What the pros check with many balls?

Discussion in 'Other Equipment' started by Tenny, Jan 6, 2005.

  1. Tenny

    Tenny Professional

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    I often see the pros check 3-4 balls very carefully before serving and keep 2 for serving. What are they doing? Do you do the same thing?
     
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  2. el_mago

    el_mago Semi-Pro

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    They see which of the balls look the most fresh. It is also normal for the serving player to have two balls each time before they serve so they choose two balls. I do this, as I'm sure other players on this board do too.
     
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  3. Richie Rich

    Richie Rich Legend

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    do this all the time. i pick the balls with least fuzz for serving. :shock:
     
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  4. Craig Sheppard

    Craig Sheppard Hall of Fame

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    I do this too. It's the only thing I'm anal about on the court. I know which balls have been used most or least at all times (unless they're hidden in a pocket), and I will go and pick up the one (if it's on my side) that has been used least, or if it's close, used last. For example, 3 balls, 2 serves, one extra. If I hit the first ball in, ball in pocket is used next, ball at fence goes in pocket. If i hit two serves, ball against fence gets used next, first serve ball (if 2nd was used) is used next, then 2nd serve ball from previous point used third. If I lose track, I pick up all 3 again and pick the two freshest looking balls, and use the freshest of the 2 first...

    I know it sounds like I'm super nuts but it's really not something I think about that much I just know...

    Ok this really gets me irked when I don't have all 3 balls when I'm serving... I gotta stop now... whew...

    Craig
     
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  5. bertrevert

    bertrevert Hall of Fame

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    Careful Craig, that's sounding a dangerous obsession...

    But I can't talk - I never serve first with the ball used last.

    What I mean is, when serving, when the 2 balls come back to me I don't want to use the one that has just been in play. If I did not see which is which I hold them to see which one is the warmer and that goes in pocket. I want to serve first with the one not used last. Oh no, is that another obsession...

    Nevertheless I defy anyone to have as many physical tics as Hewitt!
     
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  6. marc

    marc New User

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    you guys forget that pros are also superstitious so you will see players often calling for the same ball if they won the last point with it and felt good about it (i.e. hit a winner or an ace or something like that). it is also common for pros to pick a fluffy, soft ball for kick serves or second serves that they really want to take pace off of.
     
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  7. StringBreaker

    StringBreaker Rookie

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    I think its ridiculous. Be fine if you were Joe Average playing with a set of mixed balls and after a few hours some will have taken more of a beating than others.

    But when pros do it before EVERY serve even when theyve just opened new balls its just daft. And the balls are never more than a few games old anyway. Ive seen pros wait for the 3rd ball from a ballboy, look at it for less then a split second or worse yet not at all and just throw it back. At that point its OCD.
     
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  8. JoostT

    JoostT New User

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    Well it's a ritual, not OCD. Takes the mind of the tennis for a little while and helps to concentrate for the new serve...
     
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  9. marc

    marc New User

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    its not ridiculous. like joost said, its part of the ritual. and also when you are out there playing for your next pay check, its prudent to cover all of your bases and put yourself in the best position to win.
     
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  10. Craig Sheppard

    Craig Sheppard Hall of Fame

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    Right on--it's like ritual. I also try to bounce the ball five times with my racquet, and then 3 times by hand. Having a set between-point routine is often calming and will keep you focused. It's much like shooting free throws. Any coach will tell you to setup for a free throw, try to do the same thing every time. It gets you in a rhythm. Same w/ bouncing balls, taking 3 balls, etc before a serve.

    Craig
     
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  11. equinox

    equinox Hall of Fame

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    My competition is cheap. We only get two balls per a court.

    So i can't throw away fluffy balls for new ones. :(
     
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  12. fjgarciap

    fjgarciap Rookie

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    Same as you equinox. Taking several balls, looking at them and selecting a pair can be done as part of a player's ritual or with specific purposes, for example taking the fresher if you've just changed your racquet.
     
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