February 25, 2011 by Gary McCoy
In the 2010 US Open Final, Rafa Nadal defeated Novak Djokovic 6-4, 5-7, 6-4.
Rafa also defeated Youzhny 2 days earlier in the Semis, Verdasco 2 days prior in the Quarters, Lopez in the 4th round, Simon in the Third, Istomin in the 2nd a day earlier, and Gabashvili to open the tournament. Thats 223 Games in 14 days. Rafa served an average of 5 serves in 112 games during that period.
No good at Math? Thats 560 In-Game serves at 100% Over two weeks. This doesnt include practice- pre match warm-ups, or even overheads during the game.
You know were I’m going now… comparative volume.
Here’s another great tidbit. Nadal’s serve speed increased from 109 MPH in 2009 to 119 MPH in 2010. 119 MPH! Throw in a slicing second serve and there’s his fastball and his breaking ball. Here’s another fact-more like an exclamation point on this topic: It takes Impressive TORQUE on the shoulder to generate speeds to displace a tennis ball at 119 MPH, with an increased the LEVER LENGTH by 27 inches- carrying a weight of 11.60 oz. Add to volume considerations a powerful overhead shot a massive Nadal forehand that looks like a Dennis Eckersley fastball – and finally add lateral, linear and airborne movements that would make Ozzie Smith gasp .
Compared to baseball…It’s like Pitching a complete game every two-three days- and playing the infield with 20-of 27 ground-balls coming your way!
Incredible workloads. Ever wonder why a tennis player at this level has little in the way of shoulder and elbow injuries?
From the point of contact to follow through- the Tennis athlete- maintains possession of the racquet. The deceleration is appropriately and innately balanced from the acceleration production. The neuromechanics of the athletes body prepare and balance the workload.
Think deceleration may not be important to a Pitcher’s overall health? Think Again. We can’t change the process of holding on to the ball- but we can develop some parameters that may reduce the overall wear affect on the athlete.
What are the limits of the human body? Are we training them? Sometimes out of the box comparison is a great opportunity to re-evaluate injury reduction- force production and the heights to which we can drive human athletic progression.