Roger Federer – Sequential Photos

The following sequence is excellent – with very basic elements highlighted

Within the 7 images please note the following

  1. He tosses with his weight on the back foot, his tossing arm is parallel to the baseline

  2. His body weight is centered as he extends his tossing arm but his right hip is lower

  3. He accelerates up to the ball

  4. At impact he is somewhat sideways, his right hip has driven his right shoulder up and into the hit – called cartwheeling

  5. Right shoulder still well up as he allows his arm to decelerate – note snap

  6. Right leg starts to kick back a bit to counterbalance his weight

  7. He lands on his left foot and is ready to go

Photo courtesy Jim Fawcette ©jfawcette




  • ken brophy

    Reply Reply August 21, 2020

    It looks like a second serve. Ergo the hips somewhat closed. Plus, he finishes closer to the baseline than almost every other male pro! The illustration has him doin a Djok landing x5′ into the court 🙂
    Be well, good stuff.

    • Jim McLennan

      Reply Reply September 22, 2020

      Thanks – a question is how sometimes Fed lands on the baseline and other times into the court, but not always on serve and volley – what do you think?

  • Giuseppe Tripodi

    Reply Reply August 17, 2020

    Hi Jim hope you keeping well. Is the perfect serve one segment is wrong . Thanks

    • Jim McLennan

      Reply Reply September 22, 2020

      I am not sure what you mean, but certainly there are variations in how players serve the ball


    Reply Reply August 16, 2020

    Great sequence of photos
    Noted toss with weight on back foot, never thought about that.
    Now I know what to copy.

  • Jlee

    Reply Reply August 15, 2020

    Is there significant difference vs Sampras?

    • Jim McLennan

      Reply Reply September 22, 2020

      Joe – a good question – and the answer is just a hunch – Sampras had a bit more whip at the top of the hit and somehow the serve came off the court “heavier” – and often in videos I would see that Agassi would not even react to some of Pete’s serves, unless that meant Andre was leaning one way or the other – but as regards rhythm and balance Roger is close to Pete – best Jim

  • Esdubya

    Reply Reply August 15, 2020

    Thank you Jim and Jim! Been looking for something like this for a long time that illustrates the the progressive movement and mechanics of the modern serve. Videos are always great, but even at their slowest speed, it’s still difficult to clearly see the various parts and stages of the serve from start to finish. The photo along with the clear explanation of the serve’s progression using Rogers movements is going to help a LOT of folks in the tennis community who’ve been struggling with their serve, and especially those trying to migrate from the ‘old serve’ that goes back to the sixties that many are still using! Great work and thank you for posting!

  • Francis

    Reply Reply August 15, 2020

    Hi Jim,

    The photos do not show what Federer does before he tosses the ball. There are many videos of Federer with his weight forward before he tosses the ball. He rocks back and then forward to toss.


    • Jim McLennan

      Reply Reply September 22, 2020

      Yes – but sometimes the smallest elements may be about personal style – Jim

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