Estimated service speed

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by boojay, Sep 5, 2006.

  1. boojay

    boojay Hall of Fame

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    Estimated service speed (updated with vid, pg.3)

    For any of you physics majors out there-if some of my hardest serves can put brand new, fresh out of the can balls through the fence about 30-40% of the time and used balls about 70% of the time, about how fast is my serve? Note that I play at a half dozen different public courts and on average, that's about the percentage I've noticed when I hit 10 hard in a row.

    I think one of my hardest ever was when I blasted a used ball through the fence and it eventually came to a stop about 150 feet away on the surrounding grass.

    I'm pretty sure I can hit more than 110 mph, but hoping that I can exceed at least 120 mph.

    p.s. i've broken my strings 6 times this summer, 5 times on the serve, once on a groundstroke.
     
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  2. andyroddick's mojo

    andyroddick's mojo Professional

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    are all these serves in? Cause you'd definitely have to be serving in the 130s to get a ball in and go through the back fence. maybe even 140s.
     
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  3. MordredSJT

    MordredSJT Rookie

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    This would depend quite highly on the fence (how far back from the court it is, how small the open space is, etc.). I used to hit balls through back fences all the time when I was in high school...almost always when I was hitting hard AND with a good deal of spin. I know that I'm capable of serving in the mid 120's and am usually averaging somewhere in the teens for first serves on a good day, but I doubt I was somehow breaking 130 to 140 back then.

    This really isn't that great a question for physics majors though (I was one)...it's more anecdotal and for people who have put lots of balls through fences...
     
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  4. boojay

    boojay Hall of Fame

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    are you serious? I didn't think I could serve that fast. You're getting my hopes up here.

    Yes, they're going in. That'd be pretty friggin cool if that were the case because I can almost hit a ball through the fence at will if I wanted, but I usually don't go full strength otherwise I pay the price later on and it's a ***** having to sit out a week in order to heal.
     
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  5. skuludo

    skuludo Professional

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    The fences holes are too big that is why you are hitting though it.

    Also where on the racket did your snap the string?
     
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  6. boojay

    boojay Hall of Fame

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    that's why i mentioned i played at many different courts, to take into account that maybe the chain-link fences have bigger holes, but i pretty much get the same result at any court. My strings usually snap very close to the sweet spot. And strangely enough, half the time my mains break (even if it looks like my crosses will break). i.e. crosses begin to fray a great deal around sweetspot, but mains will break.
     
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  7. skuludo

    skuludo Professional

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    The park near my home balls can't stick on the fence even if you pushed it by hand.

    The fences probly had the same amount of space. You should try measuring them.

    Are your serves this fast? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M5gLYogcZIE
    Those are around 125MPH.
     
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  8. thursdayisgod

    thursdayisgod Rookie

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    Spin and location mean more than power to penetrate a fence. I've gotten balls through fences many times (after ball lands in) but I wouldn't assume my serves are over 100 mphs, or even close. Also my ground strokes go through the fence more often than my serves (more spin and land deeper). However I havn't seen your serve so maybe I'm completely off but I think going faster than 100 mph is a more difficult feat than most medium level players think.
     
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  9. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    #9
  10. Woodstock_Tennis

    Woodstock_Tennis Rookie

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    I saw hot wheels put out a crappy radar gun, go buy it assuming it measures over 50 mph.

    BTW that video that was posted, maybe it looks faster in person but that doesn't look over or near 100 to me.
     
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  11. Mike Cottrill

    Mike Cottrill Hall of Fame

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    I asked the same question earlier. The guy that posted that serve said that he was clocked at those speeds.

    Interesting.
    Mike
     
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  12. Fatmike

    Fatmike Semi-Pro

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    #12
  13. ucd_ace

    ucd_ace Semi-Pro

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    Ha... yeah, the two biggest servers I know broke strings like crazy! All around the edge of the frame. One was really bad, he'd break a minimum of 1 or 2 a day.
     
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  14. jlspeed29

    jlspeed29 New User

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    post ur service video... we gotta see this!
     
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  15. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    Well, if that is the case and those serves are going 125, then I hit about 170 mph.

    Those serves look about 90-100 mph if that.
     
