Rosque Tanner had the hardest serve of all time?

Heuristic

Hall of Fame
Two reasons why this is arguable:

1. Tanner hit a serve at 153 mph with a wooden racket (!) Imagine what he would do with a modern one.

2. The Davis Cup speed radar is more generous than the ATP one by about 5 mph, meaning that Roddick, Karlovic and Isners record serves were at least 5 mph off the actual speed by ATP standards.

Sam Groth is the current leader with 163 mph, but I don't know if Challenger speed radar is comparable to the ATP.... I'm guessing it's not.


Is there really any doubt that the hardest serve ever struck is still by mr Tanner with all these things taken into account?
 
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Maybe, but it probably is Elsworth Vines considering his era and equipment. Some of his main competitors complained they could not see some of his serves at times.
 

BorgCash

Legend
Metal rackets only offered "a bit more power" than wooden rackets, meaning that his 153 mph is still low balling if he had done it with a graphite racket.
Definitely. I confirm this post 100 per cent.
Actually metal is more powerful than wood but not par with graphite of course.
 

ollinger

G.O.A.T.
That big serve was the source of a mild controversy in, I believe, 1979 when the US Open scheduled the Tanner-Borg semifinal for nighttime. Borg's camp complained the USTA did it to help the American, as Tanner's serve would be harder to see and return under the inferior night lighting. Tanner served big and won.
 

Heuristic

Hall of Fame
That big serve was the source of a mild controversy in, I believe, 1979 when the US Open scheduled the Tanner-Borg semifinal for nighttime. Borg's camp complained the USTA did it to help the American, as Tanner's serve would be harder to see and return under the inferior night lighting. Tanner served big and won.
Yes but it wasn't particularly precise. He just put it in as hard as he could.
 

Heuristic

Hall of Fame
The 153 mph record was apparently a frame by frame estimate. It cannot be accepted into the records. It was before the times of speed measuring tools.
 

SamprasisGOAT

Professional
The 153 mph record was apparently a frame by frame estimate. It cannot be accepted into the records. It was before the times of speed measuring tools.
No it wasn’t.
They were measuring cricket bowling speeds in 1977. Get your facts right before you post.

 

dkmura

New User
I recall Roscoe Tanner first came to prominence using wood Wilson Kramers. Upon reaching the top ten, PDP got his endorsement and his best years were achieved using their aluminum frames. His service motion was a quick, short motion that allowed him to throw rivals off, but I find it hard to believe that it was the fastest serve of all time.
 

SamprasisGOAT

Professional
So you admit they did have speed measuring tools? Speed mearsuring tools did exist in 1979? Are you now admitting I’m right?
 
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