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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    I'm sure he's hitting them just as fast as the UCLA 1 and 2 blue chippers....

    I'll just join the ttw band wagon and claim 115. The middle school kid next to me said I hit harder than any fifth grader in his class and one kid has taken a couple lessons.

    Few mandatory ttw caveats that add to cred: Only when I really want to; my percentage when hitting 115 drops to under 60% so I just spin in a lot at 104. The five foot kick at backboard gives them just as much trouble and saves wear and tear on my arm. Also lets us get in a few games before balls start going flat. All verified true because I can throw a tennis ball from my side of the court to the roof of the equipment shack. DunLop balls, 87.3 deg F court temp; 68% relative humidity; falling barometer.
     
    #51
  2. tennis_ocd

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    Have no idea. Appears to be a guy with an actual radar gun and hard data; the last thing we need here.
     
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  3. RoddickAce

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    Do my serves being clocked at Rogers Cup 2011 ranging from 101mph to 105mph, while me being nowhere close to D1, count as evidence that rec players can hit over 100mph?

    I was using the racquets they supplied, with no warmup serves except for the 3 serves they give you when you get your serve speeds checked. I am confident that players at the 5.0 level, which I am not at, with their own racquet, after warming up can hit a flat serve above 100mph, as I am not arrogant enough to believe that I have some legendary talent to hit fast serves that 5.0's can't.
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2014
    #53
  4. mbm0912

    mbm0912 Professional

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    #54
  5. tennis_ocd

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    I have no doubt rec players exist that can hit 100.
     
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  6. Topspin Shot

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    Dr. Calvin Nii.
     
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  7. psv255

    psv255 Professional

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    Will post something soon that may help convince you that rec players can indeed hit 100 mph serves with some consistency.
     
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  8. asimple

    asimple Semi-Pro

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    I didn't see a radar gun or hard evidence just a nice very convenient story pitching his training. It was very nice how his student conveniently lost in the first round so he could visit UCLA. At least three of the guys on the team had ATP rankings before and after this time between 300 and 700. Maybe they slowed there serve down when they played their college matches.
     
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  9. WildVolley

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    This is a big breathru!
     
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  10. Topspin Shot

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    He was clocking match serves. There's a huge difference between match serve speed and "I want to light up a radar gun" serve speed.
     
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  11. asimple

    asimple Semi-Pro

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    I think the topic is the "I want to light up a radar gun" speed not the average speed someone hits through a match which is clearly much different.

    That being said, I am going to say that I still think it is bs that 3 guys with a pro level game are hitting a maximum speed serve of 104. I wouldn't be that surprised with averages in the 90s but they had to have let loose on at least a few.
     
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  12. WildVolley

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    ocd, this reads as if you're just angry that someone can serve faster than you can.

    I realize that this is the internet and it is difficult to read intention that is apparent in a real-world conversation, but that's how it reads to me.

    Do you actually doubt that RoddickAce is capable of hitting over 100 mph after the video evidence he's provided?
     
    #62
  13. TennisCJC

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    I agree. I have seen qualifiers and 1st round losers at pro events who hit 120 mph or more. 104 for maximum speed for a "pro" seems outside the normal bell curve.
     
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  14. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    100, or 130, is nothing.
    Top servers in ATP go well over 140, into the 150's.
    Top WTA servers not named Serena, who serves into the mid 120's, is easily into the 115's. Those are GIRLS!.
    Juniors can't be counted, because most are still growing, and haven't the strength or technique to serve hard YET. They will, once they physiclaly mature.
    Since most good players serve their safe SECOND serves around 85, this allows an easy 130 for their fastest first flat serves.
     
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  15. TennisCJC

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    I also think some rec players can break 100 mph but many more think they are breaking 100 mph when they aren't.

    I have played a guy with a serve that was clocked at 120 when he was really cracking it. It was in a different league than what you see at 4.0 and 4.5.

    I also played an guy fresh out of D3 program where he played number 1. He had a big serve but said he averaged in 90-95 range. His biggest serves broke a 100 mph.
     
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  16. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Usually, 100 get's you the ALPHA serve in 4.0 and even 4.5, if it goes in with some kind of decent placement.
    That's how you tell your serve is fast, when your first flats are moving the returner back, and winning you points more often than not.
     
    #66
  17. WildVolley

    WildVolley Legend

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    Now you're getting a little carried away LeeD. :)

    See this: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fastest_recorded_tennis_serves

    Once you get over 140 mph, the number of guys really thins out. For example, Federer has hit 140, but he averages 120 or under during most matches and rarely hits serves above 130 mph.

    Some of the fastest serves are just radar errors, such as Harrison's claimed 152mph. The shot spot system showed it at 138 mph and Harrison agreed that sounded more realistic.

