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Old Aug 7th, 2003, 09:46 PM   #1
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Margaret Court's Serve

Give her the same equipment, training, and racquets, how do you think Madge's serve would stack up against today's big guns in the women's game?
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Old Aug 8th, 2003, 02:12 AM   #2
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I would be a monster serve!
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Old Aug 8th, 2003, 02:38 AM   #3
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Nice to find a Rev Mags fan

Only seeing fleeting footage of her serve, however read enough about it - I would reckon that modern technology would've only enhanced it.

Her 2nd serve was the most dodgiest part of her game, mainly because she couldn't generate enough spin on it. With a modern racquet it may have helped her get a bit more kick on it.
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Old Aug 8th, 2003, 11:51 AM   #4
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why do female players have so much problems with the second serve?
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Old Aug 8th, 2003, 01:40 PM   #5
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why do female players have so much problems with the second serve?
Louloubelle hit it right on the head. Women just can't generate the spin needed for a good second serve. The biggest advantage Serena Williams has is she DOES have spin on the second ball.
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Old Aug 8th, 2003, 03:56 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Rollo
Louloubelle hit it right on the head. Women just can't generate the spin needed for a good second serve. The biggest advantage Serena Williams has is she DOES have spin on the second ball.
Margaret was (and is) a natural left-hander who was taught to play tennis right-handed. I think this had alot to do with her service delivery- she had a flat, hard bomb first serve, and the second serve was basically a carbon copy of the first with less pace- which often leads to double faults, as any tennis player realizes.

I think fitness is the key for women's second serves. Serena is extremely fit and buff around the shoulders and trunk, and she can hit tremendous spin on the second serve because of this. I think the girls realize that a well-spun second serve actually requires greater racquet head speed than the hard flat bomb, but only a few are strong enough to accomplish this.

Can you imagine Margaret's game if she had learned to play left-handed?
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Old Jun 16th, 2004, 02:39 PM   #7
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Margaret Court's Serve

I was watching some old Margaret Court footage from the 1973 U.S. Open last night, and she cracked quite a few hard first serves. Anyone know if her first serve speed was ever timed, and if so, how fast?
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Old Jun 16th, 2004, 05:51 PM   #8
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Oh, and for those who saw Court in her prime, did she often hit leaping overheads such as the one she seems to be hitting in this picture?
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Old Jun 16th, 2004, 06:55 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by samn
Oh, and for those who saw Court in her prime, did she often hit leaping overheads such as the one she seems to be hitting in this picture?
I can't say that I saw her in her prime, however, I do have a couple matches on video, and she does leap on her overheads. I think that particular photo you have is from the 1970 Wimbledon Final versus Billie Jean King. On one point during the 1973 USO semi versus Evert (who gave her tons of lobs) she actually leaps twice to reach two separate backhand overheads in the same point if you can believe it. She was a great athlete- the best in the women's field during her playing days.
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Old Jun 16th, 2004, 07:05 PM   #10
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Alfa: I actually recall a latter 70's article in (I believe) Tennis Week magazine, which documented a WTA serving speed competition in which many of the top women participated in. Indeed, Court did win the contest with a serve that clocked 96 MPH. Others fairly close behind were Navratilova (92MPH?) and I think, Wade. Frankie Durr also participated and surprise, surprise, her serve was too slow to even be measured

During that same period, top speeds for the men were up around 110MPH...

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Old Jun 16th, 2004, 07:15 PM   #11
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Alfa: I actually recall a latter 70's article in (I believe) Tennis Week magazine, which documented a WTA serving speed competition in which many of the top women participated in. Indeed, Court did win the contest with a serve that clocked at 96 MPH. Others fairly close behind were Navratilova (92MPH?) and I think, Wade. Frankie Durr also participated and surprise, surprise, her serve was too slow to even be clocked

During that same period, top speeds for the men were up around 110MPH...
It's interesting to me, because I'm a classic tennis boom product of the King/Riggs fiasco, and back then my favorite players (outside of BJK) were Bjorn Borg, Evonne Goolagong and Virginia Wade. I don't even remember Margaret Court at all. Our family didn't start watching Wimbledon finals on TV until BJK won her last title in 1975, so I missed out on seeing Margaret Court entirely. It was a real treat to actually meet her at the Australian Open 2003, but in reality, kind of strange as well because of not hearing about her when I was young.
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Old Jun 16th, 2004, 07:16 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by alfajeffster
I can't say that I saw her in her prime, however, I do have a couple matches on video, and she does leap on her overheads. I think that particular photo you have is from the 1970 Wimbledon Final versus Billie Jean King. On one point during the 1973 USO semi versus Evert (who gave her tons of lobs) she actually leaps twice to reach two separate backhand overheads in the same point if you can believe it. She was a great athlete- the best in the women's field during her playing days.
So much for the myth that Pete Sampras was the one who introduced the leaping overheads to tennis!
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"A couple of years ago, we nicknamed Steffi Graf's forehand 'Jaws'. And that music would go perfectly when she starts running in to the net, swarming on that little ball." (JoAnne Russell, during the 1988 Wimbledon final between Graf and Navratilova)
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Old Jun 16th, 2004, 07:19 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by samn
So much for the myth that Pete Sampras was the one who introduced the leaping overheads to tennis!
In all fairness to the sweet one, he was decidedly more attractive (IMO) to watch because it was a show shot trademark he developed. I think Margaret was actually having to leap just to reach some of those lobs.
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Old Jun 16th, 2004, 07:25 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by alfajeffster
In all fairness to the sweet one, he was decidedly more attractive (IMO) to watch because it was a show shot trademark he developed. I think Margaret was actually having to leap just to reach some of those lobs.
The "sweet one"? <must resist temptation to say something smart-alecky>
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"A couple of years ago, we nicknamed Steffi Graf's forehand 'Jaws'. And that music would go perfectly when she starts running in to the net, swarming on that little ball." (JoAnne Russell, during the 1988 Wimbledon final between Graf and Navratilova)
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Old Jun 16th, 2004, 07:29 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by samn
The "sweet one"? <must resist temptation to say something smart-alecky>
Unlike many posters here, I can actually take it- so fire away. I've got quite a streak of my own, mind you!
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