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  16. boojay

    boojay Hall of Fame

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    yup, pretty confident i can, if not harder. in fact, my balls would still be on the rise as they hit the fence. Also, any balls that get stuck in the fence take quite a bit of effort to get out. My little cousin, who is 15 years old, isn't capable of getting the balls out of the fence, although he doesn't have the greatest grip strength. It takes a bit of effort myself to pull the balls through, especially if it's more than halfway out (obviously), but i usually just kick those right through the fence and get them later.

    i agree with the comment about spin and location being pretty important, but if you hit a sissy serve, it's NOT going through the fence (unless the ball is insanely worn out). What I've noticed are averages, so I've taken into account that my balls will hit the fence at random locations with varying degrees of obstruction.
     
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  17. boojay

    boojay Hall of Fame

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    sure, i'll record it when i have free time. i'll even say when i'm trying to hit through the fence and somehow try to capture that at different courts around the city.

    i just got a new job (working at a tennis facility!! unfortunately with no radar gun), so my playing schedule is pretty unpredictable now.
     
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  18. Mike Cottrill

    Mike Cottrill Hall of Fame

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    Well.. I can never tell much with youtube. I appears that the video is speeded up some?? You may be a little harsh with the 90 though.
     
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  19. boojay

    boojay Hall of Fame

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    which is why i'm not making any assumptions either. if i could serve 120, sweet. I find that odd for you because I rarely ever have a groundstroke go through the fence. In fact, I can't even think of a single time that's ever happened. Then again, I'm incapable of hitting flat groundstrokes. What I can tell you is a couple years ago, when I first started playing tennis and could not get a first serve in to save my life, a tennis instructor (not mine, but one on an adjacent court) starting giggling to his beginner students and said that's what a 110 mph serve looks like. Since then, my biomechanics have gotten much better, not perfect, but significantly better.

    oh, and p.s., i think the guy in that vid could probably hit harder than what's shown in his video.
     
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  20. ZPTennis

    ZPTennis Semi-Pro

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    thats quite funny.
    Obviously the best way is having the use of a radar gun. But most people don't own these. Certain tennis clubs can sometimes have them.
    I had my serve radared when I went out to play at a club in Naples where I knew the head pro and he came out with a radar gun. My slowest one was 118 and my fastest was 131. It would be pathetic for me to lie about this on a message board but if you don't believe me thats your choice.

    I edited the clip of the fastest serve that I recorded in the video I posted earlier. Its not the straight on view one. On this clip, turn the sound way up and ignore the video. Forget the fact im a message board poster on here. Although this won't be perfect, use a stopwatch and time the sound between my serve and the service return. Then time the sound of the same thing with the men playing in the US Open.

    Oh and don't use Andy Roddick for comparison.

    Heres the clip. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TaPQZ6l8jbY
     
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  21. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    I never said you lied. My comment was directed at the serve referenced, and the mph the poster claimed the speed was. I don't doubt you could hit the mph you state you have been clocked. However, the serve referenced is not 125 mph. I know this based on my own serve. I have been clocked at 118 MPH, and could tell you 118 MPH is a lot faster than the serve on the video.

    Sorry, but this is not a very good technique to clock serve speeds.

    As I stated in the thread where you posted the video originally, I think you have a good serve and thanked you for sharing them with us. I'm not trying to knock you in any way. I'm sure lots of guys on here wish they had your serve.

    Peace!
     
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  22. ZPTennis

    ZPTennis Semi-Pro

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    Actually, I was the original person to estimate the speed from the other topic I made. And my estimate is based on when I was clocked before. You develop a feel for the speed after you have your serve radared.

    Not trying to discredit you, but I know my serve and trying to judge a speed by only using my youtube video is not going to be accurate. A good example that shows this is the fact that there are still people who think my video is sped up. The video is very low quality from the original and many of the millisecond frames that were orginally there are gone due to converting it to a wmv file. This will distort appearances more than people realize.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TaPQZ6l8jbY
     
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  23. jackofromalsager

    jackofromalsager Semi-Pro

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    u dont serve 125 mph i serve around 100mph and im only 13 how old are u i break around a string every 4-6 days even less if i play with the same racquet all the time
     
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  24. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    I agree. I have gotten pretty slow kick serves through the fence, and ground strokes. I have also seen people who hit relatively slow ground strokes but with lost of spin put it through a fence. I don't think people realize how fast a 100 MPH serve is.
     
