When you play a tennis match, often times you are given the choice to serve first or to let your opponent serve first. What should a tennis player choose? Here we’ll look at the benefits of serving first or second.
Benefit of Serving First:
Serving first in a tennis match (tournament or friendly match) has its benefits and a couple of drawbacks. The benefits greatly outweigh the drawback, but ultimately it is up to the tennis player. Having the ability to serve first is a good start for those tennis players who get the pre match jitters, serving first allows you to take a crack at your first serve (even if it doesn’t go in), you know, to loosen up a little bit.
You also have the ability to size up your opponents return of serve, what is their weakness, what placement tendencies do they have? Having this knowledge is hugely beneficial in terms of how to serve to your opponent! If you have a big first serve and a big kick second serve, you also have the advantage of intimidation. If you hold serve, you are already out in front, on the scoreboard and mentally, this way you are not fighting an uphill battle during the next game.
One of the more important benefits of serving first is that you are, after the first game, going to serve after your opponent, especially on changeovers. You see, when you sit down for a minute or two, your muscles tend to cool down a little bit and it takes you a little to get back to a normal playing condition. So, after the first changeover, you have to return, which is great since your body will have an entire game to warm back up and be nice and loose for your service game. Bonus!
There is one particularly big drawback for choosing to serve first; if you bomb your service game, you are already out of the gate one game down and your ego has taken a major beating. Losing serve, especially if you are serving first, can rattle even the most seasoned of tennis players. We all know that anything you do, no matter what, most of it is mental. If you are losing your mind after losing your first service game, you can pretty much kiss that first (or second) set goodbye.
Benefit of Serving Second:
Suppose you lost the coin toss, are you already at a disadvantage? Not so fast! You could still have the upper hand (or racquet)!
Having to serve second really gives you the ability to get all the jitters out of your system without having to put a serve in. If your opponent is nervous and is struggling to get his or her serve in, you can really pounce on the serves and hit a clean winning return! Generally if a tennis player is nervous on serve, they tend to let up a little and not hit their serves as hard, so you will have to take advantage of that right off the bat.
If your opponents are nervous and not really in control of their service game, and you win the first game, not only you are already a game up, but you now have the confidence on your service game. Now you can serve with confidence and fire away at your serves, game set match!
Like it says earlier in this post, serving second does have its drawbacks, your body could get cold and you could struggle on your serve. Or you too could suffer from nervousness and dump your service game.
As you have read this post, you’ll notice the operative subject here is the mental game of tennis. If you are a nervous wreck on the tennis court, it will show in your tennis game and you will more than likely lose the match and that will only hurt you more. Try to keep the confidence up and do not worry about who you are playing against, how big their serve is, or what the score is. Just keep plugging away at your tennis strokes and do everything that you practice!
To sum it up, who should serve first? That’s entirely up to you. If you feel confident enough to serve first then do it, but if you take a little longer to warm up, serve second. As long as you are trying to play your best tennis, everything will be well.
Do you prefer to serve first or second?
- First (67%, 6 Votes)
- Second (33%, 3 Votes)
Total Voters: 9