How beautiful is Djokovic's serve motion?

Rate aesthetics of Novak's serve on a scale from 1 to 10


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Back in the day, the thing was a bit awkward, and in 2009 even ugly but over the years, Novak finely tinkered with his serve and imo it's now one of the most elegant and effortless serve motions of all times. What do you think?
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3loudboys

G.O.A.T.
Its beautiful in its efficiency ... there are better eye candy serves out there past and present.

Love the looseness of his wrist as he accelerates into contact. Height off the ground and extension are excellent. His directional control over the years has increased massively and credit to him for the hard work needed to improve it.
 

AO13

Hall of Fame
Yeah, he improved the serve both aesthetically speaking and effectiveness-wise, gave him a solid 8.

Of course, to me, Roger's is the most beautiful, pure 10. Roddick's looked like most simple for power hitting - the hunch, the toss, and then just boom.
 
Djokovic has always had a lovely service motion. I also enjoy watching him hit routine forehands and backhands. I draw the line at his volleys and overheads, though. Those are just plain ugly.
 

Kralingen

Talk Tennis Guru
The first serve is, like the rest of his game, solid as a rock and technically sound. An excellent ball toss accompanied by an efficient, finely-tuned motion.

Of course, just like the rest of his game, it does not inspire. For one the extreme wrist pronation is not that pretty. He lacks the beautiful flow of a Sampras serve, but has done his best to optimize his mechanics, molding his serve into a reliable and explosive weapon.

However, I find his 2nd serve to be quite an eyesore when he’s contorting his back and exaggerating his fall forward. There’s no way that you could call the below serve “aesthetically pleasing”, whatsoever. That just looks painful.
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There is nothing attractive about it. Its not particularly bad looking though so Id say a 5.

For a 10 see Sampras.

Lopez, Acasuso, Rios. Verdasco all have great looking serves too.
Rios was amazing. I wish he’d played Agassi more. I don’t know whether Agassi would have “figured out” Rios or not if they’d played more, but I never saw anyone torment Agassi quite the way Marcelo did while looking so playful and effortless.

I love the Lopez mention. His serve was a perfect storm of strength, technique and he also used a very powerful racquet to weaponise that serve even more. Just all round power and efficiency hidden behind a beautifully relaxed motion.
 

Move

Professional
It's a textbook motion for recreational players to imitate. Less beautiful and smooth than Sampras, Feliciano, Roger, Stich and the like, but these are far more complex serves for example with regards to tossing motion. It might be Djokovic second serve looks less smooth because he uses nearly the same ball toss as his first (sometimes he hits a first serve on a second serve)
 

RaulRamirez

Legend
I went with "8", and agree with @Kralingen that if I factored in his second serve, it could drop down to a 7.
The first serve is smooth, efficient, somewhat deceptive and I think it looks good.
Here, I would give the immediate aesthetics edge to the usual 'suspects', Pete and Roger, and I like some of the other names mentioned as well (Rios, Stich...).
 

Shaolin

G.O.A.T.
Rios was amazing. I wish he’d played Agassi more. I don’t know whether Agassi would have “figured out” Rios or not if they’d played more, but I never saw anyone torment Agassi quite the way Marcelo did while looking so playful and effortless.

I love the Lopez mention. His serve was a perfect storm of strength, technique and he also used a very powerful racquet to weaponise that serve even more. Just all round power and efficiency hidden behind a beautifully relaxed motion.

Yeah Rios just toyed with Agassi. Loved his final in Miami to become world #1.

Have you seen the 1998 Grand Slam cup? Awesome 5 setter. Rios hits one of my favorite shots ever, falls down going back on an overhead and then hits a winner from sitting position, totally casual like he mean to do it.

Here is the match, there may be a better version somewhere:

 

TearTheRoofOff

G.O.A.T.
The first serve is, like the rest of his game, solid as a rock and technically sound. An excellent ball toss accompanied by an efficient, finely-tuned motion.

Of course, just like the rest of his game, it does not inspire. For one the extreme wrist pronation is not that pretty. He lacks the beautiful flow of a Sampras serve, but has done his best to optimize his mechanics, molding his serve into a reliable and explosive weapon.

