Tennis skills : The slice first serve

The slice serve is much easier to do than a kick serve. Your arm will naturally follow the rotation of your chest from right to left (or the other way around for lefties).

Before we get into the technical details of this skill, let's find out why we use the slice. 

Slice serve from the right

The slice serve lets you hit a very short cross-court ball at 0-0 with a trajectory that goes extremely wide. It's used to draw the receiver outside the court.

When done properly, it opens up space for the server, who can then play the ball into the open court. This tactic is very simple and it takes just a few strokes to score a point.

Of course, the receiver has some tricks up their sleeve too. If they can see a slice serve coming, and it hasn't been performed well, they can send a devastating return straight down the line or cross-court.

You therefore need to be very careful when setting up your serves.

Slice serve from the left

At 15-0, the slice serve can be used to hit down the T.

And if it hits the line, it can be so unpredictable that it could even prove more effective than a very powerful flat first serve.

The sidespin means that the ball bounces away from the player, which stops them from being able to return it with any power or block it.

Slice serve against your opponent

The third slice solution can be used on both sides.

The slice serve into the body is a real pain for the receiver.

This ball comes straight at them really fast, leaving them little time to reposition.

It often gives you a ball that's easier to play because it's hard to control and takes your opponent by surprise.

The right technique for a first slice serve

Now let's look at the fairly simple technique for slicing a first serve:

Ball toss: it should be slightly to the right and in front of your body. This toss will let you brush the ball from right to left and give it that sidespin.

• Chest rotation: unlike with a kick serve, your body will naturally follow your arm's path. So simply let your chest move with your arm to give the ball even more spin.

Pushing off: as with all serves, you need to push strong through the legs to give the ball more “weight”, speed and spin.

• Ball contact position: hitting the ball as high as possible is essential for finding the best possible angle.

Now you know all the essentials of a successful slice first serve.

With a bit of practice, this serve will become a powerful weapon in your armoury!

Your turn!

Tennis skills: the slice first serve



I'm a tennis enthusiast who shares tips from the Artengo team to help you up your game.


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