Optimise your second serve: the topspin second serve

But what is the topspin second serve? A new shot? Quite the opposite! It's a very useful, very common serve in tennis. It's a gauge of the power and effectiveness of your serve that helps you serve well while saving energy.

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 hard-to-reach zones.

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 topspin second 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 topspin second 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 serve that really kicks can be tough to return!

• When you come up against a good receiver. That's right! You should change up the zones, serve speed and spin when serving to excellent receivers to always keep them guessing.

What is an aggressive topspin second serve exactly?

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 for a typical second serve to find an angle and secure the shot.
You can do a kick or slice, 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 topspin second serve . So stop underestimating this extremely useful option and add it to your repertoire. Good game!

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