When was the last time someone tried to underhand serve you?

OnTheLine

Hall of Fame
#51
So kind of like a waiter's tray service motion rather than an "on edge" one?
maybe the motion as it is more a volley style 2" follow through rather than a regular serve follow through ... but still swing path to the ball from back drop on edge, slight hitch before contact .... having fun playing with it
 

norcal

Hall of Fame
#52
Looking at the standings there is a decent chance I will play the guy again who surprise underhand served me (twice) in our close match. Looks like both teams probably will be headed to the playoffs.

So here's a question: Since I have become decently proficient with the uh serve, should I use it against him? Normally I would not and never have but since he opened that can of worms it might be fun to go for some payback. Difference being mine will actually go in!


Don't stoop to his level or have a little fun?
 
#53
Looking at the standings there is a decent chance I will play the guy again who surprise underhand served me (twice) in our close match. Looks like both teams probably will be headed to the playoffs.

So here's a question: Since I have become decently proficient with the uh serve, should I use it against him? Normally I would not and never have but since he opened that can of worms it might be fun to go for some payback. Difference being mine will actually go in!


Don't stoop to his level or have a little fun?
Serve a few blasters and get him nervous, then hit him with the change up...
 
#55
Watching women’s college tennis: FSU vs UVA

Tied 3-3, down to #6 singles, FSU is up 4-6, 7-5, 6-6, 4-3 in the tiebreaker.

Girl from FSU does an underhand serve...wins the point. 5-3, FSU

Next point...another underhand serve...wins the point. 6-3, FSU

Wins the next point, the game, set, match, and tie.
 
#56
Happens often or at least one of those dinky super spinny hacker style serves that don't look like they're coming over then bounce short and are unpredictable. I have the nadal methodology on serve return. I stand about 2-3 feet behind the baseline which is a long way in recreational tennis where everyone else is standing on or even in front of the baseline. I like to step in and hit returns so I want to give myself room. It results in being way back compared to others and leads to people trying to dink a serve or the like when I'm hitting back deep balls to their feet or the corners.
 
#57
The underhand serve doesn't get much love around here. Many wars here have started over it, with people siding with those who say it is a legitimate, legal shot and others who say it is legal but bush league.

But does it happen often enough to warrant any discussion at all? In 14 years of league play, I can only think of two times an opponent hit an UH serve, and both were from men in 7.0 mixed. The last time had to be 9-10 years ago. The first time the serve was a fault, and the second time I ran forward and returned it. So . . . whatever, dude.

That's the question, then. When was the last time someone tried to UH serve you?
LOL -- playing social mixed with my wife and friends the other night. messing around, but being competitive, lot of laughs. male opponent on his serve can put the ball anywhere he wants, pace, spin, blast a drive, whatever...so i wind up playing lot of cat-n-mouse on ROS...

on one point, just for kicks i backed all the way to the curtain a la Nadal, so he glanced up and underhanded me. I saw it coming, so hauled ass and got the ball just before the second bounce, but a little pop up w/ no pace...he was surprised i got to it, so his volley was soft, then i put the next volley away down the middle. we were all cracking up.

that's the only underhand serve i've ever faced in a match...never in league play...11 years now. it wouldn't bother me at all if someone tried it on me for real.
 
#58
Happens often or at least one of those dinky super spinny hacker style serves that don't look like they're coming over then bounce short and are unpredictable. I have the nadal methodology on serve return. I stand about 2-3 feet behind the baseline which is a long way in recreational tennis where everyone else is standing on or even in front of the baseline. I like to step in and hit returns so I want to give myself room. It results in being way back compared to others and leads to people trying to dink a serve or the like when I'm hitting back deep balls to their feet or the corners.
I thought 2-3 feet behind the baseline was pretty standard on first serves. Especially anyone with pop in their serve. I've faced guys I can't return their first serve if I'm 10 feet behind the baseline.

