Why's Dent copying Sampras's service motion?

Discussion in 'General Pro Player Discussion' started by djones, Dec 19, 2004.

  1. djones

    djones Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    May 19, 2004
    Messages:
    1,783
    The first time I saw Dent playing I thought it was Sampras, considering his service motion.
    It's almost exactly the same as Sampras's.
    Don't you think it is silly to copy someones service motion?
    I remember when I was 13, 14 , 15 years old, I would try to serve like Agassi.
    I was even pulling up my T-shirt like he did, waiting for my oponent to serve :)
    But Dent is a 'grown' up man!!!
    Don't you think he should have changed his service motion?
    I know it's probably too late now, well maybe not even that, cuz he's not making any progression on the Tour.
     
    #1
  2. !Tym

    !Tym Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    May 6, 2004
    Messages:
    1,697
    Actually, I think Dent's serve is more like McEnroe's only less fluid and more forceful. It's like he adds a STOMP for extra oomph at the end.

    Dent has the most extreme shoulder tilt/shoulder turn on tour these days.

    Can't argue with its effectiveness when on...a truly devastating serve that comes down like a ton of bricks.

    Not the most consistent server though, a bit erratic, and on again, off again movement. I think his biggest problem is that he hasn't been able to remain healthy to maintain his confidence.

    At his best, there is no doubt that he can hang with anybody in the world from what I've seen. He's just simply been too erratic, too injured, and sometimes in questionable physical shape.

    The potential is there though certainly, given good health, to be this generation's version of Magnus Larsson...dangerous enough to take anyone out on any day, but also erratic enough to never really go quite all the way.
     
    #2
  3. ollinger

    ollinger Legend

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2004
    Messages:
    6,129
    djones
    please explain why it is silly to copy one of the most successful service motions in the history of tennis. do you feel you can't learn from someone who does something better than you do?
    ________
    cheap condo in Pattaya
     
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2011
    #3
  4. Trey

    Trey Rookie

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2004
    Messages:
    186
    Actually the first time I saw Dent serve I thought hey that McEnroe's style too.
     
    #4
  5. beanieweenie

    beanieweenie New User

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2004
    Messages:
    52
    actually, its been documented several years back when dent was coming on the scene that his service motion was modeled after sampras. his coach, the legendary phil dent who is an australian, use to work with many pros after his playing days...he was changs coach when he won the french in '89. when phil dent had a son and later was instrumental in his coaching he talked about instilling the strokes of some of the greats at the time into his son's game. a traditional australian serve/volley style game. one handed backhand. a serve very similar to sampras, which itself was modeled after the great australian laver. i have a tape of the interview of a piece that cbs sports did of an "up and coming star taylor dent at age 12" that was shown before the sampras/chang us open final in '96.
     
    #5
  6. !Tym

    !Tym Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    May 6, 2004
    Messages:
    1,697
    Actually, I think Sampras' motion is rather similar to McEnroe's as well. They're all of the same mold. McEnroe just had the most extreme shoulder turn of anyone ever. Costa's motion is quite similar to Sampras' as well. It's not actually that uncommon a motion, fairly textbook in my opinion. The difference is that Sampras just adds a bit more of a shoulder turn than most. Other than that, the standard elements are there. Pretty classic fundamental stuff...the rest is just aesthetics (the toe thingy).

    The guys who I feel have rather idiosyncratic motions are guys like Forget (weird hanging leg thing, like a grasshopper), Stefan Edberg (arched back thing and kind of a hitch to start the motion), Rafter (started the abbreviated motion craze), Enqvist (like he started arching his back before he even tossed the ball, looked pained), Goran (see-saw motion), Becker (more of square stance, and extremely exaggerated knee bend), and of course Kaarsten Braasch (nuff said).

    McEnroe's motion too is rather classic, the difference is again that he just he turns his back completely to the net practically, really weird but effective for him...incredibly hard to read the direction of his serves as a result.
     
    #6
  7. Trey

    Trey Rookie

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2004
    Messages:
    186
    Well anybody can say that their serve is modeled after anybody elses but when I look at his serve I don't see Sampras at all.

    The way stands sideways like Mac and then turns and the amount of shoulder rotation doesn't remind me of Sampras at all. Plus when I watch his matches I can tell what kind of serve is coming for the most part, but with Sampras I couldn't tell till very late.
     
    #7
  8. beanieweenie

    beanieweenie New User

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2004
    Messages:
    52
    i definitely think the key word would be modeled. i think anyone can look to the pros as a means of a starting point or even as a basis. but through time obviously they will incorporate other habits, nuances, etc. of their own into the motion.

    but you are spot on about sampras and his ability to disguise his serve. you watch any tape, especially wimbledon where he was never better, and you will be in awe. especially his second serve. i think no one had a better second serve than sampras.

    i think dents problems, aside from the injuries, are his inability to have a very high service percentage and his transition game to the net. his game is very much based on serve and volley, and he is just not very smart or effective in his approaches to the net.

    there was also some thought that he might have bulked up way too much and became heavy and flat footed in his mechanics. also the lifting was said to maybe cause some of his back injuries. similar to david duval and golf.
     
    #8
  9. Cigo

    Cigo Rookie

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2004
    Messages:
    155
    I have always wondered how Laver served. Does anyone have any recommendations about pictures or even better, yet probably not possible, clips.

    Thanks.
     
    #9
  10. bertrevert

    bertrevert Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2004
    Messages:
    3,327
    Location:
    Syd, Oz
    That's a really accurate description of Dent's problems. Boy if his serve's nto working on the day then the result can be disastrous. He can throw away leads, games, matches pretty quickly. However, he has not much choice, he has to go for it, his serve is a significant part of his game and dictates how he sets his points up.

    I think it was Wimbledon where he just barely won a point and then high-fived the crowd in mock jubilation when he finally held a game right at the end of the set.
     
    #10
  11. thejackal

    thejackal Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2004
    Messages:
    2,885
    Location:
    Montreal, Canada
    IMO Myirni's pre-serve ritual is just painful to watch, can't argue with the results though.
     
    #11
  12. tamdoankc

    tamdoankc Rookie

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2004
    Messages:
    137
    Location:
    Travelling the world!
    beanie: Wasn't Jose Higuerus Chang's coach during Chang's '89 FO? I know he was during Courier's reign at the FO.

     
    #12
  13. Eric Matuszewski

    Eric Matuszewski Rookie

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2004
    Messages:
    179
    www.tennisone.com has clips of Dent's serve this month.

    He pulles his right knee to his chest after thrusting to the ball but before hitting it. I guess he does this to make himself quicker to the net. (puts him already in full stride when he lands)

    It's kind of like the right side of his body is in a Kangaroo jump near contact.

    I can't remember any other top pro doing this.

    Sampras and Henman both leave the right leg relatively extended (knee down) until landing.
     
    #13
  14. tennisboy87

    tennisboy87 Guest

    I have to agree with you there. It looks so herky-jerky, and it's just not a very smooth movement. Still, it's one of the most effective serves out on tour imo.
     
    #14

Share This Page