Mastering the Second Serve

Have you ever heard the saying “You are only as good as your second serve“? Whether you have or have not, it is important to realize that this is a very true statement. In order to improve your tennis in terms of match play, mastering the second serve is something that professional tennis coaches focus on with their players. Double faulting in a match, even if it is once every few games, can truly change the outcome of a match. When tennis players get caught in important points where the pressure is high, they may not make their first serve and choking on the second can cause them to immediately lose the point without a chance. Since no player would want to give away points, it is crucial that players work on improving the fundamentals of their second serve in tennis.

Using Topsin 

One of the best ways to hit an effective second serve is to get enough spin on your serve. With a significant amount of spin, you will be able to get the ball deeper in the service box to make it bounce higher. With a ball that spins and bounces higher, you can make your opponent struggle a bit with their return. The swing serve on your second serve should be about the same as your first serve. When you use this topspin, you are able to hit a safer serve by getting a higher net clearance. In order to correctly brush up on the ball, you want to hit the ball at 7 o’clock and finishing at 1 o’clock. When you are making contact with the ball, you are sending your racket up and forward. Your toss should be up and behind your body a bit so you can catch the ball and send it forward. If your second serve is going long, try swinging more vertically and get the ball to spin more to push the ball back down.

Slice and Kick Serve
In addition to the second serve where you are using topspin, there are two other kinds of spin serves that players use as their main second serve. With a kick serve, you are using side spin in addition to topspin and you are rotating on a diagonal axis. For right handed players, the kick serve will most likely land in the left corner of the service box and bounce higher.On the other hand, a slice serve is using backspin. When hitting a slice serve, a right handed player will serve a ball that bounces low and to the right of the service box.

After missing your first serve by hitting it long or into the net, it can be difficult to control your confidence about getting your second serve in the box. Professional tennis coaches advise their players to bounce the ball a few times before tossing it, so they have time to think about the technique they are executing in their second serve. When executing the topspin serve, the kick serve, or the slice serve, make sure that you are tossing the ball accurately above your head and that you are catching the ball high enough to get it over the net. You want to be standing in a balanced position so that your contact with the ball is sideways along the back of it. When you finish, your racket should be coming across your body and your wrist should snap properly. By following these steps and practicing your second serve, your match play can improve significantly and you will be able to minimize your double faults.

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