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View Full Version : Best Serve of all time?


Andres
07-18-2005, 10:58 AM
My choices are:

#1. Ivanisevic
#2. Sampras.
#3. Krajicek.

aj_m2009
07-18-2005, 11:03 AM
Out of the ones Ive seen (Sampras, Roddick, Dent, and then obviously some people that would fit in the others category), I would go with Sampras.:)

Kevin Patrick
07-18-2005, 11:05 AM
Karsteen Brasch

my-add
07-18-2005, 11:40 AM
i thought michael stich had the most fluid service I had ever seen. So effortless and yet so explosive

tricky nicky
07-18-2005, 12:08 PM
meg thinks she got a good serve...............

she gonna be cross she not included in da poll

Max G.
07-18-2005, 12:16 PM
Pardon me, but why the heck is Taylor Dent included on here?

Sure, he's got a fast serve. But his serve isn't really that good overall - placement, consistency, all those need work. He himself that he needs to work on holding serve much more than he needs to work on breaking serve.

TOPSPIN23
07-18-2005, 12:21 PM
Sampras
Roddick
Dent
The only reason that Roddick isn't top on the list is Sampras used a way older raquet.

fedex27
07-18-2005, 01:05 PM
all you have to do is look at the first name on the list

supersmash
07-18-2005, 01:08 PM
i'm gonna vote for roddick in this one. no one will ever match his 156. i'm not even a fan and i'm saying this.

kicker75
07-18-2005, 01:22 PM
Roddick has the best 1st serve ever... when it's on, it's virtually unreturnable.

Sampras has the best 2nd serve ever... when it's on, it's virtually unreturnable.

People will say Roddick's serve is all about power, but last time I checked, he can hit those lines pretty damn well...

donnyz89
07-18-2005, 01:37 PM
Whats wrong with roddick? Just because he is young, hip and not in the HOF and not one of those "old school" players u grew up with, his 155 mph serve doesnt put him up for best serve for you guys? i mean, im no fan of roddick, but lets face it, the man can serve.

DanEd
07-18-2005, 01:50 PM
I can not understand how nobody voted for Ivo Karlovic (except me :D)

his serve is amazing: great power, great accuracy,great angles, great consistency.

he is a better server than Sampras for sure. everyone votes for pete coz he is a very much more known player

gugafanatic
07-18-2005, 01:56 PM
I can not understand how nobody voted for Ivo Karlovic (except me :D)

his serve is amazing: great power, great accuracy,great angles, great consistency.

he is a better server than Sampras for sure. everyone votes for pete coz he is a very much more known player

Not many people have actually seen Karlovic play as he gets very little coverage except for during the grass court season. I agree his serve is almost unreturnable and that explains all the countless tie-breaks he plays.

Babblelot
07-18-2005, 01:59 PM
Roddick has the/one of the best 1st and 2nd serves, ever. But what gets Andy into trouble is that he's incredibly (1) bullheaded, (2) predictable, and (3) repetitive.

Case in point: leading up to his QF match with Joachim Johansson at 2004 US Open, Roddick had been blasting his opponents off the court, holding serve easily. But Joachim studied Andy's tendencies and just swatted every serve. He destroyed Roddick.

Having said that, Andy showed Federer more variation this year at Wimbledon than last year, when he simply (foolishly) tried to blow Federer off the court.

My vote goes to Pete.

smarttennis
07-18-2005, 02:07 PM
Sampres due to shear deceptiveness...virtually un-readable in his prime which made it soo effective.

matchpoint
07-18-2005, 02:12 PM
Sampras, Sampras & Sampras

Whats wrong with roddick? Just because he is young, hip and not in the HOF and not one of those "old school" players u grew up with, his 155 mph serve doesnt put him up for best serve for you guys? i mean, im no fan of roddick, but lets face it, the man can serve.

It's not all about power guys, it's not about old school either. It's about power, spin, angle, disguise, placement and mostly importanly variation. Did you see the Sampras serve against Rafter's racket going thru it, literally thru the racket. That's not just power, that's the ball boring through after bouncing.

