Was Courier really serving this slow??!

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

  1. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

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    Problem is, it is consistent. A true 120 MPH might show up as 115 MPH. A slower serve then would show up with less of a difference as the percentage of error would not affect the slower serve as much.

    With regard to 1-4,

    1) Andre Agassi, when he was into lifting weights, hit the ball with less pace. Weight lifting for strength does not help tennis.

    2) Well, considering that most pros play with racquets which are clones of models 15-20 years old.....racquet technology hasn't helped. What has helped is matching characteristics and stringing. Please note that I said "most pros". I refer to Roger Federer, Andy Murray, and Djokovic as pros who use older frames and Nadal as one who does not.

    3) You have no empirical data to prove that Bjorn Borg didn't hit as hard as Rafael Nadal. The instrument in Borg's hand didn't tranlsate the strike in the same manner as Nadal....

    Did that hurt when you pulled that out of your arse? The ProStaff not good at serving? Did anyone mention this to Sampras? Edberg? Hell, even Connors served better with the ProStaff than he did with the T2000.
     
    #51
  2. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

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    Exact-attack-ly! There is no telling how much error was involved in the changes in position by the guy holding the gun.
     
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  3. Clintspin

    Clintspin Semi-Pro

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    I don't think we can attribute the faster serve speeds to strings. If anything, poly should make for a slower but spin loaded serve.
     
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  4. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

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    No, but we can attribute it to fresh strings. In the olden days, players didn't switch frames every 7 - 9 games. They switched only when in danger of breaking or when they broke a string. Ivan Lendl was the first player to swap racquets on ball change.

    Ergo....if all your racquets match exactly....and your string job has at most 7 games on it.....you will serve harder.
     
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  5. li0scc0

    li0scc0 Hall of Fame

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    Here's a thought. I will ignore you. Yes, that is a good thought.
     
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  6. Chopin

    Chopin Hall of Fame

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    No, I've heard the argument that many retired pros in their 40s could go deep into ATP draws. The argument has been made by a number of posters. I don't want to embarrass them here though.
     
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  7. Chopin

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    Nice use of caps. It adds a flair to your writing style that speaks aloud to me like an eloquent Daniel Webster speech would. THANK YOU.
     
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  8. Chopin

    Chopin Hall of Fame

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    Why doesn't someone post this proof about the radar guns? Bring us the studies. I believe it. Now let me see the data. Wouldn't that help clarify the terms of the debate for all?
     
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  9. nfor304

    nfor304 Banned

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    1) Weight lifting does not improve a persons ability to hit the ball harder.
    3) Pros of 'yesteryear' could absolutely hit the ball just as hard as the pros of today. The advances in racquet technology and strings gives players the ability to hit the ball hard more often, as well as making them far more likely to actually attempt to hit the ball as hard as they can. Saying that players today can hit harder than players of the past in absolute terms is like saying a person today can throw a ball faster than a person from 20 years ago.
     
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2009
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  10. Azzurri

    Azzurri Legend

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    that's it..no more banter?:(
     
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  11. Azzurri

    Azzurri Legend

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    show me one and I show you this guy (probably the poster).

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sFR8N_sLvFs

    for those of you that don't know..this is based on TMF's life.
     
    #61
  12. Azzurri

    Azzurri Legend

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    watch it, he may ignore you.:(
     
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  13. nfor304

    nfor304 Banned

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    Oh no!

    btw I bet I could hit a tennis ball just as hard as this guy even though he's roughly 1000 times stronger than me :)

    [​IMG]
     
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  14. AndrewD

    AndrewD Legend

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    Spoken like someone who has no idea of the facts. Courier got lucky against Edberg in the 92 and 93 Aus Open finals because in both years the temperature was extreme. As everyone knows (or should know, if they want to make claims about tennis), when Rebound Ace gets hot it becomes soft. When it becomes soft it slows and the bounce diminishes. As a result, Edberg was having to face Courier on a court that denied him the advantage of his kick serve, took the pace and sting out of his approach and volleys. Courier, on the other hand, got ideal conditions for his game. In the final, both years, Edberg was getting less kick and penetration on his serve than he had at any other time during the tournament. I should know, both years I called service line in 4 of his matches.
     
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  15. Ano

    Ano Hall of Fame

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    I just watched a DVD of Edberg vs Chang at the LA tournament in 1990. The majority of Chang's second serves are around 62-65 mph mark.
     
