View Full Version : Murray serve

12-04-2012, 07:24 PM
Is his technique sound? He seem to be throwing the ball without coming around on top of it in a smooth fashion. I tried it today, and it works well, especially with a low toss. Murray also extends his swing greatly towards the target.

I have seen some people serve this way, and assumed that it was bad mechanics.

I am not so sure now. It seems to work.

12-04-2012, 07:38 PM
a little too big of a bow to my taste but he has made it into a weapon. however it's more suited for first serve. his second serve can be quite attackable. for rec I wouldn't recommend due to less stability for second serve, but a strong mind can make anything happen.

12-04-2012, 11:12 PM
murray can hit a good second serve, but you're right in that the technique lends itself to flat and slice, coming around the right side of the ball. There are players with good second serves or kick serves that serve like this (rafter) to take as models if you want to try it.

12-05-2012, 05:53 AM
I always see him doing a first serve with a kick serve finish. I could be wrong but I have never seen him doing a pronation butt cap up finish.

12-05-2012, 08:38 AM
He doesn't seem to finish his circular swing but throws the ball early.

Now I watched a couple of slow motion videos and I don't see that. Yet I am sure that on TV it looks like I said in my OP. I am confused now.

Also I remember now that something was written about this recently. Was it Tennis magazine? Was it an email I got from tennisplayer.net? Something about his serve being unorthodox but effective. Can't put my finger on it.

If this works out, I am going to stick to it, because it sure provides much better control and no faults compared to the more conventional motion.

12-05-2012, 10:11 AM
There are many ways to skin a cat.
If it works, it works.
Whether or not YOU'D care to copy it is another thing.

12-05-2012, 10:22 AM
Murray's serve is very solid technically. The major issue he had early in his career was with his hips sliding back during his prep phase, which led to him having to sway his hips forward again during the upswing - leading to inconsistency. He has worked to tidy this area up over the last few years and his first serve % has generally improved.

12-05-2012, 12:27 PM
I think he hits it earlier in the swing than Federer?

12-05-2012, 12:28 PM
Could that have to do with Fed's really low right hand at trophy?

Bobby Jr
12-05-2012, 02:33 PM
Murray has a nice serve but he is prone to getting slightly out of sync with the timing of it all... > He throws the ball up with an exaggerated chest facing the roof pose, moves his back foot up, springs into the serve.

His issue comes sometimes when the timing is every so slightly off so he's at the peak or on the way back down again by the time he makes contact with the ball. It's is why he dumps so many odd looking serves into the net, especially on the ad side.

This is a risk of having a serve where you lean back so far after the ball-toss as you step up to hit it. The timing needs to be much more consistent or you risk putting in a lot of effort which is wasted (biomechanically). When it's good it's good, but his poor serves so often come at the worst moments - and I personally think it's because with the pressure/stress it's harder for him to be as fluid so the timing goes off a little. (His forehand sometimes suffers a similar loss of fluidity when he's under pressure - not so much as of late, but historically).

You could do a lot worse than Murray's technique though. It seems to work for him and the above are only a matter of degrees when considered relative to the serves of his peers.

12-05-2012, 02:57 PM
Wouldn't Soderling's serve be classified similarly?

Bobby Jr
12-05-2012, 03:47 PM
Wouldn't Soderling's serve be classified similarly?
I agree, it is to some extent.

One thing that Murray does differently than Soderling is when Soderling starts his serve his ball-toss arm goes straight up/out - almost towards the court. Murray by contrast has a toss where his arm pendulums backwards towards the back fence, before hooking around in a loop to toss the ball. Soderling starts with his weight back and moves forward - Murray starts with his weight forward then shifts it back then forward. Murray has much more forward movement than Soderling, but Soderling has more upward (spring) movement - which you can see in how they end their serves. Soderling ends up on his left leg and goes no further - Murray lands on his left leg and then has to make one more step into the court to get his balance.

Similarly Soderling also doesn't turn his back to the court very much until the very last moment in his trophy pose before launching. Murray has his back to the court as the ball toss leaves his hand. This gives his serve more torque potential which is the upside of doing this (especially for his second serve), but it adds another area where even the smallest yip has knock-on effects for the rest of the serve.

Although I'm not a coach I struggled for years with an inconsistent serve and have seen it many times, especially in juniors. Weight transfers in which the server goes forward>back>forward in such an exaggerated amount are more prone to being streaky in consistency - additionally I think it increases the risk of having an inconsistent ball toss also (with the body moving backward and twisting it's got to be harder to toss as consistently as somene who doesn't??). Many juniors do it perhaps because they're not big/strong physically so try to 'slignshot' their serve more with exaggerated weight transfers... Or maybe they try to model themselves off players with GOAT serves (like Ivanisevic) who are plainly too hard to mimic well for the vast majority of learning players.

While Murray's good serves are utterly fantastic, the variation between his good serves and poor ones is bigger than for someone with a more stable base serve with less back and forth weight transfer like Federer, Sampras, Djokovic, Tsonga. When Murray is in a hole you often see him go for huge first serves - if he's not making them he too often backs them up with patchy second serves.

As I said above, this is a matter of degrees - nth degree comparisons between guys who have great serves. It's just my take on why Murray has had the same serve issues for his entire career. They're hard to address when the same minor aspects which make a serve a (comparative) liability at times are the same things which make it a weapon. All he can do it recognise when the issue is creeping in, take a few seconds longer to clear his head, ignore the situation and hit as he does in practice. This is an areas I think Lendl has helped him most - hitting out and, as Murray says Lendl has told him, not going down with your back to the wall trying to chase down balls.

12-05-2012, 04:00 PM
Both are too complicated for simpletons's like me. I like PetrKorda's motion. Or LeytonHewitt/JuanCarlosFerrero's

Bobby Jr
12-05-2012, 04:03 PM
FYI, I tried to find a series of serves from the same angle for viewing/comparison sakes to highlight some of what I said above.

Andy Murray (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2GFkqD7GBZQ)
Robin Soderling (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NaAhBME6jtA)
Djokovic (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vtfEP6bOrvI)
Tsonga (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=drRPKQ00a98)
Federer (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PLwz3noMt8o)

12-05-2012, 04:10 PM
DJ's is the most straightforward, if he didn't lift the toes of his left foot. I'll take his motion to copy.

12-05-2012, 05:26 PM
"Springs into the serve" and "much more forward movement" in the above posts describe exactly what I meant.