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Keep calm and be gay.
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
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Her serve used to be a huge weapon for her game and now suddenly she can't seem to get them in a lot of the times. It's so sad to see.. :cry: 6 DFs in the first game of her 2R of AO 2022 alone...

When did it start? What caused this? Her confidence got totally shattered after Leylah Fernandez beat her at US Open 2021 semifinal and the way it unraveled in the last few games? How to overcome and solve this going forward?

It's sad to see this happening to our world #2... :cry:



 

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Rise up from ignorance
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Sabalenka had service issues at YEC 2021 already. 7 DF vs Badosa didn't look as bad but then it ballooned to 16 vs Swiatek and 19 vs Sakkari :tape:
 

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Keep calm and be gay.
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Sabalenka had service issues at YEC 2021 already. 7 DF vs Badosa didn't look as bad but then it ballooned to 16 vs Swiatek and 19 vs Sakkari :tape:
Maybe she should call Dementieva and Sharapova for advice :sobbing:
 
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La nuit je mens
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When you start thinking about it, it's over. Things need to be fluid. Anything that is thought over too much becomes weird (just like any word or your own name if you keep saying it).

She probably has nothing to fix. She has to find a way to stop overthinking it.
 

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she is having her Zverev moment before finally flourishing :love:
 

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Keep calm and be gay.
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Then again maybe she should ask advice from someone who doesn't hit a lot of double faults.
I was thinking maybe she can ask those two of how to overcome them and still win matches. :ROFLMAO:
 
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  • she has always like to go big on the 2nd, her DF count in general i feel is higher in general
  • her toss is quite high, which is good for a high contact point on slice and flat, but not really that beneficial for generating topspin.
  • also with the high toss, the ball drops faster, wind can mess it up, mental yips will affect the trajectory more, etc. messing up the contact point
  • like the rest of her game, her follow through is labored, overly complicated, and her technical foundation is not that good. you can see when she decided to serve with errani level pace, she still couldn't get the ball in - that tells me it's a technical issue. you can tell by how bad her misses are when she whittles down her serve to just her arm, she just doesn't understand what type of contact she needs.
basically, her serve is a confidence type of serve and once that started to go then it has completely unraveled. she can't get the contact right unless she goes 90-100% acceleration, and that has always been risky bc there's no fallback once things start to go awry.
 

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Zverev had similar issues and overcame it and is thriving. No reason she won't rebound from it.
Zverev has come a long way, but he still gets tight in big matches and big moments. It’s a psychological thing that is hard to fix.

I think it stems from something about their service motion that is not completely natural or repeatable and then breaks down when they get tight or nervous.
 

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It's seems to be a mental thing for Sabalenka. She's said her serve is fine in practice. ESPN did a break down of her serve, and it seems she has lot of issues just staying in the trophy position before going up for her serve. The angle of the racquet face changes and her elbow drops. And it makes it so that she's not 100% sure where she'll make contact with the ball.

She needs to figure it out, or she's likely to have a Dementieva-like career. That's why she needs to know how to hit different serves, especially one a 3/4 pace to give her some margin when she isn't feeling the serve.
 

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Zverev has come a long way, but he still gets tight in big matches and big moments. It’s a psychological thing that is hard to fix.

I think it stems from something about their service motion that is not completely natural or repeatable and then breaks down when they get tight or nervous.
you got it right. the motion has too many variables
 

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  • she has always like to go big on the 2nd, her DF count in general i feel is higher in general
  • her toss is quite high, which is good for a high contact point on slice and flat, but not really that beneficial for generating topspin.
  • also with the high toss, the ball drops faster, wind can mess it up, mental yips will affect the trajectory more, etc. messing up the contact point
  • like the rest of her game, her follow through is labored and her technical foundation is not that good. you can see when she decided to serve with errani level pace, she still couldn't get the ball in - that tells me it's a technical issue. you can tell by how bad her misses are when she whittles down her serve to just her arm, she just doesn't understand what type of contact she needs.
basically, her serve is a confidence type of serve and once that started to go then it has completely unraveled. she can't get the contact right unless she goes 90-100% acceleration, and that has always been risky bc there's no fallback once things start to go awry.
I think these are the two main reasons. Many big servers have struggled with their serve so far in Australia. Samsonova only had 1 ace vs Vondrousova and she normally averages above 8+ each match. Maybe it's also about the courts, in addition to the extremely variable conditions (one day super windy, next day no wind, etc.).

Xinyu Wang also has this enormous ball toss height, and she also had a fair amount of her own DFs.

And then, what adds to it is that Sabalenka has now been on a huge streak of matches with bad serves in a row. She is going to become more and more insecure and start doubting herself which is not good mentality to serve well. She even showed hints at desperation at times, for example keeping to try underaarm serves vs Peterson even after they stopped working and were just giving her freepoints.
 

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I guess no-one here watches on ESPn? Not that I love it, it's just what I get with my cable provider, but there was a great discussion between Jason Goodall and Brag Gilbert about her serve, in fact they both were standing up with racquets and illustrating service motion.

I love this kind of thing--I'm very obsessed with stroke mechanics etc.

Anyway, Goodall showed in video replay how there is way too much going on once she is in "trophy position" (racquet raised over her head, knees bent, way too many shifts in the angle of the racquet face, just too much going on. When it all works, it's an amazing serve, but it's flawed because there are too many things that can go wrong. When she's nervous.
Then once you the DFs start piling up you no longer trust yourself, and the lack of confidence makes it even worse.

Strange no-one has corrected this. But it is a big deal to tamper with your service motion.
 

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It's seems to be a mental thing for Sabalenka. She's said her serve is fine in practice. ESPN did a break down of her serve, and it seems she has lot of issues just staying in the trophy position before going up for her serve. The angle of the racquet face changes and her elbow drops. And it makes it so that she's not 100% sure where she'll make contact with the ball.

She needs to figure it out, or she's likely to have a Dementieva-like career. That's why she needs to know how to hit different serves, especially one a 3/4 pace to give her some margin when she isn't feeling the serve.
Yes, I saw this, it was great. Wish they'd more things like this.
 

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Definitely the confidence. I think before she was content with higher DFs because she knew she went for her serve so much. Despite that it was never more than 10 I think, or rarely. But then it reached a critical level in a few matches in a row that she considered too much and the confidence completely went. Including recently serving the DFs at the wrong time like Fernandez match.
 
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