David Gofin – Service 3.0 varieties

Very talented Belgian David Goffin (*1990 / BEL) spent cumulatively over 40 weeks in the ATP top 10 already, but besides winning 4 mid-size ATP events, the really big wins stayed away from him so far. On the other side, he holds a fantastic Davis Cup career singles record of 23/3 and was the main driving force behind Belgian stellar 2017 Davis Cup year, which saw his team only losing 2/3 to France in the final tie, as he won all of his 6 singles matches played during this Belgian 2017 Davis Cup campaign!

David has a quite clean service technique, which clearly fulfills the Service 3.0 parameters. Over the course of his ATP Tour career (as of the end of December 2018), he has 58% of the 1st services in while winning 71% of the points on them. His ace probability of 43% per game is quite solid and the double fault probability of 29% rather slightly higher. While winning 63% of the total of his service points and 78% of all of his service games played, he is clearly a few points behind the very best tour players. In David’s case, besides distinct technical details, his smaller size (180 cm = 5’11”) and certain mental instability and thus resulting technical instability in the match-deciding moments might be, in my personal opinion, the main underlying reasons.

The photos below show David performing all the 3 main service varieties in quite a clean form. Not all of his services during practice or match have such a clean dominant form, but for explanation purposes, the best examples have been selected. Needless to say, the descriptions direct, slice, and topspin service are in reality mostly not valid to 100 % as presented in the textbooks. Most of the services in the real tennis life have one dominant spin variety and a certain addition of the other one. In higher-level tennis, the direct service (often also called flat) actually always has some amount of the topspin (up to around 1000 RPM) and sometimes also a bit of the slice (=side-spin in the case of the service) component. The slice service is being dominated by the side-spin, but a certain rather small topspin component appears with many players. And finally, the topspin service is often being combined with a certain amount of the side-spin. When the side-spin is also quite dominant, we tend to speak about the service with a combined spin/rotation (also named kick/reverse kick or, mainly in the past, American twist).

 

David Goffin (*1990 / BEL) – 1st “direct” service 3.0 in a practice – deuce side – 1 of 5 – toss / take-back – final portion, the feet are already in the pinpoint position – 2017 US Open – New York / USA – August 2017

 

Gofin David Goffin (*1990 / BEL) – 1st “direct” service 3.0 in a practice – 2 of 5 – push-off – initiation, racket travels into the cocking position – 2017 US Open – New York / USA – August 2017

 

David Goffin (*1990 / BEL) – 1st “direct” service 3.0 in a practice – 3 of 5 – acceleration against the ball – very solid body and head control with the eyes fixing the impact zone – 2017 US Open – New York / USA – August 2017

 

David Goffin (*1990 / BEL) – 1st “direct” service 3.0 in a practice – 4 of 5 – follow through 1 – end – energy unloading against the target over well-controlled long-axis pronation in a helix form, tossing (left) arm is rather unstable – 2017 US Open – New York / USA – August 2017

 

David Goffin (*1990 / BEL) – 1st “direct” service 3.0 in a practice – 5 of 5 – landing / follow through 2 aka relaxation, there was almost too much of energy still available in the system for this portion of the stroke, the dominant (right) hip is staying rather too much back – 2017 US Open – New York / USA – August 2017

 

David Goffin (*1990 / BEL) – 1st service 3.0 with a quite strong topspin component in a practice – ad side – 1 of 5 – toss / take-back – early portion, the feet are still in the platform position – 2017 US Open – New York / USA – August 2017

 

David Goffin (*1990 / BEL) – 1st service 3.0 with a quite strong topspin component in a practice – 2 of 5 – push-off – start, the feet are already in the pinpoint position – 2017 US Open – New York / USA – August 2017

 

David Goffin (*1990 / BEL) – 1st service 3.0 with a quite strong topspin component in a practice – 3 of 5 – push-off – end, the racket is about to accelerate from the cocking position against the ball, excellent eye control of the impact zone – 2017 US Open – New York / USA – August 2017

 

David Goffin (*1990 / BEL) – 1st service 3.0 with a quite strong topspin component in a practice – 4 of 5 – follow through 1 aka targeted long-axis pronation in a helix form, good stable head/eye position – 2017 US Open – New York / USA – August 2017

 

David Goffin (*1990 / BEL) – 1st service 3.0 with a quite strong topspin component in a practice – 5 of 5 – landing / follow through 2 – relaxation – 2017 US Open – New York / USA – August 2017

