Was Courier really serving this slow??!

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by Trickster, Sep 27, 2009.

  1. Trickster

    Trickster Rookie

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    Just watching a video of Courier vs Mcenroe at the US Open 1992. It seems the majority of his serves are around the 100mph mark.

    By todays standards that seems pretty slow - anyone care to clarify why?
     
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  2. Datacipher

    Datacipher Banned

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    I've posted about this....about 1,000,0000 times. In fact, I wrote a very brief post about it, maybe 1 or 2 days ago, and mentioned Courier by name. If you read it, you'll understand.
     
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  3. pundekman

    pundekman Rookie

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    you shud see wilander's serve. that was a patsy. today's players will have time to tie their shoelaces before returning those day's serves
     
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  4. David_86

    David_86 Rookie

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    Actually Wilander was a really intelligent server. He did not serve big but his first serve % was extremly high. If players stood inside the baseline to return then Wilander would put something extra on his serve. This meant opponents usually waited for a second serve to attack but since he hardly served any during a match it made life very difficult. Wilander is possibly the greatest tactician in tennis history.
     
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  5. drwood

    drwood Hall of Fame

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    Courier's serve was actually VERY underrated...he could routinely hit the 110-120 range (which was high 15 years ago). Between 1991 and 1995 he was 6-0 against Agassi, and would routinely have double-digit ace numbers against him (the best returner of all time); his second serve wasn't extraordinary, but it was very hard to attack (similar to Roddick's 2nd serve today); it was a key to his beating Edberg in slams (91 French, 92 Aus, 93 Aus, 93 Wimbledon), as was his return of serve.
     
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  6. No_tricks

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  7. grafselesfan

    grafselesfan Banned

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    Poor Edberg, he was really Courier's lapdog during Jim's prime. If it wasnt for Courier then Edberg maybe could have ended up with 10 slams. The funny thing is Sampras had a harder time with Edberg than he did Courier so he was probably happy if Courier took Edberg out of events for him.
     
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  8. drwood

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    Just like the 1993 Wimbledon final; I'm not sure that Sampras wins that final against Edberg. Conversely, I'm not sure Courier wins the 1993 Australian if Edberg dosn't take out Sampras in the SF.

    The biggest reason Pete struggled more with Edberg is b/c Courier had a far superior BH return of serve and far superior BH passing shots. Obviously, these advantages were nullified against Pete, b/c Pete could simply serve Courier off of the court and win long rallies with his running FH (i.e. 1st set of 93 Wimbledon final).
     
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  9. Datacipher

    Datacipher Banned

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    In reality, Wilander's flat serve often hit 110+ mph, which would register over 125+ mph today. That is why he began to get free points off his first serve, which were very well placed.
     
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  10. GS

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    Courier beefed up his serve before his retired in 2000. I saw him around 1998, and was surprised that he was hitting around 125 mph. But, the younger guys on the tour weren't having many problems with his stuff, so, after losing in early rounds, he later retired.
     
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  11. Datacipher

    Datacipher Banned

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    UGh.....sigh....read my post. You really think that after his arm problems, and late in his career, he figured out how to serve 15mph faster? Gee, too bad, he didnt' do that in 1991 eh? lol.

    It's also good that Agassi got so much faster as he got old. Courier aced him over 20 times at the USO, with 100-117mph serves. lol!
     
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  12. J011yroger

    J011yroger G.O.A.T.

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    Todays faster serve speeds are a product of the radar being more accurate, and picking up the speeds earlier.

    Andy Murray wouldn't be hitting 137mph on 1991 radar.

    J
     
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  13. Chopin

    Chopin Hall of Fame

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    Courier is vastly overrated on these boards IMO.

    A prime Courier would get destroyed by Federer or Nadal on clay. It wouldn't even be competitive against Nadal. If Courier were playing today he'd have exactly 0 slams.
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2009
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  14. J011yroger

    J011yroger G.O.A.T.

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    I don't know how you can fault the guy for being born in 1970, he played who there was to play, and won or lost.

    Even towards the end of his career around 99/00 he was playing competitively with guys like Nalbandian and Safin.

    J
     
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  15. shabby

    shabby Rookie

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    Nobody wanted to win like Jim.
     
