Tennis is becoming more and more popular all over the world these days.
This is a great thing for the sport as a more global sport means more players enjoying the game, more media coverage and a wider pool of professional players to develop from.
However, one of the quirky things about tennis, particularly compared to other mainstream sports, is the terms and phrases used.
There are some pretty strange words that tennis players throw around and don’t really give a second thought. An ace is one of those, but there are a few other key terms that someone looking to take up the sport should become familiar with.
What is an Ace in Tennis
Let’s start with the word ‘ace’.
An ace is when a player hits a serve, and the returner can’t get it back into court and doesn’t even get a racket on the ball. This means the server wins the point by just hitting their serve, point over!
A player usually manages to hit an ace using their serve speed, or direction to beat their opponent. Of course, a combination of the two is even more effective!
Adding more power to your serve takes time away from your opponent, making it more difficult for them to react, get into position and return the ball effectively.
Alternatively, the server may prefer to place the ball out of reach of their opponent and focus on accuracy over power. This tactic is also effective and can improve your ace count.
Players like John Isner or Ivo Karlovic tend to focus on speed to hit their aces, due to their incredibly tall frames.
Whereas, Roger Federer for example is not the biggest server of all time but focuses more on pinpoint accuracy to hit his aces. Then you have players like Nick Kyrgios who serves with power and accuracy, and throws in the odd underarm serve to keep his opponent guessing.
How to Hit More Aces
There are a few tips that can help you hit more aces in tennis. It is not just about only using more power all the time.
Watch Your Opponent
One of the key things to do if you want to increase the number of aces you hit when serving is to watch your opponent.
Paying attention to where they stand, what shots they prefer to hit, how far back they return and any space they are giving you all play there part in helping you disguise your serve.
If your opponent prefers using their forehand when returning serve, they may stand further over to their backhand side, to try and get their forehand into play as much as possible.
If you notice this happening, then serving acute angles to their forehand side can exploit this gap and force them to better cover this part of the court to avoid getting aced again.
If you see your opponent likes to return standing further back, so they have more time to take a bigger swing at the ball, you may find that taking some pace off your serve and hitting more acute angles can help increase your ace count.
This is because the returner is naturally giving you more court to hit into. Whereas, if your opponent is standing closer in, upping the pace on your serve will give them little time to react and allow you to hit more aces in total.
Focus on Rhythm
The next way to hit more aces in tennis is to actually focus more on service rhythm than power.
Doing this will help you stay relaxed, improve your consistency and ultimately make your serve more effective throughout the course of a match.
If you put too much strain or effort into your serves, this will use up precious reserves of energy and actually slow your serve down compared to when you hit with a relaxed arm and a flowing motion.
Mix Things Up
Finally, another tip to help you hit more aces when serving in tennis is to avoid becoming too predictable. Even the fastest servers can be returned if they keep serving to the same spot time after time.
It is important to change up your serve placement, pace and spin so your opponent is never completely comfortable when returning.
This will throw them off balance and allow you to hit more aces. If you want to improve your ability to hit aces on your serve, then check out our Secrets of the Serve online course.
This is a dedicated resource to help you boost your serving power, improve your consistency and get the most out of your technique.