However, I find his 2nd serve to be quite an eyesore when he’s contorting his back and exaggerating his fall forward. There’s no way that you could call the below serve “aesthetically pleasing”, whatsoever. That just looks painful.
https%3A%2F%2Fbucketeer-e05bbc84-baa3-437e-9518-adb32be77984.s3.amazonaws.com%2Fpublic%2Fimages%2Fd945dc7e-643b-4de0-8494-07d261270427_500x271.gif
It must have been pretty good to elicit a return half way up the net, rite?
 

NoleFam

Bionic Poster
He has a really fluid motion. You get a real up close view of it in that new footage of the practice session he had in Paris with Alcaraz. Djokovic has a type of "liquid" game where everything just flows. Nothing too flashy but it looks great, from his movement to his strokes to his serve. Earlier in his career, he was kind of jerky on the serve and forehand but definitely not anymore. He never stopped improving and evolving as a player.
 

Kralingen

Talk Tennis Guru
His 2008 AO service motion is 10. Nobody ever had more pleasing motion than he back then.
I liked that motion, it was very nice

But to be fair he didn’t have the prettiest service motion in either the SF or F. Playing against two of the most natural looking serves ever.
 

a10best

Hall of Fame
not a beautiful motion at all. Just basic like a top 500 ATP pro. He became a better server overall from coach Becker.
 
Aesthetically speaking, I'm not a fan of how exaggeratedly he flexes the wrist down/forward at the start of the motion.
It's that relaxed wrist and it's natural position, not flex.
to me, Roger's is the most beautiful, pure 10. Roddick's looked like most simple for power hitting - the hunch, the toss, and then just boom.
In my eyes, when Fed was very young he had that beautiful simple motion but then added forcefulness to it and it was way more effective but never as effortless and fluent. I know I may get a lot of flack for this but Nole's serve looks more effortless and elegant now than grown-up Fed's.
 

Bambooman

Hall of Fame
It's that relaxed wrist and it's natural position, not flex.

In my eyes, when Fed was very young he had that beautiful simple motion but then added forcefulness to it and it was way more effective but never as effortless and fluent. I know I may get a lot of flack for this but Nole's serve looks more effortless and elegant now than grown-up Fed's.
It's still flex.
 

ALCARAZWON

Semi-Pro
The photo of Djokovic serving is repulsive.
His arms and legs are disgustingly thin.
Everybody in my family tree has thicker limbs than Djokovic.
 
Yeah Rios just toyed with Agassi. Loved his final in Miami to become world #1.

Have you seen the 1998 Grand Slam cup? Awesome 5 setter. Rios hits one of my favorite shots ever, falls down going back on an overhead and then hits a winner from sitting position, totally casual like he mean to do it.

Here is the match, there may be a better version somewhere:

I have seen that. One of my favourite matches ever!

I know Rios was insanely fast, but he never looks like he is rushing to any ball. It always looks like he has twice as much time on the ball as his opponent.
 

Shaolin

G.O.A.T.
I have seen that. One of my favourite matches ever!

I know Rios was insanely fast, but he never looks like he is rushing to any ball. It always looks like he has twice as much time on the ball as his opponent.

Yeah Rios' footwork and movement is one of my favorite things about his game. He moved like a panther and could do anything with the ball.

Too bad his attitude was so poor or he would have won some slams for sure.
 
Yeah Rios' footwork and movement is one of my favorite things about his game. He moved like a panther and could do anything with the ball.

Too bad his attitude was so poor or he would have won some slams for sure.
Agree. His attitude was absolutely out of control, and I think he had a lot of enablers in that regard whenever he was at home.

From what I understand he really got treated like a god in Chile and he might have had some trouble staying grounded.

Even when he retired and got older and more mature he still had a personality and attitude that put him at odds with a lot of people.

What a little freak genius on the court, though. Amazing to watch.

Are there other Rios matches that you would recommend? I’ve been on a bit of a late 90s-2000s kick recently and rewatching a lot of Rafter, Rios, Safin, Hewitt etc etc. it’s amazing how many matches from 25+ years ago have really stood the test of time.
 
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