who taught sharapova serve?

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by taurussable, Apr 7, 2014.

  1. taurussable

    taurussable Professional

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    many serve videos on youtube use Sharapova as counterexamples. Granted her serve is not great and can be better, the IMG academy had tons of good serve coaches, why didn't they coach her to have a perfect serve?

    The question is not specifically about Sharapova. Many top pros are critiqued to have technical issues or peculiarities in some sort, why were the issues not addressed at an early age? considering the pros most likely had lots of good resource.
     
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  2. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Lots of pros got there by doing what they do, but they did other things better than their peers, so they made it to the top.
    Maria and ElenaDementiava know about their high tosses, but don't worry about it because they worry about groundstrokes, ROS, movement, diet, and reading the opponent's shots. Their own serve is very low priority, since they made it to the top using that same silly toss.
     
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  3. TeamOB

    TeamOB Professional

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    On the Kyrgios/Thiem/Zverev bandwagon!
    Sharapova's serve is actually not bad. Before her shoulder problems in 2007 it was one of the best WTA serves. After that she changed her motion to protect her elbow and shoulder and the serve suffered. It is more of an injury and confidence issue then a technical flaw. As for other players, no pro is perfect. They all have their small issues and hitches. Through years of practice they have managed to cover them up but they still occasionally creep up under pressure.
     
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  4. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Maria's serve is HORRIBLE for someone 6'2" tall.
    Her serve is fine if she's 5'5" tall.
    Yes, her injury affected her serve some.
    But still, it looks like a giraffe trying to serve.
     
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  5. TeamOB

    TeamOB Professional

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    On the Kyrgios/Thiem/Zverev bandwagon!
    http://sports.espn.go.com/sports/tennis/news/story?id=3046996

    According to this article it is not that bad. A quote:

     
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  6. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

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    Prior to her shoulder issues starting in 2007, her serve was considered one of the most potent in the WTA -- her game was built around the weapon. Perhaps you can provide a link that uses her serve as a counter-example. There is actually much more right with her serve than wrong with it. Her high-altitude toss is something that most players should avoid. What other elements do you think are flawed?
     
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  7. WildVolley

    WildVolley Legend

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    Sharapova actually seems to exaggerate her height. I've seen her standing next to Nadal and Federer in pictures while wearing tennis shoes and she's shorter than either of the 6'1" men. She's only a little over 6' tall.

    I don't remember her serve from before the shoulder injury, but I don't think she hits it as well as she used to.
     
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  8. Maximagq

    Maximagq Banned

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    I dont really want to know who taught sharapova to serve. I want to know who taught her to feel pretty.
     
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  9. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    I WATCHED Maria go from a skinny 11 year old to a fully grown adult. I don't need any "expert's" judgement to tell me that she lost her serve just before her physical issues started, and still has not mentally recovered.
    Her serve was pretty big a long while ago, but everyone else learned how to chip and block, drive and loop the returns. She didn't improve her serve, while all the other's improved THEIR ROS's.
    She kept growing. Must be tough to be 6'2" or so, and still try to act/look like a lady on court.
     
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  10. taurussable

    taurussable Professional

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    I remember both Jeff Salzenstein, Jim Mclennan and maybe a few more mentions her in their videos, maybe just a toss height, looks too much effort issue?

    I can't comment on her serve because mine sucks.

    pat dougherty the serve doctor from IMG academy mentioned sharapova too.

    Pat dougherty's comment on sharapova serve.
    http://youtu.be/GgdXawklcZk?t=2m47s
     
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2014
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  11. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

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  12. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Prior to '07, most of the girls on tour didn't practice ROS against men players. Somewhere around then, most WTA players used 5.5 or D-1 men as hitting dummies, and learned to return their serves.
    Something akin to..... in the late '70's, one Cz girl was starting to look pretty sharp, with lefty serves and volleys. The smart WTA players went out and found lefty S/V guys to practice against, to get used to the wide serves, the spin into the body, and the vollying opponent's.
     
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  13. Maximagq

    Maximagq Banned

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    LeeD you should have been chris everts practice partner!
     
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  14. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    You are just a baby in life, so you can be excused.
    I was lefty serving robot for MareenLouie, MarcieLouie, SusanBrown, DanaGilbert, as well as TracyHouk, and lots of B level, or 4.5 men's players and juniors such as MikeHoward, MikeGee, BryanNepomecino, friend RalieghZalameda, and even some A rated NorCal men.
    I was usually a full level below in player ratings, but my serves were well above the level I was playing at.
    The girls were all top A/Open in NorCal, while the boys were the top rated junior 18's of their years.
     
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  15. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    I call BS. These are all big name players.
     
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  16. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Whoa dere !!!!
    The Louie's I knew from buying my first 3 rackets at their 19th and BalboaSt. store, in 1974. As you can figure, I'm Chinese, as were the Louies.
    Susan I met through Marisa at the OaklandCityOpen that I won in the C division. Dana came with Susan.
    Raliegh was my weekly practice partner for 2 years, because I beat the No.1, JoseReyes, of Mission High, several times in GGPk.
    Mike Howard and Kevin Howard are Gil's kids, and I went to their courts at Pine and SteinerSt. in SanFrancisco, between the girl's catholic jr high, in the late '78's for well over 10 hitting/serving sessions, when both were still under 17, trying to make a name for themselves.
    TracyHouk was a little 14 year old in '78 or so, but really good hitter, no serve, and her older brother had the reverse serve I always talk about.
    Byron was going to some Catholic High School, a very good hitter but tiny in size, and I hit with him at least 10 times, just hitting.
    MikeGee is Mark's little brother. I played Mark in the Chinese Nats, lost closely to him in singles, and I played against him in doubles later with DexterLee, No.2 for CCSF and later No.1 for SFState. Mike and Byron played in Men's B's, while I played A's and had some pretty good hitting partners.
     
