The Heavy Slice Serve: Photo Lesson

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Your Citation
Cooper, Jeff. "The Heavy Slice Serve: Photo Lesson." ThoughtCo, Aug. 22, 2016, thoughtco.com/the-heavy-slice-serve-photo-lesson-3208247. Cooper, Jeff. (2016, August 22). The Heavy Slice Serve: Photo Lesson. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/the-heavy-slice-serve-photo-lesson-3208247 Cooper, Jeff. "The Heavy Slice Serve: Photo Lesson." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/the-heavy-slice-serve-photo-lesson-3208247 (accessed October 24, 2017).
01
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Grip, Toss Hold, and Stance

Heavy Slice Serve Grip, Toss Hold, and Stance
(C)2006 Jeff Cooper licensed to About.com, Inc.

The heavy slice serve as shown here has nearly pure sidespin, generated by striking the ball from its center toward what would be its 3:00 position if it were a clock face. The lack of topspin in this serve limits its margin of clearance over the net, so it is usually hit at less than 75% the speed of a topspin-slice serve, and it is too risky to make sense as a second serve. The heavy slice serve curves to the left (from the perspective of a right-handed server) in the air, and on hard courts and grass it also takes a pronounced, skidding left turn on the bounce. On clay, its sideward bounce is greatly reduced. The sharp curve of the heavy slice serve can be used either to pull the receiver quite wide and open up the court or to jam him with a ball that suddenly curves into his body.

02
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Knee Bend and Body Coil on Wind-up

Knee Bend and Body Coil on Wind-up
(C)2006 Jeff Cooper licensed to About.com, Inc.
  • Upward thrust from the legs doesn't need to be as powerful in the heavy slice serve as in other serves, but it does contribute to meeting the ball at a higher point of contact.
  • Shoulders are turned roughly 45 degrees farther toward the back fence than the hips.
  • Right foot has slid to the right, helping align the body for hitting the ball extremely wide in the service box. The serve could still be hit up the middle from this stance, but an astute receiver might perceive an early signal of wide placement.
03
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Elbow Up, Racquet Down

Elbow Up, Racquet Down
(C)2006 Jeff Cooper licensed to About.com, Inc.
  • Legs have driven upward.
  • Upper body has uncoiled.
  • Racquet dropped low maximizes swing length to create high racquet-head speed.
  • Upper arm not as vertical as on topspin-slice serve, because swing will be somewhat less upward and more to the right.
  • Elbow bent at a little more than 90 degrees.
  • Relaxed wrist lets racquet hang at 90 degrees from the line of the forearm.
04
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Swing Begins Edge-First

Swing Begins Edge-First
(C)2006 Jeff Cooper licensed to About.com, Inc.
  • As upper arm drives upward, forward, and to the right, the racquet starts to move upward in an edge-first position.
05
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One Frame Before Contact

One Frame Before Contact
(C)2006 Jeff Cooper licensed to About.com, Inc.
  • Elbow is straightening.
  • Racquet remains in edge-first position as it approaches ball.
  • Inertial lag in racquet has increased racquet's angle to the line of the forearm to slightly greater than 90 degrees.
06
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Contact

Contact
(C)2006 Jeff Cooper licensed to About.com, Inc.
  • As elbow straightens, forearm naturally pronates.
  • Strings are imparting spin to the ball by brushing from its center toward its 3:00 position.
  • Point of contact lower and farther to the right than on a topspin-slice serve.
07
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One Frame After Contact

One Frame After Contact
(C)2006 Jeff Cooper licensed to About.com, Inc.
  • Racquet's continuing movement to the right evidences the left-to-right brushing action it has just imparted to the ball.
08
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Follow-Through

Follow-Through
(C)2006 Jeff Cooper licensed to About.com, Inc.
  • Follow-through ends on the left, as with most other serves.
  • Minimal forward movement of body is evidenced by right foot much less forward at this point than it would be on a topspin-slice serve.
09
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Where Ball Lands

Where Ball Lands
(C)2006 Jeff Cooper licensed to About.com, Inc.
  • Ball lands just inside the sideline. Without the sidespin-induced curving in the air, it would have landed at least two feet farther right.
10
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Where Sideward Bounce Carries Ball

Where Sideward Bounce Carries Ball
(C)2006 Jeff Cooper licensed to About.com, Inc.
  • Barely visible ball has curved almost to the side fence of the court. The receiver would have to hit an aggressive, probably difficult return to keep the server from hitting the next shot as an easy winner into the open court.