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View Full Version : Aren't all topspin serves twist serves?


coonio
02-10-2009, 12:36 AM
In these posts and elsewhere I have read where people differentiate between twist and topspin serves.

It seems to me that in order to hit with topspin, your swing path (for a righty) has to have a significant left-to-right component in order to hit up and through the ball. Wouldn't this always put "twist" or left-to-right spin on the ball?

Sorry if I'm missing something simple, but someone please enlighten me.

Failed
02-10-2009, 02:39 AM
No they are not, peroid.

Thirteen
02-10-2009, 03:28 AM
No they are not, peroid.

I think he was looking for an explanation. All serves contain a degree of side and top spin (even "flat" serves, which just have much less spin than others). The natural left to right motion for rightys produces spin that causes the ball to break left. However, a twist serve is a serve with both sidespin and topspin, but more topspin than sidespin, so the ball initially curls left because of the side/topspin, but upon contact with the ground, the topspin "grips" the surface and throws the ball to the right (which is actually "forward", relative to the axis of the ball).

A topspin-slice serve also has both sidespin and topspin, but with more slice then topspin. Therefore, upon contact with the ground, the ball lacks sufficient topspin to change direction.

raiden031
02-10-2009, 03:55 AM
Yep the diff. is that a topspin serve does not jump to the right (right-handed server) upon hitting the ground.

I think it can be argued though that a kick serve is the same as a twist serve though.

larry10s
02-10-2009, 05:02 AM
this has been discussed a zillion times .DO A SERCH AND GET A YEARS WORTH OF THREADS TO READ.jist is for most not all agree a kick serve is a topspin serve a twist serve is a type of kick serve distinguished by the kick (pardon the use of that word) to the right(for a righty) off the bounce from the servers perspective. so not all kick serves are twist serves. but a twist serve is a type of kick serve.

raiden031
02-10-2009, 06:34 AM
this has been discussed a zillion times .DO A SERCH AND GET A YEARS WORTH OF THREADS TO READ.jist is for most not all agree a kick serve is a topspin serve a twist serve is a type of kick serve distinguished by the kick (pardon the use of that word) to the right(for a righty) off the bounce from the servers perspective. so not all kick serves are twist serves. but a twist serve is a type of kick serve.

Its been discussed a zillion times, but it is still debatable whether a kick serve is a twist serve or a topspin serve, or a category in which both fit into.

LeeD
02-10-2009, 08:39 AM
Most good players use a regular topspin serve as a consistent, faster hit first serve and a 100% second serve with some bounce.
The kick or twist serve is used only when the player wants the extra height on the bounce, to give an opponent a really high ball to return. If the kick was employed regularly, it would lose it's surprise, and the opponent learns to return that head high ball.
Some top players use mostly a kick/twist on second serves, but they still have a normal topspin serve for the change of bounce.
And almost all good players have a lower bouncing sidespin slice serve, to keep the ball lower, again for a variety and change of bounce.
Just more weapons every good server has, in addition to his repetoire of several different first serves.

SirBlend12
02-10-2009, 08:51 AM
Ok, I'm going to make this really simple: KICK SERVE IS A TERM USED TO DESCRIBE A VARIOUS ARSENAL OF SERVES WITH APPLIED SPINS THAT CAUSE THEM TO REACT IN DIFFERENT WAYS BEFORE DURING AND AFTER IMPACT!!!!

i.e. topspin, twist, slice...

It's like a family name. Peter, Mike, and Paul all have the last name Smith. Smith is a FAMILY name. Paul is not the same thing as Smith. He is part of the Smith family. Same for the other two. He isn't Smith, but he is A Smith.

/End Rant. At least part is over now. Now you can just talk about technique.

raiden031
02-10-2009, 08:54 AM
Ok, I'm going to make this really simple: KICK SERVE IS A TERM USED TO DESCRIBE A VARIOUS ARSENAL OF SERVES WITH APPLIED SPINS THAT CAUSE THEM TO REACT IN DIFFERENT WAYS BEFORE DURING AND AFTER IMPACT!!!!

i.e. topspin, twist, slice...

It's like a family name. Peter, Mike, and Paul all have the last name Smith. Smith is a FAMILY name. Paul is not the same thing as Smith. He is part of the Smith family. Same for the other two. He isn't Smith, but he is A Smith.

/End Rant. At least part is over now. Now you can just talk about technique.

I'm pretty sure that a slice serve is never meant to be associated with kick serve. A slice serve doesn't "kick" like a topspin and twist serve does.

