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View Full Version : Who's the best server of the 1990s?


laurie
04-07-2007, 03:28 PM
I don't think we've ever done a poll to answer this definitive question. There were about 8 guys who brought something special to the art of serving plus had the games to back up their serves. Consequently unlike players like Dent, Karlovic and Myrni today - these players had good results on all surfaces and all won 15 tournaments or more in their career (except Rafter who won 11 but two were slams).

So, as a package of first and second serves, the ability to hit pace, topspin and slice and backing up their serve, who is the definitive best?

Goran Ivanesivic
Richard Krajicek
Boris Becker
Michael Stich
Pete Sampras
Stefan Edberg
Patrick Rafter
Greg Rusedski

I decided not to include Mark Phillipousis because his career has been so wayward it's hard to judge him sincerely.

bigfoot910
04-07-2007, 04:07 PM
Sampras is arguably the best server in the open era, not just the 90's. His dominance with his serve was not because of un-godly pace, it was the result of spins, placements, and the ability to hit any of his serves perfectly disguised by the same toss. His first serve isn't really what sells me on this topic, it was his second. He defined what a second serve should be. There are players on the tour that did not have as dominant a first serve as Pete had for a second. He could bring the same heat as his first, but put unreal amounts of spin and placement to confound his opponents. How else could he go so long without being broken all those years. Figuring out when Sampras would be broken next is kinda like figuring out when Federer will lose again.

jmsx521
04-07-2007, 04:21 PM
Marc Rosset :)

AndrewD
04-07-2007, 04:25 PM
The question is screwy. You're either asking who had the best serve or which player with a great serve had the best overall game ("backing up their serve"). If the latter is the case, why would you include Rusedski?

Regardless, if you're asking who had the best " package of first and second serves, the ability to hit pace, topspin and slice" then it wouldn't be any of the guys you listed. Sampras pulled out the big serves when needed HOWEVER, he didn't have anything like the variety on serve of John McEnroe or, at the end of the 90's, Wayne Arthurs.

laurie
04-07-2007, 04:52 PM
Well, whether we (or you) like Rusedski or not, he got to number 4 in the world, reached a US Open final, won Paris Bercy, won the Grand Slam Cup in Munchen (Munich), won 4 grass tournaments (Henman never even won 1 grass tournament in his career) and he won 16 tournaments. that's not bad by anyone's book. So I think he deserves to be in the poll.

After all, having a good serve is just part of the validation of been a good player. That's why we talk about these players on a daily basis and not the likes of Wayne Arthurs or Ivo Karlovic. In fact, until I read this the name Wayne Arthurs never even entered my head.

drakulie
04-07-2007, 04:58 PM
Pete Sampras. No doubt!

Andres
04-07-2007, 05:08 PM
Goran Ivanisevic. Count the aces, the services winners!
It's all there, baby!!! :D

WhiteSox05CA
04-07-2007, 05:33 PM
No brainer. PETE SAMPRAS! FO-SHO!

mardy_fish
04-07-2007, 05:34 PM
two words: pete sampras

MEAC_ALLAMERICAN
04-07-2007, 06:36 PM
Pete Sampras: Motion, Placement, Speed, Angles, 2nd Serve... U name it, he had it by a long shot

Shaolin
04-07-2007, 06:48 PM
Ivo when he was "on". Becker indoors. Sampras overall. I miss the 90s, such awesome tennis.

pj80
04-07-2007, 06:48 PM
goran, pete was close second

gonzo2000
04-08-2007, 12:25 PM
Pete's first serve had power, accuracy and consistency. His second was no slouch either.

oscar_2424
04-08-2007, 01:28 PM
Pete first, Ivanisevic second.

chiru
04-08-2007, 02:12 PM
I think Ivanisevic had the most devastating serve ever. However he was real inconsistent with it. He had the sort of "blow you away" ability but day in day out Pete Sampras is best server in open era.

AndrewD
04-08-2007, 03:04 PM
After all, having a good serve is just part of the validation of been a good player.

The question in the title is, 'Who's the best server of the 1990's?', not 'Who was the best player to have had a big serve in the 1990's?'.

laurie
04-08-2007, 03:19 PM
Andrew, by trying to make yourself look clever, you are in fact making youself look stupid.

Everyone knows Stefan Edberg nor Patrick Rafter are not big servers and I put them in the poll. There were great placement servers, had great kick serves and backed it up with good volleys. It's got nothing to do with big serves.

Give it up, you don't like Rusedski - admit it. he actually has a vote in the poll.

