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How To Serve In Tennis – 5 Steps To A Great WTA Serve – Tennis Serve Lesson

Hi guys this is Alex from Top Tennis
Training and I’m here with Emily Webley-Smith who is a WTA tour player and
today we’re going to do the video on the five steps to the perfect WTA serve. So Emily despite being not the tallest player on the WTA Tour you still have a
great serve so what do you think that comes down to? I think it comes down to
good technique and from a young age I’ve always had good technique on my serve and
that limits the possibility for it to break down under pressure and also
enables me to create a great deal of power for someone of my height and build
which I think there’s no reason everybody and all women can’t do on their
serves. So there’s a potential that shouldn’t really be a big difference
between the men’s and the women’s serve perhaps just you know some power issues or the height but technically this shouldn’t be much difference.
Absolutely I mean I think we are able to hit the variety of serves that men do we
should be able to obviously from a strength and power point of view that’s
always going to be slightly down but from a consistency basis and also from a
good technique there’s no reason why we can’t serve well. So now Emily is going to show us the
5 Steps To The Perfect Serve so Emily get into Position Number 1: Emily
is now holding the chopper grip, she has her body weight on the front foot and
she’s ready to serve So Step Number 2: here Emily’s going to
shift back onto the back foot so the body weight is going to the back foot and
she’s starting to separate the arms. Now this is how throwing arm is going up and
the playing arm so the hand holding the racket is moving back into the back
position. So Step Number 3: this is where Emily is going to completely separate her hands and now she’s going to transfer her body weight forward onto
that front left foot. Now this is the step that’s the most important, it’s the
crucial step that most of the WTA players actually fail at and that’s why
they sometimes don’t have the same kind of serve as the men and this is due to
the left shoulder not being high enough over the right shoulder. Now Emily gets
into a great position there where you see that elbow is almost in line with a
throwing arm and it’s that trophy position with the left shoulder above
the right that’s creating a nice stretch here over her side her hip is getting
inside the court and now she’s able to release upwards and forwards but also
use her body almost like a seesaw and now she’s able to generate power also
from her side not just from her shoulder and her from her arm. So together the
body synchronized so the legs their side the arm and the wrist is all going to be
used together in order to create the maximum power she can on the ball. Step Number 4: here Emily is going
to drive up with her legs and at the same time her rack is going to drop
behind the back so she’s going to have that looping, looping shape behind the
back so that lasso action almost around the back as she’s driving up so its that lasso action and drive up into the shot. So let’s see one more time so it’s
back and BAM! Now let’s take a closer look at the throwing action and the contact on the ball. Now just like using a tennis ball or throwing a heavy object from your hand you want to use as much shoulder and rotation and you want to
have this this arm being quite loose through the throw you don’t to have a
tense arm so it’s that throwing action where the hand actually drops behind
the back here and then the shoulder and elbow, the elbow almost comes up first
and then the elbow generates that quick release at the top. So let’s have a look
at that in action on the serve. Now one of the other crucial parts that
we’re going to look at is the pronation and the wrist snap on the ball. This is a
problem that a lot of players especially club players, juniors, actually all the
players in the world they struggle with this just to get the right connection on
the ball and this will depend on where the ball will travel and whether you’re
going to hit the ball flat with spin or with slice and it all depends on that
contact on the ball and the pronation that you have on the wrist. So alex is
just explained about the pronation of the wrist on the serve and here is an example of why the chopper grip can be so useful in enabling you to hit a variety of
serves and a variety of spins, as we come to hit a flat serve the pronation
of the wrist becomes more important as you come up to the ball you want to
pronate the wrist and make the contact on the ball for the racquet is
completely in line so it’s a flat racquet face on the ball but she’s still
using her chopper grip so she’s opening up the wrist almost like high-fiving
the ball with her hand but then the racket face is nice and
flat on the contact and that can be compared to a slice serve when you would want to come around the outside of the ball with a slightly more closed racquet face and hitting the ball at around 2 o’clock if you were to imagine that the ball was a clock
face. So this again will create the ball rotation to be going a little bit more
sideways because she’s hitting the right side of that ball. Similarly on the
second serve if you want to hit kick or topspin you would come around the
opposite side of the ball and you need more wrist pronation for this particular
serve. So as you come up to hit the ball you are brushing up the back of the ball
with the wrist pronation going left to right over the ball. This is now hitting the
left side of the ball. So there we have it – we have the slice serve which is the right side of the ball which is a little bit less pronation, then we have the flat one
which is medium pronation and we have the extra pronation if you’re trying to
get that topspin serve and the racket face is actually going to be traveling
sort of outwards so up and out so that you’re able to generate that easy
topspin that a lot of the pros use. Now a lot of the WTA players prefer the slice serve and the flat serve compared to the topspin serve why does that happen?
I think it’s because naturally the women aren’t the strong in the wrist to pronate on the kick serve yeah and although you will see a few players playing like
that like Stosur or some of some of the younger girls coming through but there’s
also an element if that serve isn’t good enough and it does just set up from the
spin the women are very aggressive off the second serve return so it does set
you up and get you into trouble if it’s not done perfectly. The women
prefer to use the slice serve into the body on the second serve to jam the
opponent up and also the flat serve for the first serve as they seem to find
this easier and when throwing the racket head at the ball. Do practice all of
those serves and it doesn’t matter whether you’re WTA or ATP player still
try and practice the topspin the slice and the flat serve because it’s that
variety and that skill to actually do things with the ball when it’s up there
that’s what’s going to set you apart from the competition Step Number 5 is also one of the most
crucial steps. Here Emily will finish onto her left foot and she will allow
her right shoulder to come forward to come through allowing her to create that
rotation through her trunk and also will help her with her balance because she’s
pushing back with the right leg she’s not able to really involve the body and
push her body forward and again gives an extra power on the ball so let’s see it
one more time. Now after this position because she’s finished the shot there
her front foot after she’s landed can either continue going forward if she’s
coming into the net or it can be a push off step in order to recover back onto the baseline so let’s have a look at that. And there Emily chose to come
forward into the net and this one Emily is going to recover back into it more
the defensive position. So Emily why do you think you have such a good throwing
action why do you have such a good serve? I think from a young age I played a
variety of sports and a lot of them involved throwing like cricket and rounders
and I actually used to practice throwing a lot, not necessarily for myself but
just for the other sports and through that transference from from those
kind of sports I was able to develop a good throw which also then developed
into athletic javelin and on my serve I feel very comfortable launching the
racket head at the ball from a throwing position. So being coordinated with your
body in order to do the throw will actually help you on your serve so do
practice the throw a lot and it doesn’t matter what you’re using it could be a
baseball it could be a cricket ball could be a tennis ball anything you can
throw will help your serve. Someone like Serena and Venus Williams
their dad actually made them throw tennis racquets so if you have an old
tennis racquet how best to recreate a tennis serve is to have an old tennis
racquet that you can launch and you can throw forward and you can actually see
the racket go far and you’re going to be holding it exactly the same way as you
would be a normal racquet. If you want more tips on how to hit the serve
including the pronation and what happens bio-mechanically on the serve we do have a serve of course that’s available and you can find that on our website. Anyhow I hope you enjoyed this video I hope you learned something new if you
did like it please press the like button please share it with your friends leave
a comment down below if there’s something that you struggle on your serve and do subscribe to the channel will really value your opinion

