Game, Set, Kill!
ATP assassin James Blake steps up your court-crushing prowess.
Killer Serve: Ace on a Rope
1. Grip the racket like you’re shaking hands with it, keeping your index and middle fingers separated for better control. Position your body almost perpendicular to the net.
2. Initiate the serving motion during the first part of your toss, bending your legs and turning slightly forward as the ball rises. Toss it as high as you can possibly reach with your racket.
3. Just as the ball begins to drop, connect full-throttle with the dead-center sweet spot. Don’t force a jump—if your feet leave the ground, it should be a by-product of the power in your swing.
Fancy Footwork: Toes on the Line
1. Have a pal toss, bounce, and roll tennis balls several feet to the left and right of you. To catch his errant passes, you’ll have to stab both high and low, forcing you to anticipate and react.
2. Stopping-and-starting power helps you reach tough shots. Sprint from the baseline to the service line, then backpedal to the baseline. Now sprint to the net and backpedal back again.
3. Finish your workout with suicide “court widths” to build up the endurance you’ll need to finish a long point or game. From one double sideline to the other and back is one. Move it!