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Photo Study of Andy Roddick's Serve

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Start of Toss and Wind-Up
Start of Toss and Wind-Up
Chris Trotman / Getty Images
Andy Roddick has the most powerful and arguably the best first and second serves in tennis. He often hits first serves above 140 mph, and he long held the world record fastest serve at 155 mph. Roddick hits his second serves quite hard, too, but it's their tremendous kick that Andy's opponents find most troublesome.

Here, Andy is just beginning his wind-up and ball toss. He is using a Continental grip, the grip most advanced players use for first serves. The ball should be more in the fingertips of his tossing hand than it is here. Having the ball farther down inside the hand makes it more likely to be sent off course as it is released. Helping his toss accuracy, though, is the slight bend in Andy's tossing arm, which will allow him to move the ball upward in a straight line instead of in a curved path that would make the timing of his ball release much more critical to achieving an accurate toss.

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