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    Default Why serve so high to the back in singles?

    I play more doubles than singles. I was playing singles with a better player the other day and he suggested I should try long serves, hitting high to the back of the court. This was very effective when my serve was long enough.

    What I'm wondering though is, why do we serve high? I noticed that players like my new heroine Intanon Ratchanok do serve very high. But this height gives the opponent all the time in the world to get back to play the shot. Why don't players serve just high enough so that the opponent can't reach the serve in midcourt, so that it arrives at the back much more quickly and gives them less time to get into position?

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    That's suicide in singles unless u catch them off guard (not expecting a high serve) so they can deal with the serve effectively.

    One of the reasons for high serves is when a shuttlecock falls almost perpendicularly to the floor it cannot be smashed as hard/powerfully and as accurate as a shuttle falling at a smaller angle. This is because the racket surface will impact the feathers 1st instead of the head. The smash impact has to be facing downward a bit, ie you have to impact yr smash in front of your shoulder, so u'll never be able to impact the head of the shuttlecock 1st on smashing it.

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    if you serve it up mid court, the opponent will give you a steep smash that's gonna be hard to return. Firstly, when u serve at the back, you make the opponent move, this gives you somewhat of an advantage. Secondly, when they hit the shuttle, either a clear or smash or even drop, you are already in position while they are still about to go to their ready position. Thirdly, not everyone is comfortable hitting from back of the court, especially in singles. Chances are, they will fail and/or you will have the advantage. I hope this helped o.o

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    The one you described sounds like a drive serve. This is comparable to a low attacking lift in a rally. Since your opponent is at his base, there's hardly any movement pressure. By nature of this serve which is flat, the shuttle must start to fall earlier, meaning your opponent would be able to intercept it earlier (compared to the other high serve I'm about to describe). The angle of the shot to opponent is also good, as described previously by other.

    Now the very high serve. Imagine a playing hall with a very high ceiling (a few stories high), and the high serve takes advantage of this, you could put at least one of your opponent's feet behind the very back line (the Singles service line) in order to take the shuttle in front of the body. The shuttle can go that deep because of the shot's peculiar trajectory you would see in textbooks (compared to the flat drive serves). Think of how far away this could be from the net. All attacking shots from this deep position would become slower and flatter. This is in addition to the other properties explained. Plus, if you have played in a hall with a very high ceiling before, you'd know you could easily lose the shuttle in the background (i.e. the ceiling), because there's now hardly any contrast (between the white shuttle and the ceiling). This observation, along with the fact that the shuttle would likely be dropping with a vertical velocity faster than you may normally encounter, could mean it's hardly to time the hitting properly. There's no movement pressure, but there're all these factors described that translates to troubles for the receiver.

    Proper use of such high serves could immediately cause troubles to your opponents who're not trained to receive this kind of serves. Top players (esp. women) like Zhang Ning, Tai Tzu Ying, Ratchanok, Wang Shixian, A. Yamaguchi, all use mainly high serves. Also notice how some of them step forward so much closer to the Doubles service line in order to concentrate all their power into the height of the serve.

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    Great responses, thanks everyone, I have learned a lot.

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    Its been said well already, but yes the man is correct. Serve high = shuttle falls down straight, = cant hit on good angle = pain in the ass to return. I really hate playing players who properly know how to do this serve. Lucky for me, people these days are lazy and opt for the short serve LOL

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    Quote Originally Posted by raymond View Post
    The one you described sounds like a drive serve...
    Sorry but what is exactly a drive serve?
    IMHO a drive is illegal as a serve because point of impact will be above yr waist, too high.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sautom88 View Post
    Sorry but what is exactly a drive serve?
    IMHO a drive is illegal as a serve because point of impact will be above yr waist, too high.
    Drive serve, isn't that when you basically backhand serve and flick your wrist really fast in order for it to go fast above or at the opponent ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by sautom88 View Post
    Sorry but what is exactly a drive serve?
    IMHO a drive is illegal as a serve because point of impact will be above yr waist, too high.
    So, you don't know what a drive serve is?
    Don't worry, check out this video - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6chDR28aa7g

    It's said to be an advanced technique, so not everyone would know...
    What's disappointing with the video is that it demonstrates only backhand, not the forehand I was thinking about...

