Jolly's Kick Serve Challenge

sredna42

Professional
Surely you must have clay courts in Australia, the land is almost made of sand.
Most courts used to be clay in melbourne when I grew up.
They are still very common, although many clubs have resurfaced their clay courts with new synthetic grass, user friendly, needs no water, and low maintenance.

Everyone keeps saying that clay is so joint friendly, but I hate it, and have hurt my knee, hip and ankle on that unstable crap.
 

sredna42

Professional
@FiReFTW I thought melbourne had a lot of clay? Seems to suit the weather. My friends club had this crushed brick style clay court.
BTW when I was in Melbs I had a hit at that club in the city, do you know the one? It was fake grass but played REALLY slowly... I thought fake grass was supposed to play like grass, fast and skiddy! It was weird.
Still is alot of clay. Its there.

You prolly hit on synthetic grass with sand on it. They strew that fine white landscaping sand on it to slow it down and make it feel more clay like.
I've hit on a private synthetic grass court at this guy's mansion, and it played like real grass almost. Super quick, the ball would skid through low and accelerate
after the bounce, it was very challenging to dial into.

They say eurpoe has better tennis players because of the clay though, forces you to come up with better stratergies etc... and also forces you to develop a backhad.
I keep hearing that mantra too, but suspect it is just a load of old cobblers that people just keep repeating. I understand the general principle, the difficulty of killing the ball means the rallies are longer, forcing one to learn point construction. Just doesn't pan out so perfectly though IMO, people just bash away same as before, but just for a little bit longer.
 
Most courts used to be clay in melbourne when I grew up.
They are still very common, although many clubs have resurfaced their clay courts with new synthetic grass, user friendly, needs no water, and low maintenance.

Everyone keeps saying that clay is so joint friendly, but I hate it, and have hurt my knee, hip and ankle on that unstable crap.
Yeah I dont feel at home on clay either, doesnt feel natural to me, hard court however feels very natural, I move very natural on it and feel the ball well on it.
 

sredna42

Professional
just to elaborate... i can hit the slice serve but i can't:
a) consistently hit a short slice out wide (from deuce court as a righty), so that it lands near the sideline, ~5ft from the service line)...
b) control the difference between a "hard slice" and a "heavy slice"... i tend to hit "hard slice".. but i want a consistent heavy slicing 2nd serve that curves, and 100% confident i can get it in with direction... currently i rely 100% on my "american twist" as a 2nd serve - which is fine most times, but as i play better folks, especially tall ones, with good 2hbh returns, it becomes a sitter. i like the idea of hitting a heavier slice serve almost exclusively into the body, or as a jammer to their bh... it's also easier on my body, to hit a heavy slice, than to hit a kicker or topspin serve.
c) figure out the exact contact for a "topslice kicker"... occasionally i can hit a nasty kicking serve, but not from my usual, brushing-up-slightly-behind-the-back contact... but more from topslice contact (above or just to right of my head)...
ex pro russian coach I know said he imagines the ball as a cube, so he can visualize what corner or face he was to rip upon.

It helped me somewhat with my slice serve, which sucked.

All the youtube vids teach to really rip past the outside of the ball, like the skimming the stone drill but vertical. I can never control that slice. The net clearance you need is just too low. And you have to aim for the perfect spot on the net to allow for the slice. It is the best feeling when it goes in. But hit it's like trying the thread a minefield of the net, the service box sideline, and the other guys forehand killing zone.

The only way I can hit a aggressive wide deuce serve is to open my grip to near eastern backhand, and swing through the ball and let the racquet face send it wide, and with some spin. It seems to go in with safer net clearance, and very wide and fast

The kick serve I can do, not easily (it is an effort ball) but reatively consistently. It is my go-to serve ad wide and deuce tee. Toss to 11 or 12. Let the ball reach its peak and then fall a tiny bit before contact. Swing hard 7 to 1. Stay sideways, don't let the shoulder come around. Drive from legs to cause aggressive racquet drop. Keep strings facing where you want the ball to go. The nice ones get up around their face, and spin away from them and disrupt their contact zone.

The rel good players, like that russian coach, get on top of it with a 2hander and just crush it :( way above my pay grade.

edit: he told that when he played almagro, that almagro had a really nasty kick he'd do on the ad side, instead cutting it wide in the usual way, he'd place it such that was at your body but would kick (or "twist") aggressively up and into your face/body.
 
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ex pro russian coach I know said he imagines the ball as a cube, so he can visualize what corner or face he was to rip upon.

It helped me somewhat with my slice serve, which sucked.

All the youtube vids teach to really rip past the outside of the ball, like the skimming the stone drill but vertical. I can never control that slice. The net clearance you need is just too low. And you have to aim for the perfect spot on the net to allow for the slice. It is the best feeling when it goes in. But hit it's like trying the thread a minefield of the net, the service box sideline, and the other guys forehand killing zone.

