There are several advantages to attacking a weak second serve.
"Attacking" the serve does not mean that you have to hit the
ball hard or even hit a winner. You may wish to attack by
hitting aggressive topspin to your opponent's weaker side,
or slice a ball low to the side they have trouble hitting
low balls with. The point is that you have more time to prepare
and to execute your shot, so take advantage! Hit to their
weaker side, hit the ball in the corners or hit an approach
shot and come to the net, then finish off the point. Your
options really open up when you play someone with a weak second
Mentally there is a large advantage as well.
When your opponent knows you are going to attack their second
serve it puts more pressure on them to get their first serve
in. It also may force them to try and hit too much on their
second serve and force some double faults, especially on the
big points. This makes it much harder for your opponent to
hold serve and can help you to have more confidence trying
to break serve.
Here are some strategies for attacking weak
second serves. There are a lot of options, being able to use
all of them and mix them up will be to your advantage.
Chip and Charge:
This is a dying art of tennis because there are not too many
serve and volley players anymore. However, this does not mean
that this form of attack cannot be effective. Chip and charge
is when you take the serve on the rise and slice your return,
close into the net and wait for the return. I like this tactic
because it keeps the ball low and puts immediate pressure
on your opponent.
Hit a hard approach shot off of the serve and come to the
net. Even though this sounds similar to the chip and charge
it is different. This allows your opponent less time to get
to the ball and hit their next shot since you did not slice
the shot. You can hit with tons of topspin to make it bounce
high or just hit the ball flat, either way it puts immediate
pressure on your opponent while putting you in a great position!
Hit to Their Weaker Side:
Be sure to pick on their weaker side. Once you hit to their
weaker side and take control of the point look for the next
opening and put the ball away.
Hit a short angle. If you can hit the ball with a short angle
and move your opponent off of the court you may be able to
take your next shot and easily punch it into the open court
for a winner.
Run them Around the Court:
Start the point by hitting heavy high topspin to one corner
then start to really move your opponent back and forth. By
hitting so much topspin you may force them back behind the
baseline and help to open up the court, just like Agassi does.
Go for the Winner off of the Return
Play it like Venus or Serena Williams would and just line
up the winner and go for it. This is probably the least consistent,
but probably the most fun. If your opponent's serve is really
so bad that you can consistently go up the line for winners,
you will most likely be done with your match quickly.
Put them in an Uncomfortable Position:
If you have a good drop shot and your opponent does not like
to play the net, try hitting the drop shot. If they are uncomfortable
playing the net then you should have an easier time executing
With all of that said, it comes down to this:
If you do not attack a weak second serve and try to put pressure
on your opponent you are wasting a great opportunity. Remember,
you do not have to hit winners each time to be effective.
Move your opponent around the court, hit to their weaker side
or any of the other options listed above. Either way, if you
attack the weak second serve your matches will become a lot
If you have a weak serve second do not fear!
Check out my article "Beefing
Up Your Second Serve".
Good Luck on the