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View Full Version : Who is the strongest tennis player?


Cosmic_Colin
07-05-2012, 11:36 PM
I mean physically, all round (arm, leg, core etc.) strength?

Nadal doesn't look as bulky these days. I've seen some pictures of Murray where it looked like he had been working out pretty hard... but he still looks like someone has photoshopped a scrawny guy's head onto someone else's body.

Tsonga doesn't look so toned but he is pretty big and shows his power on court.

But also how important is muscular strength? Would players be better off improving endurance and technique?

joeri888
07-06-2012, 12:03 AM
Depends on what you mean by strong. Is it about explosiveness, or endurance? e.g. 20 benchpresses or 1.

I think some way overtrained guy ranked 600 who would fair a lot better if he stopped working out so idiotically much and not just think about girls but actually work on a proper tennis game.

DeShaun
07-06-2012, 12:11 AM
I would say Tsonga or Karlovic.

joeri888
07-06-2012, 12:16 AM
I would say Tsonga or Karlovic.

You don't think there's someone with an ATP rating stronger than Karlovic or Tsonga?

OldFedIsOld
07-06-2012, 12:33 AM
I would say Tsonga or Karlovic.

Tsonga, Roddick, and Youzny seem like they are stronger in terms of bulkiness are.

However the strongest in terms of definition and flexibility are probably Murray and Djokovic.

http://blogs.reuters.com/emanuelderman/files/2012/02/djokovic.jpg

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-xE2dY5HBh8o/T6c0QUGjIYI/AAAAAAAADXI/T7ZyU5UFM4U/s1600/andy_murray6.jpg

Cosmic_Colin
07-06-2012, 12:44 AM
I mean explosive strength, like how much they could bench, but taking their whole body into account. Like who could generate the greatest force (without taking technique into account).

Cosmic_Colin
07-06-2012, 12:47 AM
Wow, I just tried to find the picture of Murray flexing and found this (http://cdn02.cdn.socialitelife.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/08/andy-murray-vogue-08192010-01-400x470.jpg):?:shock:

joeri888
07-06-2012, 12:47 AM
Tsonga, Roddick, and Youzny seem like they are stronger in terms of bulkiness are.

However the strongest in terms of definition and flexibility are probably Murray and Djokovic.

http://blogs.reuters.com/emanuelderman/files/2012/02/djokovic.jpg

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-xE2dY5HBh8o/T6c0QUGjIYI/AAAAAAAADXI/T7ZyU5UFM4U/s1600/andy_murray6.jpg

As far as I know, definition does not have that much to do with strength, no?


@ Cosmic: in that case, I stand by what I said. There's probably some guy we don't know off. You CAN be way to strong and bulky for tennis.

Russeljones
07-06-2012, 12:51 AM
Monfils is probably freakishly strong. He's had to push himself off the ground about once a minute for his whole career.

SystemicAnomaly
07-06-2012, 12:54 AM
Power is more important than strength when it comes to tennis. When we speak of physical strength or muscular strength we are referring to the the ability to generate as much force as possible (without concern for how long it takes). Muscle size is one of the important factors that determines this kind of strength.

OTOH, power is regarded as the ability to generate as much force as fast as possible. Power is often referred to a speed-strength. It is associated with fast-twitch muscle fibers, especially type II-x fibers. Sprinters have a considerable percentage of fast twitch muscle fibers in their legs. Basketball and volleyball players who have explosive jumps exhibit this trait as well. Monfils is a tennis player who jumps very high and sprints across the court extremely fast. Long ball hitters in baseball and golf also are displaying power.

Tennis players also need endurance/stamina. The fastest sprinters will probably not fare well in endurance races (such as a marathon). They will usually fade after a few minutes of running. Type II-x fibers are short-duration muscle fibers -- they fatigue quite easily. Type II-a fibers are an intermediate fiber type. They are not as fast as II-x but have quite a bit more endurance.

Marathon running and other aerobic activities require a high percentage of type I (slow-twitch) muscle fibers. These fibers have the greatest endurance but lack size, strength and power.

The endurance required for tennis include both aerobic endurance and anaerobic conditioning. The latter, which trains the fast twitch fibers, can be developed thru interval training.

WhiskeyEE
07-06-2012, 12:56 AM
I mean explosive strength, like how much they could bench, but taking their whole body into account. Like who could generate the greatest force (without taking technique into account).

some slavic or nordic guy. youzhny maybe. But really none of them look like they could bench much.

Cosmic_Colin
07-06-2012, 12:57 AM
Monfils is probably freakishly strong. He's had to push himself off the ground about once a minute for his whole career.

Yeah I forgot about Monfils... didn't he hit some ridiculous backhand last year, like close to the fastest ever?

ViscaB
07-06-2012, 12:57 AM
Del Potro is also super strong.

SystemicAnomaly
07-06-2012, 12:59 AM
I mean explosive strength, like how much they could bench, but taking their whole body into account. Like who could generate the greatest force (without taking technique into account).

A bench press does not necessarily require explosiveness (power). However, an olympic clean and jerk does require power. See my post above for the difference between power (explosive) and strength.

http://www.menshealth.com/powertraining/cms/publish/about-the-program/Muscle_Power_or_Muscle_Strength.php

Russeljones
07-06-2012, 01:01 AM
A bench press does not necessarily require explosiveness (power). However, an olympic clean and jerk does require power. See my post above for the difference between power (explosive) and strength.

http://www.menshealth.com/powertraining/cms/publish/about-the-program/Muscle_Power_or_Muscle_Strength.php

OP was quite clear in his question don't see why you're trying so hard to derail the discussion.

