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-   -   Kick Vs. Topspin Serve; one and the same?! (http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=453963)

Relinquis 02-07-2013 01:30 AM

Kick Vs. Topspin Serve; one and the same?!
 
i hear a lot of people discussing topspin and kick serves as if they are different types. Are they not the same?

Rogael Naderer 02-07-2013 02:03 AM

The kick-serve is generally held as as using both top and side spin (rotation around 45 dergrees).

The Meat 02-07-2013 02:03 AM

Kick serves start off going in one direction and then kick the opposite way, e.g. at deuce you serve down the middle it kicks to the right instead of the left. Very effective on the ad side for right handed players and very effective on the deuce side for left handers.

SystemicAnomaly 02-07-2013 06:03 AM

Not all topspin serves will kick up. If the ball has sufficient topspin and a high/steep trajectory, it tends to kick up.

Quote:

Originally Posted by The Meat (Post 7197323)
Kick serves start off going in one direction and then kick the opposite way, e.g. at deuce you serve down the middle it kicks to the right instead of the left. Very effective on the ad side for right handed players and very effective on the deuce side for left handers.

Not all kick serves do this. You are describing one version of the kick serve: the (America) twist serve. the term, kick serve, as used by many is a rather general, ambiguous designation. Other types of kick serves include the topspin kick and the topspin-slice kick.

treblings 02-07-2013 06:14 AM

i am wondering.
the question about kick vs topspin vs american twist has been discussed here before.
most people seem to agree that they are different serves.
there is some disagreement as to what is what and how to define the differences.
here comes my question. can we agree, that although these serves differ, they are nevertheless variants of basically the same motion?

Relinquis 02-07-2013 06:38 AM

So, is this correct?

Basically the same type of serve* with the following three variants:
1 - Mostly topspin (kicks mostly up/forward)
2 - Mostly side-spin (kicks mostly to one side)
3 - Combination of topspin and side-spin (kicks up/forward and a bit to one side)

Are these the three types before we get into how to do each?

I see the pros do numbers 1 & 3 mostly as their second serves, although the TV angle is pretty bad to judge spin properly.


* In terms of the resulting ball/shot.

psv255 02-07-2013 11:14 AM

Out of the many nomenclatures for these serves, "kick serve" is usually the most general; that is, it encompasses both topspin and topspin-slice (a variation of which is American twist) serves.

Although theoretically possible, it's hard to hit a pure topspin serve.
A topspin serve is simply a serve in which the ball is hit in such a way that it spins forward on an axis parallel to the ground. It dips down into the court and bounces straight, with no change in direction.

A topspin-slice serve has a component of side spin that the pure topspin serve does not. The ball curves in the air (right-to-left for a righty) and then bounces to the left or right of center, which is where the "slice-hopper" and American twist distinction comes in.

As long as the ball has a significant topspin component, it's a kick serve, not matter how high it bounces.
My $0.02.

dominikk1985 02-07-2013 11:30 AM

Is the american twist like a "slurve" or is it going the other way?

psv255 02-07-2013 11:39 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dominikk1985 (Post 7198220)
Is the american twist like a "slurve" or is it going the other way?

Other way, like this

dman72 02-07-2013 11:51 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dominikk1985 (Post 7198220)
Is the american twist like a "slurve" or is it going the other way?

I think the American twist is the one where a right hander finishes to the right of their body, with their palm facing away from them. It's a serve that basically makes a serve to deuce court bounce towards the ad court, whereas a topspin serve bounces straight forward or tends to bounce towards the sideline of the deuce court.

I find the mechanics of the twist serve can really mess up your shoulder if you start screwing around with it the wrong way. It also can be very effective because people aren't used to seeing it at amateur levels, and they ofent get completely screwed up by it.

SystemicAnomaly 02-07-2013 12:30 PM

^ Twist serves and other types of kick serves can finish on either side of the body. Federer, I believe, has a conventional finish on his twist/kick serves. OTOH, Fabrice Santoro and others finish on the right side of the body when doing twist (or some other kick) serves. It seems that this finish was a bit more common back in the day than it is now. I have posted a video of the Santoro finish in previous discussions. It should not be too difficult to find Federer executing a "monster" kick on YouTube.

psv255's post (#7) is accurate. I will have more to say about posts 5 & 6 later.
.

SystemicAnomaly 02-07-2013 06:06 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by treblings (Post 7197546)
i am wondering.
the question about kick vs topspin vs american twist has been discussed here before.
most people seem to agree that they are different serves.
there is some disagreement as to what is what and how to define the differences.
here comes my question. can we agree, that although these serves differ, they are nevertheless variants of basically the same motion?

In a very broad sense the motions for different serve are similar. However, there are important differences. The toss or the impact location (relative to the body) will vary -- usually more for lesser players than elite/pro servers. The swing path, brushing angle across the ball, degree of pronation, racket face orientation and the impact area on the ball can all vary. The image below should give a general idea of how the toss or impact location (in space) can vary for different serve types.


RoddickAce 02-07-2013 06:21 PM

I always thought that a "kick serve" was the all encompassing term for a serve that was hit with heavy topspin, and that the pure topspin serve and the american twist serve were the two main types of kick serves.

mrtrinh 02-07-2013 06:27 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RoddickAce (Post 7198928)
I always thought that a "kick serve" was the all encompassing term for a serve that was hit with heavy topspin, and that the pure topspin serve and the american twist serve were the two main types of kick serves.

Ding ding ding we have a winner

SystemicAnomaly 02-07-2013 07:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RoddickAce (Post 7198928)
I always thought that a "kick serve" was the all encompassing term for a serve that was hit with heavy topspin, and that the pure topspin serve and the american twist serve were the two main types of kick serves.

