I've been playing the modded version of Tennis Elbow 2013 for about 2 months. Have to say as someone with college level tennis experience and many years of coaching this is by far the most realistic tennis game ever made. With that said, until now online play has been somewhat frustrating. While I've accepted that returning serves well takes months to years of practice to master, higher ranked players (1000+ points) always seemed to hit their flat serves faster and more consistently than me (I use Djokovic, so until today I thought the difference was due to player skill differences or a player being fatigued). However, after losing to someone who also used Djokovic, yet served significantly better than I did with Djokovic, I got a piece of serving advice that was by the far the best serving advice I've come across with this game.
To give some background, I've tried hitting flat serves by pressing and holding down the 1+2 button from start to finish of the service motion. This approach seemed to result in an overall inconsistent first serve - I can't remember playing this game making 3 or more consecutive flat serves, ever. Top players I've played against online would go entire 4-6 point games with making flat serves 120+ MPH every time, though I considered myself lucky to make 2 consecutive 120+ MPH flat serves. Additionally, I also tried pressing the 1+2 button to toss the ball, and pressing it again shortly before contact - this approach was more consistent, but made aiming serves much more difficult.
Getting to the point of this post, after losing to someone who used Djokovic like I did, I asked him about his flat serve approach, to which he responded that he presses and holds the 1+2 button to begin the service motion, but releases it shortly before contact. While he said that mastering this approach takes practice, I told him his advice was greatly appreciated, as now I at least had a blueprint as to how best to hit flat serves.
Since using this newly learned approach offline, I've been able to make 120+ MPH serves 4+ times in a row with Djokovic. The difference is profound - after more practice there is no question I will be able to hold serve to a far greater extent in online matches. Throw in another 100+ hours of practice returning serve and I'll be balling.
I have no clue why no one has mentioned this difference in ways to serve. Maybe most people figure this out on their own, maybe people wanted these details to remain on the down low, maybe I'm stupid as hell for not figuring this out on my own, or maybe there's another reason why not a single post on here mentions this serving technique. Regardless, I hope at least one other person benefits from trying this approach to hitting flat serves.