Some silly tennis questions.

Sparlingo

Hall of Fame
I thought I'd start a silly tennis question thread, please add your own, I'll start.

1- How do players choose which tennis balls to play with? I've seen players take as many as 5 balls and look at them and throw away 3. What are they looking for? Why do they never use the tennis ball that was last played?

2- How far behind the baseline can players be when serving, is there a limit. They always stand right by the line, but do they have to?

3- What is the optimum angle to throw the ball up to serve it? is it straight up or slightly at an angle? Is 11:00 O'clock (slightly behind you best to get added torque?

4- What effect would raising the net have? What type of player would it help?
 
1- How do players choose which tennis balls to play with? I've seen players take as many as 5 balls and look at them and throw away 3. What are they looking for? Why do they never use the tennis ball that was last played?

I know what they’re looking for when Nadal’s playing
Explain...
 

Enga

Hall of Fame
I thought I'd start a silly tennis question thread, please add your own, I'll start.

1- How do players choose which tennis balls to play with? I've seen players take as many as 5 balls and look at them and throw away 3. What are they looking for? Why do they never use the tennis ball that was last played?

2- How far behind the baseline can players be when serving, is there a limit. They always stand right by the line, but do they have to?

3- What is the optimum angle to throw the ball up to serve it? is it straight up or slightly at an angle? Is 11:00 O'clock (slightly behind you best to get added torque?

4- What effect would raising the net have? What type of player would it help?
1- I think you would have to ask the player specifically what they're looking for. I think guys like Federer, only takes 3 balls, are looking for one that looks newer, less fuzz. But I think other pros take it a step further. Some of them might want the fuzz, so they pick it because that can give the ball more spin, I THINK. They might also be playing mindgames. Some players can keep track of which ball is where, and if there's a fuzzy ball somewhere and they think they're gonna get served that, they can adjust accordingly. But if the other guy is picking 5 balls, that makes it practically impossible to track which ones are going to be used next.

2- As far back as they want to. Standing closer to the line is the most ideal position because you can react to all angles. Though some players stand further back because they believe in their ability to dash to retrieve farther wide angles, and perhaps less in their ability to have fast reactions.

3- I think that one is up to the player. If it's slightly behind you, that can help with when you want to hit with more topspin. Further out in front makes it easier to hit the ball with speed. Further to the side can help with side spin.

4- Raising the net would make it harder to hit the ball over it, naturally. I guess it would help taller players more than anyone, because the court geometry would make it so that the ball will bounce higher on average, making it difficult for shorter players to hit the ball from their natural swing that has the most power for them.
 

Sparlingo

Hall of Fame
1- I think you would have to ask the player specifically what they're looking for. I think guys like Federer, only takes 3 balls, are looking for one that looks newer, less fuzz. But I think other pros take it a step further. Some of them might want the fuzz, so they pick it because that can give the ball more spin, I THINK. They might also be playing mindgames. Some players can keep track of which ball is where, and if there's a fuzzy ball somewhere and they think they're gonna get served that, they can adjust accordingly. But if the other guy is picking 5 balls, that makes it practically impossible to track which ones are going to be used next.

2- As far back as they want to. Standing closer to the line is the most ideal position because you can react to all angles. Though some players stand further back because they believe in their ability to dash to retrieve farther wide angles, and perhaps less in their ability to have fast reactions.

3- I think that one is up to the player. If it's slightly behind you, that can help with when you want to hit with more topspin. Further out in front makes it easier to hit the ball with speed. Further to the side can help with side spin.

4- Raising the net would make it harder to hit the ball over it, naturally. I guess it would help taller players more than anyone, because the court geometry would make it so that the ball will bounce higher on average, making it difficult for shorter players to hit the ball from their natural swing that has the most power for them.
thanks for that.
 

Mark-Touch

Professional
I thought I'd start a silly tennis question thread, please add your own, I'll start.

1- How do players choose which tennis balls to play with? I've seen players take as many as 5 balls and look at them and throw away 3. What are they looking for? Why do they never use the tennis ball that was last played?

2- How far behind the baseline can players be when serving, is there a limit. They always stand right by the line, but do they have to?

3- What is the optimum angle to throw the ball up to serve it? is it straight up or slightly at an angle? Is 11:00 O'clock (slightly behind you best to get added torque?

