What is exactly going on between trophy position and contact of the ball in the Roddick serve?

zill

Professional
In a normal serve like Sampras' it's racquet drop then hit the ball.

But for Roddick he's (famous) trophy position is much lower and earlier. His motion just after that position is so much quicker as well than the usual racquet drop of a normal serve.


 

5263

G.O.A.T.
Your question makes me wonder if it is a bit like ATP vs WTA....meaning, as long as you get to a good slot with good timing, then it doesn't matter so much.
 

Mountain Ghost

Semi-Pro
The more you focus on details that will not in any way help YOUR game ... the more you do YOUR game ... and the game of anyone who goes on that "exploration" WITH you ... a great disservice ~ MG
 

user92626

Legend
zill,

It's extremely difficult and futile to try to copy a pro, especially if you want to look anything like him/her. There are probably hundreds or thousands of pro's over the years trying to do that with their idols, but do you see anyone serve alike another?

Your best bet is to try to figure out ONE element at a time and later rely on your ability to piece them all together. The end result will look nothing like anyone's.

For example, you need to figure out the best loading and unloading configurations of the wrist. Then, come the elbow and the shoulder joints. You may need to do some workout on those joints (wrist, elbow, shoulders, etc.) because they are new high tension actions. One of the reason why we fail so fast or can't get it is we always rely on and flip back to the usual, familiar, everyday actions which don't fit for tennis at all.
 

user92626

Legend
If we could all figure out how Roddick does it, these threads would all go away.
What's to figure out? Roddick has found the leverage actions of the arm, shoulder, body, etc. and a certain timing (very fast) that works for his mind. Federer can't serve like Roddick and vice versa but they all follow the same principles.
 
In a normal serve like Sampras' it's racquet drop then hit the ball.

But for Roddick he's (famous) trophy position is much lower and earlier. His motion just after that position is so much quicker as well than the usual racquet drop of a normal serve.


In another thread, I noted how Roddick's arm is actively pulled downward much further than any other pro. If you use his elbow as a reference point, he pulls his elbow down rapidly more than 18 inches lower from the trophy position (compared with only 3-4 inches for almost all other pros, who usually just rely on gravity rather than active pull-down), allowing him to using his shoulder joint and other tendons/muscles of his kinetic chain as a spring to uncoil more energy upward into the racquet.

This active pull-down is unique to Roddick, never taught by teaching pros, and in my opinion the main reason he had an outlier GOAT serve among guys 6'2" and under.
 
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