Sorry, no Wayne Arthurs ( he looked like Blakey from On the Buses - British comedy from the 1970s).

whynot
04-08-2007, 03:38 PM
I think Shoalin hit it perfectly. When Goran had his serve going, it was almost unstoppable, best ever, but Sampras served huge practically every match. We forget sometimes how good Becker served on the big points. Those are my top three.

vkartikv
04-08-2007, 04:03 PM
Forget the 90s, I think all those names will be there in the all-time best list!

vkartikv
04-08-2007, 04:05 PM
Many people here haven't seen BB and Edberg play. BB was all power while Edberg had pinpoint precision and kick that helped him get to the net quickly and put away easy volleys. Rafter had great kick too and didn't mind getting down and dirty. Sampras had everything. But Ivanisevic had the best.

Pushmaster
04-08-2007, 04:08 PM
Sampras, of course.

andreh
04-09-2007, 03:22 AM
In 1990-1991 Edberg's statistic for holding his service games were above 90%, better than Becker for instance in the same years. And yet, not a single vote??? (The numbers are quoted in Gilberts "winning ugly")

larlarbd
04-09-2007, 03:59 AM
Pete Sampras. No doubt!

I second that . The King of Swing .

larlarbd
04-09-2007, 04:01 AM
In 1990-1991 Edberg's statistic for holding his service games were above 90%, better than Becker for instance in the same years. And yet, not a single vote??? (The numbers are quoted in Gilberts "winning ugly")

Umm , Yeah man Edberg did deserve atleast a 2nd/3rd place in the 90's category - he earned the respect.

Jules
04-10-2007, 04:42 AM
Pistol Pete

sarpmas
04-10-2007, 08:27 PM
For total package, Sampras hands down. But Goran is just a whisker behind. Even Sampras would like to own Goran's serve!

caulcano
04-12-2007, 07:11 AM
I think Shoalin hit it perfectly. When Goran had his serve going, it was almost unstoppable, best ever, but Sampras served huge practically every match. We forget sometimes how good Becker served on the big points. Those are my top three.

I agree with that.

Rabbit
04-12-2007, 07:52 AM
I love to watch Richard Krajicek serve and volley. IMO, he had the best serve and volley game on the planet. On the down side, he was injured quite a bit but provided Sampras with more than enough trouble. I think RK and Ivo were the two Sampras feared most.

gdsballer
04-12-2007, 08:02 AM
honestly guys nadal has the best serve i think any of us has ever seen

Pro Staff Pete
04-12-2007, 08:05 AM
I love to watch Richard Krajicek serve and volley. IMO, he had the best serve and volley game on the planet. On the down side, he was injured quite a bit but provided Sampras with more than enough trouble. I think RK and Ivo were the two Sampras feared most.

Absolutely :) Well said.

vive le beau jeu !
04-12-2007, 08:06 AM
Many people here haven't seen BB and Edberg play. BB was all power while Edberg had pinpoint precision and kick that helped him get to the net quickly and put away easy volleys. Rafter had great kick too and didn't mind getting down and dirty. Sampras had everything. But Ivanisevic had the best.
i agree with this... i'll take this one ! ;)

goran is the king of aces !

BounceHitBounceHit
04-12-2007, 08:57 AM
Petey and b/c of his other-worldly, hard to comprehend just how good it was, SECOND serve. ;) CC

haerdalis
04-12-2007, 10:22 AM
I love to watch Richard Krajicek serve and volley. IMO, he had the best serve and volley game on the planet. On the down side, he was injured quite a bit but provided Sampras with more than enough trouble. I think RK and Ivo were the two Sampras feared most.
My thoughts exactly! Krajicek was one hell of a player. Very clean serve and also very devastating and superb volleys. He didnt move as well as Edberg but his volleys were as good I think.

laurie
04-13-2007, 10:29 AM
I'm surprised Richard Krajicek hasn't got more votes.

supertennis
04-14-2007, 07:23 PM
Pete Sampras

CEvertFan
04-14-2007, 07:30 PM
1. Sampras
2. Ivanisevic
3. Becker

Dark Victory
04-16-2007, 08:45 PM
First serve, it's Goran. Second serve, Pete. Down the T, Krajicek. Out wide, Goran. Pete had the best spin and disguise on his serve, Krajicek on the other hand, hit it flat the best. All in all though, I think it's general knowledge that Pete had the best overall service package. I picked Krajicek though seeing as how I think he at least deserves more votes. That guy arguably had the cleanest, most economical and least effort-requiring serve. His ball toss was very low and when he whacked it, the ball flew like a bullet from a shotgun.

!Tym
04-16-2007, 10:24 PM
First serve, it's Goran. Second serve, Pete. Down the T, Krajicek. Out wide, Goran. Pete had the best spin and disguise on his serve, Krajicek on the other hand, hit it flat the best. All in all though, I think it's general knowledge that Pete had the best overall service package. I picked Krajicek though seeing as how I think he at least deserves more votes. That guy arguably had the cleanest, most economical and least effort-requiring serve. His ball toss was very low and when he whacked it, the ball flew like a bullet from a shotgun.


Agree with much of this, except the disguise part.

