Serves are one of the most important aspects of our game. It’s the only shot in tennis we have complete control over, and yet could be one of the most neglected shots practiced.
In this blog by Tennis Australia Club Professional and Vida Tennis Essendon Team Leader, Nick Opasinov, he takes a look at how to improve your 2nd serves in matches.
How do you practice your serves?
You can do the bare minimum of having the coach throw you the balls while hitting serves, but are you practicing your serve under pressure? Different types of 2nd serves? Practicing in your own time? This is for the players wanting to pursue tennis at a high level.
This article was inspired by braingametennis.com written by Craig O’Shannessy.
The professionals and second serves
Only 160 players of the past 30 years on the ATP Tour have a winning percentage on their 2nd serve overall; 3 of the top 5 being Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic. Craig goes on to speak about at what point during a tennis career on average do ATP and WTA players have an above 50% winning percentage. The ATP Tour players reach this at the top 100 ranking, while the WTA Tour never reach it.
To watch a video of Rafael Nadal’s evolution on his serve click on the link below.
What can you do to improve your 2nd serve in matches?
How you practice often determines how you will play. Key components to improving your 2nd serve are:
- Technique – Technique has a major part in the improvement of the 2nd serve, and should be something the coach and player go in-depth with together.
- Serve +1 – Generally speaking the 2nd serve return comes back fast as the opponent will want to be aggressive, so you will want to practice how to counter difficult situations after the 2nd serve.
- Pressure – put the player in a pressure situation so that they have to find a way to get out of it themselves. An example of this is playing 1 serve only games.
- Variety – practicing different types of common 2nd serves (kick, slice, body serves) will allow you to have more options to be confident within matches. Opponents have weaknesses and can still be exploited with a 2nd serve.
- Practice in your own time – champions do the extra work outside of their own training; and they enjoy it! They know the benefits of doing the little things and where it can take them in the future.
Serving is one of the most; if not THE MOST important part of our game and continually needs to be practiced. Having awareness of the above dot points can help improve your game.
To read the full article by braingametennis.com click the link below.