Hey everyone, it’s Jeff Salzenstein here,
and in today’s video I want to talk about a couple of serve tips that… actually, I had a viewer go on Youtube,
and pretty much bashed me about a serve video that I have up there. It is the “Serve like Nadal” video, and we’ll probably put a link on for you to check that video out as well. I did it last summer, so it’s been quite some time, and actually I think that technique that I use most resembles Pete Sampras, and not Rafa Nadal but all great servers use this type of technique,
or most great servers. But I want to talk about the reasons why this person,
I feel, is wrong of what he said with his comment on Youtube.
This is what he said: “Boss…” I didn’t know I was a boss, but… “…toss is way too far behind you, so your body weight
is shifted to the wrong direction, losing power. Pronation was okay, but the swing
didn’t follow all the way through. And what on earth are you doing on your feet? You’re supposed to land far into the court to raise the body weight distribution.” Well, a lot of the stuff there actually
doesn’t make a lot of sense to me, but I can understand why this person would say this because there’s a lot of myths out there
about the tennis serve. First of all First of all, I don’t follow through
with the motion, because I was mimicking Pete Sampras who, arguably,
had the best serve of all time. He was able to pronate and bend his arm sooner than anybody else, and I think that was one of the reasons that made his serve so great. To address the weight distribution, getting into the court, if you look at Federer from a side view,
a lot of times, he actually lands on the baseline. So, there are some servers that toss the ball
well in front, and they land well into the court but there are other servers, notably
Roger Federer, who has a pretty decent serve. He lands right on the baseline on a lot of his serves. As far as my toss being too far behind me, again, if you throw the toss above your head and you have the correct serving stance with the platform stance that I highly recommend, your toss is going to be above your head,
and your body is going to be tilted. You’re going to be more sideways, and you’re going to be able to hit a lot more top spin on your serve. So basically, the serve that talks about
how Nadal is serving so great, the serve video that I used on Youtube, it is correct. The technique is correct. I studied the serve for years, and it most resembles Pete Sampras. I like to think that that video looks like
a lefty version of Pete Sampras, if I can only be as good as him, or
serve as great as he did. But I did my best to make it look like him. So, tell me what you think. Do you think I’m on track with what I’m talking about with this serve? I know it’s different than what other people are teaching but I came up with these solutions by
studying with some of the great teachers in the world, and also studying with my own video analysis, what the best servers were doing. So, let me know what you think. Again, go out on the court and try this platform stance. Try throwing the toss over your head a
little bit more so you can get more top spin and get that toss up in the air so you can reach out to it. And if you go into the court, that’s great, but if you don’t, that’s not a huge thing either because Roger Federer has a lot of
success with that as well. We’ll talk soon, and let me know what you think. Thanks.

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Dennis Veasley

89 thoughts on “PETE SAMPRAS’ |Tennis Serve Explained | FEDERER’S Weight Transfer On The Tennis Serve”

  1. So astonished to see someone criticizing the generous tips that Jeff provides.. I feel fortunate to have someone that achieved the proficiency that Jeff did, sharing with us.. and if you know is story he wasn´t a great server when at Stanford University and decided to study the serve in great depth and made it a weapon… if we want to improve shouldn't we pay close attention to Jeff's tips? Well, I have and he has helped me with my serve, my FH ( through skype video analysis..which was great)

  2. and recently with shoulder tracking exercises that help stabilize my joint.
    Everyone is entitled to their opinion but we should be humble enough to learn and Jeff with his answer showed that 🙂

  3. This may be pedantic but the camera angle you are using to compare yourself to Sampras is a bit off. Doesn't make a huge difference but it makes one thing look equal that isn't. Shoulder rotation. Your right arm is almost in a 'I want a hug' position. I find my students who do this tend to be not quite as accurate, have a little less disguise, and a little less power. Again, only if we are being pedantic. Great video by the way.

  4. Also, when addressing youtube comments don't take them so personally or seem annoyed. It's the internet, after all. People are going to act like assholes, try and take what they're saying and filter out their hostility. The video kind of comes off like you're trying to put this commenter in their place when you should just be trying to educate people about some of the confusion.

