Who should be sascha zverev's serve coach?

Best coach to turn zverev's serve into a weapon?

  • Kyrgios

    Votes: 2 7.4%
  • Patrick Doherty

    Votes: 1 3.7%
  • Chas Tennis

    Votes: 4 14.8%
  • Ivanisevic

    Votes: 4 14.8%
  • Fedr

    Votes: 2 7.4%
  • Pepe Imaz

    Votes: 3 11.1%
  • BernieGOAT

    Votes: 3 11.1%
  • Other

    Votes: 6 22.2%
  • Oserver

    Votes: 6 22.2%
  • POMO

    Votes: 3 11.1%

  • Total voters
    27

Dragy

Hall of Fame
Interested to see what you come up with.
So I looked into some of his second serving in 3-4 sets of the final, which he actually made. They were 83-87 mph, which is very slow for such a server - already slowing down. They were not kicking high either for such a big server - barely 6 ft.


What stands out for me, in addition to all previously posted here and elsewhere by big minds, is how his toss for second serve is too straight up (or how he doesn't get under the toss), how his body launch is straight up, and, consequently, how his contact is at the zone where racquet is already barely rising - too high, if you like. Two examples:


Compare to how Thiem does it (at faster pace);


Sascha basically sets up with his toss and trophy very similar to his first serve, and ends up lacking topspin - he cannot shape the ball to dip down. Spin he produces staying sideways and swinging across is mostly sidespin. Hence his margin for error - window to hit over the net and into the box - is not bigger compared with 1st serve if he hits at around 100 MPH! He only gets higher curved trajectory by taking major pace off the ball. Of course he can land many slice second serves when his 100% on, but that's exactly the case - not reliable for tough situations and pressure.

I have yet to find good second serves which are not repeated 1st serve attempts, will look through 1-2 sets. But I bet those are technically same - lack topspin and up-down shape.

Now still an open question how to put the toss reliably to where it should be - quite possible we're back to square one - get it lower, while also simplifying/speeding up the prep.
 

Dragy

Hall of Fame
Seems like a lot of posters are equating kick serve with a 2nd serve....this may be part of the confusion here.
Personally I used it as a generalization to underline need for topspin. It may be spinny kicker or rather powerful serve with healthy dose of topspin, like many big guys use (in 100+ range). With shallow topspin component a 95-100 mph serve isn't going to be bulletproof even for 6'6 guy, in my opinion.
Hitting power serves as 2nds is an option taken by Zverev and by Medvedev (Masters final against Djokovic, IIRC), which may work sometimes or not work.
 

5263

G.O.A.T.
Personally I used it as a generalization to underline need for topspin. It may be spinny kicker or rather powerful serve with healthy dose of topspin, like many big guys use (in 100+ range). With shallow topspin component a 95-100 mph serve isn't going to be bulletproof even for 6'6 guy, in my opinion.
Hitting power serves as 2nds is an option taken by Zverev and by Medvedev (Masters final against Djokovic, IIRC), which may work sometimes or not work.
the key here from my program is that serving should all come from a fundamental basis.....a ground level floor we build up from and can return to really on a daily basis. Each day of serving should start with this fundamental floor and then add to it as the feel for the day is developed. When I teach it to new players, I have them work from this floor until power starts to come as they are totally focused on improving the form without intending to get more power. As this floor is solidified and cured in the development process, power will just start to show up....and even the player is surprised how balls just start to pop off with power they were not even thinking about. If you have developed this fundamental level serve, then you start your warm up with it and can return to it almost like recharging your battery. Serving is like climbing a wall where it get tougher and tougher until you will fall off. Each day, you start at the base level and climb higher as you serve. With experience, you recognize the signs where you start to struggle to go higher. At that point, you need a strategy on how to deal with seeing what your limit is that day or do you even want to push it?

So looking at it in this way, we can see that the 2nd serve base can and should be connected to the 1st serve skills and not just 2 highly unrelated tasks like a kick vs a flat serve.....as they are so different that they share only a few components in execution. With good understanding of the power topslice serve, you can see how it works well for both the 1st and 2nd serves with small but key adjustments. This means that they can each feed off of each other vs working in conflict as the normal kick vs flat serve combo does. In my discussions with Roscoe Tanner he was surprised and comfirmed that ALL of his fastest recorded serves were a version of the slice, even though he often tried to bomb in bigger ones with the flat serve.
 

