Page One introduces the topspin serve and its uses and shows a full-speed video. Page Two analyzes the topspin serve and shows a slow-motion video.
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The topspin serve is one of the two "kick" serves, the other being the twist. At the pro level in tennis, more than 90% of second serves are kick serves, primarily because of their reliability. The "kick" in these serves is the high bounce created by their heavy topspin, and that bounce makes them more difficult to return. Heavy topspin also creates a generous margin of error over the net, providing the safety needed for a second serve. The topspin serve is both easier for the server to produce and easier for the receiver to return than the twist, but even an expert twist server should use a straight topspin serve now and then just to mix things up. One should learn the topspin serve before trying to learn the twist.