Now, math formula to help tennis players hit 'perfect' serves
London, July 2 (ANI): A maths professor has created an equation that he claims will guarantee the perfect tennis serve, first time and every time.
Dr Nick Ovenden, a lecturer in applied mathematics at University College London, said his mathematical formula could help tennis players hit 'perfect' serve - a fast, flat serve that hits the same spot every time, but with unpredictable top spin.
"A fast tennis serve is great, if you have a fast serve that's wonderful but if you keep doing the same serve over and over again your opponents will be able to respond to it. You need to put some degree of uncertainty into it whilst still having control," the Daily Mail quoted Dr Ovenden as explaining.
Players use spin to create that uncertainty, adding either top spin or side spin to their serve, he noted.
He said that spin changes the trajectory of the ball through the air, something called the 'Magnus effect'.
Varying degrees of spin either pull the ball down to the ground faster, giving a higher bounce, or cause it to curve.
According to Dr Ovenden, a typical player can spin the ball at 2,000-2,500 revolutions per minute. And despite a difference in service speeds between men and women, their spin rates are often similar.
He said he has calculated an equation that will help players serve a ball into the same spot of the service box as if they played a fast flat serve - but with topspin.
"The equation doesn't tell you how you should move the racquet, it tells you how the ball should be moving when it leaves the racquet," Dr Ovenden stated.
"It gives you a nice relationship between the speed you hit the ball at, the spin you put on it, and the angle you aim it up and down. It tells you which way the ball goes and how," he added.
The equation relates to serve speed, height of the ball when it is hit, and the ball's angle of elevation as it leaves the racket, along with the top spin in revolutions per second.
Other fixed parameters are the horizontal distance the ball has to cover, around 18-19 metres, the impact of aerodynamic drag per metre travelled, and the Magnus force effect.
Dr Ovenden said the formula shows how putting top spin on the ball reduces the left-hand side of the equation so the player has to alter the serve in another way to rebalance it.
Serving with top spin must be compensated for, he said, either by stretching the height of the serve, increasing the speed, or slightly increasing the elevation angle.
But he said despite finding the mathematical formula, he does not plan on replacing tennis coaches.
"I'm not aiming to replace tennis coaches, because they can tell you exactly how to do this," he said. (ANI)
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