Topspin, aka kick serve, is one of the most famous serve in the game of tennis. When performed effectively, the ball lands on the opponent’s side and bounces shoulder-high, making it difficult to return and forcing the opponent to move back or to the side. However, it must be served quickly and at a sharp downward angle to get this bounce. Also, the player must hit through the ball to prevent the topspin from sending it crashing into the net. Kick serves are also comparatively slower, providing the receiver with enough time to react accordingly. Let’s learn to hit a kick serve.
What is a Kick serve in Tennis?
Step 1: Positioning
This step not only includes a player’s position relative to the court but also the position of their hand on the racquet. Getting the right grip is paramount for hitting a good kick serve. A Western grip is the most commonly used grip for a kick serve since it allows more topspin. It puts the hand in the right position to execute the right service motion.
The player must stand with their shoulders square to the court and behind the baseline. This is a common stance recognized by most novice of players. It is especially important for a kick serve since it allows the player to deliver as much spin as possible. It is also important to keep the shoulders parallel to the baseline and feet behind the baseline to prevent disqualification. Also Read: Top 10 Greatest Tennis Players of all time
Step 2: Set up
The ball must be tossed a bit higher, so it peaks a little behind the player’s head. This allows them to reach back and hit upward, creating a good spin. The player must bend their knees and arch to keep an eye on the ball. while rolling back the shoulder of their dominant arm and the elbow bent. This would allow them to strike with immense power. A kick serve is slower than a regular flat serve, but hitting the ball deliberately slow will not only make the serve predictable but also easier to counter. Also read: What do Tennis Players Eat & Drink?
Step 3: Hitting the ball
The racquet face must brush the back of the ball in an upward motion with the same force as a first serve when making a kick serve. The kick serve won’t penetrate the air as rapidly as a flat serve, but it will produce enough arc to cross the net and land in the opposing service box, as well as enough topspin to cause a sharp bounce upwards.
Following through is crucial because it will guarantee that the ball receives the maximum amount of spin and force. If you are right-handed, follow through by lowering the racket until it is almost in contact with your left foot’s toes. If you are serving left-handed, the follow-through is the opposite: when you smash the ball, bring the racket down until it almost touches your right foot’s toes. As you proceed, keep your distance from the starting point. Avoid finishing too deep into the court to avoid tripping over your own feet. Also Read: 10 Best Tennis Umpires In The World