djokovic return of serve footwork

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by taurussable, Sep 3, 2014.

  1. taurussable

    taurussable Professional

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    his right foot has a slight step forward before his split step on opponent's contact. He does this almost on every return on the deuce side.

    This is unlike Federer or Murray's stride forward before split step to create forward momentum, and I don't think it is creating any forward momentum for Djokovic himself.

    any idea what's the purpose of the small step on the right foot? from a learning or coaching perspective do you advise students to have that?


    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2014
    #1
  2. Nostradamus

    Nostradamus G.O.A.T.

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    it is flawed
     
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  3. taurussable

    taurussable Professional

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    can you elaborate? isn't his return best of the world?
     
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  4. Coolio

    Coolio Semi-Pro

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    It ain't no thang!
     
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  5. taurussable

    taurussable Professional

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    i don't know. On the ad side he takes a small split step before the true split step.

    on second serve he seems to take a moderate stride sometimes.


    oh well..
     
    #5
  6. SouthboundAgain

    SouthboundAgain Rookie

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    I don't think it's very relevant: it doesn't make or break his return of serve. If he didn't do it, he would probably return just as well.
     
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  7. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Overanalysis here.
    Important thing is, DJ moves his body forewards whenever he can on ROS.
    Important thing is, YOU and I should also.
     
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  8. Nostradamus

    Nostradamus G.O.A.T.

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    Timing of his split step is all wrong. it is too late. he should time the split step to just before server strikes the ball
     
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  9. oble

    oble Hall of Fame

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    The slight step with the right foot is to help with timing his split step to the server's rhythm.

    Variation on ad side is probably for a more aggressive return using hop then split step to be more explosive.
     
    #9
  10. Topspin Shot

    Topspin Shot Legend

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    The timing looks good to me. Top of the hop when Federer contacts the ball.
     
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  11. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

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    Agreed. Timing looks fine.

    I prefer Murray's return footwork. He does not assume the ultra-wide stance that Djokovic does -- many of us are not flexible enough to assume Novak's uber-wide ready stance. Andy takes a fairly large step forward as the server tosses the ball. This help to sync up to the rhythm of the server. His split step occurs on the upward swing of the server's racket, just prior to contact.

    Andy's first step is often, if not always, taken with the inside foot (the foot closest to the center hash mark). He often moves a bit toward the inside as well with that step.
     
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  12. Nostradamus

    Nostradamus G.O.A.T.

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    no, timing is late. he should split step little sooner. so he can jump into action and get a faster start on the return. he could be a better returner of serve if he did that
     
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  13. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

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    You're pushing (sic) my leg, right? Novak is already one of the top returners of the past 2 decades -- pretty much on par with Agassi and Murray in this respect. And possibly better than Ferrer, Hewitt, Federer, Nalbandian and Davydenko.

    Novak usually starts his split step hop just prior to contact so that he is close to the top of the hop as the server makes contact -- or as the ball leaves the server's racket. He might be a touch late on some returns but not too late. Many elite returners are a shade later than other high-level returners. Returners who prefer to split a scosh on the late side often do not hop very high. Or they will land primarily on one foot rather than equally on both feet. For them, this might be optimal for a quick start to the ball. Take a close look at this. You can pause the action and move the slider manually to take a close look at Novak's timing.

    http://www.dartfish.tv/webPresenter/Player.aspx?CR=p611c91651m2112026
     
    #13
  14. julian

    julian Hall of Fame

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    Feet are cut off from the video in an ipad

    How do you remove stills to see an upper video and feet?
     
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  15. WildVolley

    WildVolley Legend

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    Fedace is a troll. Best to just ignore him on serious topics.
     
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  16. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

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    So Nostradamus = Fedace! Thnx for the insight.

    Yeah, that bugged me for a while as well. There is a down arrow in the middle of the control bar at the bottom of the video portion of the window. It's right above the Download icon.
     
    #16
  17. taurussable

    taurussable Professional

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    Thanks for the observations regarding Murray return, double checked and you are absolutely right. His return is footwork is so different from djokovic's. His split is basically done on as single leg(his inside leg) after he takes a big step forward with the inside leg.
     
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  18. taurussable

    taurussable Professional

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    Murray's split step in service return seems a bit higher compared with other returners. This caused him a bit late in moving his body to the direction of the serve. I am not sure if this is one reason he returns less aggressively than Djokovic.

    any thoughts?
     
