How does a 5'5 woman (Barty) have the best serve in WTA?

STRONGSTYLE

Rookie
I was looking up some serving stats on the wta site, they're pretty shocking, but what I noticed is that Barty is the only person winning over 80% of her service games, and she has played the 4th most games. How does a short woman dominate those taller than her in serve, are they just not practising the serve?
 

ollinger

G.O.A.T.
Ummm, perhaps like the 5'7" Laver they served not the greatest in the game but pretty damn good and backed it up with the rest of their game?
 

Jason Swerve

Hall of Fame
I was looking up some serving stats on the wta site, they're pretty shocking, but what I noticed is that Barty is the only person winning over 80% of her service games, and she has played the 4th most games. How does a short woman dominate those taller than her in serve, are they just not practising the serve?
She does not. As you said, this is an issue of service games. Her baseline play makes the more-robotic types in the WTA uncomfortable.
 

Rafa4LifeEver

Hall of Fame
I was looking up some serving stats on the wta site, they're pretty shocking, but what I noticed is that Barty is the only person winning over 80% of her service games, and she has played the 4th most games. How does a short woman dominate those taller than her in serve, are they just not practising the serve?
Placement and accuracy >> pace.
That's why Nadal's serve is more dangerous than Tsitsipas.
 

STRONGSTYLE

Rookie
She does not. As you said, this is an issue of service games. Her baseline play makes the more-robotic types in the WTA uncomfortable.
Barty is also the ace leader this year. Maybe Serena is still the best if she actually played, but Barty is consistently one of the best servers on WTA - which is pretty sad.
 

Jason Swerve

Hall of Fame
Barty is also the ace leader this year. Maybe Serena is still the best if she actually played, but Barty is consistently one of the best servers on WTA - which is pretty sad.
Barty has an element about her that lends others towards second-guesses and hesitation. This is generally easier, the higher your ranking. You would see Hingis in '96 hitting wristy aces in the 80 MPH range for that reason. Her technique is still inferior to Serena's, and Serena's technique has taken a dive.
 

denoted

Rookie
Is "tactical nous" a direct translation of a common French phrase? "Nous" is very uncommon in English in this sense outside of philosophy, and I saw it used on an official French Open subtitle once.
 

Raul_SJ

G.O.A.T.
Barty is also the ace leader this year.
She has a great serve but height should be an advantage and somebody that short has no business being the ace leader. Where are the tall servers? WTA is in a pathetic state.
 
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puppybutts

Semi-Pro
she has great mental focus that helps her produce a consistent form every time. she also has great shape on her serve that helps compensate for her height. and her game generally outside her serve is better than everyone else's as world #1 so that probably helps; for example, pliskova regularly is one of the top servers in terms of aces...but the fact that she doesn't hold service games as frequently as others tells us something else is lacking... let's not forget her compatriot sam stosur who was once known for having the best 1-2 punch with her ad-side kick serve to a player's backhand then rocketing a shot down the line, i'm sure barty picked up some tips from her on that great kick serve she has.
 

Bartelby

Bionic Poster
Nous is from Ancient Greek, but pronounced differently. It's reasonably common among educated English-speakers.
 

anarosevoli

Rookie
Female musculature obviously is not sufficient to make full use of the leverage advantage of extended length (without getting too heavy).
 

fox

Semi-Pro
Serve is not only about the height. Of course it helps, but if a player has bad serve technique, the height is quite useless. Look for example at Wozniacki or Azarenka serving and then Barty. First two ladies just throw the ball up, bend their knees and hit the ball. There is no shoulder turn, hips turn, there is no pushing down the court, no rotation of the body. That’s why there is not much power and a serve is ineffective. Then check Serena or Barty. They do all the elements Woz and Azarenka don’t do. Also to Ash advantage that her toss is low so even windy conditions won’t affect her badly.
Besides all above, she just seem to have natural talent for the game, she just understands the game quite like Radwanska technically/tactically, but has better weapons than Pole had.
 

