How to Attack Second Serves

attack tennis second servesThe two types of serve returns (first and second) should not be treated the same in any way.
While returning first serve is just a matter of avoiding being on a defense as the point begins, on the second serve return the player should think a lot differently: 

1. From a psychological perspective you must understand that your opponent is tense getting ready to deliver the second serve. He now realises he just missed the first serve and failing to deliver the second one will cost him the point. Not only that but if his serve does not have enough “juice” on it (spin, depth) you could be taking control of the point. 

2. From a technical aspect, pay attention to your opponent’s tendency of delivering the second serve: is he hitting it hard or slow? is he applying good spin on it – what kind? does he usually hit it deep or short into the service box? This kind of information can help you decide where to position on the court for the second serve – inside the baseline or on the baseline? Also it can give you clues whether you can attack it with your strong wing or not. 

3. From a tactical point, is he trying to deliver the second serve to any of your weak sides, deep into the court or is he just…. getting it in?

Try taking these notes during the first two receiving games. 

Mental Tennis Lessons

As a general rule, be aggressive with your second serve return. That doesn’t mean you should try to hit winners off of a return; instead, take the ball as early as you can (move forward) and preferably hit it to your adversary’s weak side. 

By being aggressive and attacking the second serve you will put a lot of pressure on your opponent every time he will miss his first serve. 

Mentally you should realize that an upcoming second serve is your chance to take control of the point from the start of it. Use your strong wing to hit the second serve return as often as you can.

Cosmin Miholca

If you want to know more about how to attack second serves check out Tennis Tactics for Singles and Doubles section at WebTennis24.

Why Should You Slice Your Second Serve

slice serve tennisI have been playing tennis against some of my top juniors and even though I am the more experienced player they can run me about the court and make me pay for a shot that I don’t place tactically right.

Now, in this article, I would like to mention one very important stroke that you should perfect so that you do not begin the point on a defensive situation – the second serve.
You just missed your first serve (either in the net, deep or wide) then you see your opponent stepping inside the baseline to attack your second serve… Suddenly you find yourself in trouble: your opponent is going to be all over your second serve and from there on… you are in trouble!

What can you do so that your second serve is not going to put you on defensive mode?


Why slice and not topspin or kick?
For the two very simple reasons:
1. Slice (side-spin on the serve) will keep the ball low. As a result, your opponent will have to play the ball hitting up and the chances for him/her to put it away (or attack it) from a low contact point are very slim.
2. The spin will make it harder to control the ball when your opponent returns it.
Especially if you are a doubles player; think about serving and volleying… Would you not prefer to hit a slice so that the returner hits the ball up (that sets you up for a high volley)? On the other side, if you choose to go for topspin serve as a second delivery and move up to the net, the returner will attack the high bouncing serve of yours and put it down to your feet.

Tennis Serve | Technique Lessons

In conclusion, practice your slice serve as often as you can and you will see great results when the time to hit a second serve knocks at your door (which it will be quite often). 🙂

Cosmin Miholca