Keefe Gorman has worked as a leader in the financial industry for more than three decades. He began his career with Merrill Lynch in 1987 and has since received various awards and accolades from the likes of Forbes and Barron’s. Beyond his wealth management activities with organizations such as Merrill Lynch, Keefe Gorman enjoys staying active through skiing and tennis, among other outdoor interests.
The serve is arguably the most important shot in the sport of tennis, as it is the only shot during which a player has complete control over the ball. One important aspect of effective serve strategy is mixing in a variety of serves, with flat, slice, and top spin serves being the three most common types in a player’s arsenal.
The flat serve can be viewed as the basic service motion, though for power players and skilled servers it represents a potent offensive weapon. As the name implies, flat serves travel in a flat, direct line across the court, over the net, and into the opponent’s service box. Due to the lack of spin, flat serves travel quickly and bounce low. However, this same lack of spin gives flat serves little margin for error, as they can easily clip the top of the net, or land long or wide of the service box.
Slice and top spin serves are slower and less powerful compared to flat serves, but can provide players with the advantage in a point through surprise and placement. For right-handed players serving from the deuce court, slice serves cut diagonally across the court and continue to spin away after bouncing, dragging returners off the court. Top spin serves accomplish a similar task from the ad court, though top spin is better used to jam returners with a high-bouncing serve than to pull opponents off the court. Though versatile, spin serves can be attacked by skilled returners should the shot be poorly disguised.
As players improve their service games, they can develop more nuanced shots, such as the kick serve. Also known as a body serve, this shot mixes both top spin and slice to create an unpredictably breaking, high-bouncing shot that is very effective at throwing a returner off of their rhythm.
Michael Keefe Gorman, a broker with Merrill Lynch, serves a geographically diverse group of individual investors, businesses, and non-profits from his office in Ithaca, New York.
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