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1ST/2ND SERVE

But what is the 1st/2nd serve? A new shot? Quite the opposite! It's a very useful, very common serve in tennis.

1st-2nd-serve

With this serve, you can safely put plenty of spin on the serve to frustrate, and even beat back your opponent.

When playing a match, it's not absolutely necessary to always hit very powerful, flat first serves into incredible zones.

You need to remember that an effective serve can also be sliced very short or kicked to the edge of the court. It's also good to keep in mind that if a flat first serve is not extremely precise, it's much easier to return by blocking straight ahead than a very short sliced serve coming at a low speed.

When is the best time to use a 1st/2nd serve?

It can be useful in several situations:

• When your first serve is no longer effective and you start to doubt yourself or if your serve is weak. Starting every rally with a second serve is not a good way to dominate the point or to position yourself to win it.

• On very slow surfaces: clay is not a good surface for powerful serves. Using a good 1st/2nd serve is often much more effective than a flat first serve! In addition, flat first serves are more exhausting so, during long matches on clay courts, you have to manage your stamina. Don't forget that topspin is extremely effective on clay courts. A good "backhand kick" might not end well!

• When you come up against a good receiver. That's right! You should change up the zones, serve speed and spin for an excellent receiver so that you always keep them guessing.

And technically, what do you get with a 1st/2nd serve?

As the name says, it's a combination of a first and second serve. The idea is to hit as hard as a first serve while also using as much spin as you would a second serve to find an angle and secure the shot. You can add topspin or slice the ball but you have to remember to hit it just as hard as you would a flat first serve. This is extremely important because, without sufficient speed, it will just be a classic second serve that receivers can easily manage.

Now you're up to speed on the 1st/2nd serve. So stop underestimating this extremely useful option and add it to your repertoire. Good game!