Loud thwack of the ball like the pros

undecided

Rookie
I was watching the pros practice at USO yesterday and it's insane how loud the thwack sound of the racquet impact on the ball is.
Which part of their technique is it that gives off that sound ?
They did not look like their were straining at all but the sound is loud and ball takes off like a bullet.
I 've seen this over the years but I never wondered what the heck they do to get that to happen.
 

denoted

Rookie
Hitting the sweet spot, the acoustics of the stadium, and, I think, poly strings all contribute to this; but it's mostly enormous power and racquet-head speed.
 

undecided

Rookie
Hit with their power against what they face and you will create the same sound.
Hitting the sweet spot, the acoustics of the stadium, and, I think, poly strings all contribute to this; but it's mostly enormous power and racquet-head speed.
Interested in the power component. They did not seem to swing faster or harder than us hackers at least nothing that the naked eye can see.
 

FiReFTW

Legend
You can hit it very hard too, just have a good technique and relaxed grip and put ur while body into it and really let loose alot of racquet speed into the ball, you might hit the backfence and have no control but im sure you can hit it pretty hard if you really try.
And if someone is hitting it back hard then its easier because the ball has alot of pace/spin on it so even swinging slowly makes a decent sound.
 

tennis4me

Hall of Fame
Their high swingweight racquet probably contributes to this sound effect. Imagine the result of swinging a small hammer vs a big hammer at the same speed. Also, don't forget these Pros are taller & bigger than average rec players. They have bigger swing arc, bigger power in general. And of course better technique.

I manage to hit a winner FH return off of a 1st serve once where my return was probably at least at the same speed as the serve (maybe 80ish mph) and I heard a loud thwack from my racquet that I've never heard before. I thought I cracked my frame.

I'm still waiting for my 2nd time hitting this FH. :p

A 6'3" 4.5 guy I play with hits his FH & serve with this sound all the time, though. He's too inconsistent to be 5.0, but the FH that he hits I think at least equal those Challenger-level players - it comes like a bullet. He uses poly on a Babolat Aero.
 

LeeD

Bionic Poster
Interested in the power component. They did not seem to swing faster or harder than us hackers at least nothing that the naked eye can see.
They are mostly using heavier rackets with your swingspeed against faster and spinnier incoming balls,
A 5.0 player can only rally against a pro, but once a point starts, he"s always behind and scrambling,
 

r2473

G.O.A.T.
I was watching the pros practice at USO yesterday and it's insane how loud the thwack sound of the racquet impact on the ball is.
Which part of their technique is it that gives off that sound ?
They did not look like their were straining at all but the sound is loud and ball takes off like a bullet.
I 've seen this over the years but I never wondered what the heck they do to get that to happen.
The ATP has a full time sound effects crew. I can’t believe people don’t know this
 

sureshs

Bionic Poster
The ATP has a full time sound effects crew. I can’t believe people don’t know this
Not only that, the lines on the court are computer-generated graphics. Pros have to play with no lines and rely on their intuition.
 

ChaelAZ

Legend
Timing and contact point, and perfect pocketing, along with RhS create that sound. I might get it once in a while, but not as often as I would like.
 

Dartagnan64

Legend
Interested in the power component. They did not seem to swing faster or harder than us hackers at least nothing that the naked eye can see.
It's called a kinetic chain. That perfect fluidity produces far more RHS than a brute force arm swing like most of us hackers.
 

blablavla

Professional
Not only that, the lines on the court are computer-generated graphics. Pros have to play with no lines and rely on their intuition.
and without the ball.
the computer will then add both: lines + ball visualization for the casual TV / Internet observer
 

blablavla

Professional
Interested in the power component. They did not seem to swing faster or harder than us hackers at least nothing that the naked eye can see.
that is an illusion.
how do you define harder?
they certainly do generate higher racket speed, even if this looks relaxed and "not harder" than us recreational, weekend hackers.

Perhaps it has something to do with:
- talent
- years of practice
- tennis being a tough sport in general, so making it to the top 100 or top 200 is super difficult. Don't let yourself fooled by the keyboard warriors calling journeyman, mug, clown and other not so nice words everyone not named Federer, Nadal and Djokovic.

So in other words, anyone in top 100 could be seen as a member of a top 5 team in basketball or hockey or any other well funded and popular team sport.
Those guys as well create the impression that what they do is effortless. But it's not.
 

undecided

Rookie
Yesterday I decided to fool around with one of my racquets. Added some lead at 3 & 9. Definitely got some of that thwack sound from it but of course a lot less loud than the pros. The ball coming off the racquet felt heavier too. But, I started missing more balls long. So, yeah more energy into the ball adds to the sound and pace but I am definitely losing control. Racquet is now probably a tad over 13 oz. I probably need to hit with it more to see if I can keep the ball in. I have 3 identical racquets so I can afford to fool around with one of them regarding weight without impacting my match racquets.
 

movdqa

G.O.A.T.
Yesterday I decided to fool around with one of my racquets. Added some lead at 3 & 9. Definitely got some of that thwack sound from it but of course a lot less loud than the pros. The ball coming off the racquet felt heavier too. But, I started missing more balls long. So, yeah more energy into the ball adds to the sound and pace but I am definitely losing control. Racquet is now probably a tad over 13 oz. I probably need to hit with it more to see if I can keep the ball in. I have 3 identical racquets so I can afford to fool around with one of them regarding weight without impacting my match racquets.
Put more effort towards spin. This will remove some of your effort towards pace.
 

