The Edberg kicker

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by SirSweetSpot, Nov 25, 2009.

  1. SirSweetSpot

    SirSweetSpot Banned

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2009
    Messages:
    539
    A few things I've noticed about the legendary Swede and his service motion:

    What's with the "crook" in his wrist/hand? A lot of people are proponents of bending the wrist before the ball toss. How long do you keep it "cocked"? I've always had a straight wrist/hand. Have I been cheating myself all these years? I've noticed some pros do it and some don't. Could someone tell me the practicality of doing such?

    He never looks at the ball at impact! You'll notice he is always looking into the service box well before he strikes the ball. Is this a bad habit that he never overcame? Staring the felt off the ball is immensely crucial to a successful kick serve.

    He seems to employ a continental grip as opposed to the EBH.

    He keeps his tossing arm up in the air like perfection...so textbook, a la David Nalbandian. He stays sideways for so long and then explodes.
     
    #1
  2. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2008
    Messages:
    37,222
    Location:
    East side of San Francisco Bay
    Crook is cocked. You release it when you feel like it.
    Low consistent toss doesn't need you to stare at it, ala Tanner. Pulling your head down lowers your ball arc, so maybe he's hitting high, but pulling it down with his head.
    His grip is conti because he's anticipatin a VOLLEY. Conti's work best, next best is conti towards EFH side, and conti towards EBH works worst, except for backhand volleys.
     
    #2
  3. 35ft6

    35ft6 Legend

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2005
    Messages:
    6,557
    I never really thought of Edberg's serve as a true kicker. To me it was a slightly loopier version of a Sampras serve, which to me wasn't a true kicker either. They both hit a really solid, heavy, spinny ball but one that continuously moved forward with decent pace, not a true kicker in that it exploded up off the court on the bounce after almost a lazy arcing flight through the air. Like Sampras, also, his first and second serves often were indistinguishable in terms of speed.
     
    #3
  4. SirSweetSpot

    SirSweetSpot Banned

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2009
    Messages:
    539
    Very interesting.

    Lee can you explain the release of the crook? Is it a forced yet fluid motion, or is it part of the overall arm being as loose as possible?
     
    #4
  5. AAAA

    AAAA Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2004
    Messages:
    3,389
    I think his serving grip was more eastern bachhand than chopper. Supposed to give him a better kick/topspin serve. I tried it a few times stopped because my wrist isn't strong enough.
     
    #5
  6. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2008
    Messages:
    37,222
    Location:
    East side of San Francisco Bay
    Looked EBH because of his cocked wrist. Try it, conti with cocked wrist and have someone look at it.
    You release it by relaxing. WHEN you relax it depends what you're trying to hit and where to.
     
    #6
  7. Dino Lagaffe

    Dino Lagaffe Professional

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2004
    Messages:
    1,004
    Who would you say have the best example of a true kicker?
     
    #7
  8. 35ft6

    35ft6 Legend

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2005
    Messages:
    6,557
    ^ Not sure. Maybe I underestimate the kick serves of some players, but I've seen Ljubicic, Federer, Agassi (on the ad side), and Rafter hit some nasty kick serves. Watching videos of Edberg on Youtube, his opponents are hitting returns in their wheelhouses more or less without having to move in to take the ball on the rise.
     
    #8
  9. vive le beau jeu !

    vive le beau jeu ! G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2006
    Messages:
    11,543
    Location:
    Ometepe, Pink Granite, Queyras, Kerguelen (...)
    did rafter "kick" more than edberg ?...

    EDIT
    ^^
    ok, the answer kinda arrived while i was posting my question ! ;)
     
    #9
  10. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2008
    Messages:
    37,222
    Location:
    East side of San Francisco Bay
    Vids of Edberg were mostly during Finals matches against an equally top player. Nowadaze, vids of the other players are edited "highlights" which show only the very best serves.
    No way anyone had a much better kicker than Edberg. He mixed higher speeds with lower bounces to lower speeds and higher bounces at will. That'
    s why he was so effective.
     
