open stance serve

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by Skppr05, Sep 29, 2005.

  1. Skppr05

    Skppr05 Semi-Pro

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    I've recently switched from using a closed traditional serving stance to a fully open one. My question is how do you gain more power using this stance? Also, is it only a flat serve that can be hit with this stance or are there more?
     
  2. Marius_Hancu

    Marius_Hancu G.O.A.T.

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    hm, perhaps this helps

    in the Sticky at the top find the link to:
    Going from platform to pinpoint?
     
  3. nickybol

    nickybol Semi-Pro

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    Why would you use a open stance on the serve? Can you explain exactly how you stand with an open stance on your serve, because in my opinion it`s impossible to hit a serve with an open stance.
     
  4. Geezer Guy

    Geezer Guy Hall of Fame

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    Open Stance Serve? As in both feet are parallel to the baseline, toes pointed at the net? I don't see how you could get ANY power with that! Did you make that up yourself, or did you get advice from someone else on that?

    UPDATE: Sorry - as i re-read my post I realize it sounded pretty sarcastic. Please consider it a genuine question, not a sarcastic comment.
     
  5. Marius_Hancu

    Marius_Hancu G.O.A.T.

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    are you talking about something similar to Venus W's serve?
    she's more "open"
     
  6. Skppr05

    Skppr05 Semi-Pro

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    Yea, thats exaclty what it is, toes pointed to the net, throw the ball in front of you, and bring it down. Its effective and accurate. So far all my power comes in my wrist movement. no, i di not make it up.
     
  7. jeebeesus

    jeebeesus Guest

    the swing path of the serve is inside out. by opening up your stance you make it an outside in swing.
     
  8. Marius_Hancu

    Marius_Hancu G.O.A.T.

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    OK, so you're trying to serve like Venus.

    Now before the switch to this stance, were you any better?

    Were you using other elements for power, or still just the wrist?
     
  9. Marius_Hancu

    Marius_Hancu G.O.A.T.

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    well, just to refresh myself on what Venus is doing, I went to tennisplayer.net and visualized several clips of her serve, including "leg action" and "body rotation" ones

    as expected, all the basics are there

    what she is executing is practically a modified pinpoint serve:
    she starts with the right foot at the back of her left leg
    then brings it forward close to the line (instead of having it close to the left foot and behind it) to the right; you might say that her legs are facing the court more than for other players, but:

    she's NOT open in terms of torso, her torso is at least perpendicular to the net during the backscratch phase, thus she has a nice torso rotation

    the left knee is also very well bent, as for all good pinpointers, and there's a lot of action there too

    her shoulder and upper arm flexibility during the backscratch are outstanding (as for Serena), and they bring another important contribution too (the upper arm rotation wrt the shoulder)

    and of course, there's pronation

    thus all the elements are there, you just have to use all of them

    as I told you, get to my posting
    Server Power and Placement
    at the top of this forum
    and try to absorb what's there
     
  10. Exile

    Exile Professional

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    And we all know how smart using your wrist forcefully in tennis is....
     
  11. Skppr05

    Skppr05 Semi-Pro

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    I was doing well with both types of serving....
     
  12. donnyz89

    donnyz89 Hall of Fame

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    if u want power, first examine where the power comes from...

    wrist? arm? legs? shoulders? hips? definitly not wrist and litle from arm. some from let but most of the power is being relaxed and be fully extended when u hit, then its the launch up motion. trying to use wrist for power is not healthy.
     
  13. GrahamIsSuper

    GrahamIsSuper Semi-Pro

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    Actually, a lot of coaches now-a-days are employing this strategy. It is a good way of teaching propper shoulder/trunk rotation on the serve. The problem is, is that you can't really get much leg action, and so your serve power is vastly diminished. If I were you, I would slowly (like maybe 3 inches at a time, at most) start rotating your feet, assuming you are right-handed- back to the right towards a more traditional formed serve.

    So, if you are hitting serves for practice, which I strongly advise you do, I would hit around 25 or so with your new open stance, focusing on getting lots or trunk/shoulder coiling and rotation. Then, rotate your entire stance to the right about 3 inches. It SHOULD still feel pretty natural compared to your open. Now hit like 25+ more serves, or until it feels really natural. Then just repeat the process until you are back to the closed stance. But remember, YOUR TOSS MUST REMAIN IN THE SAME PLACE EVERY TIME!!!! Do not change it. Keep it to the right of your body and slightly in front. The toss is one of the most under-rated and neglected part of the serve. A consistent toss leads to consistent serves.

    Its important for you to know this. What you are doing may be considered "weird" by some, but it actually will help your game considerably. With your newly discovered trunk/shoulder rotation, not only will it up your percentage, but you should experience a pretty big increase in power and placement. Just make sure you take your rotation to traditional slowly, work at your own pace. Some people can fix it in a day and be fine, others may take weeks or even months. Slow and steady wins the race, pal!
     