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  16. Datacipher

    Datacipher Banned

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    OH no! Listen to the troll! Ignore your eyes. Ignore common sense. Ignore a 2 steps slower Agassi still competing! Courier would get DESTROYED! Couldn't win a game! LOL.
     
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  17. GS

    GS Professional

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    Ugh, sigh. In the late 90s, Courier said he wanted to make one last big try on the tour, so he started lifting weights to beef up his serve and groundstrokes. Yes, he complained about his 'dead arm' in the 90s, but he recovered from that.
    If you're such a Courier fan or foe, tell me how he did against Martin after the rain delay in Charlotte last weekend? Did he play Sampras in the final? Oh, you have to google it? Okay, we'll wait.....
     
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  18. GS

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    Ah, looks like Courier made it to the final, then beat Sampras yesterday.
    If you know how big he served, please fill us in. Thanks.
    (By the way, Pete double-faulted on match point.)
     
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2009
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  19. Datacipher

    Datacipher Banned

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    WOW. He started 'lifting weights"???! ROFL. Priceless. Like the girls in the Stanford study I suppose! What can one say to this?
     
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  20. Chopin

    Chopin Hall of Fame

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    At least I don't correct other posters word choice, only to have them point out how I was wrong.

    Oh, wait, that's you.

    P.S. I'm still waiting for you to accept the wooden racquet challenge as a man of honour.
     
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  21. Chopin

    Chopin Hall of Fame

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    So we should add 15-20 mph to all serve speeds from the 90s to get the equivalent today?

    Wow!! Guys like Rusedski, Krajicek and Philippoussis we're serving up to 170!!!
     
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  22. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

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    So.........you're saying that Rusedski, Krajicek, and philipopussis served in the 150 - 155 mph range?

    Exaggerate much?

    Sorry, I forgot to whom I was responding.
     
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  23. Chopin

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    I said "up to 170," not on average.
     
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  24. tennisdad65

    tennisdad65 Hall of Fame

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    better? radar + new equipment helps..

    I watched the LA open in july..
    Sam Querry vs. Haas
    followed by:
    Courier vs. Chang

    Sam Querry - 1st serve: 125-135, 2nd serve: 80-95
    Haas - 1st serve: 105-120, 2nd serve: 90-103
    Courier - 1st serve: 105-120, 2nd serve: 77-95 (but one at 55 mph!)
    Chang - 1st serve: 95-115, 2nd serve: 75-80

    Courier's 2nd serve was the most impressive of all 4.. most kick and bite..
    But Courier's first serve easily averaged 110+ mph.. I guess the better? radar gun and modern racquets help.
     
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  25. Chopin

    Chopin Hall of Fame

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    I saw Courier play WTT a while back and he got trounced and look horrible. The level of play on the senior tour, quite frankly, is a joke.

    I laugh hysterically when I hear people argue that these old pros could go deep in a draw at Wimbledon today--they'd be lucky to win a few challenger matches. It's nothing against them, but they're way, way past the age where they could compete professionally.

    Come on--Todd Martin takes most of these guys to school.

    Senior Tour=Nostalgic $$ Trap
     
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  26. World Beater

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    Serve power is actually one of the elements that deterioates the least with age. it in fact can increase upto a certain age.

    Sampras was serving his hardest in his 25/26..he was still serving at 130-135 before he retired. He can still bomb the serve even today.

    so courier serving these days at 110 is not a huge surprise. but these days, you can see everyone from tursunov to alonso smacking bombs. I can tell u with age, these guys will still be able to smack it when they are 30-35 yrs old.
     
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  27. J011yroger

    J011yroger G.O.A.T.

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    Sorry, I don't often visit this section of the boards.

    Thank you for helping me adjust.

    How long does it usually take in here before you can batter down that inner voice that we call logic?

    J
     
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  28. GS

    GS Professional

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    Why does this guy, and Chopin, hate people so much?
     
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  29. Moose Malloy

    Moose Malloy Legend

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    I was just looking at Sampras' average 2nd serve speeds at the '01 USO website & compared with the serving speeds at this year's USO.

