Can you serve 100MPH if your 6 foot and under??

MoxMonkey

Rookie
Im just over 6ft. Id like to think it's possible. Although I doubt I could do it now.

When hitting around if a moonball comes in forehand side(overhead) sometimes I'll switch to a continental grip and knock the living **** out of it. I don't know how fast it is, but it's wayy faster than when I serve.

So id like to think that it's something I could work up to.
 

LeeD

Bionic Poster
Sampras, 6'1", platform technique, more power than Fed, DJ, or Murray.
How is that possible?
 

LeeD

Bionic Poster
I sat down and talked to Pete at Trans Am SF.
Notice his long torso, short legs...strong.
That's a swimmer's body, which is why I mentioned our contractor, a former AAU swimmer who stands 6'1", reach 8'4", and missed Olympics by 2 swimmers.
I am 5'10" and 3/4. Army 1970. I reach 7'4".
 

LeeD

Bionic Poster
We strung rackets for the entire junior Wilson team and for a few pros.
I strung 6 of Mike Cahill's rackets, the rest by our head stringer Primo.
 

LeeD

Bionic Poster
Ok, was part time stringer at the TransAm SF until '79...second season motocross and conflict of interest.
 

LeeD

Bionic Poster
You should try a 380 gr racket, and see how you serve.
I still have 2 of my 355 Dunlop 200's, and know I serve faster with around 325.
 

LeeD

Bionic Poster
Sorry, I was thinking if another eastern euro player, on the junior Wilson team. Same bushy face and slouch.
 

Cashman

Hall of Fame
As for the unicorn of 100mph, I regularly play guys from high 3.5 to 4.0+ that serve 95 average and upwards to 110. The doubters always ask and people post match videos in the past, and then everyone does those frame calculations and it usually averages out to somewhere around those ranges. From my match play experience it is more common than not, and not really too magical.
Any idiot can belt a ball, the trick is to be able to do it with consistency, variety and movement.

A lot of opponents will prefer a hard flat slap with a relatively predictable location, they can just block it back for a pretty sharp return.

After a certain point, the harder I hit a ball the less effective my serve is
 

curly_2350

New User
A bit off topic, but seeing as the topic was comprehensively answered in the first 2 posts I won’t feel too bad.
Anyone tried this cheap radar product that’s popped up recently? This is AUD so it should be only around $140 or so USD maybe if available over there? I wonder if it’s accurate and reliable. If they are getting that cheap it would be very easy for clubs (or even nerdy individuals) to have one handy to really see what numbers people are getting.

 

ChaelAZ

G.O.A.T.
A bit off topic, but seeing as the topic was comprehensively answered in the first 2 posts I won’t feel too bad.
Anyone tried this cheap radar product that’s popped up recently? This is AUD so it should be only around $140 or so USD maybe if available over there? I wonder if it’s accurate and reliable. If they are getting that cheap it would be very easy for clubs (or even nerdy individuals) to have one handy to really see what numbers people are getting.


I bought a Bushnell radar gun years back and I think it was right around $100 US. Works well enough and I could use it for both baseball and for tennis. I think max speed was around 115mph, but that was rarely an issue working with young kids and high schoolers. It was fun and accurate enough for our purposes.
 

Hit 'em clean

Semi-Pro
I'm 5'7" and 49... soon to be 50. I've lost a lot of flexibility in my shoulder over the years so I can't get the racquet drop or position that I'd like to any more. If I could I'm pretty certain I could hit 105. Any time I've been measured on a radar gun I my best serves are 98-100. Most of my well hit first serves are 98mph, but when I really catch one I'll hit 100. My first serve usually averages between 92-100, but getting 60% in at 100+ would be a challenge... even if I was younger and had the range of motion I used to have. At my height there is not a lot of margin for error. I think someone closer to 5' 10" and up would certainly have an easier time, but the question is avg 100mph and get 60% in.... that would be impressive by most club level standards. Remember, it's averaging 100mph and getting a good percentage... that's the hard part. You'd have to be capable of hitting 105-110mph pretty consistently because your misses are going to be in the 90's.