The only way I can hit a aggressive wide deuce serve is to open my grip to near eastern backhand, and swing through the ball and let the racquet face send it wide, and with some spin. It seems to go in with safer net clearance, and very wide and fast

The kick serve I can do, not easily (it is an effort ball) but reatively consistently. It is my go-to serve ad wide and deuce tee. Toss to 11 or 12. Let the ball reach its peak and then fall a tiny bit before contact. Swing hard 7 to 1. Stay sideways, don't let the shoulder come around. Drive from legs to cause aggressive racquet drop. Keep strings facing where you want the ball to go. The nice ones get up around their face, and spin away from them and disrupt their contact zone.

The rel good players, like that russian coach, get on top of it with a 2hander and just crush it :( way above my pay grade.
thx. i like the cube analogy.... i can picture teaching someone to target one of vertices sticking out... sometimes describing/doing a "glancing" blow can be hard.
ehb definitely makes it easier to spin, but i recently switched back to conti for slightly more pace.
 
Although I haven't practiced the JO11y wide kick serve (just made 9 attempts. the number it took to complete the task), I reaped some benefits from the challenge tonight in doubles.

In one of the games, standing near the singles sideline, I hit a kick serve that went way up the sideline and hit the side fence. Ace. After trying to hit this spot while standing near the center mark, it felt really easy when standing far out wide. I got brave and then hit a much flatter serve the next time. Almost same spot. Another ace.
 

J011yroger

Talk Tennis Guru
Although I haven't practiced the JO11y wide kick serve (just made 9 attempts. the number it took to complete the task), I reaped some benefits from the challenge tonight in doubles.

In one of the games, standing near the singles sideline, I hit a kick serve that went way up the sideline and hit the side fence. Ace. After trying to hit this spot while standing near the center mark, it felt really easy when standing far out wide. I got brave and then hit a much flatter serve the next time. Almost same spot. Another ace.
Thank God for me!

J
 
Any good kick serve tip, @J011yroger ?

I watched the Jeff Salzenstein vids that @Shroud posted, and practised some of it while on the court yesterday. Without ball, I can do the circular swing and the "dirty diaper" stuff, but with ball I think I'm not hitting the ball behind me enough.
 

J011yroger

Talk Tennis Guru
Any good kick serve tip, @J011yroger ?

I watched the Jeff Salzenstein vids that @Shroud posted, and practised some of it while on the court yesterday. Without ball, I can do the circular swing and the "dirty diaper" stuff, but with ball I think I'm not hitting the ball behind me enough.
The hardest part to grasp is that the motion is like you are throwing your racquet at the back fence, more like the back right corner of the fence if you are a righty, and hit the ball as it's just higher than your tossing hand.

J
 
The hardest part to grasp is that the motion is like you are throwing your racquet at the back fence, more like the back right corner of the fence if you are a righty, and hit the ball as it's just higher than your tossing hand.

J
dude, every part of any good serve is difficult :)

The serve is probably the funkiest looking stroke for rec players, and one that doesn't correlate well with levels.
 
What do you mean by serve "doesn't correlate well with levels"?

IME, the vast majority of high-level opponents I have played have great serves, and the vast majority of low-level opponents I have played have crappy serves...
Not in my part of the world. 4.5's can have very dodgy serves. Many have patty serves. Then, more often than not you see a 3.5 with decent looking serve. Some low level players also know different serves while some highly competitive, advanced players rely on their one go-to low net clearance serve. I have seen a lot.

This is why holding serve game isn't a big deal in rec games. Serve games get held or broken randomly.
 

IowaGuy

Hall of Fame
This is why holding serve game isn't a big deal in rec games. Serve games get held or broken randomly.
On hard courts anyway, this is only true at lower levels of tennis, I would say < 4.5 in my experience.

Next time you watch a couple of 5.0 players on hard courts, let me know if you think serve games are held/broken randomly :)

Jolly might be a good example (he plays USTA 5.0) - do you think Jolly gets broken as often as he holds serve?
 
On hard courts anyway, this is only true at lower levels of tennis, I would say < 4.5 in my experience.

Next time you watch a couple of 5.0 players on hard courts, let me know if you think serve games are held/broken randomly :)

Jolly might be a good example (he plays USTA 5.0) - do you think Jolly gets broken as often as he holds serve?
That's why I said the recreational levels.

What is more recreational level, < 4.5 or > 4.5?

The first is like 99.9% of all rec players. The latter is like ...1 tennis freak. (Not surprise if Jolly is that one guy :))
 

Kevo

Hall of Fame
Finally was able to get out and take a video today. Got an open box gorrila stand with remote off **** and stuck my phone onto the back gate in as nice a line to the service mark as I could manage. The video was good at first but then a ball hit the fence and change the exposure so there's just a short snippet.

KickChallengeAccepted

I tried to stand right on the service mark. It was odd how uncomfortable it made me to stand that close. I felt like I was violating some unwritten rule of tennis or something.

Oh, almost forgot. The cone inside the service box is about 12 feet from the net. When I practice wide serves I like to try and bounce the ball inside that target. I actually hit it a few times while finishing off that basket. The cones outside the baseline were placed with the cone edge outside 2ft and 3ft.
 

