People here underestimating others serve speeds

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by Nickzor, Apr 1, 2014.

  1. tennis_ocd

    tennis_ocd Hall of Fame

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    Of course I believe the assessment to be inaccurate. Poster claimed that that he was surprised to learn he served 120. "Sick." But you spin as not a real claim to serve 120?? You're grasping.

    On the bigger issue; still no 120 rec vid.
     
  2. tennis_ocd

    tennis_ocd Hall of Fame

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    I've only provided hard data from a guy who goes about measuring different levels of tennis serve speeds with radar. And some challenger level fun "fast serve" event numbers. Confirmed by at least one other that gun students in this thread.

    In contrast I've been inundated with speeds using phone app magic and "glory day" recollections of the past.

    Believe whatever you want. A consistent, 100 mph rec serve is a thing of beauty. Heck, it can be a solid D1 serve. Some have it. I don't understand the gnashing of ttw teeth that goes with being informed that 110 - 120 mph bombs aren't being thrown around at the rec level. Just weird and somewhat delusional.
     
  3. WildVolley

    WildVolley Legend

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    I don't think you're interpreting SpeedMaster's data correctly, and I'm using the same gun he was and I clocked one of my high school players throw down a 115mph serve, so you're just factually wrong.

    There are rec-players throwing down speeds from 100-120mph on the public courts I play at here in Southern California. Just as Will H says, most the players are never hitting serves over 80mph, but there are better players that can serve big.

    It is usually at this point that you change the discussion to average speed. I'm not talking about average speed; I'm talking about guys going for big flat serves in match play. I'm talking about the guy a few weeks ago who hit a 104mph radar confirmed serve after a few minutes of trying because he wanted to see how hard he could hit. I'm talking about people like me who hit a radar confirmed flat down the T at 115mph. I'm talking guys like RoddickAce who posted videos in this thread which show in my opinion serves going over 100mph.
     
  4. Fuji

    Fuji Legend

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    I have to admit, 110 is hard to break. At that point most guys have some solid technique with a live arm.

    Also, what are we qualifying as rec here? Is it 5.0 and below? Below 5.0? 4.0?

    -Fuji
     
  5. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    I have been officially measured at an ATP tournament at 158 kph
     
  6. jmnk

    jmnk Professional

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    listen, if you want to argue that there exist rec (by that i mean folks that have not had a formal training, so college players and/or ranked juniors do not count) players that can occasionally hit a 100mph serve, fine with me. But if you/someone is saying that 'hitting 100mph serve is not that hard', or 'There are rec-players throwing down speeds from 100-120mph on the public courts I play at here in Southern California' - than that is just not true. The way you have phrased it implies that they can do it pretty consistently at will. They can't. Majority of ATP players can't do it consistently, if they could they would average 110mph serve (at least on the first serve). And these are the most tennis-wise talented people on earth, training 6hrs/day for 20 years.

    So no, no matter how your rec player is 'loose' or 'strong' or whatever - he is not doing it. (of course LeeD is an exception :) )
     
  7. WildVolley

    WildVolley Legend

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    You need to define formal training. I never played college or was a ranked junior but I did have lessons when I started from a guy who didn't make it on tour and was a teaching pro. He showed me how to hit with a continental grip and proper form from the beginning, so I never developed an awful hacker-style serve. I played in some tournaments as a teenager without much success, but I had a fairly decent serve even then.

    With the internet, rec-players can get lessons from ex-tour guys like Salzenstein who could serve in the 130s when he was competing.

    When I'm healthy I can pretty easily hit a 100mph serve. That's sort of about the base speed for my flat serve if I'm getting solid contact. Even today (I'm recovering from a wrist injury) I think I hit a few over that playing some sets of doubles with some friends. Being honest, hitting the 110mph serve is the rare thing these days.

    If you watch much tennis, you'll realize most of the top 100-ATP guys could fairly easily average 110mph for first serve if that were their goal.

    But they don't get paid for hitting hard serves; they get paid for winning. A 110 mph flat serve that isn't precisely placed or deceptive isn't going to put the server in a good position in the point. Nadal often hits below that, but he tends to hit a lot of spin even on firsts. Federer who isn't a big server, will often average 118mph or so on his first. Even poor servers like Simon can hit high 120s (not an average) when he decides to go for it.

    There are guys who can because they develop racket head speed with long limbs and correct technique. It doesn't mean they are great players, just that they hit the serve correctly and fairly hard.

