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http://www.dothaneagle.com/gulfcoasteast/dea/sports.apx.-content-articles-DEA-2007-04-18-0009.html

Schultz-McCarthy has fastest serve in history of WTA tour


Wednesday, Apr 18, 2007 - 06:00 AM

She reclaimed the record for the fastest serve in the history of the WTA Tour at 130 mph, having done so during the infancy of her tennis comeback last summer.

Now Brenda Schultz-McCarthy hopes people will once again take notice of her overall game.

“I want to be close to the top 100 in the world at the end of the year,” she said. “That gets me to play another year.”

Now 36, many may wonder why Schultz-McCarthy, once ranked No. 9 in the world, would even have interest in playing on any pro circuit at this point in her life.

She is in Dothan this week participating in the Movie Gallery Pro Tennis Classic at the Westgate Tennis Center, and will play her first match tonight at 6 against Raquel Kops-Jones.

“You can’t get this competition in my hometown, playing in the A leagues,” Schultz-McCarthy quipped.

Quite frankly, Schultz-McCarthy wasn’t interested in a comeback after retiring from the sport in 1999 following surgery for a herniated disc.

She began a tennis camp for youngsters near her hometown of Roanoke, Va., and also ran a tennis academy in south Florida for other aspiring tennis talents.

But when officials of her home country the Netherlands asked her to coach their Fed Cup team two years ago, Schultz-McCarthy found herself back on the court — first as the coach, then as a player.

“The problem was when I got there, I was beating the girls,” she said of her Fed Cup training.
Schultz-McCarthy was then persuaded to play for the team, and someone else was asked to coach.

Following a successful showing in Fed Cup competition, she continued playing team tennis in Holland.

“I figured if my back holds up on red clay for six weeks, maybe I should consider a comeback,” she said. “I beat several good players and said, ‘Man, this is going pretty good.’’’

Thus, the comeback was officially on.

Schultz-McCarthy set the new mark for the fastest serve in the opening round of the Western & Southern Financial Group Women’s Open qualifying tournament held last year in Cincinnati. While she previously set the record at 123 mph during the 1990s, Venus Williams broke the record with a 127 mph serve.

As Schultz-McCarthy was losing in the Cincinnati match, her coach encouraged her to concentrate on trying to set the serving record again. After a couple of serves in the 124-126 range, the 6-foot-2 Schultz-McCarthy let fly with a serve which was recorded at 130 mph.

“Her sister, Serena, played after me and she hit a serve 128 mph and thought she had the new record, breaking her sister’s mark,” Schultz-McCarthy said. “The press told her afterwards that I had hit one 130 mph before her.”

Being able to serve fast has always been a natural part of the game for Schultz-McCarthy.

“Ever since I was 10 years old, I threw the farthest of all the kids,’’ she said. “I always had a fast arm. It’s a talent.”

Being tall also gives her an advantage on the speed of the serve.

“That helps, and the toss has to be right,” she said. “But you’ve got to have a fast arm. It’s something you’re born with.”

She believes her serve has actually become stronger because of a change since her return.

“I’m using my legs more instead of my back,” she said.

In February, Schultz-McCarthy played a pro match in Tokyo and won in the first round. It was then the desire to keep going hit full speed.

“I knew at that time I could do it,” she said. “After that, I started signing up for some tournaments. You have to start from scratch.”
It means playing in small towns against players much younger. It also means being away from her husband.

“He’s always been supportive of me since we met,’’ she said. “At the time we married I was 30 in the world and he was a stock broker and he stopped that to travel with me.

“He was my manager until I hurt my back. Now, he has another job and I’m not going to stop him this time.”

So the two keep in contact by phone as Schultz-McCarthy chases her dream of returning to the elite of tennis.

She said the competition has gotten stronger at every level.

“When I was 18 and you played someone 300 in the world, it was nothing,” she said. “The depth now of the players is so much stronger than when I first started.”

With her competitive nature still going strong, Schultz-McCarthy continues forward.

“The winning (on a pro circuit) is a feeling I can’t get anywhere else,” she said. “Losing is just as bad as it’s always been.”

It’s a challenge that keeps her going.
 

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Im sure Serena has hit some at 129 or close to 130 since though.....
 

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Serena vs Brenda = Maris vs Mantle
 

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After a couple of serves in the 124-126 range, the 6-foot-2 Schultz-McCarthy let fly with a serve which was recorded at 130 mph.

“Her sister, Serena, played after me and she hit a serve 128 mph and thought she had the new record, breaking her sister’s mark,” Schultz-McCarthy said. “The press told her afterwards that I had hit one 130 mph before her.”

Wow!, so in one tournament, Venus went from #1 to #3 on the speed serve chart.
 

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There are somevideos on youtube of her serving at a charity match. I believe she even aced roddick.
 

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Molik will break that one day soon. It's her record for the taking...
 

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