  14. donnyz89

    donnyz89 Hall of Fame

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    now i think of it. one of my friend uses a kind of open stance serve. its not normal where he is sideways and he can get kick, slice, power on it. hes a great player too, top 20 in the state caliber if he plays enough tournaments.
     
  15. lkdog

    lkdog Rookie

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    Braden actually espouses using this completely open stance as a way to practice and also see if you are getting adequate shoulder/ hip/ arm rotation and action.
    You can hit it hard this way, but must have everything else in the kinetic chain working.
     
  16. kian

    kian New User

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    Can someone please post some clips of an openstance serve?

    Thanks alot!
     
  17. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Power Player uses a form of open stance.
    One of the guys on Albert'sPark's 4.0 state winning team uses open stance, Busdriver Jim.
    When players serve pinpoint, about a full 1/4 of them step their backfoot right up next to their front foot, sometimes surpassing the front foot, for an open stance just before they swing up.
    Nothing wrong with open stance if it works for you.
    Your torso is still sideways, feet open, kinetic chain loaded.
     
  18. WildVolley

    WildVolley Legend

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    The open stance limits hip rotation, so it is going to limit your power.

    I've seen people do this, but I don't understand the theory behind it. Seems it could be used for training, but once you understand how to rotate your shoulders, why not move to a starting stance that will allow your hips to rotate?
     
  19. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Didn't Tony Roche use a semi open stance for serving? Before my time, but everyone said he had a huge lefty serve.
    Semi open feet, but fully closed shoulder.
     
  20. Power Player

    Power Player G.O.A.T.

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    Yes correct. I should have it on vid soon so you can see, but it is basically the same leg motion as Venus Williams and other players.

    I also employ the "up together" arm motion and don't lag the racquet - just helps with my consistency.
     
  21. Ash_Smith

    Ash_Smith Hall of Fame

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  22. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Difficult to say. Roche's back foot seems to come forward before the impact, but that was common back when pros landed with the back foot in front after the serve. It doesn't seem be be an open stance serve as is being discussed here.
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2014
  23. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Kiteboard aka Geoff used to serve starting wide closed stance, like most modern players, then stepped into an open stance with his backfoot, often stepping in front of his front foot, but to the right, for a footfault about 6" inside the baseline. For a moment in time, a reverse stance.
    He could hit top/slice serves easily 90 mph, maybe more, but he could never hit flat serves.
    I have never looked down at my feet when I was serving, use pinpoint, so I don't know if I do the same thing.
     
  24. Ash_Smith

    Ash_Smith Hall of Fame

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    ^^^ Yes, there a few guys (and girls) who go into a pin-point stance and let the back foot drift around the side, but they still maintain hip rotation and separation angle with the shoulders into delivery. If I read right, OP is talking about standing completely square from the start?
     
  25. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Should someone post a vid of Tony Roche serving?
    Semi open feet stance, shoulder fully closed, I can't remember his hip positioning.
     
  26. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Yes. The videos also show a variant which has the server taking a step forward and then is in completely open stance before serving. That is closer to what you are mentioning, but the difference is that it is much more open stance at impact. The other variant is that he is just stationary and fully open stance, and just has some torso rotation and knee bend.
     
  27. RajS

    RajS Rookie

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    Open stance is much easier for those with stiff backs, like me. But it severely limits spin options, so I try to keep it as closed as I can, especially for second serves. I start off facing the side fence, and end up facing the net. I make sure my left foot is pointing almost straight forward (I got the idea watching Nadal's right foot as he served), so it's easier to rotate to open.

    This is a an interesting thread for me since I have struggled with my serve quite a bit recently due to back stiffness.
     
  28. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    I've also got a stiff back, still can't come within 5" of my toes when I bend over.
    Also, the shoulder flex test, one arm over the shoulder, the other under the armpit, to reach around the back, I can't seem to come closer than 14", while my g/f can touch fingers.
    Still, I use a normal slightly closed stance for prep, and pinpoint to trophy, but I don't know how far I step up with my backfoot.
     
  29. boramiNYC

    boramiNYC Hall of Fame

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    Might work for a low level rec hack but it's very abbreviated use of the kinetic chain.
     
  30. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Was Tony Roche a "low level hack" ????
    The guys I mentioned who hit with open stances, some at prep position, all play in the 4.5 range, so not quite "low level hack" sters......
    Different strokes for different folkes, I always say, and "use what works for you".
    Besides, "nothing is set in stone". You can change later.
     
  31. boramiNYC

    boramiNYC Hall of Fame

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    Look at the vid. Don't even know what they mean by open stance serve but those serves in the vids are not very good.
     
