You may wonder about the difference between a kick serve and a slice serve in tennis. There is no doubt that both serve types have their benefits and drawbacks. This article aims to show you the differences between these serve types and the types of players who tend to use each serve.
What is a serve in tennis?
A serve is a type of shot in tennis where the player hits the ball over the net towards the opponent’s court. A serve is considered the first shot in a match.
Types of serves
Serve types are classified according to speed, spin, trajectory, and placement. Tennis has four basic serve types: flat, slice, topspin, and lob. Each type has its advantages and disadvantages. A good tennis player should have an understanding of them.
1. Flat Serve
A flat serve is the simplest serve type. It is the fastest serve type and is often called a “drop shot.” It is hit with a high backswing and a low forward swing. The ball is released at the apex of the bounce and travels straight down the line. The advantage of a flat serve is that it is fast and hard. However, it is not very accurate and does not have much spin.
2. Slice Serve
A slice serve is hit with a high forward swing and a low backswing. The ball is released before the bounce and travels diagonally across the net. The advantage of a slice serve is that it is very accurate and spins well. However, it is slow and lacks power.
3. Topspin Serve
A topspin serve is hit with a low forward and high backswing. The ball bounces slightly below the net and then rotates clockwise. The advantage of a topspin serve is that it is extremely powerful and spins well. However, it is difficult to control and is not very accurate.
4. Lob Serve
A lob serve is hit with a full forward swing and no backswing. The ball releases at the apex of the bouncing and travels over the net. The advantage is that it is very powerful and spins well. It is also very difficult to return.
5. Kick serve
The kick serve is hit high above the net; it is an excellent way to keep the opponent off balance. The kick serve has more control and less power, allowing the server to take advantage of the opponent’s weaknesses. It’s perfect for second serves.
How to hit a kick serve?
Performing a kick serve requires lots of skill and power. A kick serve is launched by forcefully propelling the ball backward with the player’s toes and the returning ball at a higher speed. Hitting a kick serve requires much more strength and acceleration than a normal one. You must learn how to move and position your body during the swing.
A kick serve is faster and, therefore, harder to defend against than a normal serve. Since the player’s entire body weight transfers to the kick, this extreme acceleration creates a difficult but powerful strike. Furthermore, hitting a kick serve requires more arm strength than a standard serve. The disadvantage of hitting a kick serve is that it’s difficult to reverse and come back from a loss on the court.
A kick serve can be launched from any position on the court and has several effective techniques. A normal return involves two steps backward followed by an overhead throw with both arms. However, some players take several additional steps backward before throwing their return, giving them extra time to position themselves for an accurate throw.
In addition, some players bring their body weight on their back foot as they deliver the kick to generate more power when throwing the ball back. Another option is to hit the ball, then run toward the net and leap into the air; this technique elevates the player high above the ground and land on both feet with maximum force on his target.
Hitting a kick serve requires considerable skill since it’s harder than hitting a normal serve and limits the players’ movement options. However, top tennis players sometimes hit hard kick serves to wear their opponents down before launching a counterstrike or recovering from an error-induced loss. Utilizing these techniques can help anyone improve their game!
How to hit a slice serve?
A slice serve appears to move forward. However, a slice serves travels backward at a very fast speed. This peculiar characteristic makes it difficult for opposing players to return a slice serve. Furthermore, slice serves are excellent for attacking the court from behind and creating openings for forward passing shots. Therefore, players who can effectively hit slice serves on the court can dramatically improve their game.
Since a slice serve looks like the ball is moving towards the opponent, they will not have time to react and return the ball. Therefore, the opponent must focus on adjusting their position to avoid being struck by the slice. It’s challenging to return a slice serve because of its speed.
A slice serve is different from other types of serves in several ways:
- Slice serves start behind the baseline and move towards the opponent’s court.
- A slice serve differs from other types of serves in that it travels backward at high speeds; this makes it difficult for players to return. In addition, slice servers learn to direct slice serves to specific target areas on the court so they can hit openings without compromising their safety.
