Faster racquet head speed: Federer or Nadal?

Discussion in 'General Pro Player Discussion' started by Sid_Vicious, Jun 12, 2011.

?

Faster racquet head speed?

Poll closed Jun 22, 2011.
  1. Federer

    54.3%
  2. Nadal

    45.7%
  1. Sid_Vicious

    Sid_Vicious G.O.A.T.

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    I have always thought that Nadal swings his racquet much faster than Federer.
     
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  2. Nicholas Warino

    Nicholas Warino New User

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    I assume for forehands?

    I believe Nadal's racquet is lighter than Federer's, which would be an obvious factor. His swing is also different, so he's come under and over the ball more than Federer, so his head speed through the ball would be reduced compared to Fed.
     
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  3. Sid_Vicious

    Sid_Vicious G.O.A.T.

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    Yep, forehands. Sorry, should have mentioned that.

    Roger's racquet is 29 grams heavier than Rafa's. You are right, it could make a difference.
     
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  4. Bartelby

    Bartelby G.O.A.T.

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    When all is said and done, it doesn't really matter as long as it works for them.
     
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  5. downdaline

    downdaline Professional

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    I think when both players have time to really line up the ball, coil up and unleash a forehand - Nadal.

    But on average, I think Fed's is slightly faster off rally shots. I dunno, but it's waaaay too close to make a clear distinction on the tele.

    Does faster racquet head speed = more rpm?? If so, then it should be Nadal based on groundstroke rpm.
     
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  6. Nextman916

    Nextman916 Professional

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    This is often debated, but I don't think so. Rpm is the rotations imparted on the ball by brushing up. The reason Nadal holds the most rpm's ever is due to his swing path which is much more low to high than Federer's. However that doesn't necessarily mean that he has greater racquet head speed.
     
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  7. Lsmkenpo

    Lsmkenpo Hall of Fame

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    Federer has more racquet head speed. Nadal's game improvement racquet
    is what gives him extra spin.

    Federer has the most explosive racquet head speed in the history of the sport. This is why he has the best forehand in history, no one comes close to his combination of spin and pace. The best forehands Nadal has ever hit in his life are about equal to the pace of Federer's average rally forehand. This is why Nadal avoids Federer's forehand, he knows he can't compete in a forehand to forehand battle.

    Guaranteed, Federer has hit more winners with just his forehand than Nadal has hit off both wings combined in their careers.
     
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  8. Bobby Jr

    Bobby Jr Legend

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    This ^

    His variation is possibly the best lesson you could take away from his forehand. He can rally with plenty of spin deep and then unleash the flat bomb. That's why he catches most players out and can pull players on a hot run right out of their favourite groove and make them look almost clueless.
     
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  9. Smasher08

    Smasher08 Hall of Fame

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    Force = mass x acceleration.

    Ergo because Rafa gets more pace and spin from a much lighter racket, his acceleration must be considerably greater.

    Ipso facto, even if his pace and spin were the same as Federer's, he would necessarily be generating more racket head speed to accomplish this.

    QED, and you're welcome. ;)
     
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  10. Bobby Jr

    Bobby Jr Legend

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    He does not get more pace than Federer. You only have to watch a few of their matches to see this is not the case. He does however get more spin. No doubt his racquet head speed it right up there - maybe more... someone will have to work out the average angle of each stroke etc...
     
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  11. TheNatural

    TheNatural Legend

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    Fed's racket is just designed for hitting winners easier compared to Nadal's racket. It should be easier to get faster racket head speed with Fed's racket. Nadal's racket is designed for spinning the ball more. SInce Nadal has faster racket head speed, If Nadal used Federer's racket his shots would go for winners easier than Fed's shots do now.

    If Fed used Nadal's racket he'd struggle to put the ball away, and he wouldnt get as much Spin as Nadal now does,his shots would just sit up, as he has less racket head speed, so his shots would be pretty average.
     
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  12. TheNatural

    TheNatural Legend

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    In other words if Nadal used Federer's racket he would hit more winners and demolish Federer even easier.
     
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  13. Sentinel

    Sentinel Bionic Poster

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    Nadal is better than Fred in every respect. He hits "flatter yet spinnier forehands". Ask the experts if you don't believe me.
     
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  14. TheNatural

    TheNatural Legend

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    that legend has grown..lmao...

    I dont know how someone took a statement comparing "flatter faster more penetrating forehands" to "somewhat hard but spinnier whip forehands." and turned it into "flatter and spinnier forehands" lmao...maybe some people have reading comprehension problems. :)
     
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  15. sunof tennis

    sunof tennis Professional

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    I am not sure I follow you. Fed's racquet is considered the ultimate control racquet, not the ultimate power racquet. In stock form, it is considerably heavier than Nadal's racquet, so logically it should be easier to generate more head speed with Nadal's racquet. However, simple physics (the only kind I understand) dictate that if you can generate similar head speed with both, then you are going to impart more force on the ball and create a faster shot with Fed's racquet. Having hit with both, I can tell you that if you are set up and execute a proper swing you will definitely hit the ball faster with Fed's racquet. Problem is, it is harder to do on a consistent basis with a heavier, smaller head racquet.
     