  32. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Just proves a VIDEO MEANS NOTHING! It's just one example the director decided to choose.
    Tony Roche, you might want to know, was ATP No. 4 at one time. That would be better than you, me, or anyone else who ever posted on this forum.
     
  33. heninfan99

    heninfan99 Legend

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    For laughs try the Monfils stance. Yes it's like Roddick but his feet are as close together as possible. I'm going to try it.
     
  34. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    You SHOULD try it.
    I have.
    It's a solid service stance producing replicable serves most times, if you have the balance to pull it off.
    I can pull it off.
    It gives NO pace or spin.
    So, you counter...Monfils hit's hard serves!
    Yes he does, he's 6'4" and some change, and his serve would improve immensely if he would just adopt Goran's service stance and motion, or Pete's.
    He's not "Clown Monfil's" for nothing.
     
  35. heninfan99

    heninfan99 Legend

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    Cool. I suspect though if Monfils was 5'11" he'd still serve pretty big.
    On shadowing it, it gives great support to the spine. Will test next time on court.
     
  36. WildVolley

    WildVolley Legend

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    Lee what are you talking about? :confused:

    I didn't know how Tony Roche played, so I looked up a video.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=txaztRVQC94

    Skip to about 2 minutes to see Roche serving. What exactly is closed about that serve? :confused:
     
  37. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    ANOTHER example of why I say, VIDEO is worthless, it doesn't tell the whole story.
    Note, vid is 1970.
    I watched Tony play in the mid '70's, maybe 6 years later. Later in Tony's career, he prep positioned using a semi open stance, nothing like his normal motion shown on the 1970 vid.
    Semi open as in 45 degrees to the baseline. Not lined up like Rosewall, or himself in 1970.
    Note also, he warms up, and practices volleys never moving his feet from a wide open stance. I also do that.
    I even mentioned it to ClintThompson.
    We can choose and pick any video we want, to prove or demonstrate our point. Video doesn't tell the WHOLE story.
     
  38. RoosterDJC45

    RoosterDJC45 New User

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    I do a version of open stance, but that's because I'm old. I can't twist my back like I used to. And because I want to finish forward into the court, I point my toes forward and my shoulders perpendicular which lets me still swing from my core and fall into the serve.
     
  39. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    There you go, ONE fool vs the whole ATP, WTA, Junior Circuit, Sat and Futures Tour, D-1, D-2, D-3, and every 5.0+ player.
     
  40. stringertom

    stringertom G.O.A.T.

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    This all sounds like golf's battle over Moe Norman's Natural Swing.

    It's definitely got less to go wrong but the potential for ultimate power just isn't there. I'm not saving a page on my screen for it like I have for Pim Pim's service motion.
     
  41. goober

    goober Legend

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  42. stringertom

    stringertom G.O.A.T.

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    I didn't read the whole link...did it too mention "the conscious movement of the right shoulder"?:twisted:
     
  43. bullet1020

    bullet1020 New User

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    Hmm .. Where will the power come from .. you just can't really on your arm .. A perfect serve is a flow of energy from your foot the the racket face and into the ball.. so .. I don't know .. I think you're risking too much
     
  44. Steady Eddy

    Steady Eddy Hall of Fame

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    I'm trying a stance that is mostly open, the "toss" is so low it think it's not even a toss. I pull down with my elbow, and snap into the ball. Somehow it gets topspin, (how is that?), and I can hit it about 80 mph. Actually, I'd rather not have the topspin, so it would bounce ankle high. The people I hit with would struggle against that low of a bounce. But I think this uber low toss serve is the bomb.
     
  45. shindemac

    shindemac Hall of Fame

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    This serve is ridiculous.
     
  46. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    I tried the semi-open version of the open stance serve yesterday, and I am loving it. The torso can be sideways as the serve begins, to provide rotation. The visibility into the court is good, knee bends are intuitive as they are required for power from this stance, and it seems so much more natural.

    I will post more as I put the finishing touches on it.

    Could this be the next breakthrough in tennis? I truly believe this board is where all the innovation is happening.
     
  47. mbm0912

    mbm0912 Professional

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  48. taurussable

    taurussable Professional

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    many 'pinpoint' stance servers bring their back foot to to the right of their front foot. Michael Stich is another one. It separates the hip and shoulders and stretches your core. There is nothing unsual with it. Never heard anyone call it "open stance serve".
     
  49. boramiNYC

    boramiNYC Hall of Fame

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    The OP means both feet parallel to the baseline pointing at the opponent.

    It's derived from the belief there must be something magical about the modern 'open stance' in fh that might apply to everything in tennis. Similarly as seen by recent OS1hbh topic.
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2014
  50. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Last edited: Apr 30, 2014

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