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View Full Version : Myth: Venus Williams hits flat??


Aaron.
Mar 24th, 2012, 06:10 PM
http://wings.avkids.com/Tennis/Project/usspin-04.html

According to this website she had the most RPM (topspin) on her ground strokes however they only compared 10 players...but still she was number one.

What do you guys think? Is it a myth that Venus hits a flat ball?

Tenis Srbija
Mar 24th, 2012, 06:14 PM
Who said she's a flat ball hitter? :confused:

Sammo
Mar 24th, 2012, 06:16 PM
I've always thought that she hits with a tremendous amount of spin, my arm gets tired of just imagining returning her shots

Aaron.
Mar 24th, 2012, 06:18 PM
Who said she's a flat ball hitter? :confused: Tons of people :lol: In Serena's match TTC commentators kept saying how much more spin Serena had on her shots compared to Venus

Foxy
Mar 24th, 2012, 06:20 PM
I never thought Venus hits a flat ball. I've heard her say that she loves to play against flat hitters.

It was Monica Seles who stated that Venus' balls and serves are very deceptive because they are spinning so fast that it's hard to swing at them.

You can tell that Venus hits with a lot of Rpm because the sound of her ball strike is always very fast and crisp as it goes over the net. It's not that heavy sound that you hear when players hit a very flat ball.

Tennisation
Mar 24th, 2012, 06:25 PM
How reliable is that source when Pierce is 2nd and Kournikova is 4th on that list and they are 2 of the flattest hitters of that generation?

Apoleb
Mar 24th, 2012, 06:25 PM
Look at the people she was compared to: Pierce, Kournikova (:spit:), Novotna, Davenport, Seles... All of them are relatively flat hitters.

Venus uses a semi-Western, so yes, it can't be completely flat. And in 99 and such, she used to put a lot more spin for security.

But all in all, she's still a flat striker of the ball.

I'm surprised at Myth landing so low. I thought her shots were deceptively heavy, but it seems she totally lacked pace and top spin. :spit: Flop.

The Witch-king
Mar 24th, 2012, 07:12 PM
IMO the greatest myth in tennis is that hitting slower, loopy balls = more topspin, when the reality is that spin is generated not only by brushing up on the back of the ball but also by very fast/high (what is the appropriate word here?) racket-head speed, which is what Venus has in abundance on her forehand.

Venus's shots often leave her opponents scrambling far behind the baseline not only because of their depth but also the spin imparted when they hit the court. The ball appears to pick up speed when it hits the court. Watch any of the highlights videos of her on youtube, especially against Clijsters and other players at the USO.

Therefore, just because a ball isn't looped high over the net does not mean it does not have incredible amounts of spin on it. Roger Federer is another example of this.

This is all just my own personal theory, of course, as I've never played Venus :inlove:

Tenis Srbija
Mar 24th, 2012, 07:20 PM
IMO the greatest myth in tennis is that hitting slower, loopy balls = more topspin, when the reality is that spin is generated not only by brushing up on the back of the ball but also by very fast/high (what is the appropriate word here?) racket-head speed, which is what Venus has in abundance on her forehand.

Venus's shots often leave her opponents scrambling far behind the baseline not only because of their depth but also the spin imparted when they hit the court. The ball appears to pick up speed when it hits the court. Watch any of the highlights videos of her on youtube, especially against Clijsters and other players at the USO.

Therefore, just because a ball isn't looped high over the net does not mean it does not have incredible amounts of spin on it. Roger Federer is another example of this.

This is all just my own personal theory, of course, as I've never played Venus :inlove:

Exactly! Venus is not hitting the ball flat. Not even near like for example Ivanović....

Nicolás89
Mar 24th, 2012, 07:59 PM
I've always thought her forehand has tremendous top spin, no surprise there.

hingisGOAT
Mar 24th, 2012, 08:06 PM
@ transparent Hingis hater Apoleb; if you watched any tennis in your life time you would know that Hingis' backhand was one of the flattest shots on tour, so OF COURSE it's not going to have high RPMs. Her forehand was her weaker wing, but nonetheless she used topspin more effectively than most to kick the ball up high to her opponent's backhand. RPMs have nothing to do with it.

And yes, Hingis even said back in the day that Venus hits with a lot of spin. (She also said Seles hits the hardest, which I probably agree with) However, as has been pointed out, she only hits with spin compared to all those flat hitters she was being compared with. Her shots are still relatively flat, or somewhere in the middle, like most with a semi-western grip.

shoparound
Mar 24th, 2012, 08:30 PM
True myth is what people consider flat and topspin.
Everyone that's played high level of tennis knows there's not really such a thing as flat hitting. When commentators say they hit "flat" they usually mean the ball is barely over the net (not a lot of margin), or they mean the player hit a deep, heavy shot.

The Witch-king
Mar 24th, 2012, 08:31 PM
And just to add, I think what contributes to the racket-head speed is fact that she holds the end end of the grip in the way she does. So it's almost like a whipping motion on the ball.

pov
Mar 24th, 2012, 08:32 PM
I'm one of those who has thought that she hits relatively flat (low in topspin). And it's all relative. No one hits many balls that are truly flat. Not while getting them in the court anyway. lol. IMO nowadays S. Williams hits with more topspin. V.Williams seems to generate more sidespin.

pov
Mar 24th, 2012, 08:33 PM
True myth is what people consider flat and topspin.
Everyone that's played high level of tennis knows there's not really such a thing as flat hitting.
:yeah: I put that in my reply before I saw your post.

pov
Mar 24th, 2012, 08:43 PM
BTW a "jump-off" effect comes from a combination of forward speed, spin and impact angle. A higher looped ball will always have less of a jump-off, all other factors being similar. Or to put it another way a ball with less spin will have more of a jump-off effect than one with more spin if the impact angle is more acute and the forward speed greater.