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  16. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

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    ^
    Not to mention the most perfect match Edberg ever played....against Courier in the U.S. Open finals...

    1991 Edberg d Courier 6-2 6-4 6-0

    Courier led Edberg 6 - 4 lifetime, hardly a lapdog.
     
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  17. Ano

    Ano Hall of Fame

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    I have that match on a DVD. That was the best Edberg ever played. It was like Mac at 84 Wimbledon final. He was clearly in the zone.

    Courier was helpless in that match.
     
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  18. Chopin

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    Come on guys, show me the radar gun studies! I expect these studies to say that not only were the guns in the 90s inaccurate, but that they consistently underestimated speeds.
     
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  19. Datacipher

    Datacipher Banned

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    Indeed. That is what I believe has made the difference in speeds. Though i'll note that tangential velocity readings have also increased accuracy on serves out wide, since radar arrays are sometimes used now.

    On a side note(and I've posted many many times before about this), I also agree with Rabbit that SOME of the old systems WERE more accurate than guns of the time eg. high speed film etc. Of course, this varied wildly as it was usually a one-time novelty measurement.

    Vic Braden once told me himself that he put far more faith (in terms of getting the actual real speed) in his computer analysis of serve speed,(which was ultimately based on high speed film), over radar guns, even though he did extensive work with those as well.

    I don't even know how to begin liossco....assuming he isn't being obtuse on purpose (questionable when he starts his posts with the premise, "they are serving faster because I serve 10mph faster..."

    I will only say that his posts here have been completely erroneous in content on almost every level. I have posted so many times on this, I'll just review a few:

    1.we KNOW radar gun systems have varied in their readings, this STILL happens currently, between different systems

    2.we KNOW radar has not been standardized since the tour started consistently measuring

    3.we KNOW serve speed has increased in general, in a generally systematic manner, across the board

    4.we KNOW the serve speed increased from 1990 to 2000, were NOT due to "racquet technology", as the majority of players did not change their equipment during this period...any changes were marginal at most, and would have VERY little effect on the speed of a pro serve. Additionally, as you can see here, many advanced players, and even anecdotal results from modern pros show that max speed with a wood racquet is not that much different. (though I think for both strategic purposes and in terms of ease, a modern racquet makes it EASIER to go for the fastball more often)

    5.i am convinced weightlifing will not significantly improve the speed of a male pro athlete's serve. (and now the same applies to many of the women), but you are free to believe this if you like. this error is often compounded with the erroneous belief that pros from the early 90's were NOT weightlifting or doing other forms of strength training. Actually, even players like Tilden, Gonzalez, and Hoad were well known to work hard at training, including training to build strength.

    One can form and spout any opinion they like, but the first four of these, are, in my opinion, incontrovertible.

    Again, there is so much support evidence, when common sense is used. EG. were all the returners from the early 90's also SLOW?!! Did they not only get faster serves over the next decade but become faster returners??? Gee, I bet Agassi wishes he returned serve as fast as he did in 2000! He'd have hit every first serve back for a clean winner in the early 90's!! (note: if anything, he got slower, and became a easier to ace out wide.) Gee, if ONLY Mcenroe had discovered weights....(well he did know about them, and actually, after being a slacker, worked out fairly hard in periods of the later 80's....meanwhile tall, strong Lendl, who worked out like a madman, actually only served about 5-10 mph faster than Mcenroe's flat serve. Poor Lendl! We are to believe that Ivan's 115mph aces, were FIFTEEN mph slower than Hewitt's aces!!! Again...good thing for Ivan's sake that Agassi was so slow back then....
     
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  20. Datacipher

    Datacipher Banned

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    Everything said here is bang-on. Though I will add that, their is an additional reason why pros of today are hitting the ball genuinely harder on average, and that is simply that they are bigger people. Of course, there were MANY tall pros in the era we were talking about (early 90's), and I don't think the top 10 average has changed much at all, however, the tour as whole, is probably an inch or two taller now. So that can definitely help.

    Where I do think graphite has helped, is in the ability to more consistently get a slightly bigger/heavier 2nd serve. That alone, makes a difference to average speed, as the percentages can shift towards going for a freebie on the first serve. The decline in SV has aided that as well, no sense, in getting a higher percentage on first serve in to set up the volley, if you're not going in....

