How to Hit a Tennis Serve: The Ultimate Guide

A serve in tennis is a shot to start a point. You have two opportunities to hit a serve during a point and your goal is to get the ball in the service box diagonally opposite you. This can be a difficult shot for beginners, so we have put together the ultimate guide on how to hit a tennis serve.

How to Hit a Tennis Serve: The Ultimate Guide


Welcome to How to Hit a Tennis Serve: The Ultimate Guide. This guide is designed to help you master the tennis serve. In this guide, we will cover everything you need to know about how to hit a tennis serve, from the basic mechanics to the advanced techniques. We will also provide you with drills and exercises that you can use to improve your serve. So whether you are a beginner or an experienced player, this guide will help you take your game to the next level.

The Grip

One of the most important things to get right when learning how to hit a tennis serve is the grip. The way you grip the racquet will determine the amount of spin and power you can put on the ball. There are two main types of grips that people use when serving: the Continental grip and the Eastern grip. The Continental grip is the more popular of the two and is the grip that most professional players use.

The Continental Grip

The continental grip is the most popular grip for hitting a tennis serve. To adopt this grip, start by holding the racket in your non-dominant hand with the face of the racket pointing up. Next, take your dominant hand and place it on the tennis racket so that your palm is facing down. Your thumb and forefinger should be resting on the bevel directly below the strings.

When adopting this grip, it’s important to make sure that your wrist is in a neutral position and not bent upwards or downwards. You should also make sure that your racket is not too tightly gripped as this can lead to excessive tension in your forearm and shoulders.

The Eastern Grip

The Eastern Grip is the most common grip used in tennis. To adopt the Eastern Grip, locate the bevel at the bottom of your racquet handle. The bevels are numbered 1 through 4. Place your hand on bevel 2 and allow your hand to wrap around the handle until your thumb is on bevel 4. This grip gives you more topspin than any other grip and is best used on high balls, when serving, and when returning a serve that is low and fast.

The Western Grip

The Western grip is the most popular grip for hitting a tennis serve. To take this grip, position your hand on the racket as if you were going to shake hands with it. Your thumb and first finger should be at the top of the racket handle. This grip is recommended for beginners because it is relatively easy to learn and provides a good level of control over the ball.

The Stance

Proper footwork is critical to success in tennis. The player must have the right footwork to be able to execute the proper strokes. There are three different types of footwork in tennis: the ready position, the load position, and the stroke position. The ready position is when the player is positioned behind the baseline, the load position is when the player is positioned at the back of the court, and the stroke position is when the player is positioned at the front of the court.

The Open Stance

One of the most important aspects of any tennis serve is the player’s stance. The open stance is when the player stands with their body facing the net, perpendicular to the baseline. The open stance gives the server a better view of the entire court and provides more options for where to place the ball.

The main downside of the open stance is that it can be harder to generate power compared to other stances. Serving from an open stance also requires good footwork and coordination.

The Semi-Open Stance

The Semi-Open Stance is the most commonly used stance when hitting a tennis serve. This is because it provides a good balance between power and accuracy. To adopt the semi-open stance, start by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart and your weight evenly distributed. Then, take a small step to the left with your left foot (for a right-handed player) or to the right with your right foot (for a left-handed player). You should now be in the Semi-Open Stance ready to hit your serve.

The Closed Stance

The most important factor in a good serve is the angle of your racket when you make contact with the ball. This angle is determined by your stance and how you hold the racket.

Most beginners start with a closed stance, meaning their feet are parallel to the baseline and their toes pointing straight ahead. From this position, it’s difficult to generate the power necessary for a good serve unless you have a very strong arm.

If you’re using a Western grip (see below), your racket will be at an angle that makes it difficult to hit the ball squarely. For this reason, most professional players use an open stance when serving with a Western grip.

The Toss

Before starting your serve, decide where you want your ball to land. Most beginners tend to aim for the center of the court, but as you get more comfortable with your serve, you can start aiming for the corners.

Once you have your target in mind, take a few practice swings to warm up your arm. When you’re ready, toss the ball into the air and step forward with your non-dominant foot to start your serve.

If you’re right-handed, your right foot should be in front when you toss the ball. If you’re left-handed, put your left foot forward.

The Swing

One of the most important aspects in playing tennis is mastering the serve. In tennis, the player who wins the point starts the next one, giving that player an advantage. So it’s essential that you learn how to serve correctly. This guide will give you all the tips and tricks you need to hit a tennis serve like a pro!

The Backswing

The backswing is a turning back of the racket hand and arm away from the ball, winding up the muscles preparing for the shot. The motion usually starts with taking the racket back behind the head and turning the shoulder. It can also be an upward motion with the arm only, or a combination of both. Depending on which stroke is being used, different body and racket positions are used at different times in the backswing.

The speed of the racket head should increase as it travels backward, until it reaches a point where it can be accelerated no further without losing energy to wind resistance. After this point is reached, the racket will continue to travel backward due to inertia, but its speed will begin to decrease due to drag from wind resistance.

The Downswing

There are many different ways to complete a downswing, but there are a few key things that all good swings have in common. First, the player must turn their shoulders and hips toward the target. This begins the transfer of weight from the back foot to the front foot. Next, the player must uncoil their upper body, and finally, they must snap their wrists to generate power.

If you can master these three elements, you will be well on your way to hitting a serve that your opponents will have trouble returning. For more detailed instructions on each of these steps, check out our articles on the shoulder turn, hip turn, and wrist snap.

The Follow-Through

After you’ve hit the ball, it’s important to finish your swing. This is what’s known as the follow-through. A good follow-through will help ensure that you hit the ball with power and accuracy.

Here are some tips for executing a good follow-through:

– As you swing, keep your eye on the ball. This will help you make contact with the ball.
– After you hit the ball, continue swinging your racquet up and over your shoulder.
– Make sure to keep your arm and racquet extended as you finish your swing. This will help generate power and accuracy.


We hope you enjoyed this guide on how to hit a tennis serve. While there is no one perfect way to serve, the tips and techniques in this guide will help you develop a strong and consistent serve. Remember to keep practicing and have fun!

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