Federer serve clinic (spoiler alert)

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by SystemicAnomaly, Sep 1, 2011.

  1. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

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    #1
  2. JoelDali

    JoelDali G.O.A.T.

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    This was such a GOAT moment.

    The most beautiful part was Rogi's analagy of holding a racquet like you would hold a hammer, not too firm etc. I've been playing 30 years and had never heard that before.

    It is obvious Fed would be an amazing coach/teacher of tennis.

    He is pure class, sexy master best class. Rogi is a joyous happy humble GOAT.
     
    #2
  3. eidolonshinobi

    eidolonshinobi Professional

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    I saw a bit of the replay, man I hope I can find it somewhere in the internets. I really wanted to see it all.
     
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  4. FedExpress 333

    FedExpress 333 Professional

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    Can not find it on the tube, sadly :(
     
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  5. tennis-kid

    tennis-kid Rookie

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    I wish he were my coach and my future child coach as well
     
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  6. UCSF2012

    UCSF2012 Hall of Fame

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    Just watch the pros play and you can see how firmly they grip the rackets. Gustavo Kuerten grips the serve really loose. Marat Safin grips it firm. It's a matter of personal preference.

    Federer isn't really the best server to model after. Lots of pros have better serves.
     
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  7. JoelDali

    JoelDali G.O.A.T.

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    Durrrrrrrrrrr.
     
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  8. FedError

    FedError Semi-Pro

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  9. larry10s

    larry10s Hall of Fame

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    ^^^^ thanks for the link
     
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  10. charliefedererer

    charliefedererer Legend

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    Number one tip was having a good toss!

    Number two was keeping the elbow high.

    Number three was getting power from rotation and legs.

    Number four was using a relaxed grip.



    I think this guy knows what he is talking about.:)
     
    #10
  11. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    Nice summary, thanks.
    Good list, especially coming from an active pro, as
    usually they are not so verbally aware of what they actually do.
    Off the cuff as well!
     
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2011
    #11
  12. TennisCJC

    TennisCJC Legend

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    Huh, Federer is a great model for a serve. Simple motion, no hitches, ball toss not too high, not too low, serves for power, placement, and spin. Fantastic second serve. If you want to use the abbreviated arms up quickly motion, maybe don't use Federer as a model, but if you like the longer motions of say Sampras, Federer, or Cilic type servers; Federer is a great model in my opinion.

    If you like the abbreviated motion, maybe Nadal, Monfils, or Roddick would be better models. But, for the classic motion, Federer may be the best current example 2nd only to Sampras. If you put Fed and Sampras side by side in slow mo, the similarities in the motions are amazing. Very similar motions with just a few minor differences.
     
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2011
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  13. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

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    Domo arigato.


    I am going to have to disagree as well. I "firmly" believe that a loose/relaxed grip is the way to go. Do you have any links that show Safin with an obvious firm grip.

    The best/most effective server of the past decade had got to be Roddick. However, his maverick style would not be the best model for most players. I'd use a simpler version of his abbreviated take back but much of the rest of his motion is too difficult to use as a model. Federer has also been one of the most effective servers of the past decade. Most elements of his serve motion is worth studying or emulating. I don't like the way that he appears to sit with his knee bend. I'd probably lay back a bit more (employing the archer's bow). Other than that, Federer would be a better model than Roddick or many other servers.
     
    #13
  14. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    That is correct. Many pros seem to serve with firmer grips, with palm fully on the handle rather than pinky outside, etc.
     
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  15. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

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    When, during the service motion, do you guys believe that the grip is firm? Sure, the hand will squeeze a bit more on the upward swing just prior to contact. However, prior to that, a relaxed grip is the norm.
     
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  16. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Difficult to be sure, as we cannot "see" the pressure.
     
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  17. onehandbh

    onehandbh Hall of Fame

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    Actually we can to a large degree. Indirectly, though. If the wrist looks loose
    in the motion, then chances are, the grip is loose as well. It's almost
    impossible to have a tight grip and to have the forearm and wrist
    muscles be loose due to the anatomically structure of our arms.

    Try this experiment. Put your forearm on a table with your hand facing up.
    Both relaxed. Now have someone squeeze your forearm. You'll notice that
    your hand starts to close, tightening the grip.
     
