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Photo Lesson: How to Hit the Topspin-Slice Power First Serve


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Stance, Grip, and Toss Hold
Topspin-Slice First Serve Stance, Grip, and Toss Hold
(C)2006 Jeff Cooper licensed to About.com, Inc.
The topspin-slice serve, as the name implies, has a mixture of topspin and sidespin, generated by striking the ball more or less from its center toward what would be 1:30 on its face if it were a clock. The topspin component allows the ball to clear the net by a greater margin, and the sidespin makes the ball curve somewhat to the left both in the air and on the bounce. This combination also allows the serve to be hit quite hard (harder than a pure topspin or slice), which makes it by far the most common first serve used in advanced tennis.
  • Left foot points more or less toward the right net post.
  • Continental grip.
  • Ball held in fingertips.
  • Racquet starts back as ball starts up.
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