WATCH: Roger Federer Makes Slight Change in His Service Motion To Put Less Strain on His Back

Published 03/17/2021, 3:41 AM EDT
Roger Federer of Switzerland in action during his Mens Singles Quarterfinal match against Tennys Sandgren of the United States on day nine of the 2020 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Fred Lee/Getty Images)


Roger Federer has one of the most lethal serves on the tour. Once he tosses the ball high up, Federer’s entire service motion thereafter is a beautiful spectacle.

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As the Swiss Maestro returned to action at the 2021 Doha Open after a hiatus of more than a year, there was a slight change in his service.

Bend it like Roger Federer

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The slow-motion video below helps in dissecting the change in Federer’s service motion. Generally, when Federer’s racquet makes contact with the ball while serving, he arches his back forward to push his body weight on the ball.

Roger Federer of Switzerland reacts during a practice session during the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club at Wimbledon on in London, England. Picture Credit: Getty Images

However, at the Doha Open, Federer repeatedly bent forward less after hitting the service to minimize the strain on his back.

If the motion of this right arm going behind the back is compared to his service motion back in 2019, one can see that the racquet drops less than it used it.

Due to the slight changes, the 39-year-old has lost a few kilometers of the speed of his service which reflected in poor points winning percentage on his second serve.

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Having made a comeback on the tour after two surgeries on the right knee, Federer won his opening match against Dan Evans in a thrilling three-set match.

However, the 20-time Grand Slam champion suffered an embarrassing defeat in the following match. Despite having a match point in the deciding set, Federer squandered the opportunity to finish the match and lost to Nikoloz Basilashvili in the quarterfinals.

In fact, it was an unimpressive 24th time that Federer lost a match despite having a match point in hand. Having just played two matches since his comeback, Federer has withdrawn from the 2021 Miami Open to prepare well for the season ahead.

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The decision isn’t surprising since Federer has been tweaking his schedule since 2017 to focus more on the Grand Slam tournaments.

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Kshitij Tayal

366 articles

Kshitij Tayal is a tennis author at EssentiallySports. Having played district-level tennis competitions, Kshitij is also a tenured journalist of the sport with over four years of experience. At EssentiallySports, he pens down some thought-provoking pieces on players and tournaments across the ATP and WTA.

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