I typically do a hard flat first serve and then a slice second serve, but I'm curious to know the fundamentals behind adding "kick" to a serve for higher bounce.

  • How hard do you serve (MPH/KPH)?
    – Joe
    Commented Oct 26, 2020 at 21:48

2 Answers 2


The following is a rough, elementary answer. It disregards subtleties such as pronation which are relevant to high level play.

The fundamental mechanic behind a tennis serve is that of throwing a ball. In a basic flat serve, your motion is that of throwing a ball forward. In a kick serve, the motion (for a right-handed player) is of throwing a ball to the right. This is usually enough to force the racquet to hit the ball upwards, generating the desired spin.


I never was able to do it until I heard someone say "Hit the ball up". Once I imagined hitting up on the ball, ever so slightly, I started to get them in consistently, and by the end of the night I hit one over my parter's head!

Once you focus on something so simple as that, all the other pieces fall into place, i.e. brushing the ball, 7 o'clock-to-1 o'clock motion, and where to end your follow-through.

Apparently Naomi Osaka's coach uses an interesting drill to drive this point home:

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.