9 Easy To Follow Steps For Your Tennis Serve

The most important stroke in tennis is the serve. It’s the stroke that starts every rally. No meaningful tennis game would be conceivable without it.

tennis serve

With a strong and reliable tennis serve, you may control the rally from the start, giving you a tactical edge. Although the serve has the most impact on the game, it is also the most difficult stroke for most tennis players. Technically, multiple movements must be coordinated in order to hit the ball optimally.

This guide will teach you how to serve in 9 simple steps. This will assist you in making your serve your go-to weapon. However, we have made the process easier for you by giving you a complete and straightforward step by step guide to building correct muscle memory for a proper service motion on the following topics:

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1. Tennis Grip
2. Tennis Serve Stance
3. Tennis Serve Backswing
4. Tennis Serve Toss
5. Tennis Trophy Position
6. Tennis Serve Jump
7. Tennis Serve Follow Through
8. Different Types Of Tennis Serves
9. Best Tips For Better Tennis Serve

What Is a Tennis Serve?

A serve (sometimes known as a service) is the shot that players hit to begin each point in tennis. Only one of the players is designated the server at any given time during a tennis match. A serve is a stroke in which a player tosses the tennis ball over his head and hits it while still in the air. Most professional tennis players regard their serve as their primary weapon.

1. The Tennis Grip

To serve, use a continental grip (like gripping a hammer), but if you’re just starting out, an eastern forehand grip (like shaking hands with the racket) is also fine. The eastern grip is easier to learn at first, but you will eventually need to transition to a continental grip.

There is a way to find the Continental grip in the shortest amount of time: Stretch your thumb and index finger apart to make a “V” with your dominant hand. With the other hand, hold the tennis racket perpendicular to the ground. The next step is to place your “V”-shaped hand in the center of the racket frame. Then you bring your hand all the way down to the end of the grip. This is the proper posture.

Tennis Serve Grip

2. The Tennis Serve Stance

Place your left foot as near to the baseline as possible. It is important that your foot does not touch the baseline. Otherwise, you risk making a foot fault. Your left foot should be pointing to the right net post. You should have your right foot parallel to the baseline. Place it behind your left foot, slightly offset.

The exact opposite is true for left-handers. In this case, the right foot is on the baseline and points at the left net post. As a result, the left-back foot is parallel to the baseline. The correct foot posture is the most important element for a solid serve stance. Two specific stances have evolved over time, which you can use when serving.

  • Platform Stance: Your feet do not move in this stance. Instead, after you’ve tossed the ball, simply bend your knees. In general, this foot stance provides a high level of stability. In addition, it provides you with more control and allows you to better place the balls on the court. Professional players like Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer both use this stance when serving.
  • Pinpoint Stance: The starting position for the stance is the same as for the platform stance. The only difference is that you pull your rear foot forward after tossing the tennis ball. Your two feet must be connected before you jump.

The main benefit of this stance is that you can put a lot of momentum into the ball. This results in an extremely quick and forceful serve. However, it is more difficult to maintain your balance because you are standing on one spot with both feet. As a result, you have less control and, therefore, less consistency when serving.

Tennis Serve Stances

3. Tennis Serve Backswing

The backswing phase of the serve differs the most amongst players. There are different methods to execute the backswing, so choose something that works for you. The basic guideline is that the less complicated, the better. You will move in a semi-circle with your arm holding the racquet, stopping when you reach the “trophy position.” Your racquet’s bottom should be close, touching the back of your head. Finally, make sure that both arms are aligned.

Tennis Serve Backswing

4. Tennis Serve Toss

A good ball toss is essential for a powerful serve. However, even if you have the correct serve technique, strong legs, and a quick arm, your serve will be ineffective if your throw is bad. Therefore, it’s critical to focus on consistency when training your ball toss. Avoid tossing the tennis ball too high since this may cause you to slow down or disrupt your swing movement. On the other hand, the toss should not be too low because you will not have enough time to complete the stroke movement. In general, the ball is tossed up in front of the body to make it simpler to go forward when it makes contact with the ball. To begin the toss, stretch your arm towards the net. As a result, you’re holding the tennis ball with your fingertips. Then, raise your arm vertically. The ball is then released at eye level. Your arm continues to swing upwards, pointing in the ball’s direction.

