Google Down the Line!: MEDIA MASHUP: A closer look at Ana's serve during Dubai defeat of Camille

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

MEDIA MASHUP: A closer look at Ana's serve during Dubai defeat of Camille

Ana Ivanovic, who had some see-saw serving during her revenge win against Alisa Kleybanova, cleaned it up big time in Dubai today.

The Roland Garros champ served 7 aces against only 3 doubles and had 63% success on first-serve deliveries during her 6-2, 7-6 (5) defeat of Frenchie Camille Pin. She'll either face top lady baller Serena Williams or Jie Zheng in the quarterfinals.

So, taking a look at some images of the Serb's serving (say that 3 times quickly - phew) in the match it becomes very clear why there's still so much inconsistency in her serve right now: her weight continues to fall to her left, not forward into the court and she seems off-balance during and after the follow-through.

These issues seem to all start with her sketchy ball toss (below). It's a big mess. The ball is running away from her so I guess Ana will have to chase it - not good.

It's definitely not the service motion she utilized brilliantly at Roland Garros last year. But it seems the 21-year old is still moving in the right direction.


(images via Getty)


  1. Yes.. Ana's serve still has clear flaws.. and the toss is far from perfect.

    But.. she seems to be improving. The serve was extremely important in both her matches in Dubai.

    I guess with Ana now it's all about improvement.. she won't just show up and play great tennis like in RG 08.. she will be making baby steps until she has her full form back.

  2. anon: agreed her serve was very important in the matches and will always be. she's a good, not great, mover and her serve sets up the rest of her game.

    No serve = no game.

  3. thanks for the serve analysis, rich. i read an interview of sven's at the aussie open this year and he mentioned that the thumb injury that ana suffered mid-2008 may have done more harm than expected. looking at her serve and even her forehand, it's really different frm her 2007 and early 2008 form. the slump may be attributed to the adjustments that she and her team are making to her game. it seems that they're trying to develop her now as a serve&volley player. let's see how it play out. it's interesting to know how she matches up against serena in their QF encounter. i think ana has the game to beat serena, not too many people give ana credit for the variety that she shows on court. she can slice and has a decent net game. add that to her blow torch fh and serve and if everything works out, she could more slams to her name.

  4. anon: Yeah I remember reading something about that too. I also recall they mentioned a change in her grip for both strokes as well - always such a touchy thing at this point in a baller's career.

    But I hope they don't try to develop her into a serve & volley baller. Don't get me wrong, she and everyone else could be at net a lot more and ana's actually quite competent up there when in position and when she comes in on her own terms.

    However, I don't think she has the quickness or the athleticism, frankly, to become a serve and volleyer. She should def throw it in here and there (40-0, 40-15 points) to add variety and keep her foe off-balance.

    With regards to ReRe, Ana will need to have all guns blazing to win and if her confidence is off (and therefore her serve is off) ReRe will smell it and she's toast. But I def give her a shot.

  5. ''No serve = no game.''

    It sums it up everything for Ana.

  6. Yes, Ana's poor serve toss is really noticeable. Sign me up as another poster who doubts the wisdom of trying to turn Ana into a Serve and Volleyer. She just *doesn't* have the footspeed, necessary reflexes or overall agility for that style of play.

    You have to be more than merely 'competent' at the net.

    In fact, I think that her lack of agility is one of her weaknesses, though she has worked on it and would be wise to continue to work on that area.


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