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  25. Bagumbawalla

    Bagumbawalla Hall of Fame

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    The other day I saw an advertisment (on a children's cartoon show) for a toy radar gun.

    Don't know the price or accuracy. But it might be a neat thing to have.

    Anybody out there seen one?
     
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  26. southpaw

    southpaw Rookie

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    I'm not saying I don't believe you - but assuming your serve strikes the fence at around 6 feet high, the ball would have to exit the chain link at a speed of at least 50mph to travel 150 feet on grass.
     
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  27. skuludo

    skuludo Professional

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    The speed estimate was orginaly made by ZPTennis.

    I'm happy with my serve. I am just not consistant at hitting my top speed. (Had tennis elbow yesterday and shoulders just felt stiff the day before that.)
    Today my tennis elbow problem is gone and my shoulders feel so so today; however, my left calf feels like it wants to cramp for the past 4 days.
     
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  28. Mike Cottrill

    Mike Cottrill Hall of Fame

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    ZP. You are correct, youtube video is hard to reference. I was not saying you sped it up, it just has that look. If frames are deleted, that will give that effect. BTW, nice serve.

    Mike
     
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  29. scez

    scez Semi-Pro

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    Why not just post some videos, and if you dont have a camera, try to find someone who has one.
     
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  30. oscar_2424

    oscar_2424 Legend

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    you should become a pro
     
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  31. ZPTennis

    ZPTennis Semi-Pro

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    Thanks Mike.

    Anyways, Yeah the courts you play on do have those typical high school court fences. Like another posted said, I also put serves through my high school fences all the time because they were different in the openings of the holes. They are just cheaply made i guess.
     
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  32. Andres

    Andres G.O.A.T.

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    And that means, hitting the ball at around 150 mph ;)
     
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  33. oray777

    oray777 Rookie

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    Is there a way to get a radar gone or something like that to see how fast your first serve is?
     
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  34. Woodstock_Tennis

    Woodstock_Tennis Rookie

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    Ya that's what I was mentioning in my previous post. It's made by hot wheels (toy cars), someone should buy it and see how decent it works. I assume it's pretty cheap, looked like orange plastic, but if it just uses the doppler effect like others it might be a decent buy.
     
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  35. garfonkee

    garfonkee New User

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    http://www.austech.info/showthread.php?t=135840&page=1&pp=15

    it seems that the radar gun doesn't have the range..

     
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  36. Bagumbawalla

    Bagumbawalla Hall of Fame

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    There is another toy radar gun (I just looked it up).

    Kidpower Quicksilver Radar Gun-- Aboout 50 dollars-- good up to about 120mph.
     
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  37. boojay

    boojay Hall of Fame

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    so i managed to record some vids tonight after work. they kinda suck since i had no energy at the end of the day and couldn't get my adrenaline pumping, but i figured i'd at least post something since there are so many on here who talk and have nothing to back it up.

    i should point out that the balls i'm using belong to this facility and are pretty flat as i'm in a high pressure dome (i.e. the dome pressure is above atmospheric, therefore exerting more pressure on the balls making them less firm). basically, don't expect much. these serves are well below 120 mph i imagine.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vUg2Zlh6EA0
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DdQrSV4EYVo
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_hqqZzzY39o

    and for fun, here's a preview of my groundstrokes. since i was the last person there after my shift, i didn't have a partner to hit with so obviously this isn't exactly how i hit, but it should be a decent indicator:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zvKRzj4AW9Y

    edited: i should mention i'm using the PS85 with luxilon strung at 58 lbs. I wouldn't be able to put brand new balls through a fence with this--I'd need my Babolat Pure Control for that--but slightly used balls would be no problem though.
     
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  38. Andres

    Andres G.O.A.T.

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    No, you don't.
     
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  39. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    Boojay, from those vids there is no way to estimate how fast your serve is going.

    Thanks for sharing them with us.
     
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  40. mahouFuji

    mahouFuji Rookie

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    u guys are nuts.... my flat serve not even 100 miles yet..... the highest i got was 96.... and i use kick serve most times and its only mid 70 mph 90% of time......
     