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  16. TheNatural

    TheNatural Legend

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    I know, but Nadal has the best foot work and positioning in the game, he wouldnt have much trouble hitting the sweet spot. Lendl didnt have many problems using a racket half the size as Feds. Nadal would put the ball away faster than he does now if he used the Fed racket so there would be no need for him to do it as consistently as he does now with his babolat.

    Your bolded text is also probably the reason why Nadal now extends the rallies. Feds racket encourages you to hit out more for higher rewards because as you said the ball travels faster with Feds racket than Nadal's if you execute a proper swing with both rackets .
     
    #16
  17. Comet Buster

    Comet Buster Banned

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    Agree.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sKoUrBhhh7k


    Nice to know Federer's average FH speeds are above 110mph :roll:.
     
    #17
  18. Netzroller

    Netzroller Semi-Pro

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    I was going to write the same:)

    Guys, please stop trying to use physics to prove a point unless you really have a clue what you're talking about...:-?
     
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  19. Lsmkenpo

    Lsmkenpo Hall of Fame

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    I imported this video into my motion analysis program and got a real calculation of this forehand's speed, it isn't 110mph. The shot speeds they show on some of these broadcasts are quite often off by a substantial margin.
    This is the correct information for this shot
    His slice serve in this same video clocked 105mph out wide.

    Contact to bounce = 18 frames, video is shot at 30 fps.

    time in flight: .6 sec
    initial speed: 91 mph
    avg. speed: 76 mph
    final speed: 63.9 mph
    distance traveled 67 feet

    max height of shot: 5.79 ft.


    Roger Federer's avg. forehand speed is over 76mph
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2011
    #19
  20. Netzroller

    Netzroller Semi-Pro

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    What kind of motion analysis program is that? I think it is a little surprising that you claim to get more accurate results from anayzing a youtube clip (not even in HD) while the guys actually being there with expensive equipment are off by ~20mph (which is huuuge).

    Secondly, even if your numbers were correct, Fed average fh is still not faster than this shot. Usually one refers to initial speed when talking about the velocity of a shot (that's how it's done with serves as well). Therefore, the numbers you have to compare are 91mph and 76mph.
    I do agree with you that Federers avrage fh is faster than Nadal's, though.
     
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  21. tlm

    tlm Legend

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    Don't any of you play tennis? Fed hits through the ball more than rafa, so yes he hits a harder more penetrating shot on average. But he does not need as much racket speed as nadal does, rafas energy goes into super fast racket speed to apply as much spin as possible.

    Rafa is coming over the ball so much that he has to generate incredible racket head speed to get that much spin plus enough power and depth.If any of you play tennis i would think you would know that. If you do play next time out try to hit like fed and then try to hit with mega spin like rafa and you will obviously see that it takes more speed to hit the heavy spin.
     
    #21
  22. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Paging Breakpoint .....

    He claimed that Fed had the faster RHS, only Nadal's movement was more upward and so produced more TS.

    I think Nadal's RHS is greater.
     
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  23. Lsmkenpo

    Lsmkenpo Hall of Fame

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    I have dartfish team pro and also kinovea, both show the same speed.

    Being in HD or not doesn't make any difference, HD only makes a difference in the number of pixels , the video is still shot 29.97fps regardless if it is HD or standard definition.
     
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  24. FedererBestTennis

    FedererBestTennis Professional

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    Nadal's racquet head speed is faster, but their shots are equally heavy because of the mass of Federer's racquet.
     
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  25. FedererBestTennis

    FedererBestTennis Professional

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  26. Bobby Jr

    Bobby Jr Legend

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    This thread is simple to unravel.

    People who know something about tennis know Federer, on average, hits his forehand faster than Nadal.

    People who don't know anything about tennis think, on average, Nadal does.

    Racquet head speed is a tricky calculation as others have said. It entails working out the angle of the swing etc. It may well be Nadal that has a higher racquet head speed on average - but he puts it more towards spin than velocity than Federer. They're trying to achieve different things.
     
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  27. Lsmkenpo

    Lsmkenpo Hall of Fame

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    Here are two separate videos shot at the same frame rate 210fps of Nadal and Federer warming up hitting forehands. Using track path and speed calculations in the Kinovea motion analysis software.

    The first forehand of Nadal in this video his racquet head speed is measured at 58.52 mph http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=inQvbT8uEGk

    Here is Federer same frame rate his first forehand racquet head speed measures at 65.02 mph http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ImeQaAyFPc

    Federer's warmup forehands are 5-7 mph faster than Nadal's, measuring the racquet head speed.
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2011
    #27
  28. TheNatural

    TheNatural Legend

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    what do you think would happen if they swapped rackets and played for the whole next 12 months on tour with eachothers rackets.

    I wonder how their racket head speed, and shots will compare, say in 6 months after changing rackets.
     
