Kei Nishikori Serve
Analyzed by John Yandell
There was some press coverage earlier this year about the changes Kei Nishikori made to his serve motion in response to his chronic wrist and shoulder problems. As one writer put it: "The change to the motion comes in the take back. These days Nishikori's path to the trophy position is more abbreviated. In year's past he would draw the racquet low before looping it up to prepare for contact." (For more on this Click Here.)
I had to laugh when I read that. Over the years I have filmed Kei many times including his serve. My opinion is his shoulder and wrist problems have nothing to do with his take back.
If there is one thing we can say about pro service motions it's that there is a wide disparity in the shape of the backswings, ranging from classic semi-circular wind ups to highly abbreviated and everything in between. None of them have associated with injury.
But regardless of backswing shape, all the great servers do share one common element. This element is missing from Kei's serve. It's the rotation of the arm and racket extending into the followthrough after contact.