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“We’re looking to maximise damage from the onset, and one way to do that is with a faster, more aggressive serve,” Moya told ATPTour.com following his afternoon practice session with Nadal. “We’ve been working out the mechanics of his serve; his motion now is more fluid. Before, the ball he served lost power immediately after bouncing. That isn’t the case anymore; his serve maintains speed now after making contact with the court, making it that much more potent.”
“The change is based on three pillars,” Roig explained. “The first is that when he executes the swing, he takes his hand away from the ball quicker, instead of letting his hand linger. Second, Rafa is working on staying more upright and using his size, rather than launching into the serve by twisting and recoiling. That extra spring motion actually resulted in a reduction of power after the ball bounced. The last thing we’re working on is getting Rafa to plant his right foot in the court upon landing from his serve.
“An added benefit is that his second serve is also going to throw opponents off. It might be a more risky approach, but the positive part is that his opponents won’t be looking at the same high bounce; they’ll have to be more on their toes and react faster instead of just keeping the ball in play.”
“These changes came following that match at the US Open,” Moya said. “Rafa was all for the changes, even if meant added work".
“He was the first to identify the weakness in his serve, and we as a team formulated an approach to improve it. We were sidetracked [in late 2018] because of the abdominal injury and the right ankle surgery but finally got around to physically working out the new service motion after recovery. I’m happy to say he’s now comfortable with the revamped serve motion.”
“This isn’t some radical change; it’s just adjusting a weapon we believe will take him to even higher levels,” Moya said. We’ve done ‘trial runs’ in mock matches, just to ensure he’s comfortable when it’s time to compete. The modified serve was a tricky adjustment at first, but now that he’s found his groove, he’s back in his comfort zone.”
“Rafa has taken onboard adjustments to his game in the past,” Moya said. “This is just one more chapter in his career, and another addition to his development.”