If you can’t hold serve you can’t win the match
That’s how important the serve is in tennis. Players with average groundstrokes but great serves have done well in tennis, particularly on the faster surfaces.
The serve is not a complicated stroke but it can be prone to break down under pressure in matches. It’s important therefore to understand the key elements of the serve so that under pressure you can focus on 1 or 2 things that will make it work for you.
Here are the 2 key elements I recommend you focus on when under pressure in matrches. Each of the two elements, if done correctly, will cover any problems you may be having with your serve.
THE FRONT FOOT:
The front foot is the “Bridge” for your serve. It’s the transfer point for your forward movement during the serve.
If this “Bridge” is weak or not operating well enough your serve will lack power, timing and balance.
The Front Foot is therefore responsible for…
1. Supplying Power
2. Is the source of Timing
3. Creating Balance
The wrist puts the ball in. It adapts within the contact zone to meet the ball early, late. Left or right. It is the steering wheel for your serve.
The wrist also transfers the energy within the swing into the ball. Much the same as you throw a ball or crack a whip, your wrist can increase the velocity of the racquet head by accelerating during the swing.
The biggest single problem with most serves is a stiff/ locked wrist. Make sure your wrist is relaxed and flowing in order the transfer efficiently the energy sent to it by the Front Foot.
The Wrist therefore has 2 important functions when serving…
1. Finding your target
2. Accelerating the racquet head
Within these two techniques you have the answer to any problem you will experience.
During practice sessions focus on isolating these important two elements to solve problem issues that arise.