    I'll also add, that if you aren't up to a certain minimum level of strength (doubt any male pro is in this boat, but amateurs and women certainly can be), then strength training might help you maximize your speed until you reach the limiting point. (though for most amateurs, this isn't what's holding them back, it's technique!)
     
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  21. pug

    pug Semi-Pro

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    Amazing! What was his first serve like?
     
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  22. Ano

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    His first serves were around 80-90 mph mark. He hit mostly kickers on his first and second serves.

    Even Edberg's first serves were rarely past 100 mph mark on that match.
     
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  23. li0scc0

    li0scc0 Hall of Fame

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    #1 Proper weightlifting and athletic training improves strength and speed, and thus would improve the ability to hit a ball harder.

    As for #3, the contention on this thread seems to be that pros of today not only cannot hit harder than pros of yesteryear, but that they do not. I.e that racquets, strings, etc. are no 'better' today than they used to be, and that serves of 1986 are just as fast as serves in 2009. Actually some folks seem to be saying that 1986 serves are faster than today, but the 'majority' seem to be saying that it is solely the radar which is the determining factor between 1986 serves and 2009 serves.

    My claim is simply this. Pros of today hit harder. They are BFS...bigger, faster, stronger. The racquets are better (not as much as the companies would claim of course) and the strings are better.

    This is no knock on Becker, Edberg, Courier, etc. In fact, today I watched bits and pieces of Becker/Edberg at Wimbledon. And many Lendl clips. You just cannot beat that. But they are not hitting as hard as Roddick, Federer, Del Potro, etc.

    The other post which shows Mariusz Pudzianowski is a reductio ad absurdum. Nobody is claiming that a WSM (World's Strongest Man) can hit a tennis ball 160 mph. But take McEnroe from the early 80's, get him on a proper training program that adds, say, 5 pounds of lean muscle trimming a few pounds of fat, give him a modern PRO racquet, and he will hit harder. And from everything I have heard him say, McEnroe would agree with that. Todd Martin would agree because he did it. Others would as well.

    This is not rocket science. It is proper athletic training + technological advancements.

    I took up tennis again after 20 years off. In those 20 years I competed in many other sports. 20 years later I am BFS...bigger, faster, stronger. In much better shape. THe racquets have advanced. I can hit the ball MUCH harder today than 20 years ago...much harder (I use a 12+ ounce frame, not a granny stick as they is affectionately referred to :) ).. I am a sample size of one...a sample size of one does not prove anything, of course! But I would argue that more than one person out there has come back after years away and experienced the same thing. In most people's case it is the racquet advancement. My wife did the same thing, came back last year after 17 years of no tennis...and her first few times out she was amazed that she was hitting the ball SO much harder than 18 years ago, the first few times out! That is the racquet and the strings, plain and simple.

    Take a better racquet in the hands of a person who can generate greater racquet head speed (an athlete who has maximized his/her ability due to proper athletic speed and strength training) and they will hit harder.
     
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  24. li0scc0

    li0scc0 Hall of Fame

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    Although it is obvious which 'side' I am on in this discussion, this is an OUTSTANDING point which we cannot overlook. This is so true. Great great point.
     
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  25. li0scc0

    li0scc0 Hall of Fame

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    touche! I like!
     
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  26. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    So we can put together, I think, a running list of factors that have made MPH readings higher:

    1) Picking up the ball closer to the point of impact
    2) Radar arrays are more accurate on wide serves
    3) Better racquets/strings make second serves easier to hit
    4) Big first serves are a reduced risk because second serves are easier to hit
    5) The lack of chip-and-charge means there is little need to take pace off first or second serves
    6) Players are taller on average, and that allows bigger serving

    Then, there are factors that merely make everything more complicated:

    - readings from high speed film CAN be better than the old radar guns
    - radar systems are not standardized and disagree among themselves even today

    I find the technical issues the most interesting because they're the ones I know the least about. But it really makes a lot of sense, to say that technology is not a simple matter. If you never think about the technical aspects, it's easy to look at an MPH reading and take it at face value. But it's never that simple, and anyone who has more technical analysis, I'm all ears.
     
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  27. nfor304

    nfor304 Banned

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    Thats simply not true. At best its a theory that is far from conclusive.

