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View Full Version : Verdasco Serve vs Federer Serve? Which one should I model?


BirdWalkR
10-01-2011, 03:43 PM
Obviously most people are gonna say Federers is better but is there anything technically wrong with Verdasco's serve? I find my serve seems to closely resemble Verdascos in a some ways and after trying to model federers serve i found i lost alot of power especially from not keeping my racket down low near my hip an accelerating quickly like i'm used too. I tried to freeze frame some parts of the vids for comparison reasons.

Now as federer tosses the ball up his racket is already coming up for the trophy pose an the racket hovers behind his head an then he accelerates whereas compared to Verdasco he keeps his racket lower an than accelerates quickly for a fast trophy pose. Is either one more technically correct than the other? Or is it more Personal Preference?And obviously I'm not hitting mine like Verdasco and my racket is a bit lower than his but would that make that big of a difference? I've still gotta alot to work on but this seems to be the biggest decision on my serve as i'm much more comfortable keeping the racket nice and low but which way would give me the most benefits?

Verdasco Serve Pic
http://i999.photobucket.com/albums/af114/BirdWalk-R/Verdsascoserve.jpg
Verdasco Serve Vid: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w_tClRQWHys

My Serve Pic
http://i999.photobucket.com/albums/af114/BirdWalk-R/MyServe1.jpg
My Serve Vid:http://s999.photobucket.com/albums/af114/BirdWalk-R/?action=view&current=1stServe.mp4

Federer Serve Pic
http://i999.photobucket.com/albums/af114/BirdWalk-R/Fed.jpg
Federer Serve Video
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kGWdoNobnCM&feature=relmfu

Devilito
10-01-2011, 03:49 PM
Mechanically they're both flawless. Go with the motion you feel more comfortable imitating. One isn’t necessarily going to give you better results than the other.

larry10s
10-01-2011, 05:00 PM
look at how much more fluid feds serve is
do you think 20-40 years from now you could do verdascos serve??
i think at 70 you could do feds serve
jmho
icbw

bhallic24
10-01-2011, 05:33 PM
look at how much more fluid feds serve is
do you think 20-40 years from now you could do verdascos serve??
i think at 70 you could do feds serve
jmho
icbw


I second this statement. Feds motions are literally the most effortless I've ever seen. You can't really go wrong mimicking his.

rkelley
10-01-2011, 06:01 PM
You're showing still pictures of part of the prep for the serve. It's really hard to say anything meaningful, but this part of the serve is not super important. The important part of the prep is the trophy pose right before the swing starts. Here's the Verdasco video that I believe the still is taken from:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w_tClRQWHys

Note that he still hits the trophy pose right before he pulls the trigger, and it looks pretty similar to Federer's trophy pose, even though each player's prep before this point is a bit different.

Datacipher
10-01-2011, 07:29 PM
look at how much more fluid feds serve is
do you think 20-40 years from now you could do verdascos serve??
i think at 70 you could do feds serve
jmho
icbw

No. Please don't listen to this stuff. It's projection based on fan-worship, and the overall relaxed way Federer plays the game vs. actual knowledge of biomechanics and/or teaching/playing.

Devilito was absolutely correct however, both players have sound fundamentals...which is the key to the serve.

You seem to be focusing on the rhythm of the arm....NOW from a biomechanics standpoint, Verdasco's is superior. It's always better from a technical standpoint to maintain a faster, smoother, acceleration through the entire arm swing, as opposed to the very slight slowing down/pause that Fed has. Having said that, the point where Fed slows down, is still fairly early in the swing, and since by far the most speed is developed after that point(and really only speed at impact counts), it's not a practical disadvantage for Federer. In an ideal world, we'd all serve with the arm speed of Roscoe Tanner, but we can't, and, that's OK.

The BIGGEST drawback to a motion like Verdasco is that many amateurs end up rushing the motion and/or tightening up to achieve it....at that point...yes...it will hurt your efficiency greatly. NO matter which you use, you must make sure you get a full racquet drop, full external rotation of the arm, and stay relaxed. If though, that motion is more natural for you like you are saying, that may not be a problem.

As Devilito says, do not worry about it. Most important is that you go through the fundamental positions on the arm.... which both those players (all pro players) do; not that you mimic any particular player.

In your serve, I can't tell at first glance if you are getting to a full racquet drop....the video is not high enough FPS, or my old eyes just can't quite make it out, if you are: excellent. Your biggest worry in relation to the arm timing appears to be coordinating it a bit better with the unwind from your body. It's tiny bit disjointed, and your body motion is quirky with that high knee stomp you're doing.

