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View Full Version : Greatest return of serve of all time


The Dark Knight
09-26-2012, 09:48 PM
What do you think? Poll is on its way

tricky
09-26-2012, 10:08 PM
Marcelo Rios rates mentioning as well. Perhaps, peak Hewitt (though in terms of blocking back serves.)

Until last year, I think Andy Murray was viewed as a slightly better returner than Djokovic.

dangalak
09-26-2012, 10:12 PM
Djokovic is a very overrated returner.

I'd say it's Hewitt.

Russeljones
09-26-2012, 10:56 PM
I'd say Murray has been for a while a better returner than Djokovic, still I went for Agassi.

BorisBeckerFan
09-26-2012, 10:59 PM
Novak and Andy are master returners for sure but I find them to be rather passive compared to Agassi. They can get to more balls than Andre but they aren't doing as much with them.

rofl_copter3
09-26-2012, 11:14 PM
Andre would give up some aces because he was willing to guess on serves, but he was so offensive when he got a racket on the ball, it was a full blown weapon as opposed to a way to get the point to neutral

Vcore89
09-26-2012, 11:16 PM
Andre is the man! It is quite amusing how people thought Novak or Andy has that great of a return of serve. Obviously, people only accounted for their most recent exploits which couldn't be that many years back...:rolleyes:

slickerthansleek
09-27-2012, 01:16 AM
Hewitt pretty much ruined Serve & Volley, he should at least be included on the list.

Feña14
09-27-2012, 01:20 AM
Agassi, then Murray for me.

dangalak
09-27-2012, 02:04 AM
Andre has the most legendary ROS (up there with Connors) but I'd day Lleyton's is BETTER. as in, more useful.

NDFM
09-27-2012, 02:58 AM
Agassi all the way for me, then perhaps djokovic

The Bawss
09-27-2012, 03:20 AM
Peak Hewitt. Made Pete look like Pablo Andujar.

AnotherTennisProdigy
09-27-2012, 03:43 AM
I just watched Agassi take a 140 mph serve from Roddick for a clean, down the line return winner. I doubt anybody on the tour can reproduce that return of serve.

dangalak
09-27-2012, 04:09 AM
I just watched Agassi take a 140 mph serve from Roddick for a clean, down the line return winner. I doubt anybody on the tour can reproduce that return of serve.

Federer pwned him that one time. :)

Djokovic could fluke one as well. :twisted: Also, James Blake did that as well IIRC.

Roddick85
09-27-2012, 04:49 AM
In the current era, i'd go for either Djokovic.
However, best of all time? Agassi all the way. Agassi had much better hands and quicker reflexes than anyone on the return, even compared to Djokovic. When you take into account the fact that Agassi was playing grand slam back when the US Open/Wimbledon surfaces were a lot faster than now, you definitely had to have great skills to pull off the kind of returns he came with. Don't get me wrong, Djokovic is in my opinion the better returner of the top 4 right now, but the slower surface definitely help neutralizing a fast serve.

It's funny because I was recently watching some older matches of the 90's, like the 92 Wimbledon final between Agassi and Ivanesevic. The surface was so much faster than what it is now, and I was really blown away by the quality of Agassi's return. Not only were the surfaces back then faster, but he faced a lot of big servers back in the day which makes his return that much more impressive in my eyes.

cc0509
09-27-2012, 04:54 AM
This topic again? :rolleyes:

Agassi.

Alchemy-Z
09-27-2012, 04:56 AM
if you look at statistics for this year Rafa leads in 3 categories and has played 23 less matches than Joker.

http://www.atpworldtour.com/Rankings/MatchFacts.aspx

He is high on break point conversion as well.

had he still been playing these past few months his numbers would be way higher than the competition.

I see you have Joker in the poll...yet he's not even beating rafa in return of serve stats having played more than him.

