It starts the game and gives you the opportunity to take the advantage and dominate a match, of course it is the serve. Everybody knows how important the serve is, and you have no option but to serve. But apart from learning the serving technique the better players know where to position their serves.
There are three places you can place your serve: wide, on the T, and into the body. These are the same for both singles and doubles playing.
The Three Areas
- Wide – to serve out wide is very popular especially in singles tennis, by serving in this direction it opens up the court as it makes your opponent run to the ball. However, it does give your opponent more options for his return. If you are playing doubles tennis by serving out wide it give your partner a good opportunity to approach the net and anticipate the return.
- Down the T – if you prefer playing percentage tennis then serving “down the T” or in the middle does not give your opponent as many angles to hit their service return. By serving down the middle it can limit any cross court returns, and in doubles that gives your partner an opportunity to get into the point. The only real risk of this serve it is quite a small area you are aiming for.
- Into the Body – a really effective serve in singles and doubles as it ties your opponent up and does not allow him time to do little but get the ball back. In singles and doubles it often causes short returns therefore setting the server side up for a volley on their next shot. For the server it makes the service easier to produce as there is a bigger area to aim for.
All three serves are applicable if you are playing either singles or doubles tennis. The main difference in doubles tennis is that of course the server should communicate to their partner which serve he is going to play.
In general it is a good idea to keep on playing percentage tennis, and that means either serving down the line or into the body. Keep the more difficult serve of “down the T” when you want to mix it up a little.
The key to getting the direction right is to practice your serve as often as you can. Learn the technique from your tennis coach and then play as much as you can at your local tennis club to perfect your direction.
It is also good to play singles and doubles, and to alternate as much as you can. This will give you an all round service that can adapt to either form of the game.