You're certainly on the right track though, and developing a better motion than 90% of the people who will critique you on here.

fuzz nation
10-02-2011, 06:06 AM
I don't object to either player's motion in terms of looking for good cues to help you with the development of your serve. Verdasco generates a lot of energy with his "unloading" through contact, but he also incorporates a little extra back bend in his delivery. Mere mortals like us need to be cautious when building a service motion that we can literally live with for the long haul. Using too much back bend in a serve too often can make for serious problems as we get older and less flexible.

Watch Fernando's racquet as he winds up and you'll see that it doesn't drop below his waist. In comparison, yours drops down around your knees as you toss the ball, but your racquet still has a looooong way to go before it travels all the way to the hitting zone. You still need to raise it up around your shoulder height to get to a "trophy" or releasing position where the racquet drops into its accelerating loop on the way up to the ball.

That dropping of your racquet at the outset is a potential problem because the toss is already in the air. You can't ask the ball to wait while you complete your extensive windup and if your toss is a hair low, it has less hang time and you're forced to rush the motion to catch up with it. That's where lots of energy disappears as you (or anyone else) muscle the racquet to the hitting zone mostly with the shoulder. In basic terms, it can make your timing break down.

Verdasco's motion is really cool because his trophy pose is a little unorthodox. He has his racquet more horizontal at around chest/shoulder height instead of more up toward vertical behind his head, but he still makes a good move to the ball. He lets the racquet release backward into a loop as his arm accelerates upward - a more conventional loop includes the racquet dropping behind the shoulders as the arm starts up. This video is helpful for spotting that since lots of TV coverage comes from more elevated vantage points. (thanks for sharing!)

If you can complete a little more of your windup before your toss goes up in the air, that will allow you to get more loaded up and use more of a full release through the ball more often. Verdasco's unconventional windup may look as though he doesn't have his racquet up and ready to fire when he tosses the ball, but he's essentially at his trophy position when his racquet is horizontal at his back shoulder.

One other general swing thought for your serve that might get more energy from your "big strong legs" is to think of throwing a javelin up through the ball from a stationary position. If you can include a little more of a leg surge to compound the upward drive of your racquet to the ball, you should get more easy power on your serve. Right now, you do a sort of standing spin on the baseline, but a good leg drive will carry you maybe a step or more into the court toward your target.

AK7
10-02-2011, 06:44 AM
They're both perfectly fine technique wise (and aesthetically) but the only thing that makes Federer's serve better is that his ball toss isn't all over the place like Verdasco's is and is much more reliable and accurate. But that's all practice.

limitup
10-02-2011, 07:53 AM
You seem to hit the ball pretty clean but man that is one weird herky jerky serve motion you have. Can't imagine how that feels comfortable or "right", but if it does to you then great. Otherwise yeah, shoot for something smoother like Fed's motion.

FEDERERNADAL13
10-02-2011, 09:29 AM
Go with a Dolgopolov serve, his serve is epic :)

zapvor
10-02-2011, 09:32 AM
or roddick. just as interesting :P

klementine79
10-02-2011, 10:41 AM
That's a foot fault for Fed... so go with the 'dasco's.... :smile:

RoddickAce
10-02-2011, 04:00 PM
You seem to hit the ball pretty clean but man that is one weird herky jerky serve motion you have. Can't imagine how that feels comfortable or "right", but if it does to you then great. Otherwise yeah, shoot for something smoother like Fed's motion.

I agree.

To the OP. This is just an observation, not a troll/hate comment, but your serve prep looks a bit like Bartoli's: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c-EX9lCiqqM&t=0m10s

You've got great racquet-head speed, so there is a lot of potential here.

Personally, I think Safin's serve motion would be good for you to copy: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lhrfqjokS_Q

Crazy man
10-02-2011, 04:07 PM
or roddick. just as interesting :P

Abbreviated motion isn't as dangerous on the body. However most people don't get much power from it. Roddick is an exception. Nadal could break 120mph with his abbrieviated motion.

Crazy man
10-02-2011, 04:09 PM
Mechanically they're both flawless.

On the ATP, most player's serves are biomechanically flawless. The only top player I can think of which has fundamental flaws was Djokovic. This never used to be the case until he started messing about with it to the point he struggled to find 50% 1st serves in.

RF20Lennon
10-02-2011, 04:14 PM
federer's serve is really accurate so i would go with that but make sure you serve how you feel comfortable and dont mess up your serve by doing something crazy thats one of the reasons djokovic serve was messed up for a yr and a half

dlam
10-02-2011, 08:30 PM
Dont copy anyone else, just develop your own.
One aspect that I find difficult to change is stance.
Your stance is pinpoint(feet close together) like verdasco,
with pinpoint stance tends to vary their toss and adjust to it.
Federer's wide platform stance goes him more balance,
I find platform servers to be more balanced and stable and tend to a constant ball toss.
I believe the rhythm and timing of platform vs pinpoint to be very different and its best to stick to one method.

