Radek Stepanek – Sound and efficient Service 3.0

(UPDATED with additional photos) Radek Stepanek (*78 / CZE) is currently (February 2017) the oldest player in the ATP top 100. In his long career, Radek won 5 ATP singles and 18 doubles titles, among them two doubles Grand Slams. This former top 10 player in both singles and doubles as well as twice Davis Cup Champion with the team of the Czech Republic belongs to the best servers on the Tour from the technical point of view. Despite his just average body size of 185cm (6’1”), he has a quite high career ace probability of 51% per game played. His service fulfills very well the Tennis 3.0 benchmark for the Service 3.0. The photos below show Radek’s practically perfect targeted pronation on his first services and his excellent focus on spending almost the entire developed energy where this is needed for an efficient Service 3.0. In Radek’s case, the almost perfection is in my opinion less question of the talent and more question of the serious work on the deciding parameters.

Despite his just average body size of 185cm (6’1”), Radek has a quite high career ace probability of 51% per game played. His service fulfills very well the Tennis 3.0 benchmark for the Service 3.0. The photos below show Radek’s practically perfect targeted pronation on his first services and his excellent focus on spending almost the entire developed energy exactly where this needs to be spent for an efficient Service 3.0. In Radek’s case, the almost perfection is, in my opinion, less a question of an enormous talent and more a question of the serious work on the deciding parameters.

The photos below are from both the 2016 French Open (qualification) as well as from the 2011 Cincinnati Masters Series, the main parameters remain the same over the years:

 

Radek Stepanek (*78 / CZE) - 1st service 3.0 in a match - 1 of 6 - deuce side - 2016 French Open - Paris

Radek Stepanek (*78 / CZE) – 1st service 3.0 in a match – 1 of 6 – deuce side – ritual – 2016 French Open – Paris

 

Radek Stepanek (*78 / CZE) - 1st service 3.0 in a match - 1 of 6 - deuce side - 2016 French Open - Paris

Radek Stepanek (*78 / CZE) – 1st service 3.0 in a match – 2 of 6 – deuce side – concentration – 2016 French Open – Paris

 

Radek Stepanek (*78 / CZE) - 1st service 3.0 in a match - 1 of 6 - deuce side - 2016 French Open - Paris

Radek Stepanek (*78 / CZE) – 1st service 3.0 in a match – 3 of 6 – deuce side – push-off, eyes are well focused on the tossed ball – 2016 French Open – Paris

 

Radek Stepanek (*78 / CZE) - 1st service 3.0 in a match - 1 of 6 - deuce side - 2016 French Open - Paris

Radek Stepanek (*78 / CZE) – 1st service 3.0 in a match – 4 of 6 – deuce side – extending to the impact, perfect eye control – 2016 French Open – Paris

 

Radek Stepanek (*78 / CZE) - 1st service 3.0 in a match - 1 of 6 - deuce side - 2016 French Open - Paris

Radek Stepanek (*78 / CZE) – 1st service 3.0 in a match – 5 of 6 – deuce side – follow through 1 = targeted pronation – 2016 French Open – Paris

 

Radek Stepanek (*78 / CZE) - 1st service 3.0 in a match - 1 of 6 - deuce side - 2016 French Open - Paris

Radek Stepanek (*78 / CZE) – 1st service 3.0 in a match – 6 of 6 – deuce side – follow through 2 = relaxation – 2016 French Open – Paris

 

Radek Stepanek (*78 / CZE) - 1st service 3.0 in a match - 1 of 6 - deuce side - 2016 French Open - Paris

Radek Stepanek (*78 / CZE) – 1st service 3.0 in a match – 1 of 3 – ad side – concentration – 2016 French Open – Paris

 

Radek Stepanek (*78 / CZE) - 1st service 3.0 in a match - 1 of 6 - deuce side - 2016 French Open - Paris

Radek Stepanek (*78 / CZE) – 1st service 3.0 in a match – 2 of 3 – ad side – push-off / cocking with excellent body stability and the racket being perfectly in line with the intended target, also perfect head position and eye control of the ball  – 2016 French Open – Paris

 

Radek Stepanek (*78 / CZE) - 1st service 3.0 in a match - 1 of 6 - deuce side - 2016 French Open - Paris

Radek Stepanek (*78 / CZE) – 1st service 3.0 in a match – 3 of 3 – ad side – follow through 1 = targeted pronation – 2016 French Open – Paris

 

Radek Stepanek (*78 / CZE) - 1st service in a match - 1 of 2 - push-off - 2011 Cincinnati Masters, OH / USA

Radek Stepanek (*78 / CZE) – 1st service 3.0 in a match – 1 of 2 – push-off – eyes are focused on the well tossed ball – 2011 Cincinnati Masters, OH / USA

 

Radek Stepanek (*78 / CZE) - 1st service in a match - 1 of 2 - push-off - 2011 Cincinnati Masters, OH / USA

Radek Stepanek (*78 / CZE) – 1st service 3.0 in a match – 2 of 2 – follow through 1 with perfect targeted pronation leading to optimal body energy integration into the stroke – 2011 Cincinnati Masters, OH / USA

 

Radek Stepanek (*78 / CZE) - 1st service in a match - 1 of 2 - push-off - 2011 Cincinnati Masters, OH / USA

Radek Stepanek (*78 / CZE) – 2nd service 3.0 in a match – 1 of 2 – push-off / cocking – perfect eye control of the toss, which is slightly more back than for the previous 1st service shown above – 2011 Cincinnati Masters, OH / USA

 

Radek Stepanek (*78 / CZE) - 1st service in a match - 1 of 2 - push-off - 2011 Cincinnati Masters, OH / USA

Radek Stepanek (*78 / CZE) – 2nd service 3.0 in a match – 2 of 2 – end of follow through 1 – this has a different form in the comparison to the 1st service shown above – effect of the different racket trajectory over the ball in order to impart spin – 2011 Cincinnati Masters, OH / USA

 

This article is just a partial analysis focusing on certain aspects. More details and further photos are available upon request at drmgb11(at)gmail.com

 

Photos (August 2011 & May 2016) & text (February & July 2017) copyright by Dr. Martin G. Baroch. Any further publication of either the photos or the text with written permission of the author/copyright owner only!!

 

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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