Marin Cilic Serve Photos

Format
mla apa chicago
Your Citation
Cooper, Jeff. "Marin Cilic Serve Photos." ThoughtCo, Aug. 22, 2016, thoughtco.com/marin-cilic-serve-photos-3208150. Cooper, Jeff. (2016, August 22). Marin Cilic Serve Photos. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/marin-cilic-serve-photos-3208150 Cooper, Jeff. "Marin Cilic Serve Photos." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/marin-cilic-serve-photos-3208150 (accessed October 24, 2017).
01
of 04

Marin Cilic Serve Photo #1: Loading Legs and Core

Photo of Marin Cilic's Serve - Loading Legs and Core
Jordan Mansfield / Getty Images

In this photo, Marin Cilic provides an excellent demonstration of several key elements in the preparation for striking a serve.

Most conspicuous is Marin's outstanding knee bend, which loads the large muscles in his legs to drive upward and forward to begin the kinetic chain that will ultimately whip his racquet into the ball with enough force to produce a serve often topping 125 mph. The other large muscles Cilic is loading up here are in his core; with his back arched and turned almost toward the net, Marin will be able to add considerable energy to the kinetic chain as his upper body straightens and uncoils.

Reaching up with his left hand to follow his tossed ball helps Cilic ensure a reliable toss and drops his right shoulder lower so that it has farther to travel upward and thus build more speed as he starts his swing. The Continental grip Marin is using is almost universal among advanced players for power first serves and the most common grip for second serves as well; some players go a little farther toward the Eastern backhand grip for heavy kick serves.

02
of 04

Marin Cilic Serve Photo #2: Elbow Almost Straightened

Photo of Marin Cilic's Serve - Elbow Almost Straightened
Matthew Stockman / Getty Images

In this photo, Cilic's legs, core, and shoulder have made their powerful contributions to his serve's kinetic chain, and all of their energy is driving upward and combining with power from the muscles in his upper arm to throw the racquet upward and straighten his elbow. The essence of the striking motion on a serve is the straightening of the elbow, but the final link in the chain, which has not yet occurred, is where the racquet finally picks up high speed. Before viewing the next photo, note the 90-degree angle between Marin's racquet and his forearm and the racquet's position facing the ball edge-first.

03
of 04

Marin Cilic Serve Photo #3: Point of Contact for First Serve

Photo of Marin Cilic's Serve - Point of Contact for First Serve
Mike Hewitt / Getty Images

This photo captures the instant before Marin Cilic will strike a first serve. Cilic's point of contact here, with the ball roughly a foot to right of and in front of his head, is standard for a power serve hit with a mixture of topspin and slice, most commonly called a "slice serve," but more accurately called a "topspin-slice serve." The vast majority of first serves hit in advanced tennis are topspin-slice, because that spin combination allows the most power with enough spin to create a reasonable margin over the net.

Cilic's elbow has straightened. The 90-degree angle between Marin's racquet and his forearm is in the midst of straightening, with the pivot point at his wrist. The famous wrist-snap of the serve is the natural consequence of all of the power from the large muscles that contributed energy earlier in the kinetic chain. At this point, a ton of energy from large parts of Marin's body has been funneled into making a very small part of his body, his wrist, whip the racquet up into the ball at tremendous speed. The forearm also naturally pronates as the racquet whips upward, turning the racquet from approaching the ball edge-first to a much more useful strings-first. The strings will brush upward on the ball to generate topspin and from left to right to generate sidespin (slice).

The strong knee bend Cilic produced at the beginning of his serve has resulted in lifting him well off the ground to meet the ball, adding to the already very high point of contact he enjoys due to his height. This improves his angle over the net, allowing him to hit with greater power and sharper angles at a given level of spin. Marin does a great job of keeping his head and eyes pointed up at the ball as he strikes it; many top players pull their heads down.

04
of 04

Marin Cilic Serve Photo #4: Point of Contact for Kick Serve

Photo of Marin Cilic's Serve - Point of Contact for Kick Serve
Chris Trotman / Getty Images

Like most top players, Marin Cilic meets his kick serve less forward and much farther to the left than his power first serve. In this photo, Marin is hitting a twist serve, which he must toss farther to the left than his topspin-slice serve in order to brush across the ball from 7:00 to 1:00 and produce the twist spin, which curves to the receiver's right in the air and then kicks high and to the receiver's left on the bounce. When hitting a twist serve on the deuce side, as Marin is here, the server most often aims for the center T, where the ball will kick up and away from the receiver's backhand, but the twist spin can also be placed slightly to the receiver's forehand side so that it kicks into his body and jams his swing. On the ad side, Marin can use the combination of his height and the quick dropping action the topspin component of the twist puts on the ball to hit an extremely sharp angle out wide that pulls the receiver off the court and limits him to hitting, at best, a relatively weak return from a high backhand.

The twist serve is used most often as a second serve, where its topspin makes it highly reliable, but a strong twist can make an excellent first serve either as a change-up or as a regular weapon. The twist is especially useful for serve-and-volley, because it flies a little slower than a topspin-slice and therefore gives the server more time to close in on the return, and the return is often a floater that's easy to put away with a volley, because the twist kick makes the receiver meet the ball too high to put any power or topspin on the return.

Format
mla apa chicago
Your Citation
Cooper, Jeff. "Marin Cilic Serve Photos." ThoughtCo, Aug. 22, 2016, thoughtco.com/marin-cilic-serve-photos-3208150. Cooper, Jeff. (2016, August 22). Marin Cilic Serve Photos. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/marin-cilic-serve-photos-3208150 Cooper, Jeff. "Marin Cilic Serve Photos." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/marin-cilic-serve-photos-3208150 (accessed October 24, 2017).