How To Serve In Tennis

Whether it’s on clay, grass or traditional surfaces, everyone knows that a good serve is the difference between winning or losing a tennis match.

Like with anything new, getting the technique down can be confusing. Try to think back to the first time you tried to ride a bike or drive a car. Nod your head if there was a moment or two where you were ready to give up. It’s the same with a tennis serve. We suggest beginning with the basic steps, of which there are five, and then moving onto more advanced techniques.

  1. The Grip

If you happen to watch any of the pros playing you will notice the majority use a specific grip. It’s called the continental grip and is the most natural of all. It’s fairly easy, once you know how. Imagine shaking hands with the racket, while your non-dominant hand holds it by the ‘throat’. If that doesn’t feel right try the ‘hammer’ grip, which is holding the racket as if you have a hammer and are about to hit a nail.

The continental grip is used to serve, slice, hit forehand and backhand volleys and overheads or smashes, giving you the spin and power you need. If you use a forehand grip for serving you’ll get the power you’re after but you’ll lose control and accuracy.

Another reason to achieve this type of grip is because of pronation and supination, two actions that add extra power, control, and spin to your serve. If you’re not using the continental grip, supination and pronation won’t happen naturally.

  1. The Ball Toss

While the ball toss should be a simple and straightforward action of the serve, it’s what causes the majority of tennis players the most frustration. Watching amateurs and pros serve, we’ve noticed those who toss the ball about 4-6” higher than the point of contact have more control.

The players who struggle are the ones who toss the ball too high. Throwing it too high above your head breaks the momentum of what should be a fluid motion. It really is as simple as that. Your aim is to achieve a steady down/up action and make sure the ball is thrown no higher than 6 inches above the point of contact.

To hold the ball correctly, make sure you’re holding it in your fingers, not your fingertips and not in the palm of your hand. Release the ball when your hand reaches your head.

  1. The Trophy Position

The trophy position or the serve power position is what will take your serve from good to great. If you’re able to master this position, you’ll master the perfect serve. We suggest you start practicing this position once you feel confident with the grip and the throw.

There are a few essential elements with the trophy position:

  • Make sure your back shoulder is positioned lower than the front
  • Ensure the racket tip is positioned upwards
  • Your ball-tossing arm (in motion) is what will keep your body balanced
  • Your knees must be bent
  1. Supination and Pronation

While pronation and supination might sound technical, they’re two actions that will come naturally if you’re using the continental grip.

Supination happens just before contact with the forearm if you’re relaxed and have the correct grip. The more supination prior to hitting the ball the more pronation takes place. How much supination prior to hitting the ball is up to you. Some players will use very little, while others, like Pete Sampras, used as much as possible to be able to generate more ‘whip’. To check if you’re supinating make sure the palm of the hand and the strings are facing to the left side of the court.

Pronation naturally begins when your palm opens up towards the ball and carries on up until your palm and strings are facing the right side of the tennis court.

  1. The Follow-Through or Finish

Your body should be at its most relaxed when you’re serving and finishing off the serve. Everything should happen naturally, even the slowing down of your arm and body. A sudden stop will result in stress on the elbow, shoulder and wrist, leading to serious injury in the long run.

A really good way to make sure your finish is as natural as possible (and to get you pumped up) is to think of your racket as a gun, you as the sheriff. You’ve just taken the most wanted criminal down and you’re placing it back in its holster. Make sure your elbow is bent, naturally, when finishing your serve as this takes stress off the shoulder joint.

Ironically, any natural movement, like walking, running, driving or riding, takes a lot of persistence, perseverance, and practice. Everything will click into place and you’ll wonder what the big deal was all about.

How To Keep Score In Tennis

If you are a little confused as to what’s going on in the tennis court and trying to read the scores when you watch it on TV but you want to have a game and need to be able to keep score, then don’t worry.

Tennis is not a straightforward sport to understand at first, but once you get the fundamentals down, you’ll feel like a seasoned pro.

In this post, we’ll go over how to keep score in tennis, so you can enjoy anice game of tennis at your local court. You should be able to get through this post pretty quickly, as we’ve stuck to only the key ideas!

