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View Full Version : Edberg: Underrated Server?


theagassiman
05-25-2009, 12:45 AM
Most of you know Edberg had that huge kick serve, on both first and second serve.
However, I don't think he gets the credit he deserves on the GOAT serving list.
He may not have had 'the heater' but he had something almost as effective.

Anyone agree?

35ft6
05-25-2009, 02:37 AM
His serve was perfect for his game, but it wasn't a devastating shot on its own, more like a role player. Just saying, if a baseliner served like Edberg, you might be proposing "is it the worst serve ever?"

hoodjem
05-25-2009, 05:51 AM
People used to say that Edberg's second serve was better than the first: more pop and hop.

!Tym
05-25-2009, 06:38 AM
His serve was perfect for his game, but it wasn't a devastating shot on its own, more like a role player. Just saying, if a baseliner served like Edberg, you might be proposing "is it the worst serve ever?"

Nah, he definitely had a waaaaaay better kick serve than the typical "just roll it in to the ad court to set up the ol' inside-out forehand play" that Bruguera and Berasategui used.

Edberg's pure kick serve was about as good as they come, he and Rafter.

Certainly say a much better kicker than Chang as another example. Problem with his serve was that he had a great kicker, but what about the slice and the heat sinker down the T? Other than his kicker/American twist, he was average at best everywhere else on the serve. Not enough variety. This said, one of Edberg's great strengths in tight matches I thought was that unlike other players with most spastic mindsets, Edberg's mind was clear, simplified...kick it in, run in as fast as I can, prepare for the volley.

Being predictable is both good and bad. You know what Courier wanted to do on big points, having go to patterns that are EFFECTIVE really helps in the clutch. Even if it's predictable, you count on your opponent's nerves help making up for that.

The greatest compliment you can pay someone like Edberg's serve is it served a purpose.

Someone who I think fits this category really well is Marcelo Rios. He wasn't a big server by any stretch of the imagination, but he was a very slinky server, a varied server. I wouldn't say any of his serves were particularly devastating in and of themselves, but he stayed within his limits, knew his limits, didn't try to do TOO much with or exceed his capabilities with it like Chang, and the result was someone who was the epitome of mixing it up effectively.

To me, if you don't have a big serve, it's all about "use what you got to set up what you KNOW you want." In other words, it's like ugly dude we all know who somehow manages to score out of his league over and over. How? He just walks up to them, and goes, yo, baby, yo baby, yo; I'm HERE...and I have nothing more to say.

GS
05-25-2009, 08:08 AM
He was a serve n volleyer, so didn't he lay off his first serve alittle bit in order to have time to get near the service line for a great approach shot or volley?

Kemitak
05-25-2009, 10:07 AM
Most servers hit either wide, or down the T, or in the middle of the box, and that's it; whereas Edberg used the whole box -- short, long, all over. I think Edberg's serve was also very good because he placed it well.

35ft6
05-25-2009, 11:06 AM
Nah, he definitely had a waaaaaay better kick serve than the typical "just roll it in to the ad court to set up the ol' inside-out forehand play" that Bruguera and Berasategui usedYeah, I overstated my point with "worst serve ever."
Someone who I think fits this category really well is Marcelo Rios. He wasn't a big server by any stretch of the imagination, but he was a very slinky server, a varied server.They did that study about 10 years ago, measuring the serves of pros, and Rios put the most spin on his serve. I believe Rusedski had the fastest serve, and Sampras had the highest combination of spin and pace.

Edberg, in an interview, said he used to serve more like other players, big flat on the first one, but had some kind of injury that made him change his whole approach.

bluetrain4
05-26-2009, 05:16 PM
Edberg could occasionally get some relative "heat" down the '"T" at about 120 MPH, which seems really slow today. But, it was faster than his usual kicker out wide or spin serve down the "T" and it was placed well.

mental midget
05-26-2009, 07:54 PM
Edberg could occasionally get some relative "heat" down the '"T" at about 120 MPH, which seems really slow today. But, it was faster than his usual kicker out wide or spin serve down the "T" and it was placed well.

the fastball just wasn't his game. he's about 6'2 and a phenomenal athlete, i'm sure if he put his mind to it, he could have brought some pretty big pace. but it just wasn't his approach to the sport, for better or for worse. overall, the guy did ok for himself.

Winners or Errors
05-26-2009, 07:56 PM
His serve was perfect for his game, but it wasn't a devastating shot on its own, more like a role player. Just saying, if a baseliner served like Edberg, you might be proposing "is it the worst serve ever?"

Why do you say that? Do you think his serve would have been ill suited to hanging back? Not following you.

Datacipher
05-27-2009, 01:22 AM
If you have the chance, go back and watch say...the 1990 USO semi-final against Lendl. Note how tough it was for Lendl to cleanly hit a good return off even Edberg's second serve when it was at it's best.

The effectiveness did vary wildly as he had problems with his toss and his back. He purposely and accidently varied the motion and sometimes it lost it's full sting/spin.

Datacipher
05-27-2009, 01:23 AM
the fastball just wasn't his game. he's about 6'2 and a phenomenal athlete, i'm sure if he put his mind to it, he could have brought some pretty big pace. but it just wasn't his approach to the sport, for better or for worse. overall, the guy did ok for himself.

Oh brother. I"ve only posted these things....oh....200 times. That SLOW 120mph (and Edberg's flat serve was generally about 110-115mph, was actually about 135mph, not slow, even today when placed well.

PERL
05-27-2009, 01:38 AM
the fastball just wasn't his game. he's about 6'2 and a phenomenal athlete, i'm sure if he put his mind to it, he could have brought some pretty big pace. but it just wasn't his approach to the sport, for better or for worse. overall, the guy did ok for himself.

I recall a match Edberg/Noah in 85. Edberg was acing Noah at will, he scored something like 20 aces in that single match. Noah made fun of the situation showing his back at some point when Edberg served. It is obvious that Edberg could serve plenty of aces at this time if he wanted to.
He changed his service motion afterwards to save him from injuries and it worked pretty well. Edberg entered a ridiculous number of 54 slam events in a row.