The serve is a fundamental weapon in tennis, setting the tone for the entire point. Here, we’ll break down the steps to a powerful and consistent serve, along with some tips to elevate your game.

The Serve Breakdown:

  1. Stance and Grip: Stand sideways at the baseline with your non-dominant foot pointing towards the net. Stagger your dominant foot slightly behind. Hold the racquet with a comfortable grip that allows for wrist movement.  This grip is called the “continental grip.”

  2. The Trophy Pose: Raise your racquet head behind your head, elbow high, creating a “trophy” position. This prepares you for the swing.

  3. The Toss: Toss the ball slightly in front and above your non-dominant shoulder with a straight arm. Aim for a consistent toss height for better control.

  4. The Unit Turn: As the ball reaches its peak, shift your weight forward and initiate a coil by turning your upper body away from the net. The racquet drops down your back.  

  5. The Swing Up: Explode upwards, transferring your weight to your front leg as you swing your racquet arm up in a hitting motion.  Your strings should be facing the back of your head at this time!

  6. The Contact Point: Aim to hit the ball at its highest point in front of your body for optimal power and control. Brush the ball with the racquet face for a flat serve or angle the racquet slightly upwards for a slice serve.

  7. The Follow-Through: After contact, continue the swing across your body, finishing with the racquet pointing towards the opposite service box.  This is where “pronation” of the wrist is important to do!

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Serve Like a Pro

  • Focus on Consistency: Before power, prioritize a consistent toss and swing mechanics. This will lead to more accurate serves.
  • Practice Different Serves: Master the flat serve for power, then explore variations like the slice for better control and deception.
  • Develop Leg Drive: Push off the ground with your legs to generate power that transfers to the racquet head.
  • Maintain Body Balance: Keep your core engaged throughout the serve to maintain stability and prevent injuries.
  • Always have a target:  Don’t just serve, pick a corner of the box and aim accordingly.