The Underhanded Serve

Is the underhanded serve and underhanded strategy? Fellow Floridian and Newk camper, Willy Hoffmann was playing a K-Swiss League match, when his opponent started to regularly throw in the underhanded serve.

Willy reports, “It really threw my game off and I had trouble winning those points.” He asked my opinion and thought it would be a good blog topic.

I advised two things:

1) Look for the “tell”: if you watch the server, you can usually pick up the clue as to when he is going to serve you underhanded; so you can be ready to charge.

2) Treat it like a drop shot: just as you would during the point, rush in as quickly as you can to get your feet set, then hit the ball under control to a good spot (probably back down the line – or if you really get there early, aggressively cross court.)

Any other thoughts?

4 thoughts on “The Underhanded Serve

  1. I think it is not cool at all. Do you ever see a pro do it? When they have their receiver 15 feet behind the baseline on a serve, they could drop one in anytime they want. It just doesn’t seem right to me… opinion…..

    Peter: I agree! And have never used the underhanded serve in a match. geo

  2. I see nothing wrong with the tactic, particularly when it’s done “regularly,” as described by Willy. My only objection is when it’s done in a “sneaky” manner, kind of like someone who tries to “quick serve.” Complaining about underhanded serving reminds me of players who complain about players who drop shot. It’s a legal shot, so grow up!!

    Keith: Oh, i don’t like the drop shot either (i know, you are right… part of the game). geo

  3. I agree with Keith. It’s part of the game, just not a very big part. You can usually tell when it’s going to happen so just be ready. If it’s snuck in rather quickly, then that is like almost cheating.

  4. I agree with all you guys; Except just one thing Dick (almost) said, or (almost) implied… If it’s snuck in quickly, then it’s a Quick Serve; Which is illegal, by my definition… Because it’s before you’re ready… Am I right? Keep up the good work— ESPECIALLY the daily blogs from Newk’s. I guess they were the Finest Kind last year… Thanks a million,

    bob – we fly out on Sunday; so be ready for the hot tips from Newk’s … geo

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