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How to Serve in Tennis

Medha Godbole Mar 12, 2020
In tennis, a good serve can set up the point in your favor. For those of you learning to play tennis, and even for those who want to better their serve, here's something that will be of help.
Tennis is one of the most popular sports in the world. While some of us just idolize the likes of Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, and Maria Sharapova, others are following the legacy of these greats who created history on the clay and lawn. This article is dedicated to all the budding tennis players out there.

The Tennis Serve

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With practice and persistence, a basic serve can be mastered. Here's how you start off.

Step 1 - Taking Position

For right-handed people, they should stand with their left foot in front of their body. That foot has to be behind the service line, while the right foot has to be slightly back. You will have to be on the right side of the baseline or towards the center of the court.

Step 2 - Target Locked

The serve has to land in the left box on the opposite side of the court. For ensuring that, right-handers will have to point their right foot towards the right pole of the net, with the knees slightly bent. Look at the place where you want your ball to land.

Step 3 - Starting the Serve

This is a very important step when learning to serve. Here, you will have to hold the racket in your dominant hand, and the ball in the other. Throw the ball straight up in the air.

Step 4 - Connecting with the Ball

Once the ball is in the air, raise your dominant hand with the racket, ready to hit the ball. The grip can be a normal one; just bring the racket up behind you, and then, anticipating the ball, swing the racket. Aim for the ball to go to the opposite side of the court. Ideally, the ball should land in the front box of the court. So, you will have to use your power accordingly.
Here, an important thing to remember is to strike the ball with the face of the racket. Hitting too high will lead the ball to go out of court, and hitting too low will land the ball into the net.

Flat Serve

The earlier description was about a basic serve. Now, I will elaborate another type―the tennis flat serve.

The Position and Stance

Stand how you would usually for a serve, which will be perpendicular in the context of the net. Shoulder rotation is facilitated well by standing like this.

Tossing the Ball

After you are in the correct position, toss the ball as you would for the basic serve. Toss the ball slightly to your dominant side. The ball has to be tossed in such a way that the ball makes contact with the center of the racket.

Swing and Hit

Swing through the ball and follow that by snapping your wrist downward. This will facilitate the diving motion needed by the ball while it comes down in the service box.
Last, but not the least, the follow-through will have to be done by bringing the racket all the way down. It will have to come under your arm on the left. The follow-through is crucial for the serve to be complete, and have the best chances of ending up as a good serve.