    If that were the case can you explain why there are so many pro's who rarely touch weights (including Nadal by his own admission)? Surely if it were so evident than all players would be pumping out max squats attempting to increase their serve speeds. If a player who has been lifting heavily suddenly becomes able to hit the ball harder its in most cases a result of an increase in their body mass rather than any strength gains they have achieved.

    Players lift weights for injury prevention, to increase muscular endurance and to help with overall muscular balance in their bodies. They dont lift weights in the hope that they will start hitting harder.
     
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  28. CyBorg

    CyBorg Legend

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    I cannot stand this argument on the 'advancement' of racquets. The racquets are not more advanced because they handle better. They simply handle better.

    One can just as simply turn that logic around and argue that racquets days past were more advanced because they didn't handle better (that is, harder to play with).

    Some folks feel that they can bolster their arguments by using buzzwords like "advanced", even though they are completely unsubstantiated.
     
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  29. CyBorg

    CyBorg Legend

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    There's a persistent myth which permeates today that pros, the best pros, are out there toughing it out in the gyms. Complete nonsense. Tennis players are not gym rats and the ones who are, are often not even particularly good.

    This falls into a long line of aforementioned buzzwords. Fitness, regimes, weight training - all corporate mumbo jumbo nonsense, done to sell the sport so that Joe Blo will dole out more money for worthless equipment.
     
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  30. Ano

    Ano Hall of Fame

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    :Am J Sports Med. 2000 Sep-Oct;28(5):626-33.

    Influence of resistance training volume and periodization on physiological and performance adaptations in collegiate women tennis players.

    Kraemer WJ, Ratamess N, Fry AC, Triplett-McBride T, Koziris LP, Bauer JA, Lynch JM, Fleck SJ.

    The Human Performance Laboratory, Ball State University, Muncie, Indiana 47306, USA.

    Few data exist on the long-term adaptations to heavy resistance training in women. The purpose of this investigation was to examine the effect of volume of resistance exercise on the development of physical performance abilities in competitive, collegiate women tennis players.

    Twenty-four tennis players were matched for tennis ability and randomly placed into one of three groups: a no resistance exercise control group, a periodized multiple-set resistance training group, or a single-set circuit resistance training group.

    No significant changes in body mass were observed in any of the groups throughout the entire training period.

    However, significant increases in fat-free mass and decreases in percent body fat were observed in the periodized training group after 4, 6, and 9 months of training.

    A significant increase in power output was observed after 9 months of training in the periodized training group only. One-repetition maximum strength for the bench press, free-weight shoulder press, and leg press increased significantly after 4, 6, and 9 months of training in the periodized training group, whereas the single-set circuit group increased only after 4 months of training.

    Significant increases in serve velocity were observed after 4 and 9 months of training in the periodized training group, whereas no significant changes were observed in the single-set circuit group.

    These data demonstrate that sport-specific resistance training using a periodized multiple-set training method is superior to low-volume single-set resistance exercise protocols in the development of physical abilities in competitive, collegiate women tennis players.

    PMID: 11032216 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11032216?ordinalpos=1&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsPanel.Pubmed_DiscoveryPanel.Pubmed_Discovery_RA&linkpos=4&log$=relatedarticles&logdbfrom=pubmed
     
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  31. Ano

    Ano Hall of Fame

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    Am J Sports Med. 1998 Jul-Aug;26(4):510-5.

    Effects of Theraband and lightweight dumbbell training on shoulder rotation torque and serve performance in college tennis players.

    Treiber FA, Lott J, Duncan J, Slavens G, Davis H.

    Department of Pediatrics, Sports Medicine Center, Augusta, Georgia, USA.

    The purpose of this study was to determine whether a 4-week isotonic resistance training program using Theraband elastic tubing and lightweight dumbbells would significantly increase concentric shoulder rotator strength or velocity of serve or both in a group of elite-level tennis players.

    Twenty-two male and female varsity college tennis players were randomly assigned to control or 4-week training groups.

    Subjects were pre- and posttested in concentric internal and external rotation torque using an isokinetic dynamometer.

    Functional performance was assessed before and after training by recording the peak and average velocities of eight maximal serves.

    The experimental group exhibited significant gains in internal rotation torque at both slow (120 deg/sec) and fast speeds (300 deg/sec) for total work and in peak torque to body weight ratio and torque acceleration energy at the fast speed.

