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View Full Version : Do pro's hit with a lot more spin than club players?


jonas-the-ball-basher
02-27-2005, 11:35 AM
Since most pros hit the ball much harder than I do, does that also mean that they hit with much more spin?
And does this also mean, they hit with much more headspead than we club players do?

West Coast Ace
02-27-2005, 11:45 AM
Yes and Yes. In most cases. There are some players who don't have a lot of net clearance but for the most part they do. And because their technique is so good they develop a lot of racket head speed. Your 'club player' statement is pretty vague - there are some club players who do hit hard and with a lot of spin.

alan-n
02-27-2005, 12:08 PM
Typically the mens 5.0+ will hit with as much spin and speed as the pros. The difference of course is much more errors and consistency.

jonas-the-ball-basher
02-27-2005, 12:12 PM
Typically the mens 5.0+ will hit with as much spin and speed as the pros. The difference of course is much more errors and consistency.Well how hard is it realy to hit the ball as hard and with as much spin as a pro?
Is this reachable for any player?

MARK ANDERS
02-27-2005, 12:24 PM
Alan-n, you obviously have never seen top pros play up close. Overall they hit WAY harder than 5.0 and top Div. 1 college & futures players. They are stronger "heavyweights" that generate a ton of head speed. A different league if you will.

Matt H.
02-27-2005, 12:47 PM
if you're talking about a pros average mid-rally shot. Than yes, i think a club player can and probably already has hit a ball that hard.

For the club player, you basically think about the absolute hardest "kill shot" you've ever hit...and that's what the pros do all day. lol


Now, if you're talking about hitting as hard as when a pro goes for a winner, than hell no. Forehand winners from 85-100mph aren't gonna be found on a recreational court.

splink779
02-27-2005, 01:23 PM
Whats the fastest winner in history? I saw J.J. hit a 104 mph forehand against Roddick last year, but I dont know if this is the fastest.

Vlad
02-27-2005, 01:28 PM
I remember Roddick hitting up to 108mph on his forehand. That was in Houston Masters 2003 against Coria I think..

Datacipher
02-27-2005, 01:29 PM
Alan-n, you obviously have never seen top pros play up close. Overall they hit WAY harder than 5.0 and top Div. 1 college & futures players. They are stronger "heavyweights" that generate a ton of head speed. A different league if you will.

Yes, Mark Anders is absolutely right. The pros today, abosolutely destroy the ball even on their "average" shot. TV does not do this justice, they make it look easy on TV. The speed and timing of their strokes and the brutal spin on the ball are only evident in person. Yes, a competitive open player, who hits with a lot of power has hit balls like this, but not as regularly, and few people on the planet will ever know the pleasure of hitting a ball as hard as the upper end power players on the pro tour.

Yes, it' s true that a 5.0 can hit a shot as fast or faster than the pros average rally shot....let's say 80mph.....but, can they generate as much spin at the same time? The pros are using huge racquet head speed even on these shots, and they are hitting tremendously heavy balls.

Gonzales, Flipper...even Agassi or Federer when they go for it. If you ever get the chance to be down court side
when they guys hit the ball....you'll be impressed.

TheRed
02-27-2005, 08:19 PM
I saw Seles v. Hingis a couple years ago in a final. Wow!
I'm a 5.0, 5.5 on a good day and I don't consistently hit with as much spin and power as they do. Compared to male pros and I don't stand a chance

lemurballs
02-27-2005, 08:24 PM
From watching pros at a major grand slam up close, I would say that there is a difference between them and even an Open club player. However, it isn't a large difference. It really does come down to consistency and shot-making ability. And of course, pros come out with those incredible shots in every point that make you drop your jaw, shots that you would see maybe 1 or 2 times in an entire set during an Open club match.

alan-n
02-27-2005, 09:07 PM
Alan-n, you obviously have never seen top pros play up close. Overall they hit WAY harder than 5.0 and top Div. 1 college & futures players. They are stronger "heavyweights" that generate a ton of head speed. A different league if you will.

