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Tilden
12-18-2009, 08:17 PM
Mark Philipoussis' first and second serves are both very effective, possessing sped, spin, and height. The last aspect is what interests me most because Mark Philipoussis is able to hit first serves that bounce as high as the kickers of fellow servers. In order to show this uncanny ability to bounce the ball higher than his opponents I have taken a match where he and his opponent, Safin, are the same height yet Philipoussis' first serve bounces on average 6 inches higher than Safin's while moving at a similar speed and having what seems like a similar amount of spin. The aspect of creating height after the bounce on a first serve interests me because I can compensate for my lack of height by producing a serve that is moving fast yet out of the opponents strike zone. How does Philipoussis' serve have more height, and what can I implement from his game to better my own.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mw7-1KxKZJA This is an example of Philipoussis' serve versus Safin's. Or am I imagining the steeper trajectory after the bounce?

J011yroger
12-18-2009, 08:30 PM
Awesome vid! Forgot just how big Flipper hit his FH.

J

nfor304
12-19-2009, 04:50 AM
He has like 220lbs of muscle going into his serve along with his flawless technique. Thats gotta help alot

J011yroger
12-19-2009, 05:11 AM
I wonder what Flipper would be clocked at on todays radar?

If you look at the gun in the vids Safin was rarely cracking 125, and towards the end of his career he was in the high 130's.

So that is almost +15mph on today's radar vs 2000 radar.

J

LeeD
12-19-2009, 07:13 AM
Length of leverage arm. Phil always had longer arms for his height than other players, similar to ColinDibley.
Safin is an inch shorter, but maybe 5" shorter arms. Width of shoulders also allows a player to reach up higher on serves. That combo could allow Phil to reach up 9'3" while flat footed.
I, at 5'11", can only reach up 7'4" flatfooted.
RichardKraijchek could also bounce really high flat serves. Also 6'5" and over 210 lbs.
Only drawback is shortenned career, as injuries and shortterm ability to handle low balls comes into play.

yemenmocha
12-19-2009, 07:33 AM
Wish we had more servers like this at the top in today's game, with normal (faster) courts like we used to have on the tour. Deliberately slowing down the game with slow courts has ruined it for me. Don't care to watch baseliners, counterpunchers, whatever.

LeeD
12-19-2009, 07:48 AM
You're not happy with Roddick, Karlovic, Celic, DelPorto, Fed, Q and I Americans?
What? You want to teach DwightHoward to play 7.0 tennis?

charliefedererer
12-20-2009, 10:26 AM
Mark Philipoussis' first and second serves are both very effective, possessing sped, spin, and height. The last aspect is what interests me most because Mark Philipoussis is able to hit first serves that bounce as high as the kickers of fellow servers. In order to show this uncanny ability to bounce the ball higher than his opponents I have taken a match where he and his opponent, Safin, are the same height yet Philipoussis' first serve bounces on average 6 inches higher than Safin's while moving at a similar speed and having what seems like a similar amount of spin. The aspect of creating height after the bounce on a first serve interests me because I can compensate for my lack of height by producing a serve that is moving fast yet out of the opponents strike zone. How does Philipoussis' serve have more height, and what can I implement from his game to better my own.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mw7-1KxKZJA This is an example of Philipoussis' serve versus Safin's. Or am I imagining the steeper trajectory after the bounce?

The only plausible explanation is that Philipoussis, by design or from trial and error figuring out that this was his best serve, trading some of the velocity in his serve for more rotational energy.
Sampras was famous not only for having a fast and precise serve, but a "penetrating serve" (and having gotten to watch him at multiple tournaments his serve made a louder thud on the back curtain than others).

When the velocities are read from the radar gun it is from the point just after the ball moves off the racquet, it says nothing about the total energy of the ball which is the summation of the kinetic energy forward energy (E=1/2mv2) and the rotational kinetic energy in a rapidly rotating ball. (E=1/2Iw2).

For a great analysis of the Sampras serve, and what made it so penetrating, check out the following: The Sampras Serve: The Heaviest and the Greatest? By John Yandell
The most relevant part to your question is the following:
"Yet we found that on average, Sampras’ topspin component was 35 percent, much higher than other servers we measured. To use the familiar analogy of a clock face, his ball was spinning from 8 o’clock to 2 o’clock. This diagonal was steeper than any other player we studied. So the factors that make Sampras’ serve appear different are more total spin, and especially, more topspin. The higher topspin component means that the ball is significantly higher and heavier at the time of the return. The data showed that Sampras’ serve bounced six inches higher than a serve hit at the same speed with a smaller topspin component. The ball height at the moment of the return could be above five feet. That puts the ball at about shoulder height for a player who is six feet tall.

