Hello, Markus Hantschk here
from “All about Tennis”.
As announced earlier,
I want to explain the serve today.
First and foremost,
it’ll be about the process
of the serve. I don’t want to get into
specific forms of the serve just yet,
the slice serve or kick serve,
or a very hard serve.
For now, I’ll talk
about the basic steps of a serve.
Before I get started,
I want to explain
the difference between a serve
and a ground stroke.
In my opinion, mastering serves is
harder than ground strokes.
on speed, I would say to a 100%.
That’s the opposite of a volley,
for example or a ground stroke.
That’s why you don’t have
that much control while serving.
On the other hand, it’s okay
to have less control while serving,
because there are
some big differences between the ball,
which I hit, and a ground stroke.
When I serve,
I’ll throw the ball to myself,
meaning that the ball is almost
in a resting position or falls slowly
when I hit it. I hit it
when it is extremely high
so that I get a very good
downwards angle into the court.
And I have a lot of time in the
beginning, I can concentrate longer.
Because the serve is more complex
than a ground stroke,
I want to explain it
in a different way.
And starting with the grip position,
I want to slowly work my way
down to the foot position.
Regarding the grip position,
if you just let the arm hang loose,
relaxed, then we put
the racket down here.
The racket surface is
perpendicular to the floor,
and then we grab the racket
from the top.
This is a very neutral grip.
The racket surface neither points
to the left nor the right side.
It feels as if you could drive a nail
with the racket.
It’s basically just
a very neutral grip.
For many people,
it’s really, really hard and unusual,
which is totally normal,
to serve gripping the racket this way.
A lot of players use a forehand
topspin to hit the ball deeper.
However, with this grip
you will get too much cut
into the ball initially.
If I hit the ball,
the racket tends to be like this,
the frame is facing forward,
I get too much cut into the ball and
the ball just flies off to the left.
So I need to turn the arm slightly
while hitting the ball.
This means I turn my arm
and then snap shut.
There are also very, very good players
that overextend their arm.
That makes for a very straight serve.
I’ll go into more detail
in one of my next videos,
on how you can get a very fast serve,
how to get a strong slice
into the serve or kick. But I won’t
go into that in this video.
Still, turning the arm slightly
is really important,
or else I’ll hit the ball
sideways too much,
and it’ll land out of bounds
by far, with a cut.
So you need to pay attention to that.
Here you see a peculiarity of mine.
I make a small step forwards
with the left leg, before I serve.
This is nothing you should
necessarily mimic, which is
why I didn’t explain it. It’s just
a thing of mine, but you don’t
need to do it, it’s not necessary.
Now please pay attention to the turn
of my arm now when I’m serving.
You’ll get a still image now,
where you see shortly before the shot,
the frame points forwards, here.
And now I turn the arm
and the racket surface points
forward now. That’s really important,
turning the arm slightly,
otherwise you’ll get
too much slice into the ball.
Now that I’ve shown you the grip,
I want to continue
with the swing of the arm.
Basically, the arm does
a throwing motion.
You can compare it with a whip.
I will start here.
Then I bring the arm up
into this position.
That’s very important.
For an overhead ball for example
I already start in this position,
which is why
in theory I could
put the racket over there
Only this is a little less harmonious,
which is why almost everyone
starts down here.
Then the racket goes
into this position.
The side, with which I hit the ball,
faces this direction now.
Basically I’m looking
at the frame, when I look
at the racket from here.
And from this position the racket
then drops behind the back.
The racket surface,
with which I hit the ball,
points towards the back.
Now while the racket surface,
while the racket head drops,
my upper arm already hits.
So this is like a whip.
If I lash the whip forward,
then the end of the whip still
falls back. And only at the end,
the end of the whip comes forward,
with an incredibly high speed.
That’s basically the end of the whip.
I let it drop behind the back,
it’s still dropping,
and in the meantime
I already hit with my upper arm.
I also turn my body around.
And then at the very end,
after turning my body,
hitting with my upper arm,
my lower arm hits,
and at the very last
my wrist brings the racket head up.
And that’s what makes
the racket head incredibly fast.
Ultimately, this is
a throwing motion
that I’ve just explained.
I’ll show you again slowly.
Racket in this position,
falling in the back,
I turn, my upper arm hits,
my lower arm and my wrist,
and the racket is up.
Now where I hit the ball,
I close my wrist immediately.
This means I hit the ball
with my wrist,
Which is the big difference
to a ground stroke.
I get a great amount of pressure,
but I also lose a lot of control,
because I hit the ball
with my wrist. I let my wrist fold,
also close my lower arm again,
continue to swing with my upper arm,
passing me on the left.
You can train these arm steps
separately, without using
the knee or jumping.
Like that, I let the racket drop
and swing through.
That’s basically the whole process.
I’m not throwing a ball yet,
I just do this,
that the racket doesn’t stop
behind the back.
It drops down,
and while dropping,
I’m already hitting the ball.
Here you can see the arm swing
while I serve,
how I get it into the initial
position, which I explained earlier,
and then after falling behind the back
and then dynamically gather speed
Now you’re getting a slow-motion,
where you can see it a little better.