David Frank



  1. zaktheboss 2790 Posted on September 19, 2016 at 7:35 pm

    i love to watch your vids

  2. zaktheboss 2790 Posted on September 19, 2016 at 7:44 pm

    can you make a vid in a slice serve plz

  3. Nicolas Cloet Posted on September 19, 2016 at 8:02 pm

    Whats the Total amount of drills on the course

  4. Paul Murray Posted on September 19, 2016 at 8:04 pm

    why do so few women use a platform stance both club, WTA and everything in between? my possible theory is because they lack power as kids when they try platform so all girls use pinpoint instead.

  5. Ankur Baishya Posted on September 19, 2016 at 8:04 pm

    you guys are great, learned the little things from you to make me a better player. Cheers!

  6. William Eddy Posted on September 19, 2016 at 8:13 pm

    Great stuff; clear simply presented, thorough. And all your vids have GREAT bird song!

  7. Art Kharlamov Posted on September 19, 2016 at 9:20 pm

    She has a good simple and solid technique on her serve. A lot easier on the eye than her forehand

  8. Gustavo Bethular Posted on September 19, 2016 at 10:56 pm

    thanks. very good video!

  9. Imran Shah Posted on September 20, 2016 at 12:31 am

    what was that sound at 4:17? 😂😂😂

  10. Roduan Attie Posted on September 20, 2016 at 4:57 am

    Ehm could you guys eventually do a vid to the 'twist serve'.

