Wide stance return of serve? Watching Aussie Open

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by drak, Jan 21, 2013.

  1. drak

    drak Professional

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    and really noticed now many players are using a very wide stance for their returns and pretty much do not split step. Is this another step in the evolution of the modern game? Martina made this observation several days ago and she was correct.
     
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  2. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Wide stance for when you expect serves going wide to you, so you can move out wide.
    You get used to that stance, and it also allow you to pivot away for body shots.
    I've always used at least a 36" wide stance.
     
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  3. moopie

    moopie Rookie

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    I can't imagine not split-stepping. That'd be insane. Do you have some video of this?

    They have a wide ready stance, but as the ball is tossed they go upright and split step.
     
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  4. jakeytennis

    jakeytennis Rookie

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    that's what i've been doing for years.
    it just gets your center of gravity lower so you can be quicker
     
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  5. ramos77

    ramos77 Semi-Pro

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    EVERY pro split steps, they may have a wide stance but they still split
     
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  6. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

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    Don't believe I've ever seen this. Any videos to support this assertion? I'll keep watching the AO this week to see if I notice it. Note that there is a version of the split-step where the player does not actually jump. It is sometimes used in badminton, futbol/soccer, baseball (fielding) and other sports. The players suddenly lowers their COG in order to move quickly in any direction. It is a timed move just like the jumping split-step in tennis that usually comes to mind when we hear the term.
     
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  7. Cheetah

    Cheetah Hall of Fame

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    more players are starting to do this recently. for return of serve they have a very wide stance and knees are bent more than before and instead of a traditional split step they do more of a gravity step type thing.
     
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  8. moopie

    moopie Rookie

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    Someone please name a player. I'd like to see this non-split step. It just seems impossible.
     
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  9. Cheetah

    Cheetah Hall of Fame

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    it's still a split step. just not as big and not as straight up and down as it used to be. I guess maybe people are starting to copy djoko's method. That's basically what it is.
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2013
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  10. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

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    This seems to be the case from what I've observed. I just went looking for ROS samples of Murray, Federer and Djoko. The Murray videos that I saw were from 2 years ago. He did not employ a wide stance at all. From his moderate stance, he took a step forward and then executed a very pronounced split-step.

    Federer and Djoko come to mind when I think of wide ROS stances. Even with the wide stance, Roger still had a generous split-step. However, Novak's split step was rather subdued compared to Andy & Roger. Nonetheless, Novak still had a split-step as Cheetah indicates.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r8pZu4BdvT0&t=9m

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B8Qh-r77Sk4
     
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  11. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

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    Just watched a bit of the Berdych-Djoko QF. Both men employed wide stances on ROS. Berdych performed a couple of mini-bounces and then a deliberate split-step jump. Djoko often employed a quick double hop on his ROS. The 2nd hop (split-step) appeared to coincide with Berdych's ball contact on the serve.
     
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  12. moopie

    moopie Rookie

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    So basically the "classic" split step would have the feet closer together when hopping, then landing with the feet wider apart.

    This "new" (is it really all that new?) split step has the feet wide at the start, then a hop and land with the feet at the same width apart.

    I just don't want anyone to think there's no actual leaving of the ground, even if it's only half an inch. A split step is a must.

    Here at the 2 minute mark of the video is a very obvious Djoker step.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B8Qh-r77Sk4#t=1m59s
     
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  13. TheCheese

    TheCheese Professional

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    I don't know what you guys are talking about.

    Why would you start with your feet really close together? Who is doing it the "classic" way?

    It seems only natural to start with a wider, more athletic stance.
     
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  14. Cheetah

    Cheetah Hall of Fame

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    I've noticed wawrinka now does this too. Very wide stance for the return and they kind of do a little shuffle / split step hybrid thing now. It's like they move like crabs instead of the big hopping split step.
     
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  15. dominikk1985

    dominikk1985 Legend

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    Last edited: Jan 22, 2013
    #15
  16. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Can't see using a stance much narrower than 36".
    That allows you to go out wide either side, yes, but more important, it allows you to pivot on one side to handle body shots.
    In pro tennis, lots of guys aim right into your forehand hip. You gotta counter, and only a wide stance allows you to counter that shot.
     
