Serving tips for beginners

I was browsing the web this evening, and came across a few sites offering some useful tips on various skills. This is an interesting list of ideas. Not sure I agree with all of them, but certainly worth reading.


Serve from the middle to deep middle. It confuses their receive calls. If you hear one player call, I’ll take middle, shift over slightly toward his side and then serve middle. It puts him at a poorer angle for serve reception since he is in fact now receiving the middle serve from a line position and has to play to a ball that’s moving away from him.

Middle to middle also maximises the chance of splitting the players and getting an ace by reducing their reaction time to the server.

Serve deep always-mostly middle. Not only does this cause some slight delay due to communication, but it’s the longest approach to the net. Every extra step counts in a long match in the hot sun.

Achieve depth by serving higher over the net-at least 5-10 feet. This eliminates net errors and allows for a more relaxed swing and thus more deception.

After serving deep and high, serve a drop serve to the nearest part of the court of the same high trajectory. Even as it crosses the net, this serve tends to look the same as the deep one. As long as you make sure you clear the net and don’t go for the one foot line, (3-4 feet ought to be good enough) it should produce, if not an outright error then a free ball.

Against the wind, serve high and deep floaters and let it fall straight down on the back line. A vertically falling ball is very difficult to pass to the net.

With the wind, serve very carefully. Use a snappy wrist action at the last second to add a deceptive velocity to an already faster than expected serve.

Learn and use a variety of serves.

The float is the most effective and requires the least athletic ability to master. It requires great ability to hit a jump serve ace but a diving, swooping floater is achievable by anyone and is almost impossible to pass well.