Maybe that's why i got underhand served this weekend. Still got to the ball and won the point. In fact I got there quick enough to actually hit a spinny FH into the net guys belly. I told the guy if you are going to underhand serve, you need some backspin or sidespin. If you bunt it over it just sits up.
 
#59
Played in nutso crazy wind a few days ago. 40 mph sustained with gusts over 60 according to the weather dude. League match so had to play it.

Normal serve toss was just not going to work ... I usually toss very high and the ball was just sailing off ... went to nearly side arm serve and even that was really a challenge to just get it in, much less with any pop .... and then threw in the chip serve that I had been playing around with ... hard and angled wide to the deuce side and straight down the T to the Ad side .... IT WORKED! I hit it from just above the shoulder like a chip volley ... lots of back-slice ....

If I keep messing with this ... it might become my go to but goofy 2nd serve LOL
 

norcal

Hall of Fame
#63
I hate playing in the wind but usually do pretty well because I hit topspin off both wings.

The wind you describe is difficult to walk against, breaks branches off of trees and causes structural damage.

I don't think topspin would help me there!


 
#64
I hate playing in the wind but usually do pretty well because I hit topspin off both wings.

The wind you describe is difficult to walk against, breaks branches off of trees and causes structural damage.

I don't think topspin would help me there!


at 40mph sustained it breaks off twigs not branches and "impedes progress" ... but I do appreciate well-placed exaggeration. :)

The gusts, and I don't think they were anywhere near 60 despite what weather.com said, were a little more challenging.

It's Spring in Vegas ... if you aren't willing to play in the wind ... you just won't be playing at all.
 
#66
I find that people who can't handle the wind always say that it is not really tennis. I have come to deal with wind quite well ... it starts with one's attitude and extends to one's footwork ... it is definitely still tennis.
There's wind and there's wind. 40 mph is annoying to play any sport in. 15-20 mph is kind of my limit. Anything above that I'm thinking of other activities.

I grew up in the Canadian prairies and we had wind thanks to no trees from the Rockies all the way to my home. The 30 mph days were why i learned to hit serves with a very low toss.
 
#70
What is so bad about an underhand serve? There is a reason it is not used in higher level play - it is easy to return and puts the server at a huge disadvantage. I wish opponents would underhand serve me all day long.
 
#72
End of a 3 set match of doubles the opponent decided to underhand serve his entire serve game. We were all tired at that point (I was not my 5th set of tennis that morning having had played singles previously). It was incredibly effective at getting us to flub returns running up to hit these low bouncing serves. No jam left in the legs to get low to put enough topspin on them so we just floated them back and either sailed them or set them up to control the point.

It's definitely not a dumb strategy when your opponents are obviously tired.
 
#73
I really think all lady league players should use the Under-handed serve on their 2nd serve. It is actually more effective than all of women's 2nd serves they hit in USTA matches. 4.5 and up has decent well placed 1st serve but 2nd serve still garbage. I think women would increase their winning % on their 2nd serves if they switch to Under-handed spinny serve. It would be much more difficult to handle than their regular 2nd serves
 
#74
I really think all lady league players should use the Under-handed serve on their 2nd serve. It is actually more effective than all of women's 2nd serves they hit in USTA matches. 4.5 and up has decent well placed 1st serve but 2nd serve still garbage. I think women would increase their winning % on their 2nd serves if they switch to Under-handed spinny serve. It would be much more difficult to handle than their regular 2nd serves
You could say the same thing for guys. Up to a certain skill level, both could benefit [from a won/loss perspective] from an UH 2nd serve: serial DFers, those with the yips, nervous tossers, those who hit 2 1st serves, etc.
 
