Analysis of a Tennis serve Essay


Tennis serve is the shot that starts off the point. It is normally instigated by pitching the ball into the air and thumping it into the diagonally opposite service box exclusive of touching the net. This act is attained underhand or overhead. It is the only attempt where a player takes his time to position up, instead of reacting to an opponent’s shot. In doing this, high percentages of the efforts are normally exerted at the upper extremity of the body, while the rest at the lower extremity of the body. the serves comes in five main types of which includes; cannonball or flat serve, topspin-slice serve, slice serve, American twist serve and the topspin serve. The paper will focus on the some of the types of the serves and the ways in which the upper extremity are involved in the game. With this, it will look at the movements that occur at each of the upper extremity together with the muscles that are in use at the joints.

The upper extremities are linked to the shaft by means of the shoulder girdle. These parts of the body includes; the shoulder girdle together with the shoulder blade and collar bone, the upper arm together with the humerus, the lower arm with the radius, the hand with carpus and lastly the metacarpus and fingers. During the implication of the different types of the serve, the extremities are used in different ways in that, they are involved in different movement and different types of the muscles in them are also required participating in the action.

1.1              Flat Serve

In this type of serve, the server hits the ball with continental grip and a swing path directly through the ball to disable it to cut and spin through the air at a high speed. It normally comes close to the net and thus preferred for the first serve in the game. In this serve, shoulder has a big role of supporting the arms as much as coordinating the movements. With this they tend to contain significant muscle which becomes of more help to the rotator cuff for thrower during the tennis game, this is the supraspinatous muscles (Knudson, Morrison, 2007, pp 176-182). The muscle is located under the acrominon tip of the clavicle at the shoulder of which is the last part of the collar bone in any human body. They are small muscles that carry all the potentiality of one to participate in baseball.

They can only hold up to five pound of pressure exacted on them and the moment the amount of pressure exceeds the required amount, the deltoid starts to act thus preventing one from being able to rotate the arm effectively during the game. The muscle tends to be abused whenever the elbow is above the shoulder as it is being interrupted by the acrominon tip. Thus, the thrower has to learn good throwing mechanics so as to prevent injuries during the game.

1.2              Topspin Serve

This is hit with advance spin conveyed by brushing the rear of the ball upward at contact. This spins more slowly than the flat serve. To achieve this, the pitch is grasped with the middle finger at the centre of the narrow seams with the index and ring finger being outside the two seams. Then the pitcher lets go the pitch just a slightly early and snaps the wrist down. To facilitate this, number of muscles are involved in the act, these include; the flexor carpi radilais, brachialis, the first, second, dorsal interosseous muscles and the second and the third palmar interosseous muscle (Knudson, Morrison, 2007, pp 176-182). On top of the finger muscle, the shoulder muscles also have some contribution on the effect. These muscle works relatively to facilitate the action of the serve to be imparted on the ball.


Knudson, D. V. & Morrison, C. S. (2007) Qualitative Analysis of human Movement pp 176-182 Publisher