    This group also exhibited significant gains in external rotation torque for the same parameters at fast speed.

    Regarding speed to serve, the experimental group exhibited significantly greater increase in peak speed (+6.0% compared with -1.8%) and average speed (+7.9% compared with -2.3%) compared with the control group.

    Men exhibited greater internal and external rotation torque on all parameters and in peak and mean speed of serve on both evaluations.

    Men also exhibited greater imbalance in external to internal rotation torque ratios.

    In conclusion, resistance training using Theraband tubing and lightweight dumbbells may have beneficial effects on strength and functional performance in college-level tennis players.

    PMID: 9689369 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
     
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  32. nfor304

    nfor304 Banned

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    ^^^

    Makes for some interesting reading. I was wondering which way you would go on this.

    Anyway, I dont think the link between weight lifting and hitting a tennis ball harder is as cut and dry as some people assume it be though.

    I believe that the ability to hit a tennis ball hard is more a skill and has more to do with the combination of both timing and technique rather than pure strength.

    I recognise you obviously know much more than I do in the field however so i'm not going to argue with you and just keep to my own opinions
     
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2009
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  33. Ano

    Ano Hall of Fame

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    That is really true. A strong player with lousy technique and timing can't hit as hard as a skinny teenager with excellent timing and technique.

    However, if your technique and timing are already perfect, you can hit harder by incorporating good strength training program.

    I know, because I have designed conditioning programs for many athletes (including tennis players).



    Am J Sports Med. 1994 Nov-Dec;22(6):746-50.

    Upper extremity physical factors affecting tennis serve velocity.Cohen DB, Mont MA, Campbell KR, Vogelstein BN, Loewy JW.

    Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Baltimore, Maryland.

    Forty tournament-level tennis players with expert serve technique volunteered to have their serve evaluated to determine relationships between anthropometric data, extremity strength, and functional serve velocity. All players underwent a complete physical examination, a video taped serve analysis, a radar measurement of serve velocity, and a series of upper extremity strength measurements.

    Statistical analysis was performed to determine which factors were related to serve velocity. Statistically significant relationships were found between serve velocity and several flexibility measurements including increased dominant wrist flexion (P < 0.05), increased dominant shoulder flexion (P < 0.05), and increased dominant shoulder internal rotation at 0 degrees of abduction (P < 0.05).

    Several strength measurements were also related to serve velocity including elbow extension torque production (P < 0.01) and the ratios of internal to external rotational torque production for both low- and high-speed measurements (P < 0.01 concentrically and P < 0.05 eccentrically).

    These findings relate strength and flexibility to serve velocity, suggesting that it may be possible to increase a tennis player's serve velocity through specifically directed muscular strengthening or stretching regimens.

    PMID: 7856797 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
     
    #83
  34. Ano

    Ano Hall of Fame

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    Am J Sports Med. 1994 Jul-Aug;22(4):513-7.

    Isokinetic concentric versus eccentric training of shoulder rotators with functional evaluation of performance enhancement in elite tennis players.

    Mont MA, Cohen DB, Campbell KR, Gravare K, Mathur SK.

    Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland.

    Thirty elite tennis players were randomly assigned to three groups to evaluate shoulder isokinetic internal and external rotation training: an isokinetic concentric group, an isokinetic eccentric group, and a control group with no training.

    Subjects were tested before and after training both concentrically and eccentrically using an isokinetic dynamometer.

    Functional output before and after training was assessed by the average and peak velocity of six maximal serves.

    The effect of training on serve velocity endurance was also assessed.

    Statistically significant concentric and eccentric strength gains (11%) were obtained in both training groups when compared with controls (decreased total average strain of 2%) (P < 0.0004).

    Serve velocity increased by greater than 11% in both training groups, which was a significant increase from the average of 1% in the control group (P < 0.0001).

    In the endurance study, training group subjects displayed a tendency to maintain their serve velocity (loss of approximately 2%) greater than controls (loss of 6.4%) (P < 0.05).

    Isokinetic training led to increases in objective and functional output in elite tennis players.

    This training regimen may have significance in the final stages of the rehabilitation of injured shoulders as well as in improved performance and reduced injury risk.

