Just as the first serve can be you best friend, the second serve can be your worst enemy.
Many players have second serves that are easily attackable, meaning the returnee can hit the ball wherever they want in the court and possibly come into the net to finish an easy point.
What hurts these players is the fact that their second serve has little or no spin, and lands too shallow in the service box.
To keep your opponent from attacking your serve, two things need to happen. First, you need to learn how to hit a deep second serve, this will force your opponent deeper into the court, making it harder for them to attack the serve and come to the net or hit a flat out winner.
The second thing you need to do is use as much spin as possible on the second serve. These two goals actually go hand in hand. The more spin you can get on the ball (not a slice serve, but kick serve or topspin serve), the deeper the ball will bounce once it hits the ground.
This again will push your opponent away from the net, creating a second serve that is not as easily attackable.
Many people are afraid to hit their second serve with more pace. A good goal to keep in mind is this: Swing as hard at your second serve as you do your first, but use all spin when hitting the second serve.
You can also practice hitting the topspin serve and the kick serve as second serves before and after your matches. It does'nt take long to improve enough on these serves to have the confidence to use them effectively in a match.
If you do this, and do it well, you will have a much better second serve and it will take the pressure off of you to not be attacked off of the second serve.
Another problem with a player's second serve is the fact that they do not aim the serve. Many people can aim their first serve, but just fire off a second serve just hoping it goes in.
If your opponent has a strong forehand and is continually hitting winners off the forehand side, you obviously do not want to hit second serves to his/her forehand side. Being able to aim the second serve can greatly decrease the chances of your opponent controlling the point from the get go.
A solid second serve reduces the pressure on you to hit a winning first serve. It also keeps you from being instantly attacked on second serves. Work on your second serve as much as you can. And learn to generate good spin and depth to be effective.
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