Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Forehand Speed and Spin Rates of the ATP Stars

For those of you arrived here after clicking the link from our YouTube channel to find out what the exact spin rates are for the 4 forehands and 1 backhand shown on the Federer video clip…

Here are Fed’s spin rates to the nearest 100 RPMs without further ado:

Forehand #1: 700 RPM

Forehand #2: 2,500 RPM

Forehand #3: 800 RPM

Forehand #4: 3,100 RPM

Backhand #1: 1,800 RPM

The wide variation in the amount of topspin that Federer can generate on his forehand - a 2,400 RPM variation among the 4 forehands shown on the video - is but one of his many remarkable abilities that he has tapped on the way to 16 Grand Slam singles titles.

How he does this, we will discuss in future posts...

Now, if you are curious about BOTH the ball speed AND spin rates for the top ATP players on the forehand, that information – obtained using our own high-speed video footage and custom video analysis software—is listed in the table below.

*The average ball speed and spin rates shown here were measured for forehands struck at “rally speeds” used by the respective players on hard courts in 2009 and 2010.

So, how do top player ball speed and spin values compare to players at other levels?

We’ll eventually present those numbers for college and junior players, and to give you a preview, the difference in forehand speeds and spin is very similar to the differences in serve speed—often 30% or more—we presented in earlier blog posts: (http://www.tennisspeed.com/blogs/2007/07/informal-serve-speed-survey-of-us.html).

Finally, if you watch the Federer video clip very carefully, you might notice something interesting about the way Federer makes contact on the two high-spin forehands on the clip – forehand #2 and forehand #4 – compared to the two lower-spin forehands – forehands #1 and #3…

What’s so interesting about the apparently subtle differences in contact between those forehands?

Well, let me give you a hint…

It has something –well, everything, actually – to do with the question we posed in our last blog post, “The 500 Million Dollar (and Counting) Question of Tennis”.

We’ll start looking at the answer to the “500 million Dollar Question” next time.


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