R. Schweikart

Professional
Then what does? If you look up most serving stats, she is near the top, maybe she's not the best serve but she definitely has one of the best serves on tour.
You can have a great serve. But that doesn't help you when the opponent returns it and you lose the point in the rally.
Barty is simply a good player, better than Pliskobot for example. That's why she wins a higher percentage of her service game than the Czech. Who nevertheless is the better server.
 

STRONGSTYLE

Rookie
You can have a great serve. But that doesn't help you when the opponent returns it and you lose the point in the rally.
Barty is simply a good player, better than Pliskobot for example. That's why she wins a higher percentage of her service game than the Czech. Who nevertheless is the better server.
She's the ace leader this year, so it's definitely more than just having a superior ground game.
 

gadge

Professional
She’s got a great technique on the serve, most players on the wta don’t focus much on their serve, it’s just a way to start a point (kerber). Even henin had a better serve than most current players.
 

thrust

Hall of Fame
Ummm, perhaps like the 5'7" Laver they served not the greatest in the game but pretty damn good and backed it up with the rest of their game?

Not that it makes much difference, Laver was 5-9, at least. Still, he had a great serve for a man his size.
 

Raiden

Hall of Fame
Barty is the better server than Pliskova.

She has a better second serve.

That's the reason behind the chatter about Barty having the best serve in wta. They're judging not only her currently #2 best first serve, but also her unparalleled second serve which is #1 on the tour. So they're judging the more complete capability she possesses.

So it's not just all about Ash having a better ground game than her opponents as some posters here insinuate.

People really do have a point regarding her serve.
 

R. Schweikart

Professional
Barty is the better server than Pliskova.

She has a better second serve.

That's the reason behind the chatter about Barty having the best serve in wta. They're judging not only her currently #2 best first serve, but also her unparalleled second serve which is #1 on the tour. So they're judging the more complete capability she possesses.

So it's not just all about Ash having a better ground game than her opponents as some posters here insinuate.

People really do have a point regarding her serve.

But Pliskobot hits more aces and service winners than Barty.
Admittely that is not the only aspect to consider with serves. Her 2nd serve may be worse, her first serve percentage low, first serve sometimes easy to read.
My point stands that a higher percentage of service games won doesn't necessarily mean that this player is the better server.
 

dumb-person

Rookie
But Pliskobot hits more aces and service winners than Barty.
Admittely that is not the only aspect to consider with serves. Her 2nd serve may be worse, her first serve percentage low, first serve sometimes easy to read.
My point stands that a higher percentage of service games won doesn't necessarily mean that this player is the better server.
Barty hit more aces than Pliskova this year. Can you even read what was written above?
 

denoted

Rookie
So then why have I heard it so often, especially in typical sports talk, in British commentary for decades. Heard it regarding football so many times.
I accept that it's a British sportscaster idiom, but it's a very rare word in American English. This is not a matter of opinion. There are massive corpora of written and spoken English, and a glance at the word frequencies will show that it's on the very long tail of the Zipf distribution.
 

ScentOfDefeat

G.O.A.T.
Her serve also flows very naturally, which is something you don't see even in exceptional servers like Osaka and Swiatek, whose serves are kind of "jerky" (if that makes sense).
The great serve I would compare Barty's to is Krajicek's, notice how naturally it flows. And it feels like a single motion, as opposed to separate motions coming together.


Probably two of the most "natural" servers the game has ever known:

 

dumb-person

Rookie
Her serve also flows very naturally, which is something you don't see even in exceptional servers like Osaka and Swiatek, whose serves are kind of "jerky" (if that makes sense).
The great serve I would compare Barty's to is Krajicek's, notice how naturally it flows. And it feels like a single motion, as opposed to separate motions coming together.


Probably two of the most "natural" servers the game has ever known:

Swiatek exceptional server? Her serve is dogshit mate. Thats why she will end up in top5-10 with one or two masters titles instead of top3 with grand slam title this year.
 
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