    #10
  11. 35ft6

    35ft6 Legend

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2005
    Messages:
    6,557
    Not positive, but it seemed to me like Edberg expected the serve to come back, he wasn't afraid to hit 2 volleys to win the point. Maybe I'm underestimating his kick serve, but to me, he hit the same serve spin every time. He didn't have a flat serve, a slice serve, american twist, and kick, etc. I mean, he moved the placement around, but it seemed like his serve, like Sampras, was fast and heavy, more about placement than the spin being tough to manage. The spin was more about giving them margin for error. And again, like Sampras, his first and second serves were the same, the 2nd just had slightly less pace, and in Sampras' case, maybe the same pace often times.

    Tennis magazine did a study years ago where they measured pace and spin on serves. At the time, Greg Rusedski had the most sheer speed. Rios had the most spin. And Pete had the highest combination of both. To me, it seemed like Edberg was another spot server with great combo of speed and spin. Of course, Pete's serve was more of an ace machine and better, but just saying. Both hit very deep serves, too, and I usually associate a true kick serve landing a bit shorter to not allow the returner to charge in and take it on the rise.

    I would almost generalize and say the kick serve is more of a clay court weapon, and the great serve and volleyers were more about mixing up the placement.

    edit: this post wasn't a response to LeeD...
     
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2009
    #11
  12. 35ft6

    35ft6 Legend

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2005
    Messages:
    6,557
    I'm not just going by Youtube videos. I'm old enough to have seen Edberg play many times.
     
    #12
  13. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2008
    Messages:
    37,222
    Location:
    East side of San Francisco Bay
    The fact Edberg regularly went 3-5 rounds in most tournaments means his serve was nothing to sniff at. Yes, he had great volleys, but you know he's coming in, so your returns are better. Yet Edberg still could win his service games.
    I suspect his serve was better than most observers thought. Ask the guys who lost to him multiple times. And at his 6'1", should be high kicker with good placement, backed up by one of the best volleys of his day.
     
    #13
  14. tennisdad65

    tennisdad65 Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 29, 2008
    Messages:
    3,060
    Location:
    somewhere in calif
    Edberg could vary his pace, and kick. His first typically was 100-110 mph and his second ~80-85 mph with larger kick. But his main weapon was where he hit his serve from (3-4 ft into the court) and how close to the net he got in for his first volley.

    I have seen him consistently kick it up over courier's shoulder in the USopen finals. Same thing against sampras the next year.

    I think he had the best kick serve considering he was comming in after every one of them. Agassi, Fed etc had great kick serves but they just go up and hit it.. they are not even remotely thinking of comming into the net most of the time.
     
    #14
  15. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2008
    Messages:
    37,222
    Location:
    East side of San Francisco Bay
    I concur and agree his S/V serve was just above Rafter and Cash's....
     
    #15
  16. robow7

    robow7 Professional

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2008
    Messages:
    967
    I saw him play several times in his prime at court level and believe me, his serve exploded off the kick. It gave him time to close off the net and he moved it around well. He also would swing it wide in the deuce and kick it out wide in the add opening up the court for that volley. Probably the best or at least most consistant right hand s&v in the last 40 years. (Not counting Samprass as he didn't quite live and die by the s&v, just the serve.)
     
    #16
  17. mental midget

    mental midget Professional

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2008
    Messages:
    1,434
    edberg had the misfortune of choosing a style of play that was rendered less than optimal by changes in racket and string technology towards the middle to the end of his career.

    having said that, his success is a testament as to just how good he was at it. he was one of the best natural athletes to ever play the game, and in this fan's purely speculative opinion, were he to come of age in this era, with a more 'modern' game, he would have been a major threat at the very highest level. the guy knew his way around a tennis court--a rare talent that would have thrived in any era.
     
    #17
  18. tennisdad65

    tennisdad65 Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 29, 2008
    Messages:
    3,060
    Location:
    somewhere in calif
    To me Edberg's serve looked like an abbreviated arm serve with not much racquet head speed (compared to rafter/sampras), yet kicked up tremendously.

    The reason I say 'abbreviated arm serve' is because his body was moving forward about 3-4 ft into the court. Consequently, it looked like his body and arm where not linked in a kinetic chain, like sampras or rafter's body and arm did in their kick serves.
     
