I had a chance to be courtside at the recent WTA tournament in Stanford California, marveling at as well as filming this incredible serve.
Following her impressive run at Roland Garros in 2010 Sam is ranked 5th on the WTA tour. A fluent all court player, previously a doubles specialist, she owns the best kick serve on the tour. Repeat, the best kick serve on the tour.
Take enough time with the videos to create this image in your mind. You could even practice this serve off court, first using your mind’s eye to see Sam serving, and then using your mind’s eye to see yourself delivering a version of this serve.
- Stand off center to the ad court – well off center, 4 to 6 feet off the center line
- Use your legs
- Allow the toss to drift ever so slightly to the left
- Throw the racquet loosely up against the ball
- Keep your head up at contact
Cornering – the kick serve moves the opponent out wide, to if not past the doubles alley. In most instances Wickmayer returned weakly up the line or to the middle, where Sam finished with an untouched cross court winner. And this untouched thing will create even more pressure in the receiver’s mind.
Second serve 30-40
The biggest situation occurs at this juncture. A double fault is bad news. But if the opponent owns a weaponized forehand (and nowadays they all do) spinning this serve into the middle of the service box is really not much better. You must get this serve to bounce up and out to the opponent’s backhand return. And for this one Sam Stosur is at the head of the class.
- Eastern backhand grip – first things first, and it must be loose and well past the continental
- Check out the depth of the swinging drop – let it happen don’t force it
- Accelerate the racquet up, up up – “throw a dart in the ceiling”