I had third row seats to Sampras vs Roddick at SMU moody colluseum some 4 years ago. Before the match they had college division one players play each other. The average speed of ground stokes were the same, more errors of course.... but when winners were hit, of course Roddick and Sampras easily crushed the ball 100+ mph, could barely see the ball.... When Roddick was hammering those 140+ mph serves, at court level I simply couldn't see the ball until it was bounced back in the air and slowed down at the base line.

tandayu
02-27-2005, 09:21 PM
I always prefer to watch the pros during practice at outside courts during a pro tournament including challenger, satellite, tier I, etc.

They not only hit with pace, spin, and depth, but they hit the ball on the rise. They prepare very early, and their footwork is very precise.

You can also watch during a rally on TV, and can see that most of the times they already take back swing & stand on the spot where they will hit the ball before the ball even cross the net.

goober
02-27-2005, 09:40 PM
Alan-n, you obviously have never seen top pros play up close. Overall they hit WAY harder than 5.0 and top Div. 1 college & futures players. They are stronger "heavyweights" that generate a ton of head speed. A different league if you will.

I agree that pros hit a lot harder than 5.0 level players, but I don't think I would say they hit harder than top D1 players. Top D1 players are 6.0-6.5s which is 2-3 levels above a 5.0 club player.

35ft6
02-27-2005, 11:50 PM
I agree that pros hit a lot harder than 5.0 level players, but I don't think I would say they hit harder than top D1 players. Top D1 players are 6.0-6.5s which is 2-3 levels above a 5.0 club player. Depends what type of "pro" you're talking about (1000 in the world, or top 100, or top 10?). I saw Bjorn Rehnquist play in the US Open qualies a few years ago and he hits softer than most 5.5 players I know. Of course, he probably hits a way heavier ball, and because of his precision, it's way way way more difficult to handle, but in terms of sheer pace a lot of advanced club players are his equal.

I agree with the people who say it's not even close. I used to go to the qualies every year in Queens, and every year a few college studs would get wildcards. In most of the matches you'd see that the quality of shot between them and even the journeymen pros was vast. Bobby Reynolds was the exception from what I saw. His forehand was heavy heavy.

But I saw Alex Kim (after his second NCAA singles victory) swinging for the fences and still not generating as much pace as Jan Vacek... Phillip King trying to hit as hard as he could, and his pro opponent easily keeping pace exerting what looked to be half the effort... Matias Boeker looked like a finesse player... Jesse Witten was average power... and so on. I don't remember some of the names. The difference was vast.

When you see them in person it's hard to tell how hard some of the taller guys hit. With the smaller guys you see them swinging so hard that it LOOKS like they're hitting hard. People like Bjorn Phau, you can tell he's hitting hard because he's swinging hard, it's a dead giveaway. But with some of the taller guys it's hard to tell how hard they're hitting by watching them because they're so damn smooth. You have to watch their opponents to get an idea. Their opponents are running all over the place trying to catch up to their shots. Their power is deceptive.

Anyway, Roddick hit the single hardest forehand I've ever seen. He was practicing on court 1 (name? it's connected to the grandstand court at US Open) with Robby Ginepri and he hit this running forehand that must have been close to 110 mph.

Also, I got to see Agassi warm up for his US Open final against Todd Martin, and he hit some of the most ridiculously hard groundstrokes I'd ever seen. I've heard he hits way harder in practice than he does in matches, and I believe it. I don't know how those things even stayed in play. Brad was just blocking them back.

In the first round, after the qualies, it's clear to see how much better the top 100 guys, especially the seeded players, are compared to the qualifier guys. It's another huge step up. Don't be fooled.

Yes, at some point the pace of a 5.5's hardest shot is going to overlap with the range of speed a pro (again, a top 1000 pro, or top 10?) puts on the ball, but our 100% shot is probably their 70%, 75% shot. And their 80 mph shot is totally different from our 80 mph shot. Ours might be a fast ball, whereas there's is a curve ball, in that it's got shitloads of more spin on it. It's a way heavier ball.

Another thing you notice is how cleanly they hit every shot. You can just see they're generating pace with "minimal" effort. And every groundstroke looks the same. It's like you're seeing the same shot over and over again because they get into perfect position. Club players are like "oh, a high forehand... this one is a low forehand... cool, this one is right in my wheel house" so that's like three different forehands. But the pros actually move their feet, get into position in such a way that they're getting the ball into their wheelhouse most of the time. So you see what looks like the same exact stroke over and over.