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  17. Ronaldo

    Ronaldo G.O.A.T.

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    Watch W 04 v Serena and Sharapova's serve. Then criticize
     
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  18. Chas Tennis

    Chas Tennis Hall of Fame

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    This 2013 information lists Sharapova as 3rd in percentage of 1st serves won and second in service games won behind Serena.
    http://www.wtatennis.com/SEWTATour-Archive/Rankings_Stats/match_stats_2013.pdf

    The Pat Dougherty comment mentions Sharapova and impingement.

    Very rarely is it well understood what causes an athletic injury such as a tennis shoulder injury. For shoulder injuries the Ellenbecker video, mentioned often here, has the best description of the shoulder and what is believed to be associated with injuries. In particular, he mentions the shoulder orientation to minimize the risk of impingement when serving. He also mentions strengthening exercises for the rotator cuff muscles to hold the ball of the humerus securely in the shoulder joint socket during the very forceful and extremely rapid internal shoulder rotation, ~3000°/sec, used in pro serves.

    One possibility for her shoulder injury issues could be in her shoulder posture. If you look at her shoulders from the side when she is relaxed, they are more forward than normal. Overdeveloped muscles on the front? Does that different posture cause any added stress on her shoulders. ?
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2014
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  19. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Maria's serve has evolved to that really high toss, that waiting position with the energy just sapping away, stored and shelved, and when the ball comes down, she rises up to meet it with no rythum or rhyme.
    What used to be isn't anymore, but should be.
     
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  20. Kalin

    Kalin Professional

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    As for Dementieva, I also remember reading she had shoulder issues hence the weak serve. Bad shoulders and hard serves don't mix well :(
     
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  21. taurussable

    taurussable Professional

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    Nicole vaidisova had a great serve motion. She was taught by Pat dougherty. A good serve coach seems important, maybe sharapova didn't get a good serve coach in the academy.
     
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  22. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

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    ^ Or perhaps Maria got very good serve coaching at the academy since she developed an extremely effective serve. Prior to her shoulder problems on 2007 her serve was very dominant in the WTA. Since the shoulder surgery, her serve has not been what it once was. However, as shown by the 2013 match stats link posted by Chas Tennis, her serve is still very pretty effective. Did you overlook that link?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jjt9K_iEC2U
    .
     
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  23. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    The other girl's just improved their ROS, while Maria didn't improve her serves.
     
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  24. taurussable

    taurussable Professional

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    alright, then the comments in the serve videos I saw( I listed one example) are just nitpicking her.
     
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  25. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Mental.
    Due to her previous shoulder injury, and lots of stress for sucess, she doubles faults on lots of important points.
    Excessively high toss contributes some, but mental pressure is real to her.
     
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  26. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

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    The nitpicking probably refers primarily to her serve from mid-2007 to 2012. Do not believe that there was much criticism of her serve (except, perhaps, the high toss) in her early pro years from 2001 to mid-2007. While she started seeing decent results again by mid-2011 her serve was still somewhat erratic.

    For a good chunk of 2013, Maria's serve appeared to become, once again, very effective. Her double faults for the AO and subsequent tournaments dropped quite a bit. However, after the French final, she appeared to falter again. Did not do well at Wimbledon and pulled out of the USO and the rest of the season with a "shoulder injury".

    It turns out that legendary coach, Robert Lansdorp, worked with Maria from the age 11 to 18. Do not believe that you can fault him for her injury-induced serving problems after the age of 20. He was considered one of the best in the business. He is credited with developing Pete Sampras, Lindsay Davenport, Tracy Austin, Maria Sharapova and numerous others. While Lansdorp probably cannot take all the credit, his protegee, Pete Sampras possessed one of the best serves of all times.

    http://sports.espn.go.com/sports/tennis/news/story?id=3046996
    http://www.insidetennis.com/archive/1104_lansdorp.html
    .
     
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  27. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    In the top levels of pro tennis, if you do not improve a particular stroke, you are falling behind the curve, because you can BET everyone other person on tour is improving her/his strokes to counter yours.
     
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  28. Lukhas

    Lukhas Legend

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    Sharapova, much like Azarenka has good serve stats; or at least good enough to be ranked where they are as of today. The only problem for them is that most people will notice that the first thing that gets picked on when they meet Serena Williams also is their serve. Whether Serena is (one of) the best returner(s) in the game, whether their serve is "not good enough" or whether S. Williams' serve is so good that in comparison they both look bad (ex: RG '13, USO '12 and '13 despite Azarenka's promise to improve her serve) is up to interpretation. Just like the quality of Federer's BH compared to his one-handed peers.

    I personally think that too often on the WTA tour that the first thing that breaks down is either the serve, or the ability to hit rally strokes within the limits of the court... I think that their serve is not good in absolute, but "good enough" compared to their peers. Just like Nadal's serve was "good enough" to rack up slams, "good enough" to start the rallies that he dominates so well in a neutral/slightly advantageous position. Until one day, he wanted to win the USO so much that he really got tired of only being "good enough".
     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2014
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  29. bullet1020

    bullet1020 New User

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    The best serve is venus .. and she uses her height as an advantage .. sharapova is about the same height .. she was hitting good back then but I don't know what happened now
     
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  30. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

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    Venus did have one of the better serves on the WTA for a while; as did Maria. More recently, Serena has the better serve. Sam Stosur has an outstanding kick serve. Sabine Lisicki quite good on both 1st and 2nd serves. Zhang and Kirilenko do quite well with their 2nd serves.
     
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