SystemicAnomaly
07-06-2012, 01:04 AM
OP was quite clear in his question don't see why you're trying so hard to derail the discussion.

OP was not really that clear. Wise up. I'm trying to educate here, not derail. Poster here are confused about the difference between power and strength. Why don't you try reading a little and learn something.

The OP asked about the importance of muscular strength. I believe that I did a pretty good job answering that question.
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Cosmic_Colin
07-06-2012, 01:07 AM
A bench press does not necessarily require explosiveness (power). However, an olympic clean and jerk does require power. See my post above for the difference between power (explosive) and strength.

http://www.menshealth.com/powertraining/cms/publish/about-the-program/Muscle_Power_or_Muscle_Strength.php

That's interesting because when I was in my late teens I used to mess around with weights a bit and found I was pretty good at clean and jerk but not so good at benching. I seem to be good at generating power (e.g. whacking a golf ball) but not so much strength, like holding a weight out for two minutes. I always thought they were the same thing, and that only things like long-distance running or rowing used the slow-twitch muscles.

Thanks for posting the info, it was interesting.

Cosmic_Colin
07-06-2012, 01:09 AM
OP was quite clear in his question don't see why you're trying so hard to derail the discussion.

OP was not clear at all. Wise up. I'm trying to educate here, not derail. Poster here are confused about the difference between power and strength. Why don't you try reading a little and learn something.

I knew what I meant but I used the wrong term (strength rather than power). All cleared up now so no problems.

Back to the main topic - how about past players?

SystemicAnomaly
07-06-2012, 01:11 AM
^ You are very welcome. I'm glad that you appreciate the feedback more than RJ does.

Russeljones
07-06-2012, 01:14 AM
OP was not clear at all. Wise up. I'm trying to educate here, not derail. Poster here are confused about the difference between power and strength. Why don't you try reading a little and learn something.

Sorry mate I was trying to spare you the blushes. What part of the OP's question asked for a definition of strength and an euology of the frequent misunderstandings on the topic? Don't bother answering. You thought this is a good opportunity to flex some brains. Fair enough, but in doing so you imply the OP is an idiot for not knowing the difference between strength and power and what-not. If we all imparted our respective competencies at any perceived vector of relevance, this place will quickly go to the pits.

SystemicAnomaly
07-06-2012, 01:22 AM
Michael Chang, Bjorn Borg, Rafa Nadal have displayed quite a bit of power in their legs. Not sure that any of them can compare to Monfils tho'.

It is interesting to note that, while Andy Murray has quite a bit of muscle definition, he does not hit his groundtrokes with as much power as many of the other top pros. OTOH he has hit some very big serves. He has hit serves faster than 140 mph more than once. Not sure how much spin he has on his high speed serves tho'.

Sampras hit his serves with speed and a ton of spin. He had a pretty good jump on overheads as well. These are both an exhibition of power.

SystemicAnomaly
07-06-2012, 01:28 AM
Sorry mate I was trying to spare you the blushes. What part of the OP's question asked for a definition of strength and an euology of the frequent misunderstandings on the topic? Don't bother answering. You thought this is a good opportunity to flex some brains. Fair enough, but in doing so you imply the OP is an idiot for not knowing the difference between strength and power and what-not. If we all imparted our respective competencies at any perceived vector of relevance, this place will quickly go to the pits.

Give it up. I was not implying that the OP was an idiot at all. It is a very common misconception and is very relevant to the topic at hand. Many/most people are not aware of the difference. This attack is a weak defense on your part. The OP was appreciative of my response. As I said before, power is more important than muscular strength in tennis. This speaks directly to a question asked by the OP.

If you choose to ignore the distinction, that is your prerogative. But do not criticize me for trying to make the distinction clear so that we are all on the same page when we discuss these things. Take a look at the variety of responses on the first page. It is clear that people are equating muscle size, muscle definition, flexibility and endurance with both strength and power. It is important to make these distinctions so that we can figure out what is important.
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Rock Strongo
07-06-2012, 02:10 AM
http://i17.photobucket.com/albums/b56/snlb/TheIncredibleBulk.jpg?t=1252117053

Alchemy-Z
07-06-2012, 03:00 AM
http://media.thestate.com/smedia/2012/01/03/19/49/296-xUBZG.St.138.jpg

firepanda
07-06-2012, 03:48 AM
Ferrer is pretty stocky, low volume to length ratio or something like that. Strength doesn't matter, really, you only have to be incredibly fit.

fhdowntheline
07-06-2012, 07:01 AM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vXlH73PxVBg

I would say this requires plenty power....McEnroe had quite a zippy serve but Lendl just crushed em nonchalantly..

kishnabe
07-06-2012, 07:10 AM
In terms of Power....I would say Soderling. Bludgens the ball on both sides.

The Wreck
07-06-2012, 07:19 AM
Safin was a pretty big dude.

KineticChain
07-06-2012, 07:26 AM
http://boomertime.files.wordpress.com/2012/05/263.jpg

Gonzalito17
07-06-2012, 09:43 AM
Nadal eats rocks for breakfast and bricks for dinner.

Cosmic_Colin
07-06-2012, 09:49 AM
Nadal eats rocks for breakfast and bricks for dinner.

...and Bagels for lunch?

Walenty
07-06-2012, 12:18 PM
Soderling is a pretty built dude:

http://p.twimg.com/AxC5p9TCMAMBRKv.jpg:large

okdude1992
07-06-2012, 01:04 PM
http://boomertime.files.wordpress.com/2012/05/263.jpg

bingo. many lower ranked pros are probably way stronger than the top guys. problem is, that extra bulk slows them down, and makes them less flexible. strength is not important in tennis