Tekst o Aninom servisu Petera Bodo-a ("for a few brief and shining moments tennis, with a great big picture of Ivanovic, was the lead story of the planet's most influential newspaper. I'll fill you in on how that story Ivanovic story developed and provide additional insights and thoughts from Ivanovic's team later in the week. One thing that really impressed me was the fact that while Ana doesn't have a personal coach (Sven Groeneveld is officially her Adidas-sponsored mentor - meaning he doesn't depend on her for a paycheck) who travels full time, her Aussie physio (Scott Byrnes) is with her on a daily basis. This team has a really impressive long-term strategy in place for Ana."):http://www.nytimes.c...amp;oref=slogin
When Ana Ivanovic Serves, You Better Duck
By PETER BODO
Published: June 1, 2008
Last June, the ascendant Serbian tennis player Ana Ivanovic hit a serve 124.9 miles per hour, one of the most powerful blasts ever by a woman. And this was after injuries and maturity had convinced her that, when it comes to serving, it’s about more than how hard you hit the ball. The 20-year-old Ivanovic has shot up to No. 2 in the world rankings in part because she has transformed her serve into a multifaceted stroke that overwhelms opponents with its unpredictable speed and spin. Here, a closer look at one of the most dangerous shots on the women’s tour.
BIGGER IS BETTER
Like all powerful servers, Ivanovic is tall: 6-foot-1. “Taller means a greater margin for clearing the net, and longer levers [arms] mean that endpoint velocity is increased,” says Bruce Elliott, the head of the School of Sports Science, Exercise and Health at the University of Western Australia, who has studied the serve extensively. Her height also allows her to hit a flat serve with less spin and, therefore, get better service speed than her smaller rivals. Ivanovic has developed an unusually good balance of speed, spin and consistency, enabling her to control points and neutralize the major weakness of taller players: “Mobility is not as much of a weapon for Ana as for smaller girls,” says her coach, Sven Groeneveld, “so you look to compensate for that by making your serve a weapon.”
BEND, DON’T BREAK
Great servers share three biomechanical features, according to Bruce Elliott: “Leg-drive, high levels of internal rotation at the shoulder and large wrist flexion.” And Ivanovic, among other genetic assets, has an unusually flexible rotator cuff. “She’s actually too flexible in that area,” says Scott Byrnes, a physiologist who travels at her side full time. “She tends to get unnatural movements in that area, resulting in irritating tears in the small muscles. We’ve had to do a lot of work on stability there.” Of course, that flexible rotator cuff also enables her to do more with her serve, like make last-moment directional changes or adjust her swing to create the various spins a server relies on.
THE POWER OF DECEPTION
Ivanovic also has a strong, flexible wrist, which helps her to disguise what type of serve is coming. Generally, the three main serves — the hard, flat one; the slice, which, for a right-hander, lands and moves left; and the kicker, which veers right — require slightly different tosses, all easily read by an experienced opponent. But Ivanovic has learned to hit these serves with minimal changes in her stance or toss. “Ana used to line up more parallel with the base line, which made it easier for opponents to read her,” Groeneveld says. “It’s harder now, because she also tosses more into the court, and that also means that when she lands after the serve she’s in a better position to deal with the return.”
THE LONG VIEW
Because Ivanovic is still young, her coaches haven’t tapped into the power workouts yet. “So far, we’ve just been thinking about longevity and maintenance,” Byrnes says. Her training includes working with cable weights and bands, frequent ice baths to rehabilitate muscles and keeping her core strong. Groeneveld also continues to fine-tune her mechanics in the quest for the effortless big serve. But Ivanovic is getting itchy. “I would prefer if I could hit some more flat serves, but I need to be patient,” she says. Schultz-McCarthy thinks the patience will pay off. “A big server gets seduced by the chance to hit aces,” she says. “A great server knows there’s more to it.”
Edited by wwww, 28 May 2008 - 08:59.