Rodzilla
07-18-2005, 02:55 PM
I haven't seen much of Pete's serve, but Roddick's serve has to be more based on power than Pete's. Roddick can place his serve and that serve is tough to break, so it must be pretty consistent. Like I said, Pete isn't in Roddick's fast lane, but his serve doesn't look like it was based mostly on the same things. I think each serve has their own special qualities. Difficult to decide between these two... I would give it to Roddick for hitting that 155mph boomer. I hope he breaks that record as well, and keep going!

I have heard some good things about Pancho Gonzalez's and Roscoe Tanner's serve. Maybe some of the older guys could chime in...

Ztalin
07-18-2005, 03:01 PM
Roddick has the/one of the best 1st and 2nd serves, ever. But what gets Andy into trouble is that he's incredibly (1) bullheaded, (2) predictable, and (3) repetitive.

Case in point: leading up to his QF match with Joachim Johansson at 2004 US Open, Roddick had been blasting his opponents off the court, holding serve easily. But Joachim studied Andy's tendencies and just swatted every serve. He destroyed Roddick.

Having said that, Andy showed Federer more variation this year at Wimbledon than last year, when he simply (foolishly) tried to blow Federer off the court.

My vote goes to Pete.

Andy was winning before the rain delay last year. Had the delay not occurred, Roddick may have won.

Rodzilla
07-18-2005, 03:05 PM
Andy was winning before the rain delay last year. Had the delay not occurred, Roddick may have won.

I agree, but that is one of many factors to consider. IMO, Andy played better last year, and I think it would have been much more competitive this year if he played like last year, even with Federer playing near perfect tennis.

That QF against Johansson at the 04 USO was hard fought. If I remember correctly, Andy Roddick led in stats, but Johansson came through during the big points which eventually decided the outcome of the match.

spinbalz
07-18-2005, 03:21 PM
And some more peoples again to claim the 2004 rain delay excuse for Roddick!!! Ok, then you should take a look at what happened during the 2005 Wimbledon final : The momentum was in favor of Federer when a rain delay happened, did Federer lose momentum? No he still won the match...

Tenny
07-18-2005, 03:48 PM
i thought michael stich had the most fluid service I had ever seen. So effortless and yet so explosive

I once started a serve-related thread and many said the same thing-Stich's serve was so beautiful. Just to see it myself, I purchased some DVDs but...frankly, I couldn't see what's so great about his serve motion...his just looked 'classical'.

ctbmar
07-18-2005, 05:47 PM
Federer not in the polling list?

USCfan
07-18-2005, 05:50 PM
Probably Sampras, although I haven't seen Becker's.

Ztalin
07-18-2005, 08:32 PM
And some more peoples again to claim the 2004 rain delay excuse for Roddick!!! Ok, then you should take a look at what happened during the 2005 Wimbledon final : The momentum was in favor of Federer when a rain delay happened, did Federer lose momentum? No he still won the match...

I'm not making any excuses for Roddick. Federer is my favourite player. I just say it like it is, it's how I am.

RiosTheGenius
07-18-2005, 08:44 PM
why isn't rafter or Myrni there??????

friedalo1
07-18-2005, 10:19 PM
Sampras
Tanner
Poncho Gonzalez
Riddick
Goran

david7410
07-18-2005, 10:47 PM
Pete Sampras has the best serve ever, hands down. Andy Roddicks serve is fast, but to even suggest that it's better than Pete's is crazy. I've been watching tons of Sampras matches on DVD lately and there are a few things about his serve that you notice pretty quickly.

1) The huge confidence on both first and second serve. He could really crack that second serve like no other, and would constantly go for second serve aces. Which is usually unheard of.

2) Was the master of hitting down the T. When he was in the serving zone and he started going down the T, there was nothing anyone could do about it. There were a few matches that come to mind where Sampras would win games with 4 back to back aces down the T.

