The Serves: When serving you have 4 different types
of serves to choose from and 3 different options of placement.
The four different types of serves are the flat serve, slice
serve, kick serve and the topspin serve. To learn more about
these four types of serves check out the article "The
4 Types of Serves". To learn more about your three choices
of placement check out the article "The
3 Choices of Placing the Serve". Using all of your options
when serving will give you an advantage always keeping your
opponent on his toes. Mixing up all these options will help
to keep your opponent from getting into a rhythm from seeing
the same serve hit every time. Use all of these options
to your advantage for a more effective serve.
Power Servers: I do not suggest just throwing the
ball up and hitting it as hard as you can hoping the serve
lands in the service box. Being able to place the first
serve is much more important than how hard you hit the ball.
Placement of the serve will allow you to keep your opponent
guessing and when necessary hit to the weaker side of your
opponent. This strategy will give you more control of the
point. If you do have a huge first serve and just aim for
the service box hoping it goes in, I suggest you slow it
down for some added control. At first this may not feel
correct, but I promise you it will improve your serve 2
fold! After you have established some rhythm, some timing,
and better placement then you can add some power back into
your serve. Notice how effective your serve can be when
you have added control to place the ball on either side
of your opponent.
Non-Powerful Servers: Players like Agassi who are
smaller players on the ATP tour use their serve wisely.
Since Agassi did not have a huge weapon for his first serve
he uses a lot of spin and good placement to give his opponents
problems attacking his serve. Basically, if you don't have
a big serve, use as much spin and placement as you can to
hit your serve. As time goes on and you improve, your serve
will get better, faster, and more accurate. Practice makes
perfect! Keeping your opponent from attacking your first
serve is key. If your opponent is able to attack your first
serve you could be on the defensive through out the entire
match. This will give your opponent the opportunity to start
each point by controlling the flow of the point. The use
of spin and placement is important, knocking your opponent
out of the court so that you can control the point and take
the offense. This will also help to keep your first serve
from being attacked easily. It is more important for the
non-powerful servers to hit the serve deep in the service
box. If your serves land shallow in the service box your
opponent will have the opportunity to step into their return
and hit better shots. For some quick options on how to possibly
speed up your serves check out the "Speeding
up your Serve" article from Tennis4you.
You do not always need power to have a great first serve.
Players who do not have the height and power have other
options to be effective. Find what works for you and play
it to your best advantage.
Good Luck on