Is it really that hard? -
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old Jan 25th, 2003, 07:15 PM Thread Starter
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Is it really that hard?

to change/improve a serve?

Lets see here Martina Hingis can't improve hers, Jennifer Capriati hasn't yet, and Venus with the Second Serve.......

Why can't these girls get the serve together. Granted Venus has a killer first serve, but you are only as good as your second serve which Serena pounced all over yesterday!!!!
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old Jan 25th, 2003, 07:23 PM Thread Starter
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I think I read/heard Venus saying that she always practises her serves at the end of practise when she is tired and that she would move it to the beginning to get more out of it. Really until Venus improves that part of her game, I can't see her beating Serena.

I feel so guilty, but I was like "why isn't Serena playing like she did against Kim", I really wanted Venus to win, but until she steps it up, I ain't gonna worry about it. Its too frustrating.
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old Jan 25th, 2003, 07:27 PM
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Originally posted by joy
I posted a similar thread last week and only two people responded!
Know why, Joy? Cause it's a lot easier to type "Go A", "Go, B", "Go, C", etc., and to do marquees about who rocks, who "rulz", etc. than to answer tennis related questions.
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old Jan 25th, 2003, 07:35 PM
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Wta4ever, that's what amazed me about Serena. I really thought from looking at the Clijsters match that she would come out playing poorly, but it seemed like she wanted this title and noone was gonna stop her. When I saw her play the first couple of games I said, "Oh lord, Venus is not going to win this time". Serena just wanted it so bad, and I'm so happy Venus is starting to take it to her but I just knew that the second serve would do her in.

I agree because when I use to play the serve was the hardest part to improve. If you serve one way, it becomes a habit and if it's an incorrect method you are screwed.

I did notice that Venus was keeping her head up and not pull down like she use too. I know now that she is going to improve on it, because if you read her post match interview she said now she realizes since she is losing. I hope that's true.

Hope she wins the next one! Baby sis is getting greedy.
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old Jan 25th, 2003, 07:42 PM
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It's hard, but not undoable. Henin took about half a year to get her 1st serve to become more of a weapon. She worked hard on her technique during the winter break of 2001 and came back to find she couldn't hold serve. She then slowly regained her earlier consistency in holding serve, and by April 2002 was challenging the Williams sisters.

During the summer of 2002 we saw a significant jump in DFs from Venus. I think it's because she's tinkering with her mentality when serving a 2nd. That was her remedy: to go for it, more than in 2000 and 2001. The results were decidedly mixed.

Over the break she relearned to lean into her serve, toss a bit more in front of her. And keep that head UP. This has helped her 1st serve more than her 2nd. To get her 2nd better she has to take a bit more of a risk. The period from now until the spring is a prime time for her to build on her improvmements from this winter break.

Someone is quietly turning back the them bulldozer dayz...

Always on the lookout for a great tennis match.

Last edited by azinna; Jan 25th, 2003 at 08:15 PM.
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old Jan 25th, 2003, 07:43 PM
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Its very hard to improve anything. Venus had same problems with her second serve and forehand when she started to play tennis, and she will probably have them the day that she retires. Some things just don't change.
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old Jan 25th, 2003, 08:11 PM
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It is not physically hard to change one's serving style, but apparently, to some players at least, it is a mental wall, that some players at least, great deal of difficulty climbing.

How did VENUS get so far with poor serving technique?
her raw talent was getting her undefeated in the juniors and she is apparently not to open to doing what she does not want to do.
An experienced, player should be able to get their serve technically sound in a few weeks of dedicated practice.

The second serve is a different issue.
Most amateur players and quite a few pros have this mental roadblock in which the fear of a double fault far exceeds the drop off in pace of the serve.

One method of helping to overcome this problem is to practice serving the 1st and 2nd serves at the same pace.
a little slower than the maximum speed on both serves.
for example in VENUS'S case: she has a 127 mph maximum and an average first serve speed around 115. Practicing serving both serves around 110 will help to gain the confidence to pick up the pace on that 2nd serve.

But, unless a player is willing to change, little will help them.

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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old Jan 25th, 2003, 08:18 PM
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I think Venus should tape her self serving, First Second and a DF

So she can see the difference herself
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old Jan 25th, 2003, 08:26 PM
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It's hard to change a serve, or really any part of your game. My serve is still crap, and I've worked on it for years... I think I'll start working on it again since I have nothing better to do. I attended camps as a kid, those places mess up kids. I went in with a fairly solid game and a well known academy changed my one handed backhand to a 2 hander.. piffff I have that straighted out and back to the way it should be. The only good thing was I went from a closed stance forehand to an open stance one, and I have more power from that side..... but the serve, yes the serve. I need to REALLY work on that.

Hingis hasn't changed her's because she still has the same coach. Mother Melanie doesn't know any other way to teach her, and refused to call in a serving coach. Martina is someone who could easlily adapt to new techniques I think, but now it's too late... she's quitting I fear. Henin is living proof Martina could have a better serve, and a stronger game. So as much as I like Marti, I really am tired of hearing the "I'm smaller than the other girls" excuse and the "I don't want to buff up and look manly".... piff Martina, Justine is proof you can be stronger and not look like a man.
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old Jan 25th, 2003, 08:28 PM
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It's not hard, you just have to really dedicate yourself and keep trying. Monica litteraly changed her whole serve late in her career (around 2000?), at a certain period the new serve really let her down especially in important moments where it just would break down, but she kept trying and now it's a big weapon. Maybe not as big as Serena or Venus or Lindsay, but it is one of the best. She litteraly change the whole motion and she didn't get discouraged even though at times the results were very frustrating. But I don't think Hingis has the will and desire to work hard anymore.
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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old Jan 25th, 2003, 11:41 PM
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I don't think selesrules that Monica kept that serve. I know what you are talking about - in 2000 Monica working with Bobby Banks tried to rotate her shoulder more when serving, but by the next FO she went to her old serve.
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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old Jan 26th, 2003, 01:18 PM
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i think it is rather hard to change for a pro tennis player. they do not have that long a break between seasons to switch to a new service action. And some players may not want to risk playing half a season with a new service action (etc lose matches). I remember last year Justine Henin started with an abreviated service action. It took her almost all of last year to get it really working. It is only really starting to pay off, even though it is still a bit shaky at times.
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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old Jan 26th, 2003, 01:25 PM
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Venus has improved her second serve since last year. Not a lot but definitely some.
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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old Jan 26th, 2003, 01:26 PM
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I think it can be done, but not easily, and if the player is determined enough to do it. Like someones mentioned already, Henin now has a bigger serve than she used to, because she changed her whole action. It took a while for her to adjust to it, but now shes doing great.
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