  5. federer is actually really good , did you see how how that shit was on fire against djokovic in the french open this year..

  6. If that was a first shouldn't your left shoulder and upper arm compress more towards your right through the contact? In this serve the racquet face points backwards and yet the strike was more glancing because the arm didn't magnify the shoulder rotation into the shot. This is of course more question than comment.

  7. Rather than imitation of others, the result is what counts. Different folks have different serve motion, since everyone's body's different. Give it try & take the goods, then skip what didn't work. Develop your own style!

  8. Federer has a pretty DECENT serve????… You are kidding right?.. One of the best serves in the Tour if not of all time falling behind just a few big names. You might have been a former atp player but show some respect to RF. Lol, pretty decent serve….hah

  9. No. Federer is NOT in the top 100 serves of all time. Just because he is a great player does not mean his serve is one of the greatest. His serve is a weapon, but it clearly not at the level of a Sampras, Ivansevic, Isner, Karlovic, Rosset, Krajicek, Tanner, Arthurs, Rusedski, Norman, Denton, Johansson,

  10. No, it falls behind many names. Federer has a good serve, and it's a weapon, but it's clearly not the dominant weapon of the greatest servers, of whom there are probably at least a hundred (in the last 100 years) in tiers above Federer.

    eg. Rusedski, Denton, Arthurs, Karlovic, Sampras, Krajicek, Stich, Johannson, Rosset, Norman, Ivanisevic, Tanner, Curren, Flipper, etc

    Furthermore, be aware that the term "decent" is relative, and in addition, Salzenstein was clearly…

  11. ….being understated in his description so as to to not be accused of overstating his argument about Federer being example.

    You are being both juvenile, and ignorant in your comment, creating offense where there was none, and exaggerating Federer's serve capability. THAT is not respectful to Roger, as childish fanboy comments only serve to detract from his true abilities.

  12. First there is no call for childish insults here ie. "hater". Second, I do not know what you are classifying as his "five" serves. Traditionally, tennis serves were divided into 3 categories: slice, flat, kick (I will ignore novelties like reverse slice, or underspin) Obviously, one can further subdivide these, as they exist in a continuum, and as more subtle variations exist (slice/topspin, topspin, american twist, etc). I assure you that Federer does NOT deliver all of the…(cont)

  13. (pt 2)…original 3 I mentioned from the same toss. He does in fact vary his location, particularly for the higher kicking serves.

    Finally, I did not say he did not have a high first serve percentage (although you are incorrect when you say "always", nor did I say he wasn't a "monster" (ill-defined as that term may be).

    In future, if you wish me to take your response seriously, please refrain from the insults, and respond directly to the content of my comments. Thank you.

  14. Jeff, sorry to tell you this but your serve looks nothing like Pete. I do remember seeing your serve live in Toronto when you were still playing and I thought it had a lot of kick but it looked and still looks contrived and forced. Nobody can duplicate the utter dead relaxed motion that Pete had, which not only had kick but incredible pace and disguise. I think you would have been better off just coming up with your own motion instead of literally just trying to copy someone else.

  15. Sampras definitely has the greatest serve ever. Absolutely no question, however Federer does not get enough credit for his serve IMHO, and I think it's because the rest of his game is so good and he relies on that more. He's only behind guys like Isner and Raonic these days in terms of 1st serve points won and percentage of service games won. That should tell you all you need to know. He hits all his serves with essentially the same toss, he hits at about 120-125 MPH and it's deadly accurate.

  16. YIKES. Numerous errors/lies in this post.

    1.Federer is ranked #18 in 1st serve points won, and that ONLY considers players for whom the most recent ATP stats have been taken. ie. only back a couple of generations. Above him, are a few of the servers I mentioned, but of course, numerous other generations are missing.

  17. (pt2)
    2.the fact that Federer is tied with Nadal in your second serve statistic, should indicate to people that this statistic is likely not particularly reflective of the serve itself, as few would argue Nadal as an all-time great server.

    3.both stats are influenced by the rest of the players games, particularly the 2nd serve stat, which is HIGHLY influenced by the rest of the players game.


