TennisCompanion https://tenniscompanion.org Elevate Your Level Of Play Thu, 16 Aug 2018 13:00:45 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.8.1 3 Types of Tennis Serves: Flat, Slice, and Kick https://tenniscompanion.org/types-of-serves/ https://tenniscompanion.org/types-of-serves/#respond Thu, 16 Aug 2018 12:13:40 +0000 https://tenniscompanion.org/?p=5596

If you’re looking to develop an effective serve that’s a weapon, then it’s crucial to understand and learn how to execute the three different types of tennis serves.

If you’re not familiar, the three primary types of tennis serves include the following – click any of these links to jump straight to that section.

In this article, we’ll cover the following for each type of serve:

  • An overview
  • The advantages and disadvantages
  • How to toss the ball
  • The ideal contact point and racquet angle
  • Tips for the best result

Let’s start by talking briefly about why you should learn the three types of tennis serves.

Why Learn 3 Different Types of Tennis Serves?

When you’re first getting started with tennis, your primary goal will likely be to develop a single reliable serve that allows you to begin a point and play the game.

As your game improves, learning all three different types of serves will allow you to compete at a higher level by bringing greater variety to your service game.

Remember, when you serve you have a huge advantage because you begin the point on offense and therefore can control and dictate the point from the start.

However, your ability to control and dictate the point is tied heavily to executing an effective serve that keeps your opponent guessing and prevents them from establishing a rhythm.

That’s where variety is king and why learning the three different types of serves is crucial.

Serves for Different Players & Court Surfaces

Another point that’s worth mentioning is your ability to hit more than one type of serve will allow you to be more competitive against different players and on various court surfaces.

For example, if you’re 6’ tall and playing an opponent who is 5’4” then you might be able to take advantage of their height by hitting a kick serve that’s way out of their strike zone or even over their head making it challenging for them to return.

On the other hand, if you were to try that same serve against an opponent who is 6’5” then you may find it lands much closer to their strike zone allowing them to hit an easy return.

For the taller opponent, who might not move as well as a shorter player, you might hit a slice serve at their body because they’ll struggle to reposition themselves quickly when returning.

The same goes for court surfaces. If you’re playing on a clay court, you may love your kick serve where you benefit from the higher bounces that make this serve even more challenging to return.

However, on grass, that same kick serve won’t jump nearly as high reducing its efficacy so you might rely on your slice serve that stays low making it challenging to return when playing on grass.

Ultimately, the greater variety of serves you can hit the more you can adjust your strategy to compete at a higher level against different players and on various court surfaces.

The Flat Serve

The flat serve is perhaps one of the most sought-after serves in tennis because it’s synonymous with power and the ability to hit an ace.

The flat serve gets its name from the fact that minimal spin is applied to the ball when making contact. As a result, when the flat serve hits the court, it tends to bounce low and continue straight forward from where it lands in the court.

Advantages

  • Speed: the faster a serve is hit, the less time your opponent will have to react which can cause players to make contact with the ball late or mistime their shot.
  • Easy points: a well placed flat serve is perfect for winning a point outright with an ace or at the very minimum forcing your opponent to block the ball back for an easy setup or putaway shot.
  • Low bounce: as the name suggests, flat serves have minimal spin. As a result, when the ball hits the court, it stays low which forces a player to have to bend and get low or return out of their strike zone.

Disadvantages

  • A low margin of error: easily the biggest downside of the hard flat serve is that it’s challenging to keep it in, let alone place it well in the service box. As a result, the overuse of a hard flat serve can lead to giving away too many free points or forcing you to rely heavily on your second serve.
  • Reaction time: the same speed that makes it difficult for your opponent to return a hard flat serve can make it challenging for you to field a well-executed return off of a flat serve because you’ll have less time to react.
  • Serve and volley: due to the shorter reaction time that you may have fielding your opponent’s return it can be challenging to move forward and volley.

Helpful tip: generally speaking, the taller you are, the easier it will be to execute a hard flat serve because you have more clearance over the net and therefore a higher margin for error. Conversely, if you’re short, the flat serve is more challenging to execute because you have less clearance over the net which reduces your margin of error.

Flat Serve Technique

Let’s take a look at some of the finer details that will help ensure you can hit a great flat serve.

Grip

First and foremost, it’s important to make sure you’re using the correct grip for the flat serve. The good news is that you’ll use the continental grip for all three types of serves, so you only need to learn this one grip if you’re not already familiar with it.

Toss Placement

When hitting a flat serve, you’ll want your toss to be placed roughly 12-18 inches in front of you and approximately 6 inches to the right your tossing arms shoulder at the peak of the toss. For an in-depth review of the serve toss, be sure to check out our post on perfecting your serve toss technique.

This photo was snapped at the height of the toss so you can get a sense for accurate placement.

Flat Serve: Toss Placement

Contact Point & Racquet Angle

Next, let’s talk about how to make contact with the ball. Since you’re looking to hit the ball flat or without any spin, you’ll want to try to strike the ball directly from behind without brushing up on the ball or hitting the side of the ball.

Here’s a photo that shows the contact point against the ball as well as the correct racquet face angle which is flat to avoid putting spin on the ball.

Flat Serve: Contact Point & Racquet Angle

Flat Serve Video

Now that you know what to look for when hitting a flat serve here’s a video that shows the entire flat service motion. I’ve included brief stops to help you get a sense for toss placement, contact, point, and racquet angle.

Types of Tennis Serves: Flat Serve

Flat Serve Tips

When hitting a flat serve here are a few tips to keep in mind:

Avoid Overuse

Many players enjoy hitting a big flat serve and rely almost exclusively on it as their first serve even if they only make 10% of them. The problem with this mentality and a low first serve percentage is that it takes a great deal of pressure off your opponent.

Typically, your opponent will be in defense mode when returning your first serve because they know that you can throw anything at them. However, once you miss your first serve, the pressure equalizes to a degree.

On your side, there is pressure to hit your second serve in, which forces you to take some pace off the serve, and subsequently gives your opponent more confidence in their return.

As a result, it can be beneficial to avoid overusing a big flat serve and to use other types of serves that have a higher margin of error while focusing on quality placement to put the pressure on your opponent.

Use it Strategically

Since a big flat serve has a lower margin for error, it’s worth being thoughtful when you choose to use it. For example, if you’re up 40-15 when serving, you might throw a big flat serve in to try and close out the game. If you miss, the pressure is still on your opponent to hit a great return off your slower second serve.

On the other hand, if you’re down 15-40, a big flat serve can be a considerable risk. If you miss, then you’ll have to rely on your second serve to keep you in the game with your opponent ready to take a chance themselves and close out the game.

Use the Middle of the Net

Since the lowest part of the net is in the middle it is easier to execute a flat serve down the middle on both sides of the court.

The Slice Serve

The slice serve is a highly effective serve that can become a huge weapon when perfected. What makes the slice serve unique is the sidespin applied to the ball which causes it to move from right to left (if you’re a righty) through the air and continue to move in that direction off of the bounce.

The slice serve’s name comes from the brushing action or slice applied to the tennis ball to produce side spin.

Advantages

  • Natural to hit: if you’re using the continental service grip then the slice serve is likely the serve you’ll have the most natural time hitting based on the contact point and angle of the racquet used which we’ll discuss below.
  • Open up the court: one of the most effective uses of the slice serve is to pull your opponent out wide in the deuce court if you’re a righty and ad court if you’re a lefty. By doing so, you’re opening up the court and providing yourself with a broad range of shot-making opportunities.
  • Crowd your opponent: another frequent use of the slice serve is to hit up the center of the service box so that the ball moves into your opponent’s body after it bounces. A body serve will crowd your opponent and make it hard for them to get out of the way to hit a clean return.
  • Low bounce: a well-executed slice serve forces your opponent to use their legs and bend down or hit out of their strike zone because the ball stays low due to its side spin.
  • Opposite arms: if you’re right-handed playing a lefty or vice versa, then the slice serve can be a great weapon to attack your opponent’s backhand out wide in the deuce court if you’re a righty and the ad court if you’re a lefty.

Disadvantages

  • Consistency: because the slice serve requires a generous amount of sidespin to be effective many players tend to overhit which often leads to inconsistency.
  • Telegraphing: often players will exaggerate their toss to achieve more spin and in doing so give away the fact that they’re about to hit a slice serve. It may not matter if you execute the serve well, but that split second tip may give your opponent an edge on the return.

Slice Serve Technique

Let’s take a look at how to hit a slice serve with proper technique.

Grip

While some players and coaches might suggest that you can use an eastern grip for your slice serve, I’d recommend against it for two main reasons.

  • First, if you’re using an eastern grip, you’re most likely overcompensating for poor technique.
  • Second, changing your grip can be a dead giveaway to your opponent as to what type of serve you’re about to hit.

The truth is, a continental serve grip is highly effective for all types of tennis serves. You just need to learn to use it for a great slice serve which takes time and patience.

Toss Placement

Similar to the flat serve, you’ll want to place your toss about 12-18 inches in front of you and approximately 6 inches to the right of your tossing arms shoulder at the peak of the toss allowing for natural contact with the ball.

Initially, you may be inclined to toss the ball a little further right than you do for your flat serve to make contacting the side of the ball a bit more pronounced and establish feel.

However, if you do adjust your toss, keep in mind that a good returner might pick up on the change in your toss and give them a hint of the type of serve and where you might be inclined to hit it.

Slice Serve: Toss Placement

Contact Point & Racquet Angle

With the slice serve, you’ll want to make contact with the outer edge of the ball to generate sidespin. However, you’ll also want to hit up slightly to give the ball a bit of topspin so that it drops back down into the court.

Here’s a photo to show you what your contact point should look like for a slice serve. It’s a bit subtle in the photo, but hopefully compared to the flat serve you can tell the racquet is coming towards the ball at an angle with a bit of upward motion.

This gives the ball the spin or slice you’re looking for while also making sure there’s just enough topspin to bring the ball back down into the court.

Slice Serve: Contact Point & Racquet Angle

Slice Serve Video

Here’s a video that brings together all the different pieces of a slice serve and once again includes a pause so you can see the toss placement, contact point, and racquet angle as part of the entire service motion.

Types of Tennis Serves: Slice Ser

Slice Serve Tips

Here are a few tips to keep in mind to help execute an effective slice serve:

Avoid Overhitting

When you’re learning the slice serve it can be relatively easy to overhit as you attempt to generate side spin, however with practice and the proper technique you shouldn’t need to swing considerably harder to create more spin.

In fact, hitting a slice serve at 75% of your max swing speed can be a great tactic because the side spin combined with the change in pace will often throw off your opponent.

Go out wide: the slice serve is perfect for opening up the tennis court. If you’re a righty, hitting a slice serve out wide in the deuce court will draw your opponent off the court leaving the rest of the court open for a follow-up shot that puts you in a position to move forward and attack.

Keep Court Surface in Mind

A slice serve is a fantastic weapon on any court surface. However, you can use it to your advantage on certain court surfaces.

For example, if you’re lucky enough to have access to play on grass courts then keep in mind that the slice serve is a fantastic serve for this surface. The ball will naturally bounce less on grass which plays terrifically with the slice serve which also doesn’t bounce high. The result can be a very low bouncing serve that is hard to return.tr

The Kick Serve

Of all the serves, the kick serve is arguably the most valuable and highly sought after for players to learn. However, it’s often one of the most challenging serves to develop.

For most players, the kick serve has become the default second serve. It’s consistent, provides players with a significant level of control, and can be used to attack a returners weaknesses with precision.

The kick serve gets its name from how the ball jumps or kicks up off the ground as a result of heavy topspin applied to the ball.

Advantages

  • Consistency: with time and practice, the kick serve can develop into an incredibly consistent and reliable serve for players of all levels. The consistency comes from the fact that the kick serve is hit high above the net with significant topspin which causes the ball to drop back into the service box. As a result, the kick serve can naturally decrease a player’s margin of error making it a popular choice as a second serve.
  • Control: similarly to consistency, the heavy topspin applied to the ball during a kick serve provides players with increased control. As a result, you can accurately place the ball within the service box and attack weaknesses in your opponents game. For example, if you notice your opponent has a weak backhand you might put pressure on them by continually serving to that side.
  • High bounce: true to its name, the kick serve springs off the ground and bounces high. Again, this is due to the heavy topspin applied to the ball during the serving motion, which allows you to hit high above the net with the ball quickly diving back down into the service box and then kicking up after the bounce. Often, players can get the ball to jump well out of their opponents strike zone which makes it a great serve that can be challenging to return.

Disadvantages

  • Slower pace: because you apply a tremendous amount of topspin to the tennis ball the kick serve is by nature a slower serve which gives you opponent more reaction time compared to other serve types. Of course, this is where the advantage of control and placement come into play, which should be a conscious part of your serving.
  • Topspin: if you don’t apply enough topspin to the tennis ball it’s likely that the ball will sit at waist height for many players and provide them with an easy return that can quickly put you on the defense. As a result, it’s essential that you commit to the kick serve and strike the ball with confidence.

Kick Serve Technique

Let’s dive into the proper technique for hitting a kick serve.

Grip

Once again, when hitting a kick serve, you should rely on your continental service grip which is ideally suited for this serve.

Toss Placement

While you should strive to maintain an identical toss for your flat and slice serve, the kick serve falls into a category of its own with a different toss that allows you to generate the topspin necessary.

If you remember, the flat and slice serve toss is about 12-18 inches in front of you and approximately 6 inches to the right of your tossing arms shoulder at the peak of the toss. This toss placement allows you to achieve the proper racquet angle for those serves. However, it makes it challenging to get under the ball and apply maximum topspin for the kick serve.

As a result, you should aim to toss the ball directly above your head and slightly behind you, so that when you can swing up to contact the ball, you’re coming from under the ball.

Helpful tip: many players assume “behind” means you need to toss the ball towards the back fence, i.e., behind the baseline. However, assuming you have the correct serve stance, behind you is parallel with the baseline and an important distinction when it comes to the kick serve.

Kick Serve: Toss Placement

Contact Point & Racquet Angle

With the kick serve, you’ll want to contact the ball from bottom to the top of the ball so that you’re hitting or brushing up on the ball.

Hitting up is counterintuitive to many players at first because they’re afraid the ball will sail long. However, by hitting up on the ball, you generate topspin which can bring the ball back down into the court even though you’re hitting up.

As for the angle of your racquet head, you’ll want the edge to be roughly parallel with the baseline. Instead of hitting through the ball as you would with a flat serve, you’ll want to hit up.

Here’s a photo that showcases the contact point and racquet angle when hitting a kick serve.

Kick Serve: Contact Point & Racquet Angle

Kick Serve Video

Here’s a video that showcases the kick serve including the toss, contact point, and racquet angle necessary to generate topspin. Once again, I’ve provided a view of this serve in slow motion so you can easily see the nuances of the different pieces.

Types of Tennis Serves: Kick Serve

Kick Serve Tips

Here are a few tips to keep in mind when hitting a kick serve.

Brush Up

To generate the necessary topspin for your kick serve you need to brush the side of the tennis ball from low to high. This brushing action means you’re allowing the strings of your racquet to make contact with the outermost edge of the tennis ball which causes the ball to spin and ultimately kick up off the ground when it hits the court.

Racquet Head Speed

Another essential element to the kick serve is racquet head speed. Believe it or not, when the pros hit a kick serve their racquet is traveling at roughly the same rate or faster than their flat or slice serve. That’s because racquet head speed is required to create topspin.

Wrist Snap

One of the best ways to increase your racquet head speed is to incorporate a wrist snap as you extend your arm to make contact with the tennis ball. As the previous tip suggests, it’s essential that you relax your grip and wrist to allow for the wrist to move freely. The result will help you generate even more topspin.

Beyond the 3 Types of Tennis Serves

Now that you know the three different types of tennis serves it pays to keep in mind that each serve can be hit in virtually unlimited places in the service box providing you with even greater variety.

Generally speaking, coaches and players will talk about three main spots in the service box:

  • Out wide
  • Down the center, i.e., at the body
  • Down the middle

Since you can hit your serve in any of these locations, you’ll have a minimum of 9 serves in your back pocket that you can hit at any given time – pretty sweet, right?

Add to that the ability to hit your serve at different speeds to throw off your opponent, and you can begin to see why developing different types of serves can be such a huge advantage.

General Tips for The Different Types of Serves

Relax

Regardless of the type of serve you hit, relaxing through your service motion is essential. Frequently, players who are just learning to serve want to hit with power, so they try hard and attempt to muscle the serve over the net. Unfortunately, this approach usually lends itself to tension, which is your serve’s worst enemy, and over time can lead to injury. To help, give yourself a moment before you go to serve. Take a deep breath, bounce the ball, and consciously relax your muscles including your grip and wrist. The result will be a more fluid motion that helps you achieve a better serve.

Use Your Legs

It should go without saying that your legs are critical to your serve, but unfortunately it’s not second nature to most players. If you haven’t had the chance, I’d highly recommend you check out our post on the serve trophy pose which will show you how to get the most out of your serve while incorporating your legs to help you generate power.

Hit With Confidence

Last but not least, another element that will help you produce a fantastic serve is going for it and hitting with confidence. While this might seem like another no-brainer, it’s common for players to be tentative with their serve, which prevents them from executing to their fullest. As you work to practice your serve, do so with confidence and allow yourself the freedom to mess up while you establish the basic feel and rhythm to develop your serve.

Conclusion

Hopefully, you’ve enjoyed this post on the three different types of serves. While we’ve tried to provide a thorough examination of the three different types of serves, we realize it can be challenging to answer every question a reader might have.

If something isn’t clear or you have any questions, please feel free to submit a comment below – we’d love to hear from you! After all, if you have a question, it’s more than likely another one of our readers does too which helps our entire community.

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Tennis Serve Toss: Technique, Tips & Drills for Perfection https://tenniscompanion.org/serve-toss/ https://tenniscompanion.org/serve-toss/#respond Sat, 11 Aug 2018 21:25:53 +0000 http://www.tenniscompanion.org/?p=4377

The tennis serve ball toss is easily the most underrated motion of the tennis serve that can either be an asset or wreak havoc on your game.

In this article, we’re going to do an in-depth look the tennis serve toss and provide you with everything you need to develop or improve your ball toss.

More specifically, we’re going to cover:

The Importance of a Great Toss

Similar to your serve stance, your toss is vital to developing an effective serve.

Let’s take a look at four key reasons why the serve toss is so important.

  • Consistency: your ability to hit a consistent serve is partially dependent on your ability to perform the same service motion time and time again. If your serve toss is inconsistent, poorly placed or not at the appropriate height, then it makes it challenging to perform the same service motion over and over, which subsequently may lead to an inconsistent serve.
  • Accuracy: similar to consistency, an accurate serve starts with a well-placed toss that enables you to perform the same service motion over and over so that you can direct the ball exactly where you want it to go. Without a quality toss, you may find it considerably more challenging to place your serve accurately.
  • Comfort: a well-placed toss will also help ensure you feel comfortable throughout your service motion, which will, in turn, help you stay relaxed, generate power and avoid injury after years of repetition.
  • Power: last but not least, your toss can assist in ensuring you benefit from the energy stored in your trophy pose and service motion. If you do not place your toss well, you may find yourself overreaching or crowding yourself, which will make it more challenging to accelerate through the serve to generate power.

