"walking" on your serve

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by rice&tennis, Jan 30, 2010.

  1. rice&tennis

    rice&tennis Rookie

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    ok, i was taught to "hop" on your left foot when you finish your serve. however the other day, i saw some guy "walking" his serve. he served and didnt finish on his left foot, however his left foot remained planted and stepped forward with his right foot. so instead of finishing with his left foot down, right foot up, he had his left foot down and behind, and his right foot down infront.

    is this a good way to create consistency? since your not airborn and remain on the ground.

    btw both of us are right handed.
     
    #1
  2. ReopeningWed

    ReopeningWed Semi-Pro

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    Was he over 60 and playing with a wooden racket? Was he a very solid player, or something just starting out?

    Need more info.
     
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  3. Zachol82

    Zachol82 Professional

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    Any extra movements in tennis results in a higher chance for error.

    That being said, there are probably as many different styles of serves as there are double-faults in one set by Verdasco.
     
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  4. papa

    papa Hall of Fame

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    Yeah, he probably was. I keep telling these people to get rid of the woodies but for some reason that's all you see them with out there, its quite embarrassing to the entire Tennis World. And while were at it, why do they insist on having their hats on straight, gray hair and glasses, just so un-cool. I was even talking to a guy today who had a hearing aid and didn't say "like" every other word - boy, whats this world coming to.
     
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  5. rice&tennis

    rice&tennis Rookie

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    oh no. he was probly mid25 early30, seen play at the courts before. rock solid 4.5. Cannon ball serve, and as cannon ball, its really fast + loud sound.
     
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  6. aznstyle

    aznstyle New User

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    injured/cramp in his leg? i remember watching a match, i forget btwn who, where the guy cramped in one leg, and continued serving in the same fashion ur describing for the rest of the match.
     
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  7. rice&tennis

    rice&tennis Rookie

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    :/ i doubt it since when i notice his serves, its usually like that.

    anyway, is there any benefits of serving this way?
     
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  8. Love50

    Love50 Rookie

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    Could it be you're simply describing the difference in finish between the pinpoint and platform service stances? The pinpoint stance tends to result in the forward foot entering the court first (your "hop") while the platform stance has the back foot come forward first (the "walk").

    If so, it's just a consequence of the stance. You don't try to emulate the finish one way or the other, it happens as part of finishing the service motion.
     
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  9. rice&tennis

    rice&tennis Rookie

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    oh... ic, so its a matter of preference?
    but i have a platform stance (both feet apart), yet i "hop" on my left feet.
    is there benefits of the pinpoint or the platform?
     
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  10. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

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    What you described in post #1 just sounds like an old serving style. Some players still use it but you don't see too many pros using it, if any. It is not a matter of pinpoint vs platform. Serving stance (platform or pinpoint) is a matter of personal preference. Many players find the platform more stable. Some players get a bit more power from the pinpoint, others get more from the platform.
     
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  11. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

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    I believe that older style may have been a result of the way the rules on serving were written back in the day. Take a look at some videos of servers of yesteryear. I believe that the front foot did not come off the ground until after ball contact. Take a look at Pancho G serving (unfortunately, the following video doesn't show his feet very often). The serving style you describe sounds like a variation of the Pancho serve:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tyhFo3hvGPI

    .
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2010
    #11
  12. papa

    papa Hall of Fame

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    Interesting video. The commentator even says that he's "grounded" at one point so maybe it was just his style. Are you of the opinion that the rules "were" changed or that "maybe" they were? This video would have been in the late 60's/early 70's? I'm not aware that there have been any changes since then that would have effected the serve but I'm not absolutely sure about this. I know the "moving each foot once" and the "volley ball" clauses have been added but those would not have effected the jump.
     
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  13. HunterST

    HunterST Hall of Fame

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    Pretty easy question is getting some crazy responses!

    I think it's clear the guy is not doing much knee bend or explosion into the shot. Therefore, he's not getting airborne. He can, and apparently does, still have a very fast first serve. The legs really play a very small role in generating power, the pros just do it for that extra 5-10 mph. The real power comes from a quick arm and the forearm and wrist.

