Samantha Stosur (*1984 / AUS) belongs since more than a decade to the top 50 WTA Tour players and was for 3 years ranked even in the top 10. Her first breakthrough came actually in doubles, where she reached #1 ranking in 2006 and scored in total 2 doubles and 3 mixed Grand Slam titles. Samantha’s biggest singles results came in 2011 when she captured the US.Open crown and reached the career high of #4. Without a doubt, the biggest weapon of the quite muscular Samantha can be found in her service, this despite her rather average height of 175 cm (5’9”). Her fans and supporters would then probably wish for more mental stability in her game.
The photos below offer quite a good look at Samantha’s service, which fulfills all of the essential reference points for Service 3.0. At these photos, quite a clear distinction between her typical first service (usually more or less direct service with just a slight topspin) and her famous kick service (heavy topspin with some sidespin used mostly as a second service) are quite visible. In both varieties, Samantha spends almost the entire stroke energy on the dominant (right, in her case as a right-handed player) side of the body (typical for Tennis 3.0 strokes in general). The “follow through 1” (= the active part of the follow through) of the kick/topspin serve then goes, besides other differences to the first service, much more to the right. There are two reasons for the motion of the racket to the right side with the kick service: 1/ the ball is being hit more from the inside out (while imagining ball being a clock, the impact is somewhere between 7 and 8) and 2/ the increased speed of the racket upward (brushing) motion. These both actions create more momentum leading the follow through more towards the dominant (here right) side, more outside (right) of the target than the direct service.
This article focuses just on certain aspects and is not intended as a complete stroke analysis. Further details about the mentioned topic and more analytic photos of Samantha Stosur as well as other players are available upon request – drmgb11(at)gmail.com
Photos (August 2015) & Text (December 2016) copyright by Dr. Martin G. Baroch