    Only a few guys toss in 140 mph serves at will these days: Groth, Raonic, and Janowicz. Most of the other names will never hit above 140 mph most matches.
     
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  18. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Groth, Raonic, Janowicz, Roddick, Anderson, Ivo, are part of the ATP, so must count. How is it "carried away" to list them as part of the ATP crew?
    Fed is not on the 140 crew, neither is Harrison, nor Somedev and DonaldYoung.
     
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  19. WildVolley

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    Roddick is retired. Haven't watched Ivo much recently, but when I last watched him he wasn't hitting very hard. Sort of like Isner he was keeping the top end in the 130s. You may have watched him more recently. I forgot about Anderson, even though I saw him practicing at IW. Does he regularly hit in the 140s?

    Still, it is just a few guys.

    I'm LOL at you mentioning Somdev. I have seen Donald hit over 130mph on TV, though that was years ago.
     
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  20. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    "ATP" includes all the players, the weak serving little guys, AND the big serving tall guys. The little guys don't serve very hard.
    The tall guys serve super hard.
     
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  21. Steady Eddy

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    I don't know if I'd say that all little guys are weak servers. At a college meet I saw a short player who's serve was 110 mph, (I asked the coach). He used spin to get it in. I think he served harder than anyone else there.
     
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  22. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    You GOTTA think little guys have weaker serves.
    Groth is not little.
    Jankowich neither.
    Ivo is not little.
    Roddick is 6'2" and 185 lbs.
    As is Tsonga.
    Berdyk is taller.
    DelPo is tall.
    They all serve faster than anyone 5'11" tall.
     
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  23. GoudX

    GoudX Professional

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    Height has less impact on maximum speed than you would think. Benjamin Becker is 5'10 and can serve about 140, which is at least on par with DelPo, Berdych and Tsonga. He can definitely serve harder than 6'4 Murray. So the difference of an entire foot between Karlovic and Benjamin Becker gives only 10% more speed.

    Speaking as a 5'7 player who dominates with the serve, the real difference is the contact height. Physics says I could never hit a 130mph flat serve as consistently as 6'10 Karlovic, because the windows for error is so much smaller for me. Because of this, shorter servers tend to focus on hitting heavy spin serves. I only flatten out about 1/5 of my first serves in matches, and even these I rarely go 'all out' on.
     
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  24. goran_ace

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    Shortest guy on my college team (5'7") had one of the biggest serves on the team. Generating velocity was not an issue. Really smooth textbook service motion and had tree trunks for legs, everything he had exploded into the ball with very little wasted motion. Like pretty much every other big server he could crank 'em up there probably into the 120's when he wanted to but bread and butter was a kick serve, not necessarily because of margin for error and net clearance but more because it was more effective/harder to return. If you hit flat ones all day the ball's arc and bounce are more predictable and it becomes a matter of your ability to keep bringing the heat vs. the returner eventually timing your serves. If you hit a dirty kicker most of the time the returner always has to read the spin/arc and the bounce. If you mix those up and keep the returner guessing it's a deadly combo.
     
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  25. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    The two hardest servers I've ever faced were 6'-4" and 5'-5". The taller guy might have had an extra 2-3 MPH on his serve. When I asked the taller guy if he had his serve clocked, he said that his fastest was clocked at 130. I just stood back at the fence to return his heaters. If I could get my racket on it, returning it was not too bad. Later in the match he started hitting lefty kickers that were just nasty. So yes, mixing it up makes it tough for the returner.
     
    #75
  26. mightyrick

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    Not exactly true. Height lends itself to more consistency. The tall guys can take larger cuts at the ball and keep the ball safe as opposed to shorter guys who have to apply more spin in order to keep the ball safe. Also, the links in the kinetic chain of the taller guys have much larger moving parts than the smaller guys. That again lends itself towards the easy creation of power.

    I've always wondered what kind of speeds guys like Berdych or Raonic could get if they really went after the ball as hard as they could. When those guys serve in the 140s... it's like they aren't even trying.
     
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  27. Nickzor

    Nickzor Semi-Pro

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    I know what you mean, but i say they're definitely trying, look how fast they snap their arms when they make contact with the ball, its just that they have their service motions down to the absolute tee, when you see rec players trying to serve as fast as they can, they generally have a very twitchy/spastic service motion with a very jumpy follow through, Pro's can get much more power by just doing their perfect, balanced and fluid sercice motions, but all that weight, height, and force being put into the ball by someone like Berdych or Raonic as you say will definitely create some serious speeds, they definitely are trying though, you just have to watch them hit serves in slow motion and how much effort they actually put into it, its just their motions are soo smooth as opposed to someone like Roddick who can serve as fast as them but seems to put all the force in the world into his serve or someone like Almagro who has a who can serve into the 140's when he really wants or generally when he is ****ed off lol, he also has a motion which looks like he's really trying to smack the ball unlike Raonic for example
     
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  28. tennis_ocd

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    I have a nice, fast semi-consistent serve for my circle of players -- one of the best. Clearly I want to still improve it; speed, location and especially kick. Still many, many tennis players can hit faster than me. No hate, just awe and respect.

    I simply believe the serve speeds talked about here (and in real life rec tennis) are grossly inflated. That said, many good rec guys hit 100 (just 1/10th of those who think they do.) Don't think RA does. In another thread I stated that *rec* guys do not hit *120;* that's solid atp speed.

    In track, kids aren't walking around saying they have <10 sec sprints because stopwatches abound. Baseball kids aren't walking around thinking they have a 98 mph fastballs because radar is all about. People aren't counting frames and catcher glove impact.

    Tennis serves and boasting is unique and rather humorous. And in the end doesn't really mean a thing.... I feel like the guy going around pre-school saying the Easter bunny isn't real.
     
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  29. asimple

    asimple Semi-Pro

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    If you are doing a baseball comparison the better comparison would be around 80 as the real top pro service speed is 150.
     
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  30. TCF

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    Best post yet and totally true. At this point I have come to accept tennis is the perfect storm for exaggeration in all forms. Its a fun part of the game.

    I live in the land where every other kid is on the "pro track" even if they are likely to be barely 5 feet and 95 lbs as adults. Every other player 'took sets off' this or that former pro at some practice.

    Almost daily some parent will tell me their kid beat some well ranked player I know they could not touch. Always turns out to be a practice match, first to 3 games, no witnesses, or some other convoluted story. But somehow in sanctioned tournaments these magical results never happen.

    Same with serves. Everyone seems to hit unreal serves at booths, shows, with Uncle Bob's radar gun, etc. Yet in the years we have measure serves with a calibrated gun properly set by an engineer.....in almost every case the actual speeds are substantially slower than the premeasurement estimates of the server and his buddies.

    All part of the charm of tennis and this forum.
     
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  31. tennis_ocd

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    Who are the three guys?
     
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  32. RoddickAce

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    Sigh...read this:

    And ask your physics buddy what the cosine error is, and what calibrating the radar gun does.
     
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  33. WildVolley

    WildVolley Legend

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    Thanks for answering.

    Roddick Ace posted a video of a slightly long serve at 169kph (about 105mph) at a professional tournament hitting court. He then posted a video of some serves indoors without a gun.

    If you could look at those later serves and tell us how fast you'd estimate them to be it would be helpful.
     
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  34. RoddickAce

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    I already showed videos of my serve being clocked at the rogers cup, with the radar gun set up at the back of the service box, not even at the net, with 4 serves above 101mph.

    Here is yet another rec player, drakulie, hitting a 104mph serve:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WmzvKYkmKkU

    Matt Lin, the guy you said was serving 85mph, I don't know if you're serious, but if you are you should watch some of his other videos to see what level he plays at.

    Also look up Ballinbob's serve videos, a 4.0, with a very strong serve.

    Being able to hit 100mph is nothing special. Hitting average 100mph in matches is special for a rec player, and nobody is claiming to be able to do that.
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2014
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  35. Maximagq

    Maximagq Banned

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    Well I would say 85 mph is reasonable on the serve speed, BUT I am probably a 5.0 player because my return, movement, and groundstrokes are pretty darn good IMO. The serve is not by biggest strength so I am not a good representative of what rec players can serve at. Plenty of rec players can crack 100 mph.
     
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  36. RoddickAce

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    I think you are underestimating your own serve speed, probably because lots of people on this forum tell you your serve is 80mph or something.

    When I was younger, I thought I served 115mph-120mph, people on this forum said it was 80mph, and I believed it.

    Until I got my serves clocked at 99mph for the first time. And have gotten readings of over 101mph since then, and I stopped caring about it anymore...

    Until I see the rather strange claim that 100mph is impossible for rec players, when I have been clocked many times over 101mph. And I know many friends that serve faster than me and they are rec players.
     
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  37. GoudX

    GoudX Professional

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    But that's exactly what I was saying, the shorter guys cannot hit big serves as consistently so are forced to spin it.

    The longer limbs add leverage, but also are much harder to swing fast, which basically offset each other, which is why there is no huge difference. What I really want to know is how hard could Nadal hit a serve if he gave up on his spin serve and spent a year focusing on hitting 100% power flat serves. I'd bet in the 140s with those muscles and the RHS he can get. Of course it would be a waste of time as it wouldn't be anywhere near consistent enough to be a weapon like Roddick had, so he would just lose out on getting to hit a first serve!
     
