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sandy mayer
03-19-2007, 03:25 PM
Connors' serve has often been considered very weak. I agree that his serve was weak compared to other pros, though I remember he served quite well when he won Wimbledon in 82.
Yet like most pros he won the vast majority of his service games. Do you think his serve gave him an advantage, or do do you think the other parts of his game were so good that having a serve which merely started the point was enough for him to win most service games?
If you look at other great champions of his day, they had serves which won many cheap points: Borg, Mac, Lendl, and later: Becker and Edberg (despite its lack of pace). Wilander's serve was weaker than those guys but it looked much more of a weapon than Connors' serve.
I find it amazing Connors had the success he did with such a weak serve.

Moose Malloy
03-19-2007, 04:59 PM
well, he was a lefty, so no matter how bad it was it could be tricky to return(esp in the very fast 70s/80s with so many big events on carpet)

I'm always amazed by Connors footwork, always in position.

christo
03-21-2007, 09:55 AM
serving with a T2000, I'm surprised his shoulder didn't fall off

LttlElvis
03-21-2007, 12:19 PM
As far as pace on the ball, Connors serve appeared relatively weak compared to the other top pros. However, they were always well placed and his purpose was just to get a point in play and grind it out from there.

As far as the T2000, he has to be considered one of the greatest of all times for playing with a piece of cr@p racquet. His longevity and love for the game has always amazed me.

Joeyg
03-21-2007, 12:24 PM
Little Elvis? I thought Elvis's brother was Enis. You know, Elvis the pelvis and Enis the .....

Heavy Metal Tennis Star
03-24-2007, 02:33 PM
Little Elvis? I thought Elvis's brother was Enis. You know, Elvis the pelvis and Enis the .....

hahahahahahahahahahaha enis.

The Gorilla
03-24-2007, 02:38 PM
If connors was right handed he would have been a footnote, that serve was awful, much worse than agassi's.

I am a big fan of connors btw so don't bite my head off.It's just the serve that was crap, maybe because he was so skinny.

sandy mayer
03-24-2007, 02:42 PM
Connors had a good record against Mac even though connors lefty advantage was nullified by Mac being a lefty. How did Connors hold serve?

The Gorilla
03-24-2007, 02:46 PM
Connors had a good record against Mac even though connors lefty advantage was nullified by Mac being a lefty. How did Connors hold serve?

mac broke people by chipping and charging, which was just never gonna work against connors.

sandy mayer
03-24-2007, 03:15 PM
because connors' passing shots were top notch.

NoBadMojo
03-26-2007, 10:44 AM
Connors' serve has often been considered very weak. I agree that his serve was weak compared to other pros, though I remember he served quite well when he won Wimbledon in 82.
Yet like most pros he won the vast majority of his service games. Do you think his serve gave him an advantage, or do do you think the other parts of his game were so good that having a serve which merely started the point was enough for him to win most service games?
If you look at other great champions of his day, they had serves which won many cheap points: Borg, Mac, Lendl, and later: Becker and Edberg (despite its lack of pace). Wilander's serve was weaker than those guys but it looked much more of a weapon than Connors' serve.
I find it amazing Connors had the success he did with such a weak serve.

I think he got away with it because it was both unorthodox and lefty, but in large part because of the gear. he sure didnt take advantage of his leftyness. put up that serve versus a modern ATP service return now and I think Connors would be lucky to hold serve one out of three times.
I think it amazing that Connors was able to do as well he did being coached by his mom! his ball flight didnt match his forehand grip..who hits it flattish with a semi western grip? who knows what grip he used on his serve

sandy mayer
03-27-2007, 06:01 AM
Connors had a great forehand. It was hit hard and accurately. But the grip let him down on skidding balls on certain surfaces.

Pat Cash says that Connors' serve was very accurate and low, and while not hard to return had to be hit upwards to the middle of the court and Connors would then dictate the point by running the opponent round. His devestating groundstrokes meant he could do that. I've read something very similar spoken by Arthur Ashe.

I've been looking at footage of Connors serve volleying and he was good at it surprisingly. He had a great and underrated volley and while many serves came back they were not often attacked and Connors was able to volley the return aggressively.

I'm beginning to think his serve is a little underrated. Certainly not a weapon but not a liability either.

tguru
03-28-2007, 07:14 PM
Guys, I am pretty sure Connors was right handed in other athletic areas. I remember watching him play softball at a tennis event and remember him as being a full righty. This would have ******** his overall power on the lefty serve. I know it did for me. It also gave him a fair forehand and a terrific two hand backhand.

sandy mayer
05-24-2007, 02:43 PM
I just watched the final set of the 82 Wimbledon final between Connors and McEnroe. 70% of Connors serves were either not returned, or (most of the time) forced returns which fell short and could be attacked, or were high enough over the net that Connors could volley down on the ball very aggressively. Clearly Connors' serve did give him a big advantage in the point. The rest of his game was so good he capitalised on weak returns ruthlessly.

