mionske

New User
Looking for some tips on how to improve my serve. I've been double faulting a lot lately which leads me to believe I'm dropping my head too early or my rhythm is out of sync. Other problems may include but are not limited to:

  • Back foot slides too far forward
  • Racket take back appears tense
  • Not watching ball at contact
Would love to get some tips on how to add some power to my serve as well as consistency. Should I consider a platform stance instead?

<iframe width="560" height="315" src="
" title="YouTube video player" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; clipboard-write; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen></iframe>
 

Daniel Andrade

Hall of Fame
Are you trolling?
Just from the thumbnail it looks like a good serve!

However, @Chas Tennis can give his thoughts.

P.s. I agree the takeback could be more 'fluid' and could help you achieve a bit more of a drop.
 

Dakota C

Rookie
A few points of interest:
  1. Your elbow angle never gets acute - it stays at or greater than 90 degrees
  2. Due to (1), your hand gets and stays at/above your head level too soon
  3. Due to (2), your swing is too liner forwards as opposed to upwards
Visually, these points are why it looks like you are trying to 'aim' or 'control' the swing too intentionally. There are a few WTA/ATP players that have this hand-up-high-early (effectively an abbreviated serve), but I don't believe any of them have serves considered a 'weapon' for their level.

Also, because there is less of a vertical component, I'm guessing it's more difficult for you to get enough topspin for you to feel confident with it.
 

Chas Tennis

G.O.A.T.
That is a good serve. It needs a comparison to a high level ATP serve. Have a model server?

If you video in bright sunlight, often the shadows at the elbow will show some indication of internal shoulder rotation (ISR) and its timing.

I've looked at ATP servers and the majority are not still looking in the direction of the ball at impact, they break off just before impact. There are some players that are looking at serve impact. Look at 10 servers from the side view.

From the side view, your foot is landing on the line or close to the line. You also seem more upright with less forward tilt of trunk and arm than most ATP servers.

 
Last edited:

eah123

Professional
Overall, I think you have the major components of an advanced serve. Some things I would work on:
1. Toss location. A little closer to 12 o'clock rather than 1 o'clock will all you to use more internal shoulder rotation/pronation to produce greater power. Also, tossing more in front will allow you to use leg drive/weight transfer to increase you racquet head speed/power. Your toss is almost straight up which is why you land on the baseline or behind it sometimes.
2. Toss/takeback sequencing. You appear to initiate your serve action by taking the racquet back before starting your toss. It would be better to initiate the toss first then start the racquet takeback.
3. Head tilt. When you start your serve, tilt your head slightly to the left and keep it there for most of the serve. When you leave your head too vertical, this forces you to open up your shoulders a little too early or swing vertically up at the shoulder joint (risk of shoulder impingement injury) rather than across the chest.

Here are some videos that explain the above points.
 

Dragy

Legend
You point out double faults, are there any 2nd serves in the video? Which ones?

Overall solid motion with only some technical elements to improve.
- your back foot step up is ok
- your elbow is too high at trophy, bring it down so that upper arm is in line with (tilted) shoulders line

Medvedev-1.jpg

- your off-arm gets stuck and left shoulder doesn’t dip fast enough - might want to improve here

If you want more safety from ball arc, stay more sideways and let the ball drop a tad lower, so that you hit it with some topspin, not just sidespin

But again, your overall form looks good. Just relax, get loose and whip the racquet at the ball fast, but not hard.
 
Last edited:

ballmachineguy

Hall of Fame
Dude, what are you doing at trophy position? You toss the ball into a great shoulder tilt and then just level the shoulders before racquet drop. You are DQ’d for false starting. Haha.

Anyway, imagine a baseball batter with the hands behind the ear and while waiting for pitcher to wind up he starts letting the bat handle slowly move to in front of the chest before executing the swing. A ton of power would be lost. You need to keep your weight back, left shoulder up, right shoulder down until racquet drop. Quit drifting forward at trophy position.

And, minus 10 points if that is a private court in your backyard.
 
Last edited:

mionske

New User
That is a good serve. It needs a comparison to a high level ATP serve. Have a model server?

If you video in bright sunlight, often the shadows at the elbow will show some indication of internal shoulder rotation (ISR) and its timing.

I've looked at ATP servers and the majority are not still looking in the direction of the ball at impact, they break off just before impact. There are some players that are looking at serve impact. Look at 10 servers from the side view.

From the side view, your foot is landing on the line or close to the line. You also seem more upright with less forward tilt of trunk and arm than most ATP servers.


Hey Chas Tennis. I don't have a model server at the moment. Is there a specific ATP/WTA player you would recommend.
 

mionske

New User
Dude, what are you doing at trophy position? You toss the ball into a great shoulder tilt and then just level the shoulders before racquet drop. You are DQ’d for false starting. Haha.

Anyway, imagine a baseball batter with the hands behind the ear and while waiting for pitcher to wind up he starts letting the bat handle slowly move to in front of the chest before executing the swing. A ton of power would be lost. You need to keep your weight back, left shoulder up, right shoulder down until racquet drop. Quit drifting forward at trophy position.

And, minus 10 points if that is a private court in your backyard.

This makes sense. Thanks. Also, the court is in my side yard, not backyard. Jk. It's a public court.
 

Chas Tennis

G.O.A.T.
Hey Chas Tennis. I don't have a model server at the moment. Is there a specific ATP/WTA player you would recommend.

One problem is to know which type of serve is being viewed: flat, slice or kick. That is hard to do for serves found on the internet. It is a plus to see the ball bounce for identifying the type serve. The racket head rises after impact for a kick serve vs a flat or slice serve. A clear high speed video will show that.

Another problem for you is to match your toss height (or change your toss height to a model that your like). The time from toss release until impact varies significantly with toss height. This can cause the server to 1) move through Trophy Position (Sampras), 2) pause at TP (Wawrinka) or 3) after toss release go directly to TP and wait (Sharapova). I posted on this a few years ago. Pick a server with your toss height and your timing of toss release to impact or be aware that toss height may be an issue. Don't pick a model server with a much different toss height.

I like Raonic, except for kick serves.

Here is some nice Topspin Tennis analysis of Federer's kick serve. I believe that the ~13-15 degree closed tilt is necessary for the kick serve and this video tends to confirm that. I have seen that tilt for Stosur. There are not many good videos on the internet that discuss or show the racket head closed just before kick serve impact.
 
Last edited:
Top