It’s presumptuous of me to talk about a pro serve, my opponent in league play last week was coming in on my first serve, every time. Anyway, have you seen images of pro players just after they’ve made contact with the ball on their serve? Their racket is pointing to the ground, their elbow is higher than the racket and the face of the racket that made contact with the ball is now facing away from their body. This puzzled me for the longest time.

Look at the QuickTime video of the tennis player serving on this website. Go frame by frame by using the arrow keys on your keyboard instead of pushing the play button. Look at the frames just after he makes contact. What is he doing?

Look at the serves of most league players. They come over the ball, around the ball, under the ball or they try to hit it flat and send it flying out of the court. The only way to hit the ball completely flat and get it into the service box is to be seven feet tall. Professional players come across the ball. Look at the video again. As the player’s racket approaches the ball, the edge of the racket is pointing at the ball. He then snaps the racket out and across the ball and the motion carries his racket over and down and twists it so it ends up pointing down at the court with the elbow higher than the racket.

I finally solved this mystery by going to Tennis One website. They have video clips of all the pro’s strokes. The pro serve is described in the article called The Y2K Serve. You have to subscribe to this website but it’s definitely worth it.

Practice Report: practiced by myself
Solutions Analsysis:
1. The slice backhand requires a trunk twist just like all the other strokes.
2. I have begun tossing the ball further over my head rather than in line with my right shoulder. I get maximum extension of the racket if it is over my head.
3. It really does help if I snap the racket when I make contact with the ball on the serve.

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