Last updated 12 years ago
This is a great question. I think at the start experiment with as many serves as you can.
However, once your serves are developed you only need two or three types of serves. With those 3 serves you can vary the spin a lot to do backspin, sidespin, topspin and no spin.
The other thing to consider is where you place the serve. Each different placement is a different challenge for your opponent and so can be seen as a new serve. Have a look at our video lesson on the placement of the serve. Also, consider this, the same serve served to the backhand may be dealt with easily, but if placed on their forehand they may have trouble. Think about when players serve a particular serve to you that you don't like on one side but don't mind on the other.
Think then how many serves you really do have now. With 3 types of serves, 4 types of spin and hundreds of placement variations you now have about 1000 different challenges for your opponent to deal with.
In general, against an attacking player, short backspin serves are best to stop them from attacking your serve and giving you the best chance to make the first attack.
It is great you are spending time focusing on your serves. It will benefit you.
I hope this helps with your serving.
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