  18. (cont)

    4.In your other post, you claim that it is a valid point to argue Federer is not an all-time great in terms of power, but that he is in terms of "spin and placement", and that the "numbers back this up". THIS IS A LIE. The numbers you quoted are not indicative of serve spin and placement whatsoever. I am unaware of any comprehensive placement/spin statistics on this generation, let alone intergenerational comparison. However, we know anecdotally that the servers with the most power…

  19. (pt4)

    …Also have the highest combinations of spin/speed, (an obvious by-product of higher racquet head speed). What limited empircal analysis that has been done confirms this.

    5.I find sayings like: Federer doesn't build his game around the serve, etc both ignorant of tennis, and meaningless. The serve is the most important part of the game, and all players build their game around it to some degree. This was true even of a Jimmy Connors, or Ken Rosewall, or Andre Agassi…..(cont)

  20. (pt5)

    It is true that a baseliner MAY (depending on the opponent/environment) may be less reliant on an effective serve, but in general, all players suffer greatly when their serve effectiveness/percentage/power drops. Saying that Federer is a percentage server is not correct, as his first serve percentage was not particularly high, the numbers, and observations tend to point to Federer trying quite intentionally to use his serve as a weapon. It is also, I believe, meaningless rhetoric to…

  21. (pt6)

    ….characterize Federer as putting more emphasis on "placement". Every great server that I mentioned, had excellent placement, as indicated by their high ace counts. All pro players, from the weakest to the strongest, work heavily on placement, and execute it well. Some better than others, but there is no stat or objective measure with which to compare this (though as I noted, Fed's 1st serve percentage, is not particularly high, which is one form of placement). To say Federer….

  22. (pt7)

    ….Federer has better placement, or emphasis on placement, than say…Kevin Curren or Michael Stich, is both subjective, and in my opinion, likely false.

    6.If you understand any of what I said, please don't mislead people with invalid statistics. Not only do those stats NOT support the conclusions you gleaned from them, they are clearly not applicable to this discussion, which was framed in terms of all-time greats. To use them this way is intellectually dishonest.

  23. To which "5 different serves" to you refer? Federer clearly varies his toss for his 1st and 2nd serves. While you may be able to interpret 5 including placement, or relatively minor variations in spin, it's generally conceded (except in fanboy rhetoric, which applies to many players), that Federer does NOT use the same toss for all his serves.

    Let me also note that name-calling Ie. "hater", adds nothing in terms of meaningful content, and only makes you look juvenile.

  24. Absolutely incorrect. You have made TWO more absolute errors in this post:

    1. If 9 people tie for first, and you come in 10, you are not "technically" 2nd. How absurd.

    2.You are WRONG anyways. "numerous people" are NOT "tied". Federer is not tied with anyone. He is ordered correctly. The site ROUNDS the numbers to appear tied, they are actually ordered in the correct ordinal manner.

    Please inform yourself of the basics before posting. It will save you from making these simple errors.

  25. Incorrect. I do not know if you are being purposely obtuse to be argumentative, or if you truly do not understand the simple premise that a winning percentage of serve points, particularly 2nd serve points, has innumerable non-serve related variables.

    However, if you choose to believe that Nadal's second serve is better than Federer's, Arthurs, Isner, and Roddick…so be it. Others can decide for themselves, if this is an accurate measure of 2nd serve "greatness".

  26. Incorrect. You purposely misquoted, and misinterpreted the statistics. As outlined in my other posts.

    FACT: Federer iS NOT #6, he is #18, and that is ONLY out of serve stats for the last several years.

    FACT: a stat like 2nd serve points won, is NOT a good measure of the serve itself.

    FACT: you didn't say these are "opinions", but rather tried to say the "numbers back" you up. This is untrue, as you quoted wrong numbers, and inappropriate stats.

    IF you are unable to…(cont)

  27. (cont)
    ….understand my "long-winded" explanations, then there is little more to discuss. I feel I have debunked your posts thoroughly, though, the restrictions of youtube mean I cannot deal with them as thoroughly as I might like.

    Finally, you inability to understand why Federer is not #6, or that he is not "tied" with many people, indicates to me both a lack of knowledge about the stats, and questionable reasoning ability.