- Players must have good net-cocking abilities when serving with slices. This ability allows them to hit accurate passes between the upper and lower portions of the net. It also ensures that slices remain effective against opposing players in close range.
A slice serve appears to move forward at a fast rate. However, the slice serve travels backward at a much higher speed. Players can increase their effectiveness on the court by mastering the slice serve.
Is a kick serve or a slice serve better?
For a kick save, hit the ball with the side of your racket, then follow through with your arm. To perform a slice serve, hit the ball with the top of the racket and follow through. Both serves have their pros and cons.
Kick Serve Pros:
- More power behind the shot.
- Your opponent doesn’t know what’s coming.
- If you miss, you don’t lose much time.
- You can use spin on the ball.
- You can do a drop shot.
- You can hit it over the net.
- You can make a lob.
- It allows you to get a good angle on the ball.
Kick Serve Cons
- You need to be able to move fast.
- You must have a strong wrist.
- It requires lots of practice.
Slice serve Pros
- You have a lot of time to think about what you’ll do before you play.
- You get to practice your game repeatedly until you feel comfortable.
- You have a chance to improve your game if you don’t perform well at first.
- You can work on your weaknesses without worrying about losing points.
Slice serve Cons
- You have to keep practicing even after you’ve mastered your game.
- If you lose early in the match, you may not have much time to recover.
- Your opponent might beat you if they know how to play better than you.
When should you use a kick serve in tennis?
1. When you have a short game
A kick serve is a great way to get back into the point if you’re having trouble getting it over the net. If you’re struggling to hit a forehand, a kick serve will allow you to get the ball over the net without hitting it too hard. A kick serve is best used when you need to get the ball over a net and don’t want to risk hitting it too hard.
2. When you’re serving at a high pace
A kick serve is a good option if you’re serving at a fast pace. You’ll be able to get the ball over faster than normal, and you won’t have to worry about hitting it too hard. Kick serves are useful when you’re serving at a quick pace and want to ensure you get the ball over the line.
3. When you’re serving down low
A kick serve is ideal for serving down low. You can easily kick the ball over the net and won’t hit it too hard. Serving down low is a great way to keep the opponent off balance, and you can use a kick serve to do just that.
4. When you’re serving deep
A kick serve is perfect for serving deep. You can easily kick it over the net, and it won’t hurt the ball much. Serving deep is a great way to surprise your opponent, and you can use this tactic to get them out of position.
5. When you’re serving wide open
A kick serve is great for serving wide open. You can easily kick over the net without hurting your arm. Serving wide open is a great way to set up a winner.
6. When you’re serving flat
A kick serve helps serve flat. You can easily hit a ball over the net, even if you aren’t using a spin. Serving flat is a great way to put pressure on your opponent.
7. When you’re serving slow
A kick serve is useful for serving slow. Serving slow is a great way to trick your opponent, then return with fast speed.
When should you use a slice serve in tennis?
1. When serving at net
The slice serve is used when hitting the ball towards the net. You can also use the slice serve to get the ball over the net and land close to the opponent’s court. It’s also efficient for hitting the ball low and fast. A good example would be when performing a drop shot.
2. Serve down the line
You can use the slice serve to hit the ball down to the middle of the court. Additionally, you can use it to get the opponent to hit the ball wide and away from you. A good example of a serve down the line would be a lob.
3. Serve cross court
This type of serve is ideal when hitting the ball at the cross-court. You can also use it to hit the ball high and deep. A good example would be a topspin groundstroke.
4. Serve short
Use a slice serve to hit hard and fast. Serving short requires quick reflexes and would be perfect when hitting the ball from a distance. A good example of using a serve short would be a volley.
5. Serve long
Serving long is typically useful when you want to hit the ball a little further than normal. A long serve allows you to hit the ball longer and slower. A good example of hitting a serve long would be a flat serve.
6. Serve up the middle
Serve up the middle when you need to hit the ball higher and faster. Serving up the middle requires lots of power and is often used when playing doubles. A good example of serving up the middle would be a smash.
7. Serve down the line again
You can serve down the line when you want the ball back across the net. Serving down the line works when hitting the ball deep and slow. A good example of this would be a lob.