    John Isner was the only player I came across who was hitting faster 2nd serves this year on average than Sampras was back in '01. Sampras was averaging 10 more miles per hour on his 2nd serve than Fed & Del Potro were in the final this year, which I thought was pretty interesting. Guess the game really isn't that much faster today.

    OP, do you have any concrete data supporting your 'impression' of Courier's serving mph vs Mac in '92? I haved that match on tape, I don't think they mentioned the average mph for the match, nor did they flash a # after every serve, so I wonder where you are getting this info from.

    Still when one plays a S&V/chip & charge player(Mac) I would think a higher serve % is more important than higher mph, no?

    Courier sure looked to be serving harder vs Agassi in the next round(had 20+ aces)
     
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2009
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  30. J011yroger

    J011yroger G.O.A.T.

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    I am fairly confidant that it is mostly the radar. I serve about as fast with a wooden racquet as I do with my normal one.

    I was as surprised as anyone, but less than 5mph difference.

    J
     
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  31. Chopin

    Chopin Hall of Fame

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    I have no problem with any posters until they attack me. Most posters really like me, appreciate my posts and also the humor that I bring to the boards.

    I don't hate anyone on these boards.
     
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  32. Datacipher

    Datacipher Banned

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    He's just a troll Rabbit. Not a particularly good one at that.

    I had said 10-20mph from the early ATP radar to the fastest guns today. I think that anyone knowing the data will find that a reasonable proposition, and it's right in line with what we see from the servers who actually lived through that era to now. eg. Courier, Mcenroe, Agassi, Sampras etc. Really the entire generation. Unless they ALL gained the speed after retirement because they started lifting weights ;-)

    Of course, to get to 170mph, you'd have to take the high end of the range I gave, and add it to a 150mph serve from 1990, hard to do, since nobody hit anywhere close to that. And of course, if Chopin knew tennis, he'd know that the players he mentioned weren't even getting their serves recorded at that time. By 1992, Krajicek was making a run up the rankings, and hitting one of the biggest flat serves around, generally getting about 118-124mph on his fastest serves. Though he would occasionally hit one in the high 120's. One year (93?, I'd have to check), he hit the fastest serve of the year at about 131mph.
     
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2009
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  33. Datacipher

    Datacipher Banned

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    I do as well, and I've been at it for years. As does Flipper and Sampras among others. A good woodie will get you within about 5mph. Switch to a granny stick...you might gain an extra 5mph....that's about it. I do think it can give MORE(especially in percentage) to a weaker amateur server. But those with a good motion over 100mph.....the racquet doesn't make much difference at all, once you adjust to it.
     
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  34. Datacipher

    Datacipher Banned

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    LOL. I'm still working on it, though reading the posts here will eventually lead to madness for any well-informed, rational poster....
     
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  35. J011yroger

    J011yroger G.O.A.T.

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    Fortunately it is just this one thread for me.

    lol

    J
     
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  36. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

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    Please indicate to me when any of the three of those players served 150+ MPH during their junior, amateur, professional, or senior careers EVER. Averages aside, two of the players listed relied on spin and placement more than power. Philippousis alone was the player who relied on pace of ball, but even he never served 155 MPH as an average or a high.

    As usual, you're just trolling.

    You and I have often agreed, but never more than this.

    Yes, the Tennis Channel's replay of the McEnroe/Borg U.S. Open match showed that speed guns then were hand held by a person at one end of the court. This, combined with the technical deficiencies of the equipment available then was enough to warrant inaccurate readings. I don't believe that the radar guns used then were as accurate as the high speed photography method used to calibrate serves like Colin Dibley's and even Bill Tilden.

    Again, agreed. And, from a purely technical standpoint, Krajicek was a pure serve and volley player. His service was used to get him into net and into position for a winning volley. He used placement and spin more than pure speed.

    Philippousis was not a S/V player and went for a bigger first serve to win the point outright. Even so, MP never hit serves in the 150 - 155 MPH range, at least not on tour or where anyone, save Chopin, could have seen or recorded it.
     
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  37. li0scc0

    li0scc0 Hall of Fame

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    No, they are serving harder. I serve 10+ mph harder now than I did 20 years ago.

    It is a matter of racquet technology and fitness training/weightlifting.