Hopefully, these reasons help convince you that developing an excellent tennis serve toss is a worthy investment of your time.

Let’s move on to talk about the technique required to learn or perfect your serve toss.

Proper Toss Technique

To simplify the motion for your serve toss, let’s break the technique down and discuss three key components:

  • The joints of your arm
  • Leading with your elbow
  • How to hold the tennis ball

The Joints of Your Arm & The Toss

When you’re not tossing a tennis ball for your serve, the joints of your arm are obviously incredibly useful. Joints enable a range of motion and allow your arm to move freely, however when it comes to your serve toss, it’s crucial to limit movement within specific joints so that you can achieve consistency.

If we stop to think about it for a moment, there are four primary parts to your arm where joints are present:

  • Shoulder
  • Elbow
  • Wrist
  • Fingers

Tennis Serve Toss - Joints of the Arm

If we allow all of our joints to move freely throughout the tossing motion, there are more moving parts which increase our margin of error.

However, we can easily solve for this by eliminating the movement in our elbow, wrist, and fingers so that our shoulder can do the work.

To practice, set your feet in the correct serve stance and then hold your tossing arm out in front of you roughly in-line with your front foot and your palm facing up.

Keep your elbow and wrist straight and practice moving your arm up and down with your shoulder. Be careful not to lock your elbow and your wrist by flexing your forearm or bicep because tension in your arm will make it challenging to achieve fluidity within your shoulder and for the rest of your body throughout the service motion.

Instead, you’ll want to hold your tossing arm straight and limit motion within our elbow, wrist, and fingers so that our shoulder is the only joint responsible for the toss and acting like a lever.

Tennis Serve Toss - Joints of the Arm Motion

Leading with Your Elbow

A common challenge for players with their tossing motion is that they think of it more like a swinging motion than a lifting motion. Here’s an example of an incorrect toss motion:

Tennis Serve Toss - Incorrect Motion

It’s a subtle distinction, but it can make a big difference in the result of your toss. The good news is that there is an easy fix for this.

When performing your toss visualize leading the tossing arm with our elbow. It can be helpful even to imagine that there is a string tied around your elbow that is lifting your arm from that spot.

Leading with your elbow helps naturally transition your tossing arm from a swinging motion to a smooth lifting motion. It also has another significant side effect of helping keep your elbow roughly straight and eliminating that joint from the movement.

How to Hold The Tennis Ball

Last but not least, as we work our way down the arm let’s talk about how to hold the tennis ball in your hand. As with the rest of your tossing motion, the key is to limit movement, so that you can perform your toss consistently every time.

To accomplish this, you’ll want to hold the tennis ball in your fingertips, which has the benefit of removing your finger joints from the equation, while also ensuring nothing gets in the way of the ball the moment you release it from your hand.

I recommend using three or four fingers when holding the ball. Doing so should provide you with a secure enough grip but limits the number of touch points against the ball helping eliminate unnecessary movement or contact during the release. You’ll likely have to play around with each to see what feels comfortable.

The following image shows examples which should help you hold a tennis ball just right.

How to Hold a Tennis Ball for a Serve Toss

The image furthest to the left, shows an example of holding a tennis ball too deep within your palm, which brings all of your fingers into the mix and significantly increases the likelihood of an inaccurate toss.

In the next photo to the right, the ball position is away from the palm which is better, but your fingers are still heavily involved, which again increases the likelihood that your toss will go awry.

In the third photo from the right, the ball isn’t terribly positioned, but what you’ll find is that you still may get some rolling action off of the tips of your fingers. If the ball is rolling off your fingers, it’s going to be significantly more challenging to achieve consistency with your toss.

The final image on the right is held just right. The ball is held at your fingertips while still providing sufficient grip.

Helpful tip: don’t grip the ball in your fingertips too hard. In fact, I recommend that you hold the ball more like an egg so that you remove tension from your tossing arm, which allows you to release the ball quickly and toss more smoothly.

To practice, set your feet in the correct serve stance and then hold your tossing arm out in front of you roughly in-line with your front foot and the ball in your fingertips.

Lift your arm with your shoulder, leading with the elbow and then roughly when your hand reaches the top of your head release the ball and open your hand completely.

That last part “open your hand completely,” can be helpful to consciously think about during your toss because it forces you to quickly release all of your fingers simultaneously, which limits misdirection off your fingertips.

How to Toss a Tennis Ball

Now that you understand the proper technique behind the serve toss, let’s string all of the steps together.

If you haven’t already, I’d highly recommend you check out our article on the trophy pose so you can link the toss with the rest of the trophy pose motion.

Doing so helps ensure you’re learning and practicing your toss as you would within a match, rather than only practicing the toss standing still.

  1. Set your feet in the correct serve stance
  2. With your weight slightly forward on your front foot bounce the ball a few times in front of you and release any tension from your hands, arm, and body
  3. Hold a tennis ball lightly in your fingertips and move your hands into the ready position with the ball lightly touching your tennis racquet in front of you
  4. Begin transferring your weight slowly towards your back foot
  5. As your weight reaches your back foot start to move into your trophy pose
    1. Drop your hands down together and then lift your tossing arm towards the sky using your shoulder. Lead with your elbow and keep your arm straight. Once your arm reaches the top of your head open your hand wide to release the ball.
    2. As your tossing arm moves upward, allow your dominant arm that is holding your racquet to swing back like a pendulum behind you and then continue up behind your head.
    3. Bend your knees so that you’ve achieved a full bend by the time your arms complete their motion.

Here’s a quick video showing all of these steps linked together:

How to Toss a Tennis Ball for Serving

Now that you know how to toss a tennis ball let’s get a little bit more specific about the appropriate release point, height and placement for your serve toss.

The Ideal Release Point

As you release the ball for your toss, you’ll likely find the proper release point naturally, but if you’re wondering, the ideal release point for your toss typically falls between eye level to the top of your head.

Tennis Serve Toss Release Point

That release height ensures you’re not releasing the ball too early, which can make it difficult to place your toss accurately, or too late, which can also lead to an inaccurate toss.

The Height of Your Toss

At first glance, the height of your toss may not seem like a big deal. However, your toss height does play a rather significant role in your ability to execute a quality serve.

There are three main reasons why the height of your toss is essential:

  • Timing: when you toss a tennis ball you’re providing yourself with just enough time to complete your service motion, which includes the trophy pose as well as your swing. If you toss the ball too high, you’re going to be forced to pause in your trophy pose or hesitate and wait for the ball to fall to a height where you can strike it with your racquet. If you toss the ball too low, you won’t have enough time to complete your service motion.
  • Comfort: the height of your tennis serve toss is one element that what will help ensure your service motion feels smooth and comfortable, which is important when it comes to generating power. If your toss is too high, you may find yourself overreaching to hit the ball or having to hold your trophy pose unnecessarily for an extended period. On the other hand, if your toss is too low, you may find that you crowd yourself, which doesn’t allow you to fully extend through the serve diminishing your ability to generate power.
  • Power: as mentioned in the previous bullet, the correct serve toss height will enable you to swing comfortably and therefore allow you to generate maximum power and racquet head speed through your service motion.

Of course, that begs the question.

How high should you toss a tennis ball for your serve?

The answer is roughly 2-3 feet above the maximum reach of your racquet. However, it’s important to note that there is no perfect toss height.

Tennis Serve Toss Height

We all come in different shapes and sizes, which causes each of us to execute our service motion with a slightly different rhythm and tempo.

As a result, you need to find the height that allows you to time your serve while maintaining comfort throughout your motion effectively.

Helpful tip: the higher your toss, the more likely it will be subject to the wind. A perfectly executed toss can be thrown off with a stiff breeze, which is worth keeping in mind as you find the toss height that feels right for you.

Toss Placement & Location

Next, let’s review where you should place your serve toss.

To tackle this topic, we’re going to talk about toss placement in context with the three primary types of tennis serves:

  • Flat serve
  • Slice serve
  • Kick serve

Flat Serve Toss Placement

Your ball toss for a flat serve should fall inside the court roughly 12-18 inches in front of you and approximately 6 inches to the right your tossing arms shoulder at the peak of the toss.

You want the ball out in front of you so that you can push up and into the court during your motion, which will help you accelerate through your serve and generate power.

Here’s a quick video from behind so you can get a sense for where you should place the ball for your flat serve.

Tennis Serve Toss - Flat Serve Placement

I’ve paused the video at the peak of the toss so you can see how the ball is roughly in line with my tossing arm’s shoulder.

Keep in mind that the location of your toss should allow you to swing comfortably through your flat serve. If the motion doesn’t feel comfortable, you’ll likely be limiting your potential to generate power with your flat serve.

Slice Serve Toss Placement

Your toss for a slice serve should be placed roughly in the same location as your flat serve. Many players will toss the ball further to the right (if you’re a righty) because it feels easier to hit the ball from the side to generate spin.

However, the vast majority of the spin will result from the angle of your racquet when you contact the ball. As a result, you shouldn’t need to toss further out right to generate the side spin that moves the ball out wide.

The placement of your toss for your slice serve will help you exaggerate the angle and therefore generate more spin.

Here’s a quick video of the proper toss placement from behind for a slice serve.

Tennis Serve Toss - Slice Serve Placement

Again, I’ve paused the video at the peak of the toss so you can see how the ball is and approximately 6 inches to the right your tossing arms shoulder at the peak of the toss, just like the flat serve.

Helpful tip: one of the benefits of having a toss that looks virtually identical for your flat and slice serve is that it makes it harder for your opponent to read where you intended to place your serve.

The concept of “showing” your opponent where you’re going to serve is known as telegraphing your serve.

For example, if you exaggerate your slice serve toss location by placing it further to the right to generate even more slice then you may be giving up the intended placement of your serve, which helps your opponent move more confidently to return the ball.

Kick Serve Toss Placement

When it comes to your kick serve, you’ll want to place your toss inside the court roughly 6-12 inches out in front of you, but you’ll also want to set the toss slightly behind you.

If you were to toss the ball for your kick serve and let the ball fall back to the court, you’d want the ball to land roughly on top of your head or slightly behind your head.

Helpful tip: Keep in mind that “behind you” doesn’t refer to away from and outside the court, i.e., towards the fence at the back of the court. Assuming you’re in the correct serve stance behind you will be tossing the ball roughly parallel with the baseline.

Here’s a quick video from behind for a kick serve.

Tennis Serve Toss - Kick Serve Placement

I’ve paused the above video at the maximum height of the serve again so you can see the difference.

Using this toss and hitting a kick serve allows you to accelerate up and into the tennis ball so that you can generate maximum topspin.

Topspin allows you to hit the ball aggressively while also giving you a large margin of error. The ball will travel higher across the court and above the net, but the topspin that you generate will ensure the ball drops back down into the service box.

With enough topspin, you’ll also achieve a “kick” where the ball jumps upward after making contact with the court, which is where the kick serve gets its name. An effective kick serve will have enough topspin on it so that the ball jumps up and out of your opponent’s strike zone making it challenging to return.

The Perfect Toss Placement

Hopefully, you’ve noticed that there isn’t a perfect place or location to toss a ball that we can teach for each player.

Players come in different shapes, sizes, and builds. Also, the ideal toss location is modified slightly depending on the type of serve you’re hitting, so the exact or perfect toss location can differ.

The important thing is that when you’re practicing your serve that you experiment using my recommendations in the section above as a guide, but find the specific locations that feel good to you.

Once you’ve found an ideal toss location for each type of serve, you’ll want to practice hitting that same spot over and over again using the technique described in this article to achieve accuracy and consistency of placement.

Telegraphing Your Serve

You may have heard of telegraphing your serve or “showing” your opponent what type of serve you’re going to hit through the location of your toss. Telegraphing may happen when the placement of your toss differs for your flat, slice and kick serve.

The good news is that a well-executed toss for your flat and slice serve make it challenging for your opponent to detect because from across the court there should be little if any noticeable change in the toss. Remember, your slice serve toss should be virtually identical to your flat serve.

Players sometimes get themselves into trouble when they exaggerate their slice serve toss further right to get more spin. The change in toss gives your opponent a hint at the type of serve that you intend to hit, such as a slice serve out wide, so they can begin moving in that direction before you even strike the ball.

With your kick serve it’s likely that your opponent will be able to tell the type of serve you’re hitting and generally speaking that’s okay.

For many players, the kick serve is their default second serve. Therefore, your opponent is already expecting you to hit with less pace and a higher margin for error, but they won’t know which direction you intend to hit the ball, i.e., out wide, at their body or down the middle.

Being able to disguise your serve is something that players tend to benefit more from at higher levels of competition where every small advantage can make a huge difference, so don’t get too concerned if you’re just starting out and you’re a bit more obvious with your tosses.

Tips for Perfecting Your Toss

Here are a few tips that will help you execute an effective toss time and time again.

Tip #1: Relax Your Tossing Arm

Before you begin your service motion, make sure to relax your body as well as your tossing arm. Tension, squeezing, or flexing your tossing arm will increase the likelihood of a wild toss, and that pressure will also make it more challenging to execute a fluid service motion.

Tip #2: Open Your Hand to Release the Ball

When you release the ball, it can be helpful to consciously think about opening your hand because it forces you to release all of your fingers simultaneously. This simultaneous release helps decrease the likelihood that you end up with the ball rolling off your fingertips, which is a frequent cause of inaccurate tosses.

Tip #3: Keep Your Tossing Arm Up

When you release the tennis ball from your hand, make sure you keep moving your tossing arm upward. Also, keep your arm up high as long as possible because this will prevent your shoulder from dropping prematurely, which is frequently a problem for players.

If you do allow your shoulder to drop early, you’ll find your shoulders open up to the court slightly, which throws off your service motion hurting the accuracy of your serve and makes it considerably harder to accelerate or generate power.

The shoulder drop tends to be more of a problem for players late in a match when fatigue begins to set in, so make sure you keep your arm up until the moment you start to swing at the tennis ball.

Tip #4: Keep Your Head Up

Similar to keeping your tossing arm up, make sure to keep your head up during your service motion. When you drop your head to look at the court or the direction of the ball you’re more likely to mishit.

Just as important, when you drop your head your body tends to follow so make sure to keep your head up towards the sky along with your tossing arm.

Tip #5: Pick Your Serve

Another helpful tip for your toss is to make sure you’re picking the type of serve you’re hitting before you toss the ball. As we’ve talked about, there are slight variations in your toss placement depending on which kind of serve you’re hitting, so you want to make sure the toss is accurate.

Some players will change the type of serve they’re going to hit halfway through their service motion, so their toss isn’t well placed, and they don’t end up with a great result. Changing your mind last minute can sometimes happen when players see their opponent moving around or moving forward out of the corner of their eye as they begin their service motion.

Remember, accurate toss placement is part of where the accuracy of your serve comes from so be sure to pick the type of serve you plan to hit before you start into your motion.

Tip #6: Be Picky

Being picky about which tosses you hit is one of the most simple but useful tips with regards to the serve that I can offer when you’re starting out. If you don’t like your toss, don’t hit it. Sounds simple, but it’s surprising how many players will commit to hitting a bad toss.

Some players don’t know that you can redo your toss, while other players don’t realize they’re rushing themselves because they’re frustrated at their performance, trying to play too quick because of their nerves, or some similar scenario.

Remember, your serve is your greatest offensive weapon so it’s essential that you can execute it to the best of your ability, so don’t throw away points with a toss that isn’t up to your standards. This tip is particularly useful when playing outside where you toss is subject to the wind and position of the sun.

Helpful tip: technically you only have 20 seconds from the time one point ends to the time the next point should begin. While it’s important you don’t hit a bad toss you also need to keep in mind the time limit you have between points, i.e., you can’t just sit there and toss until it’s perfect. Depending on the pace of the match and how quickly you’re getting to the baseline you’ll typically have the chance to throw up 1-3 tosses.

Just be respectful of your opponent and don’t abuse this privilege with every serve. You’ll also find that some opponents will become annoyed if you are constantly repeating your toss because they’re stuck guessing when you’re going to hit your serve. Most players will be more forgiving on a windy day because they know they’ll be in the same position as you when it’s their turn to serve.

Drills for Practicing Your Toss

As with any part of your game practice makes perfect. In this section, we’ll cover some of the most popular drills you can use to improve your toss.

Drill #1: Accuracy & Consistency Drill

When players are first learning how to toss the ball for their serve, it can take quite a bit of time to develop consistency and accuracy. This drill is excellent for beginners and will help you develop a more consistent and accurate toss. Here’s an overview of how to perform this drill.

Gear you’ll need:

  • Your racquet
  • Some spare tennis balls
  • A ball basket or hopper

Step 1: Fill your basket

The first step is to grab your basket or ball hopper and fill it about halfway up (or less) with tennis balls. If the basket is full or empty, the ball is likely to bounce right out, so filling it halfway up will ensure the ball stays in.

Step 2: Place your basket

Next, grab your basket and position yourself along the baseline near the center mark, set your serve stance and put your basket roughly 12-18 inches in front of your left foot and then 3-6 inches to the right. Reverse this if you’re a lefty.

Helpful tip: If you don’t have a basket you can simply position your racquet or a spare racquet so that the head of the racquet is where the basket would be on the court. You can also use a small container or bucket – you just want to have a reasonably sized target for where your toss should land.

Step 3: Position yourself and set your stance

Once you’ve placed your basket, you’ll want to grab a tennis ball position yourself in front of the basket. Again, set your serve stance so that the basket is still roughly 3-6 inches to your right.

Step 4: Toss the ball

Lastly, with a ball in your hand, you’ll want to toss the ball up in the air and try to get the ball to land in the basket. Be sure to use your full toss motion and technique we covered earlier in this article.

You can change this drill up in a few different ways. First, you can do it standing still in front of the basket, or you can add in the full trophy pose. If you’re a beginner, it can be helpful to practice for a while without your racquet with the goal of getting a feel for the toss and practicing your technique.

Once you get comfortable, I’d recommend you start to incorporate the full trophy pose because your toss will be very different standing still vs. moving your entire body.

You can also change up the goal of the drill – here are a few ideas:

  • Number of tosses completed, i.e., complete 50 tosses
  • Number of tosses in the basket, i.e., keep tossing until you get 10 in
  • Number of tosses in the basket in a row, i.e., keep tossing until you get 3 in a row

Drill #2: Toss Height Drill

A question that frequently comes up with players when they’re learning to toss is how high they should toss the ball. As you learned earlier in this article, the ideal toss height is roughly 2-3 feet above the maximum reach of your tennis racquet.

This drill will provide you with an easy way to practice developing a more consistent toss height on any tennis court surrounded by a fence. Here’s an overview of how to perform this drill.

