Posts Tagged ‘court dimensions’


Could you return Andy Murray’s serve?

January 29, 2015


Mathspig is, like, soooooo excited. Tonight I’m gong to watch



Tomas Berdych (CZE) [7] play Andy Murray (GBR) [6] in the Semi-finals at the Australian Tennis Open.

Andy Murray

Andy Murray

Some quick maths.

Tomas Berdych is 1.96 METRES (6 FT. 5 IN.) 

While Andy Murray is 1.91 METRES (6 FT. 3 IN.)

But, but, but …. Andy Murray, who is 26 years old and is 2 years younger than Berdych.

Would you be able to return the serve of a top tennis player?

Here is the serve speed of the of the fastest recorded tennis serves in the world:

1. Top 10 Tennis Serve Speed


How long would it take a tennis ball traveling at these speeds to reach the service line on the other side of the court?

2a Mathspig Tennis Serve 2 maths

BUT … BUT … BUT … 

The tennis ball leaves the servers racket approx 3m above the baseline and travels along the hypotenuse to the service line. We must call in Pythagorus Theorem!!!!

Tennis pythagoras


You can calculate the time it takes a tennis ball to reach the service line for each player in the Top 10 Service Speeds List by using the simple v = x/t equation.

The big question is this:

How fast is YOUR reaction time?

You have to be able to move your racket before the ball arrives.

Can you do it mathspiggies?

You can calculate your reaction time by two methods:

1. The meter rule Method:

3 Drop test 2

4 Reaction Time Chart 2

See details at Top End Sports Website.

2. Online Reaction Time Test

This is the best reaction time clock I’ve seen because it uses a traffic light system. Here is Mathspig’s reaction time:

mathspoig reaction time

Mathspigs reaction time was : 0.33 secs (see above)

So Mathspig would probably be hit on the head by a serve by Samuel Groth.

Could you return Andy Murray’s serve? 

According to Wikipedia fastest service speed times for these two players are:

Andy Murray = 233 km/h (145 mph)

Tomas Berdych = 226.0 km/h (140.4 mph)

Tomas Berdych service speed just beats the fastest female tennis serve by Barbora Záhlavová-Strýcová at 225 km/h (140 mph).

Could Mathspig react in time to return Andy Murray’s server? Could you react in time?

5a Mathspig Andy Murray

Tomas Berdych’s serve would hit the line after 0.29 secs. Once again, I’d still be hit on the head. Ditto the top female tennis players.

Mathspig might lose if she played in the Aussie Tennis Open, but I’m a pig. I’d win serve GRUNT of the match. Ha!