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Six Steps for the Perfect Tennis Serve

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If you enjoy tennis but feel that your rallies and returns are being let down by your ability to win points from your service game, then you are not alone. Follow the six simple steps, outlined below, to make sure that your services become more accurate and faster. This way, you will be able to put your opponent under greater pressure when it comes to their service game.

  • Step One

Stand correctly behind the bassline with your feet aligned at about 45 degrees to one another. The rearmost foot should be parallel to the baseline. This stance will allow you to aim anywhere you need to without having to shift around. Look at a professional tennis player's feet when they serve and you'll notice they don't move until the ball is struck. Get your feet right and you will improve the consistency of your serve overnight.

  • Step Two

Use a continental grip to serve. Even if you switch grips depending on your playing surface, for example when playing on synthetic grass tennis courts, the continental is best for serving because it allows you to whip your wrist through the ball at maximum height, thereby generating the most speed possible.

  • Step Three

Toss the ball up with your non-dominant hand so that it reaches its maximum height at the place you want to hit it. This part will take practice so you should get used to the height you want to toss consistently by marking out this position on a wall. The level of the toss should be equal to the level of your hitting arm and racquet such that the ball hits the so-called sweet spot of the strings every time. The toss should place the ball directly above your dominant shoulder as you turn, just in front of your face as you look up.

  • Step Four

Rotate your shoulders and start your backswing as the ball leaves your non-dominant hand. Ideally, the ball toss will become a natural part of your backswing so that the two movements feel as though they are one. By rotating your shoulders towards where the ball will be you will generate more momentum and power into the shot.

  • Step Five

As the ball reaches its maximum trajectory it will naturally slow under gravity. Just before it begins to fall is the time you want to be hitting it with your racquet swinging through, slightly above the ball at maximum arm extension. Timed this way, the ball is relatively still and easier to hit accurately. As you strike the ball continue to accelerate your dominant arm to develop full speed.

  • Step Six

Allow your racquet to swing through the ball and use your follow through to throw your balance forward so that you are ready to react the moment the ball is returned to you. A step or two into the court on your own service is preferable to remaining on the baseline.