Gear you’ll need:

  • Your racquet
  • Some spare tennis balls
  • A ladder
  • A friend to help

Step #1: Place your height markers

In this first step, you’ll want to mark the appropriate height on the fence by placing two tennis balls. To do this, stand next to the fence with your racquet in hand. Reach your racquet up and touch it against the fence at your maximum reach.

Next, have your friend grab the step ladder and place it next to you so they can climb and stick two balls in the fence – one at roughly 2 feet above your maximum reach and another about 3 feet.

Step #2: Position yourself and set your stance

Now that you’ve marked the fence you’ll want to position yourself against the fence directly beneath the two balls that you placed in the fence.

With your racquet in hand and a spare tennis ball, position yourself in your serve stance with the front of your left foot about 1-2 feet from the fence. Reverse if you’re a lefty.

Step #3: Toss the ball to hit your target

Next, you’ll want to practice your toss so that the height of your toss falls roughly in between the two balls you’ve placed in the fence.

When performing your toss, make sure you’re using the correct toss technique and assume your trophy pose with each practice toss.

Let each toss fall back to the ground, reset your feet in the correct serve stance and toss once again.

Similar to drill #1 you can change up the goal of this drill.

  • Number of tosses completed, i.e., complete 50 tosses
  • Number of tosses hitting the target, i.e., keep tossing until you hit it ten times
  • Number of tosses hitting the target in a row, i.e., keep tossing until you hit your target three times in a row

Drill #3: Toss Pose Drill

One of the challenges that players face when tossing the ball is not fully extending their tossing arm up into the air and dropping their arm and head prematurely.

The goal of this drill is to help players practice their tossing motion to make sure they keep their arm high and head up.

Gear you’ll need:

  • Your racquet
  • A tennis ball

Step #1: Position yourself and set your stance

With your racquet in hand and a spare tennis ball position yourself along the baseline near the center mark and assume your serve stance.

Step #2: Toss the ball

Next, you’re going to want to toss the ball using your full trophy pose.

Focus your attention on extending your tossing arm up and release the ball, but imagine there’s a string tied to your wrist that keeps pulling your arm up towards the sky.

When you reach full extension pause for a moment with your arm held high, your head up, and your body in your trophy pose.

Repeat this motion 10-20 times focusing intently on keeping your tossing arm extended with your head held high.

Rules for the Serve Toss

When it comes to the serve toss there are a few rules to keep in mind.

First, when you toss the ball, you must release it by hand unless you are only able to use one arm, i.e., because you just have one arm or because your tossing arm is injured.

If you are limited to one arm, then you can use your racquet to toss the ball. Most people would never break this rule, but it is indeed a rule.

Outside of that, perhaps the most common question that comes up with regards to toss rules is how many times you can toss the ball before hitting your serve.

The reality is that there is no limit as long as the ball doesn’t hit your racquet or you don’t swing and miss. If either of those happens, then it counts as a serve, and you don’t get to keep tossing.

I think the most important note here is sportsmanship and respect for your opponent. Do your best to limit your tosses, but at the same time use the fact that you can retoss to your advantage.

If your opponent appears to be repeating their tosses on purpose or to gain an advantage, i.e., throw you off, then you can file a grievance. However, I’d recommend you stay away from doing that and focus on what you can control – your own game.

It’s unlikely that this would become a regular problem or something you’d frequently encounter in a competition so just do your best not to let it get under your skin.

Training Equipment & Tools

There are a few simple pieces of tennis equipment that you can use to improve your toss. Here are the two that I’d recommend.

A Ball Basket

When it comes to your toss, repetition and practice are key. Having a ball basket will allow you to practice your toss over and over without having to chase a handful of tennis balls all over the court every time you make a mistake.

I’d recommend a simple ball basket like the Wilson 75 Tennis Ball Pick Up Hopper. Here’s why I like this particular ball basket for practicing your toss:

  • It’s durable and made of steel
  • It holds 75 balls, which is more than enough
  • It has a latch that swings over the top of the basket to keep the balls in when you store it or travel with it
  • It can be used to pick up balls by pressing the basket down on top of a tennis ball that’s laying on the court, so you’re not always bending down
  • The handles fold down and can be locked securely into the side of the basket so you can stand the basket up at about waist height, which is perfect for quickly and easily grabbing balls while you’re practicing

If you’re wondering whether two baskets would be useful, I’d say yes.

They’re relatively inexpensive and this way you can use the spare basket for your ball toss basket drill or split up your balls so your friend can have some on one end of the court and you can have some on the other end of the court.

A Case of Tennis Balls

Another piece of equipment that I’d recommend for practicing your serve toss is a case of tennis balls. Yep, you don’t need to buy a single can of tennis balls every time you need a fresh set of balls.

Here are a few reasons I’d recommend buying a case of tennis balls for practicing your toss:

  • It’s way cheaper than purchasing a single can each time
  • The less time you spend chasing balls around on the court, the more practice you’re going to get in for your toss
  • Being able to toss over and over without stopping in between will help you develop a rhythm for your toss
  • You don’t need to open all at once. Instead, you can just open a few cans at a time so that you can practice your toss with a fresh set of tennis balls every time

All in all, you’ll get more out of your practice time.

Have Questions?

Hopefully, you’ve found this article useful for learning about the tennis serve toss.

Of course, if you have any questions at all, please don’t hesitate to ask in the comments below – that’s why we’re here!

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  4. Tennis Serve Toss: Technique, Tips & Drills for Perfection
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Tennis Serve Trophy Pose: A Step-by-step Guide https://tenniscompanion.org/serve-trophy-pose/ https://tenniscompanion.org/serve-trophy-pose/#respond Mon, 06 Aug 2018 13:10:14 +0000 http://www.tenniscompanion.org/?p=4371

The trophy pose or position is a simple yet effective technique you can use to develop and improve your serve. If you’re just getting started with learning how to serve you may want to check out our article on the tennis serve stance before you read this article.

Ensuring you start with the correct serve stance will help set you up for a more effective trophy pose and therefore serve.

In this article, we’ll cover:

Why is it Called The Trophy Pose?

Tennis trophies commonly make use of a player hitting a serve which is where the trophy pose gets its name. Here are a few pictures of tennis trophies if you’re not familiar:

Male and Female Tennis Trophies

Now that you’ve seen what a tennis trophy looks like, hopefully, it will serve as a simple, yet convenient, reminder for how you’ll want to position your body when hitting a serve.

The Importance of the Trophy Pose

As you can imagine, there’s a good reason why the trophy pose is so important to the tennis serve, and it’s all about preparation.

More specifically, the trophy pose is what helps you prepare and position your body to accelerate the racquet through your swing motion, and it’s this acceleration that enables you to generate power and topspin necessary for an effective serve.

One analogy that might be useful is that the trophy pose is kind of like pulling a slingshot or rubber band all the way back before you release it. There’s a bunch of stored energy in the pose that is ready to be released through the swing.

Ultimately, the trophy pose serves as the foundation for any type of serve you’re hitting: flat, slice, or kick.

The Different Parts of the Trophy Pose

To help simplify the trophy pose, we can break it into four essential parts or movements.

However, before we get started, I’d like to point out that each of these four parts of the trophy pose happens simultaneously. I’ve just broken them out into four sections to more easily describe each movement, which we’ll then link together to complete the pose.

With that in mind, I’d recommend you practice each movement, and then you can work towards combining the motions as you read through the rest of the article.

Backswing

The first step to achieve the trophy pose is the backswing.

First, make sure you position your body in the appropriate serve stance with your hands in the ready position. Next, drop both hands down at the same time and let your dominant hand (the one that’s holding your racquet) swing down and back like a pendulum behind you.

You’ll then want to continue the backward motion with your racquet upward and behind your head, until your bicep is roughly parallel with the court and your forearm is approximately at a 90-degree angle with your bicep.

Tennis Serve Trophy Pose Backswing

Toss

As you perform your backswing with your dominant hand, you’ll want to allow your opposite hand that’s holding the ball to swing forward and up towards the sky so that you can toss the ball upwards.

Your toss is crucial for an effective serve so we’ve expanded on the topic in our article on perfecting your toss – check it out for more details on getting this exactly right.

Tennis Serve Trophy Pose Toss

Helpful Tip: To ensure the timing of your backswing and toss is in sync many players find the mantra “down together, up together” particularly useful. With your feet in the correct stance and your hands in starting position, you’ll want to bring both hands down together and then both hands up together as you complete your backswing and toss. Give it a try.

Knee Bend

Next, you’ll want to add in the knee bend which should happen simultaneously with your dominant hand’s backswing and your opposite hand tossing the ball.

By the time you complete your backswing and extend your arm for the toss, your knees should be fully bent. In other words, your lower body and upper body should finish their motion at the same time.

The amount that you bend your knees will vary quite a bit from player to player. Just remember that a significant share of the power on your serve comes from your legs, so make sure they’re fully engaged and bent enough so that you can take full advantage of the energy from your legs.

Tennis Serve Trophy Pose Knee Bend

Weight Transfer

The weight transfer is another movement that helps set your body up for maximum acceleration and power, but before you add in the weight transfer make sure you feel comfortable with the three parts we’ve discussed so far: the backswing, toss, and knee bend.

The easiest way to begin the weight transfer is to start with your weight slightly forward on your front foot. Then with your hands in the ready position, you can slowly rock your weight towards your back foot.

As this happens, you’ll want to let your hands down together and begin to bend your knees so that you start to bring your weight forward towards the court. Then bring your hands up together and complete backswing, toss and knee bend all at the same time.

Your weight should be moving forward and into the court, as you complete your backswing, toss, knee bend and weight transfer, and you should find yourself in the trophy position.

Tennis Serve Trophy Pose Weight Transfer

Your Head & The Trophy Pose

While it’s natural to look up towards the sky when you toss the ball with the trophy pose, I wanted to touch on two key reasons why keeping your head up is essential:

  • The first and more obvious reason to keep your head up is so that you can make eye contact with the ball. If you’re not looking up or you drop your head to look where you’re hitting instead of looking at the ball, then you significantly increase the likelihood of a mishit.
  • The second and less apparent reason to keep your head up is that when you drop your head, your shoulders tend to collapse which causes you to lose proper form which subsequently causes players to hit the ball into the net.

The second one tends to creep up on players, and it can be hard to detect by yourself – even a subtle drop of the head can produce a fault. To avoid running into this issue make sure you’re deliberate about keeping your head up all the way through contact with the tennis ball.

Tennis Serve Trophy Pose Keep Your Head Up

Achieving Consistent Timing

Timing is crucial with the trophy pose, and there are a few tips you can use to help make sure your motion is on point.

  • Down together, up together: the trophy pose begins with you releasing and dropping your hands from the ready position and then bringing your dominant hand behind you to complete your backswing and your opposite arm in front of you and up for your toss. As you go through these motions, it can be helpful to think of your hands coming down together and up together through these motions to keep things well timed.
  • Keeping your upper and lower body in sync: once you’ve mastered the backswing and toss it’s merely a matter of adding in the knee bend. You should complete your upper body movement at the same time you finish your lower body knee bend.

Establishing Rhythm

While it takes some time to develop rhythm through your trophy pose, there’s one tip, in particular, that will help ensure you produce a smooth replicable pattern of movement and that’s to relax your body through the motion.

When trying to connect the different movements for the trophy pose it’s somewhat natural to want to tense up your body to better control your flow, but tense muscles will work against you when serving.

Remember the rubber band reference from earlier?

The trophy pose is the equivalent of stretching a rubber band. When you release the rubber band it goes flying, and you want your body to achieve a similar elastic effect, but that can only happen if your body is relaxed and your muscles allowed to move freely.

Doing so will allow you to achieve maximum acceleration and racquet head speed when you’re hitting your serve for improved power and spin.

Helpful tip: a simple, yet effective way to relax your body before serving is to add in a ball bounce before you serve. Bouncin the ball will provide you with a moment to think about relaxing your muscles and release or shake out any tension in your muscles before you begin to move your body into your trophy pose.

Trophy Pose Examples

To show you how fundamental the trophy pose is to your serve, let’s take a look at a few examples from some of the top professional players on tour. On the left, Elina Svitolina and on the right Kevin Anderson both showing off their trophy pose and at the time of writing this article, both ranked number 5 in the world.

Elina Svitolina and Kevin Anderson Trophy Pose Examples

Many players find it challenging at first as they learn to control their body through the trophy pose. Don’t get discouraged. It’s natural for it to take time before you start feeling comfortable. With a little practice and some patience, you’ll have the trophy pose mastered in no time at all.

Have questions?

Have questions or want to share your thoughts about the trophy pose? We’d love to hear your comments in the section below!

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The Best Tennis Strings for 2018 https://tenniscompanion.org/best-tennis-strings/ https://tenniscompanion.org/best-tennis-strings/#respond Wed, 18 Jul 2018 13:15:10 +0000 http://www.tenniscompanion.org/?p=4269

We hope you love this post on the best tennis strings for 2018! Just so you know, TennisCompanion may collect a small share of sales from the links on this page to help keep this site running.

If you’re in the market for a new set of tennis strings, then you’ve come to the right place. We’ve carefully selected 10 of the best tennis strings for 2018 and built this guide to help you find the exact set that fits your needs.

For your convenience, here’s a table of our top 10 picks that we’ve categorized our based on the different types of strings as well as specific goals you may be looking to achieve with your purchase of a new set for yourself or as the perfect tennis gift.

Category Best String Type Price
Natural Gut Babolat VS Touch Natural Gut $$$$$
Multifilament Wilson NXT Multifilament $$
Polyester (poly) Luxilon ALU Power Polyester $$$
Synthetic Gut Prince Synthetic Gut Synthetic Gut $
Hybrid Wilson’s Champions Choice Hybrid $$$$
Topspin Babolat RPM Blast Polyester $$
Power Tecnifibre X-One Biphase Multifilament $$$
Control Babolat Pro Hurricane Tour Polyester $$
Durability Luxilon Big Banger Ace Polyester $$
Comfort Prince Premier Touch Multifilament $$$

To help you get the most out of this article, here’s an overview of what we’ll cover – click any of the following links to jump to that section:

To learn more about each string we selected and why we think it’s the best in its category keep reading or click any of the following links to jump to that section.

How to Use This Guide

When selecting a new set of tennis strings, we’ve found there are two common approaches that many players find useful to think about when looking for the perfect fit.

  • Type of string
  • String features

The different types of strings that we cover include:

  • Natural Gut
  • Multifilament
  • Polyester
  • Synthetic Gut
  • Hybrid

Here are the string features that we find players ask for most frequently:

  • Topspin
  • Power
  • Control
  • Durability
  • Comfort

Our goal with this guide is to provide you with a strong recommendation that we feel best represents each of these categories regardless of which of the above ten categories is top of mind for you.

For example, if topspin is your main priority then we feel confident our string selecting will deliver to that end. However, one thing to keep in mind is that with tennis strings there are often going to be tradeoffs and in this guide, we’ve worked to highlight those so you can make the best decision.

Tips for Selecting a Set of Tennis Strings

To help you get the most out of this guide, we’ve also included a few tips to help you select a tennis string.

Tennis String Gauge

Once you’ve found a new set of tennis strings that you’d like to try, many players will get tripped up with what gauge or thickness makes the most sense for them. There are two key factors to consider when thinking about string gauge which is durability and spin potential.

Typically, the thicker a string the more durable and less spin potential, while the thinner a string the less durable and more spin potential.

Best Tennis Racquet Tip String Gauge

Strings are widely available at 17 or 16 gauge with 17 being a thinner string and 16 thicker. In the spirit of keeping things simple, we tend to suggest players start with one of those based on whether they’re looking for more durability and spin and then adjust from there.

If you’d like to dive deeper into this topic, check out our article on tennis string gauge, which gives an in-depth explanation.

Tennis String Tension

While string gauge is one of the last questions players have before buying a set of strings, tension is frequently the first question afterward.

Different types of strings can require slightly different consideration, but to keep things simple you’re typically making a tradeoff between more power with a lower tension or more control with a higher tension.

Luckily, racquet manufacturers don’t keep players guessing and provide players with a tension range that their racquets should be strung at which they print directly on the frame. A good starting point is typically the middle point of their recommendation. For example, if your racquets tension range is 50-60 pounds then a good starting point is 55. Once you hit at that tension, you’ll be able to better gauge whether to increase or decrease from there.

String tension can have a fairly substantial impact on performance so if you’d like to dive into the finer details of string tension we’d recommend you check out our article on how to enhance your game with the right tension which goes in-depth on the topic.

Hybrid Stringing

If you’re not already familiar, hybrid stringing is where one type of string for the mains and a different string for the crosses.

The result is a blend of string attributes with the string used in the mains dominating the overall feel and the crosses having an influence on the feel and performance of the mains. The result is even more flexibility and options when stringing.

Some string sets such as Wilson’s Champions Choice, our pick for the best pre-packaged hybrid, include two different types of strings. In this case, natural gut combined with a polyester string. However, you can combine any two types of strings as a hybrid.

Regardless of whether you decide to experiment with hybrid string setups, it’s great to be aware of the option which has become more and more popular over the years.

String Replacement

As you look to buy a new set of tennis strings, it pays to have a sense of how frequently you should replace your strings. Typically, we find many recreational players will simply wait until their strings break.

While there’s nothing wrong with this approach, it’s good to recognize that the lifespan and performance of a string (referred to as playability duration in the string world) are generally way shorter than the length of time it takes to break a set of strings.

At the end of the day, it’s entirely a personal preference, but these factors can help you determine when you should replace your strings:

  • Frequency and length of play
  • Style of play
  • Level of competition
  • Budget
  • Personal preference

To learn more about these factors, we have an entire article dedicated to providing more guidance on the topic of when to replace your strings.

Your Racquet

As you can imagine, every set of tennis strings performs differently strung up in a different tennis racquet. Racquets, like strings, are designed to provide players with different attributes, i.e. spin, power, control, etc..

Assuming you’re sticking to the same frame you should expect a set of strings to deliver the attributes covered in this guide. However, it’s worth keeping in mind that your racquet will likely deliver a slightly different experience than someone else using the same string in a different racquet.

While there aren’t any rules to which strings should be used for a given tennis racquet, it’s worth keeping in mind, especially if a friend of yours that uses a completely different racquet is recommending a certain type of string.

Your Style of Play, Preferences, and Opinion

Last but definitely not least, one of the best tips we can offer when considering a new set of strings all come back to you as a player.

Taking into consideration your style of play, i.e. are you a baseliner that hits with heavy topspin or perhaps a serve and volleyer, your personal preferences or what you’d like to get out of a new set of strings, and your own opinion on what you like and don’t like is super important.

All too often, we find players swayed by what the pros are using or a teammate or friend with little or no consideration for the things that make them unique as a player. Of course, you can learn a lot by looking for outside feedback and we encourage you to listen to those thoughts.

However, we tend to find that players get a much better result and are happier with their string setup when they pause to consider their own needs versus what’s popular.

