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Interactive Forum April 2021: Stefano Tsitsipas Serve

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  • Interactive Forum April 2021: Stefano Tsitsipas Serve

    Stefano Tsitsipas Serve

    Thanks to Jim Fawcette we have some very interesting data on the serve toss positions of Stefano Tsitsipas. (Click Here.)

    The spread of his toss clusters is about 50 inches! Compare that to Federer, Nadal, and Djokovic, ranging from half that down to a few centimeters! (Click Here.)

    Now here is Stefano’s serve. One thing to notice is the motion of the tossing arm, which can start and stop at the beginning and never drops down to the inside of his leg like Fed.

    Is it a source of inconsistency in the toss? Or is the spread related to different serves?

    Another question to ponder. His internal arm rotation in the upward swing (so called pronation). It can vary in both courts on the first and second serve.
    Thoughts?

    Last edited by johnyandell; 04-29-2021, 06:49 PM.

  • #2
    I have always thought he has such a weak continental grip. The heel of his hand is nowhere close to bevel 1. It looks to me to be almost on bevel 3. I am very surprised he serves as well as he does with that grip. It is a long way away from the Fed ideal grip.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by jeffreycounts View Post
      Stefano Tsitsipas Serve

      Thanks to Jim Fawcette we have some very interesting data on the serve toss positions of Stefano Tsitsipas. (Click Here.)

      The spread of his toss clusters is about 50 inches! Compare that to Federer, Nadal, and Djokovic, ranging from half that down to a few centimeters! (Click Here.)

      Now here is Stefano’s serve. One thing to notice is the motion of the tossing arm, which can start and stop at the beginning and never drops down to the inside of his leg like Fed.

      Is it a source of inconsistency in the toss? Or is the spread related to different serves?

      Another question to ponder. His internal arm rotation in the upward swing (so called pronation). It can vary in both courts on the first and second serve.
      Thoughts?

      His forearm sure does seem extra pronated at the trophy position which might decrease that left to right swing of the racket on the upward swing as the shoulders turn. Every time I tried serving with that weak of a continental grip, I felt my windup and upward swing altering somehow.

      Comment


      • #4
        Is anyone extending their toss cluster “ towards” the net? I can see a possible forward and flatter jump serve evolving with some 7 foot players high contact angle.

        Comment


        • #5
          Stroke look at 3.35.

          Doctor, that would make sense. Maybe serve and volley would come back...

          Comment


          • #6
            Tsitsipasservepronation.jpg

            I agree with everyone. The problem can be best seen right here. It is almost like he is shooting a basketball rather than throwing a baseball or football (the American kind). At his height he can hit it hard and it is not a weakness but it is not the strength it should be. We can see how very good technique would help a player like Sampras or Federer. Once you add Federer's leaping ability and you can see how his serve is so much more effective.


            I think a stronger continental grip would help more. Can you guys orient me to what you mean by strong continental?

            I have seen some players hit with a straight on eastern backhand grip. But with this grip it can be really hard to hit a flatter serve.

            Should the index finger knuckle be on the top bevel? Something like a grip used on a slice backhand.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by arturohernandez View Post
              Tsitsipasservepronation.jpg

              I agree with everyone. The problem can be best seen right here. It is almost like he is shooting a basketball rather than throwing a baseball or football (the American kind). At his height he can hit it hard and it is not a weakness but it is not the strength it should be. We can see how very good technique would help a player like Sampras or Federer. Once you add Federer's leaping ability and you can see how his serve is so much more effective.


              I think a stronger continental grip would help more. Can you guys orient me to what you mean by strong continental?

              I have seen some players hit with a straight on eastern backhand grip. But with this grip it can be really hard to hit a flatter serve.

              Should the index finger knuckle be on the top bevel? Something like a grip used on a slice backhand.
              Arturo, is the racket angle in the video a result of a Eastern looking grip which would restrict natural follow-through pronation? If so, can those of us with a lower contact point get away with using that grip successfully? ( I wish I was taller or could jump!!!).

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by doctorhl View Post

                Arturo, is the racket angle in the video a result of a Eastern looking grip which would restrict natural follow-through pronation? If so, can those of us with a lower contact point get away with using that grip successfully? ( I wish I was taller or could jump!!!).
                Did you mean Eastern backhand or forehand?

                It seems to me that Tsitispas is not fluid through contact. So he is hitting his serve with an arm that is not loose. This has the effect of creating speed but only through force.

                If he were a bit looser and more fluid with a better grip, he would be able to whip the ball, like all great servers do.

                I am not tall either. I tend to spin the ball a lot more because hitting it flat is just too risky. My grip is something like a strong continental. With that grip I can create topspin and slice serves. The flatter harder serves are harder to get in but that is probably due to not being 6 feet tall.

                I feel your pain!!