 

David Goffin (*1990 / BEL) – Slice service 3.0 in a practice – ad side – 1 of 6 – toss / take-back – beginning, still in the rather narrow platform stance typical for David – 2017 US Open – New York / USA – August 2017

 

David Goffin (*1990 / BEL) – Slice service 3.0 in a practice – 2 of 6 – push-off – initiation, already in the pinpoint stance, the ball appears to be tosed a bit more to the right side – 2017 US Open – New York / USA – August 2017

 

David Goffin (*1990 / BEL) – Slice service 3.0 in a practice – 3 of 6 – push-off – ending part, the racket is almost in the cocking position, the elbow is not fully risen yet, great head/eye position making a good focus at the impact zone possible – 2017 US Open – New York / USA – August 2017

 

David Goffin (*1990 / BEL) – Slice service 3.0 in a practice – 4 of 6 – impact – racket travels around the ball in the slice typical 9-3 motion, excellent eye control of the impact zone – 2017 US Open – New York / USA – August 2017

 

David Goffin (*1990 / BEL) – Slice service 3.0 in a practice – 5 of 6 – landing / follow through 2 aka relaxation – start – both arms are still very much “in control” at the end of the unloading against the target – 2017 US Open – New York / USA – August 2017

 

David Goffin (*1990 / BEL) – Slice service 3.0 in a practice – 6 of 6 – follow through 2 – relaxation – end – 2017 US Open – New York / USA – August 2017

 

David Goffin (*1990 / BEL) – Topspin service 3.0 in a practice – ad side – 1 of 7 – initiation – well-controlled starting position, both hands are in a coordinated manner on the racket, rather a narrow platform stance – 2017 US Open – New York / USA – August 2017

 

David Goffin (*1990 / BEL) – Topspin service 3.0  in a practice – 2 of 7 – toss / take-back – still in the platform position – 2017 US Open – New York / USA – August 2017

 

David Goffin (*1990 / BEL) – Topspin service 3.0 in a practice – 3 of 7 – push-off – initiation – the racket travels into the cocking position – 2017 US Open – New York / USA – August 2017

 

David Goffin (*1990 / BEL) – Topspin service 3.0 in a practice – 4 of 7 – push-off – end – the racket is about to accelerate from the cocking position against the ball, perfect eye control of the impact zone – 2017 US Open – New York / USA – August 2017

 

David Goffin (*1990 / BEL) – Topspin service 3.0 in a practice – 5 of 7 – follow through 1 – the stored body energy was unloaded into the long-axis pronation of a helix form, the axis of the racket points more than 60° outside of the path of the ball – typical path of the racket after a 7-1 strike aka quite heavy topspin with some side-spin, a certain bending in the hip area is rather suboptimal – 2017 US Open – New York / USA – August 2017

 

David Goffin (*1990 / BEL) – Topspin service 3.0 in a practice – 6 of 7 – landing / follow through 2 aka relaxation – start – 2017 US Open – New York / USA – August 2017

 

David Goffin (*1990 / BEL) – Topspin service 3.0 in a practice – 7 of 7 – follow through 2 – end – 2017 US Open – New York / USA – August 2017

 

This article covers certain aspects of David Goffin’s service and service in general only! Further extensive photo galleries and more distinct details about his service and other strokes as well as about the strokes of other players are available upon a qualified request at drmgb11(at)gmail.com. Some significant details of this kind, necessary for the peak performance in modern tennis as well as for a sustainable tennis training/development in general, are being discussed also in the seminar “TENNIS 3.0 – Future of the Game”, which is available worldwide upon request – www.tennis30.com / www.tennis30.cz

 

Photos (August 2017) & text (December 2018) copyright by Dr. Martin G. Baroch. Any further publication of either any of the photos and/or texts with the explicit written permission issued by the author/copyright owner only!! All instruction provided reflects just the personal opinion of the author and neither the author nor the CPTA accepts any responsibility for potential damages, direct or implied, of any kind!!

DrMGB
Dr. Martin G. Baroch (alias DrMGB) - CPTA's Vice-president - Director of Education and Certifications, long-time USPTA International Head Tester and member of the USPTA Education Committee, owner of the Martin Baroch Tennis Academy & Human Performance Center (MBTA & HPC)
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