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Old 04-23-2012, 11:19 PM   #22
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 1,071

Originally Posted by Limpinhitter View Post
Well, Pancho had one of the biggest serves in tennis history with a wood racquet. Mike Sangster and Colin Dibley are the only players I can think of off the top who served bigger with wood. IMO, Stan Smith, who also had a big serve, imitated Pancho's motion. I would love to be able to serve with such an efficient motion. Especially Pancho's pronation. I've never seen anyone pronate better than Pancho.
For the record I wasn't focusing on Pancho's motion per se, but rather the strategy behind it at the time. As you may well know players didn't go for an outright freebie on every serve back then (Pancho himself is on record for claiming that flat serves were for showoffs). Obviously he'd have a different approach today, and here Braden's guess is probably not too far off.

PS: Now that you mention the difference in power between wood and modern racquets, there was an article that appeared in Tennis Magazine a decade or so ago, as I recall, in which Mark Philoppoussis' serve was measured, at sea level, with a Dunlop Fort and with his regular graphite frame, and he only serve 1mph faster with his regular frame. And, I can tell you from personal experience, the Dunlop has a soft head even for wood compared to a Kramer, Slazenger or Davis racquet.
Yes, I've seen even a few good club players serve near their usual speeds with wood, and with less than a day's practice to boot. No reason to think an all-time-great server like Pancho wouldn't achieve the same result as well.

Originally Posted by hoodjem View Post
I thought that Chang used a big Prince even back in his prime.?
He did, and now he'd be using a bigger one that makes Bartoli's look minuscule in comparison.

In all seriousness, I wasn't just thinking in terms of size, but also spin. Most likely he'd get a higher % of 1st serves in today, and we all know that used to be his biggest problem.
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