One of the project's main goals was to study and quantify the differences in the way tennis balls bounce on different court surfaces. As a partner in our research, USTA Sports Science, and director of research Dr. Paul Roetert, made that possible at the USTA Player Development Center in Key Biscayne.
Everyone from USTA Player Development and Sports Science was very supportive of our team and helpful to us at every step. In addition to Paul, special recognition goes to his assistant Laura Selby, and to Sports Exercise Specialist Barrett Bugg, who cheerfully arrived to let us into the facility in the very early morning, even on the weekends!
The USTA facility is one of the few places in the world with all four major court surfaces: hard courts, red and green clay, and grass. As the experimental scripts show, we decided to measure the following aspects of the interaction between the ball and the court:
In addition we wanted to test the effect of the fuzz covering on
the flight of the ball. To do this we brought with us a few cans of Wilson
tennis ball "cores." This is the pressurized rubber ball "inside" a
regular tennis ball, that is, the tennis ball without its fuzz!
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