What makes the perfect Wimbledon serve?

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1. Searching for perfection

For every tennis player, the perfect serve is the holy grail. The serve is the most powerful shot in tennis, and the only one that the player has full control over.

Great servers such as Pete Sampras, Goran Ivanisevic and Serena Williams have honed the timing, rhythm and, above all, technique of their service actions to enable it to hold up under even the most severe pressure.

As we saw at this year's Wimbledon championships, the serve plays a vital role in allowing the players to build a solid platform, win cheap points and make their chances of winning the title much greater. But how different is serving at Wimbledon to other surfaces, and how can players prepare mentally and physically to ensure they maintain their serve under intense pressure?

2. Secrets to grass court greatness

The 1987 Wimbledon champion demonstrates what makes the perfect serve on grass.

Cash's counsel: Like any movement or technique in sport the more complex it is, the more chance there is for something can go wrong. So to improve your serve it's important to start with small movements until consistency is achieved, you can then add extra power through extending the swing or increasing the effort. But if you are doing too many movements to start with you will be missing and double faulting – tennis isn't much fun then.

3. Murray's masterclass

Andy Murray offers an insight into the unique pressures of serving for a Wimbledon title.

4. Breaking down the serve

Use the arrows to scroll through a slow motion video, as Pat Cash explains the most important points in a tennis serve.

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5. Key components of the serve

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An illustration of the speed of the ball during the fastest serve recorded at Wimbledon - delivered by American Taylor Dent in 2010. Hit the pointer on the left hand side and then click on each of the labels to reveal more secrets to finding the prefect serve.