PDA

View Full Version : Average Speed of 1h and 2h backhands


Sentinel
04-14-2008, 07:30 AM
Would like to know what the average speed of these 2 strokes is on the pro circuit.
What average and max speeds are Nadal and Federer, Nalby, Safin, Davydenko, Berdych, Blake, Gasquet etc hitting at.
What speeds are the winners at ?

Is there any place where such data is compiled ?
Are the 2 likely to be very close ?

No raves/rants please. Thanks in advance.

Edit: I am not considering slices, dropshots, volleys/touch shots at net, and shots where the player deliberately slows pace down.

Djokovicfan4life
04-14-2008, 12:12 PM
*Sound of crickets chirping*

soyizgood
04-14-2008, 12:20 PM
I don't think it's realistically possible to get an accurate number. For starters, backhands are not stationary shots like the serve. Also, nobody brings a radar gun and calibrates it for every shot hit. It's hard for pros to win points as it is, let alone predict when their shot results in a winner. Looks like that will be an open-ended discussion just like the backhands in general.

boojay
04-14-2008, 12:28 PM
It's funny, the ATP (or whatever tennis governing association that's responsible for marketing the game) is trying so hard to promote tennis, coming up with new "lame" slogans for doubles, implementing the challenge system (which was neat for a while, but has become cumbersome because of the intentional delay), but they've neglected to incorporate the simple, yet interest-piquing element of speed awareness. Baseball displays the speed of every pitch, the very least tennis can do is have a small graphic next to the score indicating what the service speed is for each serve. Groundstroke speeds would be cool too, but I can understand how that can distract viewers, however, the summary statistics at the end of each set/match should include a groundstroke speed avg, for interest's sake.

boojay
04-14-2008, 12:31 PM
I don't think it's realistically possible to get an accurate number. For starters, backhands are not stationary shots like the serve. Also, nobody brings a radar gun and calibrates it for every shot hit. It's hard for pros to win points as it is, let alone predict when their shot results in a winner. Looks like that will be an open-ended discussion just like the backhands in general.

Funny, they didn't seem to have any trouble calibrating the radar gun in this instance:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FnGictZtlDg

I realize it's replay, but it certainly ADDS to the replay.

JRstriker12
04-14-2008, 01:05 PM
It's funny, the ATP (or whatever tennis governing association that's responsible for marketing the game) is trying so hard to promote tennis, coming up with new "lame" slogans for doubles, implementing the challenge system (which was neat for a while, but has become cumbersome because of the intentional delay), but they've neglected to incorporate the simple, yet interest-piquing element of speed awareness. Baseball displays the speed of every pitch, the very least tennis can do is have a small graphic next to the score indicating what the service speed is for each serve. Groundstroke speeds would be cool too, but I can understand how that can distract viewers, however, the summary statistics at the end of each set/match should include a groundstroke speed avg, for interest's sake.

FWIW- I've seen radar guns/speed displays for most ATP events. Don't see how that aspect has been neglected. On TV, it seems like the broadcasters don't always relay that info, but if you check the stats live-online, they always give the speed of the last serve.

Tracking speed of a ball during a rally could be tough and the information would be hard to understand as the speed measured would change every 15 seconds as the ball flies back and fourth (90, 95, 80, 78, 89........) - kind of distracting. I'd rather watch the point.

I do like how they provide the speed of clear winners on some replays. That's very cool.

But, also in the same topic, the WTA has produced the power indes, which looks at the average max speed of first and second serves, forehand, backhand, and smashes - http://www.sonyericssonwtatour.com/2/rankings/powerindex/default.asp

FWIW - I'd take that power index with a grain of salt. I can't see how those averages are so high considering the speed of most groundstrokes in a rally.

Rafael_Nadal_6257
04-14-2008, 05:19 PM
Well they are the MAX speeds, but yes, they are a bit high. ^^

Sentinel
04-14-2008, 09:05 PM
Looks like that will be an open-ended discussion just like the backhands in general.

Yes, that's what i was hoping to avoid. However, as someon has mentioned, on replays they often show the speed of a winner. And I thought surely Hawkeye must be keeping some stats -- it tracks each ball bounce as well as what spot the ball was hit at.

I know there are also many variables like flat groundies from behind baseline, and topspin shots, and shots from inside the baseline, and angle etc. So let me narrow down:

I am really trying to understand if other things being the same, from the baseline or just behind it, when 2 pros are hitting hard at one another, are the 2h'ers hitting faster than the 1her's or is it roughly the same. Assume fairly flat shots on a hard court.

If there is no data, what is the general perception for those who have watched live matches ?

spiritdragon
04-14-2008, 09:47 PM
Funny, they didn't seem to have any trouble calibrating the radar gun in this instance:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FnGictZtlDg

I realize it's replay, but it certainly ADDS to the replay.

Awesome vid. nice find boojay.

Sentinel
04-14-2008, 10:01 PM
But, also in the same topic, the WTA has produced the power indes, which looks at the average max speed of first and second serves, forehand, backhand, and smashes - http://www.sonyericssonwtatour.com/2/rankings/powerindex/default.asp

FWIW - I'd take that power index with a grain of salt. I can't see how those averages are so high considering the speed of most groundstrokes in a rally.

Wait, you missed the word maximum. They took the fastest first serve, second serve, smash etc. And then averaged that.
That makes sense cos otherwise your dropshots and volleys at the net, and slow slices would bring down your average, if all shots are taken.