                Comment


                • #9
                  I meant Eastern forehand. I also might have viewed your still picture incorrectly. I was thinking that view was after ball contact, but now I see it may have been before ball contact. If before ball contact, the question would be: is the open racket face at beginning of upswing a result of Eastern forehand grip or slight pronation or a combination of both?? I agree.. no fluidity, but if tall enough, one can apparently "muscle" the ball and hitter flatter I suppose. But there may be a physical price to pay over a 20 year career. The height thing is interesting. Using a basketball analogy, Shag O.Neal's angle of entry for the basketball free throw was different for many in his day. Plus, his long /hand/finger span meant he should probably restricted all lower body movement and isolated his arm/wrist snap by shooting from the inside top of the key(which a normal hand can't do). But his percentages indicated he never figured it out(even with high dollar coaches!). There may be some different anatomical and physics dynamics allowed when you get that high of a ball contact in a tennis serve and don't have to jump much.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Arturo, to me, Fed uses a 1/2 strong continental grip, by that I mean his heel pad is mostly on bevel 1 and his index knuckle on bevel 2. Nadal and Novak, and to me, all the best servers, use basicly this grip. I would say pretty much Stefanos uses a 3/2 grip, his heel pad on pretty much on bevel 3 and his index knuckle on bevel 2. Just not a good grip structure to me for the serve. The Stef service grip is just to me such a long way from the ideal service grip, it is almost too much to overcome. That being said, Stef serves better with that grip at the pro level than I would have thought possible. Boris Becker is a notable example of a top shelf server who ventured away from the ideal grip, but to me, even he was more "continental " than Stef.

                    Btw, I would say Hugo is very close to a technically perfect service technique.
                    Last edited by stroke; 04-05-2021, 12:36 PM.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by stroke View Post
                      Arturo, to me, Fed uses a 1/2 strong continental grip, by that I mean his heel pad is mostly on bevel 1 and his index knuckle on bevel 2. Nadal and Novak, and to me, all the best servers, use basicly this grip. I would say pretty much Stefanos uses a 3/2 grip, his heel pad on pretty much on bevel 3 and his index knuckle on bevel 2. Just not a good grip structure to me for the serve. The Stef service grip is just to me such a long way from the ideal service grip, it is almost too much to overcome. That being said, Stef serves better with that grip at the pro level than I would have thought possible. Boris Becker is a notable example of a top shelf server who ventured away from the ideal grip, but to me, even he was more "continental " than Stef.

                      Btw, I would say Hugo is very close to a technically perfect service technique.
                      Is there a picture of what a 1/2 looks like? It would be easier to see in a picture or even a video where someone grips the racket and then shows how the fingers close on the grip and then what the grip looks like when grasped fully. I think I use a 1/2 and my daughter does too but now I am wondering if it is or not.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Do a search on the site for "Roger Federer Serve, Part 1", by JY. It has very good pics and descriptions.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by doctorhl View Post
                          Is anyone extending their toss cluster “ towards” the net? I can see a possible forward and flatter jump serve evolving with some 7 foot players high contact angle.
                          Doctorhl, John Isner makes contact with his serve further into the court than anyone I'm aware of -- at about 4 feet into the court. I did a Tour Portrait on Serve Impact Height for TPN a while back.
                          https://www.tennisplayer.net/members...ontact_height/

                          I actually went on court once and held a ball where Isner makes contact. I had to get on a step ladder <g> I could literally look down into the front half of the service box. His serve is more like putting away an overhead than serving <g>.

                          Here are a couple of images of Isner, where I roughly measured the impact point:






                          And here is a shot of John's follow through from court level

                          Last edited by jimlosaltos; 04-06-2021, 02:24 PM.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            The old saying, you can't teach height. Jim, what about the other 2 giants, Opelka and Karlovic? I would think they are very close. No doubt they have to be the serves that that other players like to face the least.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Since there is a lot of discussion here about Stefanos Tsitsipas' grips, I wanted to share this graphic of spin on both forehand and backhand from Miami.

                              Tsitsipas arguably hits the heaviest balls, combined, off both sides -- despite having neutral grips.

                              This is data from Tennis TV pulled by a Japanese Physics PhD and tennis fan, that goes by nom-du-web of Vestige du Jour when posting in kanji.

                              Other items of note since we have this: Felix Auger-Aliassime has significantly increased his spin off both sides from 2018 data. Not surprising since he's grown about 3 inches to 6 ft 4, I believe. And, as is usually the case one-handed backhands dominate the high RPM end. So, we see Tsitsi, Shap, Grigor and Musetti high up. Medvedev (lower right red dot) in a very successful outlier.

                              Sinner is slightly to the right of middle 3100/2050 about in red. Korda 2800/1900 ish middle yellow.

                              For perspective, 2018 averages for the year had Rafa and Thiem almost identical at 3,200 / 2,450. Fed at 2,850/ 2,250, Novak 2,675 / 1,800 (all eyeballing this and another chart, not looking up precise numbers).

                              Key: The plot is of average forehand topspin in RPMs on the bottom, vs average backhand topspin in RPMs on the left. Color of dots corresponds to ranking groups listed at the top of the chart. Names shaded in yellow are one-handers.

                              Last edited by jimlosaltos; 04-07-2021, 02:07 PM.

                              Comment

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