Just how big was Col Dibley's serve ??

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by MAXXply, Apr 21, 2009.

  1. MAXXply

    MAXXply Hall of Fame

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    Just wondering if anyone has memories of the Australian Col Dibley's reputedly huge serve. Just how big was it ? How did it compare to Tanner's, Curren's and Rusedski's ?
     
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  2. MAX PLY

    MAX PLY Hall of Fame

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    It was at least comparable to those serves (held the record at 148 mph for quite a while) and mostly played with wood (I did seem him after he retired play an exhibition with a Prince Pro (aluminum) and he was still giving his serve a pretty good pop). On a good serving day, he could take down anyone. He had a pretty good net game to back the serve up but was not great off the ground and not terribly fast of foot (so he was probably not as athletic as Rusedski or Tanner but probably comparable to Curren). Top 40 in the world a couple of times so clearly no slouch.
     
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  3. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    If memory serves Dibley was timed at 148 miles per hour and he was considered perhaps the hardest server in tennis. I believe Roscoe Tanner was times at 153 miles per hour. You do wonder how accurate the readings were in those day but nevertheless they was extremely powerful server. Dibley was also known for double faulting a lot.
     
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  4. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Pretty fast.....
    Back around '77, he came into our booth at the TransAmOpen in SF with a couple of extraglassed MaxPlys, for VS 16 at 68 lbs. for the speed serve contest. The head stringer set him up with those two, plus one other custom glassed MaxPly for no charge. Colin told some great travel stories while downing HEINEKEN German beers. He basically talked non stop for 1.5 hours, while the 3 rackets were strung.
    Ended up serving maybe 10 faster than any other pro, and about 17 faster than LowellBarnhardt, the fastest serving Amateur. Much faster than Tanner's speeds, didn't know Rusedski was around then, the following year I lost 5th round Q to Curren, who did have a comparable serve, but I couldn't compare, I never faced Dibley's.
    But interestingly, after each racket was strung and waxed, he'd rig'em up tight to the machine and flexed the living crap out of each one, saying he needed to "break in" the extra layers of glass from the handle thru the top of the head. We thought he was faking out the competitors, but maybe not. He also hit maybe 50 serves with each racket, finding the best feel and marking it before the timing.
    His arms spanned easy 7'4", maybe more, while bending sideways and touching the ground. Mine, with me at 5'11", spanned 5'10". He had leverage.
    Me suspects he was a 6'4" person who really should have been maybe 6'9", with his huge hands and feet, and really long arms and huge headsize.
    Like most Aussies, a likeable huge bloke who told some extremely profound and funny stories from his travels thru his life....not necessarily tennis stories.
     
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  5. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    Wonderful post LeeD. Very informative. Who are you? You said you lost 5th round Q to Curren.
     
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  6. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    I'm a nobody ex stringer who worked for FTC, the sponsoring tennis shop during the years of the TransAmOpen at the CowPalace.
    A low ranking B player in reality, but with a pretty good lefty serve and quickness, I never won anything in the A's or Opens, and left myself a very unfullfilled tennis competitive career..... by '79, was full on into motocross racing.
     
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  7. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    In other words, I'm sure you would beat me 6-0 6-0 6-0 without me winning a point.:)
     
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2009
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  8. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Unfullfilling as in weak minded, tended to walkabout, no killer instinct, and too nice a guy for the kill or be killed world of competitive tennis.
    Hardly ever wanted to beat anyone double zips, so I always gave at least one courtesy game.
    And surpriseingly, also got given a courtesy game every match against anyone good I ever played against.
    Maybe you tend to get what you sow, so maybe life CAN be OK in the long run....
     
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  9. AndrewD

    AndrewD Legend

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    The 5th round of qualifying? at the TransAm Open in 1978, to Kevin Curren?
     
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