Tennis 101: How to Serve

Want to start a tennis match the right way? Learn the basics of a serve.

Mastering the serve in tennis is crucial in the development of any player.

A serve is a shot that starts a point. A player will hit the ball from behind the baseline so it travels over the net to the diagonally opposite service box. While difficult for some beginners, developing your serve can help lead to success on the court.


It’s important to remember the grip of a racket is not circular but instead shaped more like an octagon. The racket is designed this way to help you find the right grip for your shot.

The proper way to serve starts with how you hold the racket. To begin, align your first knuckle on the grip on top of the racket and turn it one notch to the left. You should feel as if you preparing to use hammer.

It’s also important that you do not hold the racket too tightly. A relaxed grip can lead to a powerful and fluid serve.


The next step is as important as the grip – getting the serving motion down.

Begin by placing the racket next to your ear as if you are answering a telephone. This position will place your body in the best way so you’ll be ready to serve.

You will then slowly toss the ball into the air and swing through to send the ball off to start the point.  Bouncing the tennis ball a couple of times before your serve can help with the rhythm of the movements as well.

Developing a strong serve can take time to accomplish. The No. 1 thing that can make or break your tennis skills is the same as many other sports: practice. Keep these tips in mind as you head to the court, and you will be on your way to becoming a serving ace.