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Interactive Forum April 2021: Stefano Tsitsipas Serve

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  • #16
    Awesome chart! Who is this guy and is there a url? Vestige du Jour when posting in kanji. What does that mean?

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    • #17
      That is super chart. I had noticed watching forehand and backhand spin rates called RPS(Rotations Per Second) supplied by TennisTV, that Tsitsipas was at the top off both sides. One thing of note to me, Berrettini has the highest average on the forehand I have ever seen, approximately 300 rpm's on his forehand than Tsitsipas.

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      • #18
        Originally posted by johnyandell View Post
        Awesome chart! Who is this guy and is there a url? Vestige du Jour when posting in kanji. What does that mean?
        When this guy is posting stuff on Japanese websites (in kanji, which are the Chinese characters borrowed and used to write Japanese), his username is "vestige du jour" which comes from "les vestiges du jour" meaning "The Remains of the Day" a novel written by a Japanese guy Kasuo Ishiguro.

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        • #19
          Originally posted by stroke View Post
          Do a search on the site for "Roger Federer Serve, Part 1", by JY. It has very good pics and descriptions.
          I found John's article and it looks close to the grip that I use. The tricky part is feeling the palm on one bevel but the fingers on another.

          Thanks!!
          Last edited by arturohernandez; 04-08-2021, 06:18 AM.

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          • #20
            Originally posted by johnyandell View Post
            Awesome chart! Who is this guy and is there a url? Vestige du Jour when posting in kanji. What does that mean?
            Glad you like it! Vestige is a pseudonym. I don't know his real name. I believe it derives from French art, not the novel, but that's a vague recollection. He lives in Paris and is a big Kei Nishikori fan. Some of his stuff will make your head split. He makes a big deal of using a Markov Chain to show correlation to what wins or not in tennis <g>. Beyond my pay grade. This graphic emerged when I tagged him in discussion on Twitter about Jannik Sinner's spin with the author of an article on the ATP site, Craig O'Shannessy. I was questioning whether the ATP article was correct.

            You can find him here on Twitter:
            https://twitter.com/Vestige_du_jour

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            • #21
              Originally posted by stroke View Post
              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.
              Indeed. Karlovic is a pure serve & volleyer. You could barely slip a credit card under his feet, almost no jump because he's pell mell toward the net. I think I included a photo of Dr. Ivo in the serve contact TPN Portrait. Opelka I haven't seen live but he seems to go more up and not in, I believe by vague memory.

              Yup, here it is:
              https://www.tennisplayer.net/members...ontact_height/

              Dr Ivo is almost entirely inside the court when he makes contact, but he's far more upright than Isner and fully committed to running forward.
              Last edited by jimlosaltos; 04-08-2021, 10:19 AM.

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              • #22
                Originally posted by stroke View Post
                That is super chart. I had noticed watching forehand and backhand spin rates called RPS(Rotations Per Second) supplied by TennisTV, that Tsitsipas was at the top off both sides. One thing of note to me, Berrettini has the highest average on the forehand I have ever seen, approximately 300 rpm's on his forehand than Tsitsipas.
                And Matteo Berrettini's forehand has some serious MPHs to go with the RPMs (or RPS's) Bone crunches it.

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                • #23
                  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?

                  When teaching or analysing a service motion one must have a fundamentally sound approach that will lead you to sources of inconsistency or otherwise faulty friction producing issues. Thank you jyandell for this much anticipated view of the Stefanos Tsitsipas motion.

                  When I analyse or teach a serve it all boils down to the same thing...setup position, initiation of the backswing, the track of the backswing, transition and finally forwards swing. Once you finally get to the forwards swing that is more or less preordained by the sequence of events that have preceded it. It is no different with Stefanos Tsitsipas. It doesn't change anything from my perspective that he is ranked such and such in the world. Even that he hits it a ton and manages to hold serve X% of the time doesn't change anything. There is always room for improvement in a motion, unless it has achieved perfect frictionless motion. As in a rollercoaster. As it stands now...the motion of the Greek has loads of potential. Loads of room for improvement. It is beyond me why the father, who is his "coach", has not seen this enormous source of potential. The French coach, Patrick what's his name, seems to be clueless in the same regard.

