Double faults coming in bunches

2nd Serve Ace

Hall of Fame
I have a friend whose generally a strong server, both 1st and 2nd, but when he does throw in a double fault, he has a habit of doubling again in the next 1-3 serves!

Is this something you've seen in others or experienced in your game?

Ime, its helpful to have an "in between 1st serve" to kind of reestablish my rhythm after a double fault.
 

OnTheLine

Hall of Fame
yup. So much about a good serve that you are "going for" is having confidence. If you df once it may not do much psyche damage, but if you fault on your next attempt suddenly can lose confidence .... that loss of confidence can snowball.

Yes it is helpful to have a safe in-between or just throw a 2nd in as one's first ... but a good 2nd still asks for confidence ... at least mine does as I have never done a dink serve, and in general I am not afraid to double fault.
 

JW10S

Hall of Fame
Take time between 1st and 2nd serves. I often find that when players double fault it's because they rush into their 2nd serve. You often see players hitting 2 serves into the net, or 2 serves long, less often one long and one in the net. That's because if you rush your body will repeat what it just did, but if you take a little time you won't repeat the same mistake.
 

chatt_town

Hall of Fame
I have a friend whose generally a strong server, both 1st and 2nd, but when he does throw in a double fault, he has a habit of doubling again in the next 1-3 serves!

Is this something you've seen in others or experienced in your game?

Ime, its helpful to have an "in between 1st serve" to kind of reestablish my rhythm after a double fault.
I'm good with playing someone like this, because they apparently don't understand doubles is about setting the net person up, not winning the point outright on your serve. So it creates a situation where we only have to "earn" say 1 or two points because he's basically starting the game out 0-30 with that attitude. :) Most after a match will blame the net partner for them dropping their serves...and only remember the 5 or 6 aces. They forget about the 9 double faults and the 28 second serves that got blasted past both of them for winners. :)
 

derick232

New User
I have a friend whose generally a strong server, both 1st and 2nd, but when he does throw in a double fault, he has a habit of doubling again in the next 1-3 serves!

Is this something you've seen in others or experienced in your game?

Ime, its helpful to have an "in between 1st serve" to kind of reestablish my rhythm after a double fault.
I once played a match and was double faulting constantly. My coach came up and said every time I double faulted from then on I had to get down on the court and do 5 pushups right then and there. I only missed one first serve the rest of the match and came from behind to win. And I wasn't just getting the serves in either, I had a fairly good 1st and 2nd serve and I was hitting them well after that. I guess the fear of humiliation was enough to get me out of my own head, though you might think it would be the opposite. You could always try that.

That was years ago and recently I've come up with a different strategy. My serve (1st and 2nd) are two of my biggest weapons. But my first serve can be inconsistent at times. I've started playing that if I double fault in a game I will only hit second serves for the rest of that service game. My second serve is a big kicker and I can move it around the box so I'm not in much trouble by hitting it on every serve. This strategy has pulled my double faults from 8-10 in a match to around 2-3. And on my next service game I go back to hitting 1st serves again. If you're partner has a weak second serve that's easy to attack I wouldn't recommend that though, definitely just try to find a serve somewhere in the middle of a 1st and 2nd.
 

Dartagnan64

G.O.A.T.
I have a friend whose generally a strong server, both 1st and 2nd, but when he does throw in a double fault, he has a habit of doubling again in the next 1-3 serves!
We must know the same guys. I have more than one tennis buddy like this.

It's always the same issues:
a) They don't have an actual second serve. It's just a variation on their first serve swung slower
b) Their first serve is hard and flat and is awesome when it goes in but only does so once in 10 serves since the margin for error is so slight.
c) They place the weight of winning their serve on themselves, so they serve to "win the point" rather than to set up the net person

I have an admittedly crappy serve but I found holding my serve in doubles wasn't so much dependent on how hard I served but rather how I served. High first serve percentage, move the returner, serve to the BH's or down the T, vary the serves from slice to topspin to flat. Anything to get a sitter for my net partner to finish off. And I allow myself only one DF per set.
 

socallefty

Professional
Are we talking about you or your “friend”? Stop trying to serve 2nd serve aces and the DFs hopefully go away.

Seriously though, you need spin on your 2nd serve to be consistent and effective. Most players that double-fault a lot in my experience have a flatter 2nd serve and it breaks down under stress as it has less margin for error - stress like tight score in a game/set, big deficit in score in a set/match, physical fatigue, hot/humid/windy/sunglare conditions etc.
 

zaskar1

Semi-Pro
2nd SA
sounds like nerves, your "friend" needs figure out
why he is doubling and fix it.
you can help him by analyzing the pattern, is the toss off, or is the rhythm off, etc
if he doesnt know why, he will continue to do so
z
 

heftylefty

Hall of Fame
I have gone through serving double faults back to back in double. For me it's overthinking, paralysis through analysis. When I go this this, I remind myself to relax and just spin serve in at 3/4 pace to the backhand.
 

norcal

Hall of Fame
I once played a match and was double faulting constantly. My coach came up and said every time I double faulted from then on I had to get down on the court and do 5 pushups right then and there. I only missed one first serve the rest of the match and came from behind to win.
I'm going to institute this with my Sunday doubles group!
 

derick232

New User
When I'm having a hard time serving (even when just hitting second serves only), I just tell myself "back to the basics". Having a consistent baseline that you can go back to is key. Everything from grip, stance, toss, and follow through I have down to a basic function that can be altered to hit different serves. If it's not working that day, everything goes back to its default position. Which for me is a moderate paced, high topspin/ side spin, serve in the center of the service box.
 

Traffic

Hall of Fame
yup. So much about a good serve that you are "going for" is having confidence. If you df once it may not do much psyche damage, but if you fault on your next attempt suddenly can lose confidence .... that loss of confidence can snowball.

Yes it is helpful to have a safe in-between or just throw a 2nd in as one's first ... but a good 2nd still asks for confidence ... at least mine does as I have never done a dink serve, and in general I am not afraid to double fault.
Me. And I see it in my tennis buddies. My 2nd serve requires confidence. "just get the ball in" means I need to swing confidently. If I pull back on my swing, my serve doesn't go in. Many games, I just hit my 2nd serve as my 1st and 2nd to keep practicing and especially keep practicing under pressure.
 

OnTheLine

Hall of Fame
Me. And I see it in my tennis buddies. My 2nd serve requires confidence. "just get the ball in" means I need to swing confidently. If I pull back on my swing, my serve doesn't go in. Many games, I just hit my 2nd serve as my 1st and 2nd to keep practicing and especially keep practicing under pressure.
Yeah ... if I tell myself "just get it in" that is all shades of bad news.
 

Cashman

Hall of Fame
As noted, a lot of people do this when they get tentative on their swing. Personally, when this happens to me, it is generally because the rhythm of my toss is off.

I find that slowing down my serve prep, and temporarily getting a bit pickier about which tosses I hit, tends to reset things fairly well.
 

OnTheLine

Hall of Fame
Wow, both FAA and Zverev have this problem, currently!
I didn't see the FAA match, but the 3rd set for Z those serves were beyond terrible. The commentators were cringing.

If only I could figure out why I serve a decent non-returned serve, follow it with an ace and then the 3rd point ... yikes ... that is df territory.
 

RyanRF

Professional
My normal gameplan is:
- First serve flat at ~90% speed
- Second serve kick at ~80% speed

If I'm having an off serving day, I'll change to:
- First serve kick at 90-95% speed
- Second serve kick at ~80% speed

Going for aggressive kick serves helps reinforce the idea to swing confidently. I have to trust that the spin will be there.
 
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