#75
You could say the same thing for guys. Up to a certain skill level, both could benefit [from a won/loss perspective] from an UH 2nd serve: serial DFers, those with the yips, nervous tossers, those who hit 2 1st serves, etc.
Yes I know but it is a Ego thing even in women's USTA leagues. It's like if they hit under-handed 2nd serves all the time then they are like saying they are not good...... and of course,, They don't not good,,,,,cough cough........ so they will never use it as regular 2nd serve
 
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#76
I really think all lady league players should use the Under-handed serve on their 2nd serve. It is actually more effective than all of women's 2nd serves they hit in USTA matches. 4.5 and up has decent well placed 1st serve but 2nd serve still garbage. I think women would increase their winning % on their 2nd serves if they switch to Under-handed spinny serve. It would be much more difficult to handle than their regular 2nd serves
Problem would consistency though. Whenever people underhand serve, it goes in like 20% of the time.
 
#82
Yesterday vs @bleno567 (at least I think that's you...Prince Longbody user since 10th grade? Played with Angell, EZONE 98+, and Ultra Tour? Has to be you...). And to boot, he won the point.
 
#84
I've kind of changed my mind on the underhand serve because of a recent experience I had. I used to think underhand serve was perfectly fine; I no longer think so.

A few weeks ago I was playing a doubles match with some friends. I was returning. The server stepped up to the line, I was ready to return. He hit an underhand serve - but I'm fast, i ran forward to get it! ....and it turned out he hadn't hit a serve at all. He'd tapped the ball to his partner at the net, since he had all three of the balls and wanted his partner to hold the third one. His net guy picked up the ball and the server got ready to start his service motion.

Oops.

Do I get to call that a fault and make him take a second serve?

What about the other way - if the player underhand serves, and I don't realize he's starting the point and think he's clearing a ball out of the way, so I don't hit it - what then?

So that's kind of crystallized in my mind why I don't like underhand serves. Because it "works" not by disguise about where the ball is going and how it's hit, but by trying to "disguise" that the server is starting the point.

If you take a look at any pro match, there's going to be PLENTY of times when the server gets a few balls from the ballkids, picks out one, and then taps another ball with their racquet to pass it to a ballkid. Does the umpire call "fault" on any of those? No, of course not. Because they're obviously not attempts to serve the ball - you can tell whether someone is actually serving the ball, instead of just tapping it somewhere, because they have a clearly visible service motion, with an attempted ball strike at the end of it. But if surprise underhand serves are ok... what exactly makes it clear when the server is tapping the ball without an intent to serve, and when the server is actually trying to serve? "If it goes in, I was serving, and if it doesn't go anywhere near the service box, I wasn't?"

(Obviously, that's not the case when someone clearly shows that they're starting a point with an underhand serve - if they have an identifiable and visible "underhand serve" motion, so it's clear to the opponent that they're serving. That's different and IMO still perfectly fine.)
 
#85
Funnily enough about this thread. Just had matches last week as one player asked us if it isnok to serve underhand and I was like ok. No idea why.

After the matches, I was talking to the boy who served underhand as I was concerned about his shoulder and tried to communicate with him and then he walked away from me and this was seen as a sign of disrespect. So I was down 0-3 in singles match, and I got bored with it and wanted to walk out like I didn’t care. The main reason is that he disrespected me and he kept underhand serving throughout the matches.
 
#86
Why did you want to leave after being down 0-3 ?
Remember, even a 5 year old can crush back an UE serve, right?
So, why do you care if opponent does this? It's like letting you win for free, right?
 
#88
It's a play on "unforced error"
Since UH serves are widely mocked as being a total joke around here,
I call them UE serves, since they are like giving free points away, supposedly.

I applaud Kyrgios for bringing this valid tactic to the forefront of tennis minds.
He does not even have a decent UH serve, yet manages to win point of ATP tour pros.
 
#89
Happened to my doubles team last night in a USTA 4.0 Mens 18+ Doubles match! First time I've seen it in a USTA match. And, guess what - it worked! My partner was caught off guard and missed the return. The server may have even tried it one more time but, if he did, it wasn't effective that time so he didn't try it again.
 
#92
I played against an older guy that said he was a National Ping Pong champion at one time. Or something to that effect. He would hit a funky ping pong underhand serve that was hard to handle the first couple times but then I figured it out. He told me going in he would do it sometimes and wasn't trying to be an a@@ or anything he just had it and would use it. I enjoyed playing the guy. He even had his high end ping pong paddle with him. He was supposed to play another guy in the tournament that evening. when he hit that serve sometimes I would be by the benches trying to return it. It was kinda cool.
 
