Serve First or Receive?

posted in: Tennis | 0

Every tennis player has to make this decision at the start of every match. Some players will have a favourite choice that they will always choose regardless of the situation. Some players like to base their decision on their opponent or the match conditions. Some players panic and choose the first option that comes to their mind.

Here is a list of pros and cons that should help you choose at the start of your next match.


Serve First


  • Statement of intent/shows you are feeling confident
  • Your opponent won’t be fully alert yet
  • If you can hold serve then you create score board pressure that will last the whole set



  • Your muscles won’t be fully warmed up so you won’t be able to serve at full power yet
  • If you get broke then your opponent
  • will relax and become more confident




Receive First


  • You aren’t expected to break serve so it’s a chance to get rid of some nerves
  • Great opportunity to warm up your ground strokes in a game you aren’t expected to win
  • If you can break your opponent then it will damage their confidence for the rest of the set



  • Your opponent could take your decision as a sign of a lack of confidence for the match
  • If your opponent holds then you will have to battle against the score board potentially for the rest of the set
  • How the match starts is out of your control


What other factors do you take into account whenever you are deciding to serve first or return?