Making a Service Toss Beneath the Door of a Tennis Court Fence
Making a Service Toss Beneath
the Door of a Tennis Court Fence

Tennis - A Test to Determine
Service Toss Locaton

Dick Moss

The most common error, when tossing the ball for a serve, is a toss that flies behind the body instead of in front.

There are several good reasons for tossing the ball in front of the body: it allows the server to generate greater racquet speed for faster serves; it directs the ball downward over the net, instead of up; and it forces a forward weight shift in the server, an advantage when moving to the net for a volley or a short return.

But how do you know if your players' serve is forward or behind? Here's a simple test.

The Fence Door Serve Test
Have your players perform service tosses while standing directly beneath the door frame of the court's fence entrance.

  • If the ball hits the fence, you'll know they are tossing the ball behind their body.
  • If the ball rises and drops without hitting the fence, you'll know their toss is in front of their body.

You can also perform repetitions of this test to give your players a feeling for the correct location of a good service toss. Have them begin with low tosses, gradually increasing the height until they can accurately toss the ball to the height they'd use in a serve.

Reference: Joe Dinoffer (USPTA and PTR Master Professional), "Better toss for a better serve." Website, April 3, 2006., Your Game > Tip of the Week > Better toss for a better serve


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