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post #1 of 38 (permalink) Old Jun 2nd, 2005, 06:50 PM Thread Starter
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Serve speed in 1997 - how Pierce improved

Flash back in time - how fast Mary Pierce served in 1997.

102.4 mph. Today 16 miles faster.

Better nutrition (energy bars)?
Better technique?
No, different equipment.



SPORTSTICKER TENNIS NOTE * * * *

(through February 23rd, 1997) *

(Courtesy IDS - Information & Display Systems, Inc.) *

Player (Country) * * * * * * * * * *MPH * * * * * * * Site
---------------- * * * * * * * * * *--- * * * * * * * ---- * * *

*1. Brenda Schultz-McCarthy (NED) * 118.1 * * * * * * Paris
*2. Jana Novotna (CZE) * * * * * * *113.1 * * * * * * Paris
*3. Kristie Boogert (NED) * * * * * 111.2 * * * * * * Paris
*4. Yayuk Basuki (INA) * * * * * * *107.5 * * * * * * Melbourne
* * Gloria Pizzichini (ITA) * * * * * * * * * * * * * Melbourne
*6. Irina Spirlea (ROM) * * * * * * 106.3 * * * * * * Melbourne
*7. Helena Sukova (CZE) * * * * * * 105.7 * * * * * * Melbourne
*8. Chanda Rubin (USA) * * * * * * *105.0 * * * * * * Melbourne
*9. Els Callens (BEL) * * * * * * * 104.4 * * * * * * Melbourne
* * Jennifer Capriati (USA) * * * * * * * * * * * * * Sydney
* * Steffi Graf (GER) * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * Melbourne
* * Maria Strandlund (SWE) * * * * * * * * * * * * * *Paris
13. Larisa Neiland (LAT) * * * * * *103.8 * * * * * * Melbourne
14. Corina Morariu (USA) * * * * * *102.5 * * * * * * Melbourne
* * Mary Pierce (FRA) * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * Paris
* * Lisa Raymond (USA) * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *Melbourne
* * Sandrine Testud (FRA) * * * * * * * * * * * * * * Melbourne
* * Radka Zrubakova (SVK) * * * * * * * * * * * * * * Melbourne
19. Dominique Van Roost (BEL) * * * 101.9 * * * * * * Melbourne
20. Lindsay Davenport (USA) * * * * 100.7 * * * * * * Sydney
* * Martina Hingis (SUI) * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *Melbourne
* * Miriam Oremans (NED) * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *Melbourne
* * Natasha Zvereva (BLR) * * * * * * * * * * * * * * Melbourne



Graf served faster than Pierce in winter of 1997.
And we have to consider that Graf played really bad at AO 97 (was injured).
Her fastest serve ever was 111 mph (at USO 96, IIRC).
With today's rackets she would serve at 120+ mph. Add to that her superior versatility especially at the serve and you know who would be the most fearsome server in women's tennis even today.


And have a look at Davenport!


It's the racket technology, stupid!
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post #2 of 38 (permalink) Old Jun 2nd, 2005, 06:52 PM
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post #3 of 38 (permalink) Old Jun 2nd, 2005, 06:53 PM
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How come other players serve speeds haven't improved because of technology.
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post #4 of 38 (permalink) Old Jun 2nd, 2005, 06:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Calimero377
Flash back in time - how fast Mary Pierce served in 1997.

102.4 mph. Today 16 miles faster.

Better nutrition (energy bars)?
Better technique?
No, different equipment.



SPORTSTICKER TENNIS NOTE * * * *

(through February 23rd, 1997) *

(Courtesy IDS - Information & Display Systems, Inc.) *

Player (Country) * * * * * * * * * *MPH * * * * * * * Site
---------------- * * * * * * * * * *--- * * * * * * * ---- * * *

*1. Brenda Schultz-McCarthy (NED) * 118.1 * * * * * * Paris
*2. Jana Novotna (CZE) * * * * * * *113.1 * * * * * * Paris
*3. Kristie Boogert (NED) * * * * * 111.2 * * * * * * Paris
*4. Yayuk Basuki (INA) * * * * * * *107.5 * * * * * * Melbourne
* * Gloria Pizzichini (ITA) * * * * * * * * * * * * * Melbourne
*6. Irina Spirlea (ROM) * * * * * * 106.3 * * * * * * Melbourne
*7. Helena Sukova (CZE) * * * * * * 105.7 * * * * * * Melbourne
*8. Chanda Rubin (USA) * * * * * * *105.0 * * * * * * Melbourne
*9. Els Callens (BEL) * * * * * * * 104.4 * * * * * * Melbourne
* * Jennifer Capriati (USA) * * * * * * * * * * * * * Sydney
* * Steffi Graf (GER) * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * Melbourne
* * Maria Strandlund (SWE) * * * * * * * * * * * * * *Paris
13. Larisa Neiland (LAT) * * * * * *103.8 * * * * * * Melbourne
14. Corina Morariu (USA) * * * * * *102.5 * * * * * * Melbourne
* * Mary Pierce (FRA) * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * Paris
* * Lisa Raymond (USA) * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *Melbourne
* * Sandrine Testud (FRA) * * * * * * * * * * * * * * Melbourne
* * Radka Zrubakova (SVK) * * * * * * * * * * * * * * Melbourne
19. Dominique Van Roost (BEL) * * * 101.9 * * * * * * Melbourne
20. Lindsay Davenport (USA) * * * * 100.7 * * * * * * Sydney
* * Martina Hingis (SUI) * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *Melbourne
* * Miriam Oremans (NED) * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *Melbourne
* * Natasha Zvereva (BLR) * * * * * * * * * * * * * * Melbourne



