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View Full Version : What was average speed of serves with wood?


sandy mayer
04-12-2007, 08:20 AM
I read in 'Rivals' that Navratilova served faster than any woman with a wooden racket, serving in the 90smph range. This is feeble by today's standards, though very impressive when you consider the equipment.

What about other players, both sexes? I'm not talking about one off blasters, but AVERAGE speeds. I'm told that it's possible to serve huge with wood, but not regularly.

BounceHitBounceHit
04-12-2007, 08:42 AM
I read in 'Rivals' that Navratilova served faster than any woman with a wooden racket, serving in the 90smph range. This is feeble by today's standards, though very impressive when you consider the equipment.

What about other players, both sexes? I'm not talking about one off blasters, but AVERAGE speeds. I'm told that it's possible to serve huge with wood, but not regularly.

When my pals and I go out w/ a radar gun we usually serve about the same SPEED with wood (TAD Davis/Maxply, etc) as we do with 'modern' frames. However the ability to insanely spin the ball is WAY less. ;)

CC

Moose Malloy
04-12-2007, 08:53 AM
2nd serves are really hard to hit with wood(because its hard to generate spin) so it was wise to lower mph & get more 1st serves in.

Even with slower speed, players in the wood era still had lower 1st serve % than todays players, its a completely different sport, & a very challenging game with wood. 2nd serves & returns are the most important part of the game, & the 2 hardest things to do with wood racquets(no bad mojo hosted a wood racquet event recently & has described these 2 aspects of the game suffering with wood)

If wood came back it would ruin recreational tennis, no one would be able to get a 1st serve in unless they regressed to underhand serves.

Tanner was the biggest server of the last years that wood was used on tour(but he played with aluminum I think)

There are no real match stats available from that time, & the radar gun was not around at many events(& the ones it was at, it wasn't on court, the commentator occassionaly would mention how fast a serve was, I'm not sure the equipment was even able to register every serve at a match, it was pretty primitive as well)

You can't really talk about mph on serves without talking about %'s, the 2 are related. When people here talk about playing with wood racquets, I wonder if they really try to play matches with them, or just hit with it, because the only way you can really discover just how different it is is to play a match with it, not just mess around.

southpaw
04-12-2007, 09:49 AM
If wood came back it would ruin recreational tennis, no one would be able to get a 1st serve in unless they regressed to underhand serves.

If by ruin you mean millions more would participate, then yes.

JWin
04-12-2007, 11:21 AM
If only tennis could return to the popularity levels it enjoyed with the Wilson Stan Smith, Kramer autograph, Dunlop Maxply Fort, Donnay Borg, were being weilded at public parks.

The Kramer autograph was excellent for spin on serves when I used one.

The Gorilla
04-12-2007, 11:31 AM
When my pals and I go out w/ a radar gun we usually serve about the same SPEED with wood (TAD Davis/Maxply, etc) as we do with 'modern' frames. However the ability to insanely spin the ball is WAY less. ;)

CC

try stringing it with modern luxilon strings and see if it makes any difference, (just curious).

Capt. Willie
04-12-2007, 07:26 PM
try stringing it with modern luxilon strings and see if it makes any difference, (just curious).
That would be interesting, has anyone tried putting Luxilon in a wood racquet? And if so, what was the result?

TennisMD
04-14-2007, 02:59 PM
In an old tennis magazine article they had phillapousis hit with wood vs extralong vs his own rkt and not much difference, I recall in the 126 mph range, but much more consistancy with the long rkts

ollinger
04-14-2007, 06:55 PM
Colin Dibley was able to serve 146 mph with wood; among the more successful pros in the 60s, Pancho Gonzalez served in the 120s with wood.

maxply
04-16-2007, 12:23 PM
At the U.S open in 1981 borg hit some 1st serves at 116 against Conners(radar timed)

sandy mayer
04-16-2007, 01:46 PM
I'm not surprised. Borg had a massive serve, 1 of the most underrated shots in the history of tennis for a reason that escapes me.

warreng
04-18-2007, 11:46 AM
That would be interesting, has anyone tried putting Luxilon in a wood racquet? And if so, what was the result?

SNAAAP!

:-D

fastdunn
04-18-2007, 04:36 PM
I thought the hardware and location for measuring speed have
changed over the years....

classic tennis
04-19-2007, 07:02 AM
If by ruin you mean millions more would participate, then yes.

There should without a doubt be regulations on racquets, & as for participation & ruining the game, I guess you guy's cant remember the halcion days of tennis late 60's .....& subsequent bust of the game in the late 80's ?

More racquets & gear was sold (at least 30%) than is now, & that is a shame, you wonder why a lot of companies went bust? that's because now two of three major factories produce for everyone in China.

That's a shame, the craftmanship has all gone. With the exception of boutique companies like Topspin & Vantage who still take pride in what they sell & will customise for you.

BTW as for the serve I think it was the old Aussie Colin Dibley who would throw in the odd 125mph one.......with a wooden bat.