High service toss??

Reply Mon 8 Jun, 2009 08:56 am
Anybody else watching the French open?

I can't believe I'm still seeing people tossing tennis balls eight or ten feet over the strike point to serve. I mean, if I had to pick any one aspect of Soderling's game I'd want to change, that would be it. How in the world can he play tennis on a windy day??

I mean, the best serve there ever was in tennis arguably was Roscoe Tanner's and I'd have thought the whole world would have studied it. The ball never fell: it rose as high as it needed to to get hit, and then it GOT hit, rarely much under 140 mph and this was with wooden racquets and the first generation of racquets made with man-made materials which weren't any bigger than the wooden ones, and Tanner was not 6-4 or 6-5 or anything like that. The mechanics of it were not difficult to comprehend.
Reply Mon 8 Jun, 2009 10:03 am
Tanner's Serve:


One effect of the low toss is that if you ever blinked your eyes, you just missed it. There was no way opponents could ever get any sort of a read on the thing at all.
0 Replies
Reply Mon 8 Jun, 2009 05:21 pm
Tanner had a remarkable serve and was often noted for hitting it not only as it hit its peak, but while it was on the rise.

Hitting a ball it it's peak is recommended for maximum consistency and control of the serve because the ball isn't moving as fast (or at all) when it's at it's peak, making it easier to hit.

Hitting a ball on the rise is recommended for maximizing forward velocity because you gain the energy of the toss as well as the energy of the racket head on impact.

Hitting the ball as it falls is recommended for generating topspin because the ball moves down against the racket head which is moving up, so the energy of the toss is translated by gravity into rotation rather than forward velocity. The same principles apply in Table Tennis for high-toss serves.

In theory a player would select the type of toss and impact point which matched the type of serve he wanted to hit (high velocity, or high precision, or high spin), but in reality, each player is limited to the type of service stoke which is most natural to his/her body mechanics.

Very few coaches however, recommend tossing the ball much higher than the impact point because the unpredictability of wind conditions in tennis outweigh the value of generating spin due to a falling ball.
0 Replies
Reply Thu 25 Jun, 2009 05:25 pm
Watching Hewitt dismantle Juan Del Potro here, same stupid thing. Del Potro is having to wait 25 seconds for the ball to come down and hope it comes down in the same county in the wind, that's no way to play tennis....
Reply Sun 28 Jun, 2009 06:18 am
Andy Roddick was pounding some good serves at Wimbledon the other day. He's got a very short toss, and may even catch it on the rise sometimes.
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