Compared to other champions and many pros of Connors day Connors' serve was weak. He hit very few aces and many serves came back. Borg, Mac, Newcombe, Lendl, Tanner, Stockton, Smith, Curren, Becker, Noah, Edberg, Cash et al had much better serves. But Connors' serve was not a liability. He could spin it well, and place it well, and it gave him the advantage in most service points. Connors held far more service games in his career than he lost. The weakness of his serve has been exaggerated.

jaggy
05-24-2007, 03:20 PM
mac broke people by chipping and charging, which was just never gonna work against connors.

I would suggest in 84 Wimbledon final it worked....vbg

CEvertFan
05-24-2007, 04:08 PM
Connors' 1st serve wasn't a strength, but it wasn't a weakness either. He was able to place it well with spin, which mostly prevented it from being overly attacked. The 2nd serve IMO WAS more consistently attackable.

realplayer
05-25-2007, 02:27 AM
I would suggest in 84 Wimbledon final it worked....vbg

Mcenroe played with a graphite racket and Connors still with the t2000. That sure must have been a big disadvantage. He should have switched to a graphite racket.

Cuculain
07-15-2011, 09:37 AM
Mcenroe played with a graphite racket and Connors still with the t2000. That sure must have been a big disadvantage. He should have switched to a graphite racket.

Interesting! i had'nt noticed that before, he had switched to a graphite by the time he played McEnroe in the USOpen semis that year and they had a fantastic match. In fact I think McEnroe lost only 2 sets in that tournament and both of them to Connors!

Limpinhitter
07-15-2011, 03:11 PM
Connors' serve has often been considered very weak. I agree that his serve was weak compared to other pros, though I remember he served quite well when he won Wimbledon in 82.
Yet like most pros he won the vast majority of his service games. Do you think his serve gave him an advantage, or do do you think the other parts of his game were so good that having a serve which merely started the point was enough for him to win most service games?
If you look at other great champions of his day, they had serves which won many cheap points: Borg, Mac, Lendl, and later: Becker and Edberg (despite its lack of pace). Wilander's serve was weaker than those guys but it looked much more of a weapon than Connors' serve.
I find it amazing Connors had the success he did with such a weak serve.

I saw Connors play a team tennis match live in 1974, and his serve was not weak at all. It wasn't a consistently big serve, but, he did pound it pretty hard a few times during that match, and otherwise, he had pinpoint accuracy, great disguise and a lot of movement from left to right. As for his racquet, the T2000 was a very powerful racquet. Plenty of pros used it in the late 60's - early 70's at some point, Butch Buchholz, Clark Graebner and Billy Jean King among them, and it was the most popular rec racquet of the 70's as well. Connor's game was never as powerful with a graphite racquet as it was with the T2000.

BTURNER
07-15-2011, 04:20 PM
I got the feeling many just did not have a good tactical sense of what to try consistently, when returning Connors serve. He fed on power and pace, and was great at anticipating and moving to an agressive return, and the if they went for a one steady deep down the center, he controlled the rally. Johnny Mac used underspin/ slice to good affect but that is far less effective on surfaces other than grass, and Connors had mighty low center of gravity, got under many such approaches in plenty of time whn lesser mortals tried it routinely.

Stuart S
08-10-2011, 02:43 AM
I did think Connors' serve wasn't great, and it speaks volumes for the rest of his game that he eventually won eight majors.

However, someone said earlier on this thread that Pat Cash found the Connors serve low and difficult. I recall watching those two in a semi-final at Queen's Club, London in June 87, which Connors won. Connors' serve was pretty effective that day, frequently taking right-hander Cash out wide on the ad court, sometimes even beyond the tramlines. So while lacking pace, Connors could sometimes (when his serve was going right) pressurise right-handers with very wide (and spinning) placements.

Coach Carter
08-10-2011, 05:44 AM
Little Elvis? I thought Elvis's brother was Enis. You know, Elvis the pelvis and Enis the .....

nope, it was Stelvis

jrepac
08-10-2011, 07:43 PM
Guys, I am pretty sure Connors was right handed in other athletic areas. I remember watching him play softball at a tennis event and remember him as being a full righty. This would have ******** his overall power on the lefty serve. I know it did for me. It also gave him a fair forehand and a terrific two hand backhand.

I wish I had that "fair" forehand :)