What is the first hit in tennis called?

What is the First Hit in Tennis Called?

Tennis is a popular sport that requires skill, strategy, and agility. It is important to know the names of different shots and movements in order to be successful in the game. One of the most important shots in tennis is the first hit, and it is known as the serve.

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What is a Serve?

A serve is the first shot of a tennis point. The server stands behind the baseline on the right or left side of the court and attempts to hit the ball over the net and into the opposite court. The serve must travel over the net and land within the court boundaries. It is the only shot in tennis where the player is allowed to toss the ball in the air before striking it.

Types of Serves

There are two main types of serves in tennis: the flat serve and the topspin serve.

  • Flat Serve: A flat serve is a serve that is hit with a flat trajectory and minimal spin. It is often used by players who are looking to hit a hard, accurate serve, as it is less affected by wind and other conditions.
  • Topspin Serve: A topspin serve is a serve that is hit with topspin, which is a type of spin that causes the ball to move down after it has been hit. This type of serve is often used by players who are looking to generate more power and accuracy.

How to Execute a Serve

A successful serve requires a few key steps. First, the server must stand behind the baseline and hold the ball in their non-dominant hand. They then toss the ball in the air with their dominant hand and hit it with their racquet when it is at its highest point. The server should make sure to hit the ball with the sweet spot of their racquet and follow through with their swing.

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The Benefits of a Good Serve

A successful serve can give the server a major advantage during a tennis match. A good serve can put the opponent on the defensive, allowing the server to control the point and dictate the pace of the match. A successful serve can also put the opponent under pressure and make them feel rushed.

Common Serve Mistakes

There are a few common mistakes that many players make when serving. One of the most common mistakes is serving too hard. Many players attempt to hit their serves as hard as possible, which can often lead to errors. It is important to remember that accuracy is more important than power when it comes to serves.

Another common mistake is not following through with the swing. Many players will hit the ball and not finish the motion, which can lead to a loss of power and accuracy. It is important to remember to follow through with the swing and complete the motion.

Tips for Improving Your Serve

There are a few tips that can help players improve their serve.

  • Practice regularly: The best way to improve your serve is to practice regularly. Make sure to focus on hitting your serves accurately and with good form.
  • Vary the speed and spin: Varying the speed and spin of your serves will make them more difficult to return and make it harder for your opponent to predict where the ball will go.
  • Focus on the mechanics: Focus on the mechanics of your serve, such as your grip, stance, and swing. Make sure to keep your body relaxed and focus on hitting the ball with the sweet spot of your racquet.


The first hit in tennis is known as the serve. It is an important shot that requires skill and accuracy. There are two main types of serves: the flat serve and the topspin serve. It is important to practice regularly and focus on the mechanics of the serve in order to improve. With practice and dedication, anyone can become a successful server.