Tuesday, April 24, 2007

(Informal) Serve Speed Survey of US College and Junior Tennis

Last week, I had the privilege of traveling to the 2007 Easter Bowl Championships in Rancho Mirage, California with my new client, who played in the Girls’ U18 Easter Bowl ITF tournament. During our trip, I wanted to conduct an informal survey of serve speeds demonstrated by the various players that participated in that very prestigious National junior tournament.

As it turned out, I had the opportunity to measure serve speeds for some college and pro players as well. We arrived in LA a few days before the start of the Easter Bowl tournament and caught the very competitive dual match between the #1 ranked Stanford women and the 10th-ranked UCLA women (which ended up 4-3 for Stanford), and I was able to record serve speeds for the Stanford and UCLA players who played #1 and #2 singles. I also recorded the serve speeds of one of the tour players I coach who happened to be in LA that weekend.

Unfortunately, my new client lost her first round match at the Easter Bowl, and we came back to LA and spent two days training at UCLA. During those two days, I was also able to measure the serve speeds of some of the starters(#1, 2, 4 and 6) for the UCLA men’s team, as well as the serve speeds of a Bruin alumnus who is currently ranked in the Top 250 in the ATP rankings.

So, without further ado, here is a brief summary of the serve speeds—for both first and second serves—I measured over the course of our 6 day visit to SoCal. For brevity, I’m reporting the range of serves (fastest and slowest) I measured for each of the levels I observed from ATP to NCAA D1 all the way down to the 14 and under boys and girls at the Easter Bowl.

My “survey” is by no means exhaustive, but I was able to measure a wide range of male and female players from Top 3 seeded players to first-time National tournament participants. Unfortunately, we left the desert before the start of the Boys 18s tournament, so I wasn’t able to take any measurements from their age group.

ATP Men—first serve: 101 to 122 MPH; second serve: 78 to 90 MPH

NCAA Men—first serve: 82 to 104 MPH; second serve: 69 to 85 MPH

NCAA Women—first serve: 64 to 89 MPH; second serve: 64 to 74 MPH

U18 Girls—first serve: 67 to 96 MPH; second serve: 63 to 75 MPH

U16 Boys—first serve: 75 to 105 MPH; second serve: 67 to 82 MPH

U16 Girls—first serve: 65 to 83 MPH; second serve: 58 to 70 MPH

U14 Boys—first serve: 63 to 87 MPH; second serve: 55 to 69 MPH

U14 Girls—first serve: 57 to 73 MPH; second serve: 53 to 64 MPH

Oh, and if you are wondering, the fastest serve I measured (122 MPH) was struck by my pro client who has been training with the SpeedChain since last fall.

I hope you will find these results interesting and informative…


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