Sabalenka Clocks Higher Average Forehand Speed Than Sinner At Roland Garros

Sabalenka Clocks Higher Average Forehand Speed Than Sinner At Roland Garros

by Nurein Ahmed

Last updated

Aryna Sabalenka is known as a devastating ball striker, but even tennis statisticians were seemingly surprised by what she achieved following her first-round win at Roland Garros.

Sabalenka swatted aside Erika Andreeva, the 19-year-old sister of teen prodigy Mirra Andreeva, in 68 minutes to reach the second round. She dropped just three games in a performance full of zest and composure.

The Belarusian powerhouse tallied 27 winners in the match, three times Andeeva's number, and limited her unforced errors to 16. However, according to Infosys, the number that jumped out from the stats sheet was her average forehand speed, which was recorded at 125 km/h.

When this was compared to men's second seed Jannik Sinner, who was equally impressive in powering past Christopher Eubanks, Sabalenka had a pacey forehand. The Italian's average forehand speed was registered in his opening win at 122 km/h.

The forehand might be the most basic shot in tennis, but it requires excellent technique and timing to perfect it. Moreover, players who want to fire winners at will must generate sufficient power at varying speeds.

This comparison is made because Sabalenka and Sinner are synonymous with their powerful forehands and hyper-aggressive brand of tennis. Their forehand strokes usually have a higher average speed.

The disparity, in this case, can be impacted by factors like the condition of the ball in use (whether worn out or new) and the type of shot (either flat or hit with topspin).

The speed of the shot is also another factor, as players can often choose varying velocities depending on the match situation and the opponent. So, tactically, they don't necessarily go full throttle with the forehand at every shot.

Still, this is a telling reminder of how powerful and effective the Sabalenka forehand is. It's the shot that completely blows opponents off the court, and unfortunately for Andreeva, she just didn't have the skillset to neutralize it.


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