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The world's sharpest tennis serves
Around the Academy:

Who's got the fastest serve?

The serve is a crucial part of a tennis player's game.

And nobody on this planet has got a serve as big as the one and only Andy Roddick, whose incredible 155mph effort will certainly take some beating!

Serves have to be powerful and accurate.

Today's tennis stars are hitting the ball faster than ever before.

Some of the biggest hitters on the men's circuit regularly top speeds of over 140mph.

But a blistering serve is not always down to a player's style and physique.

A lot of it is to do with the racquets they use.

Technology has improved the speed of serves
Speed has increased

Instead of the old wooden frames, tennis racquets are now made of lightweight materials such as graphite.

The racquet heads are also larger which means they have a larger sweet spot.

But speed isn't always a good thing.

Many spectators believe the sport is becoming boring to watch because there are less rallies.

Now a new ball has been developed which could slow the game down again.

The new ball is bigger which means it travels through the air slower.

And that could mean bad news for some of the sport's master blasters.


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Pace of the ace
Master blasters
Measuring speed

Ace fact
A player is said to have served an 'ace' when the receiver fails to even touch the ball when attempting their return

Ace fact
The last wooden racquet used in a championship was at Wimbledon in 1988

Ace fact
Tennis great Bjorn Borg won 11 Grand Slam titles in the 1970s and 80s using a wooden racquet
In 1991 Borg made a comeback wanting to prove his old-fashioned wooden racquet was still good enough. But he was blown away by little-known Jordi Arresse using a modern graphite racquet


FROM THE BBC >>
:: The science of tennis



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