Tennis Serve Toss

5. Tennis Trophy Position

For any effective serve, you must first get into a proper throwing position. As you toss the ball, your racket hand should move somewhat slower than your tossing arm. Your wrist is relaxed, and you are transferring your weight forward. As you gain confidence, drive your hip forward and shift your weight to the front foot. More advanced players will stretch their bodies in a bow-like motion. Toss your arm straight up, pointing at the tennis ball, with your left shoulder well over your right shoulder. The ball has now reached its highest point. At this time, you appear to be going to toss the racket into the air.

Tennis Serve Trophy Position

6. Tennis Serve Jump

One of the key aspects of your serve is your jump. When you achieve the “trophy position,” your knees should be slightly bent on both sides. Furthermore, the majority of your weight should be distributed on your front leg, which will carry you forward. You should jump at a 45-degree angle with both legs (up AND forwards). You should land on your front leg, with that leg inside the court.


7. Tennis Follow-Through

As the ball exits the racquet, advanced players’ forearms continue to revolve (pronation). The hip and upper body turn and face forward.

The racquet head moves ahead of the hand, pointing to the ground, while the elbow remains virtually at shoulder height, illustrating that the racquet head travels quicker than the arm. The racquet will continue to swing to the left side of the body in order to decelerate slowly. The throwing arm stays close to the torso to keep the trunk stable. The advanced player falls on the front leg to balance the body while keeping the back leg high (Horsekick). The racquet rests freely on the left side of the body at the end of the swing. If you’re a beginner who hasn’t gotten used to jumping, concentrate on pivoting as you swing to end your serve with your back heel off the ground and your torso pointing forward.

TENNIS SERVE Follow-Through

8. Different Types of Tennis Serves

Regardless of your skill level, a forceful and effective serve may be a very significant component of your game. It’s the one shot where you have complete control over how you strike it, and if done well, it may put your opponent under a lot of pressure. Once you’ve mastered the proper serve technique described above, you’ll be able to add different spins and directions to your serve, making it more difficult for your opponents to return. Here we will go over the main types of serves. To summarize, there are three types to pick from:

  • Flat Serve: This is typically a power serve without spin. A flat serve, as the name implies, is one that has no spin added to it. It is usually the first serve you learn when starting out in tennis because it is the simplest of the three serve varieties. The advantage of hitting a flat serve is that the ball will go at the fastest possible pace, reducing the receiver’s reaction time.
Tennis Flat Serve
  • Slice Serve: This spin serve moves from right to left sideways (for right-handed players). It is usually employed to move your opponent off the court on the deuce side. A slice serve is known as the opposite of a kick serve. For right-handed servers, such spin causes the ball to stick near to the ground and bounce leftwards (and rightwards for a left-handed serve).
  • Kick Serve: This more advanced serve causes the ball to kick up into the air. Skilled tennis players frequently employ this as a second serve since the ball lowers down into the box, which aids in consistency. A Kick Serve occurs when a player hits the ball with topspin, causing the ball to bounce higher than it would usually.

9. Best Tips For Better Tennis Serve

  • Stay relaxed: When you strive to hit your fastest serve, you will tense up your entire body. However, when you watch the pros play, you will notice that they are relaxed when serving. It’s all about speed, not strength.
  • Hit the ball at its highest point: Hitting the ball at its highest point is a key step in improving your serve. This optimizes your effort and increases velocity while requiring the same amount of effort.
  • A well-placed serve may be more effective than a quick one: This is very crucial. A well-placed serve with decent topspin or slice can be significantly more effective than a flat serve in the center of the court. Roger Federer isn’t the fastest server, yet he has an incredible winning percentage on his serve games. This is due to his ability to place his serves accurately and mix them with efficient second shots.
  • The percentage is key: A more than 65 percent first-serve percentage is critical for your entire game. If you’re missing too many serves by failing to get them into the service box, you may be trying to hit them too hard.