4- What effect would raising the net have? What type of player would it help?
1. For the most part players tend to choose the freshest looking balls, least amount of fuzz, so they can serve a faster serve.
2. No limit, but I think they would get penalized if they climbed into the stands. :)
Seriously though, think about it, the further back from the line you are, the less amount of service box you can see and the more difficult it is to get the ball into the box. So only an idiot would want to stand further back.
3. There are two angles to consider, left-right, and front-back. It seems you are considering the left-right angle. The left-right angle will affect the amount of spin you can put on the ball. For a righty, the further right you toss the ball the less amount of spin will be available.
4. Raising the net would hinder short players and end up giving an advantage to tall players overall (both for serves and ground strokes).

P.S. Do you actually play tennis?
 

zipplock

Rookie
I think the whole ball thing is dumb. Remember when players just took 2 balls and got to the tennis? Some of the women just took 1, then asked for a second if the first serve was a fault. That's straight gangster. Enough with the shenanigans. Get to the tennis.

When did the whole "ball check" thing start? Who do we have to thank for it?
 

TheGhostOfAgassi

Talk Tennis Guru
I think the whole ball thing is dumb. Remember when players just took 2 balls and got to the tennis? Some of the women just took 1, then asked for a second if the first serve was a fault. That's straight gangster. Enough with the shenanigans. Get to the tennis.

When did the whole "ball check" thing start? Who do we have to thank for it?
After Rafa came to the scene, he flatten those balls so they get unplayable :p
 

Poisoned Slice

Bionic Poster
The balls and superstition. Yeah, at times I've noticed Murray asking for the same ball back if he gets an ace. I remember Goran Ivanisevic doing that a lot. I'm sure many others do it but I pay closer attention to Murray matches.
 

Mark-Touch

Professional
More silly tennis questions...

1. Why do male tennis players wear shorts?
2. Why do some players wear their watches when they play?
3. What's so special about challenges?
Why say "Mr. Nadal has two challenges remaining" but say "Game Nadal" rather than "Game Mr. Nadal"?
4. Why do some ball boys/girls wear gloves and others don't?
...
 

megamind

Hall of Fame
2- How far behind the baseline can players be when serving, is there a limit. They always stand right by the line, but do they have to?
this thread has inspired me

next time I'm up 40:15 serving for match point, I might just try and fool around and serve from as far back as possible! It just might throw Novak my opponent off, and win me the pointe!
 

toby55555

Hall of Fame
I think the whole ball thing is dumb. Remember when players just took 2 balls and got to the tennis? Some of the women just took 1, then asked for a second if the first serve was a fault. That's straight gangster. Enough with the shenanigans. Get to the tennis.

When did the whole "ball check" thing start? Who do we have to thank for it?
Probably some sports psychologist suggesting their player should choose balls so they stop rushing to serve.
 

TearTheRoofOff

Hall of Fame
1- I think you would have to ask the player specifically what they're looking for. I think guys like Federer, only takes 3 balls, are looking for one that looks newer, less fuzz. But I think other pros take it a step further. Some of them might want the fuzz, so they pick it because that can give the ball more spin, I THINK. They might also be playing mindgames. Some players can keep track of which ball is where, and if there's a fuzzy ball somewhere and they think they're gonna get served that, they can adjust accordingly. But if the other guy is picking 5 balls, that makes it practically impossible to track which ones are going to be used next.

2- As far back as they want to. Standing closer to the line is the most ideal position because you can react to all angles. Though some players stand further back because they believe in their ability to dash to retrieve farther wide angles, and perhaps less in their ability to have fast reactions.

3- I think that one is up to the player. If it's slightly behind you, that can help with when you want to hit with more topspin. Further out in front makes it easier to hit the ball with speed. Further to the side can help with side spin.

4- Raising the net would make it harder to hit the ball over it, naturally. I guess it would help taller players more than anyone, because the court geometry would make it so that the ball will bounce higher on average, making it difficult for shorter players to hit the ball from their natural swing that has the most power for them.
Just FYI, they were talking about the server, not the receiver.
 

Enga

Hall of Fame
Yeah I noticed that after seeing some other responses here, so let me revise


2- Most servers in singles will serve from near the middle, close to the baseline, because that lets them be where they want to be after the serve is returned.