Fed Kennedy
10-02-2011, 08:39 PM
Fed is serving left handed now? Fedacian confusion...

prattle128
10-03-2011, 12:24 PM
Fed is serving left handed now? Fedacian confusion...

He just reversed the image to model how he would look lefty, so he could compare it to himself more easily.

larry10s
10-03-2011, 05:09 PM
doug eng has a great article on serving rhythm and styles
classical (fed)
abbreviated (roddick)
staggard/delayed (verdasco)
http://www.tennisplayer.net/members/tour_strokes/doug_eng/the_three_service_rhythms/index.html

its worth it to pay a month membership to read this article

larry10s
10-03-2011, 05:11 PM
I believe the rhythm and timing of platform vs pinpoint to be very different and its best to stick to one method.

you would benefit from the article also

larry10s
10-03-2011, 05:18 PM
No. Please don't listen to this stuff. It's projection based on fan-worship, and the overall relaxed way Federer plays the game vs. actual knowledge of biomechanics and/or teaching/playing.

.

i completely disagree:shock:
this is not based on fan worship(although i do admire feds style)
my knowledge of biomechanics and/or and/or teaching and /or playing is at least equal or better than yours:shock::shock:i would guess
jmho
icbw

yes feds fluid style i think is a style more to emulate among rec players
than other styles that require professional commitment to training and practice (nadal)

why would you not want to emulated fed except for his exagerated fixation of his head after the shot
he doesnt do this on his serve
after 16 grand slams he must be doing somethig right
just sayin

UCSF2012
10-04-2011, 08:36 PM
You're probably better off copying Verdasco's serve. Fed moves too high off the ground, while Verdasco's relatively planted. I came off the ground a good bit too, and you know what happened when I decided to stay planted more? Increased percentage, more spin, better placement, same pace. Jumping on serves is the stupidest thing, because it jacks up your coordination.

NLBwell
10-04-2011, 10:21 PM
Verdasco has one of the most erratic serves on the tour. At times he is almost unable to serve decently at all and is double-fault prone and starts to fear them. He keeps his elbow too low and close to the body for too long. Not someone I would model my serve after. You could pick almost anyone else on tour as a model.

dlam
10-06-2011, 08:26 PM
you would benefit from the article also

Interested to read but can't get access to it.
For me I prefer pinpoint as I prefer my right leg to be underneath me and I tend to jump better off that leg for the serve.

Even for me overhead I jump off my right foot if I can.
Jumping off the left foot throws my timing and rhythm off completely.

dlam
10-06-2011, 08:38 PM
Had a look at abbreviated , classic and staggered.
Abbreviated motion looks like a classic but narrower platform.
Staggered is pinpoint.

Ross K
10-06-2011, 09:06 PM
doug eng has a great article on serving rhythm and styles
classical (fed)
abbreviated (roddick)
staggard/delayed (verdasco)
http://www.tennisplayer.net/members/tour_strokes/doug_eng/the_three_service_rhythms/index.html

its worth it to pay a month membership to read this article

Sounds interesting. Anyone care to summarize or share this for those who aren't members?:)

D-money
11-24-2011, 11:03 AM
I've seen lots of older rec players with similar service motions to Verdasco hybrid with a lot of success granted their back isn't as bent and the loading isn't as deep but it's similar I usually see them and go "dang!!" because their usually crushing the ball. I enjoy the fluidity of Feds serve as much as anyone but to me it comes down to whatever motion allows you to execute the fundamentals while remaining relaxed. I'm considering the switch too. I currently have a pinpoint stance a more abbreviated backswing and I've noticed having any point that I stop in my motion puts unnecessary stress on my shoulder (which is succeptable to injury from my younger tough guy days) which is why I've been experimenting with a motion where the racket is never at rest. A LOT of pros have similar service motions to Verdasco. Watch that same video of him and Haas playing and see how similar they are, or Thomas Berdych there's Probably more top pros using the hybrid stance with a low take back then those using a more classic platform down together up together motion like Fed. they're both technically perfect as was said before but again it comes down to what works for your body and what rhythm and timing you prefer.

D-money
11-24-2011, 11:16 AM
Probably should've watched the Verdasco vid before I say something. There's another out there with Verdasco and Haas and their service motions look very similar. Also check out some other pros serves on FYB under pro strokes there may be some things you want to experiment with.