5555
09-27-2012, 05:21 AM
"Agassi...said Novak Djokovic's elastic ability to both attack and defend off the return makes the second-ranked Serbian the best returner tennis has seen. When Lleyton Hewitt came along I remember thinking, 'How does Hewitt's return game compare?' Because Hewitt has so much lateral coverage and he puts so many balls back in play," Agassi said. "The same with Federer—he gets so many balls back in play. Well, if you can take the best of me, the best of Hewitt, and the best of Federer and then you stick it in one guy, that's Djokovic. Because the truth is Djokovic can stay right up on the baseline and hurt you with the return if he chooses to, or he can stand back and defend if he needs to. "See, Hewitt really didn't have the ability to hurt you off the first serve. He could hurt you occasionally off the second serve. I had the ability to always hurt you, but I got aced a lot because I took educated chances. Djokovic has the ability to do both and his pocket is bigger than mine and the ball above his shoulder—he handles that better than I did.""
http://www.tennis.com/players/2012/07/legends-look-back-ahead-in-powershares-series-launch/37309/


"McEnroe, speaking to a tennis academy in New York this week, declared Djokovic the best returner of serve the game had seen -- better than Agassi..." http://www.theaustralian.com.au/sport/tennis/glory-in-golden-era-of-mens-tennis/story-fnbe6xeb-1226262260411

dangalak
09-27-2012, 05:53 AM
"Agassi...said Novak Djokovic's elastic ability to both attack and defend off the return makes the second-ranked Serbian the best returner tennis has seen. When Lleyton Hewitt came along I remember thinking, 'How does Hewitt's return game compare?' Because Hewitt has so much lateral coverage and he puts so many balls back in play," Agassi said. "The same with Federer—he gets so many balls back in play. Well, if you can take the best of me, the best of Hewitt, and the best of Federer and then you stick it in one guy, that's Djokovic. Because the truth is Djokovic can stay right up on the baseline and hurt you with the return if he chooses to, or he can stand back and defend if he needs to. "See, Hewitt really didn't have the ability to hurt you off the first serve. He could hurt you occasionally off the second serve. I had the ability to always hurt you, but I got aced a lot because I took educated chances. Djokovic has the ability to do both and his pocket is bigger than mine and the ball above his shoulder—he handles that better than I did.""
http://www.tennis.com/players/2012/07/legends-look-back-ahead-in-powershares-series-launch/37309/


"McEnroe, speaking to a tennis academy in New York this week, declared Djokovic the best returner of serve the game had seen -- better than Agassi..." http://www.theaustralian.com.au/sport/tennis/glory-in-golden-era-of-mens-tennis/story-fnbe6xeb-1226262260411

And this is exactly why he is by far the most overrated returner in history, even eclipsing Agassi himself.

Also, it's called "appeal to authority fallacy". Google it.

McEnroe is what we call a "prisoner of the moment". The moron actually claimed that Nadal is a better netplayer than Federer. :lol:

And Agassi deepthroats modern tennis harder than a hooker from his home city.

In the current era, i'd go for either Djokovic.
However, best of all time? Agassi all the way. Agassi had much better hands and quicker reflexes than anyone on the return, even compared to Djokovic. When you take into account the fact that Agassi was playing grand slam back when the US Open/Wimbledon surfaces were a lot faster than now, you definitely had to have great skills to pull off the kind of returns he came with. Don't get me wrong, Djokovic is in my opinion the better returner of the top 4 right now, but the slower surface definitely help neutralizing a fast serve.

It's funny because I was recently watching some older matches of the 90's, like the 92 Wimbledon final between Agassi and Ivanesevic. The surface was so much faster than what it is now, and I was really blown away by the quality of Agassi's return. Not only were the surfaces back then faster, but he faced a lot of big servers back in the day which makes his return that much more impressive in my eyes.

Murray is clearly, I mean CLEARLY better than Djokovic. It's not even a debate. The past couple of years, Murray has always had the better return stats even with his terrible forehand and his passive tennis. Djokovic is hyped up cuz he regularly wins slams as opposed to Murray, who only won his slam recently.

if you look at statistics for this year Rafa leads in 3 categories and has played 23 less matches than Joker.

http://www.atpworldtour.com/Rankings/MatchFacts.aspx

He is high on break point conversion as well.

had he still been playing these past few months his numbers would be way higher than the competition.

I see you have Joker in the poll...yet he's not even beating rafa in return of serve stats having played more than him.

Playing more often doesn't improve your ret- HAHAHAHAHA why am I even arguing with you. :lol:

Anyone who has watched them both hit a return of 2nd serve should blatantly realize how much superior Djokovic is in terms of returning.

People bringing up return or serving stats and taking them at face value is basically the litmus test oof intelligence. It's like the Americans would make people say "lollapalooza" on radio during WW2 and shoot them if they said "roraparooza" since they were Japanese. :lol:

RoddickAce
09-27-2012, 06:15 AM
if you look at statistics for this year Rafa leads in 3 categories and has played 23 less matches than Joker.

http://www.atpworldtour.com/Rankings/MatchFacts.aspx

He is high on break point conversion as well.

had he still been playing these past few months his numbers would be way higher than the competition.

