After missing the last 6 months of the year with elbow the trouble the former world number one has returned to his most successful tournament with a new serve but what are changes and how will it do?
Changing the serve is massive and is something which will take time to adapt and you’d imagine this is something that has been worked on for quite some time. So let’s take a look!
The first two pictures are from 2016 and the last one is from 2018. Straight away you can see the first motion has been reduced heavily this year. When he tosses the ball up in the air its a shorter toss and instead of going with the arm out straight and bringing it in he tosses the ball now and immediately begins to bring the right elbow down but with less snap than before and is looking to create that snap and kick off the serve with the bend in his chest.
If you look at the pictures the first two the body is straight but with this new serve with less pull back on the elbow more power is generated through the body.
The new serve could mean a decrease in speed and is something we and Novak will learn in these first few weeks. We did see it in Kooyong against Hewitt and Thiem but you can’t read much into it via a exhibition match. A positive with the serve is with the way his body is positioned now it does give more reaction time to restart on the baseline or potentially go forward if that what he feels like doing.
The concern if the serve is slower even by 5mph which sounds a lot but is nothing in tennis could be tempting for opponents so it will be interesting to see what unfolds during this fortnight in Melbourne.
First up for Novak is Donald Young in just over 12 hours time and then if he comes through that a match most likely with Gael Monfils.