View Full Version : What makes Roddick serve this hard?

09-20-2004, 06:27 AM
What exactly is the difference between Roddick's technique and other pro players?
What makes him hit the ball that hard?
Is it a combination of technique and strength or is he just stronger than other pro players.
Because most of the pro players do have a very good service, but just don't hit the ball as hard as Roddick does.
How come?

09-20-2004, 06:56 AM
Good leg drive.

09-20-2004, 07:54 AM
Without dissecting technique, I'd say flexibility.

Having a larger range of motion gives you more distance to accelerate the racquet over. Accelerating for a longer distance translates into a faster final velocity.

I've heard it said that Roddick is one of the most flexible guys on tour.

I don't think that exceptional muscle strength is essential for hitting with power. Just look at how skinny most of the pros are. Power in tennis has more to do with swing mechanics and timing.

As for the leg drive, I've personally found that it's most important to have a solid footing with good balance. Going too far with the leg bend can cause you to lose your balance. Even just a slight loss of balance can result in a bad serve. There's nothing wrong with trying for a deeper knee bend, but if it's throwing of the stability of your stance, it's likely hurting your serve instead of improving it.

09-20-2004, 08:33 AM
it's also a talent.. You either have it or you don't have it.

Camilio Pascual
09-20-2004, 12:26 PM
I'd like to see some slow motion replays of various players' serves to see where on the racquet they are contacting the ball. I have a suspicion you will find Andy is hitting the sweet spot very consistently compared to others.
Vin, I'm not so sure about the larger range of motion. It looks to me that Andy does not have as big a swing arc as most others do. I agree with the rest of your post.

09-20-2004, 12:46 PM
It's his arm. Either you have it or you don't.

09-20-2004, 01:22 PM
I think its a combonation of everything .. no one ideal factor:

1.) flexibility
2.) arms
3.) leg
4.) timing
5.) ability to be loose
6.) shoulders
7.) back

09-20-2004, 01:36 PM
Vin, I'm not so sure about the larger range of motion. It looks to me that Andy does not have as big a swing arc as most others do. I agree with the rest of your post.

I'm not talking about his entire motion, just the part after the backswing where his shoulder opens and the racquet drops. Because of his external rotation flexibility, the racquet drops down further. But maybe you're referring to the same thing with 'swing arc'. I also have not closely compared this part of his serve with others.

09-20-2004, 02:21 PM
good knee bend, solid mechanics...and um...any of you ever demo the pure drive? if you have, you'de know thats alot of why his serves are in the 130's and 140's.

09-20-2004, 05:23 PM
The key to Roddick's serve is definitely in his legs. His legs are huge and powerful which helps him drive and hit up on the ball and he's already 6'2" so the added leg drive gives him all the power he wants. The legs are definitely the key to an effective serve. I'm 5'8'' and used to serve with just my upper body but this year i found that using you're legs makes all the difference. Gee, why didnt i think of that earlier lol.

09-20-2004, 05:46 PM
I'm no expert but hip stretch with good coiling is most noticeable to me among
all other good ingredients.

I don't think leg action iteself add significant contributions to the
final speed, IMHO. But its role should be a good bridge (just tad springy bridge) within
kinetic chains from coiling to uncoiling (exploding up), IMHO...

09-20-2004, 06:00 PM
During the US open they did a swing vision of his serve. It looked very cool when contact was made with the ball. And by the way the pd+ is great for serving, but I dont know if he gets the same advantage from it as we do, since I think he strings it above 70lbs.

Baseline Basher
09-20-2004, 07:13 PM
Well, you gotta just be amazed at his serve, I mean yeah, it's over 150 mph, but he's SPINNING the ball almost that fast. (His 150 mph serves are flat serves) He SPINS the ball about 130-140 mph. That's ridiculous.

09-21-2004, 09:36 AM
The key to Roddick's serve is the proper sequence when he performs the serve. Everything is done in order compared to other pros. I read somewhere on this board that Roddick performed the "sequence" of his serve in order. Starting from the toss. That person compared Roddick's serve to a rocket launch sequence. In other words Roddick is a perfect example of transistioning to different phases of the serve.
Also Roddick has a rotation about 130 degrees compared to Sampras 90 degrees.

Other pros have 2 stages of the serve done at the same time or might miss a step, thus not a smooth transistion from 1 phase to another.

That is the difference between others and Roddicks besides the racket head speed which is the final result.

You can find the post of Roddick serve analysis in the general pro player disscusion section in the forum.
This is my interpretation of that person's post, so I'm trying to repeat what the poster said.

09-28-2004, 01:53 PM
i've heard that his serving technique is not the conventional method of serving...i just think it all legs and the fact that he can muscle the ball.