  11. bedrocks75 Posted on September 20, 2016 at 9:10 am

    Hello guys, great video as usual!!
    BTW; Simon, are you switching to the new Babolat Pure Strike??
    Is that the 16×19 320gr?
    Did you use it in stock form or add any kind of customization?
    Thanks, cheers,

  12. White H.D. Posted on September 20, 2016 at 2:52 pm

    When it comes to kick serve from deuce side, It's hard to associate the racquet path & direction of the ball …

  13. Tennis 1011010101 Posted on September 20, 2016 at 9:37 pm

    Great video

  14. pdpotomac Posted on September 21, 2016 at 9:26 am

    This is some of the finest tennis instruction on the web.

  15. 123a Posted on September 22, 2016 at 3:59 pm

    What do you think about teaching having the tossing arm start 'inside' the body eg having the tossing hand line up with the inside of the left knee (for a RH player). I think it's better to do this (to aid rotation away from the net during the wind up stage and to help with toss consistency) but obviously there are loads of great servers who don't do it, as can be seen in this video.

  16. Jorge Edisson Parreno Pineda Posted on September 24, 2016 at 7:26 am

    the BEST SERVE TRAINING I've seen so far! Thank you and CONGRATULATIONS!

  17. Jorge Edisson Parreno Pineda Posted on September 25, 2016 at 9:09 am

    could you please make a – slowmo- vid of THE ENTIRE 5 STEP SERV SEQUENCE?? THANK YOU!

  18. RSH137 Posted on September 26, 2016 at 3:09 pm

    Wow, nice job. Really well done.

  19. Jimmy Callus Posted on September 27, 2016 at 10:11 am

    Her elbow is so much lower when she shadows it, much higher when she actually hits it

  20. David Pope Posted on October 6, 2016 at 7:20 am

    Hey guys. just wanted to know what camera do you use for filming?
    Cheers David. – Australia

  21. Keen observer Posted on October 7, 2016 at 3:52 am

    This video is by far the most detailed and complete explanation of the service motion I've ever seen; I've looked at many. Thank you very much. Job well done.

  22. oscar cano Posted on October 11, 2016 at 3:13 pm

    Great video, thank you both.

  23. Treehugging hippie Posted on October 12, 2016 at 5:08 pm

    Can you do a demo on Deuce side Topspin serve brushing the ball like she suggested? Thx

  24. Elmar Jeciel Posted on October 13, 2016 at 12:22 pm

    what is the most important to return the ball or to serve perfect

  25. Scott Schuett Posted on October 16, 2016 at 7:05 pm

    Got to use slow motion to understand the serve. Otherwise it's just a blur.

  26. Tony Sekvenc Posted on October 16, 2016 at 10:17 pm

    ..artificial slow motion is not as natural. She has out of balance split but at normal speed video it's done properly.. there is more natural rhythm

  27. MsPilgrims Posted on October 22, 2016 at 7:34 am

    Very clear and useful! Thank you!

  28. Black True Posted on October 23, 2016 at 12:44 pm

    i can really seen alex is single-handed backhand player. the overgrip XD

  29. Péter Kiss Posted on December 1, 2016 at 8:17 am

    Emily's trophy position in the isolation is awful. She does it great on her serves.

  30. nighthawk82 Posted on December 1, 2016 at 4:08 pm

    I always find it intriguing that you seem to use your stronger hand/arm for your racquet.
    In my case I just play tennis with my right hand (I don't consider myself either right or left handed in general, since I do a variety of things either left or right, depending on the task…) however I'm slightly stronger with my left hand in throwing balls/javlelins/etc.
    I find it very difficult to force myself dry practising serves with my usual play (right racquet hand / throw hand).
    Any advices? Should I really consider playing left? It feels just a bit awkward to me…

  31. Valour549 Posted on December 2, 2016 at 4:13 pm

    After leaning back on her right foot, why does she take a mini-step forward with that right foot while in the trophy position (8:17)? Doesn't this take away the whole purpose of leaning back on the right foot to generate power?

  32. hongdae2 Posted on December 11, 2016 at 6:05 am

    she has sexy as hell delts and lats!

  33. An Lam Posted on December 18, 2016 at 1:02 am

    excellent and very useful serve lesson!
    Thank you!

  34. Makenna Lee Posted on February 7, 2017 at 3:36 am

    This video helps incredibly! Thanks and do some more!

  35. yajilobay Posted on February 21, 2017 at 3:14 am


  36. Hamilton Lewis Carl Davidson Posted on March 21, 2017 at 7:37 am

    Thank you~ this video is very helpful

  37. Lawrence McKeon Posted on March 25, 2017 at 6:18 pm

    That is a great serve motion. Agreed.

  38. Ronald Jaecks Posted on March 29, 2017 at 3:44 pm

    VERY clear and helpful!

