Rules of tennis serve-BestTennisGuide

Rules of Tennis Serve – Everything You Need to Know

When you hit the ball, the game starts. That’s called the Serve as well as service. Tennis serve has some rules. By following them, you can ensure a good hit that might earn you a point. A single-serve can change your luck if you can provide the best angle. However, we are going to explain all the rules of the tennis serve.

To ensure the best tennis serve, you should follow some tips and rules. Here, our write-up will give you that, and be sure to have the best possible ways to make your service precise.


Why Should You Know The Rules of Tennis Serve?

Knowing the rules of tennis serve is an advantage for you. If you get all the rules and practice them on the field, there is no chance to lose any points accidentally.

As a tennis lover or player, you should know the rules of the tennis serve. It will help you to avoid any mistakes regarding the Serve. Keep on reading to explore more and be a confident tennis player.

Types of Tennis Serve

Before starting the rules, you should know about the types of tennis serve. Usually, there are four types of tennis serve that players mostly use. We are about to explore them. Let’s get started.

  1. Flat Serve
  2. Slice Serve
  3. Kick Serve
  4. Underhand Serve

Tennis Flat Serve

Flat Serve

When you hit the ball with all possible powers, the ball still crosses the net without going high is called a flat serve. It’s a widespread serve practice. You can ensure the best force here. As a result, your opponent needs to hit your Serve very quickly. If they make any mistake, you will get the point.

But flat Serve has some issues as well. If your opponent returns your Serve with power, and very soon, you will find it hard to return if you don’t have that experience. So, the flat Serve is for experienced tennis players.

Slice Serve

Slice serve is another popular serve type. Players regularly use slice help to get some creative advantages on the field. By slice serve, you can create sidespin. That sidespin creates a high bounce which might amaze your opponent quickly.

The best part of the slice serve is the open field. Your opponent has to return the service from the corner or the “T” place when you ideally make it. As a result, you will get the entire field to hit the ball again. It creates a 50/50 chance for the players to earn points.

Tennis Slice and Kick Serve

Kick Serve

When you get the confidence to play tennis for years, you have the experience to practice something new. Here comes the Kick Serve. It requires patience and practice to get the skill ideally.

The kick serve is known for less power and more control. It’s an advance serve. You need to practice a lot to have this skill and only then try to demonstrate it.

Underhand Serve

If you want to know about the rare serve type, you are good to go. Underhand Serve is the least used Serve in tennis. You will find very few players do it.

Contact point and the follow-through traveling are different from most overhead Serve. Here you need to ensure the tennis ball goes through below the shoulder. It is not an ideal practice for the players.

This service is only applicable to children who are just starting to learn tennis. It will also be a good way for the players who have shoulder injuries.

tennis Underhand Serve

Rules of the second Serve

In tennis, you get two serves. If your first Serve is a fault or your ball doesn’t cross the net or is stuck in halfway, it will be a fault. But it will not cost you any points. You will get a second chance.

You need to hit the tennis ball from the same half the second time, maintaining the same rules. But if you make a mistake again, your opponent will get the point.

Rules on LET serves

There is a LET serve in tennis as well. To be exact, there are three reasons why your Serve will be considered as the LET serve. Here you go with those reasons.

  • If your served ball touches the band, strap, or the net and falls into the correct court, it will be a LET Serve.
  • When your served ball touches the net, band, or strap and then touches your opponent, it will be a LET Serve.
  • If you serve, but your opponent or the receiver is not ready, it will be a LET serve.

If you make any of these mistakes, your Serve will not count. You need to serve again. Keep in mind; that your Let will not help you to cancel the previous fault.

Serving Fault in Tennis

Serving Fault in Tennis

Here comes the serving fault part. It’s the primary concern for tennis players. You must keep these faults in your mind and try to avoid them. When you practice for a while and years, you will not face serving fault issues.

It’s time to show you some common faults that the players do.

Serving faults:

  • Foot faults come first. If you do any foot fault, you will lose the Serve.
  • If you fail to hit the ball while serving.
  • Before hitting the ground, if your served ball touches the net or fixture.
  • As a server, if the served ball touches your body part or anything.

These are the prevalent faults players do in tennis serving. It would be best if you avoided them. But there is a fun fact. If you catch the ball in the air before hitting it and decide to change your angle or position a bit, it won’t be a server fault. And to improve it you need to practice tennis at home regularly.

Foot Fault in Tennis

As we told before, foot fault comes first while serving in tennis. You need to be careful about your footwork; otherwise, you will lose your Serve, and eventually, you might lose points if you miss the second Serve.

First of all, you cannot change your serving position by walking or body movement. It creates confusion for the receiver. That’s why you cannot do that by any means. All you can do is the slight movement of the feet.

As a server, you should avoid touching the baseline or the court. You are not allowed to do it with your foot.

Then, you cannot touch the imaginary sideline with your feet. Sometimes, it will count as a fault.

Finally, players cannot touch the central mark of the imaginary extension. You should control your foot movement. If you accidentally touch that, it will be a foot fault, and you will lose a serve. And if it’s your second Serve, you are going to pay for it.

How to Serve in Tennis

The tennis serve is a real challenge for the players. You need to be settled and rest your feet. Controlling the footwork is a must requirement for a good serve. But keeping some basic rules will help you to make a better serve.

First thing first, rest your feet and take a breath. Then stand between the baseline and sideline. Don’t touch them with any of your feet. 

Then release the ball and hit it with your racket. Don’t miss it. And do it perfectly. If you miss it, it will be a serve fault. This entire process is called service motion. You will complete the service motion if you hit the ball with the racket or miss it.

However, you need to serve diagonally. You cannot serve in the same direction. When you hit the ball, it must cross the net and reach the diagonal court as well.  

Definition of Server & Receiver

Who is the server? Basically, the player who starts off the game by hitting the ball is the server in tennis. He/she serves first to get the point, but not always.

On the other hand, the player who receives the ball and hits it to return to your court is the receiver in tennis.

Order of Serve in Tennis

There is an order of Serve in tennis. There is a common rule that you need to follow. Especially if you are a beginner, you should consider memorizing it. However, you can practice and learn everything in days or weeks.

Singles Tennis Match

If you play the singles, there is no more particular rule for the server or receiver. After every game, the server will become the receiver, and the receiver will be the server. That’s simple.

Doubles Tennis Match

Here comes the challenging part. You need to follow a circle and an ongoing rule. In doubles matches, you play as a team. There are two teams. Each team has two players.

When you start playing, one team will be due to serve in the first game. That team will decide the server for that game. But the next game of the set, your opponent will decide who will serve for that particular game.

In that case, the player who serves in the first game will serve in the 3rd game. On the other hand, the player or teammate who serves in the 2nd game will also serve in the 4th game. This is a simple rotation.

You might find it confusing, but it’s easy. When you start playing and practicing in a couple of games, you will get the rotation point. That rotation will continue until the end of that particular set. are you sure that tennis is a team sport? We have discussed it in detail here.

Final Thoughts

Tennis has some rules to follow; in fact, every game has some. Rules of tennis serve should be a familiar term to you. You need to know about the serve faults, foot faults, LET serves, and other common issues.

We talked about everything on the tennis serve. If we missed anything, comment below and let us know. We will be delighted to add them to our list.

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