The Serve: Where Are We Now?
Part 1

John Yandell

A bewildering variety in many elements in pro serves.

So as we start our 18th year it's an excellent time to summarize some more of the things we have learned from the study of the strokes of the best players in the world in super slow motion—and how that applies to you.

A couple of years ago I did this in a series called The Forehand: Where Are We Now? (Click Here.) Now in these articles let's do the same for the serve.


If we look at the variety of motions among the top players, they can appear bewildering. There are major differences in starting stances, movement of the feet, windups, backswings, toss heights, tossing motions, amount of leg drive, amount of body turn, landing positions, followthroughs.

Time after time over the years I have worked with players who noticed certain parts of the motion of top players and tried to copy those parts. Often what stuck out to them however was secondary or idiosyncratic and not core.

So are there core fundamentals across all the variations? I say yes. And these are critical for all players to develop.

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John Yandell is widely acknowledged as one of the leading videographers and students of the modern game of professional tennis. His high speed filming for Advanced Tennis and Tennisplayer have provided new visual resources that have changed the way the game is studied and understood by both players and coaches. He has done personal video analysis for hundreds of high level competitive players, including Justine Henin-Hardenne, Taylor Dent and John McEnroe, among others.

In addition to his role as Editor of Tennisplayer he is the author of the critically acclaimed book Visual Tennis. The John Yandell Tennis School is located in San Francisco, California.

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