in clutch situations time and again, requires even more skill and confidence. You might as well just got a pretty average 2nd serve in...one that didn't require a ton of practice. That's all I was trying to say. Also, once again, if you have the time, goals, and ability to get to that rarified air where you can consistently hit a great 2nd serve..more power to you. I never said that ones who had the ability to do that should not.
 

FRV2

Semi-Pro
It's just a pretty low paced average serve to get the point started. Nothing less. Nothing more.
Yeah that's fine. But the dink serve doesn't work at 3.5 unless you have a really good dink serve like Mackie does. He basically hits a forehand slice. My dink serves bounces above the net and gets hit into the corners like that other poster was talking about. It doesn't usually get put away immediately, but it definitely puts me on defense. There was at least one non-4.0 opponent I had back in high school who could crush it back, causing me to have to switch to a riskier, less attackable, second serve in the match. Took it to 3 sets but lost :cry:. The players who were potentially above 3.5 (kids who grew up playing tennis) would all crush my dink serve.
 

mcs1970

Hall of Fame
Yeah that's fine. But the dink serve doesn't work at 3.5 unless you have a really good dink serve like Mackie does. He basically hits a forehand slice. My dink serves bounce above the net and gets hit into the corners like that other poster was talking about. It doesn't usually get put away immediately, but it definitely puts me on defense. There was at least one non-4.0 opponent I had back in high school who could crush it back, causing me to have to switch to a riskier, less attackable, second serve in the match. Took it to 3 sets but lost :cry:.
Sure...maybe dink is the wrong word, since dink is just a touch serve. What I was trying to say is that the type of 2nd serve that navigator is serving is not that far removed from that. Do you think he's spent any number of hours practicing that? It's just a below average low paced serve to get the point started. This is what I've noticed a ton with really good 4.5 and even lower level 5.0 players. So if your time is limited, realistically can't progress much beyond a 4.5/low 5.0 level, and knowing that it would take a lot of time and commitment to hit a kicker that would trouble 4.5s, why spend so much of your precious time on it? Esplly seeing that a lot of 4.5s are doing just fine with a below average 2nd serve. OTOH, if those criteria as far as time and goals don't apply to you, go for it.
 

FRV2

Semi-Pro
Sure...maybe dink is the wrong word, since dink is just a touch serve. What I was trying to say is that the type of 2nd serve that navigator is serving is not much far removed from that. Do you think he's spent any number of hours practicing that? It's just a below average low paced serve to get the point started. This is what I've noticed a ton with really good 4.5 and even 5.0 level players. So if your time is limited, realistically can't progress much beyond a 4.5/low 5.0 level, and knowing that it would take a lot of time and commitment to hit a kicker that would trouble 4.5s, why spend so much of your precious time on it? Esplly seeing that a lot of 4.5s are doing just fine with a below average 2nd serve. OTOH, if those criteria as far as time and goals don't apply to you, go for it.
I think two separate conversations are intertwining here.
 
Who has the balls to run an experiment?
Next practice match you play against any level from 3.5 to ATP 100

One set, all dink serves.
2nd set, your regular 1st/2nd serves.

Using video, count up the number of (service winners - DFs)
I will guarantee you will win more points in the 1st set.
 

FRV2

Semi-Pro
Who has the balls to run an experiment?
Next practice match you play against any level from 3.5 to ATP 100

One set, all dink serves.
2nd set, your regular 1st/2nd serves.

Using video, count up the number of (service winners - DFs)
I will guarantee you will win more points in the 1st set.
I would do it, but I don't play anymore. And if I started back up, I wouldn't record my matches.
 

Moveforwardalways

Hall of Fame
I think the worst advice I received on this forum is to just serve 2 solid 2nd serves every time. I spent months practicing and doing that. But the reality is that it is no advantage in a real game. Yes you don’t give up cheap points but you don’t get any either considering all the time you put in.

Crank that first serve in even if you miss a ton. Try to get some easy points. Use a solid 2nd serve on your 2nd serve as it was meant to be used.
Sincerely,

Most men’s 3.5 players everywhere
 
I have posted threads in the fitness forum that are everything you need to know.
And didn't playing get you into shape? Stop playing doubles. Waste of time.
 
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