The Serve Mystery:
Hit Up or Hit Down?
You hear it both ways. Hit up on the serve. Hit down on the serve. If this question has puzzled you, here is the reality.
What's that reality? The reality is both. The motion is upward but also has a small downward component. But the most important question is what should your intention be?
As Jim Fawcette's Amazing Tour Portraits showed last month (Click Here), the flight of the ball off the racket face is without dispute at a slight downward angle. This is also obvious in the High Speed Archives, and it's the same for both first and second serves. Check out the sideviews of any of the servers there. (Click Here.)
So if the flight is downward, the racket face must also be angled slightly downward. So does this mean the correct explanation is you have to hit down? It's not that simple and that idea overlooks most of the critical elements in a good motion.