Has anyone on the board learned to hit 130mph serves?

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by kiteboard, Mar 19, 2011.

  1. Power Player

    Power Player Talk Tennis Guru

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    I am tring to figure this out still..the hardest serves I have hit seem effortless and like my arm is relaxed..I am not sure if this is correct tecnique or luck, but when my arm is real relaxed and "noodle-like" I have unleased some bombs. But lately I have just been working on hitting 80-90ish mph placement serves so I get some consistency.
     
    #51
  2. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Fast serves need that effortless whippy snap effect. Little muscle, but tons of acceleration and a high elbow finish to add the final "whip" to the rackethead.
    Most players who can serve into the 100's, if they figure out the high elbow after impact finish, can increase ball speed into the teens.
     
    #52
  3. dozu

    dozu Banned

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    so Lee, looks like your radar, aka your eyes, needs to be recalibrated by -15 mph or so.
     
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  4. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Not at all!
    He said his slice wide serves goes slightly slower than I said.
    I'm surprised his "flatDTM" goes so slow, but I'll bet he doesn't flatten it out to a pure POP, but rather retains some slice or topspin to make the ball go IN.
    Gotta understand, Kiteboard is basically 6' tall and 220lbs of sheer muscle. He covers baseline like nobodie's business, and moves extremely well for a big guy.
    And I've watched him hit over 30 times. His motion TWISTS on takeback, giving the spin effect.
     
    #54
  5. SlowButSure

    SlowButSure New User

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    I can't hit it 130, but can hit low to mid 120's (fastest I've clocked was 125, but usually it's 123-124 max).

    That being said, I very rarely use that serve as it's pretty flat. My main serve is typically 112-116 with a fair bit of spin. Seems to be a lot harder for people to return than the flat one. I throw the flat one in occasionally as a change of pace, usually as a body shot.

    I started playing about 6 years ago. I played football in high school and was a pitcher in baseball in high school and college. I read a fair bit about tennis when I started, and really worked on my serve motion from the begining. Someone else in this thread mentioned using the towel drill and high football throws. I did those, in addition to a weighted rope and lots of shoulder ROM work (especailly external rotation.) I worked a lot on the upper body part then added leg drive as timing got better.

    Personally I'd disagree with the lots of practic part, at least intiially. I'd start with doing drills to help develop a faster arm swing. Do that for a while, then go back to your serve. I've always found when I'm serving I worry a lot about getting it in, which of course is important, but can be counter-productive if you're trying to re-vamp your motion.

    Anyway, just some thoughts.

    And here's a video. Not an all out serve, but same general motion.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DsobxufECTM
     
    #55
  6. rdis10093

    rdis10093 Hall of Fame

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    fastest I ever got was 93 mph, not close to 130, but at the level I play at, it gets the job done, besides it is placement and spin not power. I know guys on my team that can hit low 120s and there serves are not that hard to get back, but none the less my 93 slice looks like chilplay comapared to there 120s.
     
    #56
  7. Kevo

    Kevo Hall of Fame

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    I haven't been able to get my speedtrak to register above 115mph. My fastest flats down the middle never register. I think the angle to the gun is too steep. Maybe a tall tripod behind me might work, but I'm not concerned enough with top speed to try it. I think once you get over 110mph you have more than enough speed to ace anyone assuming you also have reasonable placement.

    The trick to speed is rotation from the arm. A lot of people have too much forward arm motion at impact and that actually reduces top speed.
     
    #57
  8. BMC9670

    BMC9670 Hall of Fame

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    So, do all you big servers ever S&V? I once played a guy who had a HUGE serve. Not sure how fast, but the biggest I'd ever faced. I could only block it back, which worked, but was very defensive and weak. The thing is, he stayed at the baseline as waited for my floating return instead of coming in and putting it away. IMO he didn't capitalize on his weapon as the rest of his game was very average.

    It seems to me that if you have a big serve at the 3.5/4.0 level, S&V would be a good strategy as many players will not be as offensive on the return.
     
    #58
  9. kiteboard

    kiteboard Hall of Fame

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    This is well thought out comment.
     
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  10. kiteboard

    kiteboard Hall of Fame

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    Nice arm comment.
     
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  11. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    try this vid, as it is pretty good if you can stop it at the right frame.
    as soon as it clicks over from 6 to 7 secs (you have to count along and anticipate) hit pause. If you time it well, you should get a great pick of what I call launch position, which shows him with the right elbow high and that hand well below the elbow 4-6 inches. Most slower servers will have already have extended the elbow some by that point and have the hand 2-4 inches above the elbow.

    Study that frame, because it is the key to big serves along with a correct toss. From the launch position, you must have excellent RHS to reach the contact pt on time, because from that low it has so far to go in a certain time frame.
    does this help?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kqj1F-DCskM&feature=player_detailpage#t=7s
     
    #61
  12. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    shoulder is like a seesaw, so when front comes down, it should power the back up and the elbow up too. But the hand should be still dragging during that initial elbow lift, so that it is lagging like the next stage ready to extend up in the chain.
    make sense?
     
