ATP serve net clearance?

LeeD

Bionic Poster
But still allow for 12" clearance.
A slower 2nd serve might clear by as much as 2', and still spin in.
 

tonylg

Professional
Talked about this after playing last night. My mate has a great serve, but because of this relies on bombs rather than strategically using a slightly lower pace kicker with more margin. We'd agreed we'd seen heaps of data for groundstroke clearance, but not serves.

We hypothesised (a few beers in) that Opelka and Isner probably have over a foot of net clearance on completely flat first serves down the tee, which would be roughly double an average player. Of course very few players ever hit completely flat serves and going out wide reduces clearances, up a line even more so.

Sorry, don't know the answer, but I'd guess up to a foot on first serves and possibly over 2 feet on second serves, with shorter players obviously have less margin.
 

Raul_SJ

Legend
It might be an optical illusion but sometimes guys look they are missing badly into the net. Like 1.5 feet or more in to the net. Or even over 2 feet.

I would expect all netted serves to be within 12 inches. And the very best ATP servers to be within 6 inches of the tape or less on netted serves.
Yes, I know they are serving 125mph+ on first serves. But they should still be consistently near the tape on netted serves.
 
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Gyswandir

Semi-Pro
I’d be interested in this as well. Haven’t seen data. However, when I was playing with a competitive ITF junior from Georgia, one thing he told me a couple of times is that he thinks my second serve is too low over the net. In his opinion, I need to work more on having a higher “approach” that allows the ball to bounce higher and makes it more difficult.
Unfortunately, I don’t know how to accomplish this, with my capabilities, as my second serve already is usually deep in the box and often hits the back line. So, the only conclusion I have is that it requires a much higher rhs than I am capable of.
 

Dragy

Hall of Fame
I don’t have an answer yet I have a tool for you to figure it out. 115mph serve reaches net in ~0.25sec = 15 frames of 60fps vid. For 95mph it takes 18 frames, for 125mph - just shy of 14. Now using some video you can get your estimation.
 

J011yroger

Talk Tennis Guru
I don’t have an answer yet I have a tool for you to figure it out. 115mph serve reaches net in ~0.25sec = 15 frames of 60fps vid. For 95mph it takes 18 frames, for 125mph - just shy of 14. Now using some video you can get your estimation.
How is that helpful?

J
 
Is there any data on this?

Interested in first and second serves.

J
It would be really interesting to compare the average height of different players.

For example, I’d be willing to bet that Roddick’s average net clearance on first serve is a lot higher than that of Ivanisevic or Pim-Pim. Roddick’s first serve seemed to have the biggest topspin element of any of the giant servers, allowing him to hit it in at a 70% clip, but sacrificing a bit on ace accuracy.
 

IowaGuy

Hall of Fame
It would be really interesting to compare the average height of different players.

For example, I’d be willing to bet that Roddick’s average net clearance on first serve is a lot higher than that of Ivanisevic or Pim-Pim. Roddick’s first serve seemed to have the biggest topspin element of any of the giant servers, allowing him to hit it in at a 70% clip, but sacrificing a bit on ace accuracy.
Sampras would be another interesting case, with his incredible spin.

Some info on speed/spin ratio from Yandell:


Is there any similar data for current players?
 

Dan R

Semi-Pro
I don't know about serves but this is an interesting article from a couple of years ago on ground stroke net clearance. There's quite a bit a variation and little correlation between forehand and backhand.

 

J011yroger

Talk Tennis Guru
I don't know about serves but this is an interesting article from a couple of years ago on ground stroke net clearance. There's quite a bit a variation and little correlation between forehand and backhand.

Forehands for the flattest hitters average 2 feet and the loopiest hitters 2 1/2 feet.

How is that a lot of variation?

The average internet idiot thinks Federer hits 6" over the net and Nadal 6'

J
 

tonylg

Professional
I think the poster said little correlation between forehand and backhand

Sent from my Pixel XL using Tapatalk
 

FiReFTW

Legend
Would be interesting to know.

Having watched Federer alot I notice his height varies alot, and im not talking about 2nd or 1st serve, even on his 1st serve, sometimes its extremely high over the net, while alot of times its extremely and barely over the net, I assume when its barely over the net theres alot more slice on the ball, while when its much higher its more topspin involved also, but all serves are quite fast, but the height varies alot.
 

