We all know how important the first 3 shots are in doubles, especially much so the serve. It is the only shot of which we have complete control, and especially after so much hard work to win the previous rally in order to get the opportunity to serve, we better not gift it away easily.
Hence I've been practicing half hour before and after my recent regular playing sessions.
I strapped my S3 smartphone onto the post of an adjacent court and recorded my serves. This is just a short clip. Due to the angle of the camera, the tape level at the centre of the net is just an inch lower than the top of the post, right where the hole is near the top of the post.
As you can see, my serves are pretty good, I'd like to think. They're usually just within an inch or two over the tape and land within 2-3 inches inside the service line.
The action is a fast but short push with a tad of supination with a crisp contact onto the bird with the cork aimed at the stringbed. I prefer fast push as this action is very similar to a flick action.
The contact point on the stringbed is at the top of the racket, at 1-2 o'clock within the first few strings closest to the serving hand. I find this area has the least rebound and the best control and consistency of the shuttle angle, direction and distance.
My aim is usually within a few inches of the racket shoulder and cheek, varying depending on whether the receiver biases to his forehand or backhand. The trajectory after crossing the net seems good and low, usually falling below tape level within a foot of the tape, so that looks not killable.
What do you think, any comments or suggestions for improvement?
My flicks are only a tad more action upwards with more forearm supination for added power. From a frontal view, the two actions are less distinguishable. I usually don't flick if they're receiving from midcourt, only if they're toeing the line and rushing my short serves. Just to keep them honest.
Actually for flick serves, I have to admit I'm kinda sneaky about it.
I do it more when I see that the opponent is tired, eg after a tough rally, or end of the game or night. And I usually take a quick peek at their stance and deliver the serve faster with less preparation than usual to catch them off guard.
Thanks for the feedback everyone. Much appreciate them.
One of the reasons why the action is a short sharp "jab" is because I'm contacting the cork at the top few strings at around 1-2 o'clock. Learned it from that survey thread on contact point at serve, and having switched from the sweetspot 2 yrs ago, this is much better for better feel, consistency and control.
Where on the stringbed do you fellas contact the bird?
Our serves are quite similar. I use the corner at about 3 o'clock - with slight supination to knock at the cock. This gives a bit of "top spin" and shuttle wobble after passing the tape (or pitched, no yaw, no roll).
Or R20190's adversary.
@R20190 Can you post a video of you serving a half a dozen times in a row? That may help us understand your serve situation better.
I'm very camera shy (which is ironic being an amature photographer! lol)
I'll see what I can do - probably be a couple of weeks though as my shoulder is still recovering from injury after the last stint.
Btw, do you hold the shuttle near the cork as opposed to at the tip of the feathers? I do this too. I find I have more control and more consistent doing it this way than holding the feathers. But there is a risk of hitting your hand before the shuttle if not careful.