Tennis serving technique

The serve is undeniably one of the most important shots in tennis.

On the one hand, for some players it begins the match in an accessible way. On the other hand, for others, it serves as a deciding weapon for maintaining an advantage and keeping constant pressure on the opponent’s serves throughout the match. You are undoubtedly asking yourself: how to carry out a serve? Here is a step by step presentation on how to serve effectively.


Offer your ball in the best way

To do so, and to be ready to hit, you need to follow three essential guidelines!

A stable stance for the upcoming serve:

  • First, you must have a stable and balanced stance. If you begin by falling forwards or to the side, it will be difficult. Find your feet, each one firmly planted on the ground before you begin.
  • Feet should be positioned at shoulder width, no wider or closer apart to begin.
  • For a same side serve, feet should be pointed right for a right-handed player, or to the left for a left-handed player, to ensure the correct placement. Note that the line passing through your feet, your two shoes, should be in the direction of the service box, straight towards your target so as not to veer off course. Your placement will naturally be facing profile to the net.


Get ready to launch the racket!

  • First, choose your grip ranging from the continental to the hammer.
  • Next, the racket is held in the dominating hand (right for someone right-handed) and the other hand follows, holding the ball. It’s essential to hold the ball at finger level. This leaves room for the racket next to the ball.
  • Finally, take an approaching run with a coordinated lift in both arms. The right arm (left for someone left-handed) brings the racket into striking position while the other arm falls then rises above the left leg, bringing the ball up and releasing at eye level.
  • The ball’s release should be followed by a nearly straight dominating arm with no bend in the wrist to allow for extra precision. Again, make sure the ball is held in the fingers alone. It will be essential to keep the free arm as straight and taught as possible once the ball is in the air.


The armed stance for send off

The right elbow is slightly bent, following the line of the shoulders. The racket is held vertically, handle down and head up. Body weight is forward on the left leg (right leg for left-handed players). A more pronounced rotation will take place and your body will find itself practically perpendicular to the net.


Commit and hit the ball!

A fluid loop:

From the armed stance, accelerate the racket head as you launch the elbow forward and upward. The racket will descend simultaneously towards your back. Next, hold out your right arm (left for someone left-handed) to hit the ball.


Upon impact:

The body is completely aligned and facing right (feet, knees, base, shoulder, elbow and wrist.)


Accelerate so that your racket meets the ball

The racket head should be vertical to the body, slightly forward. The racket face should be towards the net thanks to a twist in the forearms (pronation) and bending of the wrist.


Follow your serve through, don’t stand still

Mobilise your body in the direction of your target, preserving a controllable disequilibrium and wide stance. Your right hip and shoulder (left for a left-handed player) should come down and shift forwards.


Tips for a triumphant finish for the serve

With the body “falling” forward, you’ll need to find your balance by catching yourself on your right leg if you decide to cross over or left leg if you choose to push off and catch yourself. The racket will end it’s trajectory on the left side (right side for someone left-handed) with the right shoulder (left for left-handers) completely forward and the left arm/shoulder (right for left-handers) making room for the end of the movement.

To sum up: position yourself, prepare yourself, release the ball, hit, and finish your move!

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