The basics

  • Each game of tennis consists of either three or two sets. In order for a player to win a set, they must win at least six games.
  • Every game is scored starting at zero, and goes up to forty points – even though it’s technically just four points. From zero, the next point is 15, then 30, then 40, which wins the game for the best player.

Getting the game started

  • To start a tennis game, one person flips a coin or spins a racket to determine who serves first. Whoever wins the toss gets to decide several things:
    • Whether to serve first or second.
    • What side of the court to start on.
    • Or if the winner wants to leave the above choices to his or her opponent.
  • Whoever serves first will serve throughout the game until its conclusion.
  • Players serve from the court’s baseline, which is the right-hand side of the court.

Scoring the Game

  • Before the player serves the ball, they should announce the score, with your score first being the first number spoken and then your opponent’s number.
  • A player gets two attempts at serving. The ball must go over the net, and land in the ‘service box’ on the opposing side, as well as bouncing towards the opposing player.
  • If the ball does not land in the service box, the player is required to serve the ball again. If the second attempt misses again, the player loses a point.
  • If the ball grazes the net but lands in the box, the serve does not count, but you must take that server over (this is known as a “let”).
  • If the serve goes in and the other player is successful at returning it, players continue hitting the ball back and forth until it hits the net, lands out of bounds, or someone misses the ball. Any of the aforementioned events will cause one player to gain a point at the expense of the other player.
  • The game continues until the score reaches 40 at which point the player on 40 can win the game by winning the next point. If the game is tied at 40, it is known as a “deuce.”, which in tennis lingo means a tie. In order to break the stalemate, a player must earn two points in a row.
  • Once the game finishes, the other person begins serving. Every odd-numbered game a different player will be the one to serve.

Scoring a Set

  • Before the beginning serve in each new game, the server is required to announce the score in sets. One should announce their score first and then the opponent’s score.
  • One set consists of six games; the first person to win six games and be 2 games ahead wins the set.
  • If the score ties at 6-6, you play a tiebreaker.

Scoring the Match

  • All of the above is known as a match. The match is then determined by the best out of two of three sets. In other words, if a player wins two sets, they win the game. If you each win a set, then you must play a third set to determine the overall winner.


So that’s pretty much everything that you need to know when it comes to keeping score in tennis.

If you’re still stuck scratching your head trying to figure out the game, (which is understandable) there are plenty of tutorials that can give you some visual and audio clues on how to read a game, as well as some content that can break down everything for you in real time.

How To Hit Forehand Shots in Tennis

Are you on your way to becoming a professional tennis player? First of all, hold on there, as it will probably take you longer than you think it will. But if you stick to some realistic goals, then tennis can become a fun sport that is not overly difficult to learn.

There are a few foundational strokes that new players can start practicing right away, which includes

  • forehand
  • backhand
  • overhead shot

There are also some variations to these that are used by the pro players, although it’s best to take it one step at the time to begin with.

In this guide, we’ll cover how you can hit a tennis ball with a strong and accurate forearm shot that will fly past your opponent and score you points every time.

Before we get started, this video is very good for getting the most out of your forehand shots:

When should you use a forehand?

Each type of stroke in tennis has its own specific application, strengths and weaknesses, so knowing when to use a forehand stroke is a critical part of the game.

  • The forehand is known as the most basic of strokes and is executed on the side that you use to swing your racquet.
  • Forehand shots can be used to put topspin on the ball.

How to hit a forehand shot

Get your body into position

In order to properly execute a forehand stroke, you need to make sure your body is properly aligned with the oncoming ball.

  • You should perform a split-step as your opponent takes their shot.
  • A slip-step is where you jump roughly an inch off the ground and land on your toes while the opposing player gets ready to hit the ball.

Get ready to swing your racquet

It is important to keep your head straight and shoulders facing towards the net.

  • As the ball flies towards you, shift your shoulders into a 90-degree angle to the net and raise your opposing arm across your body.
  • Pull your racquet arm backwards as the ball approaches closer.
  • Shift your weight to your opposing leg, and point your foot towards the sideline.

