posted by Laley23
Ok, had to do some research to see what exactly we are looking at with men’s top 150 vs Serena.
The most important part of the game is the serve. You control the point from the start and it’s typically the best weapon anyone has even on a bad day. Serena’s average first serve is 105. The average first serve of the 150th ranked male, Oscar Otte? 118. He recently lost to Federer in the French 4-6, 3-6, 4-6. In other words...these guys fighting to make the Grand Slams are fucking good. The biggest thing here isn’t that Serena is 13MPH below her theoretical opponent, it’s that she is used to returning serves below 100mph, as the average women don’t get above that. So it’s now a 20mph difference. While the men are routinely used to these serves, and men who serve at 105 on average are broken at around 32% of the time...a lot.
Second is reaction time. Both on return of serve and ground strokes. Serena has a very respectable reaction time of .68. Nick Kyrigos leads the men at .61 (his peak ranking I think was 13). Average for men is .66, still ahead of Serna.
Third is you’re speed. Both top speed and average top speed. Top is the highest sprint speed, average top is any shot you had to run more than 10’ to get to averaged. Simona Halep (since I used her last post) is actually the best on the women’s tour at 14mph...8.5 average. Serena is 12.7 and 8.3 respectively. I can’t find sprint speeds for the average tour player, but Federer is the lowest I can find (17th), and he is at 16.2 and 9.6 respectively. It’s safe to assume the 150th ranked player will still be well ahead of Serena in speed, and as mentioned is ahead in reaction time. So they will consistently be in position to hit a non defensive shot, whereas Serena wouldn’t be.
Less important is groundstroke speed, as serves dictate who is controlling points. But in the case if a cross gender game, this becomes vital. Men have quicker reaction time and are faster. They are typically in position to hit the next shot from a set position vs on the run. Couple that with the ball not coming as hard, and then them hitting it back harder? But for purposes, Serena has an average Forehand speed of 72.6mph. Better than a grand total of 6 players at this year’s Men’s Australian Open. With the average being around 78mph.
Lastly is shot placement. Men clear the net by an average of 7.9 inches and women at close to a foot. Men also hit it closer to the lines, but more importantly they hit it deeper in the court putting opponent further back/defensive. By an average of 9 inches more than the women.
To sum it all up...she stands no chance. The men are stronger, faster, quicker, react faster, hit it harder, hit it with more placement and purpose. It’s hard to see what part of Serena’s game would be good enough to take more than 1-2 games off a men’s player in the top 150.
If I could rep this 100x I would. Great analytical break down. This is will go down as a top 10 underrated post in OC history, but I just want you to know I appreciated reading it.