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TENNIS MYTHS – Topspin Bounce

   Many tennis players falsely believe that a topspin hit ball will bounce higher than
a ball with underspin or no spin. What really happens is that the topspin ball falls
from a higher plane than do a slice underspin or flat hit ball. The fact is that the
same tennis ball falling from the same height will always bounce the same height
regardless of the spin on the ball. The topspin ball will not lose as much ball speed
after the bounce as does the underspin ball. So the topspin ball’s second
bounce will be further from its first bounce. Underspin hit balls seem to bounce
lower but they actually bounce closer to their first bounce because they lose more
ball speed during court contact.
   Every ball that is hit will have topspin on it after the bounce. During the bounce
the ground friction will take underspin and change it to topspin so the ball speed is
reduced. Topspin ball does not have stop its topspin rotation and change it, so the
ball speed is not reduced as much as underspin. This results in a topspin ball that
seems to jump back towards the fence while an underspin ball seems to slow and
bounce low.
   This is one of the many reasons why all players wishing to improve their game
should develop topspin on ground strokes and serves.


Doug Hofer, USPTA                www.hofertennis.com             November 27, 2008