Down the T and flat, it's as you said, Krajieck. First serve, definitely, Goran. Swing you WAY out wide, it's definitely Goran again. Overall well-roundedness and clutchness, it's Sampras and Becker, but Sampras just a little better overall. Second serve, definitely Sampras. However, in terms of disguise, it's definitely Stich in my opinion. Goran said Stich's serve was actually the hardest serve for him to return of all the big servers of his day, he said it was because every one of his serves looked the same to him, he couldn't read it at all. Stich's motion was so laid-back, it looked like he didn't put an ounce of energy into it, but boy could he move it around the box with pin point placement and tremendous reach. Goran was right though, it was REALLY hard to read Stich's serve simply because everything was so laid-back about it, then BOOM, it went somewhere and you were either there or you ain't.

Still, I think it's safe to say all of these guys when they were having a good serving day and on the lightning fast courts of the 90s, you could pretty much forget about it.

Guy Forget and Marc Rosset were also unbelievably good servers, but they're not mentioned as much because overall they were never quite elite players. Though Forget, according to John Lloyd, had the game and talent to be, should have been, in fact; but his head was never good enough to allow him to take the next step.

!Tym
04-16-2007, 10:26 PM
Edberg and Rafter, by the way, have NO business being on this list period. Edberg with Rosset or Forget's serves would have been unfair! Can you imagine what Edberg could have done with the ammount of sitting duck volleys he would have got had he had those guys serves? It would have been game over for practically everyone.

!Tym
04-16-2007, 10:30 PM
Btw, Goran should get the #1 vote in my opinion, simply because he got the most mileage out of having just one single, formidable weapon than anyone. All of the other guys had something else too, whereas Goran was more or less average in every category except his serve, so when you consider how much success he did have in his career, coupled with how positively WISHY-WASHY his competitive effort and focus was from match to match, AND add that he was basically a choker when it came right down to it?

That's SINGULARLY pretty darn impressive what he did.

chrisplchs
04-17-2007, 04:30 AM
Sampras had the best serve package of the 90s. His first serve was good, but it was his second serve that really stood out.

Goran's serve is probably the most dominant though but his lack of expertise on the other aspect of his game

Ronny
04-17-2007, 04:55 AM
where is karlovic on that list? surely he is better than greg rudeski

laurie
04-17-2007, 11:22 AM
where is karlovic on that list? surely he is better than greg rudeski

You are in Former Pro Player talk my friend. The thread clearly states from the 1990s although 5 of them did play into the noughties.

Karlovic does serve in the spirit of the 1990s guys. Having seen him play once he does seem to put a lot of spin on his 1st serve at pace. Many players today hit their 1st serve too flat unles they are going out wide.

Samp
04-17-2007, 01:08 PM
pete sampras for both first and second serves

Pete Semper
04-20-2007, 07:46 AM
C'mon yall, Michael Stich serve is way underrated ! In a french interview Courier said Stich was the best server he ever met.

oscar_2424
04-20-2007, 08:34 AM
Pete Sampras.

EZRA
04-20-2007, 08:44 AM
Goran Ivanisevic - best server ever... not just the 90's. Pace+Placement .. Sampras just seems like an obvious choice `cause he's got the game and results to back up his serve. But if we're merely talking about serve alone... Goran got the be all and end all of all serves. Too bad he's got 3 people up in his head arguing on how to play after he serves.

Michael Stich's serve has the most graceful and fluid motion ever. He make it seem so easy.. effortless.

My top 3 would be:
Goran
Pete
Stich

vive le beau jeu !
04-21-2007, 02:13 AM
Goran Ivanisevic - best server ever... not just the 90's. Pace+Placement .. Sampras just seems like an obvious choice `cause he's got the game and results to back up his serve. But if we're merely talking about serve alone... Goran got the be all and end all of all serves. Too bad he's got 3 people up in his head arguing on how to play after he serves.
eheh... the good goran, the bad goran and the 911 goran ? ;)

A.Davidson
04-21-2007, 03:32 AM
Ivanisevic did pick up plenty of aces and winners, but Pete's serve wasn't just powerful - it scared people. Plenty of good players who were normally very solid "choked" facing that godly touch, power, and spin. Pete Sampras was the best player of the decade largely because he had the best serve of the decade. We could argue about the GOAT serve, but...That's for another day.

EZRA
04-21-2007, 05:35 AM
eheh... the good goran, the bad goran and the 911 goran ? ;)

Exactly - and sad thing is, the 911 Goran doesn't show up most of the time to control the other 2.

Pete's service game is feared throughout the tour not mainly because of his serve itself but partly because of the game that supports his serve. In Goran's case .. it's his serve that is feared by everyone... not so much on his game though.

avmoghe
04-24-2007, 12:39 AM
Goran Ivanisevic had the greatest first serve in history. There is no debate about that.

Sampras probably had the best second serve.

