Thursday, March 25, 2010

And the second shall be first...

Some random thoughts on perhaps the most critical, and most difficult, shot in tennis...the second serve.

1. If the serve is considered the most important shot in tennis, the second serve is probably the more important of the 2 serves (i.e. first and second). If you miss the first, you get a second. But if you miss the second, you're done on the point. In short, you "gotta get it in".

2. Even if you don't "miss" your second serve but only manage a weak second serve, the opponent gets to "see" a weak second serve. He can thus attack it and put you on the immediate defensive. (I have played matches where my opponent "teed-off" on my weak second serve - and I lost, of course. I felt that my second serve weakness was the difference between my game and my opponent's because, on other issues, our game was roughly the same.)

3. It is said that a player should learn a solid, secure and reliable second serve first. Then, the player should learn the first serve.

4. In general, many coaches say that in serving, one learns first control and placement, then spin and then power last.

5. Many people think that the quality of the second serve (depth, placement, spin, pace) is what separates the top say 500 pro players from the rest, the top 100 from those below, the top 25 from those below, and the top 10 from those below.

6. If second serve points won is a critical match statistic in many matches, then the quality of second serve becomes fundamental, I think.

7. The motto one hears on the serve priority is: "second is first, and first is second".

8. A server with a strong reliable spin-ny second serve (slice, kick, topspin) can probably "live" on that in a match. Conversely, a returner with a strong service return can probably "live" on someone's weak second serve.

9. You can hit a "second serve" on a first serve, but you probably cannot hit a "first serve" on a second serve (most of time).

10. The old adage that we have all heard is: "You are only as good as your second serve."

Best, Gary

No comments:

Post a Comment