Photo Lesson: How to Hit the Heavy Slice Serve
By Jeff Cooper
1 of 10
Grip, Toss Hold, and Stance
(C)2006 Jeff Cooper licensed to About.com, Inc.
The heavy slice serve as shown here has nearly pure sidespin, generated by striking the ball from its center toward what would be its 3:00 position if it were a clock face. The lack of topspin in this serve limits its margin of clearance over the net, so it is usually hit at less than 75% the speed of a topspin-slice serve, and it is too risky to make sense as a second serve. The heavy slice serve curves to the left (from the perspective of a right-handed server) in the air, and on hard courts and grass it also takes a pronounced, skidding left turn on the bounce. On clay, its sideward bounce is greatly reduced. The sharp curve of the heavy slice serve can be used either to pull the receiver quite wide and open up the court or to jam him with a ball that suddenly curves into his body.