Every four years, there’s a presidential election in the US, and every four years, it seems that the state of the economy is considered a predictor related to whether the incumbent President will remain in office or not – the theory being that the incumbent will win if the current U.S. economy is performing well. “It’s the economy, stupid,” is a well-known associated phrase, originally uttered by political analyst James Carville in 1992, that gets repeated every four years.
Well, after watching many of the matches played during the 2021 Australian Open and the 2021 Miami Open, I think an apt phrase that all tennis players and fans around the world may be uttering lately is “it’s the serve, stupid.”
Why? Because so many of the players who came out on top as winners in the final rounds in Melbourne and Miami saved themselves during clutch situations during matches with their serves. Just check out these 2021 Australian Open Men’s and Women’s Singles Aces Leaders stats. It’s obviously not coincidental that Novak Djokovic and Naomi Osaka were the AO men’s and women’s singles champions this year.
Yes, tennis fans this year and in years past have seen the rewards that successful servers reap.
So, if you’re a tennis player, what about you? How much time are you devoting to perfecting your serve? Whether you’re a singles or doubles player, serving can be the winning differentiator for your game. Yet, sometimes, it seems that the other basic tennis strokes – forehand, backhand, forehand volley, backhand volley, and the overhead – are often practiced by tennis players more than serves are practiced.
Ask yourself: how much time per week do I devote to improving my serve? How many individual lessons or group clinics do I attend where a focus is placed on my service game? Have I mastered all the different tennis serve types, like flat, slice and kick? And, can I improve my serving power and speed?
If you think you need to rededicate some of your tennis practice time to improve your serve, consider first reading online training tips, like this “Improve a Tennis Serve” tip on Wikihow.com and watching online videos, like this video tip by Tennis Evolution Founder Jeff Salzenstein. Also, if you want to establish your baseline serve speed and own a smart phone, consider using an app like ServeSpeed or Tennis Serve-O-Meter. Then, get out on the court individually or with a coach and dedicate formal blocks of time to practice your serve.
Practicing your serve more during 2021 may just end up serving you right.