Technical and Anatomical Analysis of Reilly Opelka's Serve

Chris Lewit

Reilly Opelka: one of the tallest servers in tennis with one of the biggest serves.

Reilly Opelka is one of the biggest servers on the ATP Tour--and he is also one of the biggest players, standing at 6' 11'' tall. I have followed his career closely since he was a junior and spent a week closely observing his game a few years back at a USTA training camp.

The tennis serve is a complex biomechanical movement utilizing both the upper and lower body. In this article, I will analyze the serve movements during three main phases of the motion: Start to Power Position (Setup), Power Position to Contact (Acceleration), and Contact to Landing (Deceleration).

These stages build on the research of Mark Kovacs and Todd Ellenbecker and their excellent study on the 8 Stage (3 Phase) Serve Model. I highly recommend this study for those who want to brush up on their serve biomechanics.

And you can see more high speed footage of Reilly from an amazing overhead view in the High Speed Archive. (Click Here.)

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Chris Lewit, former #1 for Cornell and Pro Circuit player, has coached numerous top 10 nationally ranked juniors and is a leading coach, educator, and author. He has written two best-selling books, The Secrets of Spanish Tennis and The Tennis Technique Bible.

Chris runs a popular high performance summer tennis camp in the beautiful mountains of Vermont and coaches players world-wide through his virtual school, CLTA Online (

Chris also produces a weekly high performance tennis video talk show and podcast, The Prodigy Maker Show, which is available on Apple Podcasts and all other podcasting directories. All shows can be accessed at

Check out Chris's blog, also at for free articles on high performance junior development and Spanish training. Learn about his camp at or visit the online academy at

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What makes Spanish tennis so unique and successful? What exactly are those Spanish coaches doing so differently to develop superstars like Rafael Nadal and David Ferrer that other systems are not doing? These and other questions are answered in The Secrets of Spanish Tennis, the culmination of five years of study on the Spanish way of training by USTA High Performance Coach Chris Lewit.

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