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Interactive Forum July 2021: Karen Khachanov Serve

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  • Interactive Forum July 2021: Karen Khachanov Serve

    Karen Khachanov Serve

    The more I look at service motions in pro tennis the more variety of elements I see—particularly in stances. This Month: Karen Khachanov. He starts by shifting all his weight to the front foot. Usually he actually raises his back foot in the air. Then he shifts most of his weight to the back foot and raises the toes on his front foot like Pete Sampras. But then, unlike Sampras, he slides the back foot all the way up, pushing with both legs as he goes up to the ball—but maybe more with the front?

    What do you guys think? Other than personal ritual does all that motion mean much? The other question, do you notice differences in the amount of hand and arm rotation in the upper swing? Thoughts in the Forum please.



  • #2
    John (or anyone) I find it interesting how he sometimes gets the full continuation after contact of long axis rotation and sometimes he has very little continued rotation of the arm after contact. Said another way, sometimes the hitting side of the strings face the right side fence just after contact and sometimes the hitting side of the strings don’t face the right side fence after contact at all. Even when comparing 1st serves with other 1st serves. Have a look at the first 2 serves in the video as a great example of the difference. Any idea why this happens? Thanks in advance!

    Comment


    • #3
      So funny I just now read your comment just above the posted video. Glad you noticed it too. Looking forward to hearing your thoughts to the variety of different amounts of hitting arm rotation after contact and what might be the reasons for this? As for the back foot coming off the ground just prior to starting the serve and the front foots toes coming off the ground in the beginning of the serve, I find this to be style and I think you’d agree. I think he does it because it feels good and it’s a “rhythm” to his ritual/style that works for him. I also notice his hitting palm faces more towards the sky then most pros (just prior to the racquet drop). I found that interesting as well. Many coaches and maybe even rightly so would call this a bit of a “waiters serve”.

      Comment


      • #4
        John -

        1 comment, 2 questions withKhachanov's serve
        1) Karen definitely shifts more weight to his front foot as he pushes off with his legs to explode up. His back heel (right) is elevated more than his front (left) foot at take off.
        2) Is the difference in the amount of long axis rotation, due to serve location, type of spin and how quickly he needs to internally rotate his shoulder? Flatter serves to the center T in the deuce court and wide in the ad court would have more ISR. While slice serves wide in deuce and center T on ad side would have less ISR.
        3) To Jeremy93 point, It is interesting how Karen opens the racquet face as he drops the racquet down his back. Is it a product of his ESR and/or wrist extension? Or is it that his racquet strings never disappear behind his head and stays on his right side? Difficult to tell without a side view. He gets the racquet back on edge at full racquet drop and before the start of the upward swing.

        Sean
        Last edited by seano; 07-01-2021, 10:06 PM.

        Comment


        • #5
          Jeremy,
          Yeah agree it probably just feels good is a rhythm thing. As for the open face, doesn't too extreme to me...main thing is to get to the full drop. from there to contact is where most of the racket speed comes from. Maybe he could drop deeper? Is that the wind up or shoulder flexibility? And agree the rotations seem to vary a lot. As I said below most great servers have complete rotation regardless of serve spin or location..
          Last edited by johnyandell; 07-01-2021, 10:29 PM.

          Comment


          • #6
            Seano,
            You probably know more about that than I do...Hard to tell the arm rotation on the locations from these shots... Similar ones seem to have different amounts. All I know is most great servers get the same amount of hand arm and racket rotation on all serves to all locations. Agree there could be more back foot push.
            Last edited by johnyandell; 07-01-2021, 10:04 PM.

            Comment


            • #7
              Isn’t that racket drop pretty weak or shallow to everyone else? I’m my opinion compared to the great servers it is.

              Comment


              • #8
                I like this guy less and less every stroke that’s put up here. Please don’t show his volleys I’m sure there’s some strange stuff in there like Jim Furyk’s golf swing. Can I request someone who is easy on the eyes as our next other than Novak, Fed, or Nadal?

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by jthb1021 View Post
                  I like this guy less and less every stroke that’s put up here. Please don’t show his volleys I’m sure there’s some strange stuff in there like Jim Furyk’s golf swing. Can I request someone who is easy on the eyes as our next other than Novak, Fed, or Nadal?
                  Watch Fabio, or Sebastien. I have noticed Sebastien has very similar body posture on the forehand that Novak does. In fact, his whole game is easy on the eye. That being said, no one in my opinion has ever been or will be as easy on the eye as Fed. Novak has set a new standard that will probably stand forever on an biomechanically athletic hitting posture off both sides. Nadal has the brutal best of all time forehand.
                  Last edited by stroke; 07-02-2021, 11:55 AM.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    jt,
                    Agree on the drop. And don't worry he didn't hit any volleys.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by johnyandell View Post
                      jt,
                      Agree on the drop. And don't worry he didn't hit any volleys.
                      hahahahaha!!! I’m not surprised!!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by jthb1021 View Post
                        I like this guy less and less every stroke that’s put up here. Please don’t show his volleys I’m sure there’s some strange stuff in there like Jim Furyk’s golf swing. Can I request someone who is easy on the eyes as our next other than Novak, Fed, or Nadal?
                        Agreed. My daughter thought his forehand would hurt her if she hit it. The serve looks to have an inconsistent drop. His whole game appears a bit tight and effortful. He is obviously a world-class athlete. The serve is probably great because of his height. But it does not have the looseness of the great servers.