Still, if the game was reduced to just serves... Ivanisevic would be the GOAT. He gets my vote...

kiki
04-04-2011, 01:52 PM
I don't think we've ever done a poll to answer this definitive question. There were about 8 guys who brought something special to the art of serving plus had the games to back up their serves. Consequently unlike players like Dent, Karlovic and Myrni today - these players had good results on all surfaces and all won 15 tournaments or more in their career (except Rafter who won 11 but two were slams).

So, as a package of first and second serves, the ability to hit pace, topspin and slice and backing up their serve, who is the definitive best?

Goran Ivanesivic
Richard Krajicek
Boris Becker
Michael Stich
Pete Sampras
Stefan Edberg
Patrick Rafter
Greg Rusedski

I decided not to include Mark Phillipousis because his career has been so wayward it's hard to judge him sincerely.

Todd Martin and Wheaton should be in the pack, too

kiki
04-04-2011, 01:55 PM
1990´s is the best decade any time for big serving: Sampras,Becker,Ivanisevic,Krajicek,Rosset,Forget,R usedski,Philipousis,Stich,Kafelnikov,Medvedev,Raft er,Edberg,Martin,Wheaton,Henman...wohwww

Ludwig von Mises
04-04-2011, 05:19 PM
I know Pete is great and a way better player than anyone on else on the list or of his era but who can really argue that his serve can rival Goran Ivanesivic?

I also think that Richard Krajicek has a bigger serve than Pete and Stich is close. Rusedski has more MPH's of course but the Sampras serve was bigger overall (Placement, spin, variety, 2nd serve, etc).

So ,I say Pete is number 3 in the 1990's.

Interesting side note; who out there saw Tanner play a lot?

What would the consensus be of the Sampras serve vs. the Tanner serve? I am too young to really judge Tanner but my stringer (an absolute maestro with the strings and ex-tour veteran) used to string for Conners, and he also played against Tanner. He says that the Tanner serve does not compare well to, say, the Roddick serve. Given Roscoe's service motion (I have seen some of him) I find this hard to believe; that motion of his was just so sweet and powerful. Thoughts?

NonP
04-04-2011, 07:30 PM
I know Pete is great and a way better player than anyone on else on the list or of his era but who can really argue that his serve can rival Goran Ivanesivic?

I also think that Richard Krajicek has a bigger serve than Pete and Stich is close. Rusedski has more MPH's of course but the Sampras serve was bigger overall (Placement, spin, variety, 2nd serve, etc).

So ,I say Pete is number 3 in the 1990's.

Though I do think Goran's serve was superior to Pete's as a pure stand-alone shot, you should also consider the Yank's nonpareil 2nd serve and, most importantly, his reliability in the clutch. This and many other issues have been discussed on this thread dedicated to the greatest serves of all time:

http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=306579

And another thing about the Sampras serve is that he almost always has a very high # of unreturned serves--usually above 40% and sometimes approaching or even above 50% of all his serves--even in matches where his opponent out-aces him. Among the possible factors, I'd say the biggest one is the high topspin component that John Yandell has talked about in one of his articles. Check out these stats (and the previous discussion) if you're interested:

http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?p=5293727#post5293727

I also agree that Krajicek might well have had a bigger 1st serve than Pete. In fact, if we're talking about the three bomb-throwers at their very best, it's quite debatable if Goran and Karlovic do have a bigger 1st serve than Krajicek, and I say this as someone who does think the Croats are tops as pure servers.

Where Krajicek suffers, IMO, is in the 2nd serve. Now his 2nd serve was not bad by any means--it was a heavy kicker that caused plenty of headaches for one-handers like Pete--but it could be somewhat predictable. Compared that of the other big servers of the '90s, it was rather lacking. But then you could say that it's hard to come out ahead among this illustrious group, and that Karlovic himself is not known for a devastating 2nd serve. It's a close call.

As for Rusedski, his problem was that he often had to take off some mph to get his percentages up. I really recommend reading through the GSOAT thread when you have time. All these issues have been been discussed there, and many excellent points raised.

Interesting side note; who out there saw Tanner play a lot?

What would the consensus be of the Sampras serve vs. the Tanner serve? I am too young to really judge Tanner but my stringer (an absolute maestro with the strings and ex-tour veteran) used to string for Conners, and he also played against Tanner. He says that the Tanner serve does not compare well to, say, the Roddick serve. Given Roscoe's service motion (I have seen some of him) I find this hard to believe; that motion of his was just so sweet and powerful. Thoughts?

Datacipher can better answer this question, but to wit, Tanner's motion was superior to Roddick in that it was all but impossible to read. In fact Curren is perhaps the only one whose motion might've been even more unreadable. And Tanner's top-end speeds were probably comparable to Roddick's. His main problem, particularly when compared to Roddick, was that he didn't have a large margin for error. Again this was also covered on that GSOAT thread.