To that end, we can’t stress the value of experimenting to find the right set of strings. Rarely is it a one and done scenario to figure out what works best for a player and while paying for restringing isn’t super cheap we find it’s a sound investment for players that are serious about their game.

Our Selection Process

To select our picks for the best tennis strings in each category, we evaluated each set of strings across eight distinct attributes to provide you with the most objective ratings possible.

We then playtested each string and rated each attribute on a scale of 1-10. The average of all scores is calculated for the overall score.

Here are the attributes we used in our selection process.

Power

Some tennis strings return significantly more energy when a ball is struck making it easier to generate pace. Higher power strings will require less effort to generate pace while low powered strings will require more of the player.

Spin

There are a variety of factors that can influence spin but ultimately some strings provide players with significantly more potential for generating topspin than others. Strings with high spin ratings enable players to generate more topspin while strings with low spin ratings will result in less potential for spin.

Control

The ability for a player to direct and place the ball accurately and with confidence is generally perceived as control especially when taking big cuts at the ball. Power and control are frequently intertwined, i.e. a lower power string will generally provide players with more control while a high powered string will provide players with less control.

Touch/Feel

Most players will associate touch with feel or the ability to delicately and accurately place the ball with finesse. A higher rating of touch will help give players a greater sense of touch while a lower rating will reduce touch and make it more difficult to execute certain shots and thus require additional focus and attention from the player to execute.

Comfort

The amount of shock and vibration felt by a player when hitting with different strings is going to be perceived as high or low comfort. Some tennis strings are better at absorbing and reducing shock and vibration resulting in a more comfortable feel.

Durability

The ability for a set of strings to limit wear and tear from hitting, moisture, debris, changes in temperature, etc… that can ultimately lead to breakage or reduce the lifespan of a string is referred to as durability.

Playability duration

The length of time a set of strings can maintain tension and quality play delivered is the playability duration. Many strings may be highly durable and not break easily but still require frequent replacement to maintain the quality of the strings attributes.

Movement

Strings that snap back into place after hitting and don’t move a great deal or require constant straightening will have higher movement ratings. Strings with low ratings will move considerably and require players to continually straighten them.

Natural Gut

Babolat VS Touch - Best Natural Gut

As far as tennis strings go, natural gut is some of the best (and priciest) tennis string on the market

To the surprise of some players, manufacturers create natural gut tennis strings by weaving together multiple strands of cow intestine. The elasticity of the material is exceptional, it’s fantastic at holding tension, and it’s easy on the arm.

For 2018, we’ve awarded Babolat VS Touch as the best natural gut tennis strings.

Babolat VS Touch

Back in 1875, Pierre Babolat developed the first tennis string made of sheep gut, and Babolat natural gut has remained the gold standard for natural gut tennis strings ever since.

Players will find Babolat VS Touch delivers on power, comfort, and feel. The string has also received slight upgrades over the years to increase its durability and resistance to moisture – historically two pitfalls of many natural gut tennis strings.

Why We Love It

Power
Hands down, natural gut is the most powerful string on the market and Babolat’s VS Touch stands at the head of its class.

Comfort
The elastic natural fibers with Babolat VS Touch make for a string with unrivaled comfort. However, what’s unique about this string is that it also plays super crisp and doesn’t lose its comfort at higher tensions.

Feel
The cherry on top for Babolat VS Touch is the incredible feel that it offers even when strung at a high tension, which gives you a strong sense of connection with the ball and great touch.

Tradeoffs

The downsides to Babolat VS Touch are control and spin which go hand in hand. Some players will find it brings too much power and difficult to match the level of spin you’re going to get with a quality set of polyester strings.

However, again, what’s unique about this string is that you don’t lose out when you string at higher tensions which a great way to rein in the strings built-in power for more control.

Lastly, it’s worth noting the natural fibers with this string will result in fraying. While common with natural gut, this may be a turn off for some players.

Babolat VS Touch Ratings

Power 9.9
Spin 7.8
Control 7.5
Touch 9.5
Comfort 10
Durability 7.0
Playability Duration 9.2
Movement 7.2
Overall 8.51

Gauge & Color Variations

  • 15L
  • 16
  • 16 Black
  • 16 half set

Alternatives to Babolat VS Touch

If you like the idea of Babolat VS Touch but you want to explore some alternative natural gut options, then we’d recommend you start with Wilson Natural Gut. It’s an incredible string and comparable to Babolat’s delivering similar specs overall.

A few other options worth checking out are Pacific Tough Gut and the more affordable KLIP Legend Natural Gut.

Multifilament

Wilson NXT - Best Multifilament

If you’re not familiar, multifilament tennis strings are composed of thousands of tiny microfibers that are woven together to form a single tennis string with many similar qualities to natural gut.

In particular, multifilament tennis strings offer great playability and exceptional comfort. If you’re a player that suffers from tennis elbow or any other arm injury, then you’ll likely appreciate the added comfort they offer.

Today, there are a wide variety of multifilament tennis strings on the market and more than a handful of terrific options. However, Wilson NXT earns the label of the best multifilament for 2018.

Wilson NXT

There’s no doubt, Wilson NXT is a long-standing leader in the multifilament space with a strong following and proven track record.

Whether you’re stringing a full bed or combining with another string as a hybrid, this string is a great option for a wide range of players. Here are the few top reasons we love this string.

Why We Love It

Power

One of Wilson NXT’s standout features is its power, which it delivers through the combined effort of 1,600 individual microfibers. However, arguably the best part of its power is that it’s not overbearing. As a result, most players will find the extra power a welcome feature that they can easily put to use without having to worry too much about overhitting.

Comfort

Perhaps what Wilson NXT is best known for is its comfort which is the feature that Wilson highlights as the string’s strongest asset. True to their claim, NXT is a delightfully rich string that is easy on the arm without sacrificing the response and playability that players demand.

Feel

While Wilson NXT packs a punch on the power end of the spectrum, we still found it provided great feel and delivered all-around playability that we believe suits a broad range of player styles and skill levels.

Tradeoffs

The main thing you give up with Wilson NXT is durability, which is easily the biggest complaint about the string. To compensate, we recommend you go with the 16 gauge to help extend its life.

Wilson NXT Ratings

Power 8.8
Spin 7.5
Control 7.7
Touch 8.2
Comfort 9.0
Durability 6.3
Playability Duration 6.9
Movement 7.4
Overall 7.73

Gauge & Color Variations

  • 15L
  • 16
  • 16 black
  • 17
  • 17 black

Alternatives to Wilson NXT

If you’re looking for an alternative to Wilson NXT then the good news is you’ve got options. The truth is, while we give Wilson NXT a slight edge, Technifibre’s X-One Biphase and NRG2 are borderline equivalents and we’d encourage you to check all three out. Babolat’s Xcel is also another worthy option to consider in the multifilament category.

Polyester (Poly)

Luxilon ALU Power - Best Polyester

Within the past 10-15 years, polyester tennis strings have become hugely popular allowing players like Rafael Nadal to take massive cuts at the ball and redefine our expectations and what’s possible with topspin.

Unlike multifilament tennis strings that are composed of thousands of microfibers, polyester strings are typically monofilament, i.e. a single solid filament.

Many players seek out polyester strings for their control, spin, and durability. However, this tends to come with a drawback that the strings aren’t as forgiving and can be harsh on your arm.

Our pick for the best polyester tennis string for 2018 is Luxilon ALU Power, which has developed a cult-like following and is widely popular on the ATP and WTA tour.

Luxilon ALU Power

In the tennis world, it’s hard to utter the word’s polyester without the Luxilon brand coming to mind. The sheer popularity among professional and competitive tennis players speaks volumes in terms of what this string brings to the table.

At the end of the day, Luxilon ALU Power defines what modern players expect from a polyester tennis string in terms of control, spin, and durability.

Let’s take a look at some of the features that make Luxilon ALU Power so popular, especially among intermediate to advanced tennis players.

Why We Love It

Control

Without a doubt, Luxilon ALU Power delivers fantastic control without sacrificing great touch and feel, which can often be a drawback of other polyester tennis strings.

In particular, intermediate to advanced players will love the fact that you can take huge cuts at the ball without sacrificing control – you’ll know exactly where the ball is going.

However, Luxilon ALU Power still retains a liveliness to the extent that the string doesn’t feel underpowered or dull.

Spin

Luxilon ALU Power also delivers excellent access to spin.

True to most polyester strings, the lower power allows players to accelerate their racquet head faster to generate added spin without being afraid of sending the ball long.

Durability

Luxilon ALU Power does not disappoint when it comes to durability, one of the polyester category of strings trademark features.

In fact, Luxilon ALU Power stands out from the crowd because it’s hard to break but it also does an excellent job maintaining tension which helps extend the overall life of the strings.

Tradeoffs

When it comes to polyester tennis strings, the tradeoffs are generally low power and comfort. In some ways, it’s simply the cost of the spin, control, and feel that this category of strings delivers and ALU power is no exception to these rules.

Luxilon ALU Power Ratings

Power 6.2
Spin 8.9
Control 9.1
Touch 9.5
Comfort 7.5
Durability 9.6
Playability Duration 8.4
Movement 9.5
Overall 8.59

Gauge & Color Variations

  • 15
  • 16L
  • 16L Blue, Green, Red, Teal

Alternatives to Luxilon ALU Power

When it comes to Luxilon ALU Power alternatives, our favorite place to look is among the line of Luxilon strings. From Luxilon ALU Power Rough to ALU Power Spin, ALU Power Soft, ALU Power Fluoro, and ALU Power Feel among others, they’ve taken their most popular string and morphed it to suit a wide variety of player preferences.

However, if you’re looking outside of the Luxilon family of strings then we’d definitely recommend you check out Babolat RPM Blast, Babolat Pro Hurricane, Wilson Revolve, and the incredibly affordable Volkl Cyclone for more of the same polyester goodness that you’ll find with Luxilon.

Synthetic Gut

Prince Synthetic Gut - Best Synthetic Gut

On the lower end of the performance spectrum, synthetic gut tennis strings provide players with access to a quality product without the higher price tag associated with natural gut, multifilament, and polyester strings.

The result tends to be an economical string that performs fairly well all around without the enhanced features associated with other types, i.e. the extra comfort available through many multifilaments or control familiar with polyester.

If anything, synthetic gut strings will tend to air on the side of durability which is a great feature for players looking for an affordable option because they’ll also last, which adds to their value.

This year, we’re awarding the best synthetic gut tennis strings to Prince Synthetic Gut, a classic string that offers comfort and reasonable power at a wallet-friendly price.

Prince Synthetic Gut

For years, Prince Synthetic Gut has provided recreational players of all ages and levels with a time-tested string that delivers all-around playability at an unbeatable price.

While it doesn’t provide the unique strengths of other string categories, Prince Synthetic Gut is a superbly economical choice that will continue to satisfy the needs of players around the world. Plus, it comes in more colors you can shake a stick at, which is particularly fun for younger players where string performance isn’t a priority.

Why We Love It

Value

When it comes to the synthetic gut family of tennis strings, it’s all about value and Price Synthetic Gut delivers with a price point under $5 per set.

While you won’t get access to some of the higher end features available with natural gut, multifilament, or polyester strings you should find that these strings are all around great performers for the price.

Tradeoffs

Prince Synthetic Gut isn’t a particularly high scorer in any single category, but we find it lacks the most in the durability, control, and feel categories. Generally, we find this is a great option for beginners who won’t have the technique and skill-set to notice a significant difference between strings.

Prince Synthetic Gut Ratings

Power 7.7
Spin 7.3
Control 7.2
Touch 7.0
Comfort 8.3
Durability 5.8
Playability Duration 7.6
Movement 6.0
Overall 7.13

Gauge & Color Variations

  • 16: black, gold, silver, blue, purple, red, pink, orange, yellow, green, white
  • 17: black, gold, red, pink, orange, green, white

Alternatives to Prince Synthetic Gut

There are quite a few alternatives to Prince Synthetic Gut. However, a near equivalent and one we highly appreciate is Gosen’s OG-Sheep Micro which is even more affordable and is another fantastic synthetic gut option. Another we’d recommend you check out is Ashaway Synthetic Gut.

Hybrid

Wilson's Champions Choice - Best Hybrid

One of the challenges that players have faced over the years is that different strings come with distinct pros and cons. For example, many players will find multifilaments to be too powerful and lack in the spin department, while polyesters are found to be harsh on the arm.

To make up for the pros and cons associated with different string types, players began to combine multiple strings (one set for the mains and another for the crosses) to get the best of both worlds, and it’s become a highly popularized approach to stringing.

While any two strings can be combined to form a hybrid we found Wilson Champions Choice to be the best pre-packaged hybrid.

With it, you’ll get Wilson’s Natural Gut coupled with Luxilon ALU Power Rough polyester to strike a delightful balance between comfort, power, spin, control, and feel.

Wilson’s Champions Choice Hybrid

If there’s any defining characteristic of this hybrid string set, it’s the fact that it’s the choice of the games greatest player – Roger Federer. Of course, beyond the name recognition, come the combination of two remarkable strings (and brands) blended together as a hybrid provide a unique balance of to suite a wide range of players.

As a reminder, the characteristics of the string used for the mains will dominate the overall feel of the strings, so if you’re going for durability and control we’d recommend stringing the Luxilon in the mains, while a gentle feel and increased playability can be found by using Wilson’s natural gut in the mains.

While it’s different for every player, we found the natural gut in the mains to serve as the ideal setup with the string set.

Why We Love It

Power

With Wilson’s Natural Gut in the mains, Wilson’s Champions Choice delivers more than enough power while not being overbearing.

Comfort

For players looking for great spin potential along with comfort, we find it hard to beat the combination of these two strings. While you can certainly get more comfortable with a full bed of natural gut, the tradeoff with spin and control is frequently too much.

However, this hybrid delivers it all.

Balance

The best part about hybrid string setups is you can combine the best of two worlds in natural gut and polyester tennis strings. This means you get a blend of each string category features which provides players with a balance that only a hybrid setup can offer.

Tradeoffs

One can argue that hybrid stringing with natural gut and a polyester is a double edge sword. While you get a blend of characteristics, you don’t get all the benefit of either string type and you end up meeting somewhere in the middle. For many players, this is a dream scenario. However, for others, it will leave them wanting.

In particular, we believe players used to full bed polyester string setups may find Wilson Champions Choice a bit too high powered and slightly lacking in the spin and control departments. Ultimately, it’s a matter of preference.

Wilson’s Champions Choice Hybrid Ratings

Power 8.7
Spin 8.5
Control 9.3
Touch 9.3
Comfort 8.7
Durability 8.0
Playability Duration 8.4
Movement 8.2
Overall 8.64

Gauge & Color Variations

  • n/a

Alternatives to Wilson’s Champions Choice Hybrid

For many, the price of this string set is a bit too rich. With that in mind, we’d recommend players check out Wilson’s Control Duo Hybrid, which is a combination of Wilson’s NXT Tour and Luxilon ALU Power. While there are other hybrid string packs available, the possibilities are endless, as any two strings can be combined as an alternative hybrid setup.

Topspin

Babolat RPM Blast - Best Topspin

With players like Rafel Nadal on tour, one of most sought-after attributes for tennis players is the ability to generate massive topspin.

If you’re looking to follow suit, then there’s no doubt that polyester tennis strings are a fantastic choice. Their slick surface and ability to snap back into place are a dynamic combination to help you generate maximum spin.

However, with more than a handful of polyester strings on the market one string stands out from the crowd as the best tennis string for topspin and that’s Babolat RPM Blast.

Babolat RPM Blast

Babolat RPM Blast takes topspin to the max. First, as a polyester tennis string, the strings are slick and quickly snap back into place upon contact helping to generate topspin.

However, this string set takes things a step further with a unique octagonal shape that helps grab the ball and increase the potential for spin that is second to none.

Perhaps, one of the most unique attributes about Babolat RPM Blast is that it’s surprisingly comfortable to play with for a polyester tennis string, which makes it a terrific option for anyone looking to test the waters with a poly to help push their topspin to the next level.

Why We Love It

Spin

It should come as no surprise that our favorite feature with Babolat RPM Blast is its ability to help maximize spin. Hitting forehands and backhands from the back of the court was a joy as the ball would propel itself off our strings with a level of topspin that’s only possible with a polyester.

Control

The combination of spin and low power of RPM Blast allowed us to take full swings and huge cuts at the ball. The topspin allowed us to clear the net with confidence the ball would dip back into the court and we never felt we had to worry about the ball sailing long. Together these attributes gave us a strong sense of control which allowed us to dictate points and move players side to side.

Durability

While durability isn’t always the most exciting feature of a tennis string, Babolat RPM Blast delivers in this category and is a string you can count on to stand up to a beating and last. Most players will find they’ll cut the strings out to replace before breaking them.

Tradeoffs

As you might expect from a poly, the biggest tradeoff with Babolat RPM Blast is it’s lower power and comfort relative to other types of strings. While the low power is part of what makes this string fantastic, it does have the potential to leave some players longing for more.

From a comfort standpoint, there’s no doubt this string is a cut above other polyesters, however, it’s nowhere near the comfort delivered by gut or multifilaments which players will want to consider before taking the leap.

Babolat RPM Blast Ratings

Power 4.5
Spin 9.9
Control 9.2
Touch 8.4
Comfort 6.4
Durability 9.2
Playability Duration 7.8
Movement 9.4
Overall 8.10

Gauge & Color Variations

  • 16
  • 17
  • 18

Alternatives to Babolat RPM Blast

When it comes to topspin, there are plenty of options. However, our favorite alternatives include Luxilon Alu Power Spin and Diadem Solstice Power. We definitely give Alu Power Spin the edge as it delivers a more well-rounded experience, but Solstice Power packs some serious topspin and is another great option to check out.

Control

Babolat Pro Hurricane Tour - Best Control

As the game of tennis has evolved with stronger players and more aggressive styles of play, the ability to control the ball has become increasingly important.

Whether you’re looking to tone down the power of a stiffer frame or you’re simply looking to avoid overhitting to keep the ball in play, a control oriented string might be a great option.

The low power associated with polyester tennis strings make them a great fit for control. However, not all polyester is created equal. In this case, we’re naming Babolat Pro Hurricane Tour as the best tennis string for control.

Babolat Pro Hurricane Tour

What sets Babolat Pro Hurricane Tour apart from the rest is that its ultra firm and low powered, which allows you to take huge cuts at the ball to generate topspin and feel confident with your placement.

Similar to Babolat’s RPM Blast, Pro Hurricane Tour is a polyester tennis string and octagon shaped so there’s tremendous grip on the ball combined with the trademark ability of a great polyester to snap back into place to generate topspin.

Add to that a firm stringbed that provides a consistent response and low power and you have a lethal combination for controlling the ball even when you really turn up the heat and hit big.

Why We Love It

Control

While there are a lot of similarities between RPM Blast, we give Pro Hurricane Tour the edge in the control department primarily because of the strings stay put and as a result provide such a consistent response. Part what gives a string a greater sense of control is feeling like you know what to expect every time the ball leaves the stringbed and that’s what puts Pro Hurricane Tour at the top of its class.

