Originally Posted by jakeytennis
im trying to learn to pronate, but i can't imagine how to get topspin.seems like pronating just helps you hit a super fast flat serve.
where exactly during the serving motion is the strings brushing up on the ball, before the pronation?
I'm with the folks who are not-so-big on all this lingo, but don't get me wrong - I'm absolutely on your side as far as developing a topspin serve.
Here's the thing: unless you elbow yourself good 'n hard in the stomach when you hit your flat serve, congratulations, you have pronation! That particular action is really a result of other things - those "things" are the deliberate actions that are where you want your focus. With the right setup, grip, toss location, swing path, contact point, etc., you'll get that topspin going just fine. Stay patient though.
One tricky aspect of getting topspin on that serve is that we need to catch the ball before the racquet tops out - that's not so easy when we have a flat serve as a reference. To make some topspin (for a right-hander), the contact point with the toss is usually slightly lower and also slightly more to the left, the swing path may be more left-to-right, and a grip position shaded a bit more toward eastern backhand may also help.
This is a pretty significant to-do list. Instead of "throwing" the racquet through the back of the ball to drive a flat serve toward the target, hitting with topspin means learning to "throw" the racquet upward through the ball. Instead of swinging right toward the target, a topspin serve uses more angular contact to send the ball toward a target. Building that instinct will take some deliberate practice.
In the mean time, keep your arm good 'n loose - it will pronate on its own if the other things are going right.