Is this true??

Discussion in 'Adult League & Tournament Talk' started by tnnisfan, May 15, 2012.

  1. tnnisfan

    tnnisfan New User

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2012
    Messages:
    32
    I played today with a lady from Minnesota who spends her winter here in Scottsdale Arizona. She is an amazing player and has played in lots of different areas.
    Anyways, it was 102 degrees towards the middle of our doubles match. She hit a couple of returns long which was no biggie, but she pulled me aside before the next serve and said "The heat is changing the ball, so we better use shorter back swings." I must have looked confused because she went on to say "that in extreme heat, the heat of the court and the heat of the air inside the ball changes and causes the ball to fly faster and farther so we have to shorten our swings to compensate." I've never been told to change my swing during summer play, but I have heard the heat can speed up the ball. What gives?
     
    #1
  2. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2008
    Messages:
    19,545
    Location:
    Central Florida
    Hot and dry are the fastest conditions you will play in. This is why some people up their string tension in the summer so that they don't have to change their strokes to keep the ball in play.
     
    #2
  3. esgee48

    esgee48 Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    May 30, 2010
    Messages:
    2,192
    Location:
    SF, CA
    Use high altitude tennis balls or go for more spin rather than pace.
     
    #3
  4. GMay

    GMay New User

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2009
    Messages:
    90
    Yes, the outside temperature totally changes how the ball bounces. When we moved from WA to AZ (Scottsdale) both my husband and I had to adjust our strokes to compensate for the heat. We moved down here in July.

    Last September we went to visit my sister in Tahoe and played at Northstart. At first I thought the balls were really old and dead but then realized that it was about 40 degrees outside and they just were not going to bounce as well.
     
    #4
  5. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2008
    Messages:
    35,696
    For sure, she's totally correct. But only if YOU were hitting long.
    I've always said temperature, dry humidity, and altitude can make anyone's serve go at least 15 mph faster.
    My fastest serve, shielded court, GoldenGateway, fall '77, was 129.4. Actually hit 2 that speed out of 7 tries. Temp was hot spell, Indian summer 88.
    I normally play my tennis in 59 degree weather, often foggy and very humid.
     
    #5
  6. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2008
    Messages:
    19,545
    Location:
    Central Florida

    That's hilarious, my fastest serve was also in hot conditions and was 129.5 MPH. Clearly, I'm the better player since my serve is faster. :)
     
    #6
  7. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2008
    Messages:
    35,696
    Your serve might be faster AND better, but I posted my speed first, so at least I"m ahead of you.....
    Mine was in Oct, SanFrancisco, part of the TransAmerica Pro Men's tourney. Well actually the sideshow, as it was at the Gateway (JDubbs belongs there) warmup courts.
     
    #7
  8. jswinf

    jswinf Professional

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2009
    Messages:
    1,141
    Did they have radar back then or did they have to pace it with a fast car? :)
     
    #8
  9. LuckyR

    LuckyR Legend

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2006
    Messages:
    6,404
    Location:
    The Great NW
    Yes and no. Her observation is correct, as is her explanation. Her solution is suboptimal, to be charitable. Given the same ball texture, you would want to lengthen your swing if anything to get more spin on the ball to control the depth of your shots (assuming you started hitting long too).
     
    #9
  10. Maui19

    Maui19 Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2010
    Messages:
    1,649
    Humid air is less dense than dry air.
     
    #10
  11. OrangePower

    OrangePower Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2007
    Messages:
    4,045
    Location:
    NorCal Bay Area
    Paced with a biplane. Cars back then could barely break 60 :)
     
    #11
  12. jdubbs

    jdubbs Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2010
    Messages:
    2,268
    Come on let's not exaggerate. It was paced with a '74 Dodge Dart. A bit rusty, sure, but amazingly accurate to measure serve pace.
     
    #12
  13. gameboy

    gameboy Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2009
    Messages:
    1,620
    I was going to say this as well. Balls travel much further/faster when it is hot and humid. This is why you see more home runs in baseball in the middle of summer.

    Common sense can be a ***** sometimes...
     
    #13
  14. Maui19

    Maui19 Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2010
    Messages:
    1,649
    Well in fairness the difference in air density due to humidity is almost negligible. However the difference in air density due to temperature is a huge factor in sports like golf, tennis and baseball.
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2012
    #14
  15. goober

    goober Legend

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2004
    Messages:
    8,491
    Her solution may be optimal for her depending on her level of play and swing path. If she is a player that hits a flat ball, shortening her strokes in general will impart less velocity and more control. The ball will stay in the court.

    A lot of women don't hit with big topspin especially in the 3.0-3.5 crowd. If she had full strokes and was aiming to hit even more topspin, yes then she would not want to shorten her strokes.
     
    #15
  16. retlod

    retlod Professional

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2009
    Messages:
    942
    The opposite is also true when the air temp gets below about 55F.
     
    #16
  17. MrCLEAN

    MrCLEAN Rookie

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2007
    Messages:
    340
    Location:
    Arlington, TX
    Warmer air is less dense, less density is less drag on the ball. Can't say I've ever noticed a huge difference in heat, but have certainly noticed the dead ball feeling in cold.
     
    #17
  18. Fuji

    Fuji Legend

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2010
    Messages:
    6,587
    I had a similar situation with my serving today. It was 23-24 outside and super humid. Lots of kick on my shots, but any flatter shots had a good chance of sailing long. Spin is king when it's hot outside!

    *I was strung in the mid to low 40's, so that may also take into account my experience.*

    -Fuji
     
    #18
  19. user92626

    user92626 Legend

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2008
    Messages:
    6,142
    Were you guys constantly painting the baseline that a little heat would be too much?
     
    #19
  20. tnnisfan

    tnnisfan New User

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2012
    Messages:
    32
    No, actually I wasn't hitting long (on that day anyways). My partner did say she likes to head back to MN as soon as it gets over 100 in Arizona as she does not like the way the ball reacts in the heat. She really prefers the bounce and speed of the ball in the winter. I've always played in the heat so was just real curious if play truly changes in cooler climates.
     
    #20
  21. JLyon

    JLyon Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2007
    Messages:
    3,325
    Location:
    AR
    Scottsdale is also a little higher than Minnesota so the ball will fly further in the altitude as well
     
    #21
  22. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2008
    Messages:
    19,545
    Location:
    Central Florida

    Totally agree.
     
    #22

Share This Page