Like Zverev, I don't believe in 2nd serve, do you?

Do you use a different motion for your 2nd serve?

  • Yes - Slice

    Votes: 6 17.6%
  • Yes- Kick

    Votes: 23 67.6%
  • No

    Votes: 8 23.5%

  • Total voters
    34

Fintft

Legend
Like him I'd rather use my first serve twice :)

After all I'm only using one FH from the baseline (don't also use a slice one etc).

How about you?
 

S&V-not_dead_yet

Talk Tennis Guru
Like him I'd rather use my first serve twice :)

After all I'm only using one FH from the baseline (don't also use a slice one etc).
But you don't hit every FH flat, like a first serve, do you? Even if you don't use slice [what happens when you get pulled way wide? The squash shot comes very much in handy.], surely you use varying amounts of TS.

Then there are moonballs, drop shots, blocks, etc.
 

Fintft

Legend
But you don't hit every FH flat, like a first serve, do you? Even if you don't use slice [what happens when you get pulled way wide? The squash shot comes very much in handy.], surely you use varying amounts of TS.

Then there are moonballs, drop shots, blocks, etc.
Like we were talking about the FH used for rallying from the baseline (don't even vary the TS much in that case), it's the same for the first serve being used twice (instead of a second serve).
 

GuyClinch

Legend
My first serve isn't so fast that I can feed people a steady diet of them.. Got to mix it up. Often I hit slice as first serve especially on deuce side. A good slice serve should see almost like flat serve but pull the guy off the court.
 

Fintft

Legend
My first serve isn't so fast that I can feed people a steady diet of them.. Got to mix it up. Often I hit slice as first serve especially on deuce side. A good slice serve should see almost like flat serve but pull the guy off the court.
Yeah, but why waste time learning another serve well?
Like Federer I'd rather keep practicing the things I do well so that I don't forget them (such as my groundstrokes from the BL)...
 

Fintft

Legend
Wait, you get to serve?
Honestly not too often, as I've pulled out of ladder matches over the last few years and I mainly rally (better workout anyhow) with a few chosen partners (most, if not all, decent baseline players).
I try to avoid running into random pushers in a ladder match, not only b/c I don't like them, but also to avoid injuries (one becomes competitive in matches). Also can't really commit especially during the winter to play on weekends, when the matches are held.
I play a set once in a blue moon (or a couple of tie breaks) with my regular partners and I practice my serve even for that, but that's about it.
Besides from selftaught players like me, the serve wasn't used much when I started on public courts, in the parks. Even the BH took a while to learn decently.
 

Happi

Professional
I honestly wonder why Kyrgios hasn't improved his underhand serve to this level. He just dinks it!
I watched his match today on tv, and the radar reported 124 km/h (77mph) for his underhand serve - that kind of surpriced me.
 

Fintft

Legend
You probably should do your second serve twice, and get a realistic data on how many points did you really lose ONLY because of your serve being too weak.
Except that I'm also an alpha male and I don't like when people pound my second serve.
Joke aside, what I hate most, is when I tense on the second serve and end up swinging too slow and netting it in a DF.
 

LeeD

Bionic Poster
2 first serves? That'd get me df's 70% of the time.
Typically, my 1st serve is about 20% matchplay, maybe 40% in practice.
 

Morch Us

Professional
You mean your second, second serve. I bet you won't be as tense on your first, second serve (remember ... two second serves).
I tense on the second serve
Of course it is understandable. You don't always play to win. You play for fun. So do what you enjoy.
Except that I'm also an alpha male and I don't like when people pound my second serve
Anyway forget all the sematics... all I am trying to convey is that, make the serve on your first attempt.... so that you don't ever get to do a second attempt.
Most rec players do more than they can handle on their first serve, which keeps the first serve percentage really low (lower than 25% is very common at low rec levels).
 
Last edited:

SystemicAnomaly

Talk Tennis Guru
Like him I'd rather use my first serve twice :)

After all I'm only using one FH from the baseline (don't also use a slice one etc).

How about you?
I don't believe in first serves. I prefer to hit my second serve twice. But the first of these 2 second serves has less spin (and more forward ball velocity).
 

SystemicAnomaly

Talk Tennis Guru

Like him I'd rather use my first serve twice :)

After all I'm only using one FH from the baseline (don't also use a slice one etc).

How about you?
When his 2nd serve in ON, it can be quite effective. A blessing. But all too often, his 2nd serve inconsistency is a curse.

Sampras, Federer and most elite servers will have a second serve toss that differs from their first serve toss. So, by necessity, the swingpath has to be different for their different serve types.

Are all your baseline FHs really the same? Seems rather limiting. Swingpath for knee-high, waist-high and chest / shoulder-high FHs are the same? Difficult to believe. Do you always hit flat, moderate topspin or heavy topspin? No variation in swingpath for different amounts of spin?

How about your swing on a Fh half-volley (which is really a groundstroke variation)? No reverse finishes? No squash shots?
 

SystemicAnomaly

Talk Tennis Guru
No Fh lobs? Drop shots? Same ball speed on all Fh shots? Same net clearance? Perhaps all your forehand swingpaths are not the same after all.
 

