I'm a 42 year old beginner & would appreciate thoughts on 1st/2nd serve strategy for lower level players. I've been playing for about 6 months - mostly group lessons and 2.5/3.0 level drills. Now with better weather & a reliable hitting partner, I'm getting in 1 singles session and a couple of solo practices (1 hr off wall or 200-300 serves) per week. I'm in pretty good shape & fairly athletic, and to this point have been able to at least grasp (if not consistently execute) most of what the local club's pros have been teaching. Of course most days it feels like I'm about 30,000 practice swings from having anything reliable or grooved, but I see that as a welcome challenge. A lot of what I read (books, magazines, and this forum) proclaims the importance of a reliable 2nd serve, presumably something with topspin or topspin/slice. This all seems to make good sense, so I recently took a couple of weeks off of drills & worked almost exclusively on a topspin/slice serve. I planned to use this for both 1st & 2nd serves in matches for as long it takes to become 90% reliable. All in all I was about as successful as I had hoped to be (I actually thought I had made pretty good progress for someone at my low level), so I was looking forward to the standard 15 minutes of serving practice near the end of the next drill session I attended. To my surprise, on seeing me try to spin in most of my serves one of the pros asked (jokingly - he's really a good guy) when I had started serving like a girl! He recommended that I forget about the topspin serve and instead just take some pace off of my flat serve for 2nds. So what's the 'right' answer for a beginner like me? Flat/hard 1st serve (low percentage, at least at this point), flat/less pace 2nd (pretty reliable if I swing fairly slow & concentrate on pronating, like I see the pros do when feeding students for practicing returns)? Spin in both 1st & 2nd until I'm consistent enough to throw in an occasional hard/flat 1st? Flat 1st & spin 2nd, like the more advanced players I see? (seems like too many things to worry about for a beginner) I'm confused enough to listen to any good argument at this point. TIA for any advice, and thanks in general to all of those who regularly post on this forum. There are a lot of us beginners out here who really appreciate the input.