    #18
  19. AndrewD

    AndrewD Legend

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2004
    Messages:
    6,581
    Mate, that's why they call it serve AND volley. You use your serve to set up the first volley. If you can't win the point on the first volley you use it to set up the second volley. It's why McEnroe, Rafter, Cash and Edberg were serve-volley players but Pete Sampras was NOT. Sampras served to win the point, the others served to set up the volley.

    Edberg's serve wasn't really like Sampras's at all. I called service line in enough of their Aus Open matches from 88 to 2001 to be able to make a very informed comparison and you're talking apples and oranges.

    The kick serve is a weapon on all surfaces, especially hard (that's why Rafter won the US Open and not Wimbledon). The kick forces a weaker and high return, especially if you can get it up to your opponent's backhand and/or moving away. It also gives you extra time to get in to the net in order to make best position for the first volley.
     
    #19
  20. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2007
    Messages:
    12,764
    Location:
    Bierlandt
    BSSOAT (?)

    Best second serve of all time.
     
    #20
  21. 35ft6

    35ft6 Legend

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2005
    Messages:
    6,557
    Was making the distinction between him and the way many players approach charging the net today, which is only when they expect a very weak return or perhaps no return at all.
    You missed my point. The same in that it seemed like all their serves were the same kind of serve, just the pace was different.
    Maybe I needed to see Edberg in person. Just on TV, his serve didn't really look like a big kicker even though his backbend would suggest it might be.
    Yeah, we all know this. Just seemed at the moment I wrote that post that guys like Mac and Edberg didn't really use kickers that much. It was more mixing up the placement. But I could be wrong. The kickers I really appreciate are ones I've seen in person. Maybe the TV is misleading. I associate kickers with off speed, almost slow serves that land short and explode off the court. Edberg's serves always looked too fast. Oh well...
     
    #21
  22. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2008
    Messages:
    37,222
    Location:
    East side of San Francisco Bay
    Edberg did have a fast twist/kicker, when he wanted to hit 110. He could vary it down like a rheostat down to 65mph, used more arc, and really kick it up high.
    And kick serves are most effective when HIT DEEP right at the service line. It kicks higher on deeper serves, having more arc and distance to cover, causing higher bounces. Short kicks are for ANGLES out wide and short center lines.
    Yes, probably the best, most consistent second serve ever in tennis.
     
    #22
  23. SirSweetSpot

    SirSweetSpot Banned

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2009
    Messages:
    539
    It's amazing the incredible success he had when considering his opponent knew it was going to be a kicker and knew he was scampering to the net, yet still prove futile. I don't know the exact statistics, maybe someone knows where to look, but I'd bet money that Edberg is near the top of the all-time list on holding serve percentage, and I bet the number would be jaw-dropping.
     
    #23
  24. mental midget

    mental midget Professional

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2008
    Messages:
    1,434
    one of my favorite stats of all time: he lost wimbledon without ever losing his serve-- went down 64 67 67 67 to stich in the semis. hadn't been broken once all tournament.
     
    #24
  25. onehandbh

    onehandbh Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2005
    Messages:
    3,154
    Edberg's serve was different from Sampras, IMO. I saw it live
    a couple times. His serve had more of an American twist kick.
    So if you're a righty and it comes to your backhand, after
    the bounce it breaks even more to your left and away from
    your backhand. Sometimes it's hard to see the amount of
    action on TV. I had some seats that were in the first
    row right behind the baseline and you could definitely see
    the action. Fed has a pretty good deuce side twist serve.
    There's probably a good youtube of it from the returner's
    perspective (to see the action) somewhere.

    I rarely face anyone w/good twist kick serves these days,
    so when I see one it messes up my returns -- especially
    against lefties. You'll know when you're facing one b/c you
    really have to adjust to take the action on the ball into
    account. When you're returning on the backhand side, the
    spin will make your returns go further left than usual.
     
    #25
  26. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2008
    Messages:
    37,222
    Location:
    East side of San Francisco Bay
    As a lefty, one of my most effective serves is the slow twist to righties forehands, which breaks away from them and around chin to eye heights. They just don't always move their feet out wide vs lefties, something they need to do against that serve. They all expect wide out away from their backhands.
     
    #26
  27. AndrewD

    AndrewD Legend

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2004
    Messages:
    6,581
    And I was just saying that's why he was a real serve-volley player and Sampras wasn't - something most on the board don't seem to understand. Can't really talk about today's players because none of them have the vaguest idea how to serve and volley.


