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View Full Version : Who hits the heaviest ball on the men's tour?


bfactor61
12-29-2011, 07:29 PM
Just as the title says

tusharlovesrafa
12-29-2011, 07:30 PM
I think "Rafa" has the heaviest ball on tour.

Ico
12-29-2011, 07:32 PM
Fed, Delpo, Gonzalez, and Tsonga can all fire off laser beams.

OddJack
12-29-2011, 07:40 PM
Used to be Gonzo, now it's Delpo(before his surgery)

the flatter it is the heavier. I still think Delpo has the fastest flat ball

j00dypoo
12-29-2011, 08:07 PM
hard to tell without actually hitting against them. It comes down to a combination of spin, pace and depth.

Tsonga hits a pretty heavy ball. I'd go with him, followed by a bunch of others.

Rafa I think used to hit harder. This year he looped more.

Fed's forehands are still cracking.

Delpo can still hit a big ball, just not as consistently.

Of course djokovic can, but he's more about those angles nowadays.

Cup8489
12-29-2011, 08:11 PM
Agree with all the previous mentioned. Pro's have said many times how heavy Federer's ball is, one of the biggest reasons his forehand is so hard to handle.

Can't think of a name
12-29-2011, 08:22 PM
Agree with all the previous mentioned. Pro's have said many times how heavy Federer's ball is, one of the biggest reasons his forehand is so hard to handle.

yeah..look at any of those 2011 US Open matches fed played in.. until the 4th round, fed's opponents were having trouble returning his forehand even when hit directly to them. And those players are top 100 pros. That's scarey..

gsharma
12-29-2011, 08:31 PM
Used to be Gonzo, now it's Delpo(before his surgery)

the flatter it is the heavier. I still think Delpo has the fastest flat ball

Do you play any actual tennis? "Heavy" is a combination of pace and spin, not hitting flat balls.

I'd say Fed's forehand or Tsonga.

OddJack
12-29-2011, 08:58 PM
Do you play any actual tennis? "Heavy" is a combination of pace and spin, not hitting flat balls.

I'd say Fed's forehand or Tsonga.

Speedy flat balls are heavier than slower balls with spin.

Flat balls are not absolutely spinless either, but to put high spin on the ball means compromising some speed.

Yes I do play tennis, but to understand that you dont need to. I dont know if you went to school or not but Force equals mass times acceleration, the higher the acceleration of the ball off the racket the higher the force. That by the way is Newton's second law.

Ball spin, again, is a factor but speed of the ball going forward is a bigger factor in its force than its spinning. Dont forget that spin of the ball, as a potential energy, is taken at the impact point. If it's the under spin it actually slows down, if it's a top spin it bounces higher up, but if it has little or no spin it carries most of its energy into the racket with more force.

DRII
12-29-2011, 09:05 PM
Depends on what you mean by heavy. Nadal has been shown to have the most spin, although he usually does not have the most pace.

As far as heaviness, I would probably go with an in form Delpo overall.

monfed
12-29-2011, 09:12 PM
Nadal obviously.DUH

Disgruntled Worker
12-29-2011, 09:18 PM
For men, it's Delpo or Gonzalez. The scary thing about the Argentine is he hits these absolute rockets with such ease! It's a shame he's been dealing with injuries.

For women, I'd say Venus or Serena by far a mile. Lisicki hits it hard too!

pvaudio
12-29-2011, 09:51 PM
Federer without question. Heaviness is not speed or spin. It's a lethal combination of both. This is why Sampras' serve is quite easily the best in history: its heaviness. While it may top out around 130, it has so much spin on it that it doesn't lose hardly any pace once it hits the ground unlike a flat serve. Just about anyone can hit a 125-130mph serve these days: Federer, Fish, Nadal, Djokovic, pretty much all of the top guys. It was the fact that Sampras' serve was laced with so much action that it was unreturnable and had the most unique look to it. Even on television, you can tell that the trajectory is somehow different than anyone else's. Why? The heaviness of the ball. Federer's forehand is the same. He can hit it as hard as everyone else as far as MPH goes, but he puts the 2nd most RPMs on it behind Nadal. No one ever says Nadal's groundstrokes are devastating because they aren't. It's Federer's lethal forehand that they talk about. This is also why Federer is such a great server even though he doesn't hit in the 130s let alone 140s. He gets so much action on his 124mph serves in the corners that you just can't get to them.

