The Engineering of Sport 7

pp 571-578

Ball Spin Generation at the 2007 Wimbledon Qualifying Tournament (P110)

  • John KelleyAffiliated withSports Engineering Research Group, Sheffield Hallam University
  • , Simon GoodwillAffiliated withSports Engineering Research Group, Sheffield Hallam University
  • , Jamie Capel-DaviesAffiliated withInternational Tennis Federation
  • , Steve HaakeAffiliated withSports Engineering Research Group, Sheffield Hallam University

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The International Tennis Federation (ITF) monitors all aspects of tennis for their role of protecting the nature of the game. One area in which there is limited documented data is ball spin in match play. In previous work, the ball spin generated in the 2007 World Group Davis Cup tie between Switzerland and Spain, played indoors on Taraflex carpet, was studied. This paper uses footage captured from the Wimbledon Qualifying Tournament, an outdoor grass tournament that provides many new issues that need to be dealt with in order to capture high speed video. This paper describes the methods used and highlights the difficulties encountered and how they were overcome. The spin rate was measured prior and post impact to enable analysis of the spin rate generated both from the bounce and by the player. Some of the results are presented with a brief comparison with the previous Davis Cup study. It was intended that the majority of the shots should be of male tennis players however weather conditions limited the number of male matches played on the courts that could be filmed. This meant that the number of usable shots recorded for men was 54 from 4 players, whereas 152 shots for women from 10 players were recorded. All of the players filmed, both male and female, were in the top 300 in the world rankings.

The maximum spin rate values found for women’s serve and forehand are 3529 rpm and 2727 rpm respectively. This study shows that spin rate analysis of outdoor player testing in match conditions using high speed video is feasible and as accurate as previous indoor work.


Tennis Ball Spin Player Testing Competition High Speed Video