Heavy ball

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by SC in MA, Jun 9, 2004.

  1. SC in MA

    SC in MA Semi-Pro

    Apr 6, 2004
    It seems like I've been hearing the term, "heavy ball" a lot lately. Such as, "He hits a heavy ball", or "If you use a heavy racket, you'll hit a heavy ball." Also, "If you hit the ball more out in front, you'll hit a heavier ball".

    For me, I feel like my opponent is hitting a heavy ball when he either hits it flat and fast, or fast with lots of spin. The kind of shot that can make your racket torque on contact, unless you hold the racket very solidly on contact with momentum going forward.

    So, what exactly is a "heavy ball" ? And is there a technique to hitting it and/or is the weight of the racket important ?

    Just for reference, I hit mostly with a Pure Control (old style) and sometimes with a HPS 6.1. I have NOT added weight to either, nor done any other modification. On my forehand side, I'm now trying to hit the ball more out in front, with a medium speed, controlled windshield wiper finish. (If I try to generate lots of racket speed, I have "control" issues.).
  2. TwistServe

    TwistServe Guest

    My coach has a 120MPH serve.. When I try returning his balls, I can definitely feel the heaviness of the ball as it snaps my racquet back.

    I know another player that hits with real heavy topspin forehand that causes the ball to drive down and kick up hard. He says he takes a huge backswing, swings very fast, and uses his legs.
  3. kevhen

    kevhen Hall of Fame

    Feb 20, 2004
    Auckland, New Zealand
    Some guys were complaining about my kick serve last night. Even though it's only moving about 80mph, it has so much spin on it, it tries to twist the racquet out of their hands and you really have to fight to get on top of it. The opposing doubles player also had a big kicking second serve so I was grunting to get on top of those to get them back over having to reverse all of that spin. Now slicing a ball like that will make it spin twice as fast and it will start curving in midair and do strange things.

    A flat ball can be heavy too but you just have to block it and hold the wrist steady. But a truly heavy ball has spin and pace behind it.
  4. Bungalo Bill

    Bungalo Bill G.O.A.T.

    Feb 19, 2004
    What is your coaches first name? Do you play at the Barnes Tennis Center in SD? Does his name start with a J?
  5. TwistServe

    TwistServe Guest

    Yep thats him.. How did u know? Are you two friends or foe hehe..
  6. Frank Silbermann

    Frank Silbermann Professional

    Feb 24, 2004
    heavy ball used to mean surpring power

    Nowadays on the message boards the consensus seems to be that a "heavy" ball is one with lots of power. But I remember reading a tennis book written a few decades ago that gave a less redundant definition.

    In those days, a person who "hit a heavy ball" was someone whose shots surprised you with their force of impact. Even though John Newcomb, for example, had a very powerful forehand, he hit gained that power by making a fast, slashing swing of his light serve-and-volleyer's racquet. Yes, the ball hit hard, but no harder than you would expect from watching him.

    The people back then who were said to hit heavy balls were heavy-racquet baseliners such as Don Budge, Jack Kramer and Ken Rosewall. They had smooth, medium-speed, moderately-sized swings; yet their balls hit your racquet with a huge impact. That's because their heavy racquets, excellent form, timing, and weight transfer produced a much faster ball than one might expect from watching them play. To an opponent, it seemed as if the ball had gained weight.
  7. Camilio Pascual

    Camilio Pascual Hall of Fame

    Feb 11, 2004
    A heavy ball is fast and has a lot of spin. A venus Williams 120mph serve would not be a heavy ball to an ATP pro. A typical 115mph Roddick serve would be a much heavier ball.
  8. andreh

    andreh Professional

    Feb 19, 2004
    I tend to agree with Camilio. Heavy is fast and spin. Say a fast kick serve would be heavy, but an equally fast flat serv would not.
  9. lendl lives

    lendl lives Semi-Pro

    Feb 23, 2004
    when i see safin's ball i think, 'man thats heavy'. does a heavy raq help hit a heavy ball? i wonder if safin puts lead tape on that already heavy raq.

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