Everything You Need to Know About Tennis Serves

Tennis is one of the most popular games globally, and it’s easy to see why. It has a great balance of strategy, skill, and fun that makes it appealing to people of any age or level of experience. But like with any game, you have to know how to play. In this post, we’ll cover everything you need to know about tennis serves- from what they are and how they work all the way down to some tips for serving better!

What is a tennis serve?

A tennis serve is a way to put the ball into play on your side of the net. There are four types of serves:

  1. The first type, known as an “in” or “flat” serve, hits one spot on the other side’s court by bouncing off just one wall before hitting either baseline or sideline and then landing in bounds.
    This kind of spin can be achieved with topspin (hitting upwards) or backspin (hitting downwards). For this, you will need to use your wrist when serving, and the motion should come from low, not high up. This is because it gives more power and accuracy than any other swing technique.
  2. The second type of service is the “slice” serve that bounces off two walls before it hits the other side’s court and bounces in bounds. You can use topspin or backspin to achieve this kind of spin, but you will need to use an underhand motion with your arm as everything else would result in too much power and not enough accuracy.
    The slice serve forces opponents to move out of position because they have no idea where the ball will land next. It also prevents them from hitting at their best angle- which means more errors!
  3. The third type of serve we’ll cover here is a “kick” serve that has little or no spin and travels in an upwards arc. It’s designed to bounce off the ground at first so it can reach higher up over the net before coming down on your opponent’s court. This kind of serve forces them to play a defensive game which means you can win the point easily with just one more shot.
  4. The fourth type of serve is the “underhand” serve which is thrown with the ball upside down. It’s especially popular among female players because it allows them to disguise their side spin shots better than regular serves and can actually be faster than other types of tennis throws.

Tips for serving better and more accurately

Understanding the serving techniques will help you give the fastest tennis serves. Here are some tips you can try:

  1. Start by keeping your feet shoulder-width apart: Your feet should be positioned about shoulder-width apart. This distance will allow you to generate more power with your legs and give you a strong base from which to stand while you serve the ball. Make sure that your knees are slightly bent, so they’re ready for the quick movement required when serving.
  2. Pay attention to the ball and keep a straight back: When you’re about to serve, it’s important that everything from the top of your head down to your toes- is aligned in a straight line. In addition, your eyes should be focused on where the ball will land so you can adjust accordingly if necessary and make sure you don’t hit it too hard or soft.
  3. Swing your arm forward with a ‘wristy’ snap of the wrist, making sure to follow through all the way and stay low:
    This will give the ball a lot of power and make it much more difficult for your opponent to return. You serve by holding the ball in one hand with fingers spread along its surface. The back part of this hand should be facing the net, and your palm should be facing up.
    The ball is positioned under that hand, with the fingers of that arm wrapped around it in a circular motion to form what’s called ‘the string.’ In this position, you’re not holding the ball down on its surface but rather lifting everything off of it so that everything from the top of your fingers to the ball is in contact with everything.
  4. Keep your weight on both feet throughout the serve: Be sure to maintain your weight on both feet during the entire process of serving. It’s not a good idea to put all your weight into one foot because this could cause you to lose your balance and end up dropping everything in front of you.
  5. Focus on keeping yourself balanced by pushing off from one foot before you hit it with the other foot: This will help make sure that you don’t get pushed off balance when hitting the ball. It will also help you to control the direction of your swing.
  6. Remember to breathe: You’ll be surprised how much faster you can go if you take deep breaths in between serves, and it will make everything so much easier.

Types of grips for the racket

  • Continental grip: This grip is great for those players who like a firmer ball. It will help you keep your wrist in a more rigid position.
  • Eastern grip: This grip is best for those players who want to hit the ball with lots of spins. It keeps everything much looser, which means that it’s easier to do things like topspin or slice the ball.
  • Western grip: This grip is excellent for those players who want a more powerful serve. It also helps with everything from chipping to slicing the ball, so it’s great if you’re looking to diversify your game.
  • Semi Western: This grip falls in between a continental and western one; it will help you do most of what they can but gives up some power compared to the latter type.


The best tennis serve is the one that you are comfortable with. Don’t be afraid to experiment and see what works for you, as everything from your grip to how quickly or slowly you swing will affect everything about it!

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