View Full Version : Kick serve finish

11-11-2012, 09:14 AM
Since taking up the game just over 14 months ago, it's taken about this past summer to develop a reliable service motion. I would say my slice and kick serves is my go to serves for my 2nd but do occasionally use it for my 1st if my flat is misfiring.

I was playing at my local club and while practicing serves, one of the coaches was observing and came over and commented I have a good motion however when I finish my motion on a kick serve, I should refrain from finishing the motion on my right hand side (I'm a righty).

When I serve a slice and flats, I finish on my left but normally right side with a kicker much like Stosur. I did say to the coach that I've modelled my kicker like Stosur but he was adamant that I should change it.

I took time to listen to his advice and carried on with my practice. Whilst I did try finishing the kicker on my left, naturally I feel that I can get so much more action on my kicker finishing on the right.

Do most of you guys who are righty normally finish on the left at the end of your motion with a kick serve. Not sure if I should change as I'm getting a lot of success with it.

11-11-2012, 10:04 AM

11-11-2012, 10:11 AM
OP - See frames 8 and 9 below... extension goes up and across out to the right, before coming back in front of the body as the shoulders continue to rotate...



11-11-2012, 11:22 AM
Personal choice (and comfort). I finish on my right and have done for years. Some people I know don't feel comfortable this way and carry on round.

Think you'll find Edberg did too.

11-11-2012, 11:53 AM
Also depends if it is a pure top or a slice/kick combination.

11-11-2012, 12:02 PM
If I'm coming around to the left side, then there's a pronounced slice component.

11-11-2012, 12:11 PM
The swing creates the finish, not the other way around. If the ball position at contact is extreme left and you have high level upper arm rotation, you'll naturally finish where you should, assuming your arm is relaxed!

If you try to force the right finish without the correct elements you probably stress the arm a lot more.

I do think if everything is right you can key on the finish as the last point in an extreme left to right swing. But the toss, the racket drop and the less rotated, more sideways body position at contact are the foundation to the kick.

That coach could have a limited understanding of the kick--or he could have noticed that the op didn't really have the correct elements for the extreme right finish.

11-11-2012, 12:34 PM
I don't consciously try to finish on the right - I always naturally finish on that side when performing a kicker. It feels right for me so maybe best to keep it as is.

11-11-2012, 12:54 PM
http://web.archive.org/web/20071023235817im_/http://www.operationdoubles.com/twist-serve-santoro-ani.gifFabrice Santoro

Operation Doubles: How to Hit a Twist (Kick) Serve (http://web.archive.org/web/20071023235817/http://www.operationdoubles.com/how_hit_twist_serve_tennis.htm)

Use what works best for you. Many/most? modern righty servers, such as Federer, usually finish to the left on twist/kick serves. However, in the past, the righty finish was possibly more common.


11-11-2012, 02:26 PM
It depends on how you finish on the right side. It's not bad, but on some extreme right finishes, it's bad.

Hard to describe, need a video. It'll tell us definitively if it's a good or bad finish.

11-11-2012, 02:36 PM
^ Take a look at the Santoro finish in the Op Doubles link I provided. It is a fairly extreme right finish.


11-11-2012, 02:39 PM
Should we try to hit many twist serves, and adopt the finish that occurs after we hit our best twist serves?
And if the kick twist is located in a different target, can we allow our finishes to be different?
Most twists are hit out wide, but some are into the body of the opponent.

11-11-2012, 03:08 PM
^ Take a look at the Santoro finish in the Op Doubles link I provided. It is a fairly extreme right finish.


Picture doesn't show. But I remember how he finished. It's not as extreme as what some rec players will try to do.

11-11-2012, 05:34 PM
I would say most pros, if not all, swing to the right due to pronation, regardless of flat, slice or kick serve. In the following clip, Suzuki demonstrates all three serves (from left to right, flat, slice, topspin). The "entries" are different but the follow-throughs are similar.

However, they may or may not follow through to the left after that, based on personal preference. E.g in post #3 above, the server's racquet is on the right in frame 9, just like Sampras in post #2. However, in frame 10, his follow-through continues to the left. Would you say his swing ends on the right or left? Maybe the coach was just not used to seeing the swing end in a position like in frame 9?

11-11-2012, 06:50 PM
Left side finish is just fine for kick serve.


11-11-2012, 09:13 PM
Picture doesn't show. But I remember how he finished. It's not as extreme as what some rec players will try to do.

If the image (gif) in post #9 does not show for you, try a right-click and open the image in a new tab. If may take a few seconds to load since it is a gif in an archive of the old Operation Doubles web site. Alternately, you can open the Operation Doubles link below the (phantom) image. I got the OD page and gif to load in less than 10 seconds.

11-12-2012, 02:40 AM

How to tell from that Sampras pic, if the finish is from a flat or kick serve?

The finish looks similar to the flat serve finish shown here: