Pro Net Clearance?

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by SuzukiSS, Feb 28, 2013.

  1. SuzukiSS

    SuzukiSS New User

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    Who has some data on the average net clearance at the pro level on groundstrokes? It seems I heard Li Na averaged around 15 inches vs. Azarenkas 18 inches at the Australian Open. Also seems I read Federer averaged less than two feet? I will fire up the debate and say no way do pros get anywhere near 4-5 feet over the net as some proclaim!
     
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  2. iradical18

    iradical18 Professional

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    I think 4-5 feet is pretty absurd as far as an average goes but I'm sure there are some shots that are in that range every now and then.
     
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  3. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    I think, in general, WTA pros have a lower net clearance than most ATP pros.
    Rallyballs are hit higher over the net than winner attempts, and confirmed counterattacker's generally clear the net more than player's who go for winners to shorten the points.
     
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  4. Relinquis

    Relinquis Hall of Fame

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    there are quite a few moonballer on WTA and quite a few guys in the ATP hit hit clearance spin when on clay.

    having said that, i think net clearance is a lot lower than most people think. Just look at how many net cord hits there are.
     
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  5. WildVolley

    WildVolley Legend

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    It depends on the player and the surface, but the claims of 4 or 5 feet over the net as an average, which means approximately 7 to 9 feet in the air when it crosses over the net, are not accurate for most hard court play.

    I mostly watch tennis in person at Indian Wells, and usually the average net clearance is a lot less. Some players tick the net a lot which gives you an idea of the net clearance. I've seen James Blake warming up and he hit like a fifty shot rally and most of the balls were probably within a foot of the net.

    I can well believe the net clearance is higher on clay. And some players like Nadal will hit heavy topspin defensive shots that do go high over the net.
     
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  6. Venetian

    Venetian Professional

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  7. Relinquis

    Relinquis Hall of Fame

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  8. Relinquis

    Relinquis Hall of Fame

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    in court level videos online federer has high (ish) net clearance when practicing rally balls, but when practicing points it seems he hits closer to the net...

    his backhand slices are barely over the net during practice.

    This is Federer Vs. Blake court level at the US Open:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hp0cc-leZg8

    What do you think of the net clearance on these points? Watch the whole thing please (only a few minutes long).
     
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  9. Greg G

    Greg G Professional

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    Can anyone define what "academy ball" and "ATP ball" are? Came across it in a Lansdorp video. I assume the first is loopier than the second..?
     
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  10. Relinquis

    Relinquis Hall of Fame

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    ^^ yeah... obviously the flattest and hardest is the Lansdorp ball.... ;)

    He's the only one who uses these terms. Other coaches will say hit looper, or higher with more topspin or shorter or flatter or more angled, or such...

    In reality, as i see it, pros hit varying heights depending on what they want to achieve and their court positioning, hit an inside out winner, passing shot, regular rally ball, defensive ball on the run, etc...

    I think the points Lansdorp was trying to make was that you should be able to hit at varying heights over the net, i.e. balls with varying amounts of spin and pace depending on your strategy/situation.
     
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  11. Mahboob Khan

    Mahboob Khan Hall of Fame

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    Well, "the clearance over the net" is dictated by the hitting situations whether the player is away from the baseline or inside it, whether the player is in a defensive rally situation or offensive rally situation or whether the player is attempting a winner.

    It will be absurd on my part to give you the actual measurement (because we can't contol it to exact inches) but it works like this:

    Defensive rally situation: More net clearance
    Offensive rally situation: Less net clearance
    Winners: Less net clearance
    Away from the Baseline: More net clearance
    Inside the Baseline: Less net clearance
    First flat serve: Less net clearance
    2nd kick serve: More net clearance
    Cross Court: Less net clearance
    Down the Line: More net clearance
    Slice approach shots: Less net clearance
    Volleys: Less net clearance

    I hope the above works.
     
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  12. Relinquis

    Relinquis Hall of Fame

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    is net clearance a by product of time?
    - taking time away from your opponent with faster, low net clearance shots
    - giving yourself time with slower, high net clearance shots
     
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  13. slowfox

    slowfox Professional

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    Nice video. Enjoyed it. And to me 9+ minutes is more than "a few minutes"... I was thinking 3 would do...
     
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  14. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

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  15. rkelley

    rkelley Hall of Fame

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    Love this video. Two great players hitting big and clean.
     
