Fascinating read. It seems that the overall consensus is that there is (and in most cases should be) racket head acceleration right up to contact, and, had it not been for the impact of the ball, through contact.
Concerning whether the hand slows down a little before impact or not, there seems to be a bit conflicting evidence. But a slowing down in foreward speed could be explained by the change in direction of the hand (up and across), and acceleration in these directions, which lessens the foreward component of the hand speed, while overall speed does not go down, as was the hypothesis in my first post.
Wilson PS Classic, Gosen OG Micro 16, 26 kg.
Last edited by Povl Carstensen; 01-22-2013 at 01:22 PM.