PDA

View Full Version : Boris Becker Serve Slow Motion...interesting


Thepowerofchoice
01-07-2012, 10:06 PM
I was checking out some of his serve motions and I notice he was landing on his right leg before his left.(He's rightly)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4nOQfqSJEKw&feature=endscreen&NR=1

Anyone else does this? Please discuss pros and cons. Thanks

SystemicAnomaly
01-07-2012, 11:02 PM
That goes back to an older style of serving. Back in the day (before the 70s?), players were not allowed to have both feet leave the ground on their service motion. Usually, the front foot would stay on the ground and the back leg would swing forward. Check out Pancho Gonzales here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8oaZ-49eebo
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tyhFo3hvGPI

Don't know exactly when the serving rule was changed. When we watched players in the mid/late 70s, more leg drive and jumping became evident. Players still swung the back leg forward because it lent itself to stepping into the court to serve and volley -- this S&V style was very common up until the 90s or so.

In the past 2 decade or more, players have been employing a considerable amount of leg drive and have been hitting serves with more pace. It could be that many players started to copy the serve of Pete Sampras, who jumped and landed on his front (left) foot and kicked the right leg backward before allowing it to swing forward.

One possibility is that, by kicking the right leg backward, the hip rotation stops (for the most part) and kinetic energy is transferred more completely to the torso rotation and the arm swing.

Thepowerofchoice
01-08-2012, 02:54 PM
Thanks for your answer. I didn't know about the rule that players were not allowed to have both feet leave the ground on their service motion. I really like his serve motion but landing on his right foot seem odd but it works for him just fine.

TennisMaverick
01-08-2012, 03:01 PM
Don't know exactly when the serving rule was changed.

It was changed during the early '60's.

Boris CHANGED his serve to use this type of leg drive as a teenager, specifically from his coach's instruction.

bad_call
01-08-2012, 03:08 PM
I was checking out some of his serve motions and I notice he was landing on his right leg before his left.(He's rightly)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4nOQfqSJEKw&feature=endscreen&NR=1

Anyone else does this? Please discuss pros and cons. Thanks

think this player does the same. didn't pay attention to whom else landed this way. just know that the right foot appeared to land first and further in the court a lot of the time. wasn't about to change it since it didn't detract from my serve.

dlesser13
01-08-2012, 03:13 PM
Not that we are disputing or arguing anything here, but isn't it more natural for one to land on their right leg first? If you're coming into the court, physics says your body is going to follow it. Naturally, your right leg would follow first as you come around. No?

Thepowerofchoice
01-08-2012, 05:36 PM
Not that we are disputing or arguing anything here, but isn't it more natural for one to land on their right leg first? If you're coming into the court, physics says your body is going to follow it. Naturally, your right leg would follow first as you come around. No?

Funny you said this. The reason I found his serve motion interesting is because I used to do the same thing (land on my right foot first). I'm a self taught tennis player but I switched to landing on my left first after someone told me I was doing it incorrectly.

wings56
01-08-2012, 07:51 PM
Not that we are disputing or arguing anything here, but isn't it more natural for one to land on their right leg first? If you're coming into the court, physics says your body is going to follow it. Naturally, your right leg would follow first as you come around. No?

sometimes a land on the right foot can be caused from over rotation of the body resulting in a loss of energy. this energy is put off to the side as opposed to into the court. clearly, in the case of pancho and boris, they have transferred all of their energy into the court and serve by the time that foot comes around and lands into the court. the right leg around gives more of a pitching type energy into the court whereas the jump on to the non dominate side food incorporates a little different set of muscles

rufusbgood
01-09-2012, 10:59 AM
Here's another guy doing it all wrong. Bill Tilden. Not only landing on the "wrong" foot but tossing with a bent arm that never gets higher than his nose. And that backhand?! What an amateur!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=izEbU5u5J-I

anchorage
01-10-2012, 03:34 AM
Boris uses a lot of rotation; basically, you can think of his right side rotating around the left side; that's why he lands on his right foot. (Also, by doing that, his full momentum goes into the line of the serve.)

albesca
01-10-2012, 11:36 AM
Boris Becker: Tips on The Perfect Serve (http://youtu.be/C6y818Cb5Uk)

Thepowerofchoice
01-10-2012, 05:43 PM
Boris uses a lot of rotation; basically, you can think of his right side rotating around the left side; that's why he lands on his right foot. (Also, by doing that, his full momentum goes into the line of the serve.)

That make sense but how come no one else is doing the same?