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  19. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

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    OTOH, Djokovic's stance is much wider than most and his split step hop seems rather low compared to other elite returners. Steve Flink and others put Novak slightly ahead of Andy as a returner. However, quite a few experts put Andy a bit above Novak as a returner. Murray appears to do slightly better against 1st serves than Djoko. OTOH, Novak does better on 2nd serves and break points than Andy.

    With his higher ss hop, Murray probably initiates it a split-second sooner than Djoko with his lower ss hop. The timing diff would probably be measured in deciseconds or centiseconds.
     
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  20. Maximagq

    Maximagq Banned

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  21. oble

    oble Hall of Fame

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    Legs and torso position, kind of. Hand position and steps, not really.

    You grunt like Djokovic though. :p
     
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  22. Dedans Penthouse

    Dedans Penthouse Legend

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    Oh but enough about ME, let's talk about you......what do you think of my tennis outfit?

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  23. Maximagq

    Maximagq Banned

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    That dress looks quite flattering on you :)
     
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  24. taurussable

    taurussable Professional

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    Hi Matt, looks like you are splitting backwards instead forward?

    If that's the case you are like Federer who sometimes split backward:)
     
    #24
  25. taurussable

    taurussable Professional

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    here is what i meant by you are splitting backward, was that intentional?

    [​IMG]
     
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  26. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Agaist good players, you never want to tip your hand.
    Matt lined up forwards, aggressive position, to get into the head of the server and try to force a harder and wilder serve than normal.
    He split back to give himself time to take a long backswing and really hit the return.
     
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  27. President

    President Legend

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    Geez Matt, you hit really well in that video. How much coaching have you had over the years, if you don't mind me asking?
     
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  28. Maximagq

    Maximagq Banned

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    I started when I was 9 and started getting coaching when I was about 10, so I would say 8 years? That match against Di Giulio was probably the best I ever played but I lost because he is simply at a different level to me :D It is a great experience hitting with DI guys.
     
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  29. Maximagq

    Maximagq Banned

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    I don't think that was intentional, probably just a subconscious reaction. I should really have been split stepping into the court though.
     
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  30. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    And all this time, I thought you were smarter than the average bear.
     
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  31. Maximagq

    Maximagq Banned

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    I don't understand this statement LeeD?
     
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  32. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    I thought your prep position forwards, then a split step backwards, was a mental game to put pressure on your opponent's serve, so he'd press harder to hit harder and place it better, while you moved back to give yourself room for a fully swing and more time to do it.
    Guess I was wrong.
     
    #32
  33. Maximagq

    Maximagq Banned

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    I try to play on instinct. I generally try to avoid thinking too much on the tennis court. Just hit the ball and make certain plays.
     
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  34. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Clean mind, clean hitting.
    Clutter mind, always bad hitting and mishits.
     
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  35. Maximagq

    Maximagq Banned

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    Yeah, this is why I think when posters on here talk about things like ulnar deviation, ISR, etc., players don't really think about that in a real match. They also don't care if their shoes are blue instead of red, their racket is 11.95 oz instead of 11.93 oz, their tension is 52 lb instead of 52.2324 lb, etc. Just Keep It Simple, Stupid!
     
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  36. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    I gots no thoughts to dispute your words of wisdom.
    If you gotta think about something, it's gonna jump out and bite ya....
     
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  37. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

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    Those details are something that some players might find useful when learning a stroke or analyzing flaws, not something to dwell on in a real match for sure. Some will find the details useful in learning or practice while some will not. But yes, we do not need this type of clutter when actually playing.
     
    #37
  38. taurussable

    taurussable Professional

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    fully agree, look at the serve video coolio posted. it might be the highest level of rec player serve but he clearly didn't get the racket forearm angle issue Chas pointed out. All pro serves on the other hand have a much bigger racket forearm angle.
     
    #38
  39. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Some players had little forearm to racket angle, like McEnroe.
    Some players had a lot of forearm to racket angle, like Jimmy Connors.
    Both are lefty, both had what was considered "weak" serves at their levels.
    The more angle, the more POTENTIAL power, balance by more chances of errors and things going wrong.
    The less angle, the less power, but balanced by more consistency.
     
    #39
  40. taurussable

    taurussable Professional

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    Thank you Thank you SA for this post, I tried tinker with both djokovic and Murray return of serve footwork in a practice match. Found the Murray footwork to be much better fit for me. it is lot easier to split on one leg. The improvement in return hard serves is immediate.
     
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