undecided

Rookie
Put more effort towards spin. This will remove some of your effort towards pace.
Yeah of course, I am not playing with 'spin' racquets though. Mine are 93 sq.in 19mm racquets so it's all about me :)

p.s. I think the pros get the spin from the 'pace' of the RHS. So that extra energy contributes to both pace and spin.
 

blablavla

Professional
Yeah of course, I am not playing with 'spin' racquets though. Mine are 93 sq.in 19mm racquets so it's all about me :)

p.s. I think the pros get the spin from the 'pace' of the RHS. So that extra energy contributes to both pace and spin.
spot on. RHS.
and it's not all about the heavy frame. there are more and more hints that "stiff & lightweight" frames make their way to the pinnacle of the game.
 

blablavla

Professional
I am afraid of stiff and lightweight as I've had GE & TE in the past.
well, I don't advocate for the stiff and lightweight for everyone.
what I say, the sound comes from:
- RHS
- training
- talent

the heavy & flex vs lightweight and stiff came in discussion after you pointed that adding some lead helped you to get closer to the sound.
happy for you.
but can't agree with the rumour that pros play with some exceptional sticks, in essence some magic sticks, that are super flexy and super heavy and not accessible to the general public under no circumstance
there are enough hints that Goffin, Khachanov play with sticks around 300g unstrung. Even Nadal, when he started his carrer played with a stick close to 300g unstrung, and only later added some additional weight.
 

JimJones

Rookie
in essence some magic sticks, that are super flexy and super heavy and not accessible to the general public under no circumstance
The stick Federer uses is available to the public. RF97A. No it's not a marketing gimmick. People have purchased sticks he has used in matches and compared them to store bought. They are the same.
 

undecided

Rookie
well, I don't advocate for the stiff and lightweight for everyone.
what I say, the sound comes from:
- RHS
- training
- talent

the heavy & flex vs lightweight and stiff came in discussion after you pointed that adding some lead helped you to get closer to the sound.
happy for you.
but can't agree with the rumour that pros play with some exceptional sticks, in essence some magic sticks, that are super flexy and super heavy and not accessible to the general public under no circumstance
there are enough hints that Goffin, Khachanov play with sticks around 300g unstrung. Even Nadal, when he started his carrer played with a stick close to 300g unstrung, and only later added some additional weight.
I was watching Kachanov 2 days ago, his stroke make huge sound but he is also a massive guy so maybe just plain physics at work.
 

Addxyz

Semi-Pro
Hitting the sweet spot, the acoustics of the stadium, and, I think, poly strings all contribute to this; but it's mostly enormous power and racquet-head speed.
I've also thought it's because of the stadiums / accoustics. As long as the court has walls behind them, it seems like it echo / amplifies the sound. I've watched college players and even though they don't hit as hard as pros, there's still a satisfying thwak. However, I've also played against 5.0+ guys in a public court with no wall and there isn't a good of a sound.
 

zaph

Semi-Pro
Take the damper out of the racket, it will sound nice and loud then. Never bother with the things, they don't actually do anything anyway.
 

ElwoodP

New User
Head Smartsorb dampener.
Shocking is the only word for the difference in sound. And feel.
Don't thread it too tight, just tight enough. It will last for years.
 

undecided

Rookie
Guys, the thwack is important but the reason I asked the question is because I think there is some correlation between the thwack and the heavyness (pace+spin) of the ball. I am thinking that if we can improve the thwack we would also be improving the heavyness of our balls.
 

jm1980

G.O.A.T.

JimJones

Rookie
Y
Sort of. Fed's actual racquet still has a custom handle and weight added to it, so it's not exactly the same as one you pick up from the shelf

Yes but that custom handle still results in the same overall specs of the actual sticks not including any lead tape added. This is proven by comparing sticks he used in matches. Any variation there is from Fed's actual game racquets to ones you see in stores will be on par with the variation you get from buying two RF97A's from the store given Wilson's poor quality control.
 

megamind

Professional
A lot of it is stadium acoustics

I’ve sneaked into the courts of a masters 1000 stadium before and played a game or two with a buddy

We sounded like we were pros (we were probably around 4.0 at the time)
 

Enga

Hall of Fame
I think most people can hit as hard as a pro, hitting harder/faster is easy, just let the wrist bend back and swing fast. Its the timing and precision that throws people off. If you get a ball coming fast at you how do you react? Often for us rec players we react with a block or poorly timed stroke that hits the side of the racket and ends up sending the ball flying over the fence. A pro will react with a smooth swing that lands perfectly on the sweetspot, with perfect timing, their footwork so ingrained that they were in the correct position and form before the opponents ball even got to their side of the court. Thats what makes the ball come off the racket so fast.
 

Goof

Semi-Pro
A lot of it is stadium acoustics

I’ve sneaked into the courts of a masters 1000 stadium before and played a game or two with a buddy

We sounded like we were pros (we were probably around 4.0 at the time)
Agreed. I hit quite often in a small stadium whose courts are open to the public about half the year, and the sound difference is intense. My moderate pings from other courts become loud thwacks there.
 

undecided

Rookie
Agreed. I hit quite often in a small stadium whose courts are open to the public about half the year, and the sound difference is intense. My moderate pings from other courts become loud thwacks there.
Khachanov forehands sounded like loud thwacks on open practice courts at USO.
 
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