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May 2019: Dominic Thiem First Serve

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  • May 2019: Dominic Thiem First Serve

    Dominic Thiem First Serve

    Dominic Thiemís first serve is a weapon as he showed this year winning Indian Wells. He is a platform stance server with a big leg drive that propels him further in the court than most other top pros. He also hits from a ball position more extremely to his left which creates heavy kick.

    In many ways his motion is similar to the great Pete Sampras. But he also changes the toss significantly when he goes for a flatter serve down the T as this footage shows. Sampras in comparison hit all of his first serves off the same ball toss position.

    Watch his coiling, the racket path and the rotation of his hand, arm and racket. Look at the position of his toss from three angles. Most importantly, tell us what you think!


  • #2
    Dominic Thiem First Serve

    Last edited by johnyandell; 04-28-2019, 04:35 PM.

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    • #3
      I think Pete Sampras is an interesting comparison, I get the feeling Thiem also has very good upper body flexibility. I've always been impressed with the mph on Dominic's serve, he can hit some bombs. I love how deliberate his motion is, seems to have a very smooth delivery. Loads his legs very well especially with his back leg/hip coiled and driving up with force. Upper body coils equally impressively with tossing arm up nice and high with shoulder/elbow in alignment. Very impressive racquet drop and external to internal shoulder rotation with a nice sweeping of the racquet to the outside in ESR, ending with a full 180 degrees of ISR. Also has a shorter follow through, also similar to Sampras. May telegraph serve location with the different ball toss locations but all and all, a terrific motion and one of the best on the tour.

      SeanO

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      • #4
        He has a same side finish, like Sampras, Edberg and Becker, all great servers.
        Regards, Phil

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        • #5
          Really had to find anything to criticize. Great camera work, too.

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          • #6

            Beautiful simple service action he leans back engaging the core creating power.

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            • #7
              Here are three stills of Thiem serving that might be of interest.

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              • #8
                Great photos as usual. You caught him not looking at the ball on contact, Jim.

                Borg and Roger watch the ball incredibly well. https://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl...&iact=c&ictx=1

                https://www.alamy.com/stock-photo-bj...ip%3d0%26pl%3d
                Stotty

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                • #9
                  Nope h.e doesn't. Neither did Roddick or Rusedski

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                  • #10
                    Thanks Stotty! I am always surprised at how many top pros don't watch at the moment of impact, as John says here. Rafa does not. Also, I've got images somewhere of Pat Rafter where his first serve toss is so far behind his head in BOTH axes that he can't possibly look at it. But then Pat is well on his way to the net before making contact <g>

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                    • #11
                      Both Roger and Borg watch the ball incredibly well...eyes looking behind the strings. Apparently watching the ball really well as they do improves concentration, focus and helps control nerves. Rosewell was another exemplary watcher of the ball.

                      I'm terrible. I take my eyes off the ball yards before it arrives!
                      Stotty

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                      • #12
                        I like his strong 'trophy position' which increases his angle of attack. Great videography which shows what coaches mean when they refer to 'going up to hit the ball' on the serve.

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                        • #13
                          Agree with all the "smoothness" comments. I'm increasingly seeing timing of upper body rotation in relation to the racquet drop as a very large factor in service power. On all but two of the serves in the video Thiem has excellent synchronization: His tossing arm goes forward and torso rotation starts just an instant before his racquet goes over the top. (On two serves, especially the last one, it is otherwise. Maybe second serves?) I suppose Roscoe Tanner is the poster boy for the notion that getting UB rotation going before the racquet goes back...is key to power. That is just another proof that extreme excess can highlight the essence of a thing.

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                          • #14
                            Nope all first serves.Second serves this month.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by curiosity View Post
                              Agree with all the "smoothness" comments. I'm increasingly seeing timing of upper body rotation in relation to the racquet drop as a very large factor in service power. On all but two of the serves in the video Thiem has excellent synchronization: His tossing arm goes forward and torso rotation starts just an instant before his racquet goes over the top. (On two serves, especially the last one, it is otherwise. Maybe second serves?) I suppose Roscoe Tanner is the poster boy for the notion that getting UB rotation going before the racquet goes back...is key to power. That is just another proof that extreme excess can highlight the essence of a thing.
                              Tanner had lots of shoulder turn. With his low toss, his left arm was slightly above horizontal on trophy position.
                              Regards, Phil

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