Already during her active career a legend, Serena Williams (*81 / USA) has broken many records and is surely one of the very few candidates to be considered as the greatest women’s tennis player of all times. Besides her truly remarkable physical strength and an enormous winning willpower, she has also a very efficient groundstroke technique, in the distinctive details (sound understanding of the Tennis 3.0 Code) quite different from most of her competitors. Her forehand, backhand, and service/overhead can be used as almost an ideal model for the TENNIS 3.0 strokes typically strongly dominated by the energy unloading from the body. Serena’s service has then been one of her biggest and most reliable weapons over the course of her 20+ years long stellar career.
Below, I am presenting the analysis of Serena’s service during the 2018 Wimbledon Championships while also adding few images from far back in 2003. It is interesting to see that her core service fundamentals have been quite the same in 2003 already and this speaks for the quality of her coaching back then and mainly even before that. In short, Serena’s service is very simple, well-focused at the decisive elements (not always quite clear to many in the tennis world) and practically free of any potentially disturbing idiosyncrasies. Some of the main decisive elements to be mentioned are a relaxed well-balanced starting platform position, a very stable quite high toss, a delayed loading/backswing on a long trajectory, a perfect eye control of the impact zone, a massive well-timed push-off, a significant shoulder and elbow elevation and a very good energy unloading into the well-controlled targeted long-axis pronation (= internal shoulder rotation). In summary, the remarkable power, as well as the control, of Serena’s service is being developed in a good balance of action in all 3 dimensions (vertical, horizontal, rotational). This is what I call the “helix stroke” and in this case the “helix service” and what I consider as the overall deciding element making, from the performance point of view, the real tennis greatness possible. As with all the helix strokes, the forward (horizontal) action delivering the energy against the target is dominant, but its coordination with the well-timed actions in the other 2 dimensions (vertical, rotational), without disturbing the main power axis, is for the top overall quality and sustainability of the stroke inevitable.
This article covers certain aspects of Serena Williams’ service and service in general only! Further extensive photo galleries and more distinct details about her service and other strokes as well as about the strokes of other players are available upon 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 (June 2003 & July 2018) & text (October 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 of any kind!!