SystemicAnomaly

Talk Tennis Guru
Flat FHs, similar enough, imho.
Then I would say that it's time to add some variety to your Fh/game. Some opponents might thrive on your flat, unchanging FHs. It would be like a baseball pitcher who only throws one type of pitch. A lot of batters would lock on to that... even if it was a 95 mph fast ball. Same for the tennis serve... need the variety to keep the returner from becoming too comfortable -- knowing what would be coming

If opponents are starting to become too comfortable with your Fh, you need to be able to mix it up with some variety to keep them off balance. Changes can include ball speed, amount of spin, type of spin, trajectory / height over the net, directional changes or patterns of play.
 

Fintft

Legend
Changes can include ball speed, amount of spin, trajectory / height over the net, directional changes or patterns of play.
Thanks and I do the above. Serve just doesn't feel natural to me and it was frustraiting to learn, especially due to the lack of good progress in terms of power (by contrast to the FH and even the 1HBH). All starts with an inconsistent toss.
 

srimes

Rookie
Yeah, but why waste time learning another serve well?
Like Federer I'd rather keep practicing the things I do well so that I don't forget them (such as my groundstrokes from the BL)...
I rarely hit aces, but get a good amount of free points and a lot of weak returns with my variety of serves. Flat, slice, kick, and twist, and varying pace and placement throws people off. I do all 4 for 1st, mostly kick and twist for 2nd.


Except that I'm also an alpha male and I don't like when people pound my second serve.
Joke aside, what I hate most, is when I tense on the second serve and end up swinging too slow and netting it in a DF.
Placement (and action!) often matters more than pace. I'll tee off all day on a predictable big flat serve that comes right to my strike zones.
I really like serving to the body as it's a bigger target than going for the ace.

Getting tight and slowing the swing is a major trap that leads to faults. The 2nd serve should still be a full, loose swing, just more spin and less pace to make a larger margin of error.
 

GuyClinch

Legend
Yeah, but why waste time learning another serve well?
Like Federer I'd rather keep practicing the things I do well so that I don't forget them (such as my groundstrokes from the BL)...
Well I am alone on this here - but IMHO I think all the basic serves are really close - its just a slightly different contact point and different swing angle. But the serve is very very close. Thus if you were to develop a great flat serve you could easily develop a slice serve. Toss it more out to the right - delay your ISR a tiny bit - boom slice.
 

Fintft

Legend
What if, like Zverev, your second serve is much worse than your first?
I just heard the commentators during the AO saying that Zverev's 2nd serve is the weakest among top 87 ATP players (they've stopped doing stats after him)...

My serve progress has been hindered also by:

  1. Hard to learn to lock the wrist and to use the fingers to add spin to the ball during the toss, after doing basketball layups for many years with my non-dominant hand, the left (especially after stopping playing competitively)
  2. Having a weak throw, even as a kid, when I played handball (age 9-12). I remember playing and winning also a city level scholastic championship in our variation of baseball and being the best at the bat instead.
  3. The coaches have gotten into my head (I think that I had a stronger serve, but maybe inconsistent, before taking lessons). Even Djokovic said (when they tried to change his serve) that "the worst thing you can do is to think about many different technical things, during the serve"...
  4. Getting older and less mobile as a young coach (who used to be my opponent when he was in HS) guessed.
  5. It's discouraging to see your 1st serve the weakest among your group at the club, while having the strongest FH (as measured by radar gun during only one try- after which I had fallen on my butt, due to clay shoes on a hc and a strange cc feeding by the coach).
Gl with your own serves! :D
 

zaph

Professional
You can do what you like but unless your first serve percentage is insanely high for an amateur player, it won't work. Eventually you will hit a couple of double faults in a row and loose your serve.

I don't understand why so many dislike developing a reliable second serve, it is a great shot to have and can be very effective, especially at club level. I have a decent topspin serve and it causes no end of trouble for my opponents. Sometimes I abandon the first serve entirely and just use the second serve because so many players are bad at returning it.

The number who consistently dump the ball in the bottom of the net and send the ball into the back wall is ridiculous and these same players have no problem with hard hit flat serves. So I wouldn't dismiss the effectiveness of bog standard topspin, players don't like balls with work on them which bounce outside their comfortable hitting zone.
 

WestboroChe

Hall of Fame
Second serve is the most important shot in tennis. Once you develop a reliable serve that you can control and hit accurately 90% of the time it makes the game so much easier. You can go for more on your first serve or you can just hit second serves if you’re tired and your opponent doesn’t attack the first serve (very common at rec level).
I kick the majority of my second serves but if I have an opponent that is belting them (usually tall players) I’ll switch to slice.
 

WestboroChe

Hall of Fame
Thanks and I do the above. Serve just doesn't feel natural to me and it was frustraiting to learn, especially due to the lack of good progress in terms of power (by contrast to the FH and even the 1HBH). All starts with an inconsistent toss.
There really isn’t anything natural about tennis. But a good serve takes time to develop. In the plus side it’s easier to practice solo
 

Cashman

Hall of Fame
I mean... I couldn't do this. My first serve isn't reliable enough, I'd hit too many double faults. And my second serve is reliable but if I hit it exclusively then my opponents would dial it in too easily.
 
Top