Tennis Serve Technique

Tennis serve technique is the cream of the crop of the game of tennis. A great tennis serve and a player is almost guaranteed to hold serve.

The tennis serve is held in highest regard by recreational and professional players alike, but the differences between the tennis serve technique at the highest level of the game and club levels is astonishing.

What elements of tennis serve technique make the top professional tennis players able to blast 100 MPH serves at will? Why are the key areas for a tennis player to focus on in order to achieve the proper tennis serve technique?

The tennis serve is largely made up of the tennis technique. Players who are able to consistently generate powerful serves with heavy spin have a large advantage over their weaker counterparts. On the tennis serve technique, the service motion is made up of very distinct elements which account for why players with great tennis serve’s are able to deliver the big explosive bomb at contact time and time again.

Tennis serve technique Sampras


The serve technique involves mainly the kinetic chain synching all of the individual body parts together like the crack of a whip. Proper tennis serve technique involves utilizing the entire body on the serve and timing the tennis serve with equisite accuracy. The power on the tennis serve is created mainly from the core, to the upper body all the way to the tennis racket handle and wrist (the final part of the kinetic chain) and all of this energy is transferred up to the point of contact. It is this exact timing of the energy transfer that results in the powerful tennis serves we see at the pro levels.

Tennis Serve Technique Comparison

Tennis players with poor tennis serve technique often lack the same timing on the serve. They often fail to utilize the entire body, and most of the time the tennis serve becomes an all arm tennis stroke. The end result is a stiff and weak serve. The players themselves may feel as if they are trying to hit the tennis serve as hard as they can, but they are still unable to crank up the power on their serve. This is mainly a result of tennis technique.

The pro tennis serve on the other hand, is often executed with perfect precision, accuracy and explosiveness. At times it may appear as if they are hitting the tennis serve with only half of their strength, but the velocity is still massive. Andy Roddick, for example has the most powerful tennis serve in the world thus far, and various accounts of his tennis serve practices are eye opening. Players have seen him virtually cut his tennis serve motion in half and start his racket in the trophy position and still blast powerful serves every time.

Pete Sampras, another great tennis serve model has one of the most fluid windups in the history of tennis. His tennis serve began with a very gradual and circular windup – where the power is stored until the very last moment at contact where Sampras was able to tee off on his tennis serve. This small delay, or lag as he took time to build the momentum was key in his ability to generate the power and spin at contact.

Pete Sampras Tennis Serve Technique

Tennis serve technique – The Power Sources

The tennis serve technique is not about brute force or strength, but about fluid and effortless timing. The tennis ball is not a heavy brick, so applying pure muscular force will do little to increase power on the tennis serve. On the other hand, maximizing the amount of levers in the tennis serve technique as well as timing the body and utilizing the entire body to create clean contact on the tennis serve is the proper way to achieve the tennis serve technique of the pros.

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