I shot the ball onto the net cord,
but that doesn’t matter.
Sometimes even technically good serves
don’t reach the court.
Here I bring it
into the initial position,
let the racket drop behind the back,
and accelerate immediately.
And again in real time.
Here you see the meeting point
in the elongation.
Alright, after swinging the arm, let’s
move now to the turning of the body.
I have compared swinging the arm
or serving with a throwing motion.
And when I throw something,
I use my full body of course.
I let the racket drop behind my back
and hit with the arm. But,
I support it by turning the body,
which is why I can accelerate
the racket head
even more. So turning your body plays
a very important role.
When hitting the ball,
the chest also points forward,
in the direction of the ball.
That’s similar to the forehand,
you face sideways in the beginning.
The left shoulder is in the front.
I throw the ball,
and then I accelerate
from turning the body
and basically hit high up
while extending myself,
and the chest points forward.
About extending your body,
ultimately I try to hit the ball
as far high up as possible,
while stretching out, and this begins
in the left foot,
passes across the upper body
into the arm, into the racket.
This is like a line that points
forward in a slightly diagonal manner.
Next I want to talk about the legs.
So I throw the ball,
reach back at the same time,
and in the moment
when the ball leaves the hand,
you basically go down to your knees.
Letting the racket
drop behind the back
happens while you’re bending
and the shot, while hitting the ball,
turning the body,
I come up from my knees also.
Essentially I push myself up
and forward diagonally and press
the knees together,
coming up from the knees
and turning the body,
so these two acts
really support swinging the arm.
I’ll show you.
Now I go down,
and then I jump off, into the court,
and turn my body while doing this.
If you do this very dynamically,
you jump, of course,
and hit the ball in the extension
while the feet are in the air,
and then you have
to land somehow also.
And then it would be perfect,
for me as a right-hander
when I jump off
and land back on the left foot.
Sometimes there are excellent players
who do it differently.
One of them was Boris Becker.
It is possible. I can jump off
and land on the right foot.
But it’s relatively hard,
you tend to lose control in the air.
You could turn a lot,
sometimes too much.
It’s possible with enough training,
but almost all players
do it differently,
and also it’s much easier to jump off
and land on the left foot again,
for a right-hander.
I recorded some
of my serves from above.
This is a very
You can see everything really nicely,
dropping the racket behind the back,
accelerating and turning the body,
as you will see in a moment.
I am sidewards here,
now I turn my upper body,
the chest faces forwards
and I throw the racket from the back,
Also you can see me jumping
into the court really clearly,
how I land on my left foot.
Now. And now in slow motion.
So, up next is the positioning
of the feet.
So, the serve is basically
a throwing motion.
It can be compared to throwing.
So you should stand really tight at
the beginning, just like for throwing.
And you try to get a lot of swing
from the rotation of the body.
If I now position myself for the serve
and if I draw a line between the toes,
this line would point
towards the right,
for a right-hander, right past
the point where I want to serve.
So if I want to serve
towards the left service box,
the line would go
through the right service box
and could even point
beyond the right service box.
So stand relatively tight and close.
The upper body should be closed also,
so that I can
turn explosively, when I hit the ball
and get a lot of power
from the body rotation.
Professional tennis players
use different techniques
Some have an initial position
and remain in that position,
come from their knees
and jump into the court.
Others don’t remain
in that standing position
but pull up their rear leg
and then jump into the court.
Both versions are okay.
Personally, I pull up my rear leg,
so the risk is a little higher
to make a foot fault
and maybe step on the line.
But I also think you have
a little more movement to the front.
Regardless, the other version
is also very good,
and you can choose
what you think is best.
There are pros that hold their
initial position, and there are pros
that pull up the leg.
If you don’t do that,
please keep in mind
that your feet shouldn’t be
too far apart,
because when you go down
and into the knees,
then you should always lean forward,
so that all of your weight is
on the left leg,
and of course, it’s really hard
to come up again explosively.
So, with your legs not too far apart,
so you can distribute
the weight a little bit.
But still it should
mainly be the front leg,
and then you can nicely push yourself
up and front into the court.
Finally, I want to talk
about throwing the ball.
You want to throw it in a controlled
manner to where you want it to be.
And for that, the ideal way is to hold
the ball with the fingers tips,
not the palm, but the fingers.
And have a straight arm
while throwing the ball.
If I bend the arm, I’ll suddenly
throw the ball backwards of course.
I always step back
from my leg a little bit,
and then I can throw the ball up
with the fingers, arm straight,
in a very nice way.
I throw the ball differently
according to the type of serve I do.
A first serve,
a slice serve, a kick serve,
but those are things
I’ll explain in my following videos.
In the end I’ll do a serve.
Let’s see if I destroy the camera
or can get past it.
That’s a hit!
That was it about the serve,
the steps of the serve.
I hope you enjoyed the video.
If you liked it, then thumbs up
or subscribe to my channel.
I’ll try to make the other videos
about the serve as soon as possible.
The differences between a slice serve,
a kick serve and a very hard serve.