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  38. WildVolley

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    When Rafa won the 2010 US Open he was hitting bigger serves that year. I recall a number over 130mph and at least one at 135mph. So I agree with you that serves in the range of 140mph are certainly withing the range of possibility.

    For some reason he stopped hitting big serves after that tournament. Some claim it is because of shoulder injuries, but I haven't seen any source for that claim.
     
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  39. GoudX

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    A 100mph serve is 35% slower than the 155mph record serve. In sprint terms that is like doing a 13 second 100m sprint (35% more than 9.5seconds) or taking just under 3 hours to run a marathon (35% more than a 2:05 hour marathon).

    Both of those stats are fairly impressive compared to your average person (the second gets you into the Boston marathon), but for an atheletic person with the latent talent in their 20s who trains regularly it is an easily achievable figure.
     
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  40. GoudX

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    And even then he was mostly hitting spin serves, so he hadn't really made his technique ultra-efficient for flat pace generation.
     
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  41. WildVolley

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    This is an interesting question.

    I'd say the statistical evidence surely suggests that height matters, but I'm not sure where the sweet spot is. Roddick was only about 6'2" tall and he hit a huge serve. Obviously 6'2" isn't short but it isn't particularly tall compared to the big servers today.

    Groth is 6'4" tall and has wide shoulders. Goran Ivanisevic is 6'4" tall but not as heavily built as Groth. Raonic is about 6'5" tall. Isner and Karlovic are close to the same height around 6'10-6'11", and hit very hard without very efficient motions in my opinion. Olivetti who has another questionable 160mph serve measured is 6'8". Jankowicz is 6'8".

    In my limited study of motions, Roddick, Groth, Raonic and Ivanisevic have the most efficient motions, with substantial hip rotation and good shoulder positions. It is interesting to think what an Isner could do with form more like Roddick or Ivanisevic.:shock:
     
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  42. shindemac

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    Or throwing a 68 mph fastball (35% slower than 105 mph). Not that impressive since any high school pitcher can throw faster. Baseball has a longer history and more throwing specialists.
     
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  43. tennis_ocd

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    By this new rec to pro percent math logic I'm figuring I can win 11 slams. 65% as many as Fed. I even rounded down.
     
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  44. RoddickAce

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    That is a logical fallacy. Those posters are comparing pure physical ability of performing a task as a % to the pros (note how this pure measurement does not involve any influence from competition like winning a tournament).

    Does the speed of a certain stroke equate to winning tournaments?

    How many slams do Raonic, Isner, Karlovic and Groth have over Fed?
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2014
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  45. Topspin Shot

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    An impressive leap in logic.
     
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  46. Avles

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    I guess you're attempting to be funny here, but just to be clear--

    The point (and it's a valid one) is that it's not that uncommon or impressive for amateurs to have raw numbers that are c. 60-70% those of the pros in things like pitching speed and running speed (and hence perhaps also serve speed).

    Drive length in golf is another example-- there must be tons of people out there of people who can hit drives 3/4 as far as PGA pros can. Of course that doesn't mean that these players are 3/4 as good as a PGA pro, because there's much more to golf than drive length.

    And there are threshold effects as well-- obviously a 68 mph fastball is not going to be 68% as effective at the pro level as a 99 mph fastball. It's going to be about 1% as effective. Same thing for serves I'd think.

    I agree with many here that while a 100 mph+ serve is certainly not common among rec players, it's hardly an extreme rarity either. I suspect that most reasonably experienced male players have encountered one at some point, and I have zero doubt that plenty of TT forum denizens can reach 100 mph.
     
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  47. RoddickAce

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    Agreed. Someone with 65% of Federer's serve, forehand, backhand, footwork, speed, stamina, volleys, placement, consistency, mental toughness wouldn't be 65% effective on tour, much less for someone with just one stroke at 65%.

    Because there is something called competition. If the tour is on average 90% of Fed's ability, then you could have 80% of Fed's ability and still fail to win a slam.
     
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  48. asimple

    asimple Semi-Pro

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    I wish my IQ was 65% lower than it is so I could understand your logic.
     
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  49. WildVolley

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    ocd still hasn't looked at the video and given an estimate of speed.

    Until he does, I'm just going to assume that he's incompetent at judging serve speed which is why he thinks it is unbelievable that a few of the rec players on this thread can hit 100+ mph first serves, even when we have radar verification.

    Also, I do not believe there is a radar gun manufacturer conspiracy to juice the guns so that they read fast. I can see police radars perhaps being designed that way so they can bring in more revenue, but I don't believe the guns sold to baseball and tennis players are designed to do that.
     
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  50. tennis_ocd

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    That's another thread; people here overestimating their IQ. I feel better today learning that mine is 65% of vos Savant's.
     

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