    Most rec players are hackers. I just played with some friends and the average first serve speed hit by the other players was under 70mph (one guy probably hit a first-serve average under 50mph). That doesn't mean that my average in the 90s didn't happen.
     
  8. jmnk

    jmnk Professional

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    you are a rec player. Couple lessons do not constitute formal training in my eyes

    sure they can. It will not make them 'easily serve' into 100+. Salzenstein can, but he is not a rec player.


    sure, why don't we wait till you get healthy, and then you record a regular match, and we'll see if you can 'easily hit 100mph'. Easily means that you can do it let's say 75% of the time when you get it in, and your serve percentage should be around 60%. Shouldn't be too hard for you..... We are already waiting for Ballinbob poster to do the same, we can wait for you as well.


    it's a myth that pros sacrifice speed for 'placement/speed'. They do it because serving 110+ is NOT EASY, and they know they can't do it at will, and they would rather serve slower but with higher percentage.

    On the side note - if you do not consider Federer a 'big server' than I have nothing else to say.

    well, it does not say it did either.
     
  9. WildVolley

    WildVolley Legend

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    I don't get your claim that pros don't sacrifice speed for placement?:confused:

    The exact same reason that a player will slow down the serve to hit more spin for a higher percentage serve is the reason that players will hit slower speed for placement and angles that can't easily be reached with a flatter harder serve.

    Do you actually watch much professional tennis? A 110mph serve isn't a big deal for many players and they'll average less than that because they are hitting a mixture of slice and topspin even on first serves.

    For example, lets say I want to hit a hard slice into the deuce court. Even taking a full cut at the ball, the serve is going to be 20-30mph slower off the racket than a flat down the T because the racket head speed is being used to brush across the ball to a greater extent than on the flat serve. Even though the racket head speed might be the same, I'm going to see a 25mph difference between the 75mph wide slice and the 100mph down the T-serve. I'm not hitting 25mph slower because "it is hard to hit it 25mph faster" but because the hard slice is a good change-up and difficult to return.

    Federer definitely isn't a "big" server in terms of mph. He relies more on precision than some of the other top players. Gulbis, for example, will often serve in the 130s on first serves. Federer almost never hits into the 130s (though he can). Murray is more likely to hit into the 130s even though his second serve is probably slower than Fed's (I'd need to check the stats on this.)
     
  10. Topspin Shot

    Topspin Shot Legend

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    No. Pros drag their serve speed averages down not because they can't hit every first serve 125+ but because they're putting a lot of spin on their first serves. The spin allows them to get a lot of serves in to precise placements and messes with the returner's timing.
     
  11. RoddickAce

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    I just randomly selected a match Nadal played.

    AO 2014 2nd round: http://www.ausopen.com/en_AU/scores/stats/day9/1201ms.html

    Nadal, one of the slowest servers on average of all top players, averaged 179kph aka 111mph on his first serve at 74% in.

    His 18 year old opponent, ranking in at 302 in the world currently, averaged 187kph aka 116mph on his first serve at 67% in.

    And if its an average, it means there are faster and slower serves, and that number includes all the off-pace slice and kick serves they mix in for variety.

    Also, I have said millions of times in this thread, I have posted videos of 4 of my serves being clocked at the rogers cup ranging from 101mph to 105mph.

    I have also posted another video with roughly 6 serves (yes there were all in), you can judge to see if I serve slower than I did back then.

    I believe I serve faster than I did before as I recently played a practice set with my coach (age = late 20's) and I got owned 6-0, but I managed to hit 1 ace and 1 service winner where he barely got the edge of his frame on it. He used to be ranked in the 700's on the tour, but he doesn't play competitively as much anymore.
     
  12. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Typical first serve thoughts in singles, for one game.
    Two flat first serve attempts, 2 on ad.
    2 top/slice first serve attempts, one on each side.
    1 hard low slice attempt, usually duece court up the middle, me lefty.
    So, while the flat attempts might approach 100, the top/slice barely cracks 85, while the pure slices might go even slower and lower.
    Average is point play statistic.
    TOP speed is just that, top speed on first flat serves.
     
  13. tennis_ocd

    tennis_ocd Hall of Fame

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    Sure they are.... Btw, just how are you measuring these public court rec guys 120 serves? Speedmaster guy actually uses radar gun and publishes hard data. Your public rec court guys should be on tour!