    Here's Andre Agassi doing some warm-up serves. He's not worried about getting every inch of power on these, so he's just using arm and not exploding into the shot. His foot stays grounded for the most part just like you described.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=77xCAzRE5N8
     
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  14. gzhpcu

    gzhpcu Professional

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    Until 1960, you had to have contact with the ground with one foot during the serve. Hence, the crossover step (landing on the right foot for a righthander). Many players post 1960 continued doing so...

    Boris Becker did it:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fGJ-XHZkpek

    You can still serve pretty well with it... but all modern pros land with the left foot.
     
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  15. HunterST

    HunterST Hall of Fame

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    This is all true, but I don't think the guy is thinking "I'm going to do a pre-1960 pro serve." I think he just doesn't put much lower body into it.
     
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  16. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

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    Thanks for that clarification.


    That's not it. Many non-pro servers still use that older serving style because they were taught that way. It was still commonly being taught in the 1980s and early 90s and I still see some old school coaches teaching it now (because that is the way they learned it 20 yrs ago). I changed my motion from that older serving style less than 15 yrs ago.
     
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  17. HunterST

    HunterST Hall of Fame

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    Yeah, that make sense. Especially if the guy the OP is talking about has been playing awhile, he'd likely have been taught that way.

    I'm pretty sure my right food stays grounded. I'm trying to correct it but jumping up feels pretty unnatural to me. How'd you go about adopting the modern style?
     
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  18. Nellie

    Nellie Hall of Fame

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    I find that it is helpful to think of pushing your hips forward and through the service area (thus getting good weight shift) instead of step through to get some weight shift and some rotation. The hips help you load up energy in the arms.
     
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  19. rice&tennis

    rice&tennis Rookie

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    thanks for the comments guys

    guess i'll stick with the platform + hop
     
    #19
  20. Nellie

    Nellie Hall of Fame

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    I think one thing that confuses people is that the pro's don't actually get that high in the air (maybe a couple of inches) - the weight shift and upward unloading of the weight is the key
     
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  21. Netspirit

    Netspirit Hall of Fame

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    [​IMG]
     
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  22. Djokovicfan4life

    Djokovicfan4life Legend

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    I think that as a general rule most pros without a double handled racquet never leave the ground more than 12 inches (and most don't get that high, more like 4-6 inches). And as everyone says, it's not really a conscious thing that they focus on, it just happens as a result of their technique.
     
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  23. papa

    papa Hall of Fame

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    Why would this be different for someone using a double handled racquet? They would only be using one hand on the serve so I guess I don't get it.
     
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  24. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

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    This was a reference to the racket & "volleyball" jump serve of the Battistone brothers

    [​IMG] <--- click on this pic
    .
     
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  25. papa

    papa Hall of Fame

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    Well, we both know you can't use a volleyball type serve - at least in regular tennis, maybe its ok in beach tennis. I'm somewhat familiar with this racquet - there are at least a couple of designs on the market now.
     
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  26. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

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    Obviously, a conventional running volleyball jump serve could not legally be used for tennis. However, Brian Brian Battistone employs a serve that very much resembles a volleyball jump serve without the running. In the video link that I provided, he does take a rather large step with his front (left) foot prior to his jump. He starts some 2 to 2.5 feet behind the baseline and takes a stride with his front foot that appears to be 1.5 to 2 feet prior to his jump.

    To my mind this is not a legal serve but I've heard that he has gotten away with this service action in many ATP Challenger Tour tournaments. I believe that the Battistone brothers are probably 6.0 or 6.5 players who have done well in a number of tournaments at this level. Brian may have been asked to modify his approach because I've seen videos where he starts much close to the baseline than shown in the video that I provided.

    I'm curious, who else is developing a double-handled racquet?
     
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  27. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

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    Last edited: Feb 2, 2010
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  28. papa

    papa Hall of Fame

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    Well, I certainly would not consider this a legal serve. The rules specifically state that you cannot be on the move - change position by either walking or running. You simply cannot start, as he's doing, considerably behind the baseline and come forward like that because he's not at rest prior to the serve. He's using an abbreviated volleyball serve IMO. I think most would agree that he has significantly change position.
     