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  17. Cheetah

    Cheetah Hall of Fame

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  18. Cheetah

    Cheetah Hall of Fame

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  19. moopie

    moopie Rookie

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    Well I said closeR together, not close together. All this is really about is how wide is a player's preferred stance.

    As dominikk1985 shows in his links, there's really nothing new going on here.
     
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  20. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

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    Take a look at videos of Murray from 2-3 years ago. Not a wide stance yet still very athletic.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dZWrAU6GUVU
    .
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2013
    #20
  21. moopie

    moopie Rookie

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    Don't forget that Djokovic is Gumby-man. If you're not as flexible as him, getting that wide will only rob you of explosive power.

    [​IMG]
     
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  22. TheCheese

    TheCheese Professional

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    I don't see any advantage to either way, as long as you're getting to the wide stance after your split step.
     
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  23. Cheetah

    Cheetah Hall of Fame

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    ... besides the fact that starting wide and doing a smaller step takes less time and less energy to execute and you're guaranteed to land on bent legs and less chance of mistiming and being in the air longer than desired while the ball is heading towards you and curving away .
     
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  24. TheCheese

    TheCheese Professional

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    True, it's a slight advantage, makes timing the split step easier.
     
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  25. dominikk1985

    dominikk1985 Legend

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    well there is no time constraint in the return since you split step slighly before contact.

    for beginners however that might be true.
     
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  26. Cheetah

    Cheetah Hall of Fame

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    Huh?
    ..........

    edit: oh i see what you mean. but you're not supposed to be landing at time. usually jumping or coming down at that point.
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2013
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  27. vegasgt3

    vegasgt3 Rookie

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    Borg had a very wide stance too and had a pretty fair ROS at one time!
     
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  28. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

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    This is my thinking. For myself, I find the moderate stance moving to a wider split easier to implement. I do not have very good static flexibility but do have a fairly decent dynamic flexibility -- it is rather difficult for me to assume a (static) wide stance but I find it relatively easy to take a step and then split wider (as shown in the Murray link I provided previously).
     
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  29. julian

    julian Hall of Fame

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    Li Na

    Greetings,
    Li Na does a combination of a split step plus another step
    Another step looks like a "shuffle" step
    Is it efficient?
    regards,
    Julian
     
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  30. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

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    I have not really watched Li Na closely on her ROS so I'm not sure what your description of her ROS footwork really means. Do you have a link that show this (or are you expecting me to watch her final against Vika)?

    I did come across the following video of Li Na but it seems a bit different from what you have described. It looks a lot like the Berdych ROS footwork that I described in post #11. It looks like she performs a couple of preparatory mini-bounces followed by an actual split-step. I assume that the latter happens at/near ball contact and the 2 prep mini-bounces are probably happening as the server tosses the ball.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ITe4a2aw8D0
     
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  31. julian

    julian Hall of Fame

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    I do NOT have a link

    I do NOT have a link
     
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  32. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

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    Does the link of Li Na I provided look anything like what you have seen her doing recently on the ROS?
     
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  33. julian

    julian Hall of Fame

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    The link looks differrent

    The link is the way I teach.
    The semi-final footwork was different (the second half of the footwork)
     
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  34. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

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    I did not see her SF and only watched a little bit of the final. I saw a few footwork variations on Li Na's ROS footwork sequence. Most seemed to be variations of her footwork in the video link. I also recall some variations with the similar Berdych footwork. Djoko, whose ROS footwork was a bit diifferent from these 2 exhibited some variations as well.

    The Murray ROS footwork (post #20) is similar to what I use and teach. While I do insist that my students perform a properly-timed split-step, I do not insist that they perform the sequence exactly the way I do it.
     
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  35. julian

    julian Hall of Fame

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    Return of serve

    I have found an article/video on youtube
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bupA0ut9oe0
    More to come on this subject
     
    #35
  36. julian

    julian Hall of Fame

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    I have sent you a CORRECTED LINK

    I have sent you a CORRECTED LINK to the Youtube video
     
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  37. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

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  38. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    A difference of return philosophy might account for the differences in stance.
    Women often return much more aggresively, since the serve isn't nearly as fast, so they need a stable hitting platform.
    Men serve much faster, and most big servers target the body to freeze the returner from reacting out wide. So it's a more defensive return of serve in men's tennis.
    Wide stance allows a quicker wide movement, and allows the returner to pivot off one leg and defend body shots with turned shoulders.
     
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