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  13. kiteboard

    kiteboard Hall of Fame

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    Sort of, but I don't know how to do that. I first taped Pete in the 89 Phillie indoor. He beat Lendl at 18yrs. old and won the first tourny of his career, but I have not used video on myself too much. Never got any leg drive going, or high elbow. My elbow was always too low coming up.
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2011
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  14. peoplespeace

    peoplespeace Semi-Pro

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    #64
  15. FloridaAG

    FloridaAG Professional

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    Love these threads - answer for me is no way.
     
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  16. Devilito

    Devilito Hall of Fame

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    ill have to get some videos of me serving now that my shoulder has been good for a while. Pretty sure i could get mid 120s maybe close to 130 if i turn up the heat to max. The key to any strong shot is a relaxed and fluid motion. The more you have to think about it the less effective it's going to be.
     
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  17. kiteboard

    kiteboard Hall of Fame

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    Interesting comment. I know the ball can't go much faster than the frame, but if the frame is going 100mph, the ball goes 120 and so on. To say you can get the frame up there while relaxing is one thing, doing it is another.
     
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  18. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    IMO, hanging loose can help racket drop and elbow extension.
     
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  19. kiteboard

    kiteboard Hall of Fame

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    In that Sampras clip, at drop position, he is totally parallel with the baseline, and has not turned toward the net at all. The frame then tucks up under the elbow, past vertical position, compared to the toss, and all of a sudden, in 2/1000th of a sec., flips up to contact.
     
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  20. cdubdub

    cdubdub Rookie

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    ive been able to hit multiple 110-115 mph serves, but 130? no wayy. im 6 ft and only weigh 145. my motion definitely has a few flaws, as well. heres a video from october..
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fursMw9G1S8
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2011
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  21. FedererBestTennis

    FedererBestTennis Professional

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    Is 98 mph good for a 105 lb thirteen-year-old?
     
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  22. BagelMe

    BagelMe Semi-Pro

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    I think some people tell others they have a 120 mph serve because they're not used to returning serves of that speed. Also, 120 mph i guess is what most ignorant tennis players use to describe a big serve...
     
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  23. jmverdugo

    jmverdugo Hall of Fame

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    Everytime a professional tennis player hits a serve between 120-130mph everybody makes a big deal about it, the commentators talk about it, they show the screen with the numbers on TV, etc. Why is this? because not even the pros hits those serve as often as some people think, this is why that is kind of hard for me to beleive that some people here can hit 130MPH serves at will. JMO.
     
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  24. spacediver

    spacediver Hall of Fame

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    Here are a couple serves from last summer. The knee bend and body snap are excellent, but the overall form is flawed.

    Since then, I've improved the overall form, but haven't yet reached the same level of snap. It's steadily improving.

    Anyway, here are the serves:

    http://vimeo.com/14259063

    I'm guessing they were around 110mph, as I have clocked myself at 106mph and these felt quite a bit faster.
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2011
    #74
  25. TennisAddict121

    TennisAddict121 Banned

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    If you turn the volume up you will hear they hit the fence. I am very tall so the ball trajectory does look like it is steep (which it is) but they did cross the net
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2011
    #75
  26. SoBad

    SoBad Legend

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    You're 5'11" at most and your serve is no more than 70mph (5'9" and 60mph, respectively, in Florida/SoCal).
     
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  27. tennis_balla

    tennis_balla Hall of Fame

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    Don't worry about peoplespeace, he should be the last one to criticize anyones game. How are those ATP points working out for you anyways?
     
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  28. tennisnoob3

    tennisnoob3 Professional

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    too bad it isnt true.
     
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  29. TennisAddict121

    TennisAddict121 Banned

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    If tennis_balla says to not worry, than I shall not :)
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2011
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  30. dozu

    dozu Banned

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    yo balla, stop it... he is my friend.
     
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  31. NinjaKiwi

    NinjaKiwi Banned

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    I think I could come up with the formula for your analysis. Please correct me if I am wrong. PS. What's your speed?

    5"11 --> 70mph
    5"10 --> 65mph
    5"9 --> 60mph
    5"8 --> 55mph
    5"7 --> 50mph
    5"6 --> 45mph (My speed)
    5"5 --> 40mph
    5"4 --> 35mph
    5"3 --> 30mph
    5"2 --> 25 mph
    5"1 --> 20 mph
    5"0 --> 15 mph

    So, 15(1+5X)= per inch
     
    #81
  32. tennisnoob3

    tennisnoob3 Professional

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    he was joking. the idea is that florida/so cal are so insanely "superior" that everything is elevated there and therefore everywhere else is inferior and less than actual value. ex a 4.0 in ny would barely be a 3.0 in florida.
     
