CORRECTION: On this video I could use the forward and backward arrows to do stop action single frame on Youtube. A huge improvement for analyzing high speed videos of tennis strokes.
Originally Posted by Chas Tennis
On looking at videos of serves I believe that most servers hit in the top half of the racket face. I have not done stats which are often surprising. I would like to have a more scientific basis for a conclusion and there probably are research papers but I don't know about them.
I have looked at fewer forehands and have done no stats again but I believe that most strong forehand ATP pros (I have not looked at as many WTA forehand videos) hit topspin drives in the bottom half of the racket face. Nothing know as to whether they 'deliberately' hit in the bottom half but I believe that that do. They may not know where they hit very accurately unless they use high speed video.
How would you bet on the question? - Do most pros hit forehand drives by contacting the ball in the top half of the racket or in the bottom half? Would you need odds to bet?
Interested parties can find high speed videos of top 20 players that show top spin forehands where the position of the ball contacting the face can be clearly seen. These are hard to find as the shutter speed has to be fast to reduce motion blur and the frame rate had to be high >200 fps to increase the chance of catching the ball in contact with the strings. The ball has to be seen in contact with the strings otherwise it can be deceptive due to the viewing angle. No cherry picking, randomly accept whatever videos clearly show the impact location... You might also note how the racket face turns just after impact. Identify the video and give the seconds shown on the screen. Post results - top half - estimate from center or bottom half estimate from center. How to divide the racket face into fractional areas since inches are more difficult to calibrate........?
Youtube or Vimeo do not have good stop action. If you click the play-pause button with your mouse as fast as possible you often can get ball contact.
CORRECTION: I just used YT on this video and could use the forward and backward arrows to stop action single frame. This is a big improvement.
Tennisplayer.net has stop action as well as some other sites. In Quicktime the forward and backward arrows are used for single frame.
About 50 observations total should show how often the pros are hitting forehand drives in the top or bottom half of their racket faces. If a few good citizens could do 10-15 each we could get a preliminary answer.
See second 27 for Almagro contacting the tennis ball.