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How to strike a serve like Novak


Originally published on: 21/03/12 00:00


So many things to admire in this picture: His weight on back leg, a loose grip of the racket which will enable him to get good racket head speed, and a late release of the ball which means a more consistent ball toss.

His weight is starting to move onto his front leg, his knees are starting to bend and his left arm is straight for good balance. His racket starts to moves up to the throwing position which will coincide with the ball being at its highest.

His knee bend is at its deepest here giving him the power to drive up to the ball. The most important point here though is the rotation he has gained in his upper body. This twist will give him extra speed without straining his shoulder.

The ball has just dropped from its very highest point and Novak's racket has dropped behind his back ready to accelerate up creating racket head speed. He has still maintained his side-on profile to maximise disguise on the ball.

Great extension in his right arm, the lift he has achieved from his legs and striking the ball in the upper third of his strings enables him to hit down into the service box. Novak has maximised his chances of hitting a perfect serve every time.

His court position shows that his momentum has pushed him forwards as well as upwards. His left foot is flat to the ground and his right leg is swinging down quickly so he is perfectly balanced and ready to move off for his second shot.


'How to serve like Novak' featured in the November 2011 issue of tennishead magazine, subscribe or purchase the back issue.


Tim Farthing, Tennishead Editorial Director & Owner, has been a huge tennis fan his whole life. He's a tennis journalist and entrepreneur as well as playing tennis to a national standard. He also helps manage his local club and volunteers for his local tennis organisation. He's a specialist in content about the administration of professional tennis and tennis coaching for all levels.