    Or if you don't like the video (too fast), you could read up on BadmintonBible:
    http://www.badmintonbible.com/articl...erve-types.php

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    Quote Originally Posted by Exert View Post
    Drive serve, isn't that when you basically backhand serve and flick your wrist really fast in order for it to go fast above or at the opponent ?
    Or check out this one:
    http://www.badmintonbible.com/articl...-technique.php

    or this thread here in B.C.:
    http://www.badmintoncentral.com/foru...90-Drive-serve

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    If that is a drive serve, then I am not interested because a) most of it is ILLEGAL, b)most of my opponents are better than beginners. As I said that type of serve will only work once or twice against better players. Also, an indication that the serve is useless against better players is that we don't see ANY of such serve in International matches, ie Pros DO NOT use them. The pros only use 2 types of serves in doubles, a low serve or a flick serve.

    Even some older/slower players still occasionally use high serves in doubles, esp. against opponents who don't really have thundering smashes or against opponents who are really good at 'pushing' or rushing low serves.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sautom88 View Post
    If that is a drive serve, then I am not interested because a) most of it is ILLEGAL, b)most of my opponents are better than beginners. As I said that type of serve will only work once or twice against better players. Also, an indication that the serve is useless against better players is that we don't see ANY of such serve in International matches, ie Pros DO NOT use them. The pros only use 2 types of serves in doubles, a low serve or a flick serve.

    Even some older/slower players still occasionally use high serves in doubles, esp. against opponents who don't really have thundering smashes or against opponents who are really good at 'pushing' or rushing low serves.
    Irrc, the 1997 world doubles championship final point was won with a drive serve.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cheung View Post
    Irrc, the 1997 world doubles championship final point was won with a drive serve.
    Are u sure? Is this the one, Candra Wijaya/Sigit Budiarto vs Cheah Soon Keat/Yap Kim Hock match, Sigit serving @27.24?
    That is just a regular low serve.

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    if you can serve high at the back and deep enough, it will be a good serve. however it is not advisable against better player as they can move back really really fast and then smash it

    against intermediate level player, I always do it, it makes them out of position and then when they return it (either with clear or drop) I will just gonna do drop or net shot. making them moving from very back to very front. it works.. until your opponent foot work is good enough to cover the whole court, then it is not really effective

    combine it with forehand low serve and it is actually quite ok. again, up to certain level of player since I played against good singles player before and they can do whatever they want to the shuttle..

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    Quote Originally Posted by sautom88 View Post
    If that is a drive serve, then I am not interested because a) most of it is ILLEGAL, b)most of my opponents are better than beginners. As I said that type of serve will only work once or twice against better players. Also, an indication that the serve is useless against better players is that we don't see ANY of such serve in International matches, ie Pros DO NOT use them. The pros only use 2 types of serves in doubles, a low serve or a flick serve.

    Even some older/slower players still occasionally use high serves in doubles, esp. against opponents who don't really have thundering smashes or against opponents who are really good at 'pushing' or rushing low serves.
    Not disagreeing with you on the drive serve. But I believe that's what the OP described. If you're talking about Doubles, flick and low serves are the only ones they use, that I agree. If you're talking about Singles, you should pay some attention to Women Singles.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Avenger View Post
    if you can serve high at the back and deep enough, it will be a good serve. however it is not advisable against better player as they can move back really really fast and then smash it

    against intermediate level player, I always do it, it makes them out of position and then when they return it (either with clear or drop) I will just gonna do drop or net shot. making them moving from very back to very front. it works.. until your opponent foot work is good enough to cover the whole court, then it is not really effective

    combine it with forehand low serve and it is actually quite ok. again, up to certain level of player since I played against good singles player before and they can do whatever they want to the shuttle..
    Saying that "it is quite ok", I think, is an understatement. Have a look at 2001 All England semi-final:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A12aj8K-deU

    Peter Gade used a lot of very high serves. For the most part, GopiChand can only attempt to neutralize the serves with clears. To talk about speed in moving back and smash, then I guess we're not talking about the same high serves. As discussed, you don't really need to move particularly fast as it'd take a relatively long while for the shuttle to drop to hittable level. And a smash really is not advisable - it'll be slowed down, and it'd have to be flatter, while the server, presumably at about same level as the receiver, would be waiting patiently and ready to make you run the full diagonal.

    The change in style to predominately low/flick based is interesting. It may have to do with its versatility - it doesn't require a very high ceiling, and thus it's very portable (not all gyms have that high ceilings, esp. at local tournaments). I'd like to hear others' views as to why high serves (I mean the really high ones) are not used more often.

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    Quote Originally Posted by raymond View Post
    I'd like to hear others' views as to why high serves (I mean the really high ones) are not used more often.
    Because the modern singles games are much more agressive so they do not want the receivers to gain the initiative to attack. When one hits the shuttlecock above the net line, that is considered as an attacking shot(or have a potential to attack). By serving low the receiver has less choices of return shots and the server will have the option to attack any of that reply shots.

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