3) The action on the ball. The way he twisted his body and threw his arm, it was like a sling shot that had so much spin and speed, that his serves were considered very "heavy" and hard to return... even if you got your racquet on the ball.

Roddick just hit the ball really hard.

So please, don't even compare them.

StraightSets
07-18-2005, 11:46 PM
Mark Phillippoussis... when his is on, its unstopable.

x Southpaw x
07-18-2005, 11:54 PM
Mark Phillippoussis... when his is on, its unstopable.
lol Phillippoussis... I remember aging Agassi had so much trouble returning his serves that he had to move in one direction just before Phillippoussis contacted the ball. And Agassi's supposed to be one of the best returners too, too bad he's getting old. But... I believe Phillippoussis only serves flat, on both first and second serve. He's so confident with his flat serve that his second serve is the same as his first serve.

Sampras and Federer should beat him because they are able to vary spin with plenty of disguise and they can pull off lots of aces even on young pros.

urban
07-18-2005, 11:57 PM
Of the oldtimers one can name McLoughlin, Tilden and Vines pre WW 2, then Gonzales. One of the best in pre open era was the deceptive lefthanded serve of Aussie Neale Fraser, which was rated higher than Gonzales' by players like Lew Hoad. Newcombe had a very heavy serve, especially in the combination of 1st and 2nd serve and volley. Borg's serve was often underrated, Tanner had an explosive 1st serve, but his 2nd was way behind. Since the introduction of the new rackets Becker, Stich and Sampras are to name. Ivanisevic and Philippoussis may have had harder, better first serves, but Sampras had the best second serve. I think Federer's slice serve was his best weapon at Wimbledon.

Yours!05
07-19-2005, 02:10 AM
One of the best in pre open era was the deceptive lefthanded serve of Aussie Neale Fraser, which was rated higher than Gonzales' by players like Lew Hoad.Yes urban, just about forgotten Frase.

rocky b
07-19-2005, 03:52 AM
I can't tell you how many times Sampras aces his opponent on ad out and nobody could close a match out better the pete.

Babblelot
07-19-2005, 10:00 AM
Andy was winning before the rain delay last year. Had the delay not occurred, Roddick may have won.
Ah, no, he wouldn't have. Had it been a best of 3 match, you have a point. But flogging away at Federer in a best of 5 match is foolhearted. Andy was gassed, then got rolled.

...I'm certain it played a role in his approach this year. ;)

ShockTreatment
07-19-2005, 10:07 AM
Wayne Arthurs

Rabbit
07-19-2005, 10:08 AM
Fraser was/is a leftie (I think I'm right). That usually presents more problems for the masses. I am ignorant of Fraser's serve, so I have to go with:

Gonzalez
Tanner
Sampras
Ivaniesivic
McEnroe

McEnroe didn't hit aces as much as he threw strikes. He is living proof that an effective serve doesn't have to be over 120 MPH. His use of disguise, spin, placment, and mixing it up was probably the best ever.

mucat
07-19-2005, 10:13 AM
Sampras!!
His 2nd serve is godlike and his 1st serve is...godlike with a bit more power!!
Do you really need a poll on this?

Other players might have a faster serve, but Sampras's serve got power, movement and placement.

ncode
07-19-2005, 01:16 PM
Best Serve of all time?
mine ;)

theace21
07-19-2005, 02:19 PM
Pete Sampras -

FiveO
07-19-2005, 02:39 PM
Didn't see Pancho Gonzales til he was past his prime. Films of him serving in his prime show a beautifully simple motion. What is written about his serve is impressive made more so by the fact that in his day server's did not leave the court surface. However, its because of that very reason I can't rank him in my top five.

5) John Newcombe- very effective first but best second serve of his era.

4) Roscoe Tanner- he won with this shot and very little else. Literally could deny his opponent the ability to play.

3) John McEnroe- like Rabbit said. Not a "thrower" but the best "pitcher" ever.

2) Boris Becker- still don't know how he got those results with THAT grip. But dominated and probably hastened Johhny Mc's retirement with it.

