Sina Herrmann, one of the top junior players in Germany will start her professional career after she finishes high school. She won her first ITF 25K tournament in September and improved her WTA ranking from 877 to 534. As all competitive players, her Coach Christian Krismeyer is polishing her technique. Here we see a progression to help her improve her balance on the serve focusing on the Horse-Kick – the action of the back leg on the landing.

1. Focus on sticking the landing while shadowing

Sina performs a shadow swing of the serve as close as possible to a real serve. She should hold the finish while keeping her back leg in the air. (Horse-Kick).

2. Serve and Freeze

Now, she gets to serve and tries to freeze the landing for a second or two. The back leg stays up in the air. It is a difficult task, which she may not accomplish all the time, but just trying to hold the landing on one leg will help improve balance and the efficiency of the serve.

3. Serving without freezing

The next step is to serve fluidly without freezing the landing but still focusing on balance and on the action of the back leg.

4. Serve plus 1

In the last exercise of the progression, Sina will serve wide and follow up with a down the line shot after a crosscourt return from the coach. She is still focusing on balance while landing but as part of a pattern that she frequently uses.

When practicing the serve, It is very important to practice the shot after the serve, even when the emphasis is on the technical improvement of the serve.

Coach Christian Krismeyer

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HOW TO SERVE IN TENNIS: THE 6-STEP GUIDE (contains the horse kick as well)