    #17
  18. UCSF2012

    UCSF2012 Hall of Fame

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    Did you really learn anything new?
     
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  19. achokshi99

    achokshi99 Rookie

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    Incredible, I read the prior post and you took the words off my keyboard. Could not agree more, right down to the Sampras comparison.
     
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  20. samster

    samster Legend

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    Can anyone explain to me what RF meant by "keeping the elbow high"?
     
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  21. Jack Romeo

    Jack Romeo Professional

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    I played last night for the first time in about a month and I knew that my strokes would be a little off. But I had watched this on tv so I kept it in my mind as I was playing. I thought I served okay considering the time off and the fact that I don't really practice my serve.

    The toss is the most crucial thing. I expected to have problems with it due to my lack of play but I did notice that when I still tried to hit serves off an imperfect toss, that's when most of the faults occur. So as the match went on, I tried to be more conscious about the toss and not try to hit it if it was errant in any kind of way.

    Keeping the elbows up is something new. I've never really heard any coach say that. But for me, I found that it does work! The motion felt smoother and I was able to control the ball much better.

    The trunk rotation and knee bend is the most difficult part for me. When I tried to put more effort in doing these things, I found that I had difficulty timing it with the toss and the swing. I guess this kind of thing just comes with more practice. Roger did sort of say that it comes next after learning to control the ball.

    Holding the racket with a relaxed grip is something that I already do, but I don't use a hammer grip. I use a continental grip with the fingers spread out more along the handle.
     
    #21
  22. SoBad

    SoBad Legend

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    I'd like to see an impromptu serve clinic after getting beaten down by Nadal again next time. That would really show character.
     
    #22
  23. spacediver

    spacediver Hall of Fame

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    He means ensuring that there is a roughly 90 degree angle between the upper arm and torso in trophy position.
     
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  24. martini1

    martini1 Hall of Fame

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    To me, he is saying before the swing, the upper arm is pointing upward. The swing is mostly a forearm swing up/forward. Like you are trying to throw a football. If your elbow is pointing down the swing is very different. Contact point can be low, the swing is more like a chop sometimes, etc. Kind of like low level women's double serves I see. Low toss, SW grip, hitting it flat down with zero variations. The swing is also from the shoulders.

     
    #24
  25. toly

    toly Hall of Fame

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    There is some data from the article: Wrist Snap In the Serve, by Rod Cross, http://www.racquetsportsindustry.com/articles/2006/07/wrist_snap_in_the_serve.html.

    The rotation of the racquet, during the serve, creates significant centripetal force.

    “The centripetal force on the racquet is given by the formula

    F = M•V•V/R

    where M = mass of racquet, V = speed of its center of mass (i.e. its balance point) and R = radius of circular arc followed by the center of mass.

    Assuming M = 0.35 kg, R = 15 inches = 0.38 m and V = 60 mph = 27 m/s, we get F = 671 N = 151 lb.

    A 350 gm racquet weighs only 0.77 lb, but it takes a force of 151 lb to make it rotate at 60 mph in a tight circular arc of radius 15 inches.”

    So, the racquet is trying very hard to fly away from the hand. It looks like we have to grip the handle very hard to withstand 151 lb force.
    But, maybe Rod Cross is wrong!?
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2012
    #25
  26. martini1

    martini1 Hall of Fame

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    I know it may sound crazy but in an old Jackie chan movie he was practicing grabbing a brick of tofu Mid air. So what is it? Well, it is about having firm, fast action but maintaining a loose and soft touch.

    The whole idea of the loose grip is about the flexible wrist. So it whips the racket. As long as the wrist is relaxed the grip can be tight. It is just attaching the racket to your arm. Therefore there should not be all loose, in which the racket flies away; nor too tight, in which your arm would be too stiff to generate the whipping speed.


     
    #26
  27. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

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    Not sure how meaningful your calculated number might be but I do not agree with your conclusion. I don't believe that Rod Cross came to any conclusion about grip firmness either. Furthermore, this does not really dispute my assertion or Federer's statement that most of the time the grip is fairly relaxed. It is widely accepted that the grip will firm up as the racket is accelerated. Coaches and pros perceive a firm grip, rather than a (very) tight grip, at contact.

