Two type of second serve?

toth

Professional
Do you recommend to learn both high bouncing kick second serve and low bouncing slice second serve too?
Or on what level could you that recommend?

I mean even most of the pros have a second serve that they can do best, i do not see they vary their sec serve to much?!

Thank you for your answer
Toth
 

tennisBIEST

Professional
This is an important question! I teach the “Top Slice” serve first and foremost. It’s the best of both worlds. A bit more power than a Kick and more net clearance than the Slice. I also find once you can hit this Top Slice serve the other serves(Flat, Kick, Slice) are easier to learn. I use small progressions to teach this technique. If you look for a good teaching professional in your area he/she will be able to help you.
 

GuyClinch

Legend
I think top slice is better for lower level/mid level players like me - because a kick for me doesn't really generate much pace much of the time. It just kinda sits up and bounces a tiny bit to the right.
 
Train both! If you have a kick serve you will start to see your opponent cheat to that side and that is when you whip out the slice serve and catch them off guard. Try and work on the toss though, so you can disguise it, because if your kick serve toss and slice serve toss are significantly different then people will know what your gonna serve and tee off on it
 

SystemicAnomaly

Talk Tennis Guru
Many righties find that they get decent results on the Deuce side with a slice serve but struggle to get a decent percentage on the Ad side. This is one reason you see right handers hitting top-slice or kick serves on the Ad side. Top-slice can be effective on the Deuce side as well.
 
Last edited:

nyta2

Rookie
Do you recommend to learn both high bouncing kick second serve and low bouncing slice second serve too?
Or on what level could you that recommend?

I mean even most of the pros have a second serve that they can do best, i do not see they vary their sec serve to much?!

Thank you for your answer
Toth
both.
i have an ok rec level kicker (can reach the bottom part of the back fence occasionally), but against tall players, it goes right into their strikezone... i'd be better off hitting a low bouncing slice.
if you have a very high level kicker (my "ruler": can reach at least the middle part of a back fence), you're likely bouncing it high enough out of the strikezone (or with enough "action" to make even the tallest opponents somewhat uncomfortable)
 

shamaho

Professional
Do you recommend to learn both high bouncing kick second serve and low bouncing slice second serve too?
Or on what level could you that recommend?

I mean even most of the pros have a second serve that they can do best, i do not see they vary their sec serve to much?!

Thank you for your answer
Toth
Of course you should learn both types, and even more... the 65% flat one down the middle (to the body)....
The more tools you have to more solutions you can apply or the more problems you can contend with.

at what level ? at any level ie. as soon as you can master the serve.... you'll only get better and better with time,

Regarding Pros ? the TV angle does not help with that.... variance is there in the trajectories and spins, pace, height, etc....

Look to Pat Rafter who said (in a FYB course) that he would not make two equal serves in a row....he would always inject a little different spin & trajectory in each serve with minute differences in how he would brush on the ball...
 

toth

Professional
both.
i have an ok rec level kicker (can reach the bottom part of the back fence occasionally), but against tall players, it goes right into their strikezone... i'd be better off hitting a low bouncing slice.
if you have a very high level kicker (my "ruler": can reach at least the middle part of a back fence), you're likely bouncing it high enough out of the strikezone (or with enough "action" to make even the tallest opponents somewhat uncomfortable)
My experience that the surface is an important thing too, this is the main reason my kick serve is not decent - low bounce surfaces
 

toth

Professional
The other important factor, that for the kick serve can one swing really fast and is despite safe.
 

LeeD

Bionic Poster
Learn one first.
After it's good enough, start another second serve but always practice the one you already know.
Your arm cannot practice all the serves, as 1st serves use up most of your practice time.
 

toth

Professional
Learn one first.
After it's good enough, start another second serve but always practice the one you already know.
Your arm cannot practice all the serves, as 1st serves use up most of your practice time.
This was the main point, i was interessed most
 

socallefty

Hall of Fame
Variety is always good because you might run into opponents who are great high-ball hitters or low-ball hitters. Especially very tall returners might have kick serves rising only into their optimal hitting zone. I use top-slice and kick as my two kinds of second serves primarily.

When the balls get old late in a match in case we didn’t change balls before a third set, I might use low-bouncing wide slice as my second serve also - the % is good for slice serves once the balls get old and I won’t double-fault. Especially in doubles, varying the second serve spin and height results in more putaway volleys for my net guy.
 
Last edited:

toth

Professional
Is there a low- bounce serve strategy by the pros?
I mean as i know Federer slice serve bounces higher than waist level im Wimbledon.
 