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  29. papa

    papa Hall of Fame

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    Oh, and you asked about "other" two handled racquets. The other one that I've actually hit with had two handles but only one is for your hands while the other (both offset from the main frame) is more of a counter balance. Its funny, I saw a guy using this type of racquet a couple of years ago and he was using one hand on each handle. After telling me he had only had the racquet for a short time (got it second hand) I told him that it was only for one hand and showed him how to use it. He told me that he couldn't figure out why one handle was a different size and why it seemed so clumsy with two hands - funny.

    Sometimes you see someone barnstorming with these new racquet ideas hoping they'll find a market. Sometime they succeed - look at Weed. Most of the time, only a few are good enough/brave enough to give them a good test and engineering along with manufacturing these things can be very expensive. Its often said that it cost about a million dollars to introduce a new racquet and that after the first one is made, it cost about a dollar to produce the others. I'm not sure this is the right ratio but the initial one is costly.
     
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  30. sypl

    sypl Rookie

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    You know what, I think that serve's legal. My first reaction was that it looked like an illegal run and jump, but if you look at it again, only one foot moves - the front one. That's different to most pros, but lots of players move or drag their back foot forward. Shouldn't really matter if someone chooses to do it with their front foot instead.

    I can't see anything illegal about this.
     
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  31. tricky

    tricky Hall of Fame

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    Now that's a balla!! :D
     
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  32. papa

    papa Hall of Fame

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    I can, he's moving forward and never comes to a stop. The rules say you can move each foot once but that you have to come to stop prior to the serve.
     
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  33. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

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    Rule 18 (Foot Fault)
    During the service motion, the server shall not:

    a. Change position by walking or running, although slight movements of the
    feet are permitted;


    With players that move the back foot up, the position of the body as a whole (relative to the baseline) does not really change. It might be argued that the movement of that back foot is more than slight for many "legal" serves. The rule is rather vague on this point.

    With the Brian Battistone serve that was shown, the whole body changes it position significantly. That first step with the front foot is huge -- something on the order of 1.5 to 2 feet. I would say that for both of these reasons, he violates Rule 18. This may be why I've seen a video where he does not take that large stride toward the baseline. He may have been forced to modify his "approach" so that he would not be charged with a foot fault.
     
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  34. MayDay

    MayDay Semi-Pro

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    #34
  35. tennistomcat

    tennistomcat Rookie

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    did this guy's serve resemble Michael Stich's serve? Stich had a powerful serve - check the link below to see.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wzAXh0pcm2I
     
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  36. papa

    papa Hall of Fame

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    This is a legal serve from what I can see. He comes to a stop prior the the service motion. His momentum from the service motion takes him off the surface and into the court.
     
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  37. azbabolat

    azbabolat New User

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    I was taught mostly the same serve
     
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  38. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    This was discussed in another thread, along with Ferrer's serve. Some pros have borderline-illegal stepping in the serves.
     
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  39. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

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    What was discussed, Rule 18a? I recall a thread quite a while back where Brian Battistone's questionable service was discussed. Don't recall anything about Ferrer in that particular thread.
     
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  40. sypl

    sypl Rookie

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    If this is the rule then it's too vague. What constitutes "walking"? Surely more than one step, right? What I see in that serve is a single step. A large one, to be sure, but as others have pointed out, other pros take huge steps too - just with the back foot.

    Maybe this is just the future, baby!
     
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  41. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

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    It appears that you missed the point I was making. When servers move the back leg to go from a platform stance to a pinpoint stance, they are bringing their feet together but the body, as a whole, does not really change its position as a result of this step.

    However, the huge step that Brian B takes with his front leg results in a very significant change in the position of the body - this one step causes the body to move forward nearly 2 feet. This is significantly different from the other situation.
     
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  42. 10isngolf

    10isngolf New User

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    I have a related question. On the serve, if you bring your back foot forward, is it allowed to cross the plane of the front foot? Isn't this considered a "walking" serve?
     
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  43. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    What about "n'stuff?" Did he finish each phrase with "n'stuff?"
     
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