J011yroger

Talk Tennis Guru
Finally was able to get out and take a video today. Got an open box gorrila stand with remote off **** and stuck my phone onto the back gate in as nice a line to the service mark as I could manage. The video was good at first but then a ball hit the fence and change the exposure so there's just a short snippet.

KickChallengeAccepted

I tried to stand right on the service mark. It was odd how uncomfortable it made me to stand that close. I felt like I was violating some unwritten rule of tennis or something.

Oh, almost forgot. The cone inside the service box is about 12 feet from the net. When I practice wide serves I like to try and bounce the ball inside that target. I actually hit it a few times while finishing off that basket. The cones outside the baseline were placed with the cone edge outside 2ft and 3ft.
PM me your sizes and strings. I'll be sending the second round of prizes out the end of this week.

Hopefully the first round arrived.

J
 

Kevo

Hall of Fame
Objection! It wasn’t really a kick serve. It went wide because it landed wide in the box!:p
It was a topspin kick serve. Honestly when I first got out there to hit I didn't think I was going to be able to do quite that well. Those practice balls are all pretty dead but I didn't want to open a can just for practice. I usually replace them at Christmas. I'm one of those people that is hard to shop for, but my mother-in-law knows she can always get me some tennis balls.

You can tell it had some kick though because it landed about 8ft past the net and still went almost to the back fence.

I'll try to do better next time. :p
 

Curious

Hall of Fame
It was a topspin kick serve. Honestly when I first got out there to hit I didn't think I was going to be able to do quite that well. Those practice balls are all pretty dead but I didn't want to open a can just for practice. I usually replace them at Christmas. I'm one of those people that is hard to shop for, but my mother-in-law knows she can always get me some tennis balls.

You can tell it had some kick though because it landed about 8ft past the net and still went almost to the back fence.

I'll try to do better next time. :p
Hmm you might be right, there’s some kick. Watched it again. The line between the racket contact point and the spot where it hit the court is not aligned with the ball trajectory after the bounce.
 
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Finally was able to get out and take a video today. Got an open box gorrila stand with remote off **** and stuck my phone onto the back gate in as nice a line to the service mark as I could manage. The video was good at first but then a ball hit the fence and change the exposure so there's just a short snippet.

KickChallengeAccepted

I tried to stand right on the service mark. It was odd how uncomfortable it made me to stand that close. I felt like I was violating some unwritten rule of tennis or something.

Oh, almost forgot. The cone inside the service box is about 12 feet from the net. When I practice wide serves I like to try and bounce the ball inside that target. I actually hit it a few times while finishing off that basket. The cones outside the baseline were placed with the cone edge outside 2ft and 3ft.
Nice serve man!!!!
 

Kevo

Hall of Fame
The line between the racket contact point and the spot where it hit the court is not aligned with the ball trajectory after the bounce.
It's a shame I don't have an unlimited amount of free time. If I did I'd try to build an app that uses AI and image recognition to work with two phone cameras. You would set them up on two different angles viewing the court and it would generate one of those 3D ball trajectory views you see on tv with hawk eye. I think with how fast people replace their smart phones it wouldn't be too long before you could outfit a hole court with your old phones. Hook up a decent boom box and maybe it could even call the lines. How cool would that be?
 
It's a shame I don't have an unlimited amount of free time. If I did I'd try to build an app that uses AI and image recognition to work with two phone cameras. You would set them up on two different angles viewing the court and it would generate one of those 3D ball trajectory views you see on tv with hawk eye. I think with how fast people replace their smart phones it wouldn't be too long before you could outfit a hole court with your old phones. Hook up a decent boom box and maybe it could even call the lines. How cool would that be?
You never know. J011y did not specify prizes. Maybe unlimited free time is on its way! He just pretends to be mortal for our sake...
 
so i was at my local tennis warehouse and they had on the testing rebound net.. a radar and on the walls the record speed for forehand/backhand/serve for the people who are the fastest at that stroke.

does jolly have any records at his tennis warehouse?

i think for my warehouse it was like 260 serve. 160 backhand. 190 forehand? not 100% sure tho.

from memory i think i pulled off a 101 backhand!!

edit - also sorry offtopic.. i can't kick serve :(
 
You have until February 1st to complete this challenge. Winners of the challenge will receive a prize from me. (US shipping only)

Set up a cone or target in line with the baseline 2 feet outside of the doubles sideline.

Standing with your front foot no further than 1 foot from the center hash, hit a serve that lands in the box and crosses the baseline outside the cone.

Post your videos in this thread.

J
Thanks J011y!! Got my prize!!! Except for the smell of rum I will look like a real tennis player!!!
Awesome.
 

Kevo

Hall of Fame
Hello guys this is my brother doing the kick serve challenge
Greetings!
Looks good except it looks like he's more than 1 ft away from the service mark, and the angle to see how wide the ball is when it crosses the baseline isn't so great. Were you afraid of taking a ball on the noggin? :)

Seriously though that is a nice serve. For me the hardest thing was just the weird uncomfortable feeling of being so close to the service mark. Going a few feet away from it feels so much more comfortable to me.
 
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