Rubens

Hall of Fame
I vote for our own Chas. He'll get rid of all the motion blur that's been hindering Z's serve.
 

am1899

Hall of Fame
For my eye, when Zed looks like he’s trying to hit a kick serve, the contact point is at the very least too far to the right. That problem is of course driven by the toss. Because he can’t toss the ball in the correct place to get in a leveraged position to hit a kick serve, his only option to control length is decreasing racquet head speed. Thus the misses all over the place. And when the wild misses come, the confidence is gone. Then the wheels come off. Painful to watch.
 

Dragy

Hall of Fame
the key here from my program is that serving should all come from a fundamental basis.....a ground level floor we build up from and can return to really on a daily basis. Each day of serving should start with this fundamental floor and then add to it as the feel for the day is developed. When I teach it to new players, I have them work from this floor until power starts to come as they are totally focused on improving the form without intending to get more power. As this floor is solidified and cured in the development process, power will just start to show up....and even the player is surprised how balls just start to pop off with power they were not even thinking about. If you have developed this fundamental level serve, then you start your warm up with it and can return to it almost like recharging your battery. Serving is like climbing a wall where it get tougher and tougher until you will fall off. Each day, you start at the base level and climb higher as you serve. With experience, you recognize the signs where you start to struggle to go higher. At that point, you need a strategy on how to deal with seeing what your limit is that day or do you even want to push it?

So looking at it in this way, we can see that the 2nd serve base can and should be connected to the 1st serve skills and not just 2 highly unrelated tasks like a kick vs a flat serve.....as they are so different that they share only a few components in execution. With good understanding of the power topslice serve, you can see how it works well for both the 1st and 2nd serves with small but key adjustments. This means that they can each feed off of each other vs working in conflict as the normal kick vs flat serve combo does. In my discussions with Roscoe Tanner he was surprised and comfirmed that ALL of his fastest recorded serves were a version of the slice, even though he often tried to bomb in bigger ones with the flat serve.
So what’s the conclusion? Him hitting flat first serves doesn’t allow him to hit reliable second serve?

I agree kick and flat are farthest apart, still even those two share same “floor” in my opinion, with main distinguishing variance be:
- swing direction, based on body setup and action direction;
- contact timing through the swing - early for kick and other spin serves, later (more time/room for arm rotation) for flat serve.
Leg and torso action and arm acceleration towards the ball are all bricks of the very foundation, similar between serves, in my opinion.
 

sureshs

Bionic Poster
Suresh,
Already wrote it...current issue of Tennisplayer. He starts with his shoulders open, doesn't turn away from the ball. Great arm action, but when he gets tight the arm alone fails him...
@JohnYandell Wow you are ahead of the curve. People here have been speculating about all kinds of stuff without finding the basic issue.

John Yandell
Tour Strokes: Alexander Zverev Serve

Clink on the link so see more
 

5263

G.O.A.T.
@JohnYandell Wow you are ahead of the curve. People here have been speculating about all kinds of stuff without finding the basic issue.

John Yandell
Tour Strokes: Alexander Zverev Serve

Clink on the link so see more
well that is a theory and one of the more obvious deviations , but I'm not sure how he relates it to missing the box and creating DFs. I'd say from experience that servers who turn too square to the target tend to be more on the consistent side of the equation and just tend to lack pace instead of creating DFs. While I'd agree that it isn't optimal in the overall serving equation to square up to the box at contact, I have serious doubts it is the direct issue on this particular DF problem and more related to why we don't see this guy serving in the 150s. There is a good chance that it plays into the more direct issue, which is the racket orientation at contact, so in a round about way, this could be the key to change for him. My youngest son tended to have this same issue and also was a big server, but he was so consistent with excellent pace that I was reluctant to correct it. We would discuss how he could do it better and with time, he made the transition, which I believe led to better overall quality on his serves. Imo the biggest threat to squaring up too soon is the extra stress on the hitting shoulder.
 
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Chas Tennis

G.O.A.T.
For a kick serve

1) The racket should be rising during impact. Look at the angle between the forearm and racket shaft and also the racket's highest point reached with view as shown in Dragy's Isner picture, but make certain it is a high speed video so that the frame of impact is known. Behind camera view.

2) The racket face should be tilted closed just before impact (13-15 d. ?). That's much more than seen with the flat and slice serves that appear about vertical from the side camera view. (Frame showing racket an inch or two before impact for a kick serve would be a great video find for this issue.)

These require clear high speed videos with small motion blur.

See Junior Twist Serve thread.
 
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