I saw Hewitt practice once, too. He doesn't have unbelievable power like Safin and Roddick, but he's so quick, he's in position so quickly, that over the span of a 15 or 20 shot rally, I'd be willing to bet that the average speed of his shots is equal to that of most other top 50 players. We all know that the key to being able to nail a shot is being in position, being perfectly balanced, and having your racket ready, and Hewitt does that better and more consistently than just about anybody.

And so on. Rock on. Million Dollar Baby. Whoo-hoo!

Vlad
02-28-2005, 12:28 AM
I think it really depends. You take a pro like Santoro and a big 5.5 player and I would think that 5.5 guy would hit the ball much harder than Fabrice but will still lose 6-0, 6-1. The better player either hit the ball much harder (ex. Safin, Roddick ) or have unbelievable control of the ball (Santoro, Coria, Hewitt). Club players and some Div. 1 may be able to hit very powerful shots but their consistency is not there compared to pros. So when they play matches, naturally their pace on the shots goes down a little bit to keep more ball in court.

35ft6
02-28-2005, 02:01 AM
I think it really depends. You take a pro like Santoro and a big 5.5 player and I would think that 5.5 guy would hit the ball much harder than Fabrice but will still lose 6-0, 6-1. Doubtful. I guess one can argue that if a 5.5 player has a big serve and forehand, they're bound to get lucky one game, but Santoro has won sets off Safin 6-1 four times. More likely Santoro would lost like 4 points the whole match if he felt like putting the effort in.The better player either hit the ball much harder (ex. Safin, Roddick ) or have unbelievable control of the ball (Santoro, Coria, Hewitt). Hewitt and Coria have a lot of power compared to the average 5.5 player. I've seen both these guys practice, and if they're not power players it's only because they're on the ATP tour, where they're compared to the likes of Safin, Roddick, and Gonzalez. In a 5.5 tournament power like theirs, on a shot by shot basis, would be unheard of. Watch any given tournaments and you'll see Hewitt and Coria hit top 100 players off the court with their relentless pace. Against a 5.5 player two shots max, corner to corner, and the point would be over.

jonas-the-ball-basher
02-28-2005, 03:32 AM
But if you take Ljubicic for example:
He don't seem to hit the ball hard either, or Schalken, they both seem to hit to relaxed, with not much body action.

tennis-n-sc
02-28-2005, 04:42 AM
Watching pros hit can be somewhat deceiving in that a very hard hit ground stroke can be tracked down and returned because these players are so darn quick and conditioned. Club players don't approach this level and would struggle just trying to get to one of these ground strokes. Returns would be few and far between. Heck, they have jobs they go to during the day. Pros train all day. I will have to agree that not much separates good DI college players from the pros with regard to speed and spin, but the experience and consistency is not there. Our club pro is probgably a 5.5 - 6.0 type player, in his early 30's. He hits a very hard, heavy ball and he would struggle with the pros. There's just so much more to it than hitting with spin or pace.

spam
02-28-2005, 06:56 AM
As I mentioned in a previous post,I was lucky enough to get an hour a day over 10 days, hitting with a guy who quit the tour aged 30 ranked 200 in the world and number 3 or 4 in Portugal.Im a 5.0 level player and I can confirm there is a world of difference between a first team club/college or top 10 junior and an ATP pro(or ex pro).I was able to trade groundies in a warm up to practice situation and I hit better than ever as the ball came back deep ,hard and down the middle and my strokes really felt clean and groved.But,and its a big BUT so to speak-try returning a pro serve that comes in at over 200kph,or coping with the spin pace pressure and weight of the pro ground game.IT CAN'T BE DONE and whoever suggests it can is deluded -and as for a 5.5 out-hitting Santoro -LOL!!!

norcal
02-28-2005, 08:36 AM
Depends what type of "pro" you're talking about (1000 in the world, or top 100, or top 10?). I saw Bjorn Rehnquist play in the US Open qualies a few years ago and he hits softer than most 5.5 players I know. Of course, he probably hits a way heavier ball, and because of his precision, it's way way way more difficult to handle, but in terms of sheer pace a lot of advanced club players are his equal.