5263
01-10-2012, 08:27 PM
That goes back to an older style of serving. Back in the day (before the 70s?), players were not allowed to have both feet leave the ground on their service motion. Usually, the front foot would stay on the ground and the back leg would swing forward.

Don't know exactly when the serving rule was changed. When we watched players in the mid/late 70s, more leg drive and jumping became evident. Players still swung the back leg forward because it lent itself to stepping into the court to serve and volley -- this S&V style was very common up until the 90s or so.

In the past 2 decade or more, players have been employing a considerable amount of leg drive and have been hitting serves with more pace. It could be that many players started to copy the serve of Pete Sampras, who jumped and landed on his front (left) foot and kicked the right leg backward before allowing it to swing forward.

One possibility is that, by kicking the right leg backward, the hip rotation stops (for the most part) and kinetic energy is transferred more completely to the torso rotation and the arm swing.

Lots of good info SA.
Think Becker's grip on serve "allowed him/made him" to turn more into the court with the right side as well?

SystemicAnomaly
01-12-2012, 04:53 AM
Here's another guy doing it all wrong. Bill Tilden. Not only landing on the "wrong" foot but tossing with a bent arm that never gets higher than his nose. And that backhand?! What an amateur!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=izEbU5u5J-I

OMG! Don't know if that was typical of serve mechanics back in the 20s and 30s but it leaves a lot to be desired. Difficult to believe that that Tilden supposedly hit a serve in excess of 160 mph back in 1931 with a wood racket and those mechanics.

Perhaps it was not until Pancho G came along in the 50s and 60s that the modern serve began to take shape (w/o the jump). Sampras in the late 80s or the 90s might have been one of the early pioneers of the left foot landing (for a righty) with the left leg kicking back.


It was changed during the early '60's.

Boris CHANGED his serve to use this type of leg drive as a teenager, specifically from his coach's instruction.

Thnx for the feedback. This might very well be the case. It could be that it took quite while to see significant changes in serve mechanics of most players after the rule change. Players in the 70s had some semblance of leg drive but I don't recall of any players who had enough leg drive to get them off the ground very much. More knee bend with greater leg drive may have come later in the 80s with the likes of of Boris B and Pete S.

When Boris developed his serve as a young lad, the right foot landing was the de facto standard. His serve mechanics was the next step in the evolution of the serve. The Pete Sampras serve, a few years later, was a further advance in the evolution of the modern serve.

Take a gander at the serve of Andre Agassi early in his pro career (at 0:24 in the link below). He lands right foot forward, somewhat like Boris. Compare this to to the Agassi serve in the past decade (and the late 90s?) -- we see that he changed his mechanics -- in particular, he lands on his left foot first rather than his right.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7PF1kfJSia4
.

Bobby Jr
01-12-2012, 05:30 AM
Surprised no-one has said it yet re: Becker's serve... how few players have ever served with a forehand grip? (at least in the modern era)

rkelley
01-12-2012, 07:44 AM
Surprised no-one has said it yet re: Becker's serve... how few players have ever served with a forehand grip? (at least in the modern era)

AFAIK it's a continental grip, rotated a bit toward the forehand side. But it's not an E. forehand grip.

SystemicAnomaly
01-12-2012, 12:33 PM
Surprised no-one has said it yet re: Becker's serve... how few players have ever served with a forehand grip? (at least in the modern era)

While many have claimed that Boris served with a FH grip, it was probably more of a semi-continental or an Aussie grip for his 1st serve. His 2nd serve may have employed something closer to a true continental grip.

http://www.top-tennis-training.net/#/serve/4555535973
.

Limpinhitter
01-15-2012, 09:12 AM
OMG! Don't know if that was typical of serve mechanics back in the 20s and 30s but it leaves a lot to be desired. Difficult to believe that that Tilden supposedly hit a serve in excess of 160 mph back in 1931 with a wood racket and those mechanics.

Perhaps it was not until Pancho G came along in the 50s and 60s that the modern serve began to take shape (w/o the jump). Sampras in the late 80s or the 90s might have been one of the early pioneers of the left foot landing (for a righty) with the left leg kicking back.

* * *

Bill Tilden had many different serves (as he had many different forehands and backhands), with different motions, timing and tosses. That's how great Tilden was. But, he did have a compact windup in which his racquet was ahead of his toss, and always hit on the rise, like Dick Savitt, John Newcombe, Rosco Tanner and Kevin Curren, 4 of the greatest servers of all time. And, yes, he had a big serve for his day. (What is shown in that video is a high kicking second serve of Tilden in his 40's). Tilden's cannonball serve was probably more like 115-120 at it's biggest. The 160 figure was calculated with stopwatches and mathmatical equations, and is obviously not accurate. But, the fact that the effort was made to calculate the speed of Tilden's serve indicates how big it was compared to the rest of the field. I have no doubt that Tilden's serve and game would hold up well today, IF, he took training and conditioning as seriously as today's players do. Like the best of the best in any era, Tilden was a naturally supremely gifted athlete.