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  16. 2ndServe

    2ndServe Professional

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    I think the atp ball is roughly 1.5 ft over the net (give or take 6 inches, this is the base shot). He feels the academy and usta ball can be useful at times but it severely limits the player if that non penetrating shot is their base shot. And rightfully so, the loopier it is the more time it gives the opponent and with time comes comfort and options. A loopier shot is neutral in the 14's, that same shot is slightly more attackable at the 16s, at the 18s it's a very attackable ball, on the futures it's a powderpuff, on the challenger tour it's a meatball, at the atp 300 - 100 rankings it's a joke, top 100 they shove it down your throat with their eyes closed 95% of the time.

    It's a little degrading to the academy and usta but he is actually correct in a sense. He obviously feels that you need a penetrating ball and the academy ball is loopier (usta even loopier) and provides better consistency but it has a theoretical max plateau (and that isn't a pro with a chance at winning a grand slam).

    Can't argue with a guy who has produced tracy austin, davenport, sampras, sharapova, joyce and many others.
     
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  17. Ash_Smith

    Ash_Smith Hall of Fame

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    There were some stats from RG a couple of years ago that said Novak averaged around 3ft (or roughly 1m for those metrically minded) on a rally ball. Not that it really tells you anything, as we have no idea what his intent was in general or on any specific pattern.

    Cheers
     
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  18. Relinquis

    Relinquis Hall of Fame

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    ^^ pushing*?



    * Just kidding guys... thought it would be fun. no offense to novak or his acolytes.
     
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  19. dominikk1985

    dominikk1985 Legend

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    I would say landsdorp is more talking about womens tennis, after all he is known more as a womens coach.

    girls like sharapova or williams might hit about 1 foot over the net but ATP players usually hit a neutral ball 2-3 feet over the net.

    in the 90s his assesment that such a loopy ball is attackable might have been right but with poly you can hit massive shots with 3 feet net clearance. in fact when watching pros it seems that now flat bullets (WTA style) are more attackable than the loopier balls.

    and the academies are all known for producing flat ballbashers like sharapova. if anything american players play less loopy than the best in the world. what they lack is not power but athleticism and movement.
     
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  20. boramiNYC

    boramiNYC Hall of Fame

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    I think this is pretty accurate assessment. poly string changed the game somewhat but the net clearance hasn't changed that much. instead the rally speed and accuracy went up compared to 10 or 20 yrs ago.
     
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  21. always_crosscourt

    always_crosscourt Banned

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    The ball looks very fast on TV, and it looks like the ball is crossing the net very low.

    What you don't realise is that the pro's hit so much spin and pace that the ball is crossing the net some 20ft over the net, and the spin is pulling the shot down so aggressively that the shot can go at 200mph and still get dragged down well inside the baseline.
     
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  22. Old Chemist

    Old Chemist Rookie

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    +1

    see this video for example: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U6p5ZdGR4hU&feature=related
     
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  23. Relinquis

    Relinquis Hall of Fame

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    not all topspin groundstrokes are high clearance loopy shots. For a lot of pros they use heavy topspin and low/moderate net clearance to have the ball kick forward, or create an angle across court. or to ensure that the ball doesn't bounce out behind the baseline when hit with pace.

    topspin =/= high clearance in all cases.
     
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  24. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

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    Prone to hyperbole much? I don't believe that we are discussing lobs in this thread. OTOH, Nadal can hit a rally ball more than 6 feet over the net with enough topspin to easily keep it in the court.
     
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  25. 2ndServe

    2ndServe Professional

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    well I'll be at indian wells this week and this is top level guys, not challenger or future levels. When I went last time the top guys usually were about ~2 feet over the night when they weren't in trouble or trying to get back into the point.
     
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  26. SuzukiSS

    SuzukiSS New User

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    Some good posts but still no exact data? I still say pros today hit the ball much lower and I think shorter in the court with much more spin and pace! Watched Wilander play Mc in a senior event and he really did hit the ball high and very deep. Agassi hit with more net clearance when he was younger also.
     
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  27. rkelley

    rkelley Hall of Fame

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    Tennis on Jupiter is brutal . . . :)
     
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  28. dominikk1985

    dominikk1985 Legend

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    even nadal is not averaging 6 feet of net clearance. he is sometimes doing that but I have seen a stat about his net clearance in a djoker match being a little above 90cm (3 feet) on average.

    he probably flattened it out a little because novak handles spin quite well but even against fed I don't think he averages more than 4 feet.
     
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  29. TennisCJC

    TennisCJC Legend

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    In 2011, I watch Djoko beat Nadal on clay and both averaged around 30" clearance for the match. That's 2.5 feet of clearance on average including balls where they go for winners. Basic rally balls are likely higher with attempted winners or approach shots lower.
     
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