I agree with the people who say it's not even close. I used to go to the qualies every year in Queens, and every year a few college studs would get wildcards. In most of the matches you'd see that the quality of shot between them and even the journeymen pros was vast. Bobby Reynolds was the exception from what I saw. His forehand was heavy heavy.

But I saw Alex Kim (after his second NCAA singles victory) swinging for the fences and still not generating as much pace as Jan Vacek... Phillip King trying to hit as hard as he could, and his pro opponent easily keeping pace exerting what looked to be half the effort... Matias Boeker looked like a finesse player... Jesse Witten was average power... and so on. I don't remember some of the names. The difference was vast.

When you see them in person it's hard to tell how hard some of the taller guys hit. With the smaller guys you see them swinging so hard that it LOOKS like they're hitting hard. People like Bjorn Phau, you can tell he's hitting hard because he's swinging hard, it's a dead giveaway. But with some of the taller guys it's hard to tell how hard they're hitting by watching them because they're so damn smooth. You have to watch their opponents to get an idea. Their opponents are running all over the place trying to catch up to their shots. Their power is deceptive.

Anyway, Roddick hit the single hardest forehand I've ever seen. He was practicing on court 1 (name? it's connected to the grandstand court at US Open) with Robby Ginepri and he hit this running forehand that must have been close to 110 mph.

Also, I got to see Agassi warm up for his US Open final against Todd Martin, and he hit some of the most ridiculously hard groundstrokes I'd ever seen. I've heard he hits way harder in practice than he does in matches, and I believe it. I don't know how those things even stayed in play. Brad was just blocking them back.

In the first round, after the qualies, it's clear to see how much better the top 100 guys, especially the seeded players, are compared to the qualifier guys. It's another huge step up. Don't be fooled.

Yes, at some point the pace of a 5.5's hardest shot is going to overlap with the range of speed a pro (again, a top 1000 pro, or top 10?) puts on the ball, but our 100% shot is probably their 70%, 75% shot. And their 80 mph shot is totally different from our 80 mph shot. Ours might be a fast ball, whereas there's is a curve ball, in that it's got shitloads of more spin on it. It's a way heavier ball.

Another thing you notice is how cleanly they hit every shot. You can just see they're generating pace with "minimal" effort. And every groundstroke looks the same. It's like you're seeing the same shot over and over again because they get into perfect position. Club players are like "oh, a high forehand... this one is a low forehand... cool, this one is right in my wheel house" so that's like three different forehands. But the pros actually move their feet, get into position in such a way that they're getting the ball into their wheelhouse most of the time. So you see what looks like the same exact stroke over and over.

I saw Hewitt practice once, too. He doesn't have unbelievable power like Safin and Roddick, but he's so quick, he's in position so quickly, that over the span of a 15 or 20 shot rally, I'd be willing to bet that the average speed of his shots is equal to that of most other top 50 players. We all know that the key to being able to nail a shot is being in position, being perfectly balanced, and having your racket ready, and Hewitt does that better and more consistently than just about anybody.

And so on. Rock on. Million Dollar Baby. Whoo-hoo!

Exactly what he said.

forehander
02-28-2005, 09:09 AM
I think you guys are exagerating a bit. Yes, the pros hit it hard and some hit much harder than others. I recently say Donald Young, a 15 year old phenom, play Goldstein. Goldstein is a slightly built pro. They both hit the ball with similar pace and I guarantee you that some top D1 players hit it harder. Goldstein won the match easily, but only because he had better consistency and placement, not because he had more pace.

bigserving
02-28-2005, 09:37 AM
I think you guys are exagerating a bit. Yes, the pros hit it hard and some hit much harder than others. I recently say Donald Young, a 15 year old phenom, play Goldstein. Goldstein is a slightly built pro. They both hit the ball with similar pace and I guarantee you that some top D1 players hit it harder. Goldstein won the match easily, but only because he had better consistency and placement, not because he had more pace.

I had the occasion to watch the SAP pro event on Friday, then watch Stanford v. ASU men on Saturday. The difference was night and day. The college players don't even come close to touring pros in terms of power, speed, consistency, touch, or anything.