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  41. jackofromalsager

    jackofromalsager Semi-Pro

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    i think i do i had it radared !
     
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  42. peter

    peter Professional

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    The radar was probably set to display km/h instead of mph...
     
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  43. nViATi

    nViATi Hall of Fame

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    I'm happy a few of you guys esp jackofromalsager don't string or they'd spam our stringing boards saying that they can string a racquet in 5 minutes. :mrgreen:
     
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  44. boojay

    boojay Hall of Fame

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    ok, i can settle this now. i just saw a tennis instructor, in person, who can serve 130 mph. I can tell you I can't serve that fast. His technique was incredible and effortless. I would be very lucky to even serve 120 at my very best. I'm still in shock and awe as to how fast a 130 mph serve is when you witness it in person.

    crazy.........
     
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  45. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    People really can't fathom how fast even 100mph really is. It is extremely fast. 120+ is just ridiculous. When I saw the video of ZPtennis, I didn't mean to knock him-he has a nice serve, but the serve on the video is not 125. That is why I said if that serve is 125 then I serve about 170+.

    I can hit serves between 100-115, and people that I play against say you could hear a "bzzzzzzz" (buzz) when it is nearing them.
     
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  46. ZPTennis

    ZPTennis Semi-Pro

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    Oh my god. I thought we had dropped this. And now you bring me up again. :rolleyes:

    You can't judge a persons service speed by a low quality youtube video. I have served as high as 131mph on the radar gun. I served in a service booth at the Nasdaq when it was called the Erickson not even using my own racquet or being warmed up and still hit an even 125mph. I have played tennis since I was 7 years old off and on. Im 28 now. When I was 17, I won a fast serving contest they happened to have at a junior tournament in Daytona at 116mph. So don't even try to tell me from your great youtube analyzing expertise that my serve isn't what I say it is.

    I'm not claiming to be a great tennis player. If I was, I'd be on the tour. I've had my same serve my whole life. Its never changed. From my own experiences and being radared serveral times, I know what the hell i'm talking about. I know my own serve. You don't.
     
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  47. boojay

    boojay Hall of Fame

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    I believe you ZPTennis, you don't sound like you're trying to impress anybody, but I can also sympathize with drakulie as there are plenty of people on these boards who over-exaggerate their skill level.

    So let me ask you since you've reached the upper echelon of service speeds--about how fast do you think I'm serving in the vid? Realistically and generously, I think 110+ mph, or maybe I'm being TOO hopeful. At least over 100?
     
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  48. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    You could at minimum estimate. Let's be honest, the guy you are playing with has horrible reaction time. Seeing the kick serve video (you have a nice kicker by the way), he swings the racquet about the same time the ball is passing him. I would hardly think that kicker was going 125.

    Now, on the second flat serve you hit, which is about the same speed you hit the first one, not only does he get the racquet on it he is actually ahead of it (a serve going 125mph). I don't think so.

    Maybe the radar gun wasn't callibrated.

    So have I, every year the Lipton, Ericcson, and Nasdaq have existed. Those radar guns and booths are a joke, and most probably--purposely juiced up. I once hit a forehand that traveled 100 MPH. My girlfriend who has never played or picked up a racquet hit a "serve" that went 70. It was actually more like 20.

    This doesn't prove anything. Many women on the pro tour have been playing every day for 8 hours a day, for 15+ years and can't hit a 100 mile an hour serve. In addition, many men on the pro tour in the top 50 who play tennis for a living can't consistently hit 120+. You are going to say a 3.5 (?) player (with horrible movement/reaction) you are hitting with has time to move to his right, got his racquet on your 125 mph serve and actually "pulled it". I don't think so.

    Sorry, but the serves on the video are not 125 mph. 90??

    I never said you don't know your own serve. As I said before and I will say again, it is a very nice serve I am sure lot's of people would love to have it.

    However, the serve you hit on that video does not come close to 125.
     
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  49. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    double post
     
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  50. DragonFly

    DragonFly Rookie

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    The hotwheels thing? yeah, i thought the same thing... don't think its too accurate though, looks to be of cheap quality.
     
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