Dominic Thiem's Second Serve:
A Perfect Model?
Analyzed by John Yandell
Last month we took a look at the technical serve motion of Alexander Zverev (Click Here) and the missing element that I think is contributing to his second serve problems and especially his double faults. Now let's look at the second serve of the player who defeated Zverev to win the U.S. Open in 5 excruciating sets—Dominic Thiem.
I wrote that I thought Zverev's lack of torso rotation—first away from the ball in the wind up and then forward back to the contact--forced him to rely too much on his hand and arm and helped to create the nervousness and doubt that led to his wild inconsistency.
I compared Zverev's turn or lack of it to Roger Federer, but Thiem is another awesome example. Besides the turn, I love almost everything else about Thiem's motion, although there may be limitations on how it applies to the rest of us. So let's take a detailed look.
Let's start with his platform stance. It's very similar to Federer. With a small adjustment at the start of the motion, he aligns the front foot so that it is essentially parallel to baseline. The back foot is also parallel to the baseline and offset behind the front foot with the toes a little ahead of the heel of the front foot. The feet aren't spread too wide, about shoulder width.