Paul Goldstein was the best college player in the country at one time. He has improved a lot since turning pro and he is still a great player but nowhere near the top pros.

Common sense would tell all that if college players could hit a tennis ball like a touring pro, they would not be colllege players they would BE touring pros. Echo the same for 5.0s, 5.5s, 6.0s, Club Pros, etc, etc.

Dreadeye
02-28-2005, 09:43 AM
The past two years I've sat baseline center, 4 rows up at the Masters Cup......pretty much as close as you can get to an on-court view. From this viewpoint it was incredible to see the amount of spin Roger Federer puts on practically every shot. It's almost as if he hits curve balls. And this isn't garden variety spin........it's vicious.

In a pro-am versus Owen Davidson I made a call he didn't particularly like. The next point he effortlessly hit a shot with so much pace that it was past me before I could even think about reacting. And this from a guy who didn't look like he could comfortably walk from the net to the baseline.

I believe that most pros hit with more pace & spin than most mere mortals can comprehend.

tennis-n-sc
02-28-2005, 09:47 AM
Bibserving-you should have watched some good college tennis teams.

forehander
02-28-2005, 10:21 AM
I will agree with your point on consistency, but 15 year old Donald Young hit the ball as hard as Goldstein, just not as consistently. It is my opinion from watching them in person and having a son in college tennis that there are plenty of college players that hit with the same or better pace. But the game is about much more than pace. That's why college players are not pros. The reason I mentioned Goldstein is because he is a slightly built pro who does not really hit the ball with great pace. Of course the top power hitters like Safin, Roddick etc. hit the ball with tremendous power.

kv581
02-28-2005, 10:39 AM
Common sense would tell all that if college players could hit a tennis ball like a touring pro, they would not be colllege players they would BE touring pros. Echo the same for 5.0s, 5.5s, 6.0s, Club Pros, etc, etc.
What if some of these players actual WANT a college degree... and have enough smarts to do so from a top university with a good tennis program? It's true that their tennis careers might be set back due to less competition at the collegiate level, but at the same time how many people can claim to have degrees from schools like Stanford or Duke? It all depends on the player's priorities. Hard to believe probably, but they are out there.

bigserving
02-28-2005, 11:38 AM
Who are these players that you are referring to? Name, names.

There is nothing stopping anyone from earning a college degree at any time in their lives. If these players are good enough to play the pro tour, they could play on the tour, earn a few million dollars and have plenty of money to pay their own way through a top flight university.

If there was any substance to that argument, there would be more than a handful of players in the top one or two hundred who have college degrees. I can think of three off the top of my head.

In addition, it is not like college players never participate in pro events. Just go out and watch a Futures event. Go early though, most of the college players get bounced out in the qualies.

alan-n
02-28-2005, 12:03 PM
Who are these players that you are referring to? Name, names.

There is nothing stopping anyone from earning a college degree at any time in their lives. If these players are good enough to play the pro tour, they could play on the tour, earn a few million dollars and have plenty of money to pay their own way through a top flight university.

If there was any substance to that argument, there would be more than a handful of players in the top one or two hundred who have college degrees. I can think of three off the top of my head.

In addition, it is not like college players never participate in pro events. Just go out and watch a Futures event. Go early though, most of the college players get bounced out in the qualies.

I have to disagree here. To earn a living on the pro tour, you have to win tournaments or make it deep into rounds. Take a look at the pro's winning and rank, you have to make to top 100 just to earn a living.... That is a big risk for someone to take to pass up college and dedicate themselves to the pro tour. Pro tennis players are way underpaid compared to other "professional" atheletes. Besides sponsorship, which is initially just performance and reward based rather than guaranteed multimillion dollar contracts and signing bonuses.