    Of the players I've seen on-court while umpiring (starting from 88 to 2001/02), only Rafter used the kick serve as routinely for the first serve as Edberg did. Of course his serve had to have some pace to it, otherwise he'd never have been able to set up for a good first volley. You can't just put in a slow one that kicks a mile. That only works against hackers like us.

    Edberg had the best transition into the volley after his kick serve, Rafter was second best. However, the best kick serve I've ever seen belong to Wayne Arthurs. He could kick it up to head height while still generating a huge amount of pace and he could do it with the regular kick serve or a twist serve. Actually, Roddick is very close but he doesn't have the leftie advantage.

    As to Edberg being similar to Sampras, I'd say it's not entirely true. Pete, like all good servers, did put spin on his first serve for safey but the delivery was so much flatter than anything Edberg hit. Sampras's second serve had kick but,again, nowhere near the same amount as Edberg's (I could hear the spin Edberg put on the ball, not Sampras). The whole point being that Pete was trying to force an error via the serve whereas Stefan was trying to set up the easy volley. Again, that's why one was a true serve-volley player and the other wasn't.
     
    #27
  28. 35ft6

    35ft6 Legend

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2005
    Messages:
    6,557
    ^ Cool. I'll just say this one last time, I'm probably being confusing, but what I mean is that Sampras' first serve and second serve were very similar from what I could tell. Often indistinguishable. You see video clips of Sampras' serve in isolation, out of context, and it's hard to tell if what you saw was a first or second serve. I think I read since he figured he could get his first serve in 75% of the time, he would often just hit a first serve for a second serve thinking the odds were in his favor. Some guys, like Stich, Kraijeck, Noah, almost everybody else, you can really tell they're hitting different serves. The motion and toss were subtly different, etc. Sampras, it seemed like he was hitting the same type of serve every time, the same toss, just hitting different spots. It's just the way it looked.

    And I'm saying Edberg seemed the same way to me, but I could be completely wrong. I believe the other posters, so I was obviously wrong about Edberg's serve not having super action. Just looks like he basically hit the same serve with the same toss all the time, not truly missing it up between kicker, flat, and slice. Although he could hit the spots you would normally use a slice serve for. I never saw him hit a flat serve. That's all I'm saying.

    Yeah, Arthurs had a nasty serve. Even on TV, you could tell it was a monster.
     
    #28
  29. onehandbh

    onehandbh Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2005
    Messages:
    3,154
    I think he did use a slice to hit the wide deuce side serve.
    You're right about the flatter serves though. He didn't
    use them as much. Both tosses were pretty far into the
    court.

    AndrewD, did you ever get a chance to see Stich serve?
    I always wondered how he could hit it so hard w/such little
    effort. Did his 2nd serve have much spin? Or was his height
    one of the main factors to his serve? How would you compare
    it to the other top servers of his era?
     
    #29
  30. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2008
    Messages:
    37,222
    Location:
    East side of San Francisco Bay
    6'4" players with long arms tend to hit effortless fast and spinny serves. Stich really slowed down his motion, then accelerated thru the service stroke, rather than start fast and end fast, like Tanner and Kriek.
    Some players like to slow down to hit their fastest.
    Other's like to rush thru the serves as if it didn't matter whatsoever.
    Player's choice.
     
    #30
  31. mental midget

    mental midget Professional

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2008
    Messages:
    1,434
    love tanner and goran's serves. something about those deliveries that catch the ball rising into the highest point of the toss, it's just more violent, somehow. tanner's serve was an absolute HAMMER.
     
    #31
  32. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2008
    Messages:
    37,222
    Location:
    East side of San Francisco Bay
    But Tanner and Kriek, as was Goran, always injured! That short quick violent motion just promotes injuries.
    I like to use both. When timing is right, go low toss. When off, go slower motion and higher toss. Low toss hits lower, so compensate.
    For kicker/twists, I always use a lower toss. Don't care if the opponent knows what's coming, I have to hit my best shot and see where the results lay.
     
    #32
  33. morten

    morten Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2004
    Messages:
    3,351
    Stich had the most amazing timing i have ever seen, Federer included...
     
