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How to Hit a Kick Serve in Tennis

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


Kirk: Hitting a kick serve in tennis.

A lot of times you might use it as a second serve because it's a high margin spin. The ball will clear the net by an ample margin. But how do you make it kick? How do you make top spin? It's basically a top spin serve.

Using a continental grip, which Joe will demonstrate from a distance here, he'll be turning sideways. He'll toss the ball typically a little over his head so that he can now take the racket face and brush up the back of the ball, and then finish across over by his left hip. So it's tossing above his head, brushing up the back side of the ball, kind of like he's peeling the fuzz off the back of the ball, and then coming all the way through and finishing. This will create a lot of top spin, a high arcing ball over the net, and when it hits the court bouncing nice and high.

Joe: And that makes it very difficult for the person returning that serve to hit it back. Because now the ball is bouncing high. They have one of two choices. They can catch the ball as it's coming up, which is very hard to time, or they can stay back, let it come down, let the bounce drop, and then execute a stroke. In either case the server has an advantage if you can hit that kick or top spin serve.

Again, like Kirk said, the key is, I think, to make sure that you have a continental grip. You can't do a kick serve without a continental grip. And, the toss has to be a little bit more over your head than other types of serves like the flat serve,which the toss would be more in front. You can't create a kick if the toss is in front. It has to be over your head.

So the two ingredients to a kick serve are continental grip, toss over your head. And remember that the kick serve has a high margin for error, and it takes a big bounce keeping your opponent at bay. That's a kick serve.

Kirk: Since it is done with a lot of spin, make sure you're getting a very good look at the ball. Because you're brushing a piece of the ball. You're not hitting it flat.

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