Have a strong grip

Did you know that there are at least three different ways to grip your racquet when performing a forehand hit alone? The easiest grip to start with is called the Eastern Forehand Grip.

  • To begin, place your index knuckle and heel of your hand at the third bevel of the racquet’s handle (it should look like a 3 o’clock position) and the heel of your hand at the bottom lug.
  • A good way to get started with this grip type is to imagine that you’re shaking hands with the racquet.

Hit the ball

Now you finally hit the ball. Remember to keep the racquet straight and face open towards the net as you make contact with it.

  • Swing straight through as you hit the ball.
  • A bit of downward force as you make contact with the ball will produce a powerful flat shot.
  • You should be using your entire body to power the shot. This is done by pushing your foot off the ground just before you strike the ball. What happens next is a chain of kinetic energy that you’re feeding into the shot. You can make the shot even stronger by rotating your upper body into the ball as you hit it.

Complete the follow-through

The last step in the process is vital to remember as it affects the speed and spin of the ball. There are different kinds of follow-through techniques that have different qualities, which have been detailed below.

  • The out-front finish is one of the easiest to remember for newbies. With this move, the racquet’s head goes straight out and does not twist at the end.
  • The downward finish is another powerful move. As you could probably gather, this move involves putting your body in a downward motion, with your arms across your opposite hip.

How to hit a tennis ball harder

There are so many different areas of the game in tennis that make a big difference to your performance and results. Footwork and racquet handling are both very important, as is speed and endurance but strength is another area that really helps to win matches. Being stronger means that you can hit the ball harder, therefore you give your opponent less chance of returning the ball.


There is a lot more to hitting a ball hard than strength alone, or else people could simply head to the gym to do weights and bulk up. Hitting a ball hard requires a good technique that transfers weight at the right time to generate more power into the shot. For this, you will need to have mastered the right footwork so that you have your feet in the right place to allow the correct foot to be planted in position ready for the shot.

Your backswing also plays a crucial part in delivering a powerful shot, so your backswing must be timed right so that you can get a big backswing. Of course, the technique will vary depending on what type of shot you are playing but the overhead shot (smash) is more powerful due to the angle the ball is struck. You will often see pros running to the front of court when their opponent has played the ball high and then smashing the ball down with such power that it is literally impossible to return.

The Power Serve

power serve is one of the most important shots in tennis as it gains instant points without the energy-sapping effort of winning a rally. Being able to land a first time serve hard into the service area is going to give you a much better chance of getting an Ace. So out of all of the shots you practice, it is probably more worthwhile to get this one to the highest standard possible. The pros can hit a serve at over 100 mph, which is quite unbelievable but with the right technique it is evidently achievable.

The most important part of getting the technique right is being able to establish a smooth transition that allows you to get optimum power through the ball. When you are first trying to do this, do not try to hit the ball hard. Instead, concentrate on your throw of the ball and the transfer of your body weight as you strike the ball. Then you can gradually start to try and hit the ball harder once you have mastered the serve technique.

When you are throwing the ball up, you will be throwing the ball forwards in order to strike it with as much power as possible. If you throw it directly upwards then you will not get as much power coming down on the ball. This movement also sets up your body movement i.e. your body will naturally move in the same direction as the ball, which will add extra power to the serve.

Your leg muscles also play a big part in generating power for a serve and you should be driving your legs upwards and toward the ball to enable you to gauge more power into the shot. One common mistake that people make is to put a lot of spin on the ball but this counteracts what you are trying to do so only put a small amount of spin on the ball if any at all.

You should watch videos of slow motion power serves to enable you to master this. You will see that the great servers will start behind the service line and strike the ball whilst they are in mid-air before landing quite far inside the court. This is a skillful way of using the rules to your advantage in terms of keeping your body in the right place according to the rules when you are serving the ball.

Look at the physique of tennis players – they have really toned shoulders and large biceps, quads and calf muscles. So if you want to become more powerful, doing some weights and muscle building exercises will definitely help you to hit the ball harder in tennis.