When playing tennis on synthetic grass courts, a slice serve will prove to be a very effective weapon.
Slice serves come at your opponent faster than flat or spin serves, making them much more difficult to return with accuracy. Because a good slice serve bounces to the side when it hits the ground, it can pull your opponent right out of the court, leaving you a clear court in which to kill the rally and win the point.
Here's how to hit a really effective slice serve on synthetic grass.
- Your ball toss should be slightly in front of you and to the right (for right-handed players, to the left for lefties).
- Transfer your weight backwards, while turning your upper body slightly sideways and backwards.
- Now rotate your body up and forwards to follow the direction of your shot.
- Make your swing with the racket head at an angle to the side so that you meet the ball further to the left than you would do with a basic serve.
- Move the racket head upward and across the ball, following through with your upper body.
- Land on your right foot (left for a left-hander).
You can make a slice serve more effective by varying the direction and pace. However, use the same ball toss for every serve so that your opponent can't 'read' your placement.
Be careful when using the slice as a second serve. Mak sure that you keep it accurate. Slowing the pace of the serve can help to achieve accuracy whilst still being effective. Make the slice serve even more effective by learning to hit the ball out wide, down the middle of the court, and into your opponent's body.
You will also need to learn how to return a slice serve when playing on synthetic grass courts. Here's how to do it.
- Be as aggressive as you can when returning the slice serve.
- Be clear in your mind where you want to return the serve before the point begins.
- Don't be intimidated into standing too far behind the baseline.
- Always aim to return the ball deep into your opponent's weakest side.
- Remember that playing a return down the line can take your opponent by surprise and is very effective at putting them on the back foot.
There's a knack to playing well on fast synthetic grass courts. Take note of the tips given above and learn to be proficient at the slice serve to become a master on this surface.