There are three kinds of serves: Flat serve, Slice serve and Topspin serve.

Basics of Serve

The fundamentals of serve starts with ‚ The four Bs‚ base, balance, back-scratch position and ball toss. To achieve a correct base, your feet should be shoulder’s width apart with your left foot at an angle towards the target box and your right foot parallel to the baseline. There are multiple ways to improve your tennis serve.


Flat Serve:

Once you establish a good base, focus on the location of the ball toss. The ball toss should be at the one o’clock position slightly in front of you. Practice getting the ball into this position before trying the entire service motion. Your hip should rotate while trying the service motion, look at the pictures below.

Ball in front of youback-stretchFollow through
Bend your knees to generate more power to the serve.

Slice Serve:

Slice serve is an arm serve, so you will not have the hip and shoulder rotation that you have in the flat serve. You will also turn your grip over a little more counter clockwise. The ball is tossed at noon, and you swing up to the ball visualizing a nail in the sky. In doing this you are trying to hit the ball on its side which generates the slice to make it kick. While the follow through of the flat serve is across your body the slice serve is going to be on the other side of your body. The feet should be stationary with a weight shift from the back foot to the front foot when striking the ball.

Ball in front of youback-stretchFollow through

Topspin Serve:

The topspin serve is similar to the slice serve in many aspects. Throw the ball toss at noon, and a little closer to your body. If it lands it should hit you on the forehead. This is going to be an all arm serve. You also finish on the same side of your body as well. Swing up at the ball and push the racquet through the ball. The key thing is to generate as much spin as possible and that is achieved by attacking the ball aggressively when tossing it in the air.

The key to service power is the racquet head speed and not swinging hard at the ball. In otherwords, swinging quickly at the ball rather than trying to muscle the ball.
Ball in front of youback-stretchFollow through


11 Responses to “Serves”

  1. begginer Says:

    great site, thaks 😉

  2. marc Says:

    is this ok for left handers too?

  3. Michael Littlewood Says:

    Tried this yesterday and it worked awsome 9 aces and ive never aced anyone before.

  4. Zac Says:

    thank you! i just joined JV tennis at my school and was looking for some help (cuz im only in seventh and ill be playing with 8-10 graders XD)

  5. randy Says:

    You explain the base well enough, but for a beginner a picture of how the feet should look at the service line would be helpful. Whether a picture or a graphic, both are acceptable. Kind of what it would look like if you were looking down at your feet.

    The racket back scratch position is familiar with an experienced player, but a beginner has no idea of what that means or what it would look like in slow motion.

    What about the details of the ball toss and where it should be if it were to drop in front of you, and how high it should be and so on.

    Just a few helpful hints to helping a beginner or even a player that wants to improve his serve.

  6. Tennis Says:

    Thanks for the video.

    In our school we play tennis everyday but I couldn’t serve properly like the one above it always got out of the tennis court. So I always served it by bouncing the ball but this helped me out alot now I can serve!!!!

    Thanks alot

  7. Stev Says:

    Your javascript “popUp” function to see larger versions of the pictures doesn’t work.

  8. Crosscounter Says:

    great instructions and tips, but i wonder if you are going to do “kick” serve (which has a high bounce)?
    also, the pictures are so damn small, i can barely see what is happening

  9. zamjb Says:

    very simple and intuitive, no crap at all. very useful. TQVM!

  10. Kelsey Says:

    I like the website it’s really handy but maybe if you could make the pictures bigger to actually see it better would be nice ^_^

  11. Erick Says:

    Not accurate at all and so full of misinformation. I feel badly for those that are reading this and trying to improve with a lot of this non sense. Who ever wrote and captured the video should crack open a V. Braden book or two.

Leave a Reply