Ludwig von Mises
04-04-2011, 08:39 PM
Datacipher can better answer this question, but to wit, Tanner's motion was superior to Roddick in that it was all but impossible to read. In fact Curren is perhaps the only one whose motion might've been even more unreadable. And Tanner's top-end speeds were probably comparable to Roddick's. His main problem, particularly when compared to Roddick, was that he didn't have a large margin for error. Again this was also covered on that GSOAT thread.[/QUOTE]

Yes, Curren's motion was unbelievable. In today's game do you think that Dolgopolov, while not having the same MPH and leverage as Curren, Kraijcek, Tanner, etc; has a similar type of unpredictable type of nature?

NonP
04-04-2011, 09:32 PM
Yes, Curren's motion was unbelievable. In today's game do you think that Dolgopolov, while not having the same MPH and leverage as Curren, Kraijcek, Tanner, etc; has a similar type of unpredictable type of nature?

If we're talking unpredictability only, Dolgopolov is in a class of his own. :)

In all seriousness, he's got the same problem as Curren and Tanner in that he has a low margin for error. I see that he's made only 53% of 1st serves so far this year. Even Curren and Tanner used to get more 1st serves in, I believe, and maybe Stich and Arthurs, too. At least he's better than Chang.

I know Rios could pop big 1st serves without sacrificing his percentages. I hope Dolgo can do it too, 'cause he's easily my favorite of the newcomers. I love this kid's game: very unpredictable and error-prone, but absolutely exciting when on.

Tshooter
04-04-2011, 11:14 PM
"Interesting side note; who out there saw Tanner play a lot? "

Me. (guys backhand sucked by the way. Like Rusedski's)

Put me down for Sampras. Sampras was ROCK SOLID. In addition, back in Tanner's day the second serve was a much weaker shot then in the Sampras era. Sampras second serve was MUCH better.

I get cramps
04-05-2011, 03:24 AM
. Sampras pulled out the big serves when needed HOWEVER, he didn't have anything like the variety on serve of John McEnroe or, at the end of the 90's, Wayne Arthurs.

The 2004 members of the spanish Davis Cup team -Moyà, Ferrero, Robredo, etc- when asked about Roddicks' serve -they were facing the USA in the finals- said that it wasn't Andy's serve the most devastating on tour but Arthur's.

I get cramps
04-05-2011, 03:26 AM
The 2004 members of the spanish Davis Cup team -Moyà, Ferrero, Robredo, etc- when asked about Roddicks' serve -they were facing the USA in the finals- said that it wasn't Andy's serve the most devastating on tour but Arthur's.

Sorry, Arthurs'.

ibbi
04-05-2011, 11:45 AM
The answer is obviously Sampras, and I think that pretty much goes for every decade, not just the 90s. Especially when, as seen by this list, the decade was populated by many fine servers.

MethodTennis
04-05-2011, 01:55 PM
bet if this wasnt a US based forum sampras wouldnt win -.-

pc1
04-05-2011, 02:16 PM
bet if this wasnt a US based forum sampras wouldnt win -.-

Sampras led the ATP most of the years in the 1990's in percentage of holding serve. Whether this is a US based forum or not that is a fact. He was always among the leaders in the other years.

My personal choices for the 1990's would be between Goran or Sampras and I would probably choose Sampras because of his superior second serve.

Datacipher
04-05-2011, 02:28 PM
bet if this wasnt a US based forum sampras wouldnt win -.-

There is lot of bias then in non-US based forums? Who would they vote for?

Datacipher
04-05-2011, 02:36 PM
Datacipher can better answer this question, but to wit, Tanner's motion was superior to Roddick in that it was all but impossible to read. In fact Curren is perhaps the only one whose motion might've been even more unreadable. And Tanner's top-end speeds were probably comparable to Roddick's. His main problem, particularly when compared to Roddick, was that he didn't have a large margin for error. Again this was also covered on that GSOAT thread.

Thanks NonP. Tanner's motion was far superior to Roddick's in terms of biomechanics and aesthetics....and as you point out...disguise.

Having said that, I would probably say Roddick's serve is better overall (better percentages) due almost entirely to his height and reach advantage over Roscoe, as well as his bigger 2nd serve. While Roscoe could match Andy on the top-end, I think day-in and day-out, Andy goes faster, and has a better chance of getting it in, when he picks up the speed.

But, if they are both "on", Roscoe's first serve is much better, no comparison in disguise: Roddick's disguise is not great, while Roscoe gave you no time even if you could read it....added to Roscoe's lefty spin, made his serve nasty.

Part of it might depend on court surface and opponent as well...Roscoe actually tried to make his serves bounce low at times, thinking that gave him an advantage over tall servers....Roddick on the other hand, is famous for his high bouncing, but still fast, 2nd serve.

Tshooter
04-05-2011, 09:20 PM
Hewitt said the same thing. Arthurs had the best serve.

I get cramps
04-06-2011, 04:17 AM
Hewitt said the same thing. Arthurs had the best serve.