I've played in 5.0 leagues and plenty of 5.0 players... still play some former div 1 college players from time to time. Some of them are capable of hitting those speeds, but I've never played anyone that could consistently hit a big first serve like that and get 60% in. The reality is if you're only playing a few times a week, unless you're an amazing server... you're not going to get 60% of you're flat first serves in. The D1 college guys even know this so they often mix in spins on their first serve to get a higher % in and better placement.

Placement and spin wins more service points than pure speed.
 
Many WTA players are like 5'8 and can serve well over 110. Height and strength helps but most important is technique, timing and ability to hit the ball cleanly on the sweet spot. Obviously you won't serve 130 if you are under 6 ft but you can serve 110+ with good technique and athleticism.
 

aaron_h27

Professional
I think that is overrated, yeah a bit heavier racket is better if you have power but I'm pretty sure raonic could serve 120+ with a grandpa racket like a Ti S6.
No point in comparing Pros to average players.

I'm sure Federer could beat all of us with a junior racket, does that mean we shouldn't use adult sized rackets?

That type of logic doesn't help anything or add anything to a discussion.

The average Swingweight on the ATP is 350 for a reason.
 

Dartagnan64

G.O.A.T.
Can I serve 100 mph as someone that is under 6 feet? No I cannot. But it's more related to age and a surgically reconstructed shoulder.

Can someone else under 6 feet serve 100 mph? Most certainly. But they'd need more jam in their legs to elevate into the ball than I've got. And more shoulder ROM than I have.

The more interesting question is whether someone under 6 feet can patty cake a flat serve at 100 mph. At what point does the angles and physics not work for a completely flat serve?
 

Jake Speeed

Professional
At the level you guys play, speed isn't all that important. Are you going to the net or hitting aces?

Spin and a well placed ball offers advantages over 67%, REALLY.

Spin and placement can be 99%. Better math as far as I'm concerned.

Well, unless there's some ATP players in here sneaking around. :D
 

Pete Player

Hall of Fame
At 5-11, 100 MPH easy. Used to be 110 to 115 before hamstring got torn off my but. After the injury I’ve had hard time passing 172 k on flat first serve.

Since then knee broke down and collar bone broke in three. Luckily enough that was only the tossing arm.

Regular slice second serve is 90-95-ish. but it is not only the ball speed making a good serve. Placement and spins are even more significant aspects. And the more versatile you are tossing the same gives an advantage.
 

jmnk

Hall of Fame
Can I serve 100 mph as someone that is under 6 feet? No I cannot. But it's more related to age and a surgically reconstructed shoulder.

Can someone else under 6 feet serve 100 mph? Most certainly. But they'd need more jam in their legs to elevate into the ball than I've got. And more shoulder ROM than I have.

The more interesting question is whether someone under 6 feet can patty cake a flat serve at 100 mph. At what point does the angles and physics not work for a completely flat serve?
if you are interested this may help https://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/ind...tennis-serve-trajectory.689458/#post-14988078 . You can adjust initial serve parameters, including the height, speed, and the spin, to see where the ball would have landed.
 

jmnk

Hall of Fame
At 5-11, 100 MPH easy. Used to be 110 to 115 before hamstring got torn off my but. After the injury I’ve had hard time passing 172 k on flat first serve.

Since then knee broke down and collar bone broke in three. Luckily enough that was only the tossing arm.

Regular slice second serve is 90-95-ish. but it is not only the ball speed making a good serve. Placement and spins are even more significant aspects. And the more versatile you are tossing the same gives an advantage.
considering that such a huge second serve would be about 10mph faster than that of ATP pro Schwartzman (or countless others) I find that totally believable.... :rolleyes:
 

mad dog1

G.O.A.T.
And it's not a linear difference: yes, a 125mph serve is technically 25% faster than a 100mph serve but once the returner reaches the limit of his reactions, only a few more mph will be the tipping point and he'll cease to be able to effectively return the serve.
Yup. Just like weight lifting. If your max limit on a deadlift is 500 pounds, even adding a measly 5 more pounds is huge.
 

