Diversions: Topspin Rates and Revenge Effects

Some fascinating tennis factoids as the Australian Open continues. Peak topspin rates from forehand strokes by player:

  • Andre Agassi: 1,800 rpm
  • Roger Federer: 2,500 rpm
  • Rafael Nadal: 3,200 rpm

      [via IHT]

Then again, all that topspin has consequences, as Sports Science points out:

On the downside, the heavy spin means fewer winners will be hit, because a flatter shot takes time away from the opponent, whereas the higher top-spin shot that clears the net by 2m gives the opponent time to cover the court. This is often evident when Nadal plays, particularly towards the end of last year, when he was perhaps a litte fatigued and hit shots with a little less power and depth. The other problem, which has made the news recently, is the enormous strain on Nadal’s body as a result of the effort that goes into generating that spin. The general consensus is that he is far more injury-prone than Federer, who seems to float around the court.

Revenge effects are a bitch, aren’t they?


  1. There are no words to describe how bocdaious this is.