How Fast Is A Wheelchair Tennis Serve?

A Wheelchair Tennis Player Executing a Shot

Tennis serves represent one of the key components that help players to achieve victory. To perform a serve, players are typically required to make sure of their feet to build momentum.

This begs the question: how can a wheelchair tennis player perform a serve? The answer is in the fact as to how, in order to perform a wheelchair tennis serve, players are required to exert additional force on their shoulders to compensate for the movement in their legs. Although this helps them to add power to their shots, the wheelchair tennis serve can also prove to cause injuries to the athletes.

So, how fast can a wheelchair tennis player serve be? To summarize the answer in a short statement, wheelchair tennis players can generate power that rivals their able-bodied counterparts. The quickest wheelchair tennis serve is recorded to be 180 kilometers per hour. That’s essentially more speed than most regular players can come up with!

For full details on wheelchair tennis, check out our articles on wheelchair tennis history, costs, accessories, eligibility, and full guide.

The Importance of a Tennis Serve

Ready To Serve!

A tennis serve represents one of the most important features of a player’s on-field skills. As a matter of fact, a certain number of players heavily rely on the serve to win matches as a whole. Tennis serves especially come in handy when the match is being played on a surface that supports bounce and speed. Professional tennis athletes often make sure of such courts to score aces.

The implications of a serve equally apply to wheelchair tennis. Although players in this format of the game may have limited physical abilities, a wheelchair tennis serve can still prove to be quite effective when it comes to winning.

Scoring An Ace Through a Wheelchair Tennis Serve

The rules of performing a service are a little different in wheelchair tennis. For this reason, it is quite rare for wheelchair tennis players to score an ace. Surprisingly enough, most people don’t even consider using the term “ace” because how the rules of the game make it difficult for players to score.

In wheelchair tennis, a ball has to bounce thrice before it can be considered a point. Meaning, players have the leverage of being able to hit the ball even after the second bounce.

This rule was originally introduced to accommodate for the lack of movement speed for wheelchair tennis players. At the same time, however, it also meant that players would find it nearly impossible to score a point on serve.

Able-Bodied vs. Wheelchair Tennis: Performing A Serve

A Wheelchair Tennis Player in The Middle of A Game

Traditionally speaking, tennis serves require players to make use of their feet and advance in a position that gives them the opportunity to whack the ball fiercely and accurately. However, we cannot apply the same logic for wheelchair tennis players.

Let’s look at it this way, in able-bodied tennis, the legs play a monumental role in terms of building up strength and momentum. This energy is channeled onto the arm as the player moves the racquet that allows the ball to travel quickly. Wheelchair tennis players cannot inherently do the same.

Since the rules mandate that all players are to be sitting in a wheelchair, athletes of this format are unable to use their legs to their advantage. As a result, they have to heavily rely on their shoulders to build up a similar amount of strength.

Wheelchair tennis players are allowed one push of a wheelchair at the point of taking a serve. In this small timeframe, they have to make use of their shoulder joints to channel energy through to their racquets in order to produce velocity.

Consequently, wheelchair tennis serves to force players to make use of their shoulders and arm movement to strike the ball effectively. In other words, the best tennis serve, in this format, is by players who can effectively make use of their shoulder joints to generate power.

How Can I Improve My Shoulder Strength?

Remember, success doesn’t come over night. It’s important to be patent and not lose hope!

According to research, wheelchair tennis players naturally develop shoulder strength over time. Those who consistently play matches on a frequent basis develop racquet velocity.

Now, this is a term that defines how quickly a player is able to move their racquets. Velocity, in this sense, stands for movement before and after smacking the tennis ball.

The research indicates how shoulder strength habitually develops due to a lack of lower-body movement. Racquet velocity greatly contributes to how effectively a player is able to hit the ball. This also applies in the context of serving.

Thus, if you’re looking to build strength and improve your serve, then the best tactic is consistency. If you practice long enough, your shoulders will automatically become used to force exertion. The strain, in turn, will help to improve your shoulder joints, allowing increased movement in your arms.

What is The Average Speed of a Wheelchair Tennis Serve?

As we have discussed earlier, wheelchair tennis players largely depend upon their shoulders to create the necessary strength. This strength is transferred onto the ball which tends to gain speed accordingly.

With the logic that has been previously defined, we can assume that the average tennis serves for beginners is relatively lower to able-bodied athletes.

So, in the early stages of your wheelchair tennis career, don’t be expecting to smash fireballs across the court. The speed is developed over a period of time and you just have to be a part of the journey through practice!

The story is quite different for professional wheelchair tennis athletes. With their shoulder joints quite used to the pressure and force, players who compete on an international level can serve at a frightening speed ratio.

On an average scale, a wheelchair tennis serve can match the speed of its able-bodied version. As in, their racquet velocities equally rank up to the same rate as those players who can use their legs.

It has been quoted that the fastest serve in wheelchair tennis is about 180 kilometers per hour, approximately. This kind of speed is actually quite higher than what the average tennis player can generate in either format.

What makes it so intriguing is that the player who produced such speed was able to do it without being dependent upon their legs.

The Setbacks of Wheelchair Tennis Serve

Tennis Ball Ready to be Whacked

This should not really come off as a surprise, but implying extra force on only a single part of your body can increase the risks of its injury. In this case, wheelchair tennis players heavily depend upon their shoulder joints to measure their shot effectiveness.

While this is currently the only way for them to do it, there is such a concept of overexerting your shoulder muscles.

Wheelchair tennis players solely make use of their shoulders. This means that the joints are constantly in motion up until the end of the match. Unless the body gets a chance to rest, it is likely for wheelchair tennis players to become prone to injury.

The injury itself can force a player to miss out on action for months!

This is, unfortunately, one of the biggest setbacks of serving in wheelchair tennis. Currently, there is no alternate solution as far as the game is concerned.

However, coaches and healthcare staff make sure that all athletes remain physically fit before and after their matches.

Wheelchair Tennis Serve: Are They Worth It?

In an overall sense, we can safely assume how tennis serves forms an important part of the game. Irrespective of the format, the service is an opportunity for players to score a point and make it easier for them to win the game. In many cases, the service turns out to become the difference between the winner and the loser at the end of the match.

Wheelchair tennis players may, at first, find it difficult to adjust. However, professional players are living examples as to how the only obstacle stopping you from success is yourself. At the end of the day, it all comes down to how much time and effort you are willing to put in.

Quite literally, time and consistency are two factors that can prove your worth in wheelchair tennis. For the shoulder joints to become proactive, players are required to keep themselves engaged in physical training.

Having said all of this, players also need to ensure that they do not end up overexerting their joints. Otherwise, your dreams of becoming a professional wheelchair tennis player can certainly be put on hold.

The ideal approach is to balance out your routine. Local coaches and academies can easily help out when it comes to creating a training plan that can keep you up and running by minimalizing the risks of injury.

For more tips and information about wheelchair tennis, please visit our website to keep yourself updated with the latest news!

Recent Posts