The Flat Serve
First of all, I'd like to point out that there is no such a thing as a flat serve! Every serve imparts some sort of spin on the ball. The term "flat" refers to the fact that the ball travels with the minimum amount of spin through the air and it has the maximum velocity.
- Feet are shoulder width apart (or closer); front foot pointed to the right net post, back foot parallel to the baseline.
- Body weight on the front foot (left for right handers).
- Grip - continental (see a description of the grips here), loose.
- I suggest that the ball hand and the racquet hand lift up at the same time (I use the term "Jumping Jack", without moving the feet).
- The left arm lifts the ball and the release of it is made above eye level for more control.
- Toss the ball as high and you can reach (for the faster serve) or one foot above the highest point you can reach (for more spin).
- As the ball goes up, the racquet is lifted to your side, the right elbow bends, pointing to the back fence, and the tip of the racquet pointing up.
- Weight is transferred from the front foot to the back foot.
- The knees bend as you toss the ball or after the release of the ball (it should be your personal preference).
Swing and Contact
- As the ball reaches its maximum height, the feet push into the ground to lift the body up, the racquet drops behind the back and the bottom of the racquet points toward the sky.
- The racquet speed through the ball is generated by the "pushing up" from the legs, upper body turns uncoiling the shoulder, elbow extends, and the forearm and wrist pronate or rotate inward.
- At contact the whole body should be extended and as a result of thrusting from the legs the feet get off the ground and in the air.
- At contact the whole body should be extended and as a result of thrusting from the legs: the feet get off the ground and in the air.
- Keep your head up and in balance at all times.
- Right after contact with the ball, the racquet and the forearm drop as a result of forearm pronation.
- The landing must be on the front foot (left for right handers), back foot "kicks" behind for balance.
- Both hands should continue to follow through on the left side.
- The last step is a "split step" to get ready for your opponent's reply!
When do we use the Flat Serve?
1. first serve (power).
2. sometimes on the second serve to avoid becoming predictable to your opponent;