Whether you’ve had your own private court constructed, or you just like to play occasionally at a local club, every tennis player would like to improve their game. One of the best ways to do this is with a powerful, accurate and consistent serve. So here are some tips to improve your service game.
The correct grip
What grip do you use to serve? If it’s the same grip that you utilise for forehands you may well be making a mistake, as this can make a big difference to the power, spin and accuracy of the serve. Generally, the preferred grip for the server is known as the continental grip. If you are right handed, this grip is achieved by having the right knuckle aligned with the right edge of the racket ensuring that it is in line with your arm.
There are different types of serve
If you don’t have much experience with tennis and only ever play causally, you might not be aware that there are multiple different types of serve. The two most popular are the flat serve and the top spin serve. It is relatively straight forward in the sense that to achieve a top spin serve you simply add top spin on the shot, while a flat serve is played without any spin.
The important thing to note is that you should focus on one type of serve to master it – yes you game might be predictable for a while, but having a consistent serve is the foundation of tennis.
Improve your toss
One aspect of the serve that is often forgotten is the toss, but it plays an important role on the quality of your serve. Often players will toss the ball far too low which can make it impossible to complete a natural service motion. In an ideal toss, the ball should be high enough that you can hit it when you are arm is fully extended.
The second serve
Finally, remember that even if you have a very powerful and accurate first serve, it is essential that you should spend time working on your second serve. The second serve is a shot that you need to be safe to ensure that you don’t double fault, but too many players make the mistake of hitting a second serve that is too safe, leaving their opponent with an easy winner to hit. It’s important, then, that you should spend time practising for a safe second serve that doesn’t lose too much power.
Want to read more tips? See how you can improve your tennis forehand.