Originally Posted by LuckyR
To my ear you are lost in the weeds trying to parse the supposed difference between "guessing" which in your world is a 50/50 coin flip and would be the last thing anyone would ever want to do and "anticipating" which is a well known, tried and true skill developed by Pros and documented in the article both of us cited.
You can use which ever label makes you feel most comfortable but bottom line the article notes (correctly) that Pros make moves to a side before the human eye/brain complex can physically process where the ball is going. Completely seperate from the article many savvy players from Pros to yours truly, commonly and successfully make the decision before the server ever starts his toss, to run around their backhand because they "anticipate" based on how the match has progressed, that the serve will be to their backhand.
In no way do I think it's akin to a coin toss. I just simply don't think they move before knowing where the ball is.
I'm certain that by the time they land, they have seen the ball going in a general direction and will take a step there. The article doesn't say that they "make moves to a side before the human eye/brain complex can physically process where the ball is going". I'm sure they actually can process where the ball is going, at a certain speed range, perhaps below 130 mph, maybe?
That's kinda why aces are very fast and returners just watch it zip by without even bringing up their racquet; they can't react to such a well-placed, super fast ball. They're never guessing; they're reacting and anticipating, I'm sure.
Our primary point of contention is whether pros move before knowing where the ball is going. I'm saying they don't; they merely make educated anticipations, but I don't think they act upon it completely. We already both agree that they anticipate where the serve is going. However, I'm discussing not what's going on in their minds, but what they actually do on court. I think the videos I posted earlier are pretty evident that they don't move before knowing; they're all reacting, in the moment, to the serve.