Out of the corner of the eye, the opponent stands ready, weight shifting from foot to foot in anticipation. The serve starts with the toss. The arm swings smoothly, robotically in an arc, and then betrays its organic complexity when, near the peak of the arc, the hand opens up like a flower and the ball emerges. As the ball floats up towards its suspended moment, the body winds up like a trebuchet, the arm its terminal sling.
Only moments after the tension is built up, it is released. Kinetic energy starts as a trickle, from the earth up through the feet, from ankle to knee to hip, now a fast moving stream, up through the spine and into the shoulder, a river now, through the elbow and the wrist, until finally it reaches the racket, a raging torrent that sweeps up the ball in its path and then disperses into the sea of the surrounding court.