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To break serve, go on the attack on the first point

By T.C. Longwood / July 13, 1983



You cannot win a tennis match without breaking your opponent's serve - winning one of the games he serves. The captain of the US Davis Cup team, Arthur Ashe, recommends being aggressive on the first point. If you're ever going to go all out and take chances, this is the time, he suggests.

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The server generally expects to win the game. If you can take the first point when you're receiving, you gain an important mental edge.

The best way to do that is to go on the attack. Since the server has the advantage anyway, the worst you can do is lose a point.

Try something different. If you've been returning hard and deep, try chipping the ball back gently. If you've been staying at the baseline, try following your return to net.

Gamble successfully on the first point and you have an excellent chance of breaking serve, says Arthur Ashe.