The Right Mentality on the First Serve

Tennis Gator Singles Tactical Principles

You have two serves in tennis so you have to make sure you take advantage of this. When you hit a first serve you have to approach the line with an aggressive mentality. You want to use the first serve to put the opponent on the defensive and start controlling the point right away. Do not hold back go for a big serve.

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Look for a Short Return after a First Serve

Tennis Gator Singles Tactical Principles

A first serve is meant to get the opponent in trouble – to gain control of the point, so make sure that after hitting you are not surprised by a short return. Be looking for a short return, move immediately forward and continue your attack.

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Make at Least 50% of your First Serves

Tennis Gator Singles Tactical Principles

A first serve needs to be aggressive and fast but will not be very effective if it is not going in. To be really effective you need to make at least 50% of your first serves. Be aware of this and adjust accordingly while you play during a match.

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Use Variety to Improve your First Serve

Tennis Gator Singles Tactical Principles

Having a hard first serve will give you an advantage but varying the first serve will give you an even greater advantage. Even a slight variation every 3 or 4 serves will be effective. Use different targets and spins to keep the opponent guessing.

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The Goal of the Second Serve

Tennis Gator Singles Tactical Principles

The goal of the second serve should be to start the point and prevent the opponent from taking control of the point. If the opponent can attack all your second serves, you will most likely lose the match. Starting the point at least neutrally, will allow you to win most of your service games.

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Serve Mainly to the Opponent’s Weakness on Second Serves

Tennis Gator Singles Tactical Principles

It is always easier for an opponent to attack a second serve with their favorite shot. Therefore, make sure you force the opponent to return with their weaker side any chance you have.

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Serve into the Body against Returners that Like to Return and Come in

Tennis Gator Singles Tactical Principles

In order to be effective a player that likes to return and charge the net has to start moving forward early and take the return close to the service line.

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Serve Mostly to the Opponent’s Weakness with a Slight Variation to Keep them Guessing

Tennis Gator Singles Tactical Principles

You will always have a better chance of winning a match when you force the opponent to hit with his/her weaker side as much as possible.

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