Journal of Physical Education and Sport

The Effectiveness of Serve in Tennis Depending on the Placement of Palm across the Racket Grip Inwards or Outwards


Out of the four types of serve in tennis the flat serve is the only one in which the ball is hit with almost no rotation (spin). It is the easiest to perform and control and that which is proposed to be taught initially. Many men players perform this serve faster than 200 km / h, as well as some women, like the Williams sisters. The flat serve is considered as the basic (first) serve. The remaining three serves are called specific, due to rotations and the specific racket movement. The slice serve is hit with side rotations, transmitted by brushing the ball from its right rear part (for right-handed players). The top spin serve is hit with a combination of the two rotations, side and forward, transmitted by brushing the ball from back to top and right (Knudson, 2011). Finally, the twist serve, initially known as «American twist», is a special kind of topspin-slice serve where the ball behaves differently after its bounce in the court, because it has more topspin than sidespin rotations. When the twist serve executed properly the ball bounces in the opposite direction from that of the slice serve (Groppel, 1984). The ball should be tossed backwards and left of the head of the server and the racket to brush the ball from position 8.00 to 2.00 of a clock (Bahamonde, 1994). All three serves with rotation (specific) are used mainly as second and have less speed than the first (flat) serve (Bahamonde, 1994; Atkinson & Speirs, 1998).

In all tennis strokes the grip is a key success factor (Elliott, 1982; Elliott & Christmass, 1995; Elliott, Takahashi & Noffal, 1997; Reid, Campbel & Elliott, 2012, Rossi,Vigouroux, Barla, & Berton,2014 ). More commonly is mentioned that a cause for a no optimal impact of the ball over the strings of the racket is the incorrect grip (Groppel, 1984; Brody, 1987; Knudson & Elliot, 2004). In all kinds of serve, particularly in the specifics, the most used grips are the continental and the eastern backhand (Roetert & Ellenbecker, 2007; Brown, 2012; Rive & Williams 2012). Another particularity of the grip in general is to which level the player grip is "tangential'' to the edge of the racket handle, which is the classic and most faced selection of players and coaches in the teaching process (fig. 1, left).

However some players hold the racket "inwards", so that a part of the handle overhangs beyond the fingers of the athlete (Fig. 1, middle). …

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