If you could do it again, which serve would you learn first?

#2
There is no serve type known as the "first serve," that is whatever serve you decide to serve first.

Slice is probably the easiest for most people to learn, then probably either topspin or flat, with the kick serve being the last serve that most people should learn because it is the most difficult to hit and the hardest on the body. Some people never hit flat serves though, so that is sometimes skipped, although I don't think it should be.
 
#4
Top slice is the best serve to learn in my opinion. it can be used as a 1st or 2nd serve. you will swing up and to the R for a R handed server on both 1st and 2nd serves.

For 1st serve, toss it about a foot into the court and just slightly to your R. Since it is a foot in front, you'll open the shoulder into contact and get good pace.

For a 2nd serve toss it only a inch or 2 into the court and straight up a 12 o'clock. Since it isn't too far in front, you'll need to keep the shoulders closed longer and swing more to the R but still upward too.
 

Dragy

Professional
#5
If you learn basic fundametals, that most naturally gives you slice serve. Moving toss a bit overhead from there allows to hit a top-slice. Now you actually get a great shot to practice and use in matches. All other variations can be developed further on.
 
#6
Top slice is the best serve to learn in my opinion. it can be used as a 1st or 2nd serve. you will swing up and to the R for a R handed server on both 1st and 2nd serves.

For 1st serve, toss it about a foot into the court and just slightly to your R. Since it is a foot in front, you'll open the shoulder into contact and get good pace.

For a 2nd serve toss it only a inch or 2 into the court and straight up a 12 o'clock. Since it isn't too far in front, you'll need to keep the shoulders closed longer and swing more to the R but still upward too.
Yes, this exactly.

Once you get the basic down you can add more pace or slice or top as required. This it the absolute benchmark serve.

J
 

FiReFTW

Hall of Fame
#7
Top slice is the best serve to learn in my opinion. it can be used as a 1st or 2nd serve. you will swing up and to the R for a R handed server on both 1st and 2nd serves.

For 1st serve, toss it about a foot into the court and just slightly to your R. Since it is a foot in front, you'll open the shoulder into contact and get good pace.

For a 2nd serve toss it only a inch or 2 into the court and straight up a 12 o'clock. Since it isn't too far in front, you'll need to keep the shoulders closed longer and swing more to the R but still upward too.
Isn't that serve Federer's bread and butter?

To me looking at his serves it seems like 80%-90% of his 1st serves are in that area, obviously he varies it in small increments, but from slicing it alot, to adding slight topspin and slicing it, or adding decent amount of toppspin and slice, or a bit slice and little kick, those seem to be the ones hes using most of the time, no wonder his serve is so hard to handle with so much variety in spin.
 

acintya

Hall of Fame
#9
I asked this question mainly because I am learning to serve with my non dominant hand so... all doors are open. Trying to find the best way to perfecting the serve from ground up.

Thanks for all the replies.

For now learning a choked up flat serve seems to be the most normal way of progressing. Like you would throw a ball. The feel is there but absolutely no power -- but otherwise there is some natural spin on it - cant describe it.

i can imagine it will take me tens of thousands repetitions to build it up.
 

sureshs

Bionic Poster
#13
First just learn to dink it in to get a feel for the court and the ball. That will get you doubles games with the oldies in your club. Then work your up from there. Players who wait for their serves to reach a certain level by taking lessons miss out on friendly competition and end up quitting the game.
 
#14
Basically Federer`s 2nd serve. Done with a kicker arm action (for topspin) but with a toss closer to a flat serve (for depth) that requires a lot of elevation.

This serve is going to have less "jump" off the court when it lands, but will have a few more mphs.
 
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FiReFTW

Hall of Fame
#16
Basically Federer`s 2nd serve. Done with a kicker arm action (for topspin) but with a toss closer to a flat serve (for depth) that requires a lot of elevation.

This serve is going to have less "jump" off the court when it lands, but will have a few more mphs.
No, most of feds 2nd serves are kickers, specially from ad side when he hits it wide so it bounces way away from the court.
Ocassionaly he will hit what u said, but its more common on 1st serves from ad side wide.
A more aggressive more mph serve with a toss more towards 1st serve that is faster but has alot of topspin but bounces more straight not right.
 

Raul_SJ

Hall of Fame
#17
Top slice is the best serve to learn in my opinion. it can be used as a 1st or 2nd serve. you will swing up and to the R for a R handed server on both 1st and 2nd serves.

For 1st serve, toss it about a foot into the court and just slightly to your R. Since it is a foot in front, you'll open the shoulder into contact and get good pace.

For a 2nd serve toss it only a inch or 2 into the court and straight up a 12 o'clock. Since it isn't too far in front, you'll need to keep the shoulders closed longer and swing more to the R but still upward too.
Assuming a 6 foot 0 tall player that is staying grounded on the serve, I'd say:
First Serve: Contact point about 2.0 feet into the court.
Second Serve: Contact point about 1.0 foot into the court at 12 o'clock.

1.0 foot contact point into the court/12 o'clock while staying sideways is very reasonable and doable on a second serve IMO.
2 inches contact into the court is not nearly aggressive enough IMO. Need to lean into the court while still staying sideways. Only way to get that head-high bounce and make it uncomfortable for the returner.
 
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#18
Topspin-slice is, more or less, what I teach first. Many students already have a frying pan (WTE) flat serve. So, don’t really need to teach that one.

I used to think topspin serve = kick serve and they differ only by the name. I started to wonder...
A topspin serve will kick (up) if the trajectory or the spin-to-speed ratio is high enough. For instance, let’s take a serve with 3000 rpm of spin (with a good portion of that being topspin). 3000 rpm topspin serve at 130 mph (low spin:speed) will not likely kick. But if you take that very same spin at half the forward speed, 65 mph, it will have a high spin:speed and will undoubtedly kick.
 

Raul_SJ

Hall of Fame
#19
1. frying pan serve
2. eastern fh serve
3. conti flat serve... until i can have a decent gross motor movement of toss + hitting
4. heavy slice serve...
5. hard slice serve
6. flat (focus on pronation)
7. topspin
8. kick

my $.02
With regard to #3 in the sequence - Continental flat. When players first learn cont serve it will tend to be very weak and spinny. It will be very difficult to hit flat so I would place Conti slice first before progressing to cont flat.
 
#21
If would learn a moderate Topspin serve first. I feel it builds upon fundamentals more than other serve types.
Avoid doing the pure slice serve, if going for righty deuce wide, then go for a combination of topspin-slice.
 
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