25 Comments

  1. this video is the best i’ve ever watched, i ve made the same changes on my serve (before seeing this video) and now that i ve seen the video i have no more doubt….thank you for sharing the video!
    there also a point on the one handed back hand i d like to talk about..what do you think of Thomas Muster preparation of the shot? straight arm, for righties left hand pulling the head of the racket as low as possible, behind the back? this old school technic disappeared (Vilas, Lendl) ..?

  2. @sarasmilepiano While clearly Rafa’s serve has effected his play, Novak has gone up, albeit (it might be important to note) “less” than Rafa’s has headed down. So in a way, you could make a simple argument that’s Novak’s dominant h2h with Rafa has more to do with Rafa’s game than Novak’s (ie- Rafa is not playing as well as Novak has improved). Though the reason for Nadal’s service decline is debatable, one thing is for sure: his confidence has taken a hit and affected all parts of his game.

  3. @sarasmilepiano While clearly Rafa’s serve has effected his play, Novak has gone up, albeit (it might be important to note) “less” than Rafa’s has headed down. So in a way, you could make a simple argument that’s Novak’s dominant h2h with Rafa has more to do with Rafa’s game than Novak’s (ie- Rafa is not playing as well as Novak has improved). Whether the reason for Nadal’s service decline is debatable, one thing is for sure: his confidence has taken a hit and affected all parts of his game.

  4. This video is an absolute gem- opens your eyes about the nuances of the men’s game but the stats back this man’s claim: Rafa has regressed a bit on his first serve % service game wons and Novak’s has gone up if you compare 2010 with 2011. Last year, Rafa won 90% of his total service games, only bested by Andy Roddick. Novak was at 82%. In 2011, Rafa has gone down to 83% and Novak has climbed 86%. So Novak has increased his serve “efficiency” by 3% and Rafa’s has decreased by 8%

  5. @xstf, well if that is indeed true, then there will be no changing or improving Rafas’ serve, so then I predict that Djoker-Djokovic will continue his winning ways against Rafa in the future and furthermore even Roger Federer will even moreso start too as well…so what was it that Einstein said about the definition of a fool whom continues to do the same things over and over again?

  6. Shoulder issues were probably the reason he changed the serve after 2010. Can’t think of anything else when a serve as magnificent as this makes it tough for the opponent to return.

  7. @THEMETAPHY Well actually Rafa has never given Oscar any credit for helping him. Oscar reached out to Rafa’s camp after his serve got better to get some recognition and Rafa’s camp (uncle toni) told him that (they) fixed his serve. When this video surfaced last month Rafa was asked about it during an interview and said the only thing Oscar did was to waste his time. Very funny about DY, the first thing i would do to his game would be to straighten out his hat!

  8. Rafa Nadal indeed had his best serving year in 2010,when he ended up winning 3 of 4 of the 4 Grand Slams,why he subsequently when back to his traditional serving technique in 2011 bemuses me,maybe he will realize the benefit of hiring this guy Oscar Borras as just specifically his Serving-Coach and nothing else, Give Djoker-Djokovic and The Federer-Express (who recently crushed Rafa at the ATP Finals) more issues again, not like (Donald Young who I suspect will regress back to his normalcy).

  9. Well let’s get one thing clear, firstly rafa’s serve in the 2011 USO was poor, he has lost so much pace on the ball due to the bringing the racquet back motion, It’s even more worse now. If you look in 2010 it’s all arm, he automatically sits on that trophy pose QUICKLY with no other movements, this gave him time to pause and explode up into the ball, a little like roddick does, but i find it hard how he can just lose this motion and not get it back, he has to keep the arm bend, not straight!

  10. Great video. I saw this year that Nadals serve went backwards like you said the old habits came back. I filmed Nadals serve 2 days ago in London and he has changed it again but the upper body action doesnt look as good as at the US open 2010 and his legs look as if they are not really being maximized.
    Thanks for the post

  11. This goes to show that you never stop learning. Even the one of the greatest players to ever pick up a tennis racquet. Some good development drills shown too.

    Excellent video again 🙂

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