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The Underhand Serve

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  • gzhpcu
    replied
    If you do an underhand serve, I find you need to practice it, and hit it with a lot of sidespin so it exits the court. Not just push it in. Bahrami does this well.

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  • nytennisaddict
    replied
    was out practice this yesterday at the end of my "normal" serve practice routine... it's amazing how low % this shot is for me...
    routine:
    1. flat
    2. underhand
    3. kicker or heavy slice
    etc...

    i'm pretty sure my flat is a higher % shot that the underhand (i presume that the UH is "good" if it lands middle box with side spin and stays low (ideally 3 bounces to baseline), else it's just a sitter). anyone else feel this way, or am i just not practiced enough with what i typically presume is an "easy" shot.

    i find the "push/dink" UH serve way easier (but lacks the side spin component, but is easier to hide).

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  • nytennisaddict
    replied
    like the announcers i've always wondered why, against nadal standing 20ft behind the baseline, especially big servers, don't underhand serve...

    my theory is that it disrupts the timing/rhythm of a normal serve.
    for me, i only do the UH serve if i'm far ahead in the count... but what i've noticed is that midmatch, my UH serve timing/rhythm is not "warmed up", so there's a good chance i'll miss it just because i'm not hitting it 10-20x a match (and likely didn't hit any during the warmup)... similarly, if i do try an UH serve and miss, now my normal 2nd serve timing/rhythm is "cold"... at least if i try a normal 1st serve, and miss, the memory of how i missed (usually toss is slightly off) is "fresh" in my head, and is used to enh the chance of making my normal 2nd serve...

    thoughts?

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  • don_budge
    replied
    Originally posted by jeffreycounts View Post

    Second, I will never forget Michael Chang pulling out that underhanded serve against Lendl at the French Open. A cramping David against an ice cold Goliath, that underhanded serve changed the match and certainly Chang's career as he went on to become the youngest men's champion in Grand Slam history.
    Michael Chang was the poster boy why oversized racquets should have been banned in the first place. He and Andre Agassi.

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  • nytennisaddict
    replied
    my favorite vid in support of the UH serve: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4d15LQq_pzo

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  • rockylang
    replied
    Thanks for the thoughts. This was a fun article to write and use the drone. I'm movie maker and writer who just loves tennis so much I went out and got my USPTA certification, although I don't teach. What I never understood is why this sends people over the edge when the dinker, lobber, and drop shotter doesn't. What is specifically about this serve that makes people go crazy? I just got an offline text from a former pro and high-performance coach who wrote me he had 24 aces using the underhand serve. Is this truly underhanded?

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  • johnyandell
    replied
    The drop shot is considered legit. That's what an underhand serve is basically.

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  • jeffreycounts
    replied
    Two comments. First, how about the camera work?? How cool is that shot directly overhead - or the zooming in on the first clip. A sweet touch to a sweet article.

    Second, I will never forget Michael Chang pulling out that underhanded serve against Lendl at the French Open. A cramping David against an ice cold Goliath, that underhanded serve changed the match and certainly Chang's career as he went on to become the youngest men's champion in Grand Slam history.

    On a related note, do you remember in the 2011 US Open semi-finals when Novak went for broke returning Federer's serve on match point with a kamikaze swing? It was the turning point of the match, and that crazy gamble, like Chang's, led to a Grand Slam. McEnroe called it one of the all time great shots. Federer was furious about it and said it was a cheap trick you use in juniors. Same controversy the underhand serve generates.

    A real gem of an article. Fascinating history in there as well about this controversial shot, and a convincing take on how this shot has it's place, whether you feel it's a gimmick, unsportsmanlike, or not.




    Last edited by jeffreycounts; 05-09-2018, 03:41 PM.

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  • klacr
    replied
    Originally posted by stotty View Post
    I am not a fan either. If you are injured and left with no other option, fair enough, that's acceptable. Otherwise it's bordering on gamesmanship and there has always been something of stigma surrounding the use of the the underhand serve. You won't make friends from using it that's for sure.

    I also found Roger's SABR attack was a bit insulting, disrespectful. Tweeners are too.

    There's an unspoken line you cross with these things. The line is hard to define but we all know and feel it when our opponent crosses it.
    Good points and examples stotty!
    Not a fan of the SABR either. The tweeter is truly unnecessary more than disrespectful. Just silly.

    Kyle LaCroix USPTA
    Boca Raton

    Leave a comment:


  • stotty
    replied
    I am not a fan either. If you are injured and left with no other option, fair enough, that's acceptable. Otherwise it's bordering on gamesmanship and there has always been something of stigma surrounding the use of the the underhand serve. You won't make friends from using it that's for sure.

    I also found Roger's SABR attack was a bit insulting, disrespectful. Tweeners are too.

    There's an unspoken line you cross with these things. The line is hard to define but we all know and feel it when our opponent crosses it.

    Leave a comment:


  • klacr
    replied
    Good article.
    Not a huge fan of it but with a player like Nadal that stands so far back, why not try it? What's the worst that can happen? You will lose the point from the baseline anyway against him. Give it a shot. Then, when he must adapt and stand closer you can flatten one out and rush him on the forehand return. Pray for a miracle either way. Divine intervention may be the only thing that can help a player vs. Nadal during clay season.

    People have tried the underhand serve on me, I don't mind it as I wanna get to the net anyways. Just a more appealing invite.

    Kyle LaCroix USPTA
    Boca Raton

    Leave a comment:

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