As for your comment about "the modern serve taking shape," there are some good video clips of players like Elsworth Vines, Don Budge Gottfried von Cramm and Jack Kramer on the Tube and Britishe Pathe, that will put that issue to rest immediately. You might have to do some legwork to find them. But, I will tell you that, as great as Pancho's serve was, it was not an original. His windup and technique looks like a replica of Gardnar Mulloy's serve. And Pete was definitely not the pioneer of landing on the left foot (or right foot for a lefty).

PS: Jack Kramer's beautiful service motion can be seen here beginning at about 20 seconds. Note that he keeps his left foot grounded as per the rule. Yet Kramer invented the S&V game as a primary tactic. If you watch closely, you'll also see that Kramer invented the reverse "buggy whip" forehand in the 40's.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gv7dwH2G8CI

PPS: This video shows the serves of Gerald Patterson in 1919, Don Budge, Rod Laver, Pete Sampras and Boris Becker. Note that Patterson also hits on the rise and that Budge and Laver hit at the apex of the toss.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8wGi6HfDvc8

PPPS: Some footage showing several Ellsworth Vines' serves:

http://www.britishpathe.com/video/a-tennis-battle-royal

PPPPS: Check out the 1975 AO final between Connors and Newcombe. Newcombe lands on his right foot like Becker, and Connors lands on his right foot as a lefty. Both are S&Ving.

http://vault.australianopentv.com/

rufusbgood
01-15-2012, 10:13 AM
Bill Tilden had many different serves (as he had many different forehands and backhands), with different motions, timing and tosses.

Here's Tilden demonstrating how to serve (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YMyQkN2KoWs&feature=related#t=7m55s). Can you produce a photo or a video of Tilden with his tossing arm any higher than this?

sabala
01-15-2012, 12:12 PM
OMG! Don't know if that was typical of serve mechanics back in the 20s and 30s but it leaves a lot to be desired. Difficult to believe that that Tilden supposedly hit a serve in excess of 160 mph back in 1931 with a wood racket and those mechanics.

Perhaps it was not until Pancho G came along in the 50s and 60s that the modern serve began to take shape (w/o the jump). Sampras in the late 80s or the 90s might have been one of the early pioneers of the left foot landing (for a righty) with the left leg kicking back.




Thnx for the feedback. This might very well be the case. It could be that it took quite while to see significant changes in serve mechanics of most players after the rule change. Players in the 70s had some semblance of leg drive but I don't recall of any players who had enough leg drive to get them off the ground very much. More knee bend with greater leg drive may have come later in the 80s with the likes of of Boris B and Pete S.

When Boris developed his serve as a young lad, the right foot landing was the de facto standard. His serve mechanics was the next step in the evolution of the serve. The Pete Sampras serve, a few years later, was a further advance in the evolution of the modern serve.

Take a gander at the serve of Andre Agassi early in his pro career (at 0:24 in the link below). He lands right foot forward, somewhat like Boris. Compare this to to the Agassi serve in the past decade (and the late 90s?) -- we see that he changed his mechanics -- in particular, he lands on his left foot first rather than his right.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7PF1kfJSia4
.

That particular serve from Andre is a bit strange, Perhaps just something for the camera??. If you look at vid of him from the serving instruction part of the series, he is landing on his left foot.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4HfhLpPsl8E#t=1m25s



Also, that Attack! vid is from early 90's. Looking at Andre's matches from 88 and 89 he's landing on his left.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EoFgPzHk92c
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WShBaHxLmpk

SystemicAnomaly
01-17-2012, 02:30 AM
^ Thanks. I was looking for the serving part of the series but could not find it. That alternate mechanics may have been a throwback to his earlier serving style. It seems that Andre was, indeed, landing on his left foot in the late 80s. However, his back leg kicks off to the side and comes around quite a bit. It appears that his serve evolved even further in the 90s.

...

As for your comment about "the modern serve taking shape," there are some good video clips of players like Elsworth Vines, Don Budge Gottfried von Cramm and Jack Kramer on the Tube and Britishe Pathe, that will put that issue to rest immediately. You might have to do some legwork to find them. But, I will tell you that, as great as Pancho's serve was, it was not an original. His windup and technique looks like a replica of Gardnar Mulloy's serve. And Pete was definitely not the pioneer of landing on the left foot (or right foot for a lefty).