  28. Incorrect. The stats I quoted are career, not over the last couple of years.

    WRONG. Second serve points are dictated much more by:
    1. the return game of the opponent
    2.the rest of the game ie. groundstrokes, volleys, movement etc.

    THIS is why Nadal is #1, or do you believe his 2nd serve is better than Federer or Isner or Roddick. I already asked you that, but you did not reply.

    Finally, of course those percentages are NOT the same. The top 50 or so players are ALL within a percentage…

  29. (cont)…or 2 of each other. Do you wish to call them all TIED? FINE. Then your stats which you said prove Federer is an all-time great, are not only inappropriate, not only did you get the values wrong, but now you wish to call them all tied. Ridiculous.

  30. Incorrect. You EXPLICITLY said that the "numbers back" Federer. They do not. As I have shown:
    1.you quoted the numbers incorrectly
    2.you misinterpreted them
    3.those stats have no value anyways in determining all-time great serving.

    If you had ANY self-respect, you would ADMIT your errors….enjoy looking in the mirror.

  31. You DID quote the wrong numbers, and you didn't even get them….lady you got pwned bad!

    And nah…points won do not tell ya about the serve alone. That's why a guy like Nadal can be ahead of the biggest servers in the game.

    Sorry….but you're an idiot.

  32. Yah and by the way, I don't think Fed would want you spouting off wrong numbers, even if you're trying to make him look better or any other top player for that matter.

  33. You really are an idiot. THe other guy is right, Federer is not #6, he's #18 CAREER, like the toher guy said. What's wrong with you???

  34. Now you are being irrational. I don't need "more data". NO RELEVANT DATA has been presented. YOU tried to assert that Federer's serve was among the greatest of all time based on invalid data. I debunked that.

    Now you are also asserting that Nadal's 2nd serve is better than Federer or Roddick…and presumably best of all-time, since you believed that the stat you presented represents a measure of all-time serve greatness. ABSOLUTELY ASININE statements.

  35. You have been denying that you claimed the stat (you misquoted and misinterpreted) backed up your assertion of Federer being an all-time great server. I am tired of that lie.

    Your OP: "but in terms of spin and placement- Roger is one of the best and the NUMBERS BACK THIS UP."

    You have attempted to obfuscate the issue for several posts now, instead of admitting that you either lied, or were ignorant about the true number, and that your claims were false.

  36. I am glad your narcissism regarding your perceived physical beauty allows you to overlook a lack of character, lying, and irrational reasoning. I can only hope that as you mature, you'll come to regret such acting-out behavior.

  37. Thanks for deleteing that response to me Jeff. Since there hasn't been a meaningful reply, and since I've already made all my points (albeit difficult to follow through fractured youtube comments) regarding the original post, I wont' keep addressing endless tangents. I'm sure you don't have time to wade through it all, but I hope you read some of my points! Thanks again for sharing your knowledge and experience.

  38. Summary:

    U believe winning points on first serve prove that Federer is an all-time great server. You claimed he was #6 all time. He is in fact #18, out of ONLY the last few generations. You noted he was #2 for 2nd serve points, & you claimed that Nadal, who is #1, has a better 2nd serve than Federer.

    These stats, even corrected, are not particularly reflective of the serve itself (especially the 2nd serve), & certainly do not speak to the all-time greatness of a serve for numerous reasons.

  39. PS. Jeff, I'd be curious to hear where you would rank Federer's serve amongst the greatest of all-time. To me, he'd be near the top of tier 2. WIth tier 1 being the monsters of serving….the guys with overwhelming serves, & the serve specialist journeymen; the Ivansevic's, Tanner's, Arthurs, of history. To me, tier 2 would be guys like Fed or..Lendl or Rafter. Huge weapon on a great day; good weapon on most days, not attackable, great variety, and consistency, with plenty of pop when needed.

  40. hi, could you help me with something? in the part of the video you show sampras service is my idea or you show pete lefthanded in the serve??i dont know if i am looking it wrong but it seems like

  41. I skipped forward a bit in the video, and when I heard you say Federer has a "pretty decent serve", I knew this vid was bullshit and not worth my time. Federer has one of the most accurate serves of all time.