Think about how much you have to train, travel, play in tournaments. Being that professional Tennis is mostly earn what you win based unless you become a superstar with endorsements.... Do you have time to devote yourself to college courses while touring? Simply impossible.

fantom
02-28-2005, 12:09 PM
Heheh. Forehander's post that mentioned Goldstein vs. Roddick reminded me of when I saw them play each other at the US Men's Claycourt Championship a few years back. It was a really windy day and Goldstein was just looping the ball back to the baseline. Roddick wasn't really going for broke on his forehand side that often so they were getting into some long rallies. The points were almost comical because of the pattern of every point (hit-bounce-hit-wait a few seconds-hit-bounce-hit). The crowd would actually start giggling during the long points because the pattern became so predictable. Roddick did a good job taking his chances when he could. He ended up beating Goldstein pretty handily, but he sure got pi$$ed off in the process. At one point, he yelled out something like, "I feel like I'm playing freaking juniors!!". It was pretty funny.

bigserving
02-28-2005, 12:37 PM
I have to disagree here. To earn a living on the pro tour, you have to win tournaments or make it deep into rounds. Take a look at the pro's winning and rank, you have to make to top 100 just to earn a living.... That is a big risk for someone to take to pass up college and dedicate themselves to the pro tour. Pro tennis players are way underpaid compared to other "professional" atheletes. Besides sponsorship, which is initially just performance and reward based rather than guaranteed multimillion dollar contracts and signing bonuses.

Think about how much you have to train, travel, play in tournaments. Being that professional Tennis is mostly earn what you win based unless you become a superstar with endorsements.... Do you have time to devote yourself to college courses while touring? Simply impossible.

Exactly. In other words, players who are NOT good enough to make it on the pro tour because they are NOT good enough to post the results required to earn a nice living, should go to college.

kv581
02-28-2005, 12:52 PM
There is nothing stopping anyone from earning a college degree at any time in their lives. If these players are good enough to play the pro tour, they could play on the tour, earn a few million dollars and have plenty of money to pay their own way through a top flight university.
No, but I also don't see many ex-players (top pro or not) going back to earn a college degree, especially at top universities where most of the student population are traditional aged (ie. 18-21 year olds). Fact is once they've been out of school for a number of years fewer people are willing to go back and hit the books with a bunch of 18-19 year olds. This may be slightly different at community colleges, where the student population tends to be older in general.

In addition, it is not like college players never participate in pro events. Just go out and watch a Futures event. Go early though, most of the college players get bounced out in the qualies.
Again, as I've mentioned before, going college is a trade-off. Going to college almost necessarily means setting back one's tennis career, perhaps permanently. Competition at the NCAA level simply cannot compare to pro tour. Just because college players are being bounced from Futures events doesn't mean they wouldn't have done better had they gone straight into pros. This is doubly so for top college players who were once top ranked juniors and competed favorably with the likes of Fish or Dent. Once again, everyone's priority is different, and in tennis you cannot even come close to earning a living by being bench warmers like you can in sports like the NBA.

kv581
02-28-2005, 01:07 PM
Exactly. In other words, players who are NOT good enough to make it on the pro tour because they are NOT good enough to post the results required to earn a nice living, should go to college.
I think going pro is a risk for all but the top select few. Being a top ranked junior doesn't hurt, but it certainly doesn't guarantee success on the tour either. Yet, for juniors, how else can they judge if they are "good enough to make it" except with their results on the junior circuit? Then again, it's a bit different for winners of GS Junior events like Roddick and Young.

I guess it also depends on one's definition of "success" on the tour. Is it top 10? These players probably showed enough results as juniors to be confident of their future on the tour, but most players don't get here. How about top 200-500? Clearly they are not as successful as the Roddicks and Federers or even the Spadeas, but they are still top 200 in the world and doing okay by most pros' standards. Heck they can definitely beat college players consistently, right? Yet, financially I think there are much more comfortable and cushier jobs out there for college graduates than being a #300 tennis player in the world. I think these players play tennis professionally because they love it and are not worrying about financial security. However, for those who do worry about money or have families to support, college is a reasonable and safe route.

35ft6
02-28-2005, 01:47 PM
What if some of these players actual WANT a college degree... and have enough smarts to do so from a top university with a good tennis program? It's true that their tennis careers might be set back due to less competition at the collegiate level, but at the same time how many people can claim to have degrees from schools like Stanford or Duke? It all depends on the player's priorities. Hard to believe probably, but they are out there. I agree with bigserving. There are maybe 2 or 3 players ranked in the top 100 D-1 in any given year that have the ability to make a decent living on the tour by playing singles exclusively.