LeeD

Bionic Poster
Don't know any 5'10:+ males crying they're too short to hit 130 mph.
What they cry about is they're too short to hit a high percentage at 125+.
2 different things.
 

aaron_h27

Professional
Don't know any 5'10:+ males crying they're too short to hit 130 mph.
What they cry about is they're too short to hit a high percentage at 125+.
2 different things.
I know Serena is a pro, but I would think 5.0 men are stronger/equally strong as pro women. Serena is 5'9 and can hit 110-115 consistently on her serve with 60-70% percentage on her best days.

The key is good technique, but extended length and high SW also helps. Serena uses a 28 inch racket.
 

Dartagnan64

G.O.A.T.
Probably not, but it clearly shows 5'9 - 5'10 males are really grasping at straws if they're blaming their height on a weak serve.
I don't think they blame their lack of height on a weak serve. They are just jealous of 6'3" guys with waiter's tray serves bombing in aces because the angles and physics favors them.

You can get away with worse technique at a certain height.
 

LeeD

Bionic Poster
I know Serena is a pro, but I would think 5.0 men are stronger/equally strong as pro women. Serena is 5'9 and can hit 110-115 consistently on her serve with 60-70% percentage on her best days.

The key is good technique, but extended length and high SW also helps. Serena uses a 28 inch racket.
Serena plays with WTA tennis balls, lighter and less knapsack than ATP balls.
While Serena is indeed a mere 5'9" or so, she is around 185 lbs, often more, and stronger than most 5.0 men.
I'd venture to say she has played WTA events very close to 200 lbs.
 
D

Deleted member 771407

Guest
Serena plays with WTA tennis balls, lighter and less knapsack than ATP balls.
While Serena is indeed a mere 5'9" or so, she is around 185 lbs, often more, and stronger than most 5.0 men.
I'd venture to say she has played WTA events very close to 200 lbs.
She is fat dude. Unless she lifts weights regularly she will be significantly less strong in her shoulders and arms than a random athletic male. That's just biology.

 

LeeD

Bionic Poster
Yes, she is fat.
But a nearly 200 lbs fat person can still serve pretty darn fast.
Did I say she was a great direction changer?
Did I say she was a long distance runner?
She is an explosive athlete who doesn't lose serve speed from being fat.
And super strong!
 

GuyClinch

Legend
Serena is not stronger then an average athletic man in the upper body. FWIW I think TV makes her look bigger then she is. A woman who is 5'8" isn't really big - even if she looks it on TV. Most 5.0s are pretty athletic or at least used to be.
 
D

Deleted member 771407

Guest
Yes, she is fat.
But a nearly 200 lbs fat person can still serve pretty darn fast.
Did I say she was a great direction changer?
Did I say she was a long distance runner?
She is an explosive athlete who doesn't lose serve speed from being fat.
And super strong!
Super strong for a woman. Not for a man. Federer can destroy the ball lie she can only dream of, and it's not just technique.
 

LeeD

Bionic Poster
I know Serena is a pro, but I would think 5.0 men are stronger/equally strong as pro women. Serena is 5'9 and can hit 110-115 consistently on her serve with 60-70% percentage on her best days.

The key is good technique, but extended length and high SW also helps. Serena uses a 28 inch racket.
Dude, Serena weighs between 185 and two hundred pounds! And, she is quick and explosive.
 
D

Deleted member 771407

Guest
Dude, Serena weighs between 185 and two hundred pounds! And, she is quick and explosive.
It's not about weight, this is not wrestling, it's about muscle mass and strength. Read the study I linked. But really it's kind of ridiculous that we have to do studies about that stuff. Shows how little exercise we do in today's world.
Besides, serve is more about technique anyways, then heigth, and only then strength, imo.
 