For what is worth: "
El problema no es sólo tocar la bola, bloquearla y meterla dentro", explica Joan Bosch, entrenador de Carlos Moyà. "Con eso no basta. La cuestión es que a Roddick no le puedes dejar una bola corta o demasiado alta porque te la mata. Así que no queda otro remedio que restarle bien y después jugar el punto, porque es un jugador capaz de aguantar los peloteos a muy buen ritmo". ¡Cuántas dificultades! Para muchos, el de Roddick no es el mejor saque del circuito. "El más rápido sí, sin duda", dice Jordi Arrese, uno de los capitanes del equipo español. Hay otros tenistas, como el australiano Wayne Arthurs, cuyo saque es mucho más imprevisible: son capaces de cambiar la dirección, el efecto, abrir ángulos en cada servicio. "Sin embargo, a Arthurs sólo hay que ponerle la bola en juego. El resto lo pierde él solito", dice Bosch.

http://www.elpais.com/articulo/deportes/Roddick/obsesion/espanola/elpepidep/20041202elpepidep_2/Tes

There are many for whom Roddick's serve is not the best on tour. "The fastest, yes", according to spanish davis cup captain Jordi Arrese, "but there are others, like Wayne Arthurs, whose serve is much more unpredictable: they are able to change directions, spins, and open angles on each serve. However, with Arthurs you only need to put the ball in play because he will lose the point by himself."

Excuse both my lousy english and translation. LOL

dominikk1985
04-06-2011, 04:31 AM
I would go with pete easily. there where some guys who could serve as good or even better than pete if they where hot, but pete served well every day. rarely a low% or double fault galore day like some other great servers.

consistency and controll is the most important point in serving. velocity is important as are great spin serves, but without great controll they mean nothing. an overpowering heater and an array of breaking stuff doesn't help you much if you don't hit your marks.

today there are 30+ guys who can serve 135+ but that doesn't mean they are all great servers. just like in baseball pitching pinpoint accuracy is what devides the great from the good.

0d1n
04-06-2011, 04:40 AM
Goran. He was scary. My "favourite looking" serves were Stich's and Pete's though...

P.S. Why are we debating 2007 topics ?? Hmmm I admit it's useless to start a "new thread" though...


Edit.

By the way. Two possible reasons why Goran is not winning this poll :
- American forum
- nobody knows who the h3ll "Goran Ivanesivic" is and hence many refuse to vote for that option

PSNELKE
04-06-2011, 05:39 AM
since the majority of the board members are american, it´s obvious that Pete will win this.
But imo there´s no doubt Goran the ace machine is the best server in tennis history.
Theyre both great servers but I´ll give Goran the slight edge.

1st serve: Goran
2nd serve: Pete
Placement: Goran
speed: Pete

dominikk1985
04-06-2011, 07:54 AM
Goran. He was scary. My "favourite looking" serves were Stich's and Pete's though...

P.S. Why are we debating 2007 topics ?? Hmmm I admit it's useless to start a "new thread" though...


Edit.

By the way. Two possible reasons why Goran is not winning this poll :
- American forum
- nobody knows who the h3ll "Goran Ivanesivic" is and hence many refuse to vote for that option

goran could serve at least as good as pete on a good day but he also had terrible off days. pete was not far away and much more consistent.

Datacipher
04-06-2011, 09:53 AM
since the majority of the board members are american, it´s obvious that Pete will win this.
But imo there´s no doubt Goran the ace machine is the best server in tennis history.
Theyre both great servers but I´ll give Goran the slight edge.

1st serve: Goran
2nd serve: Pete
Placement: Goran
speed: Pete

I'm really disgusted by these accusations of American bias. They appear to be based on assumption only. In fact, I'd say I've observed little American bias in past-polls.

To assume that Sampras winning must indicate bias....ugh...very ugly and incorrect assumption.

I also would pick Sampras over Ivanisevic. Ivanisevic's first serve is the best I've seen, BUT...in terms of GREATNESS (winning slams), it's probably better to have the 2nd best first serve, and the BEST second serve.

Moreover, the real deal-breaker is how they respond under pressure. In that sense, it's night and day. One guy really has trouble under high-stress....his serve, so solid otherwise, can break right down under pressure....the motion goes, double faults....everything. Not always...but sometimes. Sampras is absolutely one of the best clutch servers...he proved that time and time again....even when I saw him double fault on big points, you clearly the got the impression that he was cool, that this was one of the times, that going for a 110mph serve on the lines you have to miss one occasionally. Ivanisevic on the other hand, would sometimes go for a 125mph flat serve on the line...and miss....simply because he wanted to get the point over with to get out of the pressure!

No comparison in that way.

IF the poll was best first serve...or even best "serve"....I'd be tempted to pick Goran....when it says best "server" that to me means I take into account overall real-world efficacy.....Sampras wins that.

