Nadal's serve

edmondsm

Legend
I have learned a thing or two over the last few years about tennis technique from personal interaction with people that are good at the game, as well as the great tips/instruction section of this forum.

I have always heard that one of the most important aspects of a good tennis serve is to pronate the racquet arm as you bring it above your shoulder. I have observed that many great servers do this.

When I watch Nadal serve it's almost like he does the complete opposite. He holds the racquet in as supinated (opposite of pronated) position as possible. It seems to me that this would greatly inhibit your ability to snap the wrist effectively at contact point, creating the desired pace.

Many of you know much more about technique then I, so let me know if my analysis is off. Is this whole pronating thing not as crucial as I've been told?



 
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080825

New User
It was not supination in this picture. It was like neutral or more pronation. However, whether it is a pronation or not doesn't matter in the preparation. To generate power in serve, you need to snap the wrist from supination to pronation.
I have learned a thing or two over the last few years about tennis technique from personal interaction with people that are good at the game, as well as the great tips/instruction section of this forum.

I have always heard that one of the most important aspects of a good tennis serve is to pronate the racquet arm as you bring it above your shoulder. I have observed that many great servers do this.

When I watch Nadal serve it's almost like he does the complete opposite. He holds the racquet in as supinated (opposite of pronated) position as possible. It seems to me that this would greatly inhibit your ability to snap the wrist effectively at contact point, creating the desired pace.

Many of you know much more about technique then I, so let me know if my analysis is off. Is this whole pronating thing not as crucial as I've been told?



 

edmondsm

Legend
It was not supination in this picture. It was like neutral or more pronation. However, whether it is a pronation or not doesn't matter in the preparation. To generate power in serve, you need to snap the wrist from supination to pronation.
So do I have the terms mixed up? In my head when I picture the wrist snap I see it go from a pronated position to a supinated one. So maybe my terminology is backwards.
 

080825

New User
Yeah, I think this was what happened. In serve, I prefer to start with pronation in preparation and then it goes to supination and back to pronation during the wrist snap.
So do I have the terms mixed up? In my head when I picture the wrist snap I see it go from a pronated position to a supinated one. So maybe my terminology is backwards.
 

Lsmkenpo

Hall of Fame
Breaking of the wrist and snap is completely different thing than pronating and supinating on serve, it is not possible for the wrist joint itself to supinate or pronate, this occurs at the elbow joint and in the forearm.

Hold your hand out in front of you and turn your wrist over that is supination and pronation, not the bending of the wrist.
 

LeftySpin

Rookie
I'm sure he does pronate, when I look at it, his motion is just different. He doesn't drop his racquet, he just takes it straight up. Thats what they're teaching the kids now a days, because the racquets are so powerful.
 

rubberduckies

Professional
I think during the backswing, supination is definitely wrong because it faces the racket toward the sky. That's not what Nadal is doing in that picture. You just pronate to the extent that is necessary to keep the racket face relatively parallel with the ground.
 

edmondsm

Legend
Breaking of the wrist and snap is completely different thing than pronating and supinating on serve, it is not possible for the wrist joint itself to supinate or pronate, this occurs at the elbow joint and in the forearm.

Hold your hand out in front of you and turn your wrist over that is supination and pronation, not the bending of the wrist.
Yeah so this is what I'm talking about. If you look at the pictures I posted, Nadal's palm is facing downwards, and Sampras's is facing away from him body...on the same plane as his chest. I know that they might not be in the exact same point in their respective motions, but the difference is pretty stunning IMO. The main difference seems to be that Nadal takes a really long time to get the racquet back. He gets it above his shoulder but not in the sort of position where it's ready to come forward.

Roddick's serve is an anomaly. Yeah it's unorthodox but it's also one of the best serves the game has ever seen. You can't say the same about Nadal's, not even close, which is why I'm curious about it.
 
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edmondsm

Legend


Look at Dents forearm position this is supinating on serve not the breaking of the wrist.
OK good. Now if you look at Nadals arm it is in a much more similar position to Dent's then Sampras's. I know we are talking about a picture where Dent has already followed through on the serve, but just in terms of arm position, Nadal is more supinated after the toss.
 

edmondsm

Legend
I think during the backswing, supination is definitely wrong because it faces the racket toward the sky. That's not what Nadal is doing in that picture. You just pronate to the extent that is necessary to keep the racket face relatively parallel with the ground.
Nadal's racquet face is parallel to the ground I guess, but Sampras's is completely perpendicular to the ground, as is Federer's when he is in the same position.
 

lawrence

Hall of Fame
umm im really confused here
are you guys getting nadals takeback mixed up with pronation and supination etc?
the pronation doesnt occur till your swing, so that image makes no sense really
 

rubberduckies

Professional
umm im really confused here
are you guys getting nadals takeback mixed up with pronation and supination etc?
the pronation doesnt occur till your swing, so that image makes no sense really
Right, it's everybody comparing completely different positions during the motion.
 

gzhpcu

Professional
umm im really confused here
are you guys getting nadals takeback mixed up with pronation and supination etc?
the pronation doesnt occur till your swing, so that image makes no sense really
It helps to supinate at the bottom of the racket drop, since this gets the racket farther away from the body and accentuates the pronation which occurs later. Pronation occurs at the top of swing when you hit the ball. Nadal pronates. Just watch this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J--1bFxdmC0
 
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D

Deleted member 22147

Guest
Nadal has one of the worst serves in the top 50, luckily the rest of his game play is good.
 
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