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How to Serve a Tennis Ball

Let tennis pros Joe Perez and Kirk Moritz teach you how to serve in this Howcast video.


Kurt: In tennis, first of all, you have two chances to get the ball into the appropriate service box. If you miss those two chances you lose the point. So serving is quite important. You can't play if you can't put the ball in the box.

As you learn the game you will learn to hold the racket in a continental grip for the serve, so that when you step of to the baseline, you'll pick one side of center or the other. You always start on the right of center. If you're playing singles you'd like to be reasonably close to the middle. If you're playing doubles you would shade further off to the right because you're accountable for the alley. So you don't want to be out of position for that.

You'll stand not facing the net like so. You will turn a little sideways. You will keep your arms nice and relaxed. When you first learn the game we might have you just put the arm up then make an accurate toss, turn, and hit the ball. Ultimately we will get you to use both arms together. Bringing the arms up, bending the elbow, turning, looking at that ball, and swinging through the shot.

Joe, what do you think?

Joe: That sounded pretty good. I think the important thing to remember is you'll only get two chances. If you miss both chances it's called a double fault and you lose the point.

Kurt: There's a lot of little pieces here, but I don't want you to have to remember nine things on the serve. Watch the swing. Up, bend, throw. Up, bend, look at that ball, and finish that swing across the other side of your body.

Tom: And good technique, as Kurt just demonstrated, will get that ball in the box in two chances.

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