Dartagnan64

G.O.A.T.
Is there a low- bounce serve strategy by the pros?
I mean as i know Federer slice serve bounces higher than waist level im Wimbledon.
In order to get a ball in the service court at over 120 mph, you either have to serve from a significant height, or put significant topspin on the ball. Both those situations negate low bounces for the most part. Knee high bouncers are the territory of 60-80 mph rec league players.
 
In order to get a ball in the service court at over 120 mph, you either have to serve from a significant height, or put significant topspin on the ball. Both those situations negate low bounces for the most part. Knee high bouncers are the territory of 60-80 mph rec league players.
I was typing “not on the second serve, they are trying to not give away a free point not goof around,” when your post appeared. I’ll leave now before I get involved in another, “drop shot 1st serves” type discussion.
 

SystemicAnomaly

Talk Tennis Guru
Is there a low- bounce serve strategy by the pros?
I mean as i know Federer slice serve bounces higher than waist level im Wimbledon.
It his grass serves are bouncing higher than waist level, it's undoubtedly top-slice rather than "pure" slice.
 

zaph

Professional
I recommend the topspin serve because it fulfills the most basic requirement of a second serve, it is reliable, due to the high net clearance that is possible with that type of serve. The slice has a low net clearance and less safe.

I also question the belief here that the topspin serve is easier to attack than the slice. Sure if Novak Djokovic was returning that would be true but not against club players. The top spin serve is relatively rare, at least in my experience and a lot of club players don't know how to return it.

Put it this way, I have served nothing but second serves in games and not had one serve come back. I have even aced people with that serve, a lot of players struggle to deal with it.
 

zaph

Professional
It his grass serves are bouncing higher than waist level, it's undoubtedly top-slice rather than "pure" slice.
Not really relevant to rec players because more rec level grass courts are garbage. There are quite a few around in the UK and i have yet to encounter one that is properly maintained; clubs lack the money to maintain them.

Any serve on these terrible courts can be lethal. For example a righty hit a slice serve at me, heading straight into my forehand. Until it hit the court and completely reversed direction and went passed my backhand. It must have hit a molehill or a divet. Req grass courts verge on unplayable.
 

SystemicAnomaly

Talk Tennis Guru
Not really relevant to rec players because more rec level grass courts are garbage. There are quite a few around in the UK and i have yet to encounter one that is properly maintained; clubs lack the money to maintain them.

Any serve on these terrible courts can be lethal. For example a righty hit a slice serve at me, heading straight into my forehand. Until it hit the court and completely reversed direction and went passed my backhand. It must have hit a molehill or a divet. Req grass courts verge on unplayable.
Baffled that you replied to my post rather than to @toth. He broached the topic of Fed's serve on grass. This looks like a reply to his query.
 
Last edited:

blablavla

Legend
Variety is always good because you might run into opponents who are great high-ball hitters or low-ball hitters. Especially very tall returners might have kick serves rising only into their optimal hitting zone. I use top-slice and kick as my two kinds of second serves primarily.

When the balls get old late in a match in case we didn’t change balls before a third set, I might use low-bouncing wide slice as my second serve also - the % is good for slice serves once the balls get old and I won’t double-fault. Especially in doubles, varying the second serve spin and height results in more putaway volleys for my net guy.
I would like to add that variety is good when one can consistently keep that ball in play.
If I always vary my shots, and because of this produce tons of UEs, probably I'm better of learning to produce something consistent first, then revisit variety
 
Last edited:

blablavla

Legend
Do you recommend to learn both high bouncing kick second serve and low bouncing slice second serve too?
Or on what level could you that recommend?

I mean even most of the pros have a second serve that they can do best, i do not see they vary their sec serve to much?!

Thank you for your answer
Toth
I would say that one shall start by learning and producing consistently shots that will be useful in 60-80% of match situations
then proceed to variety

as statistically you will likely play mostly righties, and statistically they will have better FH than BH, a kick serve to their BH is a more useful tool.
but if it happens that the slice serve is easier for you, you can revert that and start by learning and applying slice

at the end of the day you need to identify what is a high % shot for you and what is a low % shot for you.
then you need to see how you can use your strengths to win points, and how you can mask you weaknesses to avoid losing points.
and an individual case might be well of the averages
 

GuyClinch

Legend
Slice serve hit at like 1:30 will give you enough top to bring it down - and you can still move people off the court with it. Its an excellent serve against righties in singles unless they just have a weapon forehand - because it sets up an easy 1/2 combo for points. Its very straightforward. Kick serve to backhand is of course more popular with pros - but pro men have massive forehand and fantastic recovery - and can take advantage of average backhand returns down the middle. On deuce side top slice is better if you are under 4.5, IMHO.

On the ad side you can flatten it out a bit and try for ace down the middle - and use it as first. It does not feel great as a second serve on the ad side..
 
Top