                  When looking at the setup position of Stefanos, the first thing we will discuss is his grip. There are those who take great exception to the grip as if it is a source of issues or a problem of some sort. Personally, I don't have any issues with the grip. It is a bit strong perhaps but it has nothing to do with more important issues in the motion. I suppose one could make an argument in certain circles that the stronger grip might effect his ability to spin the ball or in the way it unleashes into impact, but these are minor exceptions. There have been great servers whose grips are somewhat less than optimal.

                  The issues I have with the setup is the placement of the feet. They seem to be somewhat haphazardly askew. The rear foot is pointing in a direction that is totally unrelated to the direction or aim of his serve. Why is this a problem? Because the alignment of the feet are going to influence the "track" of the backswing. Too bad there isn't a rear view of the serve. Rear views are always preferred when it comes to analysing strokes or swings. You get a better sense of alignment and the "track" of the swing. Feet are simply shoulder width apart and the line that the toes of both feet make is the aim of the server. Most importantly the track of the backswing is on a line in front of the toes parallel to the line the toes create.

                  I don't care for the way that Stefanos holds the ball in his left hand against the strings of his racquet. I prefer the left hand holding the racquet up with the last two or three fingers at the throat of the racquet. In this way there is connection to the racquet with both hands and therefore both sides of the body at the very beginning of the motion. He seems to be somewhat disconnected from the very onset. From my point of view the real issues of Stefanos are rooted in his left hand's participation of the swing. The real issue is, as John points out and I have pointed out numerous times in discussing his motion, is the abbreviated tossing motion which plays real havoc with the entire motion. You see, by abbreviation of the tossing motion you have to do something with the other side of the equation to keep it balanced and the other side of the equation in the service motion just happens to be the backswing. Stefanos makes two rather clumsy attempts to get both sides working together by abbreviation of his backswing in a most awkward movement and by tossing the ball too high to give himself time to complete his entire swing. By creating a shorten tossing motion he has robbed himself of some valuable time to make his entire swing.

                  The backswing really doesn't make any sense to me at all. With the faulty setup and the time killing tossing motion he doesn't even give himself a chance to make the correct backswing which is a free falling motion of the racquet head from setup position onto the track I defined above. There isn't any point in discussing the rest of his swing until he makes the adjustments in his setup and his toss. I don't have any issues at all with the dispersion of his tosses. In fact, I think it is a very good idea to learn to toss the ball in different spots to promote spin and placement. It also can be used a an excellent form of deception to the opponent. For instance, the serve in the deuce court might toss the ball far to his right to give the opponent the sense of impending wide slicing serve but the server can with training learn to hit the flat ball up the T from this position. I also think it a good idea to move the position around on the baseline to promote angles...and deception. These fundamental ideas are very doable if the server possesses a perfect, frictionless motion. Such a motion opens up an entire world of possibilities for the server tactics and permutations and combinations.

                  The "fix" for Tsitsipas is to get him aligned properly and to get him toss the ball with a full range of motion with the left hand. Then you go to work on a more full range of motion with the back swing which transitions with the seamless glide into the forwards swing. Obviously as it stands, Stefanos gets by quite well with this rather herky jerky motion. Even the way he finishes his swing in the video suggests that he way off balance and fights to maintain his balance in his follow through. The million dollar question is...how good could it possibly be? Taking into account his physique and the beautiful way in which he hits his backhand...he has tons of potential. I would love to see this motion in the stroke archives where the frame by frame option is available.

                  don_budge
                  Performance Analysthttps://www.tennisplayer.net/bulleti...ilies/cool.png

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                  • #24
                    You can download it and go frame by frame.

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                    • #25
                      For the skeptics, Tsitsipas won Monte Carlo today, losing only four (4) points on serve and faced zero breakers, on slow clay. Per ATP over the last 52 weeks, Tsitsipas' serve is 10th by their index, and 9th by percent service games won.


                      Last edited by jimlosaltos; 04-18-2021, 02:38 PM.

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                      • #26
                        Does anyone notice his rotation of his front foot. It appears that he over rotates it; is this do to his ball toss? When he lands on his front foot look at the position. I watched the slow motion of his serve and others and his front foot rotates quite a bit more than the other players.

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                        • #27
                          Originally posted by jimlosaltos View Post
                          For the skeptics, Tsitsipas won Monte Carlo today, losing only four (4) points on serve and faced zero breakers, on slow clay. Per ATP over the last 52 weeks, Tsitsipas' serve is 10th by their index, and 9th by percent service games won.


