Q: Where should I stand to serve and what do I do with my feet ? $1 A: Stand close to the midline (unless you're playing doubles or your name is John McEnroe). Assume a comfortable stance with your front toe pointing out diagonally and the rear foot parallel to the baseline. Now cradle the racket and ball together ches-high and address your opponent with your fiercest look. Q: What's wrong with standing near the doubles alley to serve if I get a better angle ? A: The down-the-line return into an open court will make you wish you hadn't. Q: Serving makes me self-conscious, and when I tighten up nothing goes in. What should I do -- have a beer before I play ? A: Do anything it takes to stay loose when you serve. As you step to the line your shoulders should be relaxed as after a massage, your serving arm like limp spaghetti, and the neon sign in your head flashing ACE. Q: My pro recommends I try something called the Continental grip (I don't think he's foreign). What do you think ? A: Although the Continental (which is midway between a forehand and backhand grip) is the preferred service grip among the pros, inexperienced players can have difficulty accommodating it -- they make a nuisance of themselves by slicing balls into adjacent courts. Use a regular forehand grip until you can make eight out of ten, or are ready to experiment with spins -- whichever comes first. Q: I can't control my toss -- it either flips behind me or strays too far forward. What's my problem ? a: The word "flip" could pinpoint your difficulty. Wayward tosses are often caused by wrist-flicking and/or rolling the ball off the fingertips. When tossing, imagine the ball is a glass of water you are lifting slowly from the bottom (don't jerk or it will spill). When the arm is fully extended, release the ball like a bird in flight -- it should travel no higher than your arm and racket extend, and land in a small semi-circle in front of you. Q: My serves tend to go long -- what could I be doing wrong ? a: A simple diagnoses would suggest you're tossing behind you and/or forgetting to snap your wrist. It the antidote -- tossing in front and whipping your wrist -- sends them into the net consult a pro. Q: What does it mean if I doubel fault a lot on important points ? A: That your either have a case of tennis nerves (steel elbow) or you haven't developed a reliable second serve. Q: My first serve is hard when it goes in, but my second one is so poopy Granny could return it. What should I do -- serve then both hard and pray one goes in? A: Serve them both hard, but put spin on the second one to make sure it goes in. Here's how. Instead of tossing the ball directly overhead (at twelve o'clock) toss at ten o'clock and slightly behind you. Snap your wrist from left to right (for righthanders, or imagine throwing the racket at the side fence. Now watch as your serve clears the net by a safe margin and spins crazily away from your befuddled oponent. Q: What do I do when my serve takes a vacation in the middle of an important match ? A: Keep your chin up (literally), hit the ball at a higher point, and remember to follow through completely. Do no consider anything more radical at such a perilous moment. The following is a directory of phone numbers for area recreation departments, major facilites, YMCAs and YWCAs. Call them for information on facilities available, such as swimming pools and tennis courts, classes and teams forming, regular and special activities scheduled.