PS: Jack Kramer's beautiful service motion can be seen here beginning at about 20 seconds. Note that he keeps his left foot grounded as per the rule. Yet Kramer invented the S&V game as a primary tactic. If you watch closely, you'll also see that Kramer invented the reverse "buggy whip" forehand in the 40's.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gv7dwH2G8CI

PPPS: Some footage showing several Ellsworth Vines' serves:

http://www.britishpathe.com/video/a-tennis-battle-royal

PPPPS: Check out the 1975 AO final between Connors and Newcombe. Newcombe lands on his right foot like Becker, and Connors lands on his right foot as a lefty. Both are S&Ving.

http://vault.australianopentv.com/

Thanx for the history lesson, LH. You certainly appear to know the pre-Open era better than I. However, if you take another look at the Ellsworth video, you'll see him hitting a reverse FH or 2 back in 1933. The guy seemed to be ahead of his time in several respects.

The funky serve mechanics seen in the Tilden video may have been a misleading representation for the norm for the day. Upon seeing that video and hearing that Tilden had the biggest serve of that era, one would conclude that other players of the time might have less-than-ideal serve mechanics. Kramer had a pretty decent serve motion. I've not seen Gardnar Mulloy's serve, but I do prefer Pancho's serve mechanic that of Jack Kramer. It does appear to be an improvement over those who went before him.

While I was looking around for servers of the 70s, I did not bother to look at Connors. His serve was considered one of the weakest for top 40 players of that era. One story that I heard was that other players were mocked or teased if they were ever aced by Jimmy. In spite of the failings of his serve, it was surprising to see that he did land on his front (non-racket) foot. I do not believe that other pros would have emulated the Connors serve. The Sampras serve, OTOH, was something that has been very influential for other pros.

Note that I was not saying the landing on the front foot prevented players from executing the S&V style of game. I was speculating that many players, after the rule change, continued to land on the racket foot because they felt or perceived that it worked for their S&V game.
.

mntlblok
01-17-2012, 05:11 AM
We have a bunch of retired Yankees (:mrgreen:) down here at our club in Savannah who land on their right foots (feet would seem to imply that they have more than one right foot, no? :)) when serving. It seems to go along with the fact that they also brought that goofy game of platform tennis down here with them. This bunch also tends to play some good tennis - and are more likely to play serve and volley in their dubs. . .

Kevin



Note that I was not saying the landing on the front foot prevented players from executing the S&V style of game. I was speculating that many players, after the rule change, continued to land on the racket foot because they felt or perceived that it worked for their S&V game.
.

Thepowerofchoice
01-17-2012, 07:03 AM
We have a bunch of retired Yankees (:mrgreen:) down here at our club in Savannah who land on their right foots (feet would seem to imply that they have more than one right foot, no? :)) when serving. It seems to go along with the fact that they also brought that goofy game of platform tennis down here with them. This bunch also tends to play some good tennis - and are more likely to play serve and volley in their dubs. . .

Kevin

I played this goofy :) platform tennis for years before I ever picked up tennis and it helps my volley for sure.

Thepowerofchoice
01-17-2012, 07:11 AM
That particular serve from Andre is a bit strange, Perhaps just something for the camera??. If you look at vid of him from the serving instruction part of the series, he is landing on his left foot.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4HfhLpPsl8E#t=1m25s



Also, that Attack! vid is from early 90's. Looking at Andre's matches from 88 and 89 he's landing on his left.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EoFgPzHk92c
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WShBaHxLmpk



At 5:15. I think he was just doing it for the camera. Too funny.

mntlblok
01-17-2012, 07:38 AM
I play this goofy :) platform tennis for years before I ever picked up tennis and it helps my volley for sure.

And which might also help explain why these guys tend to be such good doubles players.:) Can't stand the feel of the paddle contact with the ball, myself. And, my whole doubles game is centered around bouncing overheads over the fence. Do that in paddle, and not only do you lose the point, but you gotta go chase the dern ball. . .

One of these fellows is actually a many times (age group) national champion platform tennis player. He brings other national level players in for exhibitions once a year. One of them, Hank Irvine - another national champion level player - was kind enough to try to teach me to play that crazy game. He does *not* appreciate my denigration of same. :) Hank has also been extremely kind to me at the Florida old man tennis tournaments where we've since crossed paths. In spite of that, I've posted this series of pics on Flickr. :mrgreen: He was playing against another of my tennis heroes, Hugh Thomson, at the time. http://www.flickr.com/photos/mentalblock/4323591659/in/set-72157623326551124

Kevin