Dim Sim

Rookie
Are there any reliable data sources for this? Probly not. Can those amongst us who can drive a calculator do a rough estimate of likely angles and clearance distances, based on whichever ATP dudes (on known height and probable wingspan) they choose? Por flavour.
 

xFullCourtTenniSx

Hall of Fame
Are there any reliable data sources for this? Probly not. Can those amongst us who can drive a calculator do a rough estimate of likely angles and clearance distances, based on whichever ATP dudes (on known height and probable wingspan) they choose? Por flavour.
Initial velocity, airspeed (and direction), ball RPM, spin orientation, initial launch angle, and condition of the ball's felt (which changes every time the ball is struck) are all critical variables to this equation. The math to get the trajectory isn't fun either. Not to mention that the aerodynamic profile of the ball supposedly changes when struck with high velocity and spin according to some observers (the claims that Federer and Nadal's balls flatten out a bit in the air). The best option by far is just to ask the ATP to give us the hawkeye data or put a camera near the net.
 

IowaGuy

Hall of Fame
Are there any reliable data sources for this? Probly not. Can those amongst us who can drive a calculator do a rough estimate of likely angles and clearance distances, based on whichever ATP dudes (on known height and probable wingspan) they choose? Por flavour.
can trigonometry get us a rough idea?
But it's not just trigonometry since you have the Magnus effect at play, which allows a serve with some topspin to have more net clearance than a flat shot at the same speed.
 
Are there any reliable data sources for this? Probly not. Can those amongst us who can drive a calculator do a rough estimate of likely angles and clearance distances, based on whichever ATP dudes (on known height and probable wingspan) they choose? Por flavour.
Physicist and tennis researcher Rod Cross has done a lot of work on tennis ball trajectories. He also has written reference books. Technical Tennis is one.

Here is Chapter 42 on the tennis ball trajectory. The Physics and Technology of Tennis, Brody, Cross, Lindsay

Search- The Physics of the Kick Serve, Rod Cross, an article on this website.

In physics, the trajectory of an object with a velocity, in a vacuum and in a gravitational field can be calculated simply. But adding the effects of air forces including Magnus Forces from spin, is not so simple, and depends on the 3D direction of the spin axis relative to the ball trajectory. Also, the weight of the tennis ball is much lighter than an iron cannon ball so gravity forces are much closer to air forces for a tennis ball. Air forces are very considerable for tennis balls with high spin rates.
 
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mainmain

New User
Oh cmon, some frame-by-frame clicking, some putting of ruler against screen, your normal tt morning...
I'm going to Paris Masters in 2 weeks. On the smaller court you can literally sit behind the umpire (for free). Last year I saw Isner vs Kachanov on this one, among others.
What about a few SD cards worth of videos from the side at net height? How much do you offer me for that invaluable and rare scientific data ?
 

Dragy

Hall of Fame
I'm going to Paris Masters in 2 weeks. On the smaller court you can literally sit behind the umpire (for free). Last year I saw Isner vs Kachanov on this one, among others.
What about a few SD cards worth of videos from the side at net height? How much do you offer me for that invaluable and rare scientific data ?
Please contact @J011yroger to coordinate with tt science folks.
 

5263

G.O.A.T.
Forehands for the flattest hitters average 2 feet and the loopiest hitters 2 1/2 feet.

How is that a lot of variation?

The average internet idiot thinks Federer hits 6" over the net and Nadal 6'

J
I don't think averages tell us very much. Some Fhs have an intended shape that gives more clearance and some tend to be inside that 1 ft range. These 2 different shots are different in so many ways but all go into the avg.

For your serve question, I think it'd be interesting to see what the highest clearance observed 1st serves are for different players as well as the highest kickers and slices. We know what the lowest is already.
 

EP1998

Semi-Pro
I'm going to Paris Masters in 2 weeks. On the smaller court you can literally sit behind the umpire (for free). Last year I saw Isner vs Kachanov on this one, among others.
What about a few SD cards worth of videos from the side at net height? How much do you offer me for that invaluable and rare scientific data ?
Court 1! I prefer it to stadium for sure. You can see everything in that section right behind the court.
 
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