Serves Explained?


New User
I was just wondering if someone could explain to me the different kinds of serves. I'm doing a science project on the different kinds of serves and i need to REALLY know how each of them work. (different swing paths and how the spin effects the path of the ball.)

I'm going to be testing:

Flat Serve
Slice Serve
Kick/Topspin Serve

Thanks =D


Recommend you take up some coaching. Some of these posters may not be credible. Otherwise, go to the instruction end of where you will find pat from Bolletierri who has vids on how to serve
Flat serve: Swing path is more or less straight into the ball, or in line with the intended direction of the serve. No high level player hits a completely flat serve--- there is a slight topspin/slice component mixed in.

Slice serve: Swing path is left to right, or "3 to 9 o'clock" if you're a clock face kind of guy. Swing path is roughly on a 45 degree angle in relation to the baseline (obviously straight towards the net would be 90, and directly to the side fence would be zero, so about halfway between these extremes).

Kick/twist serve: Swing path is up and out to the right, roughly 8 to 2 on the clock face. Maybe a little more upwards if you want a higher bounce, like 7:30 to 1:30. The upwards swing path generates topspin, while the left to right motion generates spiral spin to the right. This is what makes this serve break to the right after the bounce. There is also a slight amount of slice on this serve, but not enough to really break much to the left in the air. This is the standard second serve to the backhand that you see on tour.

Hopefully I got you going in the right direction, but I'm sure someone will do a much better job and post pictures and such.

Kick/twist serve:

"Flat" serve:

Slice serve (first one):
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Bionic Poster
DJ's got it..
Add a top/slice serve, for a medium high bouncer and lots of safe margin for second serves.
Then there's the variation of each, like PistolPete's flat serve with a topspin component.
You want top/slices to bounce higher than pure slices.
You want kicker/twists to bounce higher than that.
Much tougher to control bounce height of first flats, so use ball speed.
Pure sidespin slices are pretty much useless in higher levels of tennis, if used constantly.