Karolina Pliskova (*1992 / CZE) – runner-up at the 2016 US.Open and as of September 12, 2016, the # 6 of women’s tennis belongs to the most dominant servers on the WTA Tour. In the 8 months of 2016 (until August 29, 2016), she clocked 407 aces in her 45 matches. Below is a slow-motion of her 1st service in a practice set against Carla Suarez Navarro (ESP) just before the start of the 2016 US.Open. Here she shows a rather less typical, but in this case a very successful combination of a first service and a drop shot/stopball.
Let’s look deeper at this service and why is it so dominant. First of all Pliskova’s body plays a big role. Not only is she with 186 cm (6’1”) one of the tallest players on the tour, but also her body structure with long arms and legs (respective to the body) and higher center of gravity are really helpful in creating the optimal momentum.
From the point of the technique, Karolina has some excellent aspects of the Service 3.0 going most probably back to her early technical development stage in her junior years and also one little weakness leading to a lower margin at decisive (tense) moments like during her recent US.Open finals. Some of the main elements can be seen below:
Karolina Pliskova (*92 / CZE) – 1st service detail – from the cocking phase or also “back scratch” towards the impact, solid push-off, excellent eye control – during a practice before the US.Open – NY / USA – August 2016
Further photos and videos and more details regarding the possibility of margin improvement of Karolina Pliskova’s service as well as detailed documentation and analysis of strokes of many other top players are available upon request at drmgb11(at)gmail.com
Copyright August 2016 (video, photos) & September 2016 (text) by Dr. Martin G. Baroch