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Old 02-08-2013, 12:53 AM   #26
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Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Stuck in the Matrix somewhere in Santa Clara CA
Posts: 10,719

Originally Posted by Relinquis View Post
... How does one go about imparting spiral spin on the ball?

Does this kick serve have a bit of spiral spin?
It most definitely has a decent dose of spiralspin with a generous amount of topspin. His serve only had a moderate amount of sidespin but it does intially curve in a bit toward the returner. Once it bounces, however, the spiralspin action causes the ball to kick away from the returner very dramatically.

Usually right-handers will hit this type of serve on the ad side. However, Roger does it very effectively here on the deuce side. It appears that he contact the ball a little bit to the left of his head. He is brushing upward on the right side of the ball -- instead of thinking a straight diagonal 7 to 1 brush, I would think of it more like arc brush from 7 to 12 or 7 to 11.

Originally Posted by TheCheese View Post
Kick serves change direction on the bounce. Breaks right for a righty, left for a lefty. Aka American Twist serve.

You basically hit it the same as a topspin serve, but get around the side of the ball a little more. If you're right handed, think of a standard topspin serve as hitting from 6 to 12 o'clock if you can imagine a clock face on the back of the ball. A kick serve should be 7 to 1 or further over. You should be able to hit this with the same toss as your topspin serve.

Also, I disagree with this graphic:

Really, you should be able to hit every serve from the topspin/slice serve position. For kick or topspin, just move the ball toss closer to the baseline (less in front). This makes it impossible for your opponent to read your serve based on your toss.
The graphic was originally from the Operation Doubles.

Coaches have been claiming for years/decades that the toss should be the same for all serves. This is simply not practical at all for a variety of serves for most servers. Even elite servers like Pete Sampras did not toss the ball to the same location for all serves. He claimed that he had 2 different tosses. Some servers may employ 3 different tosses. However, the difference between those different tosses is quite a bit less for many elite servers than for non-elite tennis players.

Federer appears to have a lower toss than Sampras but employs a wider toss arc. He seems to intercept the ball trajectory at different places in that arc for different serve types (& placements). It is likely that he employs more than one type of toss as well. However, like Sampras, the changes are more subtle than it would be for most of us.

It is no secret that most servers will hit the first serve flatter than the 2nd serve. There is really is no reason to hide that fact. It is much more important to disguise the intended placement of your server rather than trying to disguise the type of serve.
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