Some will use 2 classifications of kick serves while others will employ 3 classifications of the kick serve. Either is fine by me. The latter will have a kick serve that is primarily topspin. The other extreme is the twist serve (that exhibits a dramatic reverse bounce). Another version of the kick serve is a topspin-slice serve that does not have a dramatic directional change on the bounce. It "straightens out" rather then exhibit a reverse bounce. This type of serve had somewhat less spiral spin than the more extreme twist serve. (I will say more about spiralspin in my next post).

travlerajm 02-07-2013 07:11 PM

There is no such thing as a pure (6 to 12 swingpath) topspin serve (without breaking your back). An American Twist (serve that kicks to right for a righthanded) is hit with roughly 7 to 1 swingpath. It requires a lot of racuqethead speed to kick nicely to the right.

A "topspin" serve is hit with 7:30 to 1:30 swingpath, but since the topspin component of the spin is less than for the twist, the ball's spin doesn't grab the ground as well, and the bounce is straight.

A "topspin slice" is hit with roughly an 8 to 2 swingpath. With even less topspin component to the spin, the ball's spin doesn't grab the ball at all, so the ball bounce to the left (after curving to the left in the air).

All three types of serve above are types of "kick" serves. The only real difference between these types of serves is the angle of the swingpath. As a general rule of thumb, the higher the topspin/sidespin ratio, the more the ball will kick to the right. The lower the ratio, the more the ball will bounce to the left.

However, to "optimize" how much a twist serve kicks to the right, finding the right spin to speed ratio and swingpath is a bit of an art.

The interesting part of this is that the difference between kicking to the right and kicking to the left is simply the difference between a 7-to-1 path and an 8-to-2 path! This makes it easy for a good server to disguise the kick direction, even if the toss is not varied. It's very valuable to learn to hit a topspin slice from a toss slightly to your left, because then you can hit all 3 serves from that toss location.

Anyone who tells you that a twist serve requires "hitting up on the the side of the ball to impart corkscrew spin" has not given much thought about the physics. It is physically impossible to hit the side of the ball and have the ball go toward your target. Corkscrew spin can be applied with a pingpong paddle, but not with a tennis racquet! Your only physically possible option with a tennis racquet is to hit the back of the ball (or slightly over or under the back of the ball).

SystemicAnomaly 02-07-2013 07:20 PM

^ You are incorrect about corkscrew spin in tennis. Physicist, Rod Cross, had thought very much about the physics of tennis and disagrees with you. One does not hit the side of the ball to impart corkscrew spin. However, the contact is offset to impart this type of spin.

This type of spin can also be imparted to underhand shots with very dramatic effects.

SystemicAnomaly 02-07-2013 07:24 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Relinquis (Post 7197601)
So, is this correct?

Basically the same type of serve* with the following three variants:
1 - Mostly topspin (kicks mostly up/forward)
2 - Mostly side-spin (kicks mostly to one side)
3 - Combination of topspin and side-spin (kicks up/forward and a bit to one side)

Are these the three types before we get into how to do each?

I see the pros do numbers 1 & 3 mostly as their second serves, although the TV angle is pretty bad to judge spin properly...

Close, but not quite.

A serve whose spin is primarily side-spin (vertical-axis), will not normally kick. As psv255 and I have indicated, a kick serve normally requires a significant topspin component. Vertical-axis sidespin will only affect the left/right deviation of the ball traveling thru the air (Magnus Effect). This type of spin has no direct effect on the bounce (direction or height). Physicist, Rod Cross, had indicated this in some of his writings on tennis physics.

However, it you lob the serve with an open racket face with sidespin, it will bounce quite high even tho' it may not have very much topspin. This high bounce might be considered a kick by many.

A topspin serve or a topspin kick serve will usually also have a small amount of a sidespin component (just as most slice serves will have some degree of a topspin component). If your serve has sufficient components of both topspin and sidespin, we refer to it as a topspin-slice serve.

The "reverse bounce" seen in the twist version of the kick serve is due to spiral spin and not due to our garden-variety (vertical axis) sidespin. Think of the spin on the spiral pass of an American football or the natural spin on a badminton shuttle. This is spiral spin -- also known as spiralspin, gyrospin, corkscrew spin (or cork spin in table tennis). Its axis of rotation is more-or-less horizontal and in the direction of the flight path of the ball (or shuttle).

There is no Magnus effect associated with spiralspin so it has no effect on the trajectory of the ball as it flies thru the air. This is why spiral spin is often applied to bullets (with rifling of the barrel) and sometimes to arrows. However, when a ball with spiralspin hits the ground, it will bounce to the left or the right.

If the ball has mild spiraspin, then the left/right bounce deviation will be only slight. We might see this with a topspin-slice serve. If the spiralspin is negligible, then after the bounce, the ball will continue in the same direction is was traveling immediately prior to the bounce. If this serve has a moderate amount of spiralspin then we will see the ball direction straighten out with the bounce.

We might refer to a kick serve that does this as a twist serve -- cuz the ball is moving in a direction after the bounce that is somewhat different than the pre-bounce direction. It the amount of spiralspin is relatively generous on a topspin-slice kick serve, then the effect is very dramatic. The ball path curves in one direction (left or right) prior to the bounce due to (vertical-axis) sidespin. However, the ball bounces in the opposite direction due to the spiralspin component. This action is what we normally think of when we refer to a twist serve.

Netspirit 02-07-2013 08:44 PM

It would be great to see some statistics on what types of serves tennis pros use for their 1st and 2nd serves.

It could provide guidance for recreational players on what serves are more or less effective in match play, and if you cannot master them all (safe assumption), which serves could provide the biggest bang for the buck.

NadalDramaQueen 02-07-2013 09:30 PM

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