5 Reasons You NEED To Use The Slice Serve | TENNIS SERVE
The slice serve is an amazing shot that can help you win more tennis matches, and have more fun on the court. However, a lot of tennis players do not use it or practice it enough. Hence, I’ll share five slice serve tips and explain why you should hit it more often to play winning tennis.
Let’s dive into them!
1. Slice Serve To Open Up The Court
When you hit the slice serve, it allows you to open up the court. If you look at all the pros playing on the tour today, they are using this wide slice serve to open up the court.
It feels great to be able to hit a serve, and stretch your opponent off the court.
As a righty, you could start every game like that. You can serve out wide and play to the open court on the second shot, a winning serve +1 strategy.
Even if they know it’s coming, they’ve got to hit a lucky blistering winner. Honestly, it doesn’t happen that often, so you definitely want to use your slice serve more often to open up the court.
2. Attack Your Opponent’s Weakness
Reason number two builds on opening the court. You get to attack your opponent’s weakness on the next shot.
As a righty, if you hit the serve out wide and open up the court, you can make your opponent hit a backhand on the next shot.
Hit the serve out wide and then look to attack the open court. Play to the right-handers backhand, so you’re making them come up with a difficult shot from that side.
If you’re a lefty, you can serve out wide, and test out their running forehand.
At the highest level of the game, a lot of players have good running forehands.
But at the recreational, junior, and even college level, there’s a lot of players that don’t have good running forehands.
Hence, you’re not only opening up the court, but you’re also able to attack a weakness on the next shot.
3. Slice Serve To Build Up The Point
There’s this feeling that if the righty has a great forehand return, you can’t serve out wide to that wing .
Actually, that’s the opposite of what you want to be thinking, especially if the righty has a two-handed backhand. If they have a two-handed backhand, they probably have a better backhand return.
It doesn’t mean they have a better ground stroke, but the return might be better.
Thus, you want to think about opening up the court and attacking the righties forehand return.
There’s a lot of righties that just block the ball back on their forehand return. They give you a soft ball that you can attack with your forehand. This can also be an opportunity to improve your serve and volley game.
Therefore, you’ll take time away from them by attacking the first ball with a volley to the open court, or right behind them.
As a lefty, when I played one-handed backhand players on the tour, I tried to attack that one-handed backhand return all day long.
I had an aggressive mindset to attack the weaker return. So, if you’re a righty, you can attack that forehand return, especially in the deuce court.
Get them to block that ball, or stretch out to make their forehand return.
4. Jam your opponent with the body serve
You’ve been serving out wide, you’re pulling the opponent off the court. Then, body them up, go right into their body, jam them.
Aim into their forehand side, make them shank the return, and miss hi it.
Afterwards, you can come in and attack that first ball.
If you want to compliment your wide serve to open up the court, then use your slice serve to jam your opponents right into the body. You can mix up both serves and have your opponent’s guessing. They’re not gonna know what’s coming.
Serving straight to the body is huge because most players don’t know how to get out of the way of the ball.
There is a chance that you’re going to get an easy return back, so again consider aiming right to the body.
5. Slice Serve + 1 in the Ad court
Now we’ve talked mainly about serving as a righty in the deuce court.
But I don’t want you to forget there’s another reason why you should be using the slice serve. When you serve in the ad court, you want to be able to hit that slider down the T.
If you’re able to do it, you can look to hit a forehand on the first shot.
You hit that slider down the T, and now you can look to hit an inside-out forehand. If you don’t have a great inside-out forehand, you can develop it or you can look to rip backhands.
I love the play of serving down the T and then looking for a forehand inside-out on the next ball as a righty.
Those are your five powerful slice serve tips on why you should consider using it more regularly. Now, you can start to take action and practice your slice serve more often.
Focus on one of these slice serve tips at a time, and you’ll be on your way on getting it to the next level.
By Jeff Salzenstein, Founder Tennis Evolution
Jeff is a former top 100 ATP player and USTA high-performance coach committed to helping players and coaches all over the world improve.
P.S. – Ready to take it to the next level with your tennis? Click here to get a free tennis course inside the Tennis Evolution App. Learn the exact step-by-step system that has transformed the games of thousands of players worldwide.