Milos Raonic, who hit a 155mph serve in San Jose this week, just 1mph slower than Ivo Karlovic’s record, tells The Tennis Space how to reach those speeds.
Have a good mental outlook, keep the same rhythm, for a reliable motion.
“Even from a young age I was able to serve pinpoint, play well. I spent a lot of time on it and just never focused on speed, that sort of came I guess with a lot of hours. I just have a good mental outlook on it, I think. I keep the same rhythm for everything. I’m able to hit all the spots from the same toss and I think this is important, to try to give away as little as possible.”
Work out in the gym.
“The speed has gone up gradually. Obviously I’m getting stronger and working more on my fitness and that is helping.”
Be lucky with your genes.
“I’ve got a good shoulder, so I’m fortunate. I remember in school I was good at shot-put and all that kind of stuff with the shoulder, and that was without even working on it.”
Learn from the best.
“Pete Sampras has always been my idol, because I just liked his style, the control of his serve, how he was able to do the same thing with one toss, hit all the spots. I thought he had a tremendous second serve and he did a very good job controlling the court and controlling the pace. You always had the feeling that the match was in his hands, win or lose. That’s something I’ve been working on and trying to develop as much as I can. I felt as those Sampras inspired those things in my game and development.”
Eat red meat.
“The night before a match, I eat medium-rare steak. Can I get to 160mph with my serve? I don’t know, maybe. As long as I keep getting the free points I’ll be happy, I don’t care if it’s 105mph or 160mph.”