The Witch-king
Mar 24th, 2012, 08:59 PM
BTW a "jump-off" effect comes from a combination of forward speed, spin and impact angle. A higher looped ball will always have less of a jump-off, all other factors being similar. Or to put it another way a ball with less spin will have more of a jump-off effect than one with more spin if the impact angle is more acute and the forward speed greater.

I assume this is in response to the staement I made about Venus's shots speeding up when they hit the ground.

Sorry, but I disagree! My understanding of the physics of topspin or the lack in thereof is that when you hit a ball relatively "flat", it causes the ball to travel through the air quicker than BEFORE it hits the surface of the court, after which the result is dependent on the qualities of the surface being played on (ie. staying low/skidding on grass or smooth hard courts; or bouncing high on certain hard courts; unpredictable bounce on clay etc), whereas the forward rotation imparted on a ball when hit with topspin naturally causes the ball to rotate further when it hits the court surface causing your so called 'jump off' effect.

That's why balls that are hit with topspin are described as 'heavy' because they are moving at a more rapid pace to the recipients racket than a less spinny shot. I mean, have you ever heard of/experience a flat hitter being described as pushing their opponents back with their shots? I think that says everything TBH.

n1_and_uh_noone
Mar 24th, 2012, 09:03 PM
I am surprised Pierce is on the higher end, with her minimal swing, it is hard to imagine spin being generated. Kournikova too? With those pancake shots? Hingis surprises too. Not sure one should be taken aback by Seles being a flat hitter.

Overall, too few shots tracked for this analysis to be too meaningful. Maybe one player was tracked on clay and another player on grass, who knows?

Apoleb
Mar 24th, 2012, 09:07 PM
I am surprised Pierce is on the higher end, with her minimal swing, it is hard to imagine spin being generated. Kournikova too? With those pancake shots? Hingis surprises too. Not sure one should be taken aback by Seles being a flat hitter.

Overall, too few shots tracked for this analysis to be too meaningful. Maybe one player was tracked on clay and another player on grass, who knows?

Pierce also has a semi-western no? The thing is just because they hit with some top spin it doesn't mean that they don't also give the ball a lot of linear acceleration that dominate their shots. Also, Pierce's swing on the forehand isn't minimal, which is why she liked the slower surfaces.

BH both wings
Mar 24th, 2012, 09:07 PM
BTW a "jump-off" effect comes from a combination of forward speed, spin and impact angle. A higher looped ball will always have less of a jump-off, all other factors being similar. Or to put it another way a ball with less spin will have more of a jump-off effect than one with more spin if the impact angle is more acute and the forward speed greater.

I don't quite understand your argument here. A more acute impact angle leads to a more acute, that is flatter deflection angle, i.a.w. the ball doesn't jump up on you. Now, both the angle and the curve of the ball after the deflection can be influenced by spin, but a ball with less spin will _not_ jump up. It will, however, lose more speed than a top spin ball by bouncing, it will travel slower. Depending on the surface it will have either a more or less arched way of flight.

hingisGOAT
Mar 24th, 2012, 09:08 PM
I am surprised Pierce is on the higher end, with her minimal swing, it is hard to imagine spin being generated. Kournikova too? With those pancake shots? Hingis surprises too. Not sure one should be taken aback by Seles being a flat hitter.

Overall, too few shots tracked for this analysis to be too meaningful. Maybe one player was tracked on clay and another player on grass, who knows?

Yeah it's definitely safe to say that this list is HIGHLY inaccurate.

The Dawntreader
Mar 24th, 2012, 11:46 PM
Venus used to hit with surprising margin and a slight measure of topspin back in 98/99. In 2000, she started flattening out her forehand in particular, which really improved and ignited her career.

Queen_Vee_92
Mar 24th, 2012, 11:53 PM
Venus used to hit with surprising margin and a slight measure of topspin back in 98/99. In 2000, she started flattening out her forehand in particular, which really improved and ignited her career.


And then i'd say when she went on her good run in the first half of 2010, she added a lot more topspin again, particularly during the clay season, and seemed to be playing with more margin then 2000-09.

Overall though that list is hardly indicative of anything other than a group of mainly flat hitters.Her gameplan clearly has and will always be based on getting an early, first flat strike in for a winner, or to set one up. Don't think we'll see her moonballing a la Pushniacki anytime soon. :oh:

Moveyourfeet
Mar 25th, 2012, 01:03 AM
When a commentator says someone hits flat, they are speaking in relative terms. You have to hit the ball with spin to time the ball well, especially if you are playing someone who hits the ball with a lot of spin.

The fact that Venus matches up well with flat hitters and she prefers to play them, is a corollary of her relatively flat hitting.

DomenicDemaria
Mar 25th, 2012, 01:06 AM
Can't believe how many people are saying Mary Pierce was a flat hitter. She just as Venus hit a very heavy rally ball. They both have the ability to flatten their shots when going for the kill shot.

Pops Maellard
Mar 25th, 2012, 01:14 AM
Vee gets in trouble when she tries to play too spinny. Example:

68mEnknMr3Q

Or against Date at Wimbledon 2011.