A Critical Serve Technique To Elevate Your Game

Hi guys, coach Tom here with Coach Elias today. We're talking about statistics. Okay, and in particular Craig O'Shaughnessy's statistics about the ATP WTA. Most points end within what, 4 shots exactly? Points are ending quickly, you know you see the long rally on TV, but those are far and few between now.

Since points are ending so quickly you want to develop a weapon where you can end it quickly. Yeah. So what is that called Elias? It's going to be the one-two punch. I like it. Yes, which means you focus on taking control of your service game early on by pressing the serve out wide to the corner and then stepping in and pushing your opponent to the outside to the open court.

And that's going to really help you to have a have easier service games and something you can rely on and make make it fast. Yeah, so they call it serve plus one. So you're basically going for an out wide serve and you're looking to hit to the open court or hit behind your opponent.

Okay. So many times you'll win the point outright with a one-two punch, or at least you're going to be the aggressor in control and dictating the point. So what you're going to need is a good serve out wide now, and how do you do that?

Well, you know some people call it a slice serve or topspin serve. It's really a little mixture of both when you hit a pure slice serve you're coming around the outside of the ball this way. Now when you do that, you're only generating side spin. Now the only problem with sidespin is you have to hit the ball very close to the net to keep the ball in the service box. If you get the ball up too high over the net with sidespin it's going to go out.

So what I like to do when you're going out wide, you're going for a mixture of side spin and topspin. Okay, I had a video on this in the past and I called it slop spin. So you're going and it's not a pure pure topspin. It's not a pure slice. It's in between so you're brushing the ball maybe from seven or eight o'clock over to one or two o'clock. So that's the kind of serve you're going to need.

Okay here we're going to take a look at Elias's footwork after the serve. Okay, nice serve out wide right there. Now, see he's going to the right foot. The right foot is going to push off. He's going to go to his split step now notice. He pushes off right varies in the split step. He's ready now to move to the return. Gives himself some space goes to the open court keeps pressing forward keeps moving forward another split step there. And moves to this for the high forehand volley almost smash.

All right, as you guys could see I pressed him out nice and wide use the serve Tom talked about with a sideways upwards brush. And then the key thing after the serve is really focusing the footwork and staying in motion either recovering quickly or or coming in and you want to focus on practicing that as well when you practicing your serves because we see a lot of players that serve and then they just kind of hang out there standing still.

You want to focus on serving and getting yourself in a ready position as early and as quickly as possible. Ha ha ha, and in addition to moving your feet quickly after the serve you want to focus on taking that next shot as early as possible in order to take time away from your opponent. And then if you are already crossing the court, keep keep pressing forward and it will help you a lot to really be in control of your service game.

Now, let me Demo the footwork for you and I'll show how you're going to be. Let's say you're serving from here coming up. So you're landing on your left foot, recover on your right and then press yourself back to the middle and again coming up. You're inside the court, left foot land on the right, and then push yourself off that right leg to recover quickly back to the middle. Ah, ah, alright, as you can see I hit the serve I recovered quickly and then ready position after this. That allows me to either press forward or if your opponent hits a good return move back quickly as well. So we put ourselves in the great neutral position. We can execute most of the returns we wanted to hit.

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So. What do you think the key is Elias, practice? Number one exactly gotta own that out wide. Yeah, because if we don't hit then danger on that serve, if we don't really hit it out nicely wide, we hit it right to our opponents forehand, and then we can get in trouble.

So I would use that serve as a first serve and we can play a little bit more risky. Yeah, press your opponent out and then the key thing is move quickly after the serve and take that next shot early again. We don't have to overpower the next hit, but take time away from our opponent. Press literally, press him into the corner and like we said, that's going to help you to be in control of your service game.

Yes, and that's what we're after. We're after those service games that feel comfortable for us. Yeah a nice point that he made was the recovery after the serve and many people do not work on that. You know you have. You've just served the ball. You've got to come out of that and get ready to hit the next ball. Yes, and practice that when you're serving because that's where the mistake happens. People practice their serves, but they just practice the serve and then they stand there. Yes work on practicing your serve and the recovery - exactly.

All the best guys.

Tom Avery
Tom Avery

Tom Avery has been helping and coaching students for 40 years. Tom has appeared everywhere from the Tennis Channel to YouTube. His coaching and clarity is second to none. Tom empowers every player to excel at any level of the game. He has a quick fix for every problem and is often referred to as the Godfather of Tennis Video Instruction.

    4 replies to "How To Use The Serve Plus One As A Weapon"

    • Thayr

      Nice point about the combined slice/top spin action on the serve.


      • Tom Avery

        Thank you! Yes you need a little of both to hit it out wide.
        To your tennis success,

    • David

      Great advice. wide serve then hit to the open court. I have to remember to always prepare for the next shot right after the serve. Practice this when working on the serve, every time.

      • Tom Avery

        Yes you got the point David, many players fail to PRACTICE getting ready for their opponents return… very important.
        To your tennis success,

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