Angelique Kerber (*88 / GER), who is of Polish descent, has had a rather slower start in her pro career. In 2011, after significant improvements in her fitness during that year, she surprised by the advancement into the semifinals of the 2011 US.Open. She won her first WTA titles in 2012, at the age of 24, and from then on she established herself as a top 10 player. Her best year so far was 2016, when she scored two Grand Slam wins (Australian Open, US.Open) and reached the WTA #1 ranking at the age of 28 years.
Angelique’s service seems rather a bit unnatural as she was born right-handed and was switched to a left-handed player in her youth. In tennis in general, and even more so in women’s tennis, playing left-handed must be seen as quite a significant advantage and this is the reason why some parents and coaches with big goals switch their natural-born right-handed prodigies to the left-handers at a young age. Quite a typical example here is also Rafael Nadal (ESP). Based on my observation over the decades, I see the “switched lefties” as having slight difficulties with the optimal timing of the pronation and with the efficient full-body energy release into the stroke. But needless to say, for both Kerber and Nadal, the calculation seemed to pay-off as they both, despite having rather average services, reached the #1 rankings.
As can be seen from the photos below, Angelique is, besides her rather stiff-appearing service action with suboptimal body energy integration, “suffering” also from a rather limited stability of her service motion, which has quite a low margin. This might be in my opinion based on certain disturbing interferences in the depth of her service motion programming. She is known, among other things, for a relatively high amount of double faults in her game.
Angelique Kerber (*88 / GER) – 1st service in a match – 2 of 5 – push-off while racket is traveling to the cocking position – 2016 US.Open – NY
Angelique Kerber (*88 / GER) – 1st service in a match – 1 of 4 – toss / backswing – 2016 US.Open – NY
This analysis addresses just certain aspects of the service shown. More detailed information and further detailed photos of Angelique Kerber’s service and other strokes are available upon request at drmgb11(at)gmail.com.
Photos (August 2016) & text (January 2017) copyright by Dr. Martin G. Baroch