    #28
  29. Polaris

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    Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha. :)

    Unfortunately, academic pretentiousness is no substitute for getting your facts right. :twisted:
     
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  30. FedererBestTennis

    FedererBestTennis Professional

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    Federer would probably loop up his swing, and Nadal would hit through it more as too many shanks would come off his racquet with his swing pattern.

    As for the effect on the actual shots:

    Let us say that the weight of Federer's racquet is 10 and Nadal's is 8.
    Let us say that the racquet head speed of Federer is 8, and Nadal's is 10.

    F=ma

    The original Formula is:
    Federer - F=10x8=80
    Nadal - F=8x10=80
    80=80
    This is why their shots have equal heaviness.

    Now let's switch their racquets.

    Federer - F=8x10=80
    Nadal - F=10x8=80
    80=80

    Conclusion: No difference in weight of shot.
     
    #30
  31. piece

    piece Professional

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    Tough to say.

    Still, I've rarely been as impressed with a player's racquet head speed off the forehand side as I was with Federer's at the 2004 and 2005 US Opens. Especially the way he could swing fast enough to hit clean winners from behind the baseline even while backing away from the baseline.
     
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  32. BrooklynNY

    BrooklynNY Hall of Fame

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    Nadal CAN hit harder/faster than Fed.

    Fed's shot is naturally more penetrating, as it his hit 'flatter'..IE he hits through the ball more, although he can hit shots with much spin as anybody, and sometimes does.

    Nadal's forehand is heavier, as it has more spin onto it, he also hits through the ball, but at a different angle, and a bit more brush on the ball.
     
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  33. Lsmkenpo

    Lsmkenpo Hall of Fame

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    Nadal grunts really loud when he swings, which adds a dramatic effect when viewed, that he is really swinging harder than anyone else, in actuality he isn't.
     
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  34. Fedex

    Fedex Legend

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    Too many people who don't know anything about tennis think they know everything about tennis.
     
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  35. piece

    piece Professional

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    Off the backhand, sure. Off the forehand it's not so obvious. The fastest Nadal forehand I can recall seeing is the one that was recorded at 110mph against Ancic. However I can recall at least one, maybe two Federer forehands that were noticeably faster, IMO.
     
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  36. Lsmkenpo

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    That's the forehand I analyzed in this thread it wasn't close to 110mph in actuality.
     
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  37. piece

    piece Professional

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    #37
  38. Sid_Vicious

    Sid_Vicious G.O.A.T.

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    And Federer can hit harder than Nadal as well if he wants as well. As far as pace is concerned, Federer is usually above Nadal in that department.
     
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  39. Sid_Vicious

    Sid_Vicious G.O.A.T.

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    http://www.tennishelpdesk.com/TennisVideos/Videos/TabId/61/VideoId/227/Nadals-Racket-Head-Speed.aspx

    Nadal's forehand was recorded at 84.7 mph

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pPLmCqGIotM

    Federer's forehand was recorded at 71.1 mph



    On the thread: This is a hard question to answer. Lots of differing opinions. Poll is pretty even.
     
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  40. Lsmkenpo

    Lsmkenpo Hall of Fame

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    This is a bogus video analysis it isn't a High Speed video clip, thats why it jerks from one frame to the next and his racquet moves so much in each frame it is 29.97 fps, to get an accurate measurement of racquet head speed it needs to be shot in high speed at 210+ fps.

    This is more accurate using HS video.
     
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  41. FedererBestTennis

    FedererBestTennis Professional

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  42. Fedex

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  43. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    1. Nadal's ball DOES NOT have more pace. Are you kidding me? Federer pounds flat forehands at tremendous pace, whereas Nadal just spins the crap out of the ball. The loopier trajectory of Nadal's shots means his balls have to travel slower to stay in.

    2. Nadal's racquet has a higher swingweight than Federer's racquet, therefore, more mass is making contact with the ball. So even if Nadal's balls had the same pace, he must be swinging his racquet slower than Federer.

    3. You must have failed physics because hitting a tennis ball is all about the transfer of momentum, not force. Momentum = mass x velocity. That's the relevant equation, not F = ma.
     
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  44. BreakPoint

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    Yeah, which is why everyone is saying Federer needs to switch to a BIGGER racquet in order to beat Nadal. :rolleyes:
     
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  45. Fedex

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    That's why it takes a slow moving giant tanker 37 miles to stop.
     
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  46. FedererBestTennis

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  47. Lsmkenpo

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    #47
  48. FedererBestTennis

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    But force is the same thing as heaviness...If a tennis ball is carrying a lot of force, then it will push the player back, which is what heaviness will do.
     
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  49. Sid_Vicious

    Sid_Vicious G.O.A.T.

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    Oh I am so sorry. I should have posted videos of Nadal and Federer hitting forehands in an MIT laboratory where all factors are accounted for.

    I am just posting what I found. No one here has any scientific proof. I was just posting those two videos because I found them earlier and they pertain to racket head speed.
     
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  50. BreakPoint

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    Very good point. :)

    Nadal seems to exert a lot more effort than Federer but still produces a slower ball. :shock:
     
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