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How to Serve an Ace with Tim Henman

November 4, 2019


The serve is very important. It’s one
of the most important shots out there. When you break the game down, the serve is the only shot where
you aren’t reacting to your opponent. When you get into a rhythm of serving so well
and holding your own serve, that puts a lot of pressure
on your opponent’s serve because they know
that if they drop their serve once, there’s a good chance
they lose the set. A lot of people get the ball toss
a little bit too far out in front. When the ball toss is too far in front,
then you are really rushing it, and you’ll struggle
to really hit up on the ball. If anything,
it’ll be that you are collapsing, and then you’ll hit
a lot of serves in the net. So make sure the ball toss is a little bit in front of you
but not too far. And then you’ve really got the chance
of driving with your energy up instead of into the court. Once you have the ball toss
in the right place, it’s important to use your legs. When amateur players think about wanting
to serve harder to serve faster, they immediately think about swinging
at the ball more aggressively, using their elbow, shoulder and chest
to hit the ball harder, and that’s not the case. 65%, 70% of the power on the serve
is going to come from the legs. My third and final point on the serve
is really to watch the ball. It’s very easy, as the ball is up in the air,
as you hit the serve, to be pulling your head down. And if you pull your head down,
your body is collapsing and the ball is more likely
to go into the net. So it’s more important
when you’re using your legs to drive up that you keep your head up
and watch the ball as it hits the racket. When you’re serving well and you’re
getting cheap points on your serve, then it’s a great platform
for the rest of your game. If you don’t drop your serve,
you’ll be difficult to beat.

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