Its rarely used in singles, more common in doubes, but you can stand nearer to the side line to serve from a wider angle. That can let you attack someones backhand more easily but make your intentions predictable and make it harder to serve straight down the middle. You also have to cover a lot more distance if it gets returned down the line. It was used to some moderate success by Agassi earlier in his career. I guess since he was faster then, he enjoyed the wide angle serves because it would force opponents to return towards his forehand, which was much more feared than his backhand was at the time.

I cant think of any advantage for serving from further back behind the baseline unless maybe youre a player who enjoys playing from far back even on serve, if you serve from farther back you wont have to move as far to be where you want to be. But that is such a crappy strategy in my opinion. Unique at least.
 

blablavla

Professional
I thought I'd start a silly tennis question thread, please add your own, I'll start.

1- How do players choose which tennis balls to play with? I've seen players take as many as 5 balls and look at them and throw away 3. What are they looking for? Why do they never use the tennis ball that was last played?
checking for the lucky ball, as mentioned earlier
checking for the ball with more fuzz
taking time to recover breathing
ritual aka time to decide on strategy for next point

2- How far behind the baseline can players be when serving, is there a limit. They always stand right by the line, but do they have to?
probably from the fence.
you can check the official tennis rules, applicable in your country.
usually, standing closer: 1. opens more angles; 2. means less time for returned.
Also, if say, you could bring a chair, serving from a higher point would result in same, so this is why there is limit on serving from baseline.
If you want to "rob" yourself from this, I don't see why someone would protest.


3- What is the optimum angle to throw the ball up to serve it? is it straight up or slightly at an angle? Is 11:00 O'clock (slightly behind you best to get added torque?
multiple answers possible.
you need to check the whole service, as there are multiple possibilities

4- What effect would raising the net have? What type of player would it help?
I don't "buy" the idea of disadvantaging the short people. There is no limit on the height, so you can launch a moonball hoping that your opponent won't be able to hit the ball, but there are counter-actions.
Essentially it would:
- bring the speed down. Everything else being same, a higher launch angle means that the ball will land further
- make the DTL shots more difficult, so every player knows that pretty much all they need to do is to defend the cross court
- less variation, as for example drop shot from baseline would be much tougher, also slice will become tougher, not the "parachute" but the real slice

combine the lower speed with increased difficulty to hit the down the line, and you probably have a very boring game.
 

snvplayer

Hall of Fame
I thought I'd start a silly tennis question thread, please add your own, I'll start.

1- How do players choose which tennis balls to play with? I've seen players take as many as 5 balls and look at them and throw away 3. What are they looking for? Why do they never use the tennis ball that was last played?

Preference might differ among players, but the amount of fuzz is one thing that they check for. Balls tend to gather fuzz and fluff up. Less fuzz means that the ball would travel faster through the air, which would be helpful on the first serves. Some players are superstitious and would want the last ball if they won the point.

2- How far behind the baseline can players be when serving, is there a limit. They always stand right by the line, but do they have to?
I think they can stay as far from the baseline....

3- What is the optimum angle to throw the ball up to serve it? is it straight up or slightly at an angle? Is 11:00 O'clock (slightly behind you best to get added torque?
Usually about a foot or two feet into the baseline. For a righty, optimal toss would be around 12:30~1:00 for flat and slice serves. And 12:00 or 11:00 for kick serve.

4- What effect would raising the net have? What type of player would it help?
It would help players who hit with more topspin. Topspin gives higher net clearance. So, it would negatively affect player who hit flat. Flatter shots have lower net clearance.
 

Chadalina

Legend
1. For the most part players tend to choose the freshest looking balls, least amount of fuzz, so they can serve a faster serve.
Not always, some like using a more worn out ball against big hitters.

As the server you know what kind of point your going to play, 15-30 maybe go with a fuzzy one and grind it out. 40-15 use a fresh one and go for an ace

Nothing wrong with questions: silly or otherwise. Here's one:

Why did no other top player try to serve like McEnroe?
i played a high ranked junior from japan, he was identical to jmac in everyway including his attire.
 

Enga

Hall of Fame
Nothing wrong with questions: silly or otherwise. Here's one:

Why did no other top player try to serve like McEnroe?
McEnroe supposedly did it because he had back problems. If I imagine myself doing the motion, I feel like it would help the back a bit. He's using rotation instead of jumping straight up like with some serves, so his back muscles are saving their strength.