Blue Cat
04-06-2011, 10:12 AM
delete post.

Blue Cat
04-06-2011, 10:14 AM
I'm not from the US but I think Sampras had the best serve. not only that but he had the best 2nd serve ever by a clear country mile. Coupled with the fact he was mentally strong, what do you get; an awsome server. Ivanisevic is as good maybe better on first but what let his serve down wasn't anything technical, it was more mental.




I also laugh at the posters who said Roddick's disguise is poor. I can just imagine a load of club players sitting at home thinking 'oh man, that was sooooo obvious he was going out wide'. Lolz man.


It's also funny when posters claim Tanner's service motion to be superior to Roddick's. Completely different from a mechanical standpoint. there is no 'better' service motion. Tanner's service motion is just very short and hits on the rise. Doesn't make it better than anyone elses.



If you're going to compare mechanics, compare Tanner to Ivanisevic.

Datacipher
04-06-2011, 10:59 AM
I also laugh at the posters who said Roddick's disguise is poor. I can just imagine a load of club players sitting at home thinking 'oh man, that was sooooo obvious he was going out wide'. Lolz man.

This appears to be directed at my post. I said that Roddick's disguise is poor, and indeed it is. Particularly in comparison to Tanner's....but you haven't provided any alternate argument....only a snipe at "club players". I am sure many club players have all kinds of strange opinions and, indeed they post them here regularly. I dont' know what that has to do with Roddick's disguise, unless you are intimating that they somehow render my opinion invalid. This would be incorrect for numerous reasons:
1.the club players may or may not be right
2.regardless of whether "they" are, it has nothing to do with my opinion
3.even were their opinions AND mine incorrect, it would not mean we should not express our opinions here

(on a side note: I am quite CERTAIN, I've had more intimate experience with Roddick's serve than you have, even if that was before he was a professional)


It's also funny when posters claim Tanner's service motion to be superior to Roddick's. Completely different from a mechanical standpoint. there is no 'better' service motion. Tanner's service motion is just very short and hits on the rise. Doesn't make it better than anyone elses.

If you're going to compare mechanics, compare Tanner to Ivanisevic.

This also appears directed at my post (if it is, quotes would be helpful). Yes, it's completely different from a mechanical standpoint, that is the very basis of the comparison I was making. As I clearly stated, Tanner's is superior from a "biomechanics and aesthetics" standpoint, granted the former is subjective.

And yes, there certainly ARE "better" serve motions in terms of mechanics. In this sense by "better", I mean more efficient.

PS. Tanner didn't hit on the rise. There have been a few other players who hit on the rise however.

pc1
04-06-2011, 11:09 AM
Thanks NonP. Tanner's motion was far superior to Roddick's in terms of biomechanics and aesthetics....and as you point out...disguise.

Having said that, I would probably say Roddick's serve is better overall (better percentages) due almost entirely to his height and reach advantage over Roscoe, as well as his bigger 2nd serve. While Roscoe could match Andy on the top-end, I think day-in and day-out, Andy goes faster, and has a better chance of getting it in, when he picks up the speed.

But, if they are both "on", Roscoe's first serve is much better, no comparison in disguise: Roddick's disguise is not great, while Roscoe gave you no time even if you could read it....added to Roscoe's lefty spin, made his serve nasty.

Part of it might depend on court surface and opponent as well...Roscoe actually tried to make his serves bounce low at times, thinking that gave him an advantage over tall servers....Roddick on the other hand, is famous for his high bouncing, but still fast, 2nd serve.

Pancho Gonzalez, who knew a little about serving said that Tanner's service motion was virtually perfect.

From my own point of view I have never seen a serve reach the back end of the fence faster than Tanner's serve, considering his quick motion.

Blue Cat
04-06-2011, 02:51 PM
This appears to be directed at my post. I said that Roddick's disguise is poor, and indeed it is. Particularly in comparison to Tanner's....but you haven't provided any alternate argument....only a snipe at "club players". I am sure many club players have all kinds of strange opinions and, indeed they post them here regularly. I dont' know what that has to do with Roddick's disguise, unless you are intimating that they somehow render my opinion invalid. This would be incorrect for numerous reasons:
1.the club players may or may not be right
2.regardless of whether "they" are, it has nothing to do with my opinion
3.even were their opinions AND mine incorrect, it would not mean we should not express our opinions here



To say Roddick's disguise is poor is absolutely BS. Sure, it might not be the best in terms of disguise, but put him up against the returners nowadays who have great reaction times and returns and he still does well. He hits the same serve with exactly the same balltoss and gives nothing away in terms of body motions (Becker stuck his tongue out etc).



But hey, you've obviously came up against Roddick and beaten him 6-2 6-0. Reading Roddick's very readable serve in the process. Good to know.


