Originally Posted by monologuist
Raw sprinting speed and speed on a tennis court are definitely not exactly the same. Rarely in tennis are you sprinting straight ahead like you would in the 100m dash. Moreover, as mentioned before, it's not just how fast you can move on the court, but how much body control you can maintain while on the run to execute shots, your footwork and balance, quickness of change of direction, and anticipation. I think "eye" and "mind" speed are equally important as footspeed in terms of covering court....the faster your eyes can track the ball, and the faster your mind can analyze or even anticipate where your opponent is going with their shot, the faster you can get to the ball.
Blake is said to have the top straight sprinting speed on tour, while I believe Nadal to be clearly tops for lateral speed, change of direction, and body control while on the move. Federer surely is near the top for "eye speed" and "mental quickness"/anticipation. He also possesses excellent balance and body control.
I imagine Monfils may also rival Nadal and Blake in terms of footspeed and lateral quickness...but in the end Rafael gets the nod in my book for overall court coverage.
Yes blake looks like he has top straight sprinting speed, IIRC blake said monfils could be faster than him.
I agree with most everything else as well.