    Radar has been accurate for years. Perhaps if we were comparing, say, 1940 to 2009 then there would be a significant difference. But comparing 1990-2009...very little advancement in accuracy.

    (as an aside, if you can prove to me that radar was 10-25 mph innacurate back in the 80's/90's, some of us might have some speeding tickets we could challenge!!!)
     
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  38. schap02

    schap02 Semi-Pro

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    Jolly is a sick beast

    Chuck Norris can serve harder with a wodden racquet than he can with a leaded up Babolat!!!!!!!!!

    Jolly still serves harder than Norris.
     
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  39. Azzurri

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    you must completely miss the point. I doubt anyone said a 40 year old Courier would win matches at 09 Wimbledon. Your statement is obvious BS.
     
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  40. Azzurri

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    From what I have read, the guns today are set to record speed at a different location than years past. The speeds today are more accurate (as you stated) and are probably off 5-10mph (not 20 as Chopin mentioned). Do you string the wood with poly??
     
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  41. Azzurri

    Azzurri Legend

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    this is your OPINION. It is a FACT, today's radar guns measure speed much more accuretley than gunds from the 90s. It has been discussed and PROVEN in studies. I would link you to them, but since you know it all you can find them yourself.
     
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  42. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

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    Yes, I agree....how then could...

    An old and past prime Agassi continued to compete and win against so much better servers?

    An ancient John McEnroe won a doubles event serving in the 120s? His serve never hit the MPH when he was #1 in the world, at least according to the guns of the day...
     
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  43. Azzurri

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    exactly. a 24 year old Mac in his prime physical condition could not hit 110mph, but now he hits almost 130mph with that granny stick.
     
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  44. Fedace

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    It is the racket he was using.... Prostaff he was using really sucks big time on the serves. but now he is using the Ncode90, he is serving around 110 mph..
     
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  45. li0scc0

    li0scc0 Hall of Fame

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    Allow me to assume, for a moment, that the old guns were far less accurate than they are today.

    If the old guns were innacurate, then they would be innaccurate on both ends of the scale. So an actual 115 mph serve might read 108 OR it might read 122. Thus we would expect to see readings 'back in the day' that are higher than they are today. And some that were lower.

    If racquet technology and weightlifting have not improved the serve, then we would expect to have seen the big servers of yesteryear with some 160-170 mph serves on those guns.

    Radar error would err on both ends of the scale. Not just on the low end.

    It seems that the goal of the claim that radar guns are less accurate than today is one of the following:

    1) To claim that weightlifting does not improve performance
    2) To claim that racquet technology has not improved performance
    3) To claim that the pros of yesteryear hit just as hard as pros today
    4) Some of all of #1-#3 above
     
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  46. krosero

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    The difference with a speeding car is that it is not slowing down. A tennis ball starts to slow down from the time it's struck, so any technology that can capture the ball's movement closer to the point of impact will show a higher mph.
     
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  47. Azzurri

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    I will say it again: THIS IS YOUR OPINION. THERE IS FACTUAL INFORMATION OUT THERE. YOU ARE COMPLETELY CLUELESS.
     
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  48. li0scc0

    li0scc0 Hall of Fame

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    That is a good and logical reason.

    Here is my contention, however. In baseball, an older speed gun is just as likely to OVERESTIMATE the pitchers speed as they were to UNDERESTIMATE.

    The same issue would hold in baseball as in tennis..in baseball, as the ball leaves the hand, it will slow down.

    Either way, thanks for a good and intelligent reason and not the 4th grade ad hominem attacks that Azzurri has resorted to.
     
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  49. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    Good point about the handheld guns, and I think Datacipher mentioned that current technology is able to capture the ball closer to impact.

    And I wonder how much margin for error they gave themselves with the handheld guns. I mean, did they even aim for that point of contact as closely as the technology does today?
     
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2009
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  50. Azzurri

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    again, your OPINION is flawed. amazingly flawed. You don't know how a radar gun works and that is why your OPINION is FLAWED. So anything that makes sense to YOU is correct??? the post you noted is correct (because I know how a radar gun works..unlike you), the guns do track speed from a location closer to the hitting zone, but again; you don't know that for sure. So again,. just because it makes sense in your FLAWED ILLOGICAL mind does not make it a fact.
     
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