    ATP Men—first serve: 101 to 122 MPH; second serve: 78 to 90 MPH
    NCAA Men—first serve: 82 to 104 MPH; second serve: 69 to 85 MPH
    NCAA Women—first serve: 64 to 89 MPH; second serve: 64 to 74 MPH
    U18 Girls—first serve: 67 to 96 MPH; second serve: 63 to 75 MPH
    U16 Boys—first serve: 75 to 105 MPH; second serve: 67 to 82 MPH
    U16 Girls—first serve: 65 to 83 MPH; second serve: 58 to 70 MPH
    U14 Boys—first serve: 63 to 87 MPH; second serve: 55 to 69 MPH
    U14 Girls—first serve: 57 to 73 MPH; second serve: 53 to 64 MPH
    (these are measured *ranges* not averages.)
     
  14. Fuji

    Fuji Legend

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    I don't understand. These are ranges? You're saying the fastest serves being hit by ATP players are 122MPH?

    -Fuji
     
  15. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Sure, BradleyKlahn, while he was a freshman at UCLA, hit 104 mph first serves, then the following year, his service speed jumped to 137, just getting away from school.
     
  16. tennis_ocd

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    That he measured on one particular weekend - iirc this wasn't the top 100 types; perhaps just one or two particular pros. D1 was UCLA single players.

    Beautiful case in point. 1. He didn't go to UCLA and 2. Get a grip. His first serves in last year's majors average about 112. He might hit mid 120s, tops, during a match... it's no San Pablo Park.

    Hyper inflating of pros speeds (vs. local park rec guy) is boring stuff in that the data is *really measured* at some major events.
     
  17. Topspin Shot

    Topspin Shot Legend

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    There's nothing to understand. It's tennis ocd's schtick.
     
  18. Maximagq

    Maximagq Banned

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    Stanford >>>>>> UCLA in terms of academics, and I say this as a UCLA student.
     
  19. Ballinbob

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    Glad to see this thread is still going strong:) Should be a good read
     
  20. President

    President Legend

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    LeeD can definitely crank the serve in at around/a bit over 100. Played with him for several hours last Friday, his serve is no joke.
     
  21. Avles

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    Yes, that data is measured. Here, for example, are the maximum first and second serve speeds of every man who played on a court with a gun on the first day of USO 2013:

    Ryan Harrison: first serve, 137 , second serve 105
    Rafael Nadal: first serve 121, second serve 97
    Richard Gasquet: first serve 127, second serve 103
    Michael Russell first serve 125, second serve 99
    Nick Kyrgios: first serve 129, second serve 124
    David Ferrer: first serve 121, second serve 99
    Albert Ramos: first serve 124, second serve 111
    Bernard Tomic: first serve 124, second serve 93
    Fernando Verdasco: first serve 138, second serve 117
    Ivan Dodig: first serve 133, second serve 108
    Pablo Cuevas: first serve 129, second serve 110
    Janko Tipsarevic: first serve 124, second serve 103
    Tommy Robredo: first serve 130, second serve 103
    Marinko Matosevic: first serve 122, second serve 101
    Dan Evans: first serve 129, second serve 118
    Kei Nishikori first serve 118, second serve 95
    Kenny De Schepper first serve 135, second serve 135
    Bradley Klahn first serve 125, second serve 105

    So the serve speed maxes for this group of ATP men would be: First serve 118 MPH to 137 MPH, Second serve 93 to 135 MPH.

    I'm not sure about that 135 mph second serve-- but the bottom line is that speedmaster guy's data seems to be totally of touch with reality. It looks to me like ATP men break 120 very routinely and 130 not infrequently.

    So my question is, why would you take this "hard data" about ATP serve speeds seriously, when the most minimal examination of actual data from the tour itself shows that it is wrong?
     
  22. Avles

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    Ok, so one or two pros measured by one guy with his personal gun on one weekend.. and that's what you consider "hard data"? That's not data at all.
     
  23. GuyClinch

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    Sounds legit. His video serve is only 90 or so (my guesstimate) but he did claim that it wasn't his best stuff and he was clearly injured.

    My feeling as I mentioned before is that young healthy men can easily clear 100mph with some practice..especially if they aren't smaller then average and have some throwing experience.. The serve speed data is from a guy trying to sell you things to improve your serve speed. So its not really a reliable thing. For me personally it takes me a while to warm up my flat serve - in that I have to hit quite a few practice ones to get it going in a game. In most matches I am hitting mostly spin serves..

    I suspect other rec players are like this - they have a flat serve but don't bother with it much. I only try to mix it in if I get ahead in the game..
     
  24. WildVolley

    WildVolley Legend

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    I use the same radar gun that Speedmaster was using.