    #33
  34. bluetrain4

    bluetrain4 Legend

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2007
    Messages:
    8,864
    Didn't Kevin Curren also have a serve he caught right at the top of it's trajectory? Slobodan Zivojinovic (sp?) as well?
     
    #34
  35. Leelord337

    Leelord337 Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2006
    Messages:
    3,911
    Location:
    univ houston courts
    here's an excellent vid w/edberg serving
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mQNP1IcV0Bs

    after watching that video...i wonder if edberg was the greatest volleyer of all time (well rod laver and tony roche are up there too)
     
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2009
    #35
  36. morten

    morten Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2004
    Messages:
    3,351
    i had been looking for that match, thanks. And that was the match Edberg described as one of his best, saying he felt he just could not miss, even if he tried to... Amazing, and a great inspiration for my own tennis growing up, my game is molded after his, a shame we are in the baseline/polystrings age....
     
    #36
  37. BTURNER

    BTURNER Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2007
    Messages:
    3,604
    Location:
    OREGON
    Edberg flows like electric current in this match. So natural, so deadly. When he's like this, it's just wonderful to watch.
     
    #37
  38. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2008
    Messages:
    37,222
    Location:
    East side of San Francisco Bay
    Kevin Curren...
    Yeah, a whippy, skinny, tall kid who bent over on prep and used a violent motion, hair aflying, really short almost on the way up toss for the serve. He tossed exactly the same every serve, and moved his body under it to hit twists, kicks, flats, slices, and combi's.
    Never could figure out why he didn't make it in singles, but was a great doubles player in later years.
     
    #38
  39. SirSweetSpot

    SirSweetSpot Banned

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2009
    Messages:
    539
    Unlike the majority of pure s&v'ers, you could take away his volleys and he still had a very capable ground game. Arguably, the greatest ohbh in history IMO, although Gustavo Kuerten is DAMN close. Although he had that weird looking forehand, it was still VERY good and could control points from the baseline. OTOH, take like a Martina Navratilova, and strip her of her volleys, and I bet she's a 5.5 player. Nothing against the great Martina, I'd commit treason to volley like her, but...

    Edberg (and Mac) are the embodiment of LEGS. Both had quadriceps of a speed skater in their day. Sometimes when I see Stefan execute a stop volley that looks like the ball landed in dry sand, I wonder how someone could be so good.
     
    #39
  40. BTURNER

    BTURNER Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2007
    Messages:
    3,604
    Location:
    OREGON
    uh, Sir sweet, Martina did not get to the finals of 5 French opens and win two, and take countless sets from arguably the greatest baseliner in the women's game with her S/v alone.
    she had to trade groundies long enough to get the short ball and approach on virtually all Evert's serves and rarely S/v on her own second serve.

    Edberg got to one FO final.
     
    #40
  41. SirSweetSpot

    SirSweetSpot Banned

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2009
    Messages:
    539
    Okay 5.5 perhaps not:) HA!
     
    #41
  42. Datacipher

    Datacipher Banned

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2004
    Messages:
    4,611
    Actually, Curren was the only top pro I can think of who hit the ball while it was still rising. Tanner hit it at the top. Zivojinivoic, hit it JUST as it was descending. Diego Nargiso also hit the ball very early as memory serves.
     
    #42
  43. Datacipher

    Datacipher Banned

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2004
    Messages:
    4,611

    No. This is incorrect. First, Tanner had some injuries late in his career, just like Goran, but that's hardly unusual after a decade or so on the tour. There is absolutely no reason why a biomechanically efficient serve is more prone to injuries simply due to a low toss. So don't listen to this. Bear in mind that many low toss players never suffered injuries, for example, Curren, who hit the ball earlier than any of the players mentioned above.
     
    #43
  44. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2008
    Messages:
    37,222
    Location:
    East side of San Francisco Bay
    You may choose to listen or not, it's your choice.
    Tanner in '77 was sitting in our booth getting his shoulders rubbed down. He said wear and tear from low toss thru 15 odd years. TransAmerica SanFrancisco.
    Curren would warm up and loosen his shoulders more than any other player, and during his matches, stretch it out some when he wasn't serving. He didn't tell me outright his shoulder was bothering him at 18 or so, but you could see by his worry over keeping his shoulder loose, that he was aware of a possible upcoming problem.
    There is a reason most pros don't serve with super low tosses. I like to use it as a surprise weapon, but mainly toss about 2' higher than my strikezone.
     
