Kathy K. - My serve goes long 98pct of the time!!!

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by twocents, Jun 13, 2005.

  1. twocents

    twocents Rookie

    Mar 1, 2004
    Kathy ,
    I've posted my problem a few times and have gotten very good responses. But my serve still goes long MOST of the time.
    Your Web sight is awsome. I just hapened to read your tip on serving:
    "Afraid it will go long? Just try to serve long. Go ahead, try. You'll find that it's not as easy as you think.
    Besides, long is better because some long serves don't get called out.
    Count your bad serves and you'll see that when you have a bad serving day, it's not because you're missing long: it's because many serves die in the net. So try to play whole matches without netting a serve.
    All decent serves must come close to the service line, so a certain percentage are going to miss long. But only the rare cannonball serve should come close to the net".
    Tossing "forward into the court" seems to help the most. The problem is getting it there. I started using a longbody which forces me to toss higher and get more wrist snap.Do you have any other suggestions?

  2. kevhen

    kevhen Hall of Fame

    Feb 20, 2004
    Auckland, New Zealand
    Back up a step or two behind the baseline? Hit with more spin or less pace? If you hit long 98% of the time then maybe it's just a mental thing and you just need to practice your serve more and maybe try extending your arm more or change your toss so it's more in front and likely to go down more than up and long. Good luck.
  3. Bungalo Bill

    Bungalo Bill G.O.A.T.

    Feb 19, 2004
    The wrist in a good technical serve will lay back when your arm begins to extend upward. As the extension slows down, your loose wrist will then fling up or start to catch up by bringing the racquet face square.

    If your wrist has not matured in the swing your racquet will be angled upward like this: \

    You want the racquet face to be more like this: |

    There are several things you can do:

    1. Toss a little bit more in front and work on making contact with a sqaure racquet.

    2. Toss more off your front foot so your head doesnt accidentally slide too far under the ball.

    3. Increase your swing speed a tad or toss slightly higher.

    4. Keep your head up and wait for the blur and contact before bringing it down.
  4. krnboijunsung

    krnboijunsung Semi-Pro

    May 11, 2005
    Snap your wrist more and hit when the ball is coming down, not up. If you hit the ball when its tossed on the way up, its more than likely that your shot has no angle and room to get in the square. If you're able to hitter at a higher point and able to snap your wrist down and through, than you're more likely to get it in.
  5. Bungalo Bill

    Bungalo Bill G.O.A.T.

    Feb 19, 2004
    This is what I was afraid of. The wrist needs to be left alone.

    The problem is when the racquet face meets the ball it is not square.

    The wrist should be loose and is ALREADY moving forward. You dont need to force it forward!

    Just find the spot where the ball needs to be so that the timing of the wrist bringing the racquet sqaure with the ball meets the toss location at the right time.

    The wrist will continue to bend forward after contact.
  6. Indiantwist

    Indiantwist Semi-Pro

    Mar 11, 2005
    The easiest advise i can give is ...try it slow and see if you are hitting long. See at what pace you can comfortably hit and ball stays in. Work on that consistency and now increase the pace.

    Adding more spin and etc helps. For that there are other helpful threads you can follow.
  7. Bungalo Bill

    Bungalo Bill G.O.A.T.

    Feb 19, 2004
    Very good advice!!!

    slowing it down will allow you to see the relationship of your wrist sqauring the racquet and the location of the ball after tossing it. Once you see the connection, speed it up and adjust a little if needed.

    Very good post and advice.
  8. papa

    papa Hall of Fame

    Jul 13, 2004
    This is one of those bogus comments thats been around too long. Although I don't like to bet, I think I (and I don't think I'm alone) could serve "long" (staying within the baseline) at least 95% of the time - and I'm talking with fairly good pace. Why people think its difficult I'll never understand.
  9. tom-selleck

    tom-selleck Professional

    Feb 21, 2005
    i just started this a separate thread.... and i think this may permanently :confused: improve my serve :p

    anyhow i think the pro's have a huge spin rate on even their first serves and i noticed that good players at my club who never have service problems hit up over the ball a bit.

    i think if you took a picture of federer or roddick at contact on a "flat" serve, you'd find that they come over the corner or top of the ball quite a bit and that their racquet face is pointing down at the court slightly to moderately but the racquet path isn't in that exact same position. that little bit of spin should help alot.

    if you want to hit a pure flat serve, i think you have hit from a really high point and your toss has to be perfect. you can not just throw the ball up and hit it hard and flat and expect it to stay in.

    i found with the spin of coming over the ball a little really helps with the serve.... i've been thru almost every other tip and this one seems the best for me.

    try to find that study on sampras and other pro's spin rates on their serves, you'll be shocked... obviously they have racquet head speed to put huge spin on the ball, that we can't, BUT IT SHOWS THAT THEY USE BIG SPIN ON FIRST SERVES.

    that's my rant!!!.. as i said, i started separate thread further up.
  10. Mahboob Khan

    Mahboob Khan Hall of Fame

    Feb 20, 2004
    A common advice is, "it is better to hit long than in the net" but my advice to you is this, "Bang the ball (of course with proper technique/wrist snap) on your side of the court. Yes, on your side of the court". OK, follow the following regimen:

    -- first serve: Hit on your side of the court (this will teach you loose wrist and the associated wrist snap).

    -- second serve: Hit long into the front fence. This is an area in which you specialize! (this teaches hitting up on the ball).

    -- third serve: Hit into the proper box (when above two actions are combined).

    -- Continue with the above three steps for a basket or two!

    I would like to hear from you.


    Mahboob Khan
  11. Kathy

    Kathy Rookie

    Aug 7, 2004
    Sorry I didn't see this sooner. But I agree with Buffafo Bill and Mahboob. They already gave good advice.

    That article was about "a bad serving day," not about a problem with your serve, one that plagues you all the time. When you have a problem with your service motion itself, you can miss either in the net or long. If your serve is normally reliable but gets shaky so that you start hitting many faults in a particular match, you'll notice that you're missing in the net most of the time.

    If the other suggestions don't work, here is one more thing you might try. In practice, toss low and off the side so that you serve almost side-arm. The ball will be about as high as your head when you hit it. Now you WILL be serving long a lot when the balls clears the net. Gradually heighten the toss. When you are tossing to full height again, you may find that the problem is gone. In other words, you'll be doing what BB said.

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