by Will Boucek

September 29, 2021   

Find out how one adjustment on my serve helped me beat a player I always struggled to win against. I’ll show you my thought process behind each decision I made that lead me to this new, winning serve strategy.

Then I’ll discuss another match I played recently where I cracked my racquet. My partner and I got demolished 6-0, 6-2. In this case, I had been on vacation for two weeks previously and only had one week to prepare. Needless to say, I didn’t prepare properly. I’ll talk about what went wrong, and what I would do differently next time.

Cracked tennis racquet
My racquet after it was violently banged on the court for not cooperating.

Interview Notes from this Podcast

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Will Boucek

About the author

Will Boucek is the Founder & CEO of The Tennis Tribe. He has played and coached tennis for over two decades. Will is a strategy analyst for ATP & WTA tour players and coaches. He also tests the latest tennis racquets, shoes, & other gear from Wilson, Babolat, Head, Prince, and other tennis brands. He currently lives in Fort Worth, Texas where he plays USTA leagues & tournaments.

  • Will,

    Thanks for the latest podcast. I was especially interested in your serve adjustments to the returner who crowded the box, as it reminded me of a match I played this weekend. However, I was the box crowder on the receiving end of someone who served a high, deep bouncer into my body.

    Like your opponent, I like to crowd the box, take the serve early, and return deep. My initial approach, as the deuce returner, was to shuffle left and hit a high forehand crosscourt. Unfortunately for me, my opponent’s serve, in addition to bouncing high, also seemed to slide right, which I did not expect – I do not even know what one calls such a serve. I repeatedly found myself reaching to return which resulted in a very ugly collection of miss hits and frame shots. Ugh!

    I thought, maybe I could try to take the ball even earlier. Nope – I whiffed.

    My only option was to retreat to the baseline, and I did. I surrendered space and time, but at least I was able to put the ball back in play. We still lost, but 6-4 in the second, instead of 6-1 in the first.

    I suppose mine is more of a return adjustment story, but one that validates your serve adjustment – It is truly difficult to crowd a deep high bouncing serve.

    • Great points Mason and it sounds like you made the right adjustments. When facing players who have a big kick serve, you’ll always have to either step in or step back. No way to know which is best without testing each one out 🙂

      Thanks for the comment!

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