HITTING TO DIFFERENT SPOTS ON THE COURT: THE BALL KINEMATICS OF THE PROFESSIONAL TENNIS SERVICE

  • Machar Reid
  • David Whiteside
  • Bruce Elliott
Keywords: biomechanics, coaching, skill development

Abstract

Of the component parts of the service (toss and swing) the swing has received disproportionate research attention. Consequently, the age-old question of whether players serve to different parts of the court from the same toss remains unanswered. A 22 camera, 250Hz VICON MX motion analysis system tracked six professionally ranked players as they hit first serves (FS) and second serves (SS) to three 2X1m target areas reflecting the landing locations of T, body and wide serves respectively, on the deuce court. The displacements of the front foot, ball zenith and ball impact were significantly different in the FS, while kinematics across SS were consistent. Front foot position was closer to the centre mark in the T serve and players impacted the ball further left in the wide serve compared to the T serve. Implications are practical for serving and returning.
Section
Coaching and Sports Activities