Mike Sams
12-29-2011, 09:53 PM
I remember when Berdych was cracking some bombs and even Federer couldn't handle it for the first 2 sets of AO 2009.

pvaudio
12-29-2011, 09:58 PM
Speedy flat balls are heavier than slower balls with spin.

Flat balls are not absolutely spinless either, but to put high spin on the ball means compromising some speed.

Yes I do play tennis, but to understand that you dont need to. I dont know if you went to school or not but Force equals mass times acceleration, the higher the acceleration of the ball off the racket the higher the force. That by the way is Newton's second law.

Ball spin, again, is a factor but speed of the ball going forward is a bigger factor in its force than its spinning. Dont forget that spin of the ball, as a potential energy, is taken at the impact point. If it's the under spin it actually slows down, if it's a top spin it bounces higher up, but if it has little or no spin it carries most of its energy into the racket with more force.1. Your first point is correct. A 100mph flat ball is heavier than a 50mph spinny pusher. That's irrelevant though.

2. Please don't use physics unless you understand what you're saying. A ball moving with a linear velocity of 80 mph is completely independent of its angular momentum aka spin. The greater the forward angular momentum at impact, the less the forward linear momentum will decrease due to impact and thusly forward velocity will decrease less. In short form: a 80 mph ball with 1000 RPM on it is heavy while a 80 mph ball with 100 RPM on it is not. The friction between the ball and the court surface will remove much of the velocity of the flat ball. If there is forward angular momentum, aka, topspin, you can offset this to a certain degree. Therefore, the ball in essence retains more of its speed and you get a heavier ball.

Sentinel
12-29-2011, 10:08 PM
I remember Murray making a comment after the AO 2010 final. Not sure whether it was about pace or heavy. He said something like he'd never handled such fast/heavy balls.

Sentinel
12-29-2011, 10:09 PM
I think "Rafa" has the heaviest ball on tour.
Not those ones, silly.


:D :D :D

namelessone
12-29-2011, 11:21 PM
Judging from the sound that shot makes, I would have to go with DelPo.

Monstrous forehand. Pure power.

Orion3
12-29-2011, 11:27 PM
Federer without question. Heaviness is not speed or spin. It's a lethal combination of both. This is why Sampras' serve is quite easily the best in history: its heaviness. While it may top out around 130, it has so much spin on it that it doesn't lose hardly any pace once it hits the ground unlike a flat serve. Just about anyone can hit a 125-130mph serve these days: Federer, Fish, Nadal, Djokovic, pretty much all of the top guys. It was the fact that Sampras' serve was laced with so much action that it was unreturnable and had the most unique look to it. Even on television, you can tell that the trajectory is somehow different than anyone else's. Why? The heaviness of the ball. Federer's forehand is the same. He can hit it as hard as everyone else as far as MPH goes, but he puts the 2nd most RPMs on it behind Nadal. No one ever says Nadal's groundstrokes are devastating because they aren't. It's Federer's lethal forehand that they talk about. This is also why Federer is such a great server even though he doesn't hit in the 130s let alone 140s. He gets so much action on his 124mph serves in the corners that you just can't get to them.

Agree completely.

aphex
12-29-2011, 11:39 PM
I believe the first rule of NadalFreakonomics.

rrito
12-30-2011, 12:10 AM
For men, it's Delpo or Gonzalez. The scary thing about the Argentine is he hits these absolute rockets with such ease! It's a shame he's been dealing with injuries.

For women, I'd say Venus or Serena by far a mile. Lisicki hits it hard too!

serena williams has the biggest forehand in tennis history with delpo being a distant second.

stringertom
12-30-2011, 02:40 AM
The effectiveness of a "heavy" ball is dramatically magnified by the player's ability to vary the weight of his shots without "telegraphing" that variance...Fed is king of such ability. That skill takes away the opponent's ability to gain rhythm within any rally and destroys the "comfort zone" we all seek to play within. Other than Fed, the three players most often mentioned (Nadal, JMDP, Gonzo) are not anywhere near as versatile in this ability to vary weight imparted. In two of those cases, the extreme grips utilized may explain the slighter variety. JMDP just prefers the flat line.

above bored
12-30-2011, 03:31 AM
Just as the title says
Probably someone like Berdych or Gulbis.

