Serve like Sabine Lisicki


The serve is the only shot in tennis you're fully in control of - it can win you plenty of free points

We cast our eye over the technique of Sabine Lisicki, who boasts one of the biggest serves in the women's game



Sabine is just beginning to take her weight onto the back leg with a slight rocking motion identified by the raising of her front foot.

Notice how the right wrist is already flexible – allowing the racket head to drop – and this loose wrist will be an excellent source of power.







The normal way to serve is to sync the right arm going backwards with the left arm putting the ball up into the air.

However, there are many servers – particularly in the women's game – who put the ball up early, with the right arm having to play catch-up.






Her legs are ready to launch her upwards into the serve. Notice how high the ball toss is.

Essentially she serves extremely well but the high ball toss can become a problem, not only in the wind, but when a player gets nervous and has to time the upward drive to meet a falling ball.







This is a classic pose. Her chest is facing upwards and her head is well up too.

The racket head is dropped well behind her back and the wrist is beautifully relaxed for maximum speed and power as the arm unleashes upwards.

The legs have also driven up powerfully.






Her eyes are watching the ball closely and she is as tall as possible as she makes contact.

This picture alone is confirmation of why her serve is one of the best in the game.

When she times the rest of the action to get to this point she'll be hitting a high percentage of great serves.






This is a textbook landing with the head up, the spine straight, the right leg in perfect counterbalance position and the landing ballet-like.

Two things to notice – she has landed inside the court and her balance is so good that the foot is flat on the ground and straight.






Get frame-by-frame analysis of your favourite players' technique in every issue. Official ATP coach Dave Sammel, who has more than 25 years' experience in tennis, casts his eye over Sabine Lisicki's serve and Rafael Nadal's backhand in tennishead Volume 6 Issue 2Subscribe to the magazine today or download the latest digital magazine, available on Apple and Android devices.

Posted by: Dave Sammel

Golden Rule
The fifth image in this sequence illustrates why usign your height, pushing up from the legs and reaching up to the ball are such important elements when trying to hit big serves

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