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post #16 of 23 (permalink) Old Mar 17th, 2013, 08:11 AM
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Re: Barthel's serve - discuss

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Originally Posted by HowardH View Post
Her serve is strong. She favours slice serves in general, and sometimes she accidentally gets a bit of slice which she doesn't intend to have. It can appear on her second serve when she tries to go the backhand but slices it towards the centre of the box, but it also appears on her first serve when she tries to go up the T on the deuce side. Overall her serve is quite nice though.
I think I have a clue what you mean. But is it accidentally ? How can that happen, and is it an advantage or an disadvantage in your opinion ?
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post #17 of 23 (permalink) Old Mar 17th, 2013, 06:57 PM
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Re: Barthel's serve - discuss

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I think I have a clue what you mean. But is it accidentally ? How can that happen, and is it an advantage or an disadvantage in your opinion ?
It's accidental, or rather, she cannot fully control when it happens. This is a very common problem for people with the kick serve, it often comes out with slice instead of straight kick or twist especially on the deuce side. It's quite tricky to hit up the back of the ball on the serve without coming around the right hand side of the ball, and whenever you come around that right hand side it slices or becomes slice-topspin. Her toss for the second serve tends to be a bit too far to the right for a kick serve, but on the ad side she can sometimes get away with it and still hit a good kick serve out wide. She also tends to stand a bit too upright and she doesn't really arch her back to the left enough on the kick serve (although in reality a lot of that arch is actually created by angling the entire back to the left, not so much by actually bending at the vertebrae, look at Federer's back position on the second serve, Stosur as well).

It's a slight disadvantage because it makes the placement of her second serve a bit questionable at times, often centrally placed or in the forehand side. It becomes possible for an aggressive returner to run around her second serve or predict it more easily. She cannot fully rely on her kick serve to find the backhand corner under pressure on the deuce side in particular, but this is less of an issue in the women's game where the forehands are not so big normally. It also makes her a bit more likely to doublefault, because on the second serve some of the spin will become slice instead and reduce the amount of topspin she gets.

A lot of female players can't hit a true kick serve anyway. So at this stage it isn't that big a deal, so long as it doesn't lead to too many double faults. It also shouldn't be much of an issue against left handers, because you need that slice/topspin mixture on your second serve against lefties, to get your second serve to their backhand. Also her natural slice is pretty useful on the first serve out wide.

When she gets it right her kick serve on the ad side is quite nice, but I can't remember her hitting a real kick serve on the deuce side. I think she should be able to do it though.

For an example of this tendency causing her problems, see this service game here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fiNf3l2lJXA&t=40m0s

Last edited by HowardH; Mar 17th, 2013 at 07:09 PM.
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post #18 of 23 (permalink) Old Mar 18th, 2013, 12:46 AM
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Re: Barthel's serve - discuss

Thanks for the little tennis lesson, Howard and for working out the details of her weakness on serve.
I doubt that she will manage to produce such a proper kick serve as Federer and Stosur can do.
But she`s working on it and her serve is still very efficient and one of her main weapons.
Compared to the last season imo she was putting more pace but also more risk on the first serve. Looking at the pretty high first service percentages in this season it has become safer.
I could see that in a line with a plan to level up her game and make it more reliable and solide overall.

Last edited by joy division; Mar 18th, 2013 at 01:02 AM.
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post #19 of 23 (permalink) Old Mar 18th, 2013, 01:01 PM
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Re: Barthel's serve - discuss

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I've been posting in Barthel threads before you jumped on the bandwagon.
No, he isn't a bandwagoner at all. I know him very well.



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post #20 of 23 (permalink) Old Apr 20th, 2015, 09:32 PM
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Re: Barthel's serve - discuss

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Could be. Maybe in the moments I saw those close-ups her serve didn't feel flowing to her and like most players she sought to compensate.

IMO Barthel's serve doesn't need any reworking or major tweaking. I do think that she can benefit by staying more relaxed through it.
Maybe it's time for 'major tweaking' before it's too late? pov pointed out pretty well about her hitchy(?) and unique action.
I have to swallow my words that she would find a way without a big serve.
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post #21 of 23 (permalink) Old Apr 21st, 2015, 10:59 AM
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Re: Barthel's serve - discuss

She clearly needs to improve her ability to hold serve now.

Whether this involves technical "tweaking" of the serve or just a ton of work on it or a more aggressive attitude when hitting it, she needs to change something. For some players (usually shorter players who rely more on great rallying) holding serve can be just about placing a medium speed serve well and quickly taking control of the rallies (Ferrer, for instance, does this). Others rely on more direct damage from the serve, and become good at killing the easy returns from their serves or getting free points (Federer, Raonic). I think for Mona she probably needs to get a reasonable amount of damage from the serve itself, not just start the point, if she wants to go higher. I mean, she's so tall. I've never seen a tall player who was successful without using the serve as a weapon. Because when you are tall your agility is affected somewhat (Mona is quite a smooth mover considering her height) but you theoretically could develop a great serve. It would be like a short player trying to be successful without being able to run fast or have fitness.

It could even be as simple as a loss of confidence that has affected her whole game. I mean, she doesn't need to be Sampras, Federer or Raonic with the serve, she just needs to be able to not be broken 70% of the time and she will win more.

Anyway, this is all speculative for the moment because I couldn't see what was happening or why she was losing serve all the time. But when she had to serve to stay in the match, I was pretty sure she wouldn't hold, unfortunately.
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post #22 of 23 (permalink) Old Apr 21st, 2015, 04:50 PM
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Re: Barthel's serve - discuss

With her given serve technique Mona can already serve very big, and with a little technical adjustment she would be one of the biggest servers of the game, that’s for sure.

BUT

you don’t need to improve your weapons if you don’t have the guts to use them on the battlefield. As simple as that!

Mona is not a warrior and THIS is her fundamental problem; she is not someone who uses her weapons to create maximum damage to her opponents. And as long as she doesn’t find her inner warrior we don’t need to discuss technical changes.

Just imagine what Sharapova would do if she had such a potential on her first serve.


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Originally Posted by HowardH View Post
I've never seen a tall player who was successful without using the serve as a weapon. Because when you are tall your agility is affected somewhat (Mona is quite a smooth mover considering her height) but you theoretically could develop a great serve.
I think her weak defensive forehand is the main reason why she should serve big. Her movement/foot speed (in contrast to her sloppy footwork) would be good enough to compensate for an average serve, in my opinion. In fact, I regard her as the quickest tall player since Venus Williams at her peak.

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Last edited by Tecumseh; Apr 21st, 2015 at 05:00 PM.
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post #23 of 23 (permalink) Old Apr 28th, 2015, 03:34 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Barthel's serve - discuss

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Maybe it's time for 'major tweaking' before it's too late? pov pointed out pretty well about her hitchy(?) and unique action.
I was surprised to see this bumped. But yeah "hitchy" is a good description. There's a moment where she ummm .. hitches . .if slowed down it would like a minor glitch in an animation program. When I first noticed it was new (to me anyway) now it's become a habit. She likely isn't even aware of it. Hopefully her coach is though at this point I'd think the most efficient fix would be to find a way to use that hitch in a favorable way.

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