Spin

Another area where players gain a sense of control is through topspin, which allows you to swing through the ball and have confidence it’s going to clear the net and drop back into the court. As a result, it’s no surprise that Babolat Pro Hurricane Tour performs terrifically in this category which aids in the sense of control and confidence you have when swinging through the ball.

Durability

Last, but certainly not least, you’ll find Hurricane Pro Tour is a leader when it comes to durability in the polyester space so you can count on the string to last.

Tradeoffs

Babolat Pro Hurricane Tour is a firm tennis string so it’s not exactly the most comfortable or arm friendly string out there. Another side effect of the firm feel is a lower sense of touch, which isn’t the strings strength.

Outside of that, the string is very low powered. All in all, while a fantastic tennis string it requires players to have solid technique to take advantage of everything it has to offer.

Babolat Pro Hurricane Tour Ratings

Power 4.2
Spin 9.0
Control 9.8
Touch 8.1
Comfort 6.0
Durability 9.5
Playability Duration 7.7
Movement 9.5
Overall 7.98

Gauge & Color Variations

  • 16
  • 17

Alternatives to Babolat Pro Hurricane Tour

If you’re looking to test drive a polyester that delivers plenty of control then we’d recommend checking out Luxilon Alu Power and Babolat’s RPM Blast. Luxilon delivers all around as a great alternative and tons of control, while Babolat’s RPM Blast is quite similar to Pro Hurricane Tour with a slightly more forgiving stringbed and stronger emphasis on topspin.

Power

Tecnifibre X-One Biphase - Best Power

Unfortunately, all of us aren’t built with the strength to turn up the heat when we’d like. Perhaps you’re looking to hit a bigger serve, groundstrokes, or maybe you’d like to add a little pop to a more flexible control oriented tennis racquet.

If so, a string that naturally brings more power to your shots can be a great option, and Tecnifibre X-One Biphase delivers exactly that as the best tennis string for power.

Tecnifibre X-One Biphase

As a multifilament tennis string, Tecnifibre X-One Biphase is a technological powerhouse with features like PU 400 and Elastyl that help deliver more power with ease.

It’s also an incredibly comfortable string to play with, which makes it an excellent choice for players with tennis elbow as well as a great option for use as part of a hybrid string setup along with a more control oriented, spin friendly polyester.

Why We Love It

Power

Technifibre X-One Biphase packs a punch and delivers power as it’s standout feature. From the baseline to serving and everything in between, players will find the ball really jumps off the strings. In fact, many players may find they need to tweak the tension to find the sweet spot between balance and control.

Comfort

Generally speaking, multifilaments and the thousands of fibers that make up this family of strings provide for an arm friendly hitting experience. However, X-One Biphase really stands out as an ultra comfortable string that does a great job at absorbing shock and reducing the impact on your arm without losing the liveliness that makes this string a crowd favorite.

Feel

While powerful, Technifibre gets the ingredients right with a string that also delivers excellent feel and touch that we enjoyed from all areas of the court but really stood out to us at the net.

Tradeoffs

Hands down the biggest tradeoff you’re going to make with Technifibre X-One Biphase is with spin. As a multifilament, it doesn’t have the natural ability to snap back into place which aids in generating topspin.

Also, compared to a polyester tennis string, some players may find that X-One Biphase is a bit overpowering which materializes in feeling like it’s a bit harder to control the ball.

Lastly, while the playability duration or the lifespan of the strings is strong, the durability of the strings may be an issue for chronic string breakers.

Technifibre X-One Biphase Ratings

Power 9.2
Spin 6.8
Control 7.5
Touch 8.6
Comfort 8.7
Durability 7.5
Playability Duration 8.8
Movement 8.7
Overall 8.2

Variations

  • 16: natural, red
  • 17: natural, red
  • 18: natural, red

Alternatives to Technifibre X-One Biphase

If your number one goal is power, then you might consider natural gut as an option. Unfortunately, the price of natural gut is simply cost prohibitive for the vast majority of players so it’s not our first recommendation.

Two strings that we’d recommend checking out as solid alternatives are Technifibre’s NR2 and Babolat’s Origin. Both are multifilaments with similar playing characteristics to X-One Biphase.

Durability

Luxilon Big Banger Ace - Best Durability

If you’re a big hitter that frequently breaks strings or you’re looking to extend the life of each re-string, then you’re going to want a durable string that lasts. After all, restringing too often can become an expensive habit.

Once again, polyester strings enter as the leader in durability due to their solid monofilament construction and slick surface that wards off notching.

While you’ll find most polyester tennis strings are considerably more durable than natural gut, multifilament, or synthetic gut tennis strings, the best durable string for 2018 goes to Luxilon Big Banger Ace.

Luxilon Big Banger Ace

Luxilon Big Banger Ace is a slightly less popular tennis string in the uber-popular Luxilon family of strings. As with most great polyester tennis strings, you’ll get plenty of spin, control, and feel.

However, perhaps most impressive is the durability of Luxilon Big Banger Ace at its thin 18 gauge thickness. Generally speaking, at this thin gauge strings become significantly more susceptible to breakage, especially if you’re hitting with a lot of topspin, but these strings held up to the task.

Why We Love It

Durability

If you’re a heavy hitter that likes the extra spin and feel that a thinner gauge string provides, but can’t typically afford to go to thin because you easily break strings, then look no further than Luxilon Big Banger Ace. It’s one of the most durable strings out there.

Spin

With the thinner 18 gauge and polyester makeup of the string, Luxilon Big Banger Ace delivers fantastic access to spin. We particularly enjoyed the heavy topspin we were able to produce on our groundstrokes but also found it helped deliver tons of spin to our kick serve which helped the ball leap off the court and well out of most player strike zones.

Control

When a string provides a great balance between spin and feel in a low powered package you frequently end up with excellent control and Luxilon Big Baner Ace delivers on this front which helped us move our opponents around and dictate points.

Tradeoffs

To get access to some of our favorite attributes this string provides, you’re going to need to give up in a few other areas. More specifically, Luxilon Big Banger Ace is a lower powered tennis string that while offering above average comfort compared to some polys is far from the most comfortable string on the market.

Luxilon Big Banger Ace Ratings

Power 5.1
Spin 8.9
Control 8.8
Touch 8.6
Comfort 7.0
Durability 9.5
Playability Duration 7.9
Movement 9.5
Overall 8.16

Variations

  • 18
  • TiMO 18
  • TiMO 17L

Alternatives to Luxilon Big Banger Ace

If you’re looking for another durable string in the Luxilon line, then Luxilon ALU Power is another great option to consider and our selection for the best polyester tennis string. Beyond that, Babolat Pro Hurricane Tour our selection for the best control oriented tennis string is another great option.

Lastly, we’d recommend you also check out Tecnifibre ATP Razor Code which is also a highly durable poly that also packs tons of topspin.

Comfort

Prince Premier Touch - Best Comfort

One of the most common injuries in our sport is tennis elbow. If you’ve ever experienced it yourself, you’ll know how painful it can be and how it can sideline a player from playing the game they love.

Luckily for us, string manufacturers have continued to develop products that aim to ward off the harsh vibrations that can result from playing tennis.

In this category, we’ve selected the multifilament Prince Premier Touch as the best comfort oriented tennis string.

Prince Premier Touch

As a multifilament, Prince Premier Touch combines thousands of individual fibers to build a string that resembles the makeup of natural gut.

However, Prince took things a step further than most multifilaments and use a spiraled ribbon construction to more closely match the serosa fibers used in a true natural gut.

The result is the softest multifilament we’ve ever tested which all but matches the comfort of the best natural gut on the market and is the perfect option for players with tennis elbows where comfort may be at the very top of their list of priorities.

Why We Love It

Comfort

We can’t sing the praise of the level of comfort that this string offers so it’s a no-brainer for players that require strength in this attribute and are willing to sacrifice in some other area. Another option for players that do want to strike a balance is to consider Prince Premier Touch as part of a hybrid string setup.

Power

Prince Premier Touch also packs a highly respectable level of power. Even at a higher tension, the ball really leaps from the strings. Players that hit with a lot of topspin may find the string lacks control especially if they’re used to a stiffer control oriented tennis string.

Tradeoffs

As with all tennis strings on our list, there’s always a tradeoff and Prince Premier Touch is no exception. The areas where we feel like the string gives up the most is within the spin, control, and feel departments.

Relative to other tennis strings, we found we had to work significantly harder to generate topspin and even our best efforts left us wanting. Combined with the ultra-soft stringbed that lacked feel and we felt like the string really kept us on our toes because it just wasn’t as effortless to control and direct the ball with the precision that we’re used to.

Prince Premier Touch Ratings

Power 89
Spin 50
Control 68
Touch 71
Comfort 95
Durability 68
Playability Duration 76
Movement 62
Overall 7.24

Variations

  • 17
  • 16
  • 15L

Alternatives to Prince Premier Touch

If you’re looking for an arm-friendly tennis string that’s high on comfort and you can afford the higher price tag, we’d definitely recommend you check out a natural gut like Babolat VS or Wilson’s Natural Gut. However, there are plenty of other tennis strings worth checking out. A few that we’d recommend looking into are Babolat Origin, Wilson NXT, Tecnifibre NRG2, and Head Reflex MLT.

Conclusion

There you have it, our top 10 picks of the best tennis strings in 2018. What many players will find is that “best” is relative and subject to personal preference. Hopefully, you’ve enjoyed our list or at the very least it helped point you in the right direction.

What are your picks for the top tennis strings? We’d love for you to share in the comments below.

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  4. The Best Tennis Strings for 2018
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The World’s Fastest Men’s & Women’s Tennis Serves Ever Recorded https://tenniscompanion.org/fastest-tennis-serves/ https://tenniscompanion.org/fastest-tennis-serves/#respond Mon, 30 Apr 2018 12:45:08 +0000 http://www.tenniscompanion.org/?p=5439

While the fastest tennis serves don’t guarantee success on the court, they can serve as a useful weapon, and at the very least they’re incredibly fun to watch.

In this article, we’ve rounded up the world’s fastest men’s and women’s tennis serves recorded throughout history along with some of the fastest serves hit by some of the games most popular players.

What is the fastest tennis serve ever recorded?

On May 9, 2012, in Busan, South Korea, Australian Samuel Groth hit the worlds fastest serve at 163.7 mph (263.4 kph). This serve came during his second round match against his opponent Uladzimir Ignatik from Belarus which he lost 4-6, 3-6.

Sam Groth was born on October 19, 1987. He’s a right-handed tennis player a stands at 6’11” (193 cm) who went pro in 2006 and in 2010 achieved a career high of 53 in the world.

The video recording of his fastest serve is pretty low quality, so we’ve included this video as well as a compilation of other videos covering his serve to give you a sense of how massive his serve is.

Men’s 20 Fastest Tennis Serves (ATP)

Here you’ll find a list of the fastest men’s tennis serves ever recorded. Please keep in mind that we’ve only listed each player once on the list with their single fastest serve.

Rank Country Player Speed Height Event
1 AUS Sam Groth 263 km/h (163.4 mph) 6’4″ (193 cm) 2012 Busan Open
2 FRA Albano Olivetti 257.5 km/h (160 mph) 6’8″ (203 cm) 2012 Internazionali Trofeo Lame Perrel–Faip
3 USA John Isner 253 km/h (157.2 mph) 6’10” (208 cm) 2016 Davis Cup
4 HRV Ivo Karlović 251.1 km/h (156 mph) 6’11” (211 cm) 2011 Davis Cup
4 POL Jerzy Janowicz 251.1 km/h (156 mph) 6’8″(203 cm) 2012 Pekao Szczecin Open
5 CAN Milos Raonic 250 km/h (155.3 mph) 6’5″ (196 cm) 2012 Rogers Cup
6 USA Andy Roddick 249.4 km/h (155 mph) 6’2″ (188 cm) 2004 Davis Cup
7 SWE Joachim Johansson 244.6 km/h (152 mph) 6’6″ (198 cm) 2004 Davis Cup
7 ESP Feliciano López 244.6 km/h (152 mph) 6’1″ (185 cm) 2014 Aegon Championships
8 ROU Marius Copil 244 km/h (151.6 mph) 6’3″ (191 cm) 2016 European Open
9 POL Hubert Hurkacz 243 km/h (151.0 mph) 6’5″ (196 cm) 2016 Davis Cup
10 USA Taylor Dent 241.4 km/h (150 mph) 6’2″ (188 cm) 2010 SAP Open
11 LVA Ernests Gulbis 240.3 km/h (149.3 mph) 6’4″ (193 cm) 2007 St. Petersburg Open
12 ARG Juan Martín del Potro 240 km/h (149.1 mph) 6’6″ (198 cm) 2017 Stockholm Open
13 GBR Greg Rusedski 239.8 km/h (149 mph) 6’4″ (193 cm) 1998 Newsweek Champions Cup
14 RUS Dmitry Tursunov 237.0 km/h (147.25 mph) 6’1″ (185 cm) 2006 Davis Cup
14 FRA Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 237.0 km/h (147.25 mph) 6’2″ (188 cm) 2014 Rogers Cup
15 FRA Gaël Monfils 235 km/h (146 mph) 6’4″ (193 cm) 2007 Legg Mason Tennis Classic
15 SRB Dušan Vemić 235 km/h (146 mph) 6’2″ (188 cm) 2008 Countrywide Classic
15 HRV Marin Čilić 235 km/h (146 mph) 6’6″ (198 cm) 2016 Davis Cup
16 LTU Ričardas Berankis 234 km/h (145.5 mph) 5’9″ (175 cm) 2011 Open d’Orléans
16 CHE Stan Wawrinka 234 km/h (145.5 mph) 6’0″ (183 cm) 2014 Davis Cup
17 HRV Ivan Ljubičić 233.4 km/h (145 mph) 6’4″ (193 cm) 2007 Pacific Life Open
17 BGR Grigor Dimitrov 233.4 km/h (145 mph) 6’3″ (191 cm) 2013 Aegon Championships
17 USA Reilly Opelka 233.4 km/h (145 mph) 6’11” (211 cm) 2016 U.S. Men’s Clay Court Championships
17 SRB Viktor Troicki 233.4 km/h (145 mph) 6’4″ (193 cm) 2017 Davis Cup
18 ESP Fernando Verdasco 232 km/h (144.2 mph) 6’1″ (185 cm) 2009 French Open
18 AUT Dominic Thiem 232 km/h (144.2 mph) 6’1″ (185 cm) 2017 Gerry Weber Open
19 USA Mardy Fish 231.7 km/h (144 mph) 6’2″ (188 cm) 2007 Pacific Life Open
19 POL Marcin Matkowski 231.7 km/h (144 mph) 6’1″ (185 cm) 2009 ATP World Tour Finals
20 NLD Martin Verkerk 230 km/h (143 mph) 6’3″ (191 cm) 2003 Breil Milano Indoor
20 CHE Roger Federer 230 km/h (143 mph) 6’1″ (185 cm) 2010 Gerry Weber Open
20 SWE Robin Söderling 230 km/h (143 mph) 6’4″ (193 cm) 2010 ATP World Tour Finals
20 DEU Daniel Brands 230 km/h (143 mph) 6’5″ (196 cm) 2011 Intersport Heilbronn Open
20 CZE Jiří Veselý 230 km/h (143 mph) 6’6″ (198 cm) 2014 Wimbledon
20 ESP Nicolás Almagro 230 km/h (143 mph) 6’0″ (183 cm) 2016 Argentina Open

*It’s worth noting that the serves highlighted on this list are not officially recognized by the ATP with regards to the fastest ever recorded. In times where a player hit the same serve speed twice, the oldest is listed.

Unfortunately, the majority of the fastest men’s serves aren’t available online for us to share here. Recognizing this, we’ve compiled a playlist that showcases each player on our list serving so you can see them in action, but in most cases, it’s not their fastest serve. Sit back and enjoy!

Here are a few notes that sum up the list of fastest men’s serves:

  • The average speed of the fastest serves is 148 mph (238 km/h)
  • The median speed of the fastest serves is 146 mph (235 km/h)
  • Serve speed in mph ranges from 143 mph to 163.4 mph (20.4 mph)
  • Serve speed in km/h ranges from 230 km/h to 263 km/h (33km/h)
  • Player height in feet ranges from 5’9″ to 6’11” (1’2″)
  • Player height in cm ranges from 175 cm to 211 cm (36 cm)
  • The earliest serve on the list goes back to 1998 while the most recent as of writing this article is 2017 for a 19-year spread

Here’s a quick breakdown of fastest serves by the country where each has at least two players on the list:

  • USA 5
  • ESP 4
  • POL 3
  • FRA 3
  • SRV 3
  • SWE 2
  • CHE 2
  • SRB 2

Fastest Serves from Popular Men’s ATP Players

Some of the biggest names in tennis have fantastic serves, but they rely on placement, consistency, and other parts of their games for their success.

While you can’t underestimate the importance of a quality serve at any level of tennis, a few of the following players show that a faster serve doesn’t necessarily equate to a better player.

Let’s take a look at some of the fastest serves hit by some of the biggest names in tennis and a few others names that come up from time to time.

Roger Federer

While Roger Federer doesn’t top the list of fastest servers, he scrapes his way onto it with a highly respectable 143 mph serve. Without question, Federer’s serve is a lethal weapon and arguably the best the game has ever seen because of his incredible accuracy and consistency.

Player Name Roger Federer
Country Switzerland
Fastest serve speed 143 mph (230 km/h)
Height 6’1″ (185 cm)
Highest rank 1
Age when serve hit 29
Tournament 2010 Gerry Weber Open

Andy Murray

At 6’3″, Andy Murray has always been able to crank up his serve and with a top speed of 141 mph, which he clocked at the 2016 US Open vs. Grigor Dimitrov, proves he’s no slouch when it comes to turning up the heat.

Player Name Andy Murray
Country Great Britain
Fastest serve speed 141 mph (226.9 km/h)
Height 6’3″ (191 cm)
Highest rank 1
Age when serve hit 29
Tournament 2016 US Open

Novak Djokovic

Djokovic hasn’t necessarily had a reputation for one of the best serves in the game. However, his serve is a reliable weapon that when combined with his well-rounded game and speed on the court has helped him become one of the top men’s players of all time.

Player Name Novak Djokovic
Country Serbia
Fastest serve speed 136 mph (219 km/h)
Height 6’2″ (188 cm)
Highest rank 1
Age when serve hit 22
Tournament 2009 Madrid Masters

Rafael Nadal

Rafa isn’t known for his serve which is why it’s not surprising to see him on the list of fastest servers, but he does have an incredibly solid serve that we believe to be underrated. Of course, his serve is backed up by an even more impressive game.

Player Name Rafael Nadal
Country Spain
Fastest serve speed 135 mph (217 km/h)
Height 6’1″ (185 cm)
Highest rank 1
Age when serve hit 25
Tournament 2010 US Open

Milos Raonic

Over the years, Milos’ dominant serve has gained him a whole lot of attention. The right-handed Canadian stands at 6’5″ tall and regularly hits massive serves which have been the centerpiece of his game since he joined the ATP tour in 2008. In 2012 in front of his home crowd at the Rogers Cup, Milos recorded his fastest serve ever at 155.3 mph (250 km/h) against another one of the games biggest servers Viktor Troicki.

