Tennis Tactics – How To Hold Your Serve In Matches

Tennis Tactics – How To Hold Your Serve In Matches

When it comes to winning singles matches in tennis, nothing is more important than being able to hold your serve games, meaning that you win the games in which you serve. If you are a good returner who is able to break your opponent’s serve but can’t hold your own, you’ll always struggle to win matches, especially against stronger opponents who know how to win their own service games.
In this free lesson, coach Simon Konov and coach Alex Slabinsky of Top Tennis Training will show you how to hold your serve in matches, using certain serve set plays.
This means your serve plus the first shot you’ll hit after your opponent’s return. Depending on where you hit your serve, you can anticipate an opponent’s likely return and then plan your next shot from their return.
There are six main targets to aim for when you serve in tennis,
1. Out wide on the deuce side service box
2. Into the body on the deuce side service box
3. Down the T on the deuce side service box
4. Down the T on the advantage side service box
5. Into the body on the advantage side service box
6. Out wide on the advantage side service box
Within each of these six targets, you can mix up the spins you use and the power you serve with. This can be a game in itself, for instance, if you serve to target six, you can use a kick serve, a flat serve or a slice serve, and you can increase or reduce the power. This will throw off the returner’s timing and make it harder for them to build a rhythm.
Then with your first shot, you will have options on where to go.
You can break down the court into three zones, each zone being around 33% of the width of the singles court:
1. Zone one starts at the singles sideline on the deuce side and ends a few feet to the right side of the center line.
2. Zone two starts off-center on the right side and ends off-center on the left side of the court.
3. Zone three starts off-center on the left side and finishes at the singles sideline on the advantage side of the court.
You can then make your own pattern of play using numbers:
1. Number one with your serve followed by number one with your first shot. This would make an 11, or a 1-1.
2. Number one with your serve followed by number two with your first shot. This would make an 12, or a 1-2.
3. Number one with your serve followed by number three with your first shot. This would make an 13, or a 1-3.
4. Number two with your serve followed by number one with your first shot. This would make a 21, or a 2-1.
5. Number two with your serve followed by number two with your first shot. This would make a 22, or a 2-2.
6. Number two with your serve followed by number three with your first shot. This would make a 23 or 2-3.
7. Number three with your serve followed by number one with your first shot. This would make a 31, or a 3-1.
8. Number three with your serve followed by number two with your first shot. This would make a 32 or a 3-2.
9. Number three with your serve followed by number three with your first shot. This would make a 33 or a 3-1.
These are the options you have on the deuce side only, you can repeat all of these on the advantage side.

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