McEnroe's service is actually exactly like Sampras, Federer, and other top servers, just turned more away from the net. It makes him hit with more sidespin. Probably not worth replicating though unless you're a lefty who wants to serve and volley, which is nonsense in today's meta.
 

King No1e

Legend
I thought I'd start a silly tennis question thread, please add your own, I'll start.

1- How do players choose which tennis balls to play with? I've seen players take as many as 5 balls and look at them and throw away 3. What are they looking for? Why do they never use the tennis ball that was last played?

2- How far behind the baseline can players be when serving, is there a limit. They always stand right by the line, but do they have to?

3- What is the optimum angle to throw the ball up to serve it? is it straight up or slightly at an angle? Is 11:00 O'clock (slightly behind you best to get added torque?

4- What effect would raising the net have? What type of player would it help?
The newest, brightest balls usually have the most weight and pop to them, which benefits the server. It's more of a psychological thing, part of a player's routine to keep them focused (like Nadal aligning his bottles or Fed bouncing the ball on the edge of his racquet before serving)
 

Sparlingo

Hall of Fame
Another question: Often in tennis the opponent is asked what he thought about a questionable call and is even invited to reverse it. I'm trying to think of another sport where that could happen. In baseball or football such an appeal to an opponent would be unprecedented, maybe ridiculous. Is there another sport where an opponent would be asked to reverse a call in their favour, and if not why in tennis does this happen?
 

Fiero425

Hall of Fame
Actually I didn't know until just now when I looked it up, but GOAT is an abbreviation for "Greatest Of All Time." I'm fairly new to tennis fandom; anyone else here not know why Fed's considered "The GOAT?"
:unsure:

It made more sense 10 years ago to call Federer "The GOAT" since he was able to surpass the Major Ct. record of 14 held by Sampras! He had swept past Pete in just over 8 years with 3 great seasons winning 3 majors in 04, 06, & 07 accelerating the process! Unfortunately for him he's had two rivals who've had little to no trouble catching up to him before he even has a chance to retire! Both Nadovic have more Masters 1000 event wins and are right on his arse in the major count with their own great seasonal careers picking up majors faster than anytime in the history of the game! It only sounds a little silly now to appoint the moniker of "GOAT" on him at this time, but you never know; Nadal and Djokovic haven't won those needed majors yet! Roger capable of a Tanya Harding moment? :rolleyes:
 
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Enga

Hall of Fame
Another question: Often in tennis the opponent is asked what he thought about a questionable call and is even invited to reverse it. I'm trying to think of another sport where that could happen. In baseball or football such an appeal to an opponent would be unprecedented, maybe ridiculous. Is there another sport where an opponent would be asked to reverse a call in their favour, and if not why in tennis does this happen?
True, that's a weird one. I guess it goes hand in hand with the sport's "gentlemanly" image. They probably shouldn't let the opponent have a say. But then again, in tennis, it's common to not have an umpire at all and your opponent calls the lines on your shots. So maybe it's not totally inconsistent.
 

Fiero425

Hall of Fame
True, that's a weird one. I guess it goes hand in hand with the sport's "gentlemanly" image. They probably shouldn't let the opponent have a say. But then again, in tennis, it's common to not have an umpire at all and your opponent calls the lines on your shots. So maybe it's not totally inconsistent.
Officiating is needed unfortunately since the speed of the game has sped up so much! In each match an umpire has corrected a call from his chair, overruling a linesman only to be challenged by the player to find 'the ump' was wrong! No apology or commiseration is ever forthcoming! I also think players who challenge calls they know damn well are out should lose 2 challenges instead of the one! If the ball's out by a foot, the match should be forfeited! lol! :-D
 

blablavla

Professional
Another question: Often in tennis the opponent is asked what he thought about a questionable call and is even invited to reverse it. I'm trying to think of another sport where that could happen. In baseball or football such an appeal to an opponent would be unprecedented, maybe ridiculous. Is there another sport where an opponent would be asked to reverse a call in their favour, and if not why in tennis does this happen?
don't worry about this one.
at recreational and junior level, where there are no linesmen, and no umpire, the opponent opinion is rarely being asked. at times people call let or out simply because they want the point, and by the rules you have to accept their call even if you disagree.
 
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