#93
I have a really big first serve. As my matches go on, I frequently see players backing up from where they would normally stand on service returns. I also have a really nice underhand serve that I can consistently place near the edge of the service box and then skip off the court and die. I developed it screwing around with my friends when I was young.
Yes, I use it. Yes, I use it nearly every match. Yes, I use it when they start figuring out my first serve and are using my pace to shoot a bullet back at me. Yes, I especially use it when I am tired and it is an important point. Everyone in my league knows that use it. In some cases it is demoralizing to the opponent. Sometimes they say "good shot", and sometimes they get really mad.
Most of the time they focus so much on the threat of it that they move back in closer and then I can exploit my first serve again.
I understand why people don't like it. I have had it pulled on me sometimes with good results and sometimes not. But I equally don't like it when I get lobbed and can't get back.
To me, it is as part of the game as a drop shot, lob or another shot which exploits court position of your opponent.
 

J_R_B

Hall of Fame
#94
I've kind of changed my mind on the underhand serve because of a recent experience I had. I used to think underhand serve was perfectly fine; I no longer think so.

A few weeks ago I was playing a doubles match with some friends. I was returning. The server stepped up to the line, I was ready to return. He hit an underhand serve - but I'm fast, i ran forward to get it! ....and it turned out he hadn't hit a serve at all. He'd tapped the ball to his partner at the net, since he had all three of the balls and wanted his partner to hold the third one. His net guy picked up the ball and the server got ready to start his service motion.

Oops.

Do I get to call that a fault and make him take a second serve?

What about the other way - if the player underhand serves, and I don't realize he's starting the point and think he's clearing a ball out of the way, so I don't hit it - what then?

So that's kind of crystallized in my mind why I don't like underhand serves. Because it "works" not by disguise about where the ball is going and how it's hit, but by trying to "disguise" that the server is starting the point.

If you take a look at any pro match, there's going to be PLENTY of times when the server gets a few balls from the ballkids, picks out one, and then taps another ball with their racquet to pass it to a ballkid. Does the umpire call "fault" on any of those? No, of course not. Because they're obviously not attempts to serve the ball - you can tell whether someone is actually serving the ball, instead of just tapping it somewhere, because they have a clearly visible service motion, with an attempted ball strike at the end of it. But if surprise underhand serves are ok... what exactly makes it clear when the server is tapping the ball without an intent to serve, and when the server is actually trying to serve? "If it goes in, I was serving, and if it doesn't go anywhere near the service box, I wasn't?"

(Obviously, that's not the case when someone clearly shows that they're starting a point with an underhand serve - if they have an identifiable and visible "underhand serve" motion, so it's clear to the opponent that they're serving. That's different and IMO still perfectly fine.)
This I agree with. I support the use of the underhand serve as a way to give an opponent a different look on your serve in terms of pace, spin, depth, etc, but not to trick him by disguising whether you are actually even serving or not.
 
#95
Got a few UH serves today.
Opponent was bragging that it went 6-6 in his last match.

It has gone from decades of bashBot drones dismissing it as idiotic grandma tennis
to smart brilliant strategy virtually overnight.

Thanks to GOAT KYrgios
the world is finally catching up to TTPS
who posted about this 2 years ago
 

sredna42

Hall of Fame
#97
Funnily enough about this thread. Just had matches last week as one player asked us if it isnok to serve underhand and I was like ok. No idea why.

After the matches, I was talking to the boy who served underhand as I was concerned about his shoulder and tried to communicate with him and then he walked away from me and this was seen as a sign of disrespect. So I was down 0-3 in singles match, and I got bored with it and wanted to walk out like I didn’t care. The main reason is that he disrespected me and he kept underhand serving throughout the matches.
LOL nadal is that you?
 
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