Bradford Athletics

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Bradford Tennis Tips - Serve

How to Hit a Slice Serve in Tennis

A slice serve is usually the first serve learned by tennis players.

  • STEP 1: Hold the racket in a continental grip (see "How to Grip a Tennis Racket").
  • STEP 2: Stand anywhere from the center mark to about 6 or 8 feet from it.
  • STEP 3: Assume the regular serve posture, standing sideways to the net. If you were to draw a line across your toe tips and extend it, it would indicate the direction of the ball.
  • STEP 4: Keep your arms down and relaxed to begin with.
  • STEP 5: Hold the racket at the throat with the nonhitting hand. Your hitting hand should be as loose as possible on the grip.
  • STEP 6: Shift about 80 percent of your body weight to the back leg to start.
  • STEP 7: Shift your weight forward simultaneously with your hands as they go up.
  • STEP 8: Toss the ball and throw the racket to the back-scratch position.
  • STEP 9: Dip your hip in toward the net as the upper body rotates.
  • STEP 10: Throw the racket head aggressively up and over your shoulder, hitting the ball out and in front of you, to the right.
  • STEP 11: Transfer your body weight, uncoiling your upper body, and thrust upward from the legs as you hit the ball.
  • STEP 12: Fold in your tossing arm (which is your brake arm) quickly toward the chest as you make contact with the ball; this stops the shoulder rotation. The weight transfer carries the body forward onto the court.
  • STEP 13: Allow your feet to come off the ground or nearly off the ground


  • Make sure to keep the tossing arm extended during the toss.
  • Practice this serve as a first or second serve.
  • Keep in mind that swing speed should be as fast with this serve as with a flat serve.