McEnroe Serving Way off Line

Are there takeaways from this delivery that might help you (and I ) ?

YES !!

Observe his “dual leg drive” up and into the hit – by staying balanced and getting good use from his back foot he maximizes his leg drive

Observe his head with reference to something behind him and note how he physically goes up and into the hit – and is not descending at the moment of contact

Get a feeling for his toss – not overly high such that the delivery is rhythmic and not in any way effortful

Mac was utterly dominant in the 1984 season with an 82 – 3 record, losing in 5 sets to Lendl at the French Open, but beating Connors and then Lendl both  in straight sets to capture the Wimbledon and US Open crowns.

And now for a second opinion.

On close observation, Mac’s serve is rotational, he does rotate up and into the ball.  Dr Ben Kibler calls this a push serve – meaning the force comes from using against the ground during the rotational forces.

But like Federer his body orientation at impact is somewhat sideways to the net.  He is in the act of turning into the serve but is NOT facing the net at impact.  Facing the net can inadvertently enable flexion at the waist and I believe we do see this with server’s who have turned into the hit too soon.

And this perhaps shows how the game has changed – especially in reference to Stanley Plagenhoef who shows in overhead diagrams that a spin serve can be met from 15 to 45 degrees off line – but I think this service action is at least 45 if not 60 degrees off line.

As you enjoy Wimbledon in the coming week, make your own references serve orientation at impact.


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