Sampras’ serve also was literally heavier because it was spinning up to 20 percent faster after the bounce. The physics of the ball bounce on the court surface are complex. But, suffice it to say, a ball coming into the bounce with more topspin will interact with the court differently, conserve more of the energy in the serve, and leave the court with additional spin compared to a ball at a similar speed but with more sidespin.
This is the secret of the so-called “heavy” serve and why Sampras’ ball just looks different. The total amount of spin and the relatively high amount of topspin make the return much tougher because the ball is bouncing higher and spinning significantly faster at contact. A former tour player once compared trying to return Sampras’ serve to trying to return a bowling ball. To him it seemed physically impossible with a tennis racquet."

Yandell reviews the entire kinetic chain in the way that Sampras employed it to achieve his heavy serve.

If there was one "key" though:
"The key to the topspin is the placement of Sampras’ toss. Compared to most other top servers, his toss is further to his left and closer to the edge of his head at contact. His motion to the ball, then, is more radically upward with his hand and racquet. This explains the “high” elbow position in his motion as well. The arm releases and bends sooner than in a motion that is moving more from left to right."

But the whole article is only one page long and I think you will enjoy reading it at http://www.****************.com/showthread.php?t=114696
(Apparently this is automatically blocked out by TT, but you can easily find it on a google search.)

The following videos may help you in getting the Phillipousis/Sampras serve:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WlPVdppfYGs
http://www.fuzzyyellowballs.com/video-tennis-lessons/serve/advanced-serve-technique/

skyzoo
12-20-2009, 11:01 AM
Awesome vid! Forgot just how big Flipper hit his FH.

J
Such a clean forehand

Tilden
12-20-2009, 11:05 AM
Thank you for your response. This was exactly what I was looking for. My service motion resembles Sampras' in almost everything except the unique toss position. To me, it seems like this toss placement is the key to maximizing everything: spin, speed, and height. For more in-depth information regarding what Im trying to explain type:"yandell sampras serve" in Google.

aimr75
12-20-2009, 01:03 PM
I wonder what Flipper would be clocked at on todays radar?

If you look at the gun in the vids Safin was rarely cracking 125, and towards the end of his career he was in the high 130's.

So that is almost +15mph on today's radar vs 2000 radar.

J

I saw him on tv not so long ago in some seniors event.. i didnt catch how fast he was serving on the screen but he was still pounding them..

LeeD
12-21-2009, 08:34 AM
I don't think the radar reads a whole lot different from '77 thru today. Plenty of big servers, and really pathetic servers, in both eras.
What you guys forget is that the radar seldom picks up the fastest serve because quite often, the fastest serves go OUT. So, not read.
The player than backs off about 15% swing speed, and gets the next one IN, so is READ. But which serve is really faster?
Also, that era when everyone was experimenting with BIGGER rackets would correspond with slower serves, right?
There's a reason most fast servers don't use 133 sq in rackets.

dman72
12-21-2009, 08:54 AM
Wish we had more servers like this at the top in today's game, with normal (faster) courts like we used to have on the tour. Deliberately slowing down the game with slow courts has ruined it for me. Don't care to watch baseliners, counterpunchers, whatever.

Funny, during the 90's everyone was complaining about how dominant the big servers were.."Sampras is boring, Ivanesivic is boring, Agassi rules, etc"

I do think that the way they've screwed with the wimbledon surface has rendered it too similar to other surfaces...that's the only thing I'd say they should go back to.

J011yroger
12-21-2009, 04:46 PM
I don't think the radar reads a whole lot different from '77 thru today.

You are certainly entitled to your opinion. However it would be nice if you could back it up by showing us radar readings from the 1990s in the 140s that are so prominent today.

Nevermind 1977, I would like to see one from 1991 or so.

J

LeeD
12-21-2009, 05:48 PM
I can't speak for '91 because I was a fully sponsored windsurfer with help from GaastraSails, Oneill wetsuits, Seatrend and DougHaut boards, and MauiFinCo fins.
I could only post my observations from the late '70's, when I was still playing tennis.
Dibley's 149 mph the fastest, but he hit several in the high 130's. Used a new MaxPly with one layer each side extra fiberglass reinforcement, NOT wrapped around the throat, but just top and bottom.
About 7 pros who chose to participate came in slower than that.
LowellBarnhardt, a B or 4.5 player, was first Amateur at 129.6. He hit at least 2 other serves over 129.
I was second amateur, fastest being 129.4, but the other 3 that went in out of 7 tries not in the 129's. Lowell and I both used YonnexOPSGreen aluminum rackets, the stiffest in the day and by far the most aerodynamic.
I already mentioned my fastest with a NEW KramerProStaff was just 125, strung at 62lbs with 16 gauge VS gut.
Lowell's regular racket was a normal Kramer, but he didn't use it for the fast serve, because he didn't want to spend another $30 for 7 timed tries. I didn't care, FTC, the shop I strung for, sponsored the event.
At GoldenGatePark, it's 23 courts and regular showing of A and Open players, only GilHoward and RockyMcQuire had noticeably bigger serves. Both didn't compete in the fast serve, probably because they were eliminated in the first couple rounds of the Q's.