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Analytical modelling of the impact of tennis balls on court surface

By R. J. Dignall and Steve Haake


An analytical model was created to stimulate the bounce of a tennis ball normal to a playing surface, based on a spring and a damper in parallel. Experimental data was used to find stiffness and damping coefficients, and to verify the normal model. Balls were projected between 6.7 and 20 ms-1 onto a rigid surface and compared to model predictions. The model was then extended to oblique impacts by introducing a horizontal frictional force. On an acrylic court where the surface is rigid in comparison to the ball, there was a good comparison with experimental data for the outgoing speed, angle and spin. A plot of predicted centre of mass displacement during an oblique impact was an excellent match to experimental co-ordinates

Publisher: Blackwell
Year: 2000
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