Netzroller
12-30-2011, 03:36 AM
Since the people here can't even agree on what 'heavy' means and some of them lack a profound understanding of the laws of physics this threat is beyond pointless.
Might as well call it 'who has the best forehand?' or 'Who's your favorite player?'...

Someone give a definition of heavy, then we can start talking.

Bobby Jr
12-30-2011, 04:18 AM
Federer without question. Heaviness is not speed or spin. It's a lethal combination of both. This is why Sampras' serve is quite easily the best in history: .....Federer's forehand is the same. He can hit it as hard as everyone else as far as MPH goes, but he puts the 2nd most RPMs on it behind Nadal. ... This is also why Federer is such a great server even though he doesn't hit in the 130s let alone 140s...
This ^ basically.

OddJack
12-30-2011, 04:28 AM
1. Your first point is correct. A 100mph flat ball is heavier than a 50mph spinny pusher. That's irrelevant though.

2. Please don't use physics unless you understand what you're saying. A ball moving with a linear velocity of 80 mph is completely independent of its angular momentum aka spin. The greater the forward angular momentum at impact, the less the forward linear momentum will decrease due to impact and thusly forward velocity will decrease less. In short form: a 80 mph ball with 1000 RPM on it is heavy while a 80 mph ball with 100 RPM on it is not. The friction between the ball and the court surface will remove much of the velocity of the flat ball. If there is forward angular momentum, aka, topspin, you can offset this to a certain degree. Therefore, the ball in essence retains more of its speed and you get a heavier ball.

Quite obviously you dont understand physics very well and certainly not physics of a tennis ball.


The greater the forward angular momentum at impact, the less the forward linear momentum will decrease due to impact and thusly forward velocity will decrease less.

This is a misleading statement since it assumes the two balls in question have left the start point at the same linear velocity. If they both have the same speed forward and one has top spin and the other does not then the one with top spin will have more force, since the mass is the same but velocity of the top spin ball after the bounce will be more than the flat ball.

But, you forgot that the ball with top spin was hit with more force to begin with. The question in this thread is who hits a heavier ball, which would be the ball with more force forward. A ball with no or little top spin at 110mph will have more force forward than a ball with 200rpm top spin at 90mph. For the latter ball to have more force than the first ball you would have to increase the top spin to dramatically higher rpm which brings us to the second part:

a 80 mph ball with 1000 RPM on it is heavy while a 80 mph ball with 100 RPM on it is not.


its such a meaningless statement that the 1000rpm ball is heavy but the 100rpm ball is not heavy? they both have mass and therefore weight. The better measure for the point the OP was looking for is Force. Like I said if they both have same speed, the ball with more forward rpm will have more force. I suggest you go have a second look at Force and what means and how it is measured.

Have a good day.

DRII
12-30-2011, 04:36 AM
1. Your first point is correct. A 100mph flat ball is heavier than a 50mph spinny pusher. That's irrelevant though.

2. Please don't use physics unless you understand what you're saying. A ball moving with a linear velocity of 80 mph is completely independent of its angular momentum aka spin. The greater the forward angular momentum at impact, the less the forward linear momentum will decrease due to impact and thusly forward velocity will decrease less. In short form: a 80 mph ball with 1000 RPM on it is heavy while a 80 mph ball with 100 RPM on it is not. The friction between the ball and the court surface will remove much of the velocity of the flat ball. If there is forward angular momentum, aka, topspin, you can offset this to a certain degree. Therefore, the ball in essence retains more of its speed and you get a heavier ball.

You must excuse O.J., he hasn't been feeling well lately...

I largely agree with your physics explanation. I much rather face a 'flat' hitter and server, than a heavy top spin player. The shot I have most trouble with are heavy slices that also have pace.

But the term 'heavy' is very subjective, so until everyone could agree on what heavy is; there will never be a consensus. The only things that can be measured are RPM, bounce height, and pace.

DRII
12-30-2011, 04:40 AM
Also, I think the 'heaviness' of a player's strokes can vary by surface.

I would say Nadal defintely has the heaviest ball on clay!

wings56
12-30-2011, 04:50 AM
Quite obviously you dont understand physics very well and certainly not physics of a tennis ball.