1) Pete Sampras- The one. Everything. As science has confirmed the best combination of pace and spin ever to grace the courts. Coupled with the ability to produce the most clutch serves in the biggest moments on the greatest stages. Simply the Best Ever.

slice bh compliment
07-20-2005, 01:05 AM
No serve poll is complete without mention of Chrissie Evert! Has it been that long, people? How quickly we forget!

I'm just amazed at how many female players still serve that way.

Anyway, in Evert's absence, my vote goes to Pete. Honorable mention: Mac, Boris, Roddick (when he's controlling the location well) and the Emergency 911 Goran. Sentimental seventies picks: Nastase and Borg (explosive at times, but underrated).

newnuse
07-20-2005, 08:27 AM
No love for Edberg? He had the best kick serve

Camilio Pascual
07-20-2005, 08:36 AM
This is a poorly thought out thread to determine the best serve of all time. Other than Sampras, this list of NINE players as candidates for the best serve EVER for MEN, has ZERO appearances in the finals of Roland Garros or Oz. This thread has really become a discussion of fast servers and those who have had their success almost exclusively on fast courts, especially GRASS. The initial list pretty much doomed this from being a meaningful discussion. What about claycourters who use heavy spin and kick serves to devastating effect on clay? NOBODY on the whole list ever got past the SF's of Roland Garros, you would think a GREAT serve would get somebody out of the nine candidates for the greatest serve ever to the final. Corretja, Bruguera, Borg, MacEnroe, and Agassi have superior claycourt serves to EVERY player on the list.
Don't look at a list, "% Service Games Held, career", pick the highest ones, and say there is the greatest serve ever.

slice bh compliment
07-20-2005, 09:50 AM
So, like I said, Chrissie Evert.

Props to Guga. Lendl, Vilas and Borg as well.

Sadyv
07-20-2005, 10:22 AM
has ZERO appearances in the finals of Roland Garros or Oz


Boris Becker is a two time Australian Open champion.

Rabbit
07-20-2005, 10:24 AM
Boris Becker is a two time Australian Open champion.


So are Johan Kriek and Guillermo Vilas.....

Sadyv
07-20-2005, 11:33 AM
WHile I don't see the relevance of your statement in response to mine, that is nice to know.

I was merely correcting Camilio Pascual when he said that the 8 other candidates in the poll had zero finals appearances among them at French and Australian Opens, when in fact Becker won AO twice.

mad-rabbit
07-20-2005, 02:34 PM
best serves:
1) pistol pete
2) boris becker
3) roger federer

most exceptional: karsten braasch :mrgreen:

Max G.
07-20-2005, 03:21 PM
"% Service Games Held, career", pick the highest ones, and say there is the greatest serve ever.

Except that will rank players with great serves but horrible all-around games lower than players with okay serves and GREAT all-around games. Basically, it would penalize players that can't back their serve up with anything - which is of course right if you're trying to judge who is the better player, but not necessarily if you're trying to just judge who is the better server.

(Hewitt is currently 6th in the world in service games held for this year. Does he have a better serve than Ivan Ljubicic, who is tied for seventh?)

BigBryansFan
07-20-2005, 03:23 PM
anybody familiar with Brian MacPhie? his serve is awesome! just too bad thats his main strength otherwise he'd be a much better singles player

Defcon
07-20-2005, 03:43 PM
This thread is stupid, there is no one who even comes close to Pete.

Just ask yourself this - its match point, 15-40, 2nd serve, your life is on the line, against the demonic love child of Agassi-Connors-Hewitt-Federer. You can pick one server from history - who do you pick?

If you chose anyone other than Sampras, congrats, your chances of survival just went way down. Pete would most likely hit an easy looking ace, point to the towel as he struts back, and leave the other guy shaking his head in disbelief for the rest of the match.

teedub
07-22-2005, 07:33 AM
This thread is stupid, there is no one who even comes close to Pete.