This also appears directed at my post (if it is, quotes would be helpful). Yes, it's completely different from a mechanical standpoint, that is the very basis of the comparison I was making. As I clearly stated, Tanner's is superior from a "biomechanics and aesthetics" standpoint, granted the former is subjective.

The former is quite irrelevant, but most posters in this section love knocking down current players to make their favourites look more superior. Hey, Arazi has a better FH than Roddick too because it looks prettier!!!!!



And yes, there certainly ARE "better" serve motions in terms of mechanics. In this sense by "better", I mean more efficient.

I know. But Roddick's service motion is efficient; can hit the different serves with same toss, is one of the most fluent servers ever! Some people who believe (not saying you're one of them) Roddick's service motion is stiff and 'muscled' are completely wrong. It's a motion that has worked for Roddick without injury so it's obviously pretty good.




PS. Tanner didn't hit on the rise. There have been a few other players who hit on the rise however.

Sure about that? Aren't you the guy who claimed Rosewall hit slices at 80mph? That did make me laugh.

dominikk1985
04-06-2011, 02:58 PM
Roddick is not exactly a 90s player:D. tanner also not.

PONG
04-06-2011, 04:33 PM
Right handers:

1- Sampras
2- Becker

Left handers:

1- Ivanisevic
2- Arthurs

Datacipher
04-06-2011, 07:54 PM
To say Roddick's disguise is poor is absolutely BS. Sure, it might not be the best in terms of disguise, but put him up against the returners nowadays who have great reaction times and returns and he still does well. He hits the same serve with exactly the same balltoss and gives nothing away in terms of body motions (Becker stuck his tongue out etc).



But hey, you've obviously came up against Roddick and beaten him 6-2 6-0. Reading Roddick's very readable serve in the process. Good to know.
.
OK.



The former is quite irrelevant, but most posters in this section love knocking down current players to make their favourites look more superior. Hey, Arazi has a better FH than Roddick too because it looks prettier!!!!!.

The former is completely relevant, it's my exact statement: Tanner's motion was biomechanically superior to Roddick's. (ie more efficient). talking about Arazi's FH is laughably irrelevant.


I know. But Roddick's service motion is efficient; can hit the different serves with same toss, is one of the most fluent servers ever! Some people who believe (not saying you're one of them) Roddick's service motion is stiff and 'muscled' are completely wrong. It's a motion that has worked for Roddick without injury so it's obviously pretty good. .

Oh...good...now you think it's relevant. First, hitting different serves with the same toss does not equate to biomechanical efficiency. Second, Roddick uses different tosses, of course he hits some of his serves off the same toss...all pros do.

As to it being stiff, since you admit I'm not one of those people, again...laughably irrelevant.


Sure about that? Aren't you the guy who claimed Rosewall hit slices at 80mph? That did make me laugh.

No, that was not me. And again...laughably irrelevant.

You're coming across quite poorly, with snippy comments, non sequitur statements, yet saying my remark was irrelevant. It's a bit hard to respond to, but I think it's clear that you have no leg to stand on.

Where do they keep crawling out from?? LOL

Datacipher
04-06-2011, 07:58 PM
Pancho Gonzalez, who knew a little about serving said that Tanner's service motion was virtually perfect.
.

I tend to agree....I don't think the transfer of power, and the linkages have ever been better...maybe in an ideal world, he would have come a few more inches off the ground to get better reach...but in terms of efficiency...just absolutely beautiful. The closest thing I've seen to a great MLB pitcher....pure speed/power, no wasted effort.

Laurie
04-07-2011, 12:20 AM
Until I saw this yesterday I'd absolutely forgotten I even started this thread back in 2007.

tennis2011
04-08-2011, 12:41 PM
pistol pete than goran and richard
http://www.top-tennis-training.com/

kiki
04-08-2011, 01:33 PM
Datacipher can better answer this question, but to wit, Tanner's motion was superior to Roddick in that it was all but impossible to read. In fact Curren is perhaps the only one whose motion might've been even more unreadable. And Tanner's top-end speeds were probably comparable to Roddick's. His main problem, particularly when compared to Roddick, was that he didn't have a large margin for error. Again this was also covered on that GSOAT thread.

Yes, Curren's motion was unbelievable. In today's game do you think that Dolgopolov, while not having the same MPH and leverage as Curren, Kraijcek, Tanner, etc; has a similar type of unpredictable type of nature?[/QUOTE]

Agreed.Curren´s and Tanner´s motions were unreadable, just like prime´s Mac, not so fast but greater variety of spins and placements.

kiki
04-08-2011, 01:37 PM
an old aussie say goes like that: "A player is just as good as his second serve"..it´s very true, indeed

kiki
04-08-2011, 01:42 PM
Best servers of the 70´s:
1-.Newcombe
2-.Tanner
3-.Smith
4-.Ashe
5-.Alexander

Best of the 80´s:

1-.Becker
2-.Mc Enroe
3-.Curren
4-.Zivojinovic
5-.Lendl/Noah