  42. Jeff you are a great teacher. I have listened to most all of your clips. but what really makes you a great teacher is humility! There dosent seem to be any of this cockiness that you find in alot of tennis players and coaches. I recently had a student that was extremely difficult to teach simply because he argued with me about everything due to the size of his ego. I had to tell him to get another coach because he constantly argued and contradicted me.

  43. I agree with you Jeff. I've seen a lot of tutorials here about the serve. I feel that there is a lot of unnecessary info. Some stuff is valid, some is not. I like your explanations because you focus on the main points, like the platform stance and keeping that back foot there without coming to a pinpoint. I feel like a good server needs to remember these essentials without getting bogged down on tedious little details.

  44. Seriously, there's different ways of serving everyone has their own ways or ideas. Jeff is just analyzing what he sees and what he believes to be some tips. Don't like his explanation because you don't understand it? Doesn't mean you have to bash at him about it. He did a very good job for two reasons. He didn't name the guy was that was criticizing, and he does not have that cockiness saying that what he was saying was correct. Stop criticizing, take other people's opinion into consideration.

  45. Jeff is correct. Just look at the video comparison. Key to power and control is shoulder turn past 90 degrees (thus, toss is more to side) and being able to come out of that turn with the racquet square to target.

  46. The topspin on my serve is generated by impacting the ball about 10 degrees prior to a straight arm….at this point I snap my wrist upward and rotate my forearm. Arm goes to full extension. A key feature of my serve is that I try to make my shoulder girth and arm length one long lever. My torso leans left to achieve this.

  47. Question about this fast pronation – is it rough on the elbow? Is it not something older and very young should try? I think there are a lot of factors for how much you angle your body forward on the serve – your height, whether the extra pace is worth having to scramble back behind the baseline, how much energy it expends. I do notice some pros angle forward like a torpedo, while the top guys are more like what Jeff says. Do as Bruce Lee said – try it – if it works – use it.

  48. You are both right.  Depends on the studentJeff, if capable and can mangePetes serve sucessfully then go for it.  Now if they are beginner or intermediate i would leave petes motion out of it lol. Also bad comparison on Pete and Nadal serve their unique and diff in their own way plus fed and rafa couldnt even smell Petes serve 😉

  49. after watching your video i was curious where you got the video of Pete serving left handed, Pete always served right handed.  was there an instance where he served left?

  50. I really don't get how federer serve.. Been trying to serve like him. I imitate him because I thought what he does is simply not hard on your body. The way he play is looks simple and doesnt need that much muscle.

  51. I just wanted to respond to a (friendly) comment below that said Jeff Salzenstein did not have a good serve when he was at Stanford.  While I have no doubt that his serve improved significantly as a professional player, I have to say that I watched many of Jeff's matches at Stanford and he had a gorgeous motion even then — fluid and rhythmic and explosively powerful.  Getting serve tips from this guy is a gift. These are world-class mechanics.

  52. Your Sampras motion is correct . I always notice that he finished his swing with his elbow hanging high and his forearm down . This technique kept him aligned in the strike zone longer and probably improved accuracy . Your arm and shoulder have to be both strong and flexible to produce this motion without getting hurt .

  53. Jeff,Thanks for the videos. 3.5 ntrp to 4.5 in a year watching these videos and putting in the court time. I have a big serve and decent kicker/slice. Problem is against better players I must have a tell or some mechanical motion tipping off my opponent. Do you have a video on disguising the serve? Or as a high level player what tells did you look for in your return game. Should the toss on all serves be similar?

  54. Federer has a decent serve? You kidding me? Fed's serve is not super fast but it's deadly. The disguise is the killer and the placement itself is pretty darn good.

  55. Serve myths debunked: Former Top 100 ATP Pro, Jeff Salzenstein, is exposing 3 common myths that could be crippling your serve potential. Most players make at least 1 of these 3 mistakes… Do you? https://goo.gl/EXxRdk

  56. Take it from an old ..former US naval officer…don't let the bastards wear you down…and don't give them the satisfaction of a response…
    Thanks Jeff…spot on, great integrity, and a good guy

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