This is a misleading statement since it assumes the two balls in question have left the start point at the same linear velocity. If they both have the same speed forward and one has top spin and the other does not then the one with top spin will have more force, since the mass is the same but velocity of the top spin ball after the bounce will be more than the flat ball.

But, you forgot that the ball with top spin was hit with more force to begin with. The question in this thread is who hits a heavier ball, which would be the ball with more force forward. A ball with no or little top spin at 110mph will have more force forward than a ball with 200rpm top spin at 90mph. For the latter ball to have more force than the first ball you would have to increase the top spin to dramatically higher rpm which brings us to the second part:



Your 1000rpm example is absurd and never happens in actual tennis match. You are using imaginary numbers to answer the thread question which is nonsense. Please dont drop around some numbers that are irrelevant to tennis.

Even there, its such a meaningless statement that the 1000rpm ball is heavy but the 100rpm ball is not heavy? they both have mass and therefore weight. The better measure for the point the OP was looking for is Force. Like I said if they both have same speed, the ball with more forward rpm will have more force. I suggest you go have a second look at Force and what means and how it is measured.

Have a good day.

1000 rpm not possible? you most certainly do not play tennis. nadal AVERAGES 3300 RPM on his forehand. federer AVERAGES 2500 RPM. federer is generally considered to have the heaviest forehand because he generates as much or more MPH as the other top pros while having a tremendously greater amount of topspin. you must be an engineer.

OddJack
12-30-2011, 04:52 AM
1000 rpm not possible? you most certainly do not play tennis. nadal AVERAGES 3300 RPM on his forehand. federer AVERAGES 2500 RPM. federer is generally considered to have the heaviest forehand because he generates as much or more MPH as the other top pros while having a tremendously greater amount of topspin. you must be an engineer.

You are correct, I was thinking 10k not 1k. Thank you.

The point stands though and you are correct about the two players. More MPH, per the Force equation, will generate more force, therefore the "heavier" ball.

OddJack
12-30-2011, 04:55 AM
You must excuse O.J., he hasn't been feeling well lately...

I largely agree with your physics explanation. I much rather face a 'flat' hitter and server, than a heavy top spin player. The shot I have most trouble with are heavy slices that also have pace.

But the term 'heavy' is very subjective, so until everyone could agree on what heavy is; there will never be a consensus. The only things that can be measured are RPM, bounce height, and pace.

Dr DRII, I am feeling fine, thank you :)

And, what you "prefer" is irrelevant to the point. Your weaknesses does not determine which ball is heavier than the other. :)

Have a good day!

Shaolin
12-30-2011, 08:57 AM
I agree with pvaudio, the heaviest shot is the one with the most combined pace and spin, like Federer's fh or Sampras' serve. However, an extremely hard, flat forehand (say 1000 rpm, 90 mph) like a Delpo, Berdych or Soderling can be heavy, or a slower ball with extreme spin, like Andreev or Nadal.

In D Zone
12-30-2011, 09:20 AM
James Blake 95 mph heat. He like to go for it; its all or nothing.

passive_aggressive
12-30-2011, 03:23 PM
"heavy" refers to spin ALONE, not spin+speed.

Nadal hits the heaviest forehand. Duh.

I think he should concentrate on getting even more spin on it though. Kick every forehand 50ft over his opponent's head, knock the racket out of his opponent's hand, and basically make his shots bend in such a weird trajectory that we have never seen before in sport.

RoughOG
12-30-2011, 03:26 PM
Can someone give me a Soderling?

Lsmkenpo
12-30-2011, 11:02 PM
It depends on how we want to define "heavy"

Pure pace

Soderling hits the highest average pace of anyone on tour, his ground strokes average over 80 mph not just on the forehand but backhand also, JMDP can hit big running forehands when he stretches out but doesn't hit with the overall consistent pace throughout a match that Soderling does.


Spin and pace:

Taking in account both sides I would say it is Ernests Gulbis huge forehand
with a lot of spin, and I haven't seen anyone else on tour that uses a 2hbh
that hits it with more spin than Gulbis.

Just forehand side: Federer, Verdasco and Nadal(during practice)

Sid_Vicious
12-30-2011, 11:20 PM
I think when Djokovic is hitting his forehand well, he is right up there with Federer in that department.

Sanavan
12-31-2011, 05:07 AM
I was watching Dolgopolov playing the other day, man, that guy hits a very heavy ball...