In Squash, the service is quite a straightforward shot, but a very important one in putting you in control of the rally. So how should you play your squash serve?
The Basics of the Squash Serve
First let’s just summarise the rules around playing a serve in squash. Here are the key points in playing a successful serve:
- Server stands with at least one foot in small service box (in Area A).
- The receiver stands anywhere in area B behind the half court line.
- The server plays the ball against the front wall above the service line, without hitting any other surface beforehand.
- The ball must land anywhere in Area B, and is allowed to hit the side or back wall after rebounding from the front wall.
- The point is then played as normal from the receiver playing a return shot.
Serving to put you on the Front Foot
So playing a serve shot within the rules is pretty straightforward, not too difficult at all.
The problem is… simply lofting a nice shot against the front wall to your opponent is going to put you on the defensive from the second they play their return shot. That’s assuming you can even get to their return in the first place and keep the rally alive! So how you do play a SMART SQUASH SERVE?
We know where we need to play a squash serve within the rules, but to get on the front foot you need to do more than just that. Think about the width and depth of your serve, and where you want the ball to be when it reaches your opponent so that they are restricted in the return.
Ideally you want the ball to reach your opponent nice and tight to the side wall. This firstly may cause your opponent to hesitate in what sort of return to play. Secondly and most importantly, they are limited in what returns they can play, and won’t have the luxury of a full swing at the ball with the wall hindering their swing.
You also want good length on your serve. Rather than landing the ball just inside the halfway line, aim to play it harder and deeper into the back of the court, again restricting your opponents scope for movement with the back wall coming into play. This also maximises the amount of time you have to get yourself into position for their return, which brings us onto the next point…
We have previously covered the importance of dominating the ‘T’ on the squash court, and it is the same story when it comes to the serve. Of course you have to stand with one foot in the serve box as you play the serve, but try to be only just inside this box with your body leaving a presence towards your opponent. There is no need to squash yourself up against the side wall when you serve, leaving your opponent with a feeling of space, so push the limits here (within the rules of course).
Also remember as soon as you have hit the ball for your serve you have free movement of the entire court again, which brings us back to dominating the ‘T’, which is the T shape made by the court lines in the centre of the court. After playing your serve, don’t just sit back on your side and wait your opponents return. Play your serve, and move straight to the centre of the court ready to move for the return, and keep your eyes on the ball at all times so you have an idea where the next shot is going.
Check out this short video below, giving a short walkthrough on playing a squash serve from the right hand side of the court:
So there are our tips on playing an effective squash serve to help put you in control of the rally from the very start. Some quite simple tips to put into place as well, which can be all it takes to gain a few extra cheap points from your opponents and turn those nearly-wins into victories!
If you have any other squash serve tips, drop a comment below!