Player Name Milos Raonic
Country Canada
Fastest serve speed 155.3 mph (250 km/h)
Height 6’5″ (196 cm)
Highest rank 3
Age when serve hit 21
Tournament Rogers Cup

John Isner

John Isner stands at a massive 6’10” tall and dwarfs most of his opponents on the court. The right-hander from Greensboro, NC takes full advantage of his height as one of the biggest servers on tour, and he holds the fastest serve ever recorded that the ATP officially recognizes. His 157.2 mph (253 km/h) serve came in 2016 at the Davis Cup when he played and defeated Austrailian Bernard Tomic.

Player Name John Isner
Country United States
Fastest serve speed 157.2 mph (253 km/h)
Height 6’10” (208 cm)
Highest rank 9
Age when serve hit 31
Tournament 2016 Davis Cup

Andy Roddick

Throughout his career, Andy Roddick’s biggest weapon was his serve, which along with his huge forehand allowed him to capture the world number 1 ranking in 2003. Andy hit his fastest serve of 155 mph (249.4 km/h) in the semi-final of the 2004 Davis Cup against Vladimir Voltchkov of Belarus.

Player Name Andy Roddick
Country United States
Fastest serve speed 249.4 km/h (155 mph)
Height 6’2″ (188 cm)
Highest rank 1
Age when serve hit 22
Tournament 2004 Davis Cup

Women’s 10 Fastest Tennis Serves (WTA)

Next up, we have our list of the fastest women’s tennis serves ever recorded. In this section, we’ve paired it down to the top 10 fastest serves and only list each player on the list once.

Of course, what’s better than a list of the fastest women’s serves? That’s right, a collection of videos showcasing each of the players on our list serving. Unfortunately, most of the women’s fastest serves weren’t caught on video or aren’t publically available so we’ve compiled examples of their serves so you can get a sense of what they look like.

Rank Country Player Speed Height Event
1 ESP Georgina Garcia Pérez 220 km/h (136.7 mph) 6’2″ (188 cm) 2018 Hungarian Ladies Open
2 DEU Sabine Lisicki 210.8 km/h (131.0 mph) 5’10” (178 cm) 2014 Stanford Classic
3 USA Venus Williams 207.6 km/h (129 mph) 6’1″ (185 cm) 2007 US Open
4 SRB Ivana Jorović 207 km/h (129 mph) 5’7″ (174 cm) 2017 Fed Cup
5 USA Serena Williams 206.4 km/h (128.3 mph) 5’9″ (175 cm) 2013 Australian Open
6 DEU Julia Goerges 203.0 km/h (126.1 mph) 5’11” (180 cm) 2012 French Open
6 FRA Caroline Garcia 203.0 km/h (126.1 mph) 5’10” (177 cm) 2016 Fed Cup
7 NLD Brenda Schultz-McCarthy 202.7 km/h (126.0 mph) 6’2″ (188 cm) 2007 Indian Wells Masters
8 UKR Nadiia Kichenok 202.0 km/h (125.5 mph) 5’7″ (172 cm) 2014 Australian Open
9 JPN Naomi Osaka 201 km/h (125.0 mph) 5’11” (180 cm) 2016 US Open
9 CZE Lucie Hradecká 201 km/h (125.0 mph) 5’10” (177 cm) 2015 Wimbledon
10 DEU Anna-Lena Groenefeld 201.1 km/h (125.0 mph) 5’11” (180 cm) 2009 Indian Wells Masters

*In times where a player hit the same serve speed twice, the oldest is listed.

Here are a few takeaways from our list of the fastest women’s serves in tennis:

  • The average speed of the fastest serves is 126 mph (203 km/h)
  • The median speed of the fastest serves is 126 mph (202 km/h
  • Serve speed in mph ranges from 125 mph to 140 mph (15 mph)
  • Serve speed in km/h ranges from 201 km/h to 220 km/h (19km/h)
  • Player height in feet ranges from 5’7″ to 6’2″ (7″)
  • Player height in cm ranges from 144 cm to 188 cm (44 cm)
  • The earliest serve on the list goes back to 2007 while the most recent as of writing this article is 2018 for an 11-year spread

Here’s a quick breakdown of fastest serves by the country where each has at least two players on the list:

  • United States – 2
  • Germany – 2

Fastest Serves from Popular Women’s WTA Players

In recent years, the WTA has seen a significant boost in the number of women hitting big serves and the speeds top many of the men on the ATP tour too.

Here are a few ladies that our community regularly asks about when it comes to the fastest serves on the WTA.

Venus Williams

Both William’s sisters make the list of the top 10 fastest women’s servers, but Venus currently sits at #3 on the list with a 129 mph serve that she held as the fastest serve for seven years before Sabine Lisicki broke that record in 2014. Venus remains one of the best servers on the WTA tour.

Player Name Venus Williams
Country United States
Fastest serve speed 129 mph (207.6 km/h)
Height 6’1″ (185 cm)
Highest rank 1
Age when serve hit 27
Tournament 2007 US Open

Serena Williams

Serena’s dominance in the WTA is undisputable, and her serve a crucial part of her game that has helped her tremendously throughout the years. While she doesn’t top the list of fastest women’s servers, there’s no doubt Serena is an all-time great when it comes to her serving prowess.

Player Name Serena Williams
Country United States
Fastest serve speed 128.3 mph (206.4 km/h)
Height 5’9″ (175 cm)
Highest rank 1
Age when serve hit 31
Tournament 2013 Australian Open

Sabine Lisicki

The powerful right-hander from Germany broke into the #1 slot with the fastest serve when she topped Venus Williams in the first-round of the Bank of the West Classic in 2014 against Ana Ivanovic who eventually went on to win the match.

Player Name Sabine Lisicki
Country Germany
Fastest serve speed 131.0 mph (210.8 km/h)
Height 5’10” (178 cm)
Highest rank 12
Age when serve hit 25
Tournament 2014 Stanford Classic

Common Questions About Fast Tennis Serves

What is the fastest male tennis serve ever recorded?

The fastest male tennis serve ever recorded was a record  263.4 km/h (163.7 mph) in 2012 by Sam Growth of Australia.

What is the fastest female tennis serve ever recorded?

The fastest female tennis serve ever recorded was a record 220 km/h (136.7 mph) in 2018 by Georgina Garcia Pérez of Spain.

What is the fastest serve ever recorded at Wimbledon?

The fastest serve ever recorded at Wimbledon was 238.2 km/h (148 mph) in 2010 by Taylor Dent. Andy Roddick has the second-fastest serve ever recorded at Wimbledon in 2004 at 235 km/h (146 mph), and in 2017 Milos Raonic clocked the third-fastest serve at 233.3 km/h (145 mph).

What is the fastest serve ever recorded at the Austrailian Open?

The fastest serve ever recorded at the Australian Open was 242 km/h (150 mph) by Marius Copil of Romania in 2015. Previously, American Taylor Dent held the fastest serve ever recorded at the Australian Open at 231 km/h (144 mph) in 2006.

What is the fastest serve ever returned?

The fastest serve ever returned was a 244.6 km/h (152 mph) serve by Jonas Bjorkman of Sweeden while playing Andy Roddick in the 2004 Davis Cup quarterfinals – it was the last point of the match.

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100+ Tennis Gift Ideas for Players of All Ages & Levels https://tenniscompanion.org/best-tennis-gifts/ https://tenniscompanion.org/best-tennis-gifts/#respond Wed, 07 Feb 2018 13:28:48 +0000 http://www.tenniscompanion.org/?p=5378

We hope you love this post with over 100 gift ideas for tennis players! Just so you know, TennisCompanion may collect a small share of sales from the links on this page to help keep this site running.

Finding the best tennis gift for a friend or family member can be tricky, especially if you don’t play tennis.

Today, all that’s going to change. As diehard tennis fans, we’ve thought through all the angles to bring you the definitive gift-giving guide for tennis lovers. Here you’ll find more than a hundred ideas carefully organized to help you easily find a gift that the tennis player in your life will love and at the same time will make you shine.

Looking to buy a new tennis racquet or strings as a gift? Check out these resources to point yourself in the right direction:

Our 10 Best Tennis Gift Ideas

For our list of the 10 best tennis gifts, we’ve looked across a broad spectrum of ideas to come up with a thoughtful selection of unique options at different price points.

To make things easy to browse, we’ve presented our top 10 ideas below and then dive into more complete descriptions of each and why they made our list below.

Some of our ideas contain two related items that together make a great gift but can also be gifted separately. Enjoy!

Tennis Gift Idea Recommendation
Sports towel & dry bag Youphoria towel + Earth Pak dry bag
Vacuum insulated water bottle 32oz Hydro Flask Water Bottle
Muscle massage stick & foot roller The Stick + Foot Log
Case of tennis balls and ball hopper Penn tennis balls + Wilson ball hopper
Tennis racquet bag Babolat Pure 12 Tennis Bag
Headphones Beats by Dre Solo 3 Wireless Headphones
Radar Gun Ball Coach Pocket Radar
Fitness tracker Apple Watch Series 3 or Fitbit Ionic
Tennis stringing machine Gamma X-ST Stringer
Ball machine Lobster Elite 2

Sports Towel & Dry Bag

Tennis Gift #1 - Youphoria Travel Towel and Earth Pak Dry Bag

Whether it’s tennis or any other sport, sweating is just part of the game. Having a proper towel on hand to wipe down during a match or practice to feel refreshed is just a no-brainer, but it’s surprising that most recreational players don’t have one in their bag.

If you can splurge, we recommend buying two so half-way through a match your player can break out a fresh one.

Our favorite is the Youphoria Sports Microfiber towel. Here’s why:

  • Super affordable
  • Comes in 3 sizes (we like the 24×40 or 28×56)
  • Has 10 different colors
  • Incredibly soft
  • Super absorbent
  • Quick dry microfiber
  • Easy to wash

By themselves, these towels make a great gift idea. However, we’ve also recommended a dry bag because at the end of a hot day you don’t want to stick your used towels in your bag along with all your other gear and stink everything up.

A dry bag is a simple solution, and your recipient can comfortably fit a few towels and their dirty clothes if they wanted to change after a match. In high school and college, this is particularly useful for away matches because players can change before they hop back on the bus or van traveling home.

Bundle these together for an affordable tennis gift that is a sure-fire winner.

Vaccum Insulated Water Bottle

Tennis Gift #2 - Hydro Flask Water Bottle and Lid

Poper hydration is an absolute necessity in tennis. Unfortunately, many players overlook hydration, and it can have a substantial negative impact on their performance, especially when matches go the distance.

Of course, when you’re out in the heat of the summer a bottle of hot water isn’t exactly the most appealing. That’s where the Hydroflask double wall vacuum insulated stainless steel sports water bottle comes into play.

Not only will it store your players favorite liquid but it will keep their liquid cold for a full 24 hours. That means even on the hottest of days they’ll have a cold refreshment waiting for them during a changeover. Trust us; it works incredibly well!

In fact, we’ll typically pack ours with half water and half ice in the morning, toss it in our bag, and by the afternoon the ice still won’t have melted. As if that wasn’t sweet enough, it also keeps liquids hot for 12 hours for when the moment strikes, i.e., think a few cups of coffee on a long drive.

Our favorite is the 32 once because it works great for everyday use without being too small or large, but they have plenty of bigger and smaller sizes available as well.

The 32 ounce comes with a single top that has a durable handle which works great, but we also love the wide-mouth travel mug flip lid. For daily use, it can be a bit easier to drink out of, and we’ll switch the tops back and forth depending on the day’s activities.

Helpful tip: at 32 ounces you can encourage your player to drink at least two of these a day, and that will help them get their minimum daily intake of 8 cups of water a day to stay hydrated.

For tennis and daily use, the Hydroflask water bottle is a great gift idea that your recipient will love.

Muscle Massage Stick & Foot Roller

Tennis Gift #3 - The Stick Muscle Massager and Foot Log

After a few hours on the court, stretching is critical to aid in recovery and avoid sore muscles and stiffness the next morning. However, if you’re like us, you find stretching helps but it doesn’t relieve soreness that’s so common after a long day of tennis.

Thankfully for us, we stumbled upon The Stick a few years back. To be completely honest, we were a bit skeptical at first, but after our first few uses, we became big-time believers, and it’s one of those items that never leave our bag.

The Stick is a plastic stick that you hold at each end by the handles and roll across your leg muscles and lower back after practice or a match. It has rings that allow it to roll across your muscles with ease and you simply apply pressure that feels good to give yourself a massage.

Our favorite is the 19-inch with grey handles, but the smallest 14-inch stick with green handles is perfect for travel.

This unassuming device works incredibly well. After we’re done playing tennis, we usually start with a quick 5 to 10-minute stretch. Then we bust out The Stick from our bag and work each muscle on our legs and lower back over the course of another 5 to 10 minutes.

When we go through these motions the difference the next day is enormous, and we notice our muscles aren’t near as sore. As a result, we recover faster and feel ready to play the very next day.

Here are a few helpful tips to share with your recipient:

  • At first, it might feel tender to use a massage stick on your legs, but that changes after a few weeks of use. Just be patient and stay with it because it will become more comfortable over time and pay huge dividends aiding in faster recovery.
  • When we first started using ours, we were a little overzealous one day and massaged too hard causing extra soreness the next morning. When your recipient uses it, they’ll know how much pressure to apply. Just tell them to keep in mind that if they press too hard, it may have the reverse effect.
  • For the guys in your life, you can assure them it won’t pull their leg hair as we thought it would at first. The rings have a unique design that somehow prevents this from happening so they’ll be good to go!

After using the stick for a while, we happened upon another device that’s just as good and a fantastic pairing gift with The Stick.

It’s called the Foot Log, and it’s a similar device to the stick, but it works for your feet. All you do is place the Foot Log on the floor and then roll your foot (shoes off) back and forth for a massage, and it feels incredible while also providing tremendous relief. You can do both feet while sitting but we’ve found one foot at a time standing to be a bit more effective.

Like The Stick, there’s no need to apply too much pressure, just what feels right. We recommend using it with socks on because we’ve found it to be more comfortable that way.

Both The Stick and The Log fit conveniently in a tennis bag, and they’re one of those gifts any player will start to recommend to their friends and family after having used it for a while themselves.

Case of Tennis Balls & Ball Hopper

Tennis Gift #4 - Tennis Ball Case & Ball Hoper

While a can of tennis balls might not be a groundbreaking gift idea for tennis players, opening a case of tennis balls will put a smile on any players face.

Here are two great reasons why we love giving cases of tennis balls:

  • Balls aren’t cheap: as tennis players, we’re always buying tennis balls, and over time the expense just adds up. Not having to pay for them for a while is a welcome surprise.
  • Convenience: when we’re ready to play we don’t want the additional hassle of chasing down a can of balls from the store or local pro shop. Instead, just grabbing one or two and heading out to the courts is ideal.

A case of Wilson or Penn extra duty tennis balls that comes with 24 cans in the pack is what we’d recommend.

Just by itself, a case of tennis balls is a great gift for any tennis player. However, when paired with a ball hopper, you can take your gift giving up a notch.

That’s because we can crack open a few cans of tennis balls, dump them in the ball hopper and head out to the court with a friend and take turns feeding balls to each other to practice our game. It’s also a great option if we’re looking to practice our serve on our own time without having to chase down balls constantly.

If you’re not a tennis player, it’s worth noting that a ball hopper serves three great purposes:

  • First, it holds the tennis balls and is great for transportation
  • Second, a good ball hopper has handles that fold down under itself to serve as legs so we can easily grab tennis balls and feed them to another player or grab them for ourselves.
  • Third, when the ball hopper is pressed down on top of a ball the balls go straight through, and it makes picking up balls much quicker without having to bend down.

We recommend Wilson’s Ball Hopper for a few reasons:

  • It’s made of durable metal and will last for years
  • It has a 75 ball capacity which is more than enough
  • It has handles that swing down below the basket to serve as legs
  • There are small inserts at the bottom of the basket where the handles can lock into place, so the basket is sturdy when standing

Helpful tip: when a player gets a case of tennis balls and a ball hopper it can be tempting for them to open up all the tennis balls and fill the basket to the brim for practice. There’s certainly nothing wrong with opening all the balls, but once you open a can of tennis balls, they have a pretty short lifespan.

So, to get the most out of the case of balls, we recommend opening roughly six cans at a time. That’s 18 tennis balls that can be used to practice and your recipient will extend the life of their gift that way.

At the same time, even pressurized cans don’t last forever. You’ll want to encourage your player to use all of the balls within the year for the best result. We find this usually isn’t a problem for most players :)

Tennis Racquet Bag

Tennis Gift #5 - Babolat Pure 12 Tennis Bag

While a tennis racquet bag isn’t a necessity for playing tennis, any serious player will attest to the fact that their bag is key because it carries everything you need to play and compete in a tennis match.

First and foremost, a tennis bag serves to protect our tennis racquets. However, beyond that our bag stores a slew of essentials that we may need during a match.

After all, once you start your match, it’s not like you can go running down to the store if you need something.

Here’s a list of what we keep in our bag:

  • 3 strung tennis racquets
  • A can of tennis balls
  • Pack of replacement grips
  • Water bottle
  • 2 sports towels
  • 2 pairs of socks
  • 2 shirts
  • 1 pair of comfy running shoes
  • Dry bag for dirty clothes/towels
  • Headphones and cell phone
  • The Stick leg massager
  • The Log foot massager
  • Yoga strap for stretching
  • Energy bars
  • Electrolyte water tablets
  • Tiger Balm
  • Advil
  • Neutrogena facial wipes
  • Tape for blisters
  • Sunscreen, small bottle of zinc, chapstick with SPF

For every player, what they like to stock in their bag is different, and even if we had half of what we listed here, we’d still want something to hold it all. That’s why we think it’s essential.

Our pick for a bag that we think makes a great gift is the Babolat Pure 12 racquet bag. We opt for the 12 racquet bag even though we have nowhere near the need to hold 12 racquets because we like the extra space to hold all of the items we listed above.

A few reasons we like the Babolat Pure 12 racquet bag:

  • Affordable for such a large bag
  • Multiple colors for different tastes
  • Spacious for storing all of our gear
  • Backpack straps for comfortably carrying around
  • Thermal insulation for protecting our strung racquets from the heat and cold which can change the tension of our racquets
  • A separate breathable compartment for our shoes
  • A smaller removable shoe sack that’s a decent alternative to a dry bag for keeping dirty clothes/towels (we prefer the dry bag because it’s waterproof and it does a better job at keeping the stink of what we put in it under wrap)

If you’re looking for another fantastic option from a different brand, we’d recommend the Wilson Federer DNA 12 racquet bag.