Alex Kim and Matias Boeker are two of the more dominating college players of the past 15 years. Matias is currently 251, and Alex Kim 806. Amir Delic and Bobby Reynolds are two more recent college studs, and they're both in the 180's according to ATPtour.com. And we're talking about the best of the best here. Rajeev Ram is 274.

The fact is that for 99.9% of college players playing in the "pros" means borrowing money from friends and family and playing on cracked courts around the world until the money runs out.

College players are college players for a reason. Unless they're an idiot they realize they can probably make more in their first year of marketing than they'll ever make on the pro tour. They could make more teaching at a club. I don't know of one college player who has the game and motivation to be an impact player on pro tour who decided to get a degree instead.

tykrum
02-28-2005, 01:54 PM
Well, getting back to the topic of pros shots vs. college players, I have a friend that plays varsity for my university and competes well with nationally ranked players. I have also hit before briefly with the Jensen brothers. The difference is night and day. The Jensens hit the some shots that had as much spin and pace as any I had ever seen (the "heaviest" natural ball I have ever played), and they did it without looking like they were trying. Really they couldn't have been trying hard, I was barely a 4.5 at the time. I think the biggest difference is how cleanly and efficiently that pros hit the ball, while college players don't hit the ball nearly as cleanly consistently and have to give maximum effort to generate the pace and spin.

35ft6
02-28-2005, 01:56 PM
Also, I watched the 2004 NCAA men's finals on ESPN and there's a huge difference between their play and that of the pros, and by "pros" I'm talking the kind you see on TV, mostly top 100. Not just pace of shot but everything was less. Less speed, less placement, less pace, less precision in the way they go about executing their patterns.

Aside from the fact that it's not like we can't track their results to get an objective measure of how good college players are compared to top pros. Their results speak for themselves.

35ft6
02-28-2005, 02:00 PM
Well, getting back to the topic of pros shots vs. college players, I play with a guy who saw Pete Sampras practice with some UCLA players a few years ago. Pete was playing with Tobias Clemens, who was probably top 5 NCAA or so at the time.

He said the difference is incredible. Pete was just casually hitting the ball and hitting WAY harder than Tobias, who had to swing as hard as he could just to get the ball back with some pace. I'm sure Pete had a way of doing that to even respectable pros, but the point stands.

Datacipher
02-28-2005, 03:48 PM
I play with a guy who saw Pete Sampras practice with some UCLA players a few years ago. Pete was playing with Tobias Clemens, who was probably top 5 NCAA or so at the time.

He said the difference is incredible. Pete was just casually hitting the ball and hitting WAY harder than Tobias, who had to swing as hard as he could just to get the ball back with some pace. I'm sure Pete had a way of doing that to even respectable pros, but the point stands.

It's interesting you say that 35 because in fact, Sampras has a reputation on not playing all that well in practice often. Others have said that Sampras often get's trounced in practice, looking more sleepy than focused. Of course their are also legendary stories about Sampras playing little games with other pros in practice, betting money and then fleecing them, when he turns it on.

But anyways, the point does stand and despite the fact that I'm sure Clemens was an excellent player, I'll bet he would agree that their was quite a difference between himself and Sampras.

dunlo
03-01-2005, 04:13 AM
Hi
The spinmaster in serving is clearly Pistol Pete.
In a test he averaged 2500rpm 1st serve.
His second serve averaged 4500rpm!!!The ball spinned 4500 times a min!!!!
And works showed that even the speed at impact is slower;the spinned serves averaged more speed because they lost speed less then flat ball when they hit the ground!
And his FH produced big spin but i cant recall the numbers!!

Mies
03-01-2005, 04:29 AM
I found something on google on the amounts of spin and ball speeds etc. Quite interesting.

I don't have time to read through their whole story now so I don't know how they came up with the numbers and whether they are reliable. But anyways:

[urlhttp://wings.avkids.com/Tennis/Project/index.html[/url]

regards,
Maurice

35ft6
03-01-2005, 05:52 AM
I saw an article years ago that stated Rios produced the most spin on his serve of all pros tested... Rusedski at the time had hit the fastest serve... and guess who had the highest combo of pace and spin?

That's right. Pete Sampras.

