Mac's serve mph?

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by gopokes, May 25, 2009.

  1. gopokes

    gopokes Rookie

    Jul 30, 2008
    How fast did Mac serve in his prime? I'm guessing around 110mph tops - maybe less. I watched the match at the French in 1984 and he had a number of aces against Ivan Lendl. If I remember right, Lendl was in the 120's at the peak of his era, and Becker as well. Anyway, I just got to wondering how fast Mac was actually serving. Thanks for the info!
  2. Shaolin

    Shaolin Legend

    Feb 11, 2004
    Virgo Supercluster
    Ive heard that he serves bigger now than he did in his prime. I think he tops out at about 115 now. My guess is he served about 90-100 on first serves in his prime. They didnt have to be that huge due to his lefty slice spin and his great placement.
  3. timnz

    timnz Legend

    Oct 17, 2008
    Radar measured things much slower then + Rackets speed things up

    In the 1990's forinstance, Boris Beckers top serve was listed as 131. Now everyone and their dog is serving this fast. Are they faster than Becker? I don't think so.

    About the Mid to late 90's things seemed to change. Until about 1990 the top serve was around 135mph. And now quite a number of guys are serving faster than 135, and a number in the 1940's.

    McEnroe - when he played doubles in 2006, was clocked at 119. Now you have to believe that a 1984 McEnroe is going to serve at least 10mph faster than when he was nearly 50.

    Hence, in answer to the question, how fast was McEnroe's serve. It depends on what radar clock and with what racket you use. Using today's clock and rackets he would be approaching 130 for his fastest serve.

    Surely its not hard to conclude that if can serve around 120 now, then he was capable of 130 using today's equipment and radar guns.
  4. 35ft6

    35ft6 Legend

    Feb 18, 2005
    Did anybody have a more deceptive or varied serve, in terms of placement, than Mac? He's up there. It wasn't speed with him, he had about the sneakiest serve ever. Like how Fed can just "read" Roddick's serve, it's not just speed, Mac's serve was like some dead language found carved into rocks... very hard to decipher.
  5. DrumWizOHBD

    DrumWizOHBD Semi-Pro

    Mar 4, 2008
    Tulsa, OK
    Hahaha! I love it!! Macky was super sneaky!
  6. scotus

    scotus G.O.A.T.

    Jul 5, 2005
    I too am convinced that today's radars report higher mph.

    Take the old Boris' serves and add about 10 mph for real speed.
  7. tennisdad65

    tennisdad65 Hall of Fame

    Feb 29, 2008
    somewhere in calif
    I am guessing in the old days they measured the speed when it crossed the net. Now, they probably measure it a couple of feet after contact. Anyone have any information on the measurement system now and before?
  8. SkiloAce

    SkiloAce Banned

    May 25, 2009
    Great post, even better avatar...

    It really doesnt matter how fast or slow he served, it was deadly none the less.
  9. Deuce

    Deuce Banned

    Feb 13, 2004
    A not so parallel universe...
    ^ Yeah... today, they use the speed of the serve to market the game - thus the higher speeds to 'impress' people.
    Before, they simply read the speed accurately - no marketing involved. That's because back then, the game marketed itself naturally, through its quality and variations and contrasts in styles.
  10. Datacipher

    Datacipher Banned

    Apr 13, 2004
    Sigh....posted these things so many times.

    Mcenroe generally hit his first flat serves in the 100-110mph range. Lendl hit his flat serves, by comparison generally in the 108-115mph range. Mcenroe topped out with the occasional 115mph, Lendl around 120mph.

    This was with the first ATP radar guns. Sampras hit his flat serves between 112-124mph. Becker was more variable, going anywhere from 105-low 120's. You can add aproximately FIFTEEN MPH onto these figures for the standard radars today.

    Yes, it has been told to me that Mac has gone as high as 128mph on the current radar and I have seen him hit in the 120's. Once I saw Mcenroe end a fun tie-break exhibition with a 114mph serve to which he was surprised and said "I don't think I've hit that fast in years!" New guns Mac. New guns....

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