Just ask yourself this - its match point, 15-40, 2nd serve, your life is on the line, against the demonic love child of Agassi-Connors-Hewitt-Federer. You can pick one server from history - who do you pick?

If you chose anyone other than Sampras, congrats, your chances of survival just went way down. Pete would most likely hit an easy looking ace, point to the towel as he struts back, and leave the other guy shaking his head in disbelief for the rest of the match.

lol amen to that.

Feņa14
07-22-2005, 07:53 AM
Sampras all the way, he hits his first serve with double the spin of any other player along with 125mph+ and can place it anywhere in the box. Not even to mention the fact that he is the best clutch server ever.

The swing that he could generate was alot more than any other right hander could.

Just read Defcon's post and we'll leave it at that.

Having Roddick and Sampras' serve in the same sentence is quite frankly laughable.

slice bh compliment
07-22-2005, 08:22 AM
Fena, I love how you were able to work 'Roddick' and 'Sampras', and the word 'serve' in the same sentence (your last sentence). I know, you had the word laughable in there as well, but it made me laugh. So thanks. Well done.

Actually, Roddick is one of the few who approach Pete's combined levels of RPMs AND velocity (advanced tennis research project).

I'm not fan of Andy's overall game. It cannot really be compared to that of Sampras...but, please. We've got to give the kid credit for a lethal first AND second serve.

Granted, it is somewhat predictable. And some players claim to read it with decent regularity, but that doesn't change the fact that he comes up with big serves on big points.

bcaz
07-22-2005, 11:35 PM
Overall, Sampras.
Tanner is way, way up there.

Deuce
07-23-2005, 12:12 AM
Since, as Camilio stated, the original poster of this thread wishes to know merely whose serve is the fastest, or coolest... I must nominate... Steve Denton. This Texan clocked the fastest serves of his time, and his motion was definitely the 'coolest'.

As for best serve... McEnroe would be right up there, for the reasons Rabbit mentioned.

slack hack
07-23-2005, 02:37 AM
Stich,
Doesn't he hold the record for highest career first serve percentage?
Big serve, effortless looking technique, all without leaving the ground.

Dave Burchfield
07-23-2005, 04:20 AM
My vote is Edberg. Quick motion that is difficult to read, and he paints the center service line like no one I have seen since. Lots of pace too.....he has hit me more than once on the center service line.

newnuse
07-23-2005, 12:35 PM
My vote is Edberg. Quick motion that is difficult to read, and he paints the center service line like no one I have seen since. Lots of pace too.....he has hit me more than once on the center service line.

Funny, I don't remember Edberg with much pace. I remember him having a great kick serve which he used most of the time.

I'm surprise how many people did not vote for Sampras. The 2nd serve was the best I've seen. I remember watchin him on hard courts. His serve would hit the back wall at a point higher than his opponent's head. The thing is, it was still on the way up. :shock:

erik-the-red
07-23-2005, 04:59 PM
I'm voting for Sampras.

donnyz89
07-23-2005, 05:49 PM
there are so many things with the serve though. like players style of play, level of play and such. but serve wise, ill go with roddick just because its so effortless to hold serve. NOT with his vollies AFTER serve but his SERVE ALONE. pete didnt hit aces and hit 155 mph like roddick, but his placement and disguise put him in easy situations after the serve. but see who wins most SERVE points, it will be roddick. because if you give petes serve to most players who doesnt come to net like he does, it wont be as effective as if you give someone a roddick serve.

ricardo25tennis
07-23-2005, 05:56 PM
where is federer in the poll , he doesnt have the best i agree but he has one of the best, every time when he is down he hit and ace , he uses he serve only when he needs it

AngeloDS
07-23-2005, 05:56 PM
It's hard to say. You should be more specific who has the better serve? My coach says your game is only as good as your second serve. Then it'd have to go to Pete Sampras for me.

But, Andy Roddick has a lethal first serve with pretty lethal accuracy and a good percentage of going in.

tennis4losers
07-23-2005, 06:16 PM
I would have to go with Pete because its not over done like A-Rods and yet it gives the same preformance