                        I am surprised that more servers are not loose when they serve.

                        Novak and Fed are the easiest on the eyes. I feel the Wawrinka even though he has an odd serve is very loose as well. His strokes appear brutal but he is not tight when he hits and his backhand slice to me is very functional and simple.

                        It would be interesting to do a side by side of Wawrinka and Khachanov. Both idiosyncratic but different.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I'm transferring my discussion about Khachanovs serve with Brian Gordon from another discussion.

                          1) Brian -

                          Hope all is well and the Miami & Boca Raton teaching is successful. In this months Interactive forum it features Karen Khachanov Serve. In his racquet drop, it appears that he doesn't keep the racquet face on edge and have it disappear behind his head (as you recommended in a previous video) but rather almost has a waiters tray sort of look to it, a la Pete Sampras. He does bring the racquet back to edge at full racquet drop. I have 2 questions -

                          1) Is there a bio-mechanical explanation for this movement? Or is it just a very flexible shoulder?
                          2) What testing would you recommend to measure a students external to internal shoulder capability? Things to look for (scapula movement, as an example)?

                          Thanks,
                          Sean

                          2) Hi Sean -

                          My biomechanical explanation is it is poor mechanics. At the least this pattern tends to cause: decreased ulnar deviation range of motion, decreased overall range of motion in the upward swing by decreasing drop depth, and complication of the adduction process in turn delaying elbow positioning and subsequent timing of elbow extension - all of which he displays. The good news is at his size (6'5") and strength he can bludgeon the ball in, but a work of mechanical efficiency it is not - in my option.

                          I guess the key to ISR-ESR coupling is dynamic flexibility in ESR and contractile speed in ISR. It is possible to measure these things but I don't mess with it. I work mostly with juniors so flexibility is generally not a problem - I do work on ISR speed. For older players I suppose the opposite is true - flexibility tends to wain but they generally have developed more speed in ISR in the school of hard knocks.

                          Hope you are well!

                          3) Brian -

                          Is it safe to assume that the lack Khachanovs consistently reaching a full 180 of ISR, is in part because of your explanation, the decreased ulnar deviation range of motion, decreased overall range of motion in the upward swing by decreasing drop depth, and complication of the adduction process in turn delaying elbow positioning and subsequent timing of elbow extension?

                          Sean


                          4) (Brian's reply) I think it is safe to say a flat entry can limit ESR exiting the backswing and that the potential upward swing consequences can limit the contribution of ISR to racquet speed around contact.


                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by seano View Post
                            I'm transferring my discussion about Khachanovs serve with Brian Gordon from another discussion.

                            1) Brian -

                            Hope all is well and the Miami & Boca Raton teaching is successful. In this months Interactive forum it features Karen Khachanov Serve. In his racquet drop, it appears that he doesn't keep the racquet face on edge and have it disappear behind his head (as you recommended in a previous video) but rather almost has a waiters tray sort of look to it, a la Pete Sampras. He does bring the racquet back to edge at full racquet drop. I have 2 questions -

                            1) Is there a bio-mechanical explanation for this movement? Or is it just a very flexible shoulder?
                            2) What testing would you recommend to measure a students external to internal shoulder capability? Things to look for (scapula movement, as an example)?

                            Thanks,
                            Sean

                            2) Hi Sean -

                            My biomechanical explanation is it is poor mechanics. At the least this pattern tends to cause: decreased ulnar deviation range of motion, decreased overall range of motion in the upward swing by decreasing drop depth, and complication of the adduction process in turn delaying elbow positioning and subsequent timing of elbow extension - all of which he displays. The good news is at his size (6'5") and strength he can bludgeon the ball in, but a work of mechanical efficiency it is not - in my option.

                            I guess the key to ISR-ESR coupling is dynamic flexibility in ESR and contractile speed in ISR. It is possible to measure these things but I don't mess with it. I work mostly with juniors so flexibility is generally not a problem - I do work on ISR speed. For older players I suppose the opposite is true - flexibility tends to wain but they generally have developed more speed in ISR in the school of hard knocks.

                            Hope you are well!

                            3) Brian -

                            Is it safe to assume that the lack Khachanovs consistently reaching a full 180 of ISR, is in part because of your explanation, the decreased ulnar deviation range of motion, decreased overall range of motion in the upward swing by decreasing drop depth, and complication of the adduction process in turn delaying elbow positioning and subsequent timing of elbow extension?

                            Sean


                            4) (Brian's reply) I think it is safe to say a flat entry can limit ESR exiting the backswing and that the potential upward swing consequences can limit the contribution of ISR to racquet speed around contact.

                            I followed all that for once. My sense is that JY could just use his visual tennis approach to guide him. No need for fancy equipment.

                            We can nitpick at his technique all day long. But throwing footballs or simply having an extremely loose arm would help it tremendously.

                            It is surprising to see world class players with flaws.

                            But my guess is that those who really scale to the top manage to work through them.

                            Think about Djokovic and Nadal working on their serve. There were major flaws that they corrected. They were not willing to settle.

                            I could see him making his serve better over time so that it would be less taxing and looser.

                            HIs forehand, on the other hand, that is a whole different beast. Way too extreme and will likely shorten his career significantly.

                            Comment


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