Helpful tip: one thing to keep in mind when giving a bag as a gift is that some players are going to be picky about matching the brand of their bag with the brand of their racquet. We prefer to use the bag that best serves its purpose, but it’s worth keeping in mind.

Headphones

Tennis Gift #6 - Beats by Dre Solo 3 Wireless Headphones

Headphones make a great gift for any tennis player. However, they’re a particularly awesome for the competitor or student-athlete.

For the competitor, headphones serve as an excellent means to clear your head, stay focused, and drown out any noise and distraction before a match. As any player can attest, tennis is a sport of mental strength which can make or break a players success and headphones can help put a player in the zone with the right music.

For the student-athlete, the same applies to competition. However, we found that headphones served us in a few extra ways over the years. First off, if you’re on a tennis team in high school or college, you’re going to be traveling with your team. It may be by bus, van, car or plane but you’re typically going to be traveling with a group.

Throughout the season, players end up logging quite a few hours traveling, and we always liked our headphones for two reasons:

  • Studying: without headphones, studying while traveling would have been nearly impossible. There’s just too much distraction. However, a good pair of headphones allowed us to drown out the noise and focus on getting work done. When you’re spending a few hours traveling a couple of times a week during the season, this can end up being huge for a student-athlete.
  • Zone out or sleep: as much as we love our teammates, sometimes after a stressful day, a tough loss, or just pure exhaustion it can be nice just to zone out and if the mood strikes shut our eyes and get a little sleep. Again, without a quality pair of headphones, this would be nearly impossible surrounded by a group of teammates.

Our pick for our favorite headphones for tennis players is Beats by Dre over the ear noise canceling headphones. Here are a few reasons we love our Beats headphones:

  • Sound: Beats makes great headphones with awesome sound, and they’ve only become better after Apple purchased them.
  • Comfort: we think over the hear headphones are some of the most comfortable and we can wear them for long periods of time without our ears hurting or getting a headache.
  • Noise cancellation: with music on or no music at all this feature is what sets these headphones apart from others.
  • Colors: they come in a variety of different colors that you can pick and choose to match your gift recipient’s style.

We also think Bose over the ear noise canceling headphones is equally as great an option with high-quality sound. Of course, if you can’t swing the expense of noise canceling headphones another pair from either of these companies will still do the trick. We just love that particular feature for the reasons we talked about earlier.

Beyond their uses specifically for tennis players, everyone can use a great pair of headphones whether traveling or around town, so we think it’s a fantastic gift that’s hard to go wrong.

Pocket Radar

Tennis Gift #7 - Pocket Radar

Growing up and watching the pros on TV or at the occasional tournament, we loved keeping an eye on the speed of serves. It’s a unique element of watching professional tennis that we always enjoyed, so naturally, we wanted to know how fast we could serve.

One time when we were younger, we recall the tennis club we were members at having a radar detector on hand where we all got to measure the speed of our serves – it was an absolute blast seeing how we stacked up against our expectations and peers.

Unfortunately, the price of a radar detector for the value made it a completely unrealistic purchase. Until of course, we found the Ball Coach Pocket Radar.

Here are a few reasons we fell in love with this gadget:

  • Cost: it’s a fraction of the cost of high-end radar guns.
  • Accuracy: less expensive doesn’t mean less accurate. The Pocket Radar has been tested along side considerably more expensive radar guns and shown to be just as accurate.
  • Size: we can easily store the pocket radar in our tennis bag, and it lives up to its name as you can slide it into your pocket or hold it comfortably in the palm of your hand.

As for our favorite feature, you can set it up to continually record up to 25 serves which is useful so you can place the Pocket Radar on the other side of the court or behind you near the fence to record the speed of your serves.

We have to admit, the Pocket Radar is a bit of a splurge, but that’s part of what makes it such a fun gift. It’s great for the tennis instructor or coach in your life because they’ll get a ton of use out of it on a regular basis. However, high school and college players will also have a ton of fun measuring the speed of their serves with their teammates.

While serving might be the primary use for many players, it does just as good of a job at measuring the speed of groundstrokes and other tennis shots too.

Helpful tip: pair the Ball Coach Pocket Radar with a simple, inexpensive tripod like the Daisen Camera Tripod. That way it can be set up on the opposite side of the net or attached to the fence for monitoring the speed of shots, and both can easily store in a players bag.

Apple Watch or Fitbit

Tennis Gift #8 - Apple Watch Series 3 & Fitbit Ionic

As an athlete, tracking and measuring our fitness is incredibly insightful and rewarding.

When it comes to tennis, the quality of our fitness is just as important as our technique or ability to hit the ball well. In fact, lack of conditioning or being out of shape can quickly degrade the quality of our tennis and can also hold us back when competing at higher levels.

On the other hand, a player who is in shape can maintain the quality of their technique throughout an intense three-set match. All things being equal with talent, proper conditioning can serve as a huge edge over players who aren’t willing to put in the hard work.

Fitness trackers help because they bring context to the quality of our training and when monitored and used as a goal-setting tool can help us improve and ultimately become stronger players.

First off, a fitness tracker gives players context for how well or hard we’re training. For example, if we’re looking to improve our endurance, we may want to set goals for a certain number of steps we take during a workout. Similarly, we may want to shoot for a specific heart rate that helps us better understand the intensity of our training which we’d expect to improve over time.

We also like to track our tennis matches as workouts. This way we can use this data to reflect back on our results and then set specific goals around where we see opportunities for improvement.

For example, if our heart rate during a tennis match is exceeding what we typically reach during practice, then it gives us a sense for what we need to strive for in our training to be comfortable at a certain level of intensity during a tennis match.

Our two favorite picks for fitness trackers are:

  • Apple Watch
  • Fitbit tracker

Both are terrific options for comprehensive fitness tracking that provide companion smartphone apps for monitoring a players fitness.

Regardless of which brand you choose, we highly recommend getting a waterproof version because we’ve personally killed our watch when we forgot to remove it before jumping into a pool. In our opinion, for a device you’re supposed to wear all day long it just has to be waterproof.

We also like a watch with a full screen so that we can monitor our results throughout the day. Plus, the full screen allows us to take advantage of the other cool features like music and apps.

For Apple, that means getting the Series 3, and for Fitbit, that means getting the Ionic – both are waterproof and have full screens.

For tennis players, a smartwatch or fitness tracker is the perfect gift. It’s useful for improving our fitness, and it also has a wealth of other uses beyond tennis that make it a sure-fire winner.

Tennis Stringer

Tennis Gift #9 - Gamma X-ST Tennis Stringer

Over the years, we’ve found most players don’t even consider the fact that they can purchase a tennis stringer. We believe that’s because the general assumption is that tennis stringers are way too expensive to bother.

The truth is, there are terrific stringers that are surprisingly affordable. Of course, as with anything, there are versions with extra features that can quickly become more expensive too.

However, the unique thing about a stringer is that over time they pay for themselves if you string frequently. Consider the fact that on average the cost of stringing a racquet (minus the cost of the string) is $15, i.e., just for the labor.

Next, let’s assume you play competitively all year long and string your racquet every two weeks on average. That’s $390 every year!

Over a four-year high school career that’s $1,560. Add in an additional four years at college, and we’re up to $3,120. That’s assuming for a family that buys a stringer that only one player is taking advantage of using it.

For us, we’d even use our stringer to string our teammate’s tennis racquets, and we’d charge $10 for the restring. Since most players on our team didn’t own a stringer, we made a few hundred dollars each season and helped our teammates out too.

As a parent who tends to foot the bill for the cost of restringing, it’s a no-brainer purchase if you can afford it, assuming your son or daughter would be open to learning how to string.

Of course, it’s a gift, so we don’t need to expect by default that it will pay for itself but it’s a nice side benefit when considering whether to buy one.

However, there is a slew of reasons why we think a stringer makes a great gift idea beyond the cost savings or even the ability to make a little extra cash on the side stringing for friends and family. Here are some of the top reasons:

Strings are Key
When it comes to tennis equipment, tennis strings and the tension we string our racquets at is highly underrated. As players, we often put so much time and energy into finding the perfect tennis racquet, but we tend to overlook the strings.

In our opinion, we often neglect our strings because it’s expensive to test and learn what string setup and tension enhances our game. When you own a stringer, you can drastically reduce the cost of each string job and experiment with both the tension and type of tennis strings to get the most out of your racquet.

Convenience
If you’ve ever broken a string the day before a match, then you know how frustrating it can be to try to get your racquet restrung in a hurry. Even when you’re not competing, getting your racquet restrung often means an extra trip to drop your racquet off and pick it up before you play next. All in all, it’s just a hassle.

When you have a stringer at home, you can always spend some time in the evening restringing a racquet. Whether you broke a string or you’re looking for a fresh string job before you compete, it’s easy to make it happen when you’re the stringer.

Consistency
Hopefully, you have access to someone who takes great care and is meticulous in their stringing process, so you get a consistent result each time you restring. Unfortunately, for some of us, that’s just not the case, and we don’t always get our money’s worth.

However, when you’re the stringer, you have complete control over the process and can ensure that you get a consistent result each time. To be fair, it will take some time to become proficient as a seasoned stringer, but the payoff, in the long run, is enormous.

It’s Fun
While this may not be true for all players, we love stringing our racquets. We get a lot of satisfaction out of owning the process, and there’s nothing better than flipping on TV, watching some tennis, and stringing our racquet to get excited to play the next day.

If you’re thinking the idea of buying a stringer for your favorite tennis player makes sense for you, then you should check out the Gamma line for quality and affordability. Here are a few options to check out – generally speaking, the more you spend, the more features you get for making stringing quicker, easier, and more accurate.

Gamma X-2
The Gamma X-2 is going to be one of your most affordable options for a stringer which makes it a fantastic gift. Here are some key features:

  • Drop weight tensioning
  • 2-point mounting
  • Floating clamps
  • Includes basic tools

Gamma X-ST: RECOMMENDED
An excellent step-up from the X-2 is the X-ST. We like this machine because the spring tension winder that you crank to tension your strings is easier and faster to use, the 6-point mounting system holds the racquet more secure, and the quick action swivel clamp base makes clamping after tensioning each string a breeze.

  • Spring tension winder
  • 6-point mounting
  • Quick action swivel clamp base
  • Includes basic tools

Gamma Progression II Els
Last but certainly not least is the Progression II Els. The primary upgrade from the X-ST is that the Els provides an electronic controlled constant pull tensioner instead of the spring tension winder. Stringers may find it’s a bit faster to string with the X-ST, but the main advantage is accuracy and consistency when stringing.

  • Electronic controlled constant pull tensioner
  • 6-point mounting
  • Quick action swivel clamp base
  • Includes basic tools

Whichever stringing machine you chose as a gift you’re going to put a massive smile on the recipients face. It’s indeed the gift that keeps on giving for many years to come.

Helpful tip: in the long run, one of the additional ways a stringing machine can help save money is by purchasing reels of string instead of individual packages. Buying in bulk means you save per string job so once your player settles on a string set they can’t live without, buying a reel is ideal to maximize your savings.

Ball Machine

Tenis Gift #10 - Lobster Elite 2 Tennis Ball Machine

For the tennis player that has pretty much everything or is looking to take their game to the next level, a ball machine might just be the perfect gift idea.

Here are a few reasons why we love the idea of a ball machine as a gift for tennis players:

  • Repetition: as with learning pretty much anything, practice or repetition combined with proper instruction is essential for taking your game to the next level. For tennis, a ball machine fulfills that need by providing players with a tool that allows them to hit the same shots over and over to help perfect their technique while developing good solid feel.
  • Consistency: developing consistency is critical to any player’s success on the court. Of course, building up the ability to keep the ball in play over and over takes time and practice. Once again, a ball machine is an excellent tool for helping players develop consistency.
  • No partner needed: sometimes players are going to find themselves in a situation where they want to hit, but no one is available to play. With a ball machine, they can still get out on the court any time when it’s convenient for them.
  • Save money: while the upfront cost of a ball machine may be a bit pricey, there are opportunities for some players to save money by reducing their cost of lessons. For example, say a player takes tennis lessons once a week at $50 per lesson. Instead, if they moved to every other week and they substituted each private lesson with practice on a ball machine, they could save $100 per month. While there’s no substitution for quality instruction, it’s a worthwhile consideration. Especially because a player will likely get much more hitting time in on a ball machine, then they would during a group lesson.
  • Great workout: it might not be the first thing that comes to mind, but a ball machine can give a player a fantastic workout. Many ball machines can load up over a hundred balls, and the good ones have programed drills that can keep you moving around the court for a solid workout to help players improve their conditioning as well.
  • Fun: last but not least, ball machines are just plain fun to use which make them a terrific gift.

There are quite a few ball machines out there, but we’d recommend Lobster ball machines as the perfect gift idea with a few different models to choose from at varying price points.

Our favorite for a terrific mix of features and price point is the Lobster Elite 2. In fact, we wrote an entire article on this ball machine, so if you’re considering this as a gift, we’d highly recommend you check it out.

There you have it – our list of the top 10 gift ideas.

Of course, that’s just the beginning. Keep reading for 90 more fresh gift ideas that tennis players will love.

Clothing & Apparel

Help ensure the tennis player in your life is playing in style with a gift of clothing that will help them look good whether they win or lose.

Tennis fashion is relatively unique in that we get new styles released each season and unique outfits that typically coincide with the four majors, so there are always new threads coming out all year long to give as gifts.

Here are some ideas for different types of apparel to get you started.

  • T-shirt
  • Long sleeve shirt
  • Sweatshirt
  • Jacket
  • Shorts
  • Pants/tights
  • Skirt
  • Dress
  • Shoes
  • Socks
  • Hat
  • Visor
  • Headband
  • Wristband

Grips & Accessories

As a tennis player, regripping a racquet can be borderline therapeutic, and for many players, it’s part of their pre-match routine.

Tennis racquets come standard with overgrips, which are thick, durable, and the primary covering over the handles hard surface. They take a bit more effort to install and are usually replaced less frequently, perhaps once a season or even less for more casual players.

Replacement grips, on the other hand, are thin disposable grips that a player can wrap quickly and easily on top of their overgrip, use a few times, and then replace with a new one. If a player always uses replacement grips on top of their overgrip, they’ll likely never need to replace their overgrip.

We’re big fans of replacement grips and find that it’s the preference for most players. One of the reasons is because a fresh replacement grip often has a bit of tackiness to help keep their racquet held firmly in their hand. On hot sweatier days, many players will even replace their grip during a match to keep it fresh.

As a result, a replacement grip or pack of overgrips can make a great gift because we’re always going to need more!

We’ve also included a few additional accessories as gift ideas below that you’ll want to check out.

  • Replacement grips
  • Overgrips
  • Vibration dampener: small rubber/plastic device placed between the strings for a muted sound and feel when hitting
  • Tennis stencil and ink: typically, players will use the stencil that matches the brand of their racquet.
  • Gexco Tennis Ball Saver: a simple device for extending the life of up to 3 tennis balls at a time.
  • String Thing tennis string straightener: a simple device used to quickly and easily straighten a racquets strings which often move out of alignment during play.
  • Portable over the net tennis scorekeeper: a small portable scorekeeper that sits on top of the net and can be changed each time players switch ends to keep track of the score.

Training Equipment Tennis Gifts

The following gift ideas are perfect to help any tennis player train effectively. Much of a tennis players fitness revolves around developing great footwork, and the items below can be used for virtually endless drills and exercise routines to help a player develop this skill-set.

  • Agility disc cones
  • Agility ladders
  • Agility hurdles
  • Bosu balance trainer
  • Jump rope
  • Resistance bands

Tennis Gifts for Health & Recovery

After a long practice or tennis match, it’s crucial that players take steps to protect and rejuvenate their body. Gift ideas like foam rollers and massage balls can help work out knots and relax muscles, while a yoga strap can help a player stretch their legs effectively without putting a strain on their back.

Of course, a good old fashion ice pack can always come in handy for problem areas like a sore wrist, elbow, back, knee, etc… We recommend the flexible ice packs that a player can mold to their body.

When it comes time to get back out on the court, gifts like therapy and blister tape can go a long way to helping a player feel comfortable during play.

  • Foam roller: one of our favorite post-match and workout routines is rolling our legs and back to work out knots, release tight muscles, and reduce muscle soreness.
  • Massage ball: perfect for applying more pressure when massaging out tough knots and tight muscles.
  • Yoga strap: great for stretching legs while reducing strain on a player’s back
  • Yoga mat: perfect for striking a few yoga poses before and after a match, and for stretching on the ground.
  • Kinesiology therapy tape: when used appropriately can provide players a wide range of benefits such as reducing pain, promoting circulation and healing, preventing injury, and more
  • Blister tape: great for preventing blisters in sensitive areas or for taping over blisters to reduce pain and prevent them from getting worse.
  • Cold therapy ice packs: handy for nursing injuries or reducing swelling and muscle soreness after working out, practice or match play.

Gifts for a Players Bag

A bunch of the items we’ve already covered will find their way into a tennis player’s bag but here are a few additional items that we like to keep in ours that can make for a great gift.

You might even consider packaging a bunch of them together to create a gift basket.

  • Tiger Balm: reduce pain and aches before and after playing tennis
  • Advil: pain reliever
  • Energy bars: great to have on hand before, during and after matches for fueling up
  • Nuun electrolyte water tablets: toss in a water bottle for extra hydration
  • Neutrogena facial wipes: perfect for wiping yourself down after a long match
  • Supergoop sunscreen: protects a player from the sun and won’t run into their eyes or down their arms to make their grip slippery
  • Zinka zinc sunscreen: protect burn-prone areas especially on your face such as your nose
  • Chapstick with SPF: prevent chapped lips from spending too much time in the sun

Tennis Books as Gifts

There is a vast selection of tennis books out there that make terrific gifts for players of all ages and levels. In fact, we’ve put our list of the top 110 books you can check out for inspiration.

From biographies and autobiographies about famous tennis players to books on strategy, conditioning, and mental toughness there’s a book for everyone. Here are our top 10 picks.

  • Open by Andre Agassi
  • Rafa by Rafael Nadal, John Carlin
  • The Inner Game of Tennis by W. Timothy Gallwey
  • The Outsider by Jimmy Connors
  • Winning Ugly: Mental Warfare in Tennis by Brad Gilbert, Steve Jamison
  • The Art of Doubles: Winning Tennis Strategies and Drills by Pat Blaskower
  • A Terrible Splendor by Marshall Jon Fisher
  • Tennis Strategy: How to Beat Any Style Player by Grant Grinnell
  • Tennis For Dummies by Patrick McEnroe, Peter Bodo
  • Tennis Fitness for the Love of It by Suzanna McGee

Technology Tennis Gifts

In recent years, a slew of new gadgets has come to market to help players track and improve their game which naturally make great gift items for tennis players.

The following are a selection of some of the most popular tech gifts worth checking out with brief descriptions of what each gift will do for a tennis player.

Smart Sensors & Trackers

Smart sensors track a player’s on-court performance to provide data that can be used to analyze their game. Stats such as swing speed, ball speed, sweet spot analysis, stroke type, topspin, and backspin are among the kind of information that these sensors can track.

