After watching a video tape of my own serve, I found
my racket swing path strangly going to the upper right
side of the trunk. Then watched Sampras's serve, and saw
1. arching into the court, bending from the waist toward
the left, after the ball toss; from the opposite side
of the court, it looked like he bended backward
a bit. But the later observation could be a mis-perception;
2. the racket arm swings almost straight upward, with no
noticeable motion sideways. As he springed upward/forward
Then tried to immitate that motion, I fell backward,
toward the left side of the court after the serve. If
I don't intentionally bend the waist more at the completion
of the ball toss, I could not achieve a more straight-up
upward swing path.
I observed other recreational players having such strange
service swing path but didn't realize I have been doing
similar serves. Let me call this the "sideway swing
serve" (SSS) syndrom.
Some extreme players with extreme SSS symdrom almost
only do slice serves. Some of them toss too far to their
right, that their racket almost go underneath the ball.
I can serve flat or top spin by adjusting the toss,
pronating the wrist differently. I assume SSS is a
pretty common mistake.
Do folks have any thoughts to share on SSS ? Any
When I could swing straight-up, I did feel significant increase
in power, and control. I don't have a radar gun, but I could
see the ball hit the backfence (30 feet from the baseline)
in between waist to head level, down the T. This was when
the serve was in.
So I was satisfied about the power achieved, but do not
like to fall to the left side of the court afterwards.
It also strains the back muscles.
What is it that Sampras did that allowed him to not
fall into the left side of the court after serve ?