Rabbit
03-01-2005, 05:55 AM
I play with a guy who saw Pete Sampras practice with some UCLA players a few years ago. Pete was playing with Tobias Clemens, who was probably top 5 NCAA or so at the time.

He said the difference is incredible. Pete was just casually hitting the ball and hitting WAY harder than Tobias, who had to swing as hard as he could just to get the ball back with some pace. I'm sure Pete had a way of doing that to even respectable pros, but the point stands.

Agassi used to date a girl who attended my alma mata, Mississippi State. He used to come visit her on campus. MSU was ranked in the top 5 in tennis at the time and Agassi used to practice with the team. He'd wear two out at a time. The difference is unreal.

35ft6
03-01-2005, 07:51 AM
It's interesting you say that 35 because in fact, Sampras has a reputation on not playing all that well in practice often. Others have said that Sampras often get's trounced in practice, looking more sleepy than focused. Of course their are also legendary stories about Sampras playing little games with other pros in practice, betting money and then fleecing them, when he turns it on. I always heard that, too. I heard that during Davis Cup everybody would beat Pete in practice. They said he used practice as a chance simply to see if anything was horribly out of sync. If everything felt fine, he wouldn't try too hard.

I think him and Tobias were just hitting. I'll ask the guy next time I see him if he remembers anything else about the practice.

Datacipher
03-01-2005, 01:49 PM
I think him and Tobias were just hitting. I'll ask the guy next time I see him if he remembers anything else about the practice.

Will be interested to hear his impressions!

New Balls
03-01-2005, 10:36 PM
Whatever happened to Toby? I went to school with him, but never got to hit with him. I did hit with the top guys, including the no1 before Toby, and I had to put in more effort, while those guys just looked effortless. Perhaps that's why they were the no1 ranked team. I'd say this is what happens to them when they play tour matches. I did play in qualies of a challenger, and the regular journeymen guys were not a gazillion times better than others. I've seen college guys hold their own ie Taino, Mammit, Flieshman (sp?), Doersch (sp), but you're right, they won't last more than a couple years. Pro (futures, satellite, etc) players hit so much more consistently, cleanly, effortlessly, and so on, which makes you realize that there's more to a game than just a big forehand. I too, have watched PS practice, and he did always seem to win every wager.

yvp
03-01-2005, 10:54 PM
I played with a satellite level guy,made a semifinal(in India).He hit with monstrous spin and amazing power and he's just 5-9.Think what those 6 feet + pros can do.
But I know a guy who's just had 7 months playing and he hit a 95 mph forehand crosscourt loaded with absolutely huge topspin.(He's being taught by the pro guy).
So lemurballs is right,the club guys can do it too,but without the consistency of the pro's,and that comes with a lot of practice.

spam
03-02-2005, 12:39 AM
Hey YVP,I hit with an Indian guy about that height in La Manga 2 years ago,dont remember his name but he used to play at a National level in the juniors,played Henman at 14 and his sis was a satellite player.He was living in the States at the time -anyway awesome player,said he started to get overpowered by the serve as he got older but he had a real big game himself.

bc-05
03-02-2005, 03:13 AM
sorry double post.

bc-05
03-02-2005, 03:14 AM
I don't know.. I've seen 2 matches this year. 1. Hewitt's match vs Todd Reidd in their practice match. 2. JJ vs Dent in the final of Next Generations Hardcourt.. Well I agree when u people said hewitt can out power people outside the top 100.. well when he played reid.. he hit something like 10 aces and loads of winners in 1 set.. and this is from a person that is not known for his power... however on the other hand.. i saw JJ's 160 kph (100mph) forehand too.. however that forehand looks slower than one that my friend can hit.. but i guess because when i played my friend.. im actually facing the ball instead of only watching it from a far.. but i have no doubt my friend can hit bigger forehands than hewitt, coria and those people.. i believed he can hit 150kph forehand with ease.. but then again he's a monster and probably the only person that can hit this big in the whole south australia.... he hit 200-210 kph (in the low 130s) serves regularly too.. even though he's very inconsistent.. by saying inconsistent with this im talking about roddick wise in inconsistency.. like one of those things where he hits 10 forehands in 1 set then lose it the next set.. aka roddick