Each comes with a companion smartphone app for viewing the data collected and provide slightly different data that you can track. They also each give players access to a community of other users that have purchased a sensor themselves.

Here are our top picks for sensors:

  • Sony Smart Sensor
  • Zepp Swing Analyzer
  • QLIPP Sensor
  • Babolat Pop Wristband

Here are a few additional wearable tech gift ideas for tennis players:

  • Scoreband: a simple watch that tells the time and allows players to keep score of a match.
  • Pulseplay Tennis Watch: another simple watch for keeping score of your tennis matches along with a companion Apple and Android smartphone app.
  • Smash Wristband: a lightweight band that you wear on your wrist that uses sensors combined with an app to provide technical analysis and personalized recommendations for improving a players game.

Tickets to a Tennis Tournament

For any player, attending a tennis tournament is an excellent gift that comes with memories that last a lifetime. Not only does it give a player something to look forward to but it gives players the opportunity to watch some of their favorite players in person which is an amazing experience.

Listed below are a few of the top tournaments that attract the games best players for inspiration. We recommend attending during the earlier rounds when there’s a lot of energy and excitement, the tickets are cheaper, and you’ll be able to see the most players before the draw gets smaller.

We’ve also organized them by month of the year that they occur so you can determine which might be a good fit as a gift.

Of course, there are many other ATP and WTA tournaments that are smaller but can be just as fun so check out the full lists if you can’t make it to any of the events below.

  • Australian Open – Melbourne, Austrailia (Mid January)
  • BNP Paribas Open – Indian Wells, CA (Early March)
  • Miami Open – Miami, FL (Late March)
  • Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters – Monte Carlo, Monaco (Mid April)
  • Mutua Madrid Open – Madrid, Spain (Early May)
  • Internazionali BNL d’Italia – Rome, Italy (Mid May)
  • Roland Garros French Open – Paris France (late May-June)
  • Wimbledon – Wimbledon, UK (early July)
  • Rogers Cup – Toronto, Canada (Early August)
  • Western & Southern Open – Cincinnati, OH (Mid August)
  • US Open – Flushing Meadows, NY (late August-September)
  • Rolex Shanghai Masters – Shanghai, China (Early October)
  • Rolex Paris Masters – Paris, France (Late October-Nov)

Subscriptions as Gifts

A subscription is a great gift idea because it keeps on giving as long as it’s active. The following are three of our favorite subscriptions to give as gifts to tennis players.

  • Tennis Magazine: 6 copies published yearly
  • Tennis TV: stream and watch up to 2,000 ATP matches
  • Tennis Trunk: a box of tennis gear and equipment delivered straight to your doorstep every month

Memberships as Gifts

There’s nothing better than supporting or being part of a group that’s passionate about tennis, which makes the gift of a membership to some of these great organizations such a pleasure.

Not only does a gift of membership provide players with a sense of belonging (and in some cases a few perks) you’ll also be helping them thrive because they rely in part on membership to continue operation.

  • United States Tennis Association (USTA): adult, junior and family memberships available that allow you to compete in sanctioned events, receive a subscription to Tennis Magazine, and discounts on tournaments and travel.
  • International Tennis Hall of Fame: membership gives you access to the International Tennis Hall of Fame, discounts at the yearly Hall of Fame grass court tournament, and more!
  • United States Racquet Stringers Association (USRSA): a membership to the USRSA gets you a copy of Stringer’s Digest, discounts and free samples, and the ability to get certified as a professional stringer.
  • Local club: what’s better than the gift of a membership to your local club or courts so that the tennis player in your life can easily schedule time on the court and get to know other local tennis players.

Wall Art Tennis Gifts

Tennis wall art is perhaps one of the more unique gifts to give a tennis player because it’s often so unexpected. There’s also a wide variety of styles of art available for different players with varying taste.

Here are a few of our favorites to give you a sneak peak of what’s out there.

Monte Carlo

Tennis Art Gift - Monte Carlo

Racquet Patent

Tennis Art Gift - Racquet Patent

Roger Federer

Tennis Art Gift - Roger Federer
Be a Good Loser

Tennis Art Gift - Be a Good Loser

Net Patent

Tennis Art Gift - Net Patent

Rafael Nadal

Tennis Art Gift - Rafael Nadal

Kitchen, Dining & Jewelry Gifts

The gift of a tennis-themed kitchen or dining item is a great way to provide a player with a constant reminder of their favorite sport. Similarly, for the player who loves jewelry, a piece that’s tennis-themed can make a fantastic gift idea.

Here are a few ideas to get your creative juices flowing.

  • Cups
  • Glasses
  • Mugs
  • Cutting board
  • Wine topper
  • Spreading knives
  • Timer
  • Bracelet
  • Necklace
  • Earrings
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Tennis Ball https://tenniscompanion.org/ball/ https://tenniscompanion.org/ball/#respond Sat, 18 Nov 2017 17:04:28 +0000 http://www.tenniscompanion.org/?p=5294

Ball (noun) [bawl]

Definition of a Ball in Tennis

A small hollow object made of rubber, covered in fluorescent yellow felt and pressurized so that it bounces.

Examples of Ball in a Sentence

Ok, it’s time to pick up the tennis balls.

The tennis ball just barely caught the line.

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Context for Tennis Balls

Tennis balls are a unique piece of equipment developed exclusively for the sport and are necessary to play tennis.

Most cans come with three tennis balls. This number permits the server to carry at least two for their first and second serve. A total of three allows players to rotate them throughout the match.

Having extra balls during a match also helps keep play moving because you don’t have to chase them down as much but the more balls you use, the more expensive it gets.

Unfortunately, once opened, tennis balls begin to lose their pressure. As a result, unless you play multiple times per week, where you’d get good use out of more than three tennis balls, you may want to consider only opening one can at a time to save yourself money.

Common Questions & Answers About Tennis Balls

What color is a tennis ball?
Tennis balls come in a variety of colors. However, the most common type of tennis ball is yellow or more specifically fluorescent yellow.

Why are tennis balls yellow?
Originally, tennis balls were typically white or black depending on the color of the court to help increase visibility. However, in 1972 the ITF introduced yellow tennis balls because they were significantly more easy to see on TV. In fact, Wimbledon didn’t adopt yellow balls all the way up until 1986.

How big is a tennis ball? Or more specifically, what size is the diameter or dimension of a tennis ball?
The most common types of tennis balls used in recreational and professional play will have a diameter that ranges from 6.54-6.86 cm (2.57-2.70 in).

At the tour level, there are four types of balls permitted for play which include:

  • Type 1 (fast) 6.54-6.86 cm (2.57-2.70 in)
  • Type 2 (medium) 6.54-6.86 cm (2.57-2.70 in)
  • Type 3 (slow) 7.00-7.30 cm (2.76-2.87 in)
  • Type 4 (high altitude) 6.54-6.86 cm (2.57-2.70 in)

Type 3 and type 4 tennis balls are only allowed for use on tennis courts 1,219 m (4,000 feet) above sea level.

For 10 and under tennis, there is a range of tennis balls suited for different levels of play. They include:

  • Stage 1 8.00-9.00 cm (3.15-3.54 inches) Any
  • Stage 2 7.00-8.00 cm (2.76-3.15 inches) Yellow and red
  • Stage 3 6.00-6.86 cm (2.36-2.70 inches) Yellow and orange
  • Stage 4 6.30-6.86 cm (2.48-2.70 inches) Yellow and green

How much does a tennis ball weigh?
The standard weight of all professional and recreational tennis balls is 56.0-59.4 grams (0.123-0.131 lbs) or 1.975-2.095 ounces.

For 10 and under tennis, the weight requirements for each type of ball varies as follows:

  • Stage 1 25.0-43.0 grams (0.882-1.517 oz)
  • Stage 2 36.0-49.0 grams (1.270-1.728 oz)
  • Stage 3 36.0-46.9 grams (1.270-1.654 oz)
  • Stage 4 47.0-51.5 grams (1.658-1.817 oz)

What are tennis balls made of?
Tennis balls consist of a two-piece rubber shell that is molded together to form a hollow core, injected with pressurized gas to give the ball its bounce, and wrapped with a synthetic felt that glues to the surface for durability.

How are tennis balls made?
Tennis balls are made through a 10 step production process that includes:

  1. Crushing of rubber material that’s formed into sheets
  2. Cutting of rubber sheets into chunks of rubber called slugs
  3. Molding of slugs into half pieces of the core
  4. Gluing of two half pieces to form the core
  5. Pressurizing the core to give the ball its bounce
  6. Cutting felt into dog bone shaped pieces
  7. Gluing of the felt onto the core of the ball
  8. Curing of felt to ensure strong adhesion
  9. Labeling of each ball with the manufacturer’s logo
  10. Packing of the balls into pressurized cans

Why are tennis balls fuzzy?
The fuzz on a tennis ball exists for a few different reasons including:

  • Durability: the fuzzy felt material that wraps the outer rubber core of a tennis ball helps increase the lifetime of a tennis ball.
  • Control: the fuzz also helps players control the tennis ball improving the spin potential through the Magnus Force where the fuzz catches air as it rotates and causes the ball to drop with topspin or float upward with backspin.
  • Speed: at the same time, the fuzz on a tennis ball increases the drag on the ball as it moves through the air which reduces the speed at which the ball travels.
  • Bounce: last but not least, the fuzzy felt material gives the ball a unique bounce that’s not too high or too low.

What’s inside tennis ball?
Underneath the outer layer of felt, the inside of a tennis ball contains a hollow rubber core. The core is pressurized with air or nitrogen which helps gives the ball its bounce.

What is the tennis ball smell?
The smell of a freshly opened can of tennis balls is the result of a mixture of the materials used to create a tennis ball, which primarily consists of a rubber core, glue, and felt outer covering.

How or why does tennis ball bounce?
A tennis ball bounces due to its spherical shape, hollow rubber inner core, and most importantly the fact that they are pressurized.

Why do tennis balls come in cans?
The most common type of tennis ball is pressurized to help give the ball its bounce. As such, cans are pressurized during the packaging of tennis balls to ensure the balls maintain their pressure up until the point a consumer receives and plays with them.

Why do tennis balls have numbers on them?
The numbers on tennis balls help players keep track of their tennis balls while playing next to other courts. Tennis balls typically come in cans of three balls all with the same number for this purpose.

Will a tennis ball sink or float?
A tennis ball will float because buoyant rubber material forms the core of the ball. Additionally, tennis balls are hollow and filled with air.

Will a tennis ball explode in a fire?
A tennis ball will not explode in a fire. Nitrogen, which is used often used to pressurize some tennis balls, is not flammable.

Will a tennis ball dent a car?
Absolutely. If hit hard and directly at a car, a tennis ball can easily dent a vehicle. However, any ball hit out of a court that strikes a car in a parking lot is very unlikely to make a dent.

What kind of gas is a tennis ball filled with?
Pressurized air or a mixture of air and nitrogen is the gas used to pressurize a tennis ball.

What kind of tennis balls do the four majors (Wimbledon, the US Open, the French Open, and the Austrailian Open) use?

  • Wimbledon: Slazenger has been the official tennis ball of Wimbledon since 1902.
  • US Open: Wilson provides the official tennis ball for the US Open.
  • French Open: up until 2011 the French Open was using Dunlop tennis balls. However, Babolat introduced their first tennis ball in 2001 and the French Open switch to their brand in 2011.
  • Australian Open: Wilson provides the official tennis ball for the US Open.

How many tennis balls does each of the four majors (Wimbledon, the US Open, the French Open, and the Austrailian Open) use per year?

  • Wimbledon: ~54,000 balls
  • US Open: ~70,000 tennis balls
  • French Open: ~65,000 balls
  • Austrailian Open: ~40,000 tennis balls

Who makes tennis balls?
The five most popular tennis ball manufacturers include:

  • Penn
  • Wilson
  • Dunlop
  • Gamma
  • Slazenger
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Bye In Tennis https://tenniscompanion.org/bye/ https://tenniscompanion.org/bye/#respond Sat, 18 Nov 2017 16:55:04 +0000 http://www.tenniscompanion.org/?p=5293

Bye (noun) [bahy]

Definition of a Bye in Tennis

The automatic advancement of a seeded singles player or doubles team from one round to the next without having to compete against an opponent.

Examples of Bye in a Sentence

Roger Federer received a buy because he’s a top-seeded player.

I’ve been playing tournaments for years and never received a bye.

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Context for Bye in Tennis

A bye in tennis is typically the result of specific draw sizes where the number of players does not allow for every player to participate in a first-round match. Here’s a look at how many players receive a bye per draw size in singles:

  • Draw of 28: the top 4 seeds awarded a bye
  • Draw of 48: the top 16 seeds awarded a bye
  • Draw of 56: the top 8 seeds awarded a bye
  • Draw of 96: the top 32 seeds awarded a bye

For doubles, a draw of 24 would result in a bye for the top 8 seeds.

As you can see, tournaments award byes to seeded players who have the highest rankings. The exception to this rule are cases where a bye is a result of insufficient direct acceptances.

Common Questions & Answers Byes in Tennis

What does a bye mean in a tennis draw?
A bye refers to the automatic advancement of a seeded singles player or doubles team from one round to the next without having to compete against an opponent.

How do you get a bye in tennis?
Players receive a bye when they are a top seed in a tournament where the draw size does not permit every player to be matched up in a first-round match. Seeded players are those with the highest rankings before the start of the competition.

What does bye stand for in tennis?
The term bye is not an acronym. Therefore, the letters of the word to not stand for anything. Instead, a bye refers merely to the automatic advancement of a seeded singles player or doubles team from one round to the next without having to compete against an opponent.

What’s the difference between a bye and a walkover?
Tournaments award byes to top-seeded players in the first round. Any subsequent rounds where a player automatically advances to the next round is considered a walkover. Injured or sick players frequently are the cause of such a situation.

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Tennis Backswing https://tenniscompanion.org/backswing/ https://tenniscompanion.org/backswing/#respond Wed, 15 Nov 2017 14:02:03 +0000 http://www.tenniscompanion.org/?p=5295

Backswing (noun) [bak-swing]

Definition of a Backswing in Tennis

The backward motion of a swing that moves the tennis racquet into position in preparation to swing forward and strike the ball.

Examples of Backswing in a Sentence

Sara shortened her backswing when returning her opponents serve.

A backswing is essential when hitting a forehand.

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Context for the Backswing in Tennis

The backswing is a fundamental part of a complete stroke used when hitting a variety of shots in tennis.

The backswing serves a few different purposes including:

  • Preparation: the backswing helps a player prepare for an upcoming shot and ensures strong positioning before striking the ball.
  • Power: when a player brings their racquet back before executing a shot in tennis, it allows them to subsequently bring their racquet forward to generate power when striking the ball.
  • Timing: the backswing also plays a role in helping players accurately time their shots which is crucial for hitting effectively.

Common Questions & Answers About The Backswing

How to shorten a backswing in tennis?
If a backswing is the motion of a swing that moves the tennis racquet into position before striking the ball, then a short backswing encourages a player to limit the amount of movement when pulling the racquet back into place.

As a result, the shortest backswing would be the least amount of motion required to get your racquet into position before bringing your racquet forward to strike the ball.

Some players have short backswings, and some have long. While there is no single correct way to execute a backswing, many coaches will encourage students to shorten their backswing or limit the movement required to get their racquet into position because it tends to simplify the stroke and reduce a players margin for error. In other words, there tends to be less that can go wrong with a short backswing.

Is a long or shot backswing better in tennis?
Unfortunately, there’s not a clear-cut answer to this question. As long as your backswing helps you accurately position your racquet before moving your racquet forward when striking the ball, then your backswing can be long or short.

A longer backswing may help some players generate additional power while a short backswing can help players reduce their margin for error when hitting a shot. As a result, it’s common for instructors to encourage beginners to learn most strokes with a short backswing because there tends to be less that can go wrong.

However, as a player matures, it’s natural to develop a more involved backswing which feels comfortable and helps them generate extra power. Typically, most coaches will be okay with a variety of backswings as long as the backswing isn’t negatively impacting a players stroke or timing. For example, if a player is consistently late to the ball they may suggest a player shorten their backswing.

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Bagel In Tennis https://tenniscompanion.org/bagel/ https://tenniscompanion.org/bagel/#respond Wed, 15 Nov 2017 13:55:57 +0000 http://www.tenniscompanion.org/?p=5275

Bagel (noun) [bey-guh l]

Definition of a Bagel

A set where the ending score is 6-0.

Examples of Bagel in a Sentence

I’m going to serve my opponent a bagel today.

I’ve only received one bagel from an opponent, and I hope it never happens again.

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Context for Bagels

The term bagel in tennis is slang that refers to the score of 6-0. The word bagel is used to represent the score of zero which is shaped like a bagel.

Bagel Statistics

How many times has a triple bagel occurred?
Since 1968 or during the Open Era, a triple bagel has only occurred five times at Grand Slam Tournament.

  • 1968 Nikola Špear – Daniel Contet 6–0, 6–0, 6–0 (French)
  • 1987 Karel Nováček – Eduardo Bengoechea 6–0, 6–0, 6–0 (French)
  • 1987 Stefan Edberg – Stefan Eriksson 6–0, 6–0, 6–0 (Wimbledon)
  • 1987 Ivan Lendl – Barry Moir 6–0, 6–0, 6–0 (US Open)
  • 1993 Sergi Bruguera – Thierry Champion 6–0, 6–0, 6–0 (Fench)

Who has served the most bagels in the career?
Jimmy Connors served up the most bagels in his career with 180. Ivan Lendl sits in second place at 148.

Common Questions & Answers About Bagels

What is a bagel in tennis?
A bagel describes a set where the score is 6-0.

Why is it called a bagel in tennis?
It’s called a bagel in tennis because the zero in the score of 6-0 resembles the shape of a bagel.

What is a double bagel in tennis?
A double bagel describes the outcome of a match where the score is 6-0, 6-0.

What is a triple bagel in tennis?
A triple bagel occurs when the score of a match is 6-0, 6-0, 6-0.

Is it a doughnut or bagel in tennis?
The term bagel describes a set where the score is 6-0, not doughnut.

What is a bagel girl in tennis?
The term bagel girl is a demeaning term used to describe a female player who frequently loses a set 6-0.

What is the golden bagel award?
The golden bagel award honors the player who served up the most bagels on the ATP tour in a single season. Roger Federer was the first recipient in 2004 with 12 bagels, and he also holds the record for the most bagels even in a single season at 18.

Here’s a list of the award recipients:

  • 2004 Roger Federer 12
  • 2005 Rafael Nadal 11
  • 2006 Roger Federer 18
  • 2007 David Ferre 7
  • 2008 Rafael Nadal 10
  • 2009 Rafael Nadal 8
  • 2010 Robin Söderling 7
  • 2011 Novak Djokovic 13
  • 2012 Novak Djokovic 9
  • 2013 Novak Djokovic 12
  • 2015 Novak Djokovic 12
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