The second serve
must be hit on an upward angle. Hitting up is the most important key to having
a good second serve.
The variations of
Kick, slice and basic topspin all come from having the strings of the racquet
meet the ball below its horizon moving upward to impart spin. This spin causes
the ball to eventually dip or pull down into the court with velocity and movement.
The toss must be
above the head rather than in front of the body as to swing upwards is the most
critical factor of this shot. An important clue to having the ball in the right
place is being able to hit up into the ball as it starts to descend towards the
Once the swing can
be slower or faster depending upon the effect you are seeking to create. Hitting
too hard will not allow the action of the spin to take place as the power overcomes
the effect of the rotation. Finding a good balance between speed and action of
the ball shows a talent of measuring the right effect. Overhitting is an especially
important point on the second serve as a double fault is one of the worst ways
if not the worst to lose a point.
When figuring out
where to hit the second serve there should not be a great deal of confusion as
you should hit to the weaker side 80% of the time. Unfortunately hitting at your opponent works only if you have a fairly strong second serve. If you do jamming the player is very effective. If no side appears weaker then
you must determine where the returns are going and force the returner to hit to
your stronger side to win the point on the second shot.
Often the fear of
hitting too long causes a second serve to go long. This is because topspin
is necessary to bring the ball down into the court. Weaker players will learn
how to "take something off" the shot and wind up having a very mediocre
second serve. The better the server the more fluid the swings are on the first
and second and the less the differential in speed.
The best compliment
you can have is that "your second serve was tougher than your first to return."
If you receive this comment then continue to win your matches with a good second
and decide to place your first serves with more accuracy.
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