                          I never felt as if his serve was a detriment to him winning big tournaments. He has an absolutely beautiful game, particularly on clay. I always felt his grip was a bit of an issue, particularly regarding 2nd serves, but he definitely seems to have gotten past the inopportune 2nd serve double faulting. I think his somewhat weak continental grip probably helps him with mph's on his 1st serve, and along with his overcoming the inopportune double faults, he looks good to go to me on his serve.

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                          • #28
                            Originally posted by stroke View Post
                            I never felt as if his serve was a detriment to him winning big tournaments. He has an absolutely beautiful game, particularly on clay. I always felt his grip was a bit of an issue, particularly regarding 2nd serves, but he definitely seems to have gotten past the inopportune 2nd serve double faulting. I think his somewhat weak continental grip probably helps him with mph's on his 1st serve, and along with his overcoming the inopportune double faults, he looks good to go to me on his serve.
                            Tsitsy won the tournament for a number of reasons. None of them having to do with his service motion. Skeptics? What does that mean? Count me in. I have been a Tsitsipas supporter from when he first appeared. If I am not mistaken, I introduced him to the forum and have always voiced a positive voice on his potential. He still has vast potential in that service motion too. That is a good thing. My dear old tennis coach used to say that potential means room for improvement. There is friction. It could use some ironing out. Get rid of the wrinkles. The serving statistics can be misleading. They don't tell us that perhaps Rublev was a step slow on account he was done in by the week's activities. Stefanos was the fresher of the two. I don't see that little fun fact in the statistics. I'm still skeptical. Unimpressed as well. A coach can never be too much in awe to not be able to analyse and constructively criticise.
                            don_budge
                            Performance Analysthttps://www.tennisplayer.net/bulleti...ilies/cool.png

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                            • #29
                              I also think the 2 brutal matches Rublev won vs RBA and Nadal were definitely a factor, physically and mentally, when he got to the final vs Stef. I do think Stef's serve could be better, no doubt. I definitely like Raonic's, Nick's, and Fed's way better. I just cannot really think of a male player that has made a significant change in his service motion. Cilic under the tutelage of Goran did lower his toss and slightly change his motion. That being said, it certainly does not mean a pro male player could not make a significant change in his service motion. But Stef's service stats are looking pretty darn good. That is the bottom line I guess. Stef to my eye has a Dimitrov type motion with what appears to as you say create some friction with a slight hesitation in the motion. To me, Stan as this type of hesitation also, but his serve to me looks much smoother than Stef and Grigor.

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                              • #30
                                Originally posted by stroke View Post
                                I also think the 2 brutal matches Rublev won vs RBA and Nadal were definitely a factor, physically and mentally, when he got to the final vs Stef. I do think Stef's serve could be better, no doubt. I definitely like Raonic's, Nick's, and Fed's way better. I just cannot really think of a male player that has made a significant change in his service motion. Cilic under the tutelage of Goran did lower his toss and slightly change his motion. That being said, it certainly does not mean a pro male player could not make a significant change in his service motion. But Stef's service stats are looking pretty darn good. That is the bottom line I guess. Stef to my eye has a Dimitrov type motion with what appears to as you say create some friction with a slight hesitation in the motion. To me, Stan as this type of hesitation also, but his serve to me looks much smoother than Stef and Grigor.
                                Agreed. Goran Ivanisevic's work that helped Marin Cilic get a USO title is the best example I can think of, where a top pro made a significant change in a his serve for the better. That was a tremendous run. Then there's Djokovic who has tinkered with his serve so much over the years I can't keep track of the ups and downs. Supposedly, Novak (now with Goran) was hitting a lot more slice on both first and second serves at the Aussie. Whether that was simply a tactical change or a tweak to his serve I haven't been able to find any clues.

                                But, I digress. Criticizing Tsitsi's technique is well beyond my paygrade But these threads started with the service toss cluster and my question to Brad Gilbert on Twitter who said "He should toss it to 12 o'clock". I still don't know if Tsitsipas has a competitive advantage from serving differently. As I've watched him beat Rafa, and Rublev, and Thiem -- none of them seem to be able to read this serve, despite having so much to read. I'd love to have 5 minutes to ask his father Apostolos why they built this unconventional service motion, and the unconventional grip. This is by design. Whether it's a smart choice or not, it's a "feature not a bug".

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