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I Only Have 1 Serve, How Can I Improve My Serve Game? by Ken DeHart
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I Only Have 1 Serve, How Can I Improve My Serve Game? by Ken DeHart

We always hear how players should develop a kick serve, slice serve or add more speed to your serve … BUT



“My serve is not very strong, my kick serve doesn’t have much kick and my slice serve doesn’t have a lot of curve. 


WHAT CAN I DO to become a more effective server?”

Serve and Return - Traveling Tennis Pros


Doubles especially allows serves who don’t serve near 100 mph or make the ball curve gigantically through the air to still have a serve that is challenging to return as well as setting up their partner at the net to poach.


1. You may have a limited serve speed and spin but you can hit your serve from 10 different locations across the deuce or add court baseline.  Yes you can use your same serve but serve from near the center service mark all the way out to the edge of the doubles side line to change the type and angle the receiver receives your serve.

2. Serving from a new location makes the ball arrive to the receiver at a different angle.  

* Out wide 1- This new position enables you serve go wider toward the opponents alley if you are serving near your alley – deuce court or add court either way. 

**Out wide 2 – Because the receiver should move more toward their alley to cover the new angle you have created for your serve, now the serve up the middle is more open than ever for you to aim your serve. This serve up the middle takes away the angles on the return and easier for your net player to leave the alley open and cover the middle for poaching.

*** By moving out wide to serve near your alley, you made the receiver change their receiving position and option to return.  If they don’t adjust, ACE for you.

**** 1st and 2nd serve – You can change the position you serve from for your 1st serve and 2nd serve, making the receiving team have to adjust their receiving position and return angle – keep them thinking about what you are doing and that keeps them from thinking about what they are doing.

3. At the lower level, 2.5, 3.0 and even 3.5 you can simply serve higher over the net!

*This is especially effective when the receiver is returning while looking in the sun and your serve is soft and high over the net and they are forced to look up into the winter sun to try and return your “dinky” serve.  

**FEAR – As a server, I am afraid they will kill my serve or my partner at the net – great, let them try.  Move your partner back to the baseline with you. How many times does a returner miss because they tried to “kill” the serve and end up over hitting? After a few “dinky” high serves the receiver may calm down and try another tactic – but you can change where you served from or the height of your serve above the net again.  Keep them guessing

***With you soft “dinky” serve over the net, you now have a “kick serve”.  The higher the ball goes over the net, the higher it kicks up on the other side of the net to the receiver and above their power zone!

OH YES, from our last article – you also have an “underhanded” serve you can use.  And you can serve it from any of the many positions across the deuce or add court baseline to further confuse the receiving team.  

Killer -Under handed 1st serve from half way between your center court marker and the outside doubles alley, 2nd serve is a high “dinky” serve from out near your alley and high to their backhand – TAKE THAT.  Now throw your regular, not so fast or curvy serve into the mix and You are now an amazing server and doubles partner.



Now go sign up for a slice serve lesson from you club pro and you will be unbeatable….

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*Follow me on Facebook at Ken DeHart Tennis – for more tennis tips and tennis history of the game.

Traveling Tennis Pros - Ken DeHart

Ken Dehart is a PTR Hall of Famer, PTR International Master Professional, 2 Time PTR international Pro of the Year, USPTA Master Professional and 4 time USPTA Divisional Pro of the Year. He is the Director of Tennis at Silver Creek Valley Country Club in San Jose, California. Ken travels and speaks at conferences and to pros all around the world, Australian, Wimbledon and US Open tennis teachers conferences and writes extensively for magazines and websites. He is a tennis collector with hundreds of books, racquets and tennis memorabilia in his collection. You can follow Ken on Facebook at Ken DeHart Tennis and on Instagram at dehartken.

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