Opening the racquet face during the service backswing puts your racquet in a position coaches call the “waiter’s position”.

It looks amateurish and keeps your arm (forearm) from accelerating rapidly toward the ball.

This waiter’s position is also quite challenging to correct, even when you know that you are doing it.

The following drill is one of my best tricks to correct this mistake.


  • Rissa

    Reply Reply June 10, 2013

    The timing is great since I am practicing and improving my tennis serve, this post is so useful to me. Thanks.

  • Dennis

    Reply Reply October 29, 2013

    I like it as a coach myself the waiter position is a huge problem with beginners. Anything that may help with this is great. Thanks

  • Petko

    Reply Reply March 25, 2014


    This is a good advice. It helps me.

    Be happy.

  • Henry

    Reply Reply September 4, 2014

    Thank you so much Tomaz. Very helpful tips.



    Reply Reply January 14, 2015

    Very good tip but how would you elevate the opening of the racquet when the player starts in the half way position over the shoulder. My assistant has a student that starts on the edge position then open the racquet before going up to the ball. This is a no rhythm serve (down together up together like you were demonstrating) the racquet is set on the shoulder. This young girl is a beg so the start if over her shoulder.

    • Tomaz

      Reply Reply January 23, 2015

      Hi Russel,

      I wouldn’t suggest starting over the shoulder especially if the racquet is touching the shoulder.

      It just “installs” all the wrong signals and feels in the mind / body.

      Can you elaborate on what you mean by “elevate the opening of the racquet”? I guess she is eventually doing the “waiter’s serve” movement, correct?

  • sandy

    Reply Reply May 23, 2015

    Great tip – you’ve helped me to find more flow and better timing with my serve.

  • Gary Gorski

    Reply Reply June 12, 2015

    this works great

  • fulya

    Reply Reply August 13, 2015

    Thanks for this great tip Tomaz!

    I have been actually practicing your 7 drills to correct the waiter’s serve, especially trying to get comfortable with the leading edge rule throughout the full movement.

    This turning of the palm down stage is obviously somewhere between “Lead with the bottom edge into the backswing, then with the top edge into the loop behind your back”, as explained in your other video. But it feels like an add-on and mostly a kind of interruption between these two edge sequences.

    Is there a way to get rid of this feeling or will it just become the part of the flow with more practice?
    Many thanks,

    • Tomaz

      Reply Reply August 14, 2015

      Hi Fulya,

      The feeling should go away once you try to merge different movements into a smooth fluid single movement. It may happen once you become less conscious of the movements and also try to do them LESS literally but rather feel what the purpose is.

      • fulya

        Reply Reply August 19, 2015

        Thanks Tomaz,
        The more I practice that way (and focus on the purpose), the more fluid it feels. Still missing the toss though, but I trust the full process is getting somewhere hopefully.

  • Ming Tu

    Reply Reply October 27, 2015

    I have been watching feel tennis on youtube to learn how to serve,
    This tip is very useful!

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