Posted by: drspartalis | 03/03/2009

The Serve: A Lost Art

In the not so distant past of our beloved sport there was a tradition in the men’s game that is utterly lacking today. Holding serve. For some years now, I see more and more breaks of serve at the most inopportune of moments in the biggest matches. Certainly racquet technology is a factor in improved returning. But that’s only an equalizer to speed and power. Today’s servers are just rifling the ball to their opponent. The precision, accuracy, and consistency of the previous era is no more. Sampras, Becker, Ivanisevic, and Philipousis to name a few were hitting serves just as hard if not harder than most of today’s top talent. With the exception of the last name in my list, their serves were deadly accurate. They regularly blew opponents off the court with bombardments of aces: pin-point accurate, line-clipping surgery at 120-140mph. The serve was once the mark of an elite professional and a source of pride in the men’s game. Today the serve has become a mere formality, a way of initiating the point to yet another baseline rally. Rafael Nadal has certainly taken the game to new heights of unmatched ground stroke spin, impossible angles, and gritty athleticism. But Rafa please do us fans, connoisseurs, and your own knees a giant favor and improve your service motion. The tennis world loves you, and we want to see you achieve the level of greatness you deserve. A first serve motion that is more powerful, flatter, and catapults your body forward into the court is essential. Mas vale tarde que nunca. Vamos!

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