LeeD
02-10-2009, 09:01 AM
Only because I like to think of the various serves as complicated, I agree each of the various serves is completely different from each other one, they all need to be practiced, and about 1/2 need to be perfected.
No KISS theory for all the serves, it's complicated, it takes years to assimulate, and it takes as many hours as forehands to get, and you can lose it in the blink of an eye.

tennisdad65
02-10-2009, 09:04 AM
I'm pretty sure that a slice serve is never meant to be associated with kick serve. A slice serve doesn't "kick" like a topspin and twist serve does.

he probably meant topspin-slice

SirBlend12
02-10-2009, 09:06 AM
he probably meant topspin-slice

True. I don't often hit pure slice serves so wasn't thinking of it that way. Sorry 'bout that one.

LeeD
02-10-2009, 09:07 AM
Yeah, there's topspin twist, topspin vertical, and topspin slice.
Then there's kick variations of the 3 above.
Then there's degrees of spin and ball speed in each of the above.
Then there's regular slice as a out wide low sliding serve.
We can't learn them all in our lifetimes, but maybe close to 1/2 is all we need.

tennisdad65
02-10-2009, 09:15 AM
Yeah, there's topspin twist, topspin vertical, and topspin slice.
Then there's kick variations of the 3 above.
.....

good morning LeeD.
what do you mean by 'kick variations of the 3 above'
concentrate on hitting upwards more as opposed to hitting more forward (like in a first serve)?
or something else?

LeeD
02-10-2009, 09:25 AM
OK, you know I"m an old fart who plays tennis only Nov. thru April....
Let's say I'm playing a good righthander groundie guy with a consistent strong forehand. We'll concentrate only on serves that side, which would normally be about 20% of the time. I'm lefty.
Duece court, I'd flat serve him out wide, if my first is going well. I'd flat serve him at his body. I'd slice/top him up the middle to move him well into the ad court.
OK, forget first serves.
Second serves, I'd top slice out wide into his forehand. I'd kick/twist out wide away from this forehand. If he figures those two, I'd HIGHER kick twist to his eye level out wide to his forehand. If he picks that up, I'd slice top into his forehand down low, around hip heights.
The variety of ball heights, spin, speeds, and placements, all to this forehand side, keeps him on his toes, keeps him from getting comfortable, and allows me to play the ball to get the kind of return I want from him.
Usually, one strategy is to hit some high balls to his forehand, either twisted, topped, or sliced, then if I need the point, go for a low slice to his forehand and move in, not only for the change of location, but to give him another new thing to think about.
Just basic strategy....employ your strongest game while keeping him from employing HIS strongest game.

Sublime
02-10-2009, 09:56 AM
Here's something interesting from this John Yandell article on tennis.com (http://www.tennis.com/yourgame/instructionarticles/visuals/visuals.aspx?id=109012).

Research shows that Sampras was averaging over 2500 rpm of total spin on his first serve. Thatís a phenomenal amount of rotation. Itís 50 percent more spin than many other servers with similar velocities. Just rev up the tachometer on your car to 2500 rpm if you want to feel how much force this involves.

The research also shows that as important, or more important than the total amount of spin is the type of spin. Of particular importance is the topspin component. First, itís important to realize that a pure topspin serve is a myth. The research conclusively demonstrates that the majority of the spin on all serves is sidespin.

Yet we found that on average, Samprasí topspin component was 35 percent, much higher than other servers we measured. To use the familiar analogy of a clock face, his ball was spinning from 8 oíclock to 2 oíclock.

So if Sampras's first serve is only 35% topspin and 65% sidespin and that's apparently way more topspin than most pro's... I wonder what the ratio's of an actual "topspin" serve is.

LeeD
02-10-2009, 10:01 AM
Wonder all you want. The theorists don't play tennis. Theory and research doesn't apply to real tennis in the real world.
Hit some balls, and see for yourself.

tennisdad65
02-10-2009, 10:07 AM
So if Sampras's first serve is only 35% topspin and 65% sidespin and that's apparently way more topspin than most pro's... I wonder what the ratio's of an actual "topspin" serve is.

the article also says his first serve had 50% more spin than other servers with similar first serve velocities.

Also, his serve had more topspin ratio than the other servers.. lets say 20% more.. So, by my ROUGH calculations other servers at the same velocity had about:
rpm * 2/3 * 8/10 ~ 50% topspin rpm of sampras (if his topspin ratio was 20% higher)

bottom line: he had 50% more overall spin, and 100% more topspin .. that is just unfair :)

tennisdad65
02-10-2009, 10:08 AM
Wonder all you want. The theorists don't play tennis. Theory and research doesn't apply to real tennis in the real world.
Hit some balls, and see for yourself.

thats what this forum is for.. to calculate, theorize, get advice, have fun.. :) we cannot hit balls all day :)