Graf served faster than Pierce in winter of 1997.
And we have to consider that Graf played really bad at AO 97 (was injured).
Her fastest serve ever was 111 mph (at USO 96, IIRC).
With today's rackets she would serve at 120+ mph. Add to that her superior versatility especially at the serve and you know who would be the most fearsome server in women's tennis even today.


And have a look at Davenport!


It's the racket technology, stupid!
Amazing with Lindsay. Even nowadays she doesn't have the biggest serves on tour, but she wins the most points out of it for sure, it's so accurate and she's good at serving her way out of 0-40. Steffi's serve would be among the most superior for sure. She was the first player to serve at 100 mph.
By the way, what's Martina's fastest serve, i thought it was 105 mph

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post #5 of 38 (permalink) Old Jun 2nd, 2005, 06:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Calimero377
Flash back in time - how fast Mary Pierce served in 1997.

102.4 mph. Today 16 miles faster.

Better nutrition (energy bars)?
Better technique?
No, different equipment.

[...]

It's the racket technology, stupid!
And here I thought it was the creatine...

"If you practice for ten years, you may begin to please yourself, after 20 years you may become a performer and please the audience, after 30 years you may please even your guru, but you must practice for many more years before you finally become a true artist—then you may please even God." --Ali Akbar Khan, 1922-2009
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post #6 of 38 (permalink) Old Jun 2nd, 2005, 07:00 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Knizzle
How come other players serve speeds haven't improved because of technology.

Which "other players"?


We have Pierce, Capriati and Davenport in that 1997 stats.
I think they are the only ones of those 1997 players who still play today.

And they all serve considerably faster today.
Because of different rackets.
Rackets that give them a lot more power AND at least moderate control at the same time compared to 8 or 10 years ago.
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post #7 of 38 (permalink) Old Jun 2nd, 2005, 07:02 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Albireo
And here I thought it was the creatine...

Pierce took it already 8 years ago ...
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post #8 of 38 (permalink) Old Jun 2nd, 2005, 07:03 PM
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Thing is Mary never was the bar for serving...never was the best server and isnīt now.

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post #9 of 38 (permalink) Old Jun 2nd, 2005, 07:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Knizzle
How come other players serve speeds haven't improved because of technology.
I suspect if you look at the players still around from 1995-1998 it has. Patty is certainly faster and doesn't look like a weightlifter. Maggie is faster? Sandrine got faster. Might even be true too of the williams sisters and the Belgians as time has gone on this century but other things have changed there and some is down to injuries slowing things and weight training improving them.

Graf, Novotna and Mary were three of the biggest servers of their day but you noticed then when you saw a serve over 100 mph. its an interesting point that Mary, the same Mary with a few more years and shoulder injuries, is now hitting it so much faster. She's not looking more muscular and I don't think her serve has changed - its just faster.
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post #10 of 38 (permalink) Old Jun 2nd, 2005, 07:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bandabou
Thing is Mary never was the bar for serving...never was the best server and isnīt now.
she's certainly up there with the best servers
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post #11 of 38 (permalink) Old Jun 2nd, 2005, 07:09 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bandabou
Thing is Mary never was the bar for serving...never was the best server and isnīt now.

Have a look at the other current thread about serve speed (at FO 05).
Pierce is right up there at the top.
Today 118 mph (189 kph).
And 102.4 mph (164 kph) in 1997.

Tells us a lot.
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post #12 of 38 (permalink) Old Jun 2nd, 2005, 07:11 PM
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Yeah..itīs harder, but what is the point?

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post #13 of 38 (permalink) Old Jun 2nd, 2005, 07:15 PM
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Harder doesn't mean its better. Serving hard AND accurate is impressive.
In 1997, you didn't even have to try to serve hard cause it wasn't necessary. Nowadays every girl is trying to speed up her serve in order to keep up.
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post #14 of 38 (permalink) Old Jun 2nd, 2005, 07:22 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bandabou
Yeah..itīs harder, but what is the point?

Many young fanboys and -girls here in GM suggested the the bar had been raised in the last years because "oh, they hit sooo hard today!".
Some even maintained that ASV, Sabatini, Navratilova, Novotna and EVEN Graf would have trouble to beat today's top 10 players!

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post #15 of 38 (permalink) Old Jun 2nd, 2005, 07:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Calimero377
Many young fanboys and -girls here in GM suggested the the bar had been raised in the last years because "oh, they hit sooo hard today!".
Some even maintained that ASV, Sabatini, Navratilova, Novotna and EVEN Graf would have trouble to beat today's top 10 players!


And you of course think that NONE of todayīs players would have even taken a game off Steffi et al, huh?

Only say: respect all greats....greats are greats regardless of era.

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