    Grip strength studies have been performed by Jack Groppel, Bruce Elliot and other biomechanics experts. Elliot concluded that grip strength is not related to rebound velocity (unless, possibly, the ball is hit off-center). In his book, High Tech Tennis, Groppel concludes that full grip strength is not needed. He states that "There is a point of no return as far as grip firmness goes...". He suggest that during the preparation phases, the grip is fairly loose and at contact the grip is firm. For more about his findings, check out page 83 of his book (you should be able to preview some of the book with this link):

    http://www.amazon.com/High-Tech-Tennis-Jack-Groppel/dp/0880114584


    For some of Elliot's findings, check out these links:

    http://www.stms.nl/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=916&Itemid=263

    Biomechanics of Tennis Strokes


    Also take a gander at these links:

    http://www.moderntennis.com/main/library/PTR-4.pdf

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14738353

    http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?p=5425392#post5425392
    .
     
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2011
    #27
  28. toly

    toly Hall of Fame

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    Well, you are maybe right. At least, Mark Papas preaches the same ideas, see please http://www.revolutionarytennis.com/handuse.html
     
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  29. toly

    toly Hall of Fame

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    About link: http://www.amazon.com/High-Tech-Tennis-Jack-Groppel/dp/0880114584.
    Dr. Groppel is Board certified nutritionist and I don’t think his opinion about firm/loose grip is very valuable.
    Bruce Elliott, as well as Rod Cross, is an expert in kinematics.
    There is extraction from Bruce Elliot interview, “Our early work was that grip strength is not related to rebound velocity (for central impacts).” http://www.stms.nl/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=916&Item id=263.
    It has no relation to the discuss matter.
    In the link http://www.moderntennis.com/main/library/PTR-4.pdf
    there are just pure speculations and no proof at all.
    I don’t think that anyone in the world can refute the classic formula that allows calculating the centrifugal force.
     
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2011
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  30. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

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    Jack Groppel is an internationally recognized authority and pioneer in the science of human performance as well as an expert on fitness and nutrition. He is a co-founder of the Human Performance Institute. He did considerable amount of research and writing on tennis mechanics in the 80s and 90s. The man has a Masters in Kinesiology and a PhD in Exercise Physiology. I would say that his opinion on the subject has some merit/weight.

    http://www.linkedin.com/pub/jack-groppel/5/647/3b5

    Bruce Elliot had more to say about grip strength that indicated by that one quote. Groppel references Elliot in his writings. I would suggest further reading of the Elliot book that I linked.

    The speculations that you dismissed are quite valid. It really comes down to perception. Most knowledgeable coaches and pros will tell you to relax the grip but have it firm at contact.

    Telling a student of tennis to squeeze tightly on the grip is usually counter-productive. If you tell a student to relax the grip, as Federer has indicated, they will almost always firm up the grip as needed just prior to contact. I've been playing the sport for nearly 39 years and have never been aware of squeezing the grip tightly on the serve or any other stroke. If I actually ever use more than 1/2 grip strength on my strokes, I am never aware of it. This perception is more important than your calculation of centrifugal force.
     
    #30
  31. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    Fed said grip it like you would when using a hammer.
    This says way more than firm, loose or any other one word description.
    Sort of like a picture is a thousand words and a exercise like the hammer swing, is worth a thousand pics.
     
    #31
  32. zapvor

    zapvor Legend

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    they should do questions like this at press conferences. instead of all the usual questions
     
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  33. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

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    Good point except that some may mistakenly use a very tight grip when using a hammer.
     
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  34. Kevo

    Kevo Hall of Fame

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    I often demonstrate swings of all kinds using only my first finger and thumb to hold the racquet. I do this to try and get my students to understand that at contact it is the racquet that is doing the work. So what's important is the motion of the racquet up to impact. If you could let go of the racquet 1ms before contact, the flight of the ball wouldn't change.
     
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  35. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

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    ^ I've done the very same thing. Have been able to generate a fairly decent serve in this manner.
     
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  36. toly

    toly Hall of Fame

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    Yes, you can do it, but the ball would lose at least 15% of its speed.
     
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