  39. Kevin Adams Posted on April 18, 2017 at 5:25 am

    Great video! This video really goes through all of the steps needed to create a consistent and powerful serve.

  40. Vignesh Dhakshinamoorthy Posted on April 21, 2017 at 12:08 am

    Great serving it proves you can do well whatever height you are

  41. thaifreeware download Posted on May 7, 2017 at 4:36 am

    thank you so much ,this is very formative and useful

  42. 134340min Posted on May 14, 2017 at 12:50 pm

    Thanks! This helped a ton

  43. George Ho Posted on May 15, 2017 at 1:51 pm

    Well explained and well demonstrated. Thanks!

  44. Nicole Tong Posted on June 18, 2017 at 2:08 pm

    very good tutorial!! Fabulous! improved a lot! 😄✊🏻✊🏻

  45. Khameron Speaks Posted on July 12, 2017 at 6:30 am

    This video really helped thank you

  46. George Allen Posted on July 30, 2017 at 3:16 am

    very good video wish I had kept my old recquet so I could throw it

  47. Ice T Posted on August 6, 2017 at 8:02 am

    She certainly is one of Jack's finest.

  48. Lorena Torrico Peredo Posted on September 27, 2017 at 10:22 pm

    Great video!, particularly the explanation why WTA players prefer the slice serve. Also, you two explained the mechanics in a very simple way. Thanks so much!

  49. Anil Kumar Posted on October 6, 2017 at 2:46 pm


  50. Tobi Posted on October 10, 2017 at 12:48 pm

    I struggle with the toss and contact point

  51. JJ Moon Posted on November 5, 2017 at 6:26 am

    Best serve video ever!

  52. like taeyeon Posted on January 4, 2018 at 3:23 pm

    nice serve♡

  53. kwok chuen Cheung Posted on January 17, 2018 at 6:38 am

    The best serve lesson video from Top Tennis Training, it's very helpful and useful, Thank you very much.

  54. Emil Tsekov Posted on February 21, 2018 at 7:29 pm

    Great video! Thanks a lot for the good staff! I struggle a lot with my serve specially with dropping the racket behind the head. Found it so difficult to change that bad habit even though watching so many videos for how to bend the elbow and trying to practise it..

  55. Kushang Agarwal Posted on March 17, 2018 at 4:01 pm

    Top tennis training , I have a problem in pushing my legs up , I mean after I bend my legs I am not able to give that proper push to jump and hit it properly..plz tell me a solution for this. It would be very helpful

  56. Geri Seston Posted on May 27, 2018 at 9:49 am

    Really helpful video

  57. Top Tennis Training - Pro Tennis Lessons Posted on June 28, 2018 at 10:01 am

    Want to start winning more matches? Watch our free tactics & strategy video lesson here –

  58. Alika Pico Posted on August 5, 2018 at 12:49 am

    All the advice is sound; love what you guys' do, but that frame at 4:48 is not a good 'look' if you're really breaking down that serve. =/

  59. Muyu Posted on October 27, 2018 at 5:11 pm

    Watching Simon's 5 steps for serve and some other tutorials on YouTube, I've got the basic idea (continental grip, tossing, trophy position, pronation, and follow through). I tried it out on the court. To my surprize, though they were easy serve for a returner, I managed to get the ball in the service area most of time. But later, I realized that my right arm hurt, even though I wasn't htting the ball hard. Maybe something was wrong, Maybe my right arm was stiff when doing the serve.

    Watching this video, I realized that I had got the weight balance during the trophy position totally wrong.

    I put my weight on the right leg (I'm right handed). This was largely because of the analogy to throwing a ball, the importance of which is also emphasized in this video.

    When I throw a ball in the baseball, while I'm in the equivalent of the "trophy position", I twist my body and my body weight is on the right leg. So I thought I should do the same for the tennis serve. And I felt that it was difficult to move the right arm forward from that trophy position. Perhaps this is why my right arm hurt.

    Moving the body weight from the left leg (before tossing) to the right leg (tossing) and to the left leg (trophy position) made the forward move of the right arm much more confortable. Also, I noticed this trophy position creates a lot of tension in my left side of the body while my right side is relaxed. I hope I'll see some improvement next time I play the tennis.

  60. Randall Livingston Posted on October 28, 2018 at 1:21 pm

    Massive foot faults!

  61. Jim Eckerle Posted on January 22, 2019 at 6:56 pm

    Excellent video! I would recommend feeding those ducks (or geese) (4:18 and 5:21) so they stop making noise during the video.