    Here's the blog post I think you were referring to:

    http://blog.tennisspeed.com/2007_04_01_archive.html

    I think you should get a radar gun and start measuring some serve speeds. You might be surprised to see that 100mph isn't really some unachievable standard.

    At this point, you're supposed to change the topic to average speed and then deny that anyone who isn't ATP material can hit over 100mph...again.
     
  25. WildVolley

    WildVolley Legend

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    Did you ever get some radar readings on your serve?
     
  26. tennis_ocd

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    Just interrupting phone apps proofs by presenting a guy with an actual gun measuring actual players during an actual match. I recognize hard data of the UCLA D1 singles players is easily ignored in favor of rec court fence bounce heights.

    Now we've moved on to posting US open serve speeds of the top 128 atp pros in order to ... what? somehow support rec player boasts??? Insanity....
     
  27. tennis_ocd

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    Strawman. I have a gun and 100 isn't unachievable. UCLA D1 singles players/U16 boys were readily hitting it. Even good rec guys hit it.
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2014
  28. WildVolley

    WildVolley Legend

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    Then why do you call people liars for measuring and seeing the same thing?
     
  29. Avles

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    You used the ATP pro "data" to support your sarcastic statement that "your public rec guys should be on the tour." That data appears to be extremely suspect. That's all.

    I don't believe that height of fence bounce gives us precise information about serve speed, and I don't really see many people here arguing that it does. A straw man I guess.

    I do think that under the right conditions you can get a pretty fair estimate of serve speed with video frame counts (high speed video if possible, and most essentially, a clear landing point for the serve to gauge distance). I trust that sort of estimate as much as or more than the "some guy with a gun" method.

    But anyway, your shtick has gotten tiresome. Too many straw men, too much posturing. I tend to believe that there are plenty of rec players 4.0 and above who are capable of hitting flat serves at 100 mph, a non-negligible number who can break 110, and a very small number who can hit flat serves 120 (probably with very poor accuracy).

    You really haven't posted any evidence to the contrary, just a lot of sarcasm and distortion of other people's claims and arguments. Seems like a waste of everybody's time.
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2014
  30. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Excellent averages above post.
    While 100 is no biggie, what's really more important is your second serves ability to solicit a weak return that you don't need to run for, dig for, and give you plenty of time to take over the point.
     
  31. Ballinbob

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    No I haven't...been traveling a lot overseas lately and starting a summer class tomorrow, so I've been quite busy. I also don't know any club that has a radar available for rent or anything, but I'll look into it right now.
     
  32. WildVolley

    WildVolley Legend

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    No worries.

    I'm recovering from a wrist injury myself, but I'll be playing more tennis this summer and might try to see if I can get some big serves on video. I recently got a better tripod for my camera, but if I'm training by myself I can either use the tripod to hold the radar or the camera.
     
  33. tennis_ocd

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    You have your head in the sand. I've posted my own experience with a gun, fyb guy chimed in with his observation/data (<80), another poster/coach with gun, speedmaster guy with his recorded observations, challenger fast serve competition results....

    If there really are "plenty of rec players*" here popping 110+ it shouldn't be too difficult for you to provide evidence. (One can literally find 100s of youtube vids of rec guys hitting <90.) When these big gun boasts are called the replies revert to "glory day" recollections, injuries, off days, lol. I don't see what's so disparaging and why some get in such a lather over being informed they aren't hitting atp speeds.
     
  34. Topspin Shot

    Topspin Shot Legend

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    Nobody said there are "plenty of rec players" here popping 110+ serves. Who are these players anyway?
     
  35. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    110 is pushing 5.0 territory.
    100 is good for rec players, 4-4.5.
    But, as said, you can find a giant who can't play tennis very well yet still really pop the serve, usually out, but very fast.
     
  36. tennis_ocd

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    As good as, or better than at least 9 atp pros at the US Open!
     
  37. shindemac

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    i dont kno wher 120 cam from?? Or 110?
     
  38. WildVolley

    WildVolley Legend

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    I said I believe I once served over 120mph and hit one in the 125mph range. I never claimed I was averaging anything near that or could reliably hit serves that hard. I do agree I'd be a much more dangerous player if I could.:)

    I have hit 115mph (fastest radar confirmed - match serve that I believe was in 120s was considerably faster) and over 110mph a number of other times. I've hit 100-110mph on radar many times which is why I believe I have a decent feeling for how hard I'm hitting.

    ocd conflates that I said I once was hitting really hard with claiming I'm the equivalent of a professional player. My point was that if I am not a great player and I could hit hard, it was credible that some other rec player who is younger, better trained, and taller might be hitting serves in the 120s. ocd believes only professional players can hit that hard.
     