    PMID: 7943517 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
     
    #84
  35. Datacipher

    Datacipher Banned

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    LOL! This is one of the studies I referred to when talking about weight training possibly helping relatively unfit, non-professional athletes. There are NUMEROUS problems and confounds with studies like these, but in this particular instance, you can certainly bet that no male pro can expect to see anything remotely like the results seen in this study. These subjects had very slow serves.

    And, as one previous poster pointed out, there are personal and financial reasons to promote these things... even in the world of academia...which actually does not lend itself well to studies of this nature....placebo, confounds, human variability, environmental variability etc.



    This particular topic is a controversial one, and could take volumes to fully discuss. Suffice it to say for now, that there are authorities on both side of the issue...anyone who tells you they "know", certainly does not. One thing though is certain. In the highly trained male athlete, gains will be quite small.
     
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  36. nfor304

    nfor304 Banned

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    My opinion is also partly based on my own sample size of 1( which of course also doesn't prove anything).

    I played a fairly high level (I played itf juniors and a handful of satellite qualifying events, as well as playing the qualifying for the AO juniors one year, my career highlight) until my final year of school, then I stopped playing almost completely and focused on studying.
    I went from playing 25ish hours a week to about 3 hours a week in my final year of school and my 4 years at university, but during that time started going to the gym and lifting weights fairly seriously, although I had been lifting not so seriously since I was 15. When I decided to start playing tournaments again and playing more tennis (about 10 hours a week) I was 6 years older and 5 inches taller than my 18 year old self but also 15 kgs heavier, going from 62kgs to 77kgs in that time (probably about 9-10kg of muscle gained.... the other 5... not muscle). I was a fairly late developer as you can tell.

    I started playing Open tournaments and came up against familiar names from my junior days and discovered that players I used to beat would now outhit me. I was hitting with roughly the same pace as my junior self despite being 15kgs heavier and much much stronger.

    My point is this: The players from my junior days who had continued to play seriously had increased their hitting power, while I had not. This was despite the fact that my body had changed much more than theirs had in the time period, and i now looked (and probably was) stronger than most of them.

    It is my theory that the increase of pace that these players experienced was due to them honing their technique, while I, playing at the same technical level as my 18 year old self experienced no increase in pace despite my strength increases.

    Lifting weights and adding muscle to my frame had done absolutely nothing for my ability to hit the ball hard.

    I would also then argue that I am not the only person who has experienced something like this after returning to the game.
     
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2009
    #86
  37. Ano

    Ano Hall of Fame

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    Strength training can stimulate both functional adaptations and structural adaptations.

    Functional gains refer to improvements in physical qualities which can be transferred to sport actions. In other words, the body will work more efficiently. Functional gains are mostly due to improved neural factors and can thus happen without a change in muscle mass.

    Structural gains refer to improvements in the quantity (hypertrophy) or quality (adaptive reconstruction) on the musculoskeletal structures. Increases in muscle size and strengthening of tendon structure would be examples of structural improvements.


    Perhaps you used the wrong training parameters (Frequency, Intensity, Type of exercises, Volume, Training Split and Rest Intervals) for stimulating functional adaptations.
     
    #87
  38. nfor304

    nfor304 Banned

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    To be fair I wasn't really training for tennis, more for strength, size etc. I have always mostly stuck to the basics (bench/pushups, chinsups, deadlift, squats, lunges)

    I was surprised that i didnt see much of the strength I gained translate to my tennis game, even if I wasn't specifically training for tennis.
     
    #88
  39. 35ft6

    35ft6 Legend

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    You really saw Mac serving 130mph? I find this hard to believe. Whenever I've seen him, his serve looks like it tops out at about 123 or so. He's a spot server. Normally he serves between 105 and 115 or so.
     
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  40. Datacipher

    Datacipher Banned

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    123 mph is still absolutely unheard of when he was being timed by early 90's radar, but I know for a fact he has hit at least one at 128mph on the senior tour.

    At the USO in the early 90's he generally topped out at 102-108mph.
     
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  41. Datacipher

    Datacipher Banned

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    Correct. However, most neural adapations in high level (pro track) players have occured already through tennis alone. It is HIGHLY questionable how much supplementary weight training can help these elite athletes at achieving higher ball speeds. Certainly anecdotal evidence has revealed it to be marginal at best.

    Note again almost every player in all those studies was serving UNDER 100mph even in their "improved" state. The average for the women was closer to 70mph.
     
