Re: Laura hits the red dirt - Clay Season Cheering Thread
It may be all in the toss.
Looking at the video of Laura's 1st round Charleston match - is it possible that the shoulder injury that she had in Oz has had some kind of hangover and affected her service action slightly? When she is serving from the near side you get a good view and you can see many occasions when her arm goes out wide and is at least 30 degrees from the vertical.
I've also been watching some of the Katowice matches especially left handed Kvitova and generally the serving arm comes through much more vertical, more like a normal throwing action.
It may not be anything to do with the shoulder that has caused the arm to drop, it could just be that is where the ball is going and she doesn't have enough control on the toss. There are also occasions when the ball comes down slightly behind her head and she has to play almost a round the head badminton shot.
Some games she gets the toss right on most points and you can see Laura hit the ball in front of her and follow through onto court. Other times the ball would almost land on her feet, but if the ball is on top of or behind you, you are almost certain to serve long. The first 2 service games of the second set show the difference from good to inconsistent.
If you think back to Laura's good run in the US Open and after, she frequently threw the ball up and caught it again because it was so far out. The TV commentators mentioned it a few times so she has had a problem with throwing the ball up consistently for some time.
It could be that she has improved it enough so that she does not need to stop and catch it quite as often, but not enough to give her a consistent serve.