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  33. gameboy

    gameboy Hall of Fame

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    If hitting 130 mph serve was all about technique then every pro on the tour/challenger/college would be hitting it.

    It would be like how everybody can hit 300 yard drives in golf and throw 95 mph fastball in baseball.

    Somethings are not about technique but about god given talent. You need gobs and gobs of fast, twitchy muscles, with effecient skeleton structure. Not everybody has it.

    Shooting for 100mph+ is a good goal to have. Shooting for 130 mph is quixotic for 99.9% of the people out there, no matter how good your technique is.
     
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  34. SoBad

    SoBad Legend

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    Your linear regression analysis technique is nothing short of perfection. It's kind of sad that someone 4'8" tall serves at -5mph, but that's the reality.
     
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  35. Larrysümmers

    Larrysümmers Hall of Fame

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    poor fella. his serve goes backwards. lucky for me, i am 7 foot 6
     
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  36. RoddickAce

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    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BZod9KZmtuM

    This is my newest serve video. I have been clocked at 104mph at the Rogers Cup before, with a horrible racquet and no warm-up. So my estimate is that my fastest serves are around 110mph and average around 90-105 mph on first serves.

    From what I've seen, serves that are 120mph+ have this different sound and the player seems very stable AND loose at the same time.
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2011
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  37. SoBad

    SoBad Legend

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    165mph is decent only if you can place it well with tons of spin. Otherwise the returner will take it early, use the pace against you, and hit an easy return winner every time, especially in Florida.
     
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  38. cdubdub

    cdubdub Rookie

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    +1 this. watching my single #1 player and his opponents hit serves, i can tell when its 120 or more because of the sound it makes. i also note the fuzz coming off the ball once they hit the return off of these serves.
     
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  39. tennis_balla

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    Yes Ma'am!
     
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  40. kiteboard

    kiteboard Hall of Fame

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    Try bending backwards, with your chest towards the back fence, bent over at the waist.
     
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  41. dr325i

    dr325i Legend

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    The form shown here is FAR, FAR from 130 or 120 or much slower I'd say...
     
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  42. kiteboard

    kiteboard Hall of Fame

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    Looks like about 90mph. Nice touch, using a generator to run the camera.
     
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  43. kiteboard

    kiteboard Hall of Fame

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    Looks like about 90mph. Nice touch, using a generator to run the camera. Only one guy posting claims a believable 130, and that's for his son, who may be Ryan Harrison for all we know.
     
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  44. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    That cdub vid shows a 85 mph max serve. Barely reachs backboard, on a warm night. Finish is wrong side of body, no swingspeed.
    Sure, my first flats start to drop right past the baseline, but it doesn't drop down to bottom of backboard, instead staying waist high at impact. And I serve in 57 degree weather, when most of you guys need sweatshirts and pants to play. And I use DunlopGPHD balls, the heaviest and knappiest for concrete courts.
     
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  45. mightyrick

    mightyrick Hall of Fame

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    I'm with kiteboard. Looks like about 90mph. 95mph tops on one of those, maybe.

    Maybe it was the angle of the video, but it seemed to me that OP is holding with a more extreme grip and hitting that serve with a tad bit of slice... which is going to slow the ball down a little bit.

    Holding the racquet in a little more eastern direction (pure conti) will probably add 10mph easily onto that serve. I thought the motion was really good.
     
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  46. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Motion is OK, with finish on wrong side, no movement into court, tentative swing.
    Notice ball is dropping heavily when it reaches backboard. That on a warm night. Now if OP used flat balls, that MIGHT happen, but most guys with serves using flat balls can still make it go horizontal much more at the backboard.
     
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  47. SuperDuy

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    What would yall estimate my serve to be?
     
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  48. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Don't know how to search your serve motion, but if I recall correctly, you have a basically good motion, fast arm speed, but not too much body into court, don't always swing fast enough for a truly fast serve, and tend to get lazy on some of your serves, so it's hard to tell which ones are your normal serves, and which are your fast serves. Also, you tend to spin most of your serves, whether some have more spin or not, still spun.
    Try hitting a few when warmed up, see how the flats bounce, tell us temps and balls used, court fast (skids ball low) or abrasive (impressively I often bounce first flats up around upper chest high), and time of day.
    Also, when there are tennis players around, you practicing serves, do they tend to stop play and watch you? Or do they gather around your court and watch you serve?
    They almost always do when I hit my faster serves, because they can hear it from 4 courts away, and wonder why someone can pop it that loud....compared even to 4.5 level adjoining courts.
     
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  49. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Oh, and I still claim "110 to 115" mph on my best first flats.
    That's not fast enough to bother anyone USED to seeing and returning my serves. Not at my level, anyways.
     
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  50. FedererBestTennis

    FedererBestTennis Professional

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    Last summer, I was clocked at 94 mph and my coach said my serves have got 4-5 mph more on them. You don't have to be such a jerk.
     

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