Kick Slice Serve

TennisDawg

Professional
So, Brad Gilbert mentioned the Kick Slice serve that Thiem is using against Medvedev. I’ve heard this mentioned time and again but have not been able to find any specific information on it. Watching Thiem hit the serve he doesn’t have a kick serve follow through. Just curious if any posters could shed some light on the “kick slice” serve?
 

lim

Semi-Pro
Pretty sure he referring to the disguise of his toss. Looks like he’s going kick wide then he slides it up the T at the last minute and throws the return off completely
 

TennisDawg

Professional
Pretty sure he referring to the disguise of his toss. Looks like he’s going kick wide then he slides it up the T at the last minute and throws the return off completely
It was on the ad side. So instead of a kick serve wide, it’s just a slice serve down the “T” ?
 

socallefty

Hall of Fame
I call it a top-slice - it jumps up higher than a standard slice serve, but it still moves in the direction of a slice serve (left for righties, right for lefties) after the bounce. In contrast, a standard kick serve (aka twist serve) kicks up higher and moves in the opposite direction (left for lefties, right for righties) after the bounce.

I actually find it easier to hit a top-slice serve than a kick as I’ve gotten older because I don’t have to toss the ball behind my head and arch my back backwards as much as I need to do for a kick serve. I can just toss directly over my head or even slightly in front with a straighter back and use a kick serve swing type to generate the top-slice spin.
 

PKorda

Rookie
This is the serve I hit unintentionally when I try to hit a kick and come around the ball rather than hit up. I haven’t thought to actually try to hit this on purpose but maybe I should.
 

TennisDawg

Professional
I call it a top-slice - it jumps up higher than a standard slice serve, but it still moves in the direction of a slice serve (left for righties, right for lefties) after the bounce. In contrast, a standard kick serve (aka twist serve) kicks up higher and moves in the opposite direction (left for lefties, right for righties) after the bounce.
So a topspin serve hit from 6 to 12 and slice is hit at 3 o’clock. So a topsplice serve would be a hybrid hit from around 8:30 to 1:30 is how I would understand it.
I actually find it easier to hit a top-slice serve than a kick as I’ve gotten older because I don’t have to toss the ball behind my head and arch my back backwards as much as I need to do for a kick serve. I can just toss directly over my head or even slightly in front with a straighter back and use a kick serve swing type to generate the top-slice spin.
 

socallefty

Hall of Fame
Messed up the post sorry about that.
You are probably right that there is some change in where I hit the ball and I don’t hit up as much as I would on a kick serve. With me, if I change the toss to be above my head (not behind me) and try to put a lot of spin on the ball, I end up hitting a topspin-slice serve and I haven’t looked too closely at the clock face rotation of my swing with respect to the ball.

I also toss the ball closer to me and less into the court than on a flat or pure slice where I toss the ball much further forward into the court and hit harder.
 

J011yroger

Talk Tennis Guru
It's a kick serve but instead of going up the back of the ball you go up the right side.

Top/slice is different, you go over the top of the ball around 1:30.

J
 

TennisDawg

Professional
You are probably right that there is some change in where I hit the ball and I don’t hit up as much as I would on a kick serve. With me, if I change the toss to be above my head (not behind me) and try to put a lot of spin on the ball, I end up hitting a topspin-slice serve and I haven’t looked too closely at the clock face rotation of my swing with respect to the ball.

I also toss the ball closer to me and less into the court than on a flat or pure slice where I toss the ball much further forward into the court and hit harder.
I hit mainly a topspin serve and I do the same with my toss, not too far into the court but not over my head as much as a kick serve. I can’t seem to get enough pace with my kick serve, I get enough spin but it’s too slow. I was just curious what Gilbert was referring to when he said kickslice I think it’s a little misleading.
 

Cashman

Hall of Fame
All these different names for serves confuse me.

I’ve always just hit three serves - slice, kicker and flat. The first two break in opposite directions and the last one doesn’t much break at all.

Everything else is a minor variation on one of those three serves and I don’t distinguish between them.
 
as was also mentioned in the match, Sampras and Federer does it a lot, here is an example of Federer serving a slick( slice kick)
 

socallefty

Hall of Fame
I hit mainly a topspin serve and I do the same with my toss, not too far into the court but not over my head as much as a kick serve. I can’t seem to get enough pace with my kick serve, I get enough spin but it’s too slow. I was just curious what Gilbert was referring to when he said kickslice I think it’s a little misleading.
Yes, the terms for serves are confusing because some people call all serves that kick up high as kick serves (aka topspin serves) irrespective of which direction it moves after the bounce. These people then break down kick serves between the categories of kick-slice (aka top-slice) and kick-twist serves depending on the direction it moves after the bounce. I guess Gilbert follows this approach on what he considers a kickserve.

In the US, I think many players call only the twist serve as a kick serve or kicker at least on the courts where I have played. The top-slice or kick-slice is just considered as a high-bouncing slice serve by these players and they don’t call it a kick serve.

If a player can hit flat and slice serves as his 1st serve and can choose between a top-slice and kick serve as his 2nd serve, he has a lot of options to choose from. If he can direct any of these four serves to all locations (wide, body, middle) of the ad/deuce serve boxes, then he would be a precision server that is tough to deal with. However, I think most players have a favored 1st serve and 2nd serve spin that they like to use and it is rare to find the player who can hit all four spins well.
 

TennisDawg

Professional
Yes, the terms for serves are confusing because some people call all serves that kick up high as kick serves (aka topspin serves) irrespective of which direction it moves after the bounce. These people then break down kick serves between the categories of kick-slice (aka top-slice) and kick-twist serves depending on the direction it moves after the bounce. I guess Gilbert follows this approach on what he considers a kickserve.

In the US, I think many players call only the twist serve as a kick serve or kicker at least on the courts where I have played. The top-slice or kick-slice is just considered as a high-bouncing slice serve by these players and they don’t call it a kick serve.

If a player can hit flat and slice serves as his 1st serve and can choose between a top-slice and kick serve as his 2nd serve, he has a lot of options to choose from. If he can direct any of these four serves to all locations (wide, body, middle) of the ad/deuce serve boxes, then he would be a precision server that is tough to deal with. However, I think most players have a favored 1st serve and 2nd serve spin that they like to use and it is rare to find the player who can hit all four spins well.
Yes, I’ve been working on using a topspin serve for my 1st serve as well as flat with an occasional slice. The nice guy thing about the topspin serve is you can be aggressive wide as well as down the T on both 1st and 2nd serve. It works well so long as you can mix up your serves. My kick serve is not quite there yet. I do use it occasionally to surprise the other player then go to net and volley on the ad court.
 

TennisDawg

Professional
All these different names for serves confuse me.

I’ve always just hit three serves - slice, kicker and flat. The first two break in opposite directions and the last one doesn’t much break at all.

Everything else is a minor variation on one of those three serves and I don’t distinguish between them.
Yea I agree about the confusion but when I hear someone like Gilbert mention kick slice or as he said “KS”. It just made me curious. Thiem’s serve looked more like a topspin/slice because the follow thru was closer to a topspin with slice on it.
 
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