However, this clearly means that this data is being collected by Hawkeye - i.e., speed of each shot hit.

Thanks for this link, and thanks boojay for the utube clip.

Edit: actually it still needs to be taken with a pinch of salt, because we shouldn't be looking at a one off shot. A low ranked player may hit the fastest forehand but only once in a match (say 100 mph), others like RF may be able to exceed that but don't. But they can on the average keep hitting much faster (say 95 mph) over 3 or 4 sets.

Rickson
04-14-2008, 10:11 PM
Trask, don't you have a fast backhand?

soyizgood
04-14-2008, 10:25 PM
Now that I thought about it, I think the 2HBH would have a higher average speed. But that's assuming you factor in the speed of backhand slices. Since 2HBH players don't typically slice as often as OHBH players, the 2HBH player should hit at a higher average.

Max speeds of the 2HBH and OHBH are probably very close though. However, the 2HBH does have an advantage of getting speed from more torso movement.

Sentinel
04-14-2008, 10:34 PM
Now that I thought about it, I think the 2HBH would have a higher average speed. But that's assuming you factor in the speed of backhand slices. Since 2HBH players don't typically slice as often as OHBH players, the 2HBH player should hit at a higher average.

Max speeds of the 2HBH and OHBH are probably very close though. However, the 2HBH does have an advantage of getting speed from more torso movement.

No, lets not get slices in. Let's just stick to drives.
So the max speed of the 2hbh is higher. Is that speed typically maintained over a 3 set match or long rallies ?

Take 2 pros of the same level, if they keep hitting fast paced backhand drives will the 1h or 2h have a higher average speed ? Thanks for your answers, soy.

Sentinel
04-14-2008, 10:43 PM
Soy, to frame the same question in a different way:

When you watch Davydenko/ Berdych/ Safin trading hard backhands from the baseline (don't count highly spun ones, or ones where they deliberately cut the pace, dropshots etc), and compare to Gasquet or Federer, does it appear that they are hitting harder ?

soyizgood
04-15-2008, 12:00 AM
Soy, to frame the same question in a different way:

When you watch Davydenko/ Berdych/ Safin trading hard backhands from the baseline (don't count highly spun ones, or ones where they deliberately cut the pace, dropshots etc), and compare to Gasquet or Federer, does it appear that they are hitting harder ?

I think the 2HBH players are applying more force than a OHBHer, all things being equal. But more force does not necessarily equate as hitting a faster paced ball. The 2HBH is practically a weak hand forehand with the strong hand as the stabilizer. Because of its forehand-like nature, players with this backhand are more apt to hitting aggressive with it at a more frequent rate than those with a OHBH, typically. To hit fast, much of the pace needs to be generated by the player.

The OHBH is good at feeding off of the opponent's pace. As a result, not as much force is needed to return the ball as a 2HBH, but timing and coordination is even more critical for OHBH players.

I think the average 2HBH shot goes faster than a OHBH shot even if you discard situational shots like drop shots/lobs/slices. The 2HBH has a bigger comfort zone for hitting hard as it has an easier time with high balls. However, the OHBH is struck sooner than a 2HBH which can result in less reaction time for the opponent. Gasquet's backhand requires him to setup sooner than most of the other OHBH pros, but this allows him to generate sharper angles while giving his opponent less time to react.

In short, a 2HBH requires more force, but not necessarily generate more speed. Average speed would likely go to the 2HBH. Max speed might even go to the 2HBH, but the early preparation time and execution of the OHBH would cause just as many problems as a 2HBH shot. Because the 2HBH stroke is hit slightly later than that of the OHBH, force is more critical for the 2HBH. That's probably the main reason why I would likely lean to saying the 2HBH is hit harder.

Sentinel
04-15-2008, 02:01 AM
Thanks a lot soy, for taking time out to answer.

JRstriker12
04-15-2008, 08:13 AM
Wait, you missed the word maximum. They took the fastest first serve, second serve, smash etc. And then averaged that.
That makes sense cos otherwise your dropshots and volleys at the net, and slow slices would bring down your average, if all shots are taken.

However, this clearly means that this data is being collected by Hawkeye - i.e., speed of each shot hit.

Thanks for this link, and thanks boojay for the utube clip.

Edit: actually it still needs to be taken with a pinch of salt, because we shouldn't be looking at a one off shot. A low ranked player may hit the fastest forehand but only once in a match (say 100 mph), others like RF may be able to exceed that but don't. But they can on the average keep hitting much faster (say 95 mph) over 3 or 4 sets.


Yeah - I missed the word maximum...but I was thinking more along the lines of your edited remark. Cherry picking ONLY the fastest shots doen't tell you a lot about the game.

Djokovicfan4life
04-15-2008, 08:16 AM
Yeah - I missed the word maximum...but I was thinking more along the lines of your edited remark. Cherry picking ONLY the fastest shots doen't tell you a lot about the game.

Yep, if that was true than Monfils would be number 1 by now! :shock:

Sentinel
04-15-2008, 09:19 AM
They should be taking the N fastest shots in a set/match, (or N %) rather than just one.

Take one example, where you just block a fast serve, say Andy Roddicks serve at 144 mph. that gives me a faster return than you who blocked back a 125 mph serve playing Nadal/Ferrer. The same goes if you are feeding off a fast hitter.
Alternatively, if you are faced with someone who is slicing back and killing the pace, your shot speed would also suffer ?
But I think the link gave averages across the whole tournament, so such deviations should even out, altho one fastest still is quite unhelpful.