View Full Version : Men's vs Women's Tennis (Speed)

VS Fan
Jul 11th, 2002, 12:07 AM
I watched Several Men's matches as well as the Women's matches during Wimbledon.

Tell me if I am wrong.

In the Men's matches the serve speed was generally higher.
110MPH to 140+MPH, however when the men got into rallies, it seemed that the speed of the ball was considerably SLOWER than the shots we see hit by the top women's players. This would include Venus, Serena, Jennifer, Monica, Justine, Daniela, and other top women's players. I would have mentioned Kim, but she lost early, and I didn't get to see her.

Is this my imagination, or is it real. Could someone get a speedgun and check this out??

Jul 11th, 2002, 12:20 AM
Could someone get a speedgun and check this out?

You don't need a speedgun.. Take a taped record of two more or less long baseline rallies ( from men's match and from women's match ), measure duration of the rally ( on your watches), count the number of shots in each rally, and divide one number by another to find an average time-per-shot ratio in each rally. That will give you a pretty good idea of which game is faster.

VS Fan
Jul 11th, 2002, 12:32 AM
Great Idea, Have you done this?? What is the answer??

Jul 11th, 2002, 12:34 AM
No, I never tried it..:)

Jul 11th, 2002, 12:59 AM
A lot of the reason is the women go for broke and generally hit their shots very flat. The men probably rely on more topspin... and goes without saying if they hit their shots flat all the time, their rallies would be a lot more powerful.

Jul 11th, 2002, 01:15 AM
I am absolutely sure that on hardcourts the hardest hitters from WTA would not match even the medium pacers of ATP. I watch it every year at US Open and the difference in pace is very big. On clay it should be even bigger. The interesting surface to compare would be grass.

Jul 11th, 2002, 03:22 AM
Men like Pozzi would be too powerful for the TOP women

Jul 11th, 2002, 03:31 AM
They hit it with around the same speed, but the men use a lot more topspin. Sometimes the women hit it harder. But if you ever see the men whip a shot, go for broke, it is a lot faster.

The only substantial difference between the top men and women anymore is foot speed. The slowest top 20 male is still faster than Serena or Venus Williams.

Jul 11th, 2002, 03:39 AM
Even more than that, Rocksteady.. Male sprinters are at least 10% faster than female sprinters ( about 10 sec for 100 m against 11 sec ), and 10% is a huge difference. 5% is a difference between greatness and mediocrity. I am pretty sure that all Top 100 men will be faster than either of Williamses.

Jul 11th, 2002, 07:36 AM
I doubt that Leyton Hewitt is faster than Serena who has a personal best time of 11.6 in the 100 metres. Leyton was repoterdly timed as his personal best at 11.9. And many people say he's the fastest man in the ATP. Beats me!
Serena is way faster than Kafelnikov!

Jul 11th, 2002, 12:05 PM
SERENA RAN 11.6 100? OH SH!T

Jul 11th, 2002, 12:10 PM
when do tennis players run 100m ????

tennis is so much more than just that,

on court running is totally different from just sprinting. When A man plays a woman you will know who is made to look slow. The power of the shots from a man will make any woman flat footed.

Brian Stewart
Jul 11th, 2002, 06:37 PM
CBS had the entire court wired with a sort of radar device during a "Super Saturday" at the US Open, in either '95 or '96. The purpose was to get readings of the groundstroke speeds. Graf and Seles were in the women's final, and the men's semis included Agassi and Sampras (not in the same match) and I forget who else. They announced the readings at one point. Agassi was hitting at 70 MPH, Graf and Seles each at 68, and the other men were less.

If those numbers sound a bit low, keep in mind that groundstrokes are measured different from serves. Service speeds take the initial thrust. A 140 MPH serve is only traveling 70 MPH when it reaches the opposing baseline. That's why I always got a chuckle when some nimrod announcer would say "X served the ball at 125, and Agassi ripped the return back at 130!". Or when the USTA did those commercials (inaccurately) comparing a tennis serve with a baseball pitch a few years back.

As far as spins go, that's not all cut-and-dried either. Someone had a link to a tennis study done years ago at the US Open. It focused mostly on the men players, with a few shots from the women thrown in. And while the average spin was higher for the men, the fastest spin (RPMs) was registered by Jana Novotna's backhand slice. On a hard court, the friction of the surface is such that it reverses the spin of a sliceshot upon the bounce. Yet Novotna's shot was so heavily spun, it still had backspin on it after the bounce. No other player in the group examined did that. (Note: sample did not include Steffi Graf, whose backhand slice had more "bite" than Jana's.)

We've seen a few of these combined events where they had that all-court gizmo for the men's matches, which could tell you the speed of the various shots. They didn't use it for the women's matches. I would be curious to see a more thorough use of these technologies, and how the readings compare to what the tennis insiders "know".

Williams Rulez
Jul 12th, 2002, 12:08 PM
Oh yes... I heard about the US Open and Jana's slice... Jana's slice was the only slice, men or women, which did not convert to topspin after striking the court. She was the only one that had backspin on it after hit the ground... amazing stuff.