Grip change for serve location

atp2015

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#1
Just discovered it - wonder what the experts think about it.

With a slight grip change, the same serve motion, toss and swing path, the serve location changes consistently and predictably.
If regular conti produces body serve for example, moving the knuckle index left generates slice wide on deuce court. A bit to the right makes it a T serve etc.

I have not seen anyone talk about it.
Is this just a hack or makes any sense...
 
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#3
These things have crossed my mind at some point, but I don't think this is proper technique. This is more of a bandaid fix really. Players don't switch their grip position to target different spots. Some players might switch their grip slightly to hit different TYPES of serves but not to effect its direction. Instead you should rely on the swing path and racquet face angle for getting the direction you want, which will be more useful in the long run.
 
#5
I agree that serve location is best determined with the swing path. Mild grip changes can be helpful with getting a little more or a little less spin depending on the type of serve you may want to hit. But even that certain type of serve still needs a certain swing path to send it along the right direction.

Not an unreasonable thought if you consider what's easy to keep the same and what's easy to alter. But somebody - maybe Vic Braden - got talking some time ago about how only a couple degrees of change with our grips and the same swings (for strokes and serves) can generate substantial differences in where the ball ends up on the other side of the court.

The honchos seem to agree that the tiny variations needed to place the serve in one spot or another can be more easily reproduced by making slight alterations in our swing paths. That's also dependent on other things like proper toss location and the swing tempo of the racquet through contact being pretty much the same from one serve to the next.
 
#6
These things have crossed my mind at some point, but I don't think this is proper technique. This is more of a bandaid fix really. Players don't switch their grip position to target different spots. Some players might switch their grip slightly to hit different TYPES of serves but not to effect its direction. Instead you should rely on the swing path and racquet face angle for getting the direction you want, which will be more useful in the long run.
I was experimenting with it just a bit today and noticed that the grip change messes up the wind up and results in slower serves though the location change is effective.
 
#8
Wouldn’t advise it. Grip changes ok for different serve types — particularly going from 1st serve to 2nd serve. But not varying serve (target) location.

I can often detect when a player makes a grip change for different types of serves. Would be too much of a tell if the server employed a grip change to vary the target.
 
#9
Think of it this way- if you are hitting a forehand, you can hit flat, drive through the ball with topspin, chop, chip, slice, create sidespin and direct the ball to just about any spot on the court from your position- without changing grips. What you vary is the path of the racket head through the ball.

Similarly, with the serve ( not much more than a groundstroke turned up sideways), you should be able- using a single grip (continental) do virtually the same- and that is what most players would suggest.

People do develop their own styles, but what you describe is not one that will benefit you in the long run.
 
#10
Think of it this way- if you are hitting a forehand, you can hit flat, drive through the ball with topspin, chop, chip, slice, create sidespin and direct the ball to just about any spot on the court from your position- without changing grips. What you vary is the path of the racket head through the ball.
Never seen anybody hit topspin and slice with the same grip.

Similarly, with the serve ( not much more than a groundstroke turned up sideways), you should be able- using a single grip (continental) do virtually the same- and that is what most players would suggest.

People do develop their own styles, but what you describe is not one that will benefit you in the long run.
You can change the racket face orientation before the impact to direct the ball. It can be by changing the grip or by arm rotation.
One is early and the other is done late during the motion.
 
#12
Grip and the Racket Shaft and String Directions at Impact.

The grip depends on two reference points on the palm and two reference points on the racket handle. Usually the references on the palm are the index knuckle and the little finger area. But some instructions give the fat pad instead of the little finger, however, ATP players do not usually show the butt of the racket on the fat pad. The reference points on the racket are the numbered bevels or fractions of a bevel. For example, bevel #1 or between bevel #1 and #2, etc. .
https://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/ind...lly-the-fat-pad-doesnt-touch-anything.565060/

You can take a racket in your hand and see the effects of using these reference points. The bevels affect how the racket strings face relative to the palm. The reference points on the palm affect the angle of the racket shaft to the palm. That palm angle plus the wrist angle determines the forearm to racket shaft angle.

The lessor discussed issue for placement on the serve involves the serving technique used and the angles of the arm and racket shaft at impact. Seen from behind, for the slice and flat high level serves at impact, the near straight arm tilts to the right (RH server) and the racket tilts to the left. If you adjust the bevel (racket strings facing) it will have both an effect on side-to-side placement and on up-down placement. That's because the racket is at an angle for the serve at impact. Kick serve has the arm more vertical and racket shaft more horizontal at impact. See videos of these racket angles.

Take a high speed video and determine your serving technique. If it is a Waiter's Tray, as for roughly 60% of the active players, the above description does not apply to you because of the lack of ISR, you are on your own. Same for other miscellaneous serving techniques.
 
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