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  42. Chopin

    Chopin Hall of Fame

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    Great use of ALL CAPS by a number of number of different posters in this thread. It's wonderful to see that Kanye West is influencing writing styles on the boards:

    http://www.kanyeuniversecity.com/blog/index.php?em3106=239453_-1__0_~0_-1_9_2009_0_0&eM

    Also, after carefully considering many of your posts, I've decided that the ideal training regiment for an ATP pro would be too eat lots and lots of ice cream, engage in minimal physical exercise, and play tennis for a half-hour per day.
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2009
    #92
  43. li0scc0

    li0scc0 Hall of Fame

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    I appreciate the honesty. This would be reflected by most.

    When I trained college athletes (volleyball and softball) the focus was on speed strength, the ability to move a moderate weight fast. For example, a deadlift of 60% of maximum for a single rep...but moving it fast. This is far from the '3 sets of 10' bodybuilding paradigm to build muscle, or the 5 sets of 5 powerlifting/bodybuilding paradigm. This is specific for building speed. Couple such basic movements with plyometrics, leg, shoulder, and back work for both speed strength and 'pre-habilitation' (prevention of injury) and some speed court drills, and you have yourself a 'weightlifting' program for tennis.

    What a proper tennis program is NOT is a bodybuilding routine. There is no need to build large amounts of muscle. As others have stated here, Federer is hardly Arnold S, and Nadal, for all is touted 'buffness', is hardly big.

    If we take an 'untrained' 180 pound tennis player, get them to gain 5 pounds of muscle and lose 10 pounds of fat, that tennis player very well may be able to hit harder. If the training is done properly, they should be able to!

    Will weight training turn your average 90mph server into Roddick? By no means. It might take that 90mph serve and turn it into a 95 mph serve. Obviously improved technique can do MUCH MUCH more than proper athletic training! But weight training can be a factor. And it can take an 'untrained' 120 mph pro server and turn it into a 125. Many college coaches will tell you this...we saw it with volleyball and softball.

    The problem, of course, is when it is overdone and/or done improperly. We saw this years ago with Sabatini, we saw it recently with Jankovic. In baseball, Lenny Dykstra got huge and could hit a baseball further...yet lost his ability to throw. With others, is helps their speed and their longevity (Rickey Henderson).

    Given that tennis is a sport, it would be no different. Performance would be mainly natural ability and technique. Your natural ability can be heightened by proper training.
     
    #93
  44. Azzurri

    Azzurri Legend

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    Edberg did win the USO in 92. Courier was a beast back then. why no love for Jim??:(
     
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  45. li0scc0

    li0scc0 Hall of Fame

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    Edberg. Courier. Two greats.
     
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  46. Azzurri

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    it was approx. 2 years ago (Summer 07). I can't remember who he played (maybe Courier, Martin...just can't recall). I am pretty sure he served somewhere near 127 mph. I was just making a point anyway. Even someone like Mac can still serve in the mid 120's.
     
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  47. Azzurri

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    aha...by any chance was it the senior tour event that Sampras was in? I thought it was 127, but 128 is the same. I was just surprised to see that # flash as his serve speed. I was really surprised.
     
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  48. Nellie

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    Agreed - logically, if you can be stronger and all other things (flexibility, technique, endurance) being equal, I don't really see the downside. We all saw the benefits for Agassi from specific strength training.

    What I find to be the challenge, however, is to determine the tennis specific exercises since tennis improvements often seem to come from small muscles groups and not the larger muscles groups worked by many strength programs. From personal experience, I notice, for example, that working with elastic exercise bands to strengthen my shoulders seem to really help my serve velocity whereas heavy lifting does not do much for me.
     
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  49. li0scc0

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    Exactly. Bands and free weights would be the way to go, because the smaller supporting muscle groups would be brought into play. Machines provide less use of the smaller muscle groups, hence the cross-over effect to tennis is less.

    As I stated in a previous post, heavy lifting should not be used for tennis, assuming by heavy lifting we mean max effort lifting and/or taking sets of 5 reps to momentary muscular failure. Speed training, on the other hand, would be and is highly beneficial.
     
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  50. Datacipher

    Datacipher Banned

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    No. that one was a few years back, so before Sampras had even started playing. In any case, the speeds Mcenroe is getting, are ridiculous compared to when he was 30! In fact, he would have been the fastest server in the 1990 USO! lol.
     

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