Novak Djokovic explains how he is turning his underrated serve into a weapon
Rivals beware, Novak Djokovic is upping his game even further as he is starting to turn his serve, which he feels has always been a little underrated, into a weapon.
The Serb has been working on his serve during the off-season and throughout the Australian summer, the improvement has been noticeable.
During his Australian Open second-round clash against Japan’s Tatsuma Ito, the 16-time Grand Slam winner sent down 16 aces and lost just 11 points on serve (53/64).
He revealed during the post-match press conference that he has been putting in the hard yards.
“My serve was working extremely well in the first round and second round. That’s something I worked on in the off-season,” he said.
“That’s one of the priorities of the training sessions, trying to get that advantage of winning a lot of easy points on the first serve. It’s been paying off so far in the ATP Cup and two matches here.”
— Novak Djokovic (@DjokerNole) January 22, 2020
However, Eurosport took it even further and former Grand Slam winner and Game, Schett and Mats analyst Boris Becker asked him about his “weakness”.
“See the elbow and everything else, to what you’re doing now,” Becker told Djokovic. “What happened with your serve? This has gone from a weakness to a weapon.”
Djokovic, who added Goran Ivanisevic to his coaching set-up last year, says improving his serve was “one of the priorities” ahead of the 2020 campaign.
“I think my serve was probably underestimated as one of the weapons because I was so fortunate to return so well throughout my career and get myself in the rallies, moving pretty well and playing an accurate baseline game,” he said.
“But the serve was getting me out of trouble a lot in my career, giving me a lot of free points especially when I was playing my best seasons like 2011 and 2015 [when] I had a lot of great percentages on first serves.
“So today and the last match I served I think over 10 aces which is quite great for me (16 against Ito and 14 in the first round clash with Jan-Lennard Struff) so it’s definitely above the average.
“That’s definitely always a goal to improve serve it was one of the priorities that I’ve worked with my team.
“Trying to get more free points so I can swing through my rallies from the back of the court easier and get pressure of my service games.
“It’s great to see I’m going for my second serve more when I’m more confident but I’ve also been working on getting a little more reach trying to extend my height and works well.”
Iga Swiatek remains top, Daria Kasatkina earns WTA rankings reward
It’s a career-high for the Russian after her first win of the season in San Jose.
Daniil Medvedev retains top ATP rankings, Nick Kyrgios surges up
Nick Kyrgios is the biggest mover on the latest rankings after his first title since the start of 2020.
Emma Raducanu reveals US Open ambitions, looking to start afresh
The US Open champion is looking to start with a clean slate upon her return to the city of her birth.
Iga Swiatek focused on improving, not winning ahead of Toronto return
A return for where it all began for the world’s best player.
Roger Federer without ATP ranking on his birthday for first time in 25 years
An end to an era as the ATP rankings will not feature Roger Federer on his birthday for the first time this century.
Daria Kasatkina relishing three-setters after Silicon Valley Classic triumph
Daria Kasatkina will return to the top 10 after her triumph in San Jose on Sunday.
Nick Kyrgios has big DC return, wins Citi Open singles and doubles titles
The 27-year-old dropped just one set in five matches of singles, never had his serve broken and led the tournament with 96 aces.
Toronto Masters: How to watch Emma Raducanu vs Camila Giorgi
Here’s how you can track Emma Raducanu at the Toronto Masters,
Montreal Masters: How to watch Andy Murray vs Taylor Fritz
Andy Murray faces American No 1 Taylor Fritz in the opening round of the Montreal Masters.
Silicon Valley Classic: Shelby Rogers chasing first title in showdown with Daria Kasatkina
Shelby Rogers will face Russian No 1 Daria Kasatkina in Sunday’s championship match.