Types Of Tennis Serves

Tennis serves are reasonably challenging as they need proper hand-eye coordination, timing, power, and technical progressions. There’s nothing more embarrassing in a tennis game than a failed serve. 

We outlined here the different types of serves and the execution, advantages, and disadvantages for each type.

The tennis serve is one of the most important shots to master. When playing tennis, this can give players a considerable edge against their opponents. It allows them to have complete control, execution, and timing, thereby providing better chances at scoring aces or producing a shot that is difficult to attack. 

There are four main types of tennis serves: underhand serve, kick serve, flat serve, and slice serve. If you want to get better at playing tennis, you need to understand how these serves are executed. 

Good tennis players can execute the different serves without committing a foot fault and knack for a trophy position in a game.

serve types

1. Underhand Serve

How To Execute It:

  • Use the proper grip. 
  • Toss the ball at waist level and allow it to drop onto the face of the racket.
  • Leave the face of the racket open. A continental grip is fundamental for this type of serve as it gives enough height to clear the net and the ball to land in the opposite service box. 
  • Do the proper swing. If you’re a right-hander, swing the racket from right to left, and vice versa if you’re a left-hander.
tennis underhand serve

ADVANTAGES

DISADVANTAGES

2. Kick Serve

How To Execute It:

  • Choose the right grip like the continental grip or the Eastern backhand grip for a proper service motion. Put your hand in the correct position to execute the suitable service motion. 
  • The ball toss should be further behind you to generate the right spin. Aim to strike it at 7-1 o’clock position. 
  • Bend your knees and lead with your pelvis first.
  • Your racket must brush the back of the ball in an upward motion. This produces powerful topspins for great kick serves
  • Make a follow-through. The racket should continue to move forward as you strike the ball.
tennis Kick Serve

ADVANTAGES

DISADVANTAGES

3. Flat Serve

How To Execute It:

  • Use the correct grip.
  • Toss the ball approximately 12-18 inches to the right of your tossing shoulder.
  • Strike the ball directly from behind. Hit it at the center. Continue practicing by yourself or with a coach. 
tennis flat Serve

ADVANTAGES

DISADVANTAGES

4. Slice Serve

How To Execute It:

  • Use the proper grip. 
  • Toss the ball high.  Keep the ball above your head. Toss it slightly to your dominant arm and hit the ball or the contact point at the 3 o’clock position. The ball should arch over the net.
  • Use your wrist to cut around the ball. If you’re a lefty the follow-through should cross your body to the right side, and for a righty, vice versa. The side spin will curve the ball to the right and then bounce off the ground in a rightward direction. 
  • Do not pronate your wrist. Keep the racket face in a chopping motion as you make a follow-through. This creates sidespin, and the ball will bounce farther away.
tennis slice Serve

ADVANTAGES

DISADVANTAGES

FAQS

The most common type of serve in tennis is the kick serve or topspin serve.  A common variation of this is the American twist. One main advantage of topspin is high speed. Roger Federer, a professional tennis player, is quite known for executing kick serves flawlessly.

The fastest serve in tennis is 263.4 km/h by Sam Groth in 2012. At the ATP, John Isner holds the official record for the fastest serve at 253 km/h. Watch a video of these remarkable players with enviable skills and feats.

Different Types of Serves in Tennis

There are four types of serves in tennis: underhand, kick, flat, and slice. Players of varying skill levels need a lot of practice and proper coaching to learn them and the best tennis grips (Eastern, Continental, Semi-Western, Western) to use. 

A powerful serving motion and high-velocity serve can be an advantage to get an ace or score a point, but it’s relatively futile if returned well. One way to learn how to do each type is to watch a video and try it out at the court. We also recommend learning other tennis terms like let, deuce, ad, and love

References:

  1. http://www.physics.usyd.edu.au/~cross/GrandSlams.pdf#page=8

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *