Slice serve is effective but can you constantly rely on it?

Never mind forehands and backhands you’re serve is your most important shot. Serve and volley is a technique which was used repetitively by top players many years ago but had fallen out of fashion but is starting to creep back with various of different options but one of my favourite is that slice kick out wide and why it is the most effective but can’t be relied on!

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Novak v Milos at Indian Wells. The Canadian was brushed off the court but this serve showed how good it can be there. At this stage the ball is coming down from the toss and just look at how straight Milos’ body is not giving much away with the racket in the back scratching position and at this moment the down the T or cross court is on.

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Contact is the most important part now you can see it on the edge of the racket so close to the frame on this angle of the racket there is only one place it is going and that is out-wide. It is a good but risky serve you could shank it off the frame or not pull the angle enough and that is the tricky, you have to plant it in that corner of the court.

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Perfection. Ball placement spot on and Milos is on the front foot ready to potentially close off any rally at the net! Can Djokovic get a response on the serve?

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No. Just look at the height on the ball after it hits the court, Djokovic is scrambling to get anywhere near it and would need a ladder to make contact with it. That is the perfect slice serve, now the issue with it.

It’s a good serve but you can’t rely on it all the time. For a player like Milos he has the scope on his second serve to be able to throw more first serves in like this but it can reduce the speed compared to a flat serve.

Something else I mentioned earlier on in the piece was the margin for error, it’s risky going so close to the frame of the racket but also it could become quite readable for the opponent which is where comfortable net play would be handy to close off more angles to the receiver.

I like this serve, it must be incredible tough to defend against, I’ve seen the best use that slice return and a player like Murray who has an incredible slice can hit the baseline with that slice and it just takes the sting out of the ball.




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