    #44
  45. Datacipher

    Datacipher Banned

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2004
    Messages:
    4,611
    Nope. Again, I would say nobody should listen, but since you haven't provided any explanation or even theory as to why this could be, I doubt anybody will. As I pointed out, many, many low toss players including Curren, played late into careers with no injury. On the other hand, many high tossers have had shoulder and elbow problems. A career of pro serving can be hard on the body. That is life. There is no particular reason, a toss makes a difference, though if a toss causes an amateur to rush, or hit the ball with improper mechanics.,

    This should be common sense frankly. No pro hits the ball consistently at less than full extension, and the mechanics leading to the strike do not differ simply because the ball is at the peak, or becuase it's dropping. Unless you somehow feel the dropping ball, offers easier impact on the body, but if that's the case, I have not heard from you, or anybody else as to why that may be.
     
    #45
  46. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2008
    Messages:
    37,222
    Location:
    East side of San Francisco Bay
    I only posted my experience and listening, watching and evaluations. You may choose to regard or disregard, but I actually talked to and played against those two guys. Well, I didn't play Tanner, he hung around our booth getting a shoulder rub.
    When a player is constantly stretching his shoulder even when he's not serving, it tells me there's a problem with that shoulder. Curran even stretched between points when he was RECEIVING serve.
     
    #46
  47. SirSweetSpot

    SirSweetSpot Banned

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2009
    Messages:
    539
    I recall Agassi had a pretty low toss. Can't recall if he hit it on the rise or just at the peak.
     
    #47
  48. Ripper014

    Ripper014 Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2009
    Messages:
    1,863
    I totally agree with your point... and the highlighted phrase is the key. All of us should be hitting the ball peak of where you can reach, so why would it matter if you do it with a short toss or a higher toss. It is all about timing... I can hit with a short toss but I find it hard on my shoulder... the reason is that I have problems timing the serve. With my normal service rhythm I have to rush to catch up to the toss... putting extra stress on my shoulder. If I took the time to learn to delay the toss so it matched my service rhythm it would not be an issue... which I have tried successfully... but it is not a comfortable service motion for me. I much prefer the long flowing motion I currently use... which includes a slightly higher ball toss.
     
    #48
  49. Datacipher

    Datacipher Banned

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2004
    Messages:
    4,611
    Yes, exactly. Trying to lower a toss too much for us amateurs can sometimes lead to tightening up or not going through the full range because it becomes rushed. Very common! Yes, if you had spent long enough learning a new rhythm it probably would have been fine, though, if there is no strong reason (other than some extra disguise, I don't believe there is a huge advantage to the low toss when it's not windy/sunny), you probably made the right decision to go with the timing that has become natural for you!

    With pros, this isn't usually an issue, as their core mechanics are very strong, and very tuned to the tosses and rhythm they use. To suggest that it is the toss itself that inherantly causes problems is ridiculous...especially among pros. This old myth should be tossed in the pile along with: abreviated backswing causes shoulder problem! Though, I notice LeeD is now trying to somehow criticize the gonzeles serve due to it's "circular" backswing, though his statements are so unclear, nobody can determine what 'circular" means to him and whether it's too big, or to small for his liking. He really seems quite clueless about basic mechanics.
     
    #49
  50. Datacipher

    Datacipher Banned

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2004
    Messages:
    4,611
    Agassi went through several distinct incarnations of his serve over his career! He varied stance, (by quite a lot!), arm motion, backswing, ball toss, and...just about everything. The lowest toss I remember him using was in late 1989, and early 1990. He seemed to be going for "peak" (actually a few inches away from peak, but notably close), especially on flat and slice serves. Other times, he tossed higher. He never tossed super high, but he probably tossed and extra 2-3 feet higher, at some points, than he did in very early 1990. He didn't hit it on the rise though, again, the only player I ever recall doing that (not to say there might not have been others) was Curren, and maybe Nargiso at one point. But, even a guy who hits at the actual peak (rare), like Tanner, is so early, it almost appears to be rising.
     
    #50

Share This Page