My serve has never been a shot that has been able to pull me out of a tough position in a match or let me win a match. I will never have a serve like Elena Rybakina, Serena Williams, or even a Coco Gauff when she is serving at her best. I need to mix it up and keep my opponent on their heels to benefit my game and to assist me in winning matches.
Today in practice, I worked primarily on my serve. I worked on my flat serve, slice serve, and kick serve and in typical fashion of my coach many times. My coach gave me different match scenarios and then would tell me to choose a serve that I would think would be the most appropriate for that situation. For example, he would say the game was at 30-40 and on my 2nd serve. What serve do I choose to use? I would in most circumstances choose my kick serve. The safest service I have, but I also have to think a little harder. What if my opponent has been attacking my 2nd serve all day? Do I mix it up and go to a flat harder serve risking the chance for a double and losing the game or play it safe? These are all things I will have to keep in mind when playing in the tournament.
So, I was put into many of these different scenarios throughout the practice, which worked on my game analysis as well as working on all of my serves over and over again. It was a very tiring practice and my arm needs a rest. Thank God I do not have practice tomorrow so I can rest up for the big week ahead.
In addition to putting these practices into play, my coach gave me some more advice which I see some of the pros use during matches. He told me to take my time between points to serve. There is no need to rush from one point to the next. You also have to take into account that I will have to retrieve my own tennis balls between each point because there is no ball person to do so. So, that takes time to do. He also said, especially if it is hot, to use this time to towel off between points. This time also will let me focus on what I want to do for the next point.
As the tournament approaches, I feel I am preparing well and feel confident that I will do the best I can. I also know one thing for sure, I will have tons of fun.