LeeD

Bionic Poster
I know Serena is a pro, but I would think 5.0 men are stronger/equally strong as pro women. Serena is 5'9 and can hit 110-115 consistently on her serve with 60-70% percentage on her best days.

The key is good technique, but extended length and high SW also helps. Serena uses a 28 inch racket.
Dude, Serena is not your average WTA player!
She is a one off, ultimate Alpha female.
 

LeeD

Bionic Poster
It's not about weight, this is not wrestling, it's about muscle mass and strength. Read the study I linked. But really it's kind of ridiculous that we have to do studies about that stuff. Shows how little exercise we do in today's world.
Besides, serve is more about technique anyways, then heigth, and only then strength, imo.
Dude, Serena is not your average WTA player!
She is a one off, ultimate Alpha female.
And we cannot lump all females into the same boat.
Serena is an Alpha explosive athlete. Only a few in tennis.
Just like NOT ALL 6' 2" ATP players serve the same.
A now fat Andy Roddick can still serve faster than 70% of current ATP players.
 

SystemicAnomaly

Talk Tennis Guru
I know Serena is a pro, but I would think 5.0 men are stronger/equally strong as pro women. Serena is 5'9 and can hit 110-115 consistently on her serve with 60-70% percentage on her best days.

The key is good technique, but extended length and high SW also helps. Serena uses a 28 inch racket.
Simona Halep at 5'6" is not known a powerhouse server. But even she has hit serves at 108 (and faster, I believe)
 
Last edited:

jered

Rookie
Simona Halep at 5'6" is not known a powerhouse server. But even she has hit serves at 108 (and faster, I believe)
Simona can hit around 108 mph as outlier fastest first serves but she averages around 97mph which means she probably hits at least 1/3 of first serves over 100mph as a tiny woman.

Which makes sense. I'm 5'9" and according to PlaySight data I average low/mid 90s with a controlled first serve. When I really go for it, I can easily hit over 100mph, somewhere in the 110 range, aiming for the middle of the box and get it in maybe half of the time but I'm definitely not sure where in the box it is going and most times those serves go right into your opponents hitting zone so really, although faster, it's not a good serve. About once or twice per set I have a serve show up over 120mph with my best ever being 128mph but again, I'm not sure how accurate PlaySight is overall. Accurate enough to be over 100mph I'm sure.

Although I'm under 6', when I make contact on serve I'm a good foot off the ground and a couple feet into the court. I notice the majority of rec players don't leave the ground which could be a factor. Control is the biggest issue so I usually dial back a bit to be more accurate. Sometimes you feel like gambling though...

I think serve speed is not the hard part, serve accuracy is the hard part and really sets 4.5+ apart from the rest even at a slower serve speed.

Edited to correct Halep top serve speed.
 
Last edited:

mmk

Hall of Fame
Probably not, but it clearly shows 5'9 - 5'10 males are really grasping at straws if they're blaming their height on a weak serve.
Reminds me of someone I know who used to say that guys taller than him were faster runners because of their longer legs, and guys shorter than him were faster because they could move their shorter legs more quickly.
 

S&V-not_dead_yet

Talk Tennis Guru
Reminds me of someone I know who used to say that guys taller than him were faster runners because of their longer legs, and guys shorter than him were faster because they could move their shorter legs more quickly.
You gotta admit, he was an above-average excuse generator; able to cover all of his bases [albeit slower than his taller and shorter compatriots].
 

Jason Swerve

Hall of Fame
Hingis was consistently serving 100 MPH in '97. Most of the pros can easily serve 100 in the box, if they're willing to 'go for it'. Getting it in while playing a tense match for points and money is the hard part. Much easier done than said if they have the impeccable technique that Serena had in her prime.
 
Top