The basic serve shown here is a complete tennis serve with all of the same elements that a top pro would use, except for intentional spin. Some players naturally hit spin if they learn the basic serve with a Continental grip
, but many players find it easier to learn with an Eastern forehand grip
, in which case they're more likely to hit the ball flat (without spin). At any given speed, flat serves don't have as much clearance over the net as do serves hit with some topspin, so it's worth trying to use the Continental grip first. If you take to it well, you'll be hitting a mixture of topspin and sidespin (slice) pretty soon, and you'll be well on your way to an advanced serve. If you find the Continental grip too awkward, though, it's okay to start with the Eastern grip. In learning how to serve, spin is much less important than the many other factors we're about to discuss.
These are the most important points to observe in this photo:
- Left foot points more or less toward the right net post.
- Right foot parallel to the baseline.
- Ball held in fingertips.