  39. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Ho hum, those listed serve speeds are from the slowest servers on the tour.
    What was Milos's speed?
    Isner?
    Groth?
    Anderson?
     
  40. arche3

    arche3 Banned

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    Groth is a beast. He should win more.
     
  41. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Groth is one of my favs.
    He seems to need to loosen up, relax, and work on quick light movements, not big lunging movement. He's like a Viking warrior, all brute, no finesse.
     
  42. mtommer

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    One thing that people fail to account for is how much a server's motion plays into our perceptions on how hard a serve is. I'll give you a good example. Take Jack Sock. I've had the benefit of seeing him play matches from 25 ft away, directly behind him at just a few feet higher than head height, and I've seen his serves and play from bleachers that are 10 ft from the sideline, court level, at the Nats. I've seen his serves reach over 120 in matches and practice according to the radar guns used at the Nats.

    When he hit the ball (then) the sound was not as loud as many others and it didn't "look" like he was hitting the ball hard. Yet he often hit harder than the other kids he was playing or other players, under the same radar guns, looked and sounded like they were just killing the ball yet were consistently putting up lower numbers. Not by a lot, mind you, five mph here, ten or fifteen there, but slower none the less.

    And I've seen many of the good pros hitting serves. Courier, Chang, Isner, and so on (the Nats has a pro exhibition every year) Even in my own experience I've had people consistently talk about my serve, dead sure I'm at or around 120 mph. Yet, on the same guns at the Nats, I'm consistently between 100-110. I'm actually going to see if I've improved any in the last few years since I was radar scored as my toss and motion are better, but I digress, lol.

    Point being, you'd be surprised how we perceive serve speeds vs. what is actually happening, which isn't to say that I believe hitting 100 or higher is tough to do necessarily. That being said, I've found that there's typically only a few adults and myself who are at or around 100 mph, trying to see how high they can get on the guns, and that includes some of the college coaches/staff that are on hand for the recruiting purposes at the Nats. Yet, there are plenty more people at the tournament who aren't even out there trying or caring about being measured.
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2014
  43. tennis_ocd

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    My apologies for the comparison of rec serve speeds to merely the slower atp pros like Tomic. This is ttw. In hindsight, Isner, Milos and Groth would be much more appropriate.

    I present:
    Karlovic 138
    Anderson 133
    Raonic 145
    Isner 141 vs Volandri at 112! - that's ttw 2.5 stuff.

    QED. These numbers clearly show the local rec guys are popping it.
     
  44. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Volandri's serves at 112 is hit with heavy topspin, so has much more action than a flat 112.
    Even MichaelChang, all 5'7.5" of him, can hit 125 when he wants to, but averages 105 as his fastest serves in match play.
    Pete is claimed to only hit around 132 top speeds. But that is with spin and high percentage placements. He can easily exceed 140 if he ever wanted to flatten it out.
     
  45. tennis_ocd

    tennis_ocd Hall of Fame

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    Easily. (Note: Numbers are match *fastest* not *averages*)

    I'm guessing the pros never once flatten it out in an entire 3 to 5 set match to prolong ball longitivity or to not overly confuse returner. Do you think Isner ever flattens one out or is he capable to approaching 180 if the desire to really go for speed ever tweaks his fancy?
     
  46. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    I'm sure some pros try to flatten their serves out for the most possible speed when they're confident, when they're mad, and when they don't care.
    For most play, something around 125 can ace anyone when placed decently, so percentage is always on their minds when serving first serves.
    I do think there is an upper limit right now. Like baseball pitcher's seeming to top out at 103 mph, maybe the fastest tennis serves with current equipment might top out at around 156 mph.
     
  47. Fuji

    Fuji Legend

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    Pro's go big and flat, not I don't think they ever go for just a pure slap. Even their flat serves are high-ish percentages. If they were going for their biggest every single serve, I highly doubt they would be making 60-80% of first serves in a match. Also, preservation is huge, especially in slams. Hitting bombs can take a lot out of guys, especially if they have any injuries that the public don't know about.

    -Fuji
     
  48. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    East side of San Francisco Bay
    Also, hitting the fastest flat serves wear down a fit player, so the energy to run down balls get less and less with each effort of hitting the fast serves.
    While lots of youngsters can indeed hit 50 attempts at full speed serves, I suspect wear and tear of older players lower the number left in the tank, until single digits start to limit the player's thinking of hitting any flat serves at all.
     

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