Tennis Slice Serve Drills – 3 Ways To Improve Your Slice Serve
What is a slice serve in tennis and why use it?
The slice serve is, in simple terms, a serve that when bounces, will skid off to the right for right-handers and to the left for left-handers. On the deuce side, when a right-handed tennis player uses a slice serve to hit into the returner’s forehand corner, the ball can bounce and move away from the opponent, forcing the returner to chase the return down, often into the doubles alley or beyond the tennis court entirely.
On the advantage side, a good serve to use is the slice serve down the T, which will move away from the returner and force them to really stretch out to return the ball.
When you combine a slice serve with a flat serve and a kick serve, it can throw off your opponent’s timing and rhythm and make their return games very hard.
To execute a good slice serve in tennis, focus on these three things:
1. Imagine the ball as a flat clock face. You have 12 o’clock at the top, 6 o’clock at the bottom.
When you want to hit a slice serve, focus on making contact with the ball around 1-2 o’clock on the flat face. This will help you get the slice you want but equally important, the downwards curve that is required to get the ball to dip inside the service box.
2. Open up your body as you hit the slice serve. When we hit a kick serve, our goal is to remain side on until after the contact point. However, with the slice serve, you want to really open up the shoulders and be facing the net with your body when you make contact. This will allow you to get the angle you’re looking for with the slice serve.
3. Throw your right shoulder into the serve. To really exaggerate the uncoiling motion, imagine you’re throwing your right shoulder (left shoulder for left-handers) into the ball, imagine you were going to hit the ball using your right shoulder. After contact your right shoulder will end up facing the net, this will indicate you’ve uncoiled fully and really gone after your slice serve.
Three ways to improve your slice serve:
In this drill, you will be standing close to the doubles alley on the deuce side of the tennis court. Toss the ball as far to the right as you can, and really focus on carving the outer edge of the tennis ball. The more you cut the ball, the more slice you can produce. Serve from the trophy position with this drill.
In this drill, start off with both feet pointing forwards, towards the net. Do your normal service motion but remain in that open stance position throughout. This will allow you to feel the open body you want to have when hitting a slice serve and will help you practice the short angle.
In this drill, you hit your normal serve but focus on throwing the right shoulder forward, into the ball. When you finish, you should end up with your right shoulder facing the net. Really exaggerate this action, see how much you can uncoil during the strike zone.
00:00 – Intro
00:20 – What Is A Slice Serve In Tennis and Why Use It?
1:36 – How To Hit A Slice Serve – The Basics
3:25 – Carving The Ball (drill one)
5:53 – Uncoiling The Body (drill two)
7:43 – Throwing The Shoulder Forward (drill three)