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Serve_n_volley
07-22-2006, 08:52 PM
I've noticed that even pros change their shots over time. For example, Nadals serve is far more jerky now than it was at last years us open and hes getting more power. Its starting to look like Roddicks serve with a left hand. And Roddicks serve has gotten less extreme and jerky over time. Anyone else notice things like this?

Jonny S&V
07-22-2006, 09:24 PM
Vaguely. I definitely think that Roddick's serve is smoother, but I don't know about Nadal's. I'll have to consult the videos of Roland Garros finals and see if there is a difference. See if I can post it on the TT. Probably not, but all well.

palikero
07-22-2006, 10:20 PM
actually i oticed that about Nadal's serve as well. It seems to have evolved into a much more jerky, explosive move toward the ball, rather than his old notion of just spinning it into the court.

Roddick's serve also seems just a bit smoother, but not all that noticable.

YOu can also see how Federer's serve change over time, from around 2001 to 2005 it has also evolved.

guernica1
07-23-2006, 04:51 AM
They definitely tinker around with their shots just like amateurs although in their case large and even small changes can have potentially disastrous changes... like for example Coria.

But some changes over the years off the top of my head I've seen include Taylor Dent and Rusedski's serves. Nadal's serve seems to have much more body thrust than from 2004. The first time I saw Roddick's forehand against Al Costa it had a quite jerky take back whereas now its more smooth.
The most extreme example would be Fernando Meligeni from the 90's who switched to a 1H bh in the middle of his career and playing very very well with it.

Mikael
07-23-2006, 05:29 AM
There are a few examples. I think I remember Chela going from a typical Latin American service motion to a smoother one (ie, now his two hands go up together instead of first bringing his racquet up and then tossing the ball). Enqvist's forehand and serve underwent some pretty big changes around 99-01. Gasquet's made a few changes on his forehand and serve since starting on the ATP Tour...

I think some guys have to change stuff, especially service motions, after shoulder injuries and such.

Volly master
07-23-2006, 05:32 AM
they do

look at Sampras serve in 1990, and then look at it in say 2000-2002, MUCH more back bending action.

Jack Romeo
07-23-2006, 05:50 AM
the changes mentioned above (except for the meligeni thing) are quite minor - strokes becoming jerkier or smoother versions of the same thing.

the more obvious stroke modifications for me have been the ff:
1. mauresmo and henin-hardenne both use abbreviated take-backs on their service motions, which wasn't the case at all when both were just starting out on tour. they both used longer take-backs in the past. this adaptation was also undertaken by patrick rafter in the late 90's before he won his first us open in 1997 (though it was blamed for having caused his rotator cuff injury in 1999).
2. venus williams used to have a western grip on her forehand. she had an exaggerated loopy take-back and used to mistime the ball very frequently. and even when she hit it well, she didn't hit it as hard as other great forehand strikers like davenport, capriati or her sister serena. she modified to a semi-western and became more consistent but suffered wrist injuries. now, she has moved closer to an eastern grip and hits her forehand very hard and flat. the ball still flies often, but she also hits more winners off that side now.
3. all of mary pierce's strokes have gotten more compact over time. she used to have a loopier forehand and a longer follow-through on the backhand back in the 90's.

Pen Express
07-23-2006, 05:54 AM
One that really stands out to me is Safin's serve. Back in 2000, his motion looked much more accelerated than it does now.

Volly master
07-23-2006, 06:31 AM
^^ safin's serve was more of a quick motion then and now its like he bends his back and waits like 4 secs before hitting the ball.

naturalgut
07-23-2006, 07:09 AM
Roddick's forehand backswing looks more abbreviated than it was three years ago. He used to take it back over his head, wind up and unload, but now it looks as if he just winds up with a short twisting motion.

Federer's serve definitely changed - more trunk rotation and back arching. Also, he stopped bouncing the ball between his legs and catching it behind his back before the serve, a habit that he had for many years.

ShcMad
07-23-2006, 08:25 AM
Roddick's forehand backswing looks more abbreviated than it was three years ago. He used to take it back over his head, wind up and unload, but now it looks as if he just winds up with a short twisting motion.

Federer's serve definitely changed - more trunk rotation and back arching. Also, he stopped bouncing the ball between his legs and catching it behind his back before the serve, a habit that he had for many years.

Ditto that. Roddick's forehand takeback did change. When he used to be good (circa 2002-2003), he used to take the racquet back with the elbow well raised around the level of his head. It was so high that the racquet face was right next to his right ear. It was a heck of a violent, abrupt swing, yet so powerful, but too energy-consuming IMO.

sandiegotennisboy
07-23-2006, 05:26 PM
i think the more successful players (in general) have other players adapt to them and not the other way around.

AJK1
07-24-2006, 05:44 PM
I know Agassi had some major changes to his serve motion, and i think it has been discussed on these boards before. But from what i can remember, he had the weirdest abbreviated serve motion, then he changed it to more like what it is today. Also his forehand follow through used to follow the direction of the ball, then he changed to the more modern wrap around style.