I see you have Joker in the poll...yet he's not even beating rafa in return of serve stats having played more than him.

You do realize that those are percentages, and it is less impressive to hold a high % over less matches than it is over more matches right?

ie. Federer held serve 70% of the time in 1 match vs. Federer held serve 70% of the time over 5 matches. Which is more impressive?

Also, based on past history Nadal has performed much better in the first half of the year, up until after Wimbledon, than in the latter half. So that probably translates into return game %'s as well.

Roddick85
09-27-2012, 06:51 AM
And this is exactly why he is by far the most overrated returner in history, even eclipsing Agassi himself.

Also, it's called "appeal to authority fallacy". Google it.

McEnroe is what we call a "prisoner of the moment". The moron actually claimed that Nadal is a better netplayer than Federer. :lol:

And Agassi deepthroats modern tennis harder than a hooker from his home city.

Murray is clearly, I mean CLEARLY better than Djokovic. It's not even a debate. The past couple of years, Murray has always had the better return stats even with his terrible forehand and his passive tennis. Djokovic is hyped up cuz he regularly wins slams as opposed to Murray, who only won his slam recently.


I agree with you, I don't really give much credibility to McEnroe's opinion, depending on who's hot at the moment he always changes his mind. I don't think Murray is better than Djokovic on the return, if all I'd say they're about even lately.

dangalak
09-27-2012, 06:53 AM
I agree with you, I don't really give much credibility to McEnroe's opinion, depending on who's hot at the moment he always changes his mind. I don't think Murray is better than Djokovic on the return, if all I'd say they're about even lately.

Murray is more consistent and a better defensive returner, which is more significant IMO. Djokovic's looks better, the way he kills Nadal. But Murray is a servebots nightmare. :lol:

TennisLovaLova
09-27-2012, 07:10 AM
I'd say federer cause he's the goat of everything in tennis :-)

But here's my ranking:
Agassi
Hewitt
Federer
Djokovic

Also, surfaces are slower and the ball bounces higher making the return easier than before for the current era
And racquet/string tech improved a lot so....

dangalak
09-27-2012, 07:11 AM
www.youtube.com/watch?v=eIiP5Hw_Pq0

Seriously, Hewitt was a beast back then.

I mean sure, Federer wasn't what he would become, but his Hewitt's defense here is Murraylike/Djokoviclike. Crafty b*stard. :)

AnotherTennisProdigy
09-27-2012, 07:28 AM
Something to think about. Even though Agassi faced stronger servers, return winners are easier to do against serve and volleyers.

RF20Lennon
09-27-2012, 07:48 AM
I think nole and Agassi maybe even ferrer to an extent

PSNELKE
09-27-2012, 08:06 AM
If you made that thread last year Djokovic would be leading that poll by a HUGE margin.

Funny to see how fast people jump off the bandwagon. :lol:

The Bawss
09-27-2012, 08:08 AM
www.youtube.com/watch?v=eIiP5Hw_Pq0

Seriously, Hewitt was a beast back then.


This. Everyone else is just a pretender.

RF20Lennon
09-27-2012, 08:14 AM
Agassi had to reurn against Pete do that's a point to be taken but djokovic had to handle federes spots and rafa ad side slider so it's debatable

sonicare
09-27-2012, 08:27 AM
Agassi had to reurn against Pete do that's a point to be taken but djokovic had to handle federes spots and rafa ad side slider so it's debatable

Pete's serve is massively overrated. I can name you 5 guys with a better serve.

RF20Lennon
09-27-2012, 08:30 AM
Pete's serve is massively overrated. I can name you 5 guys with a better serve.

I didn't say he was the best server but he had the ground game to accompany it unlike the karlovics and the isners and the raonics

sonicare
09-27-2012, 08:32 AM
I didn't say he was the best server but he had the ground game to accompany it unlike the karlovics and the isners and the raonics

Ahh..OK..glad you agree. i agree with you too on the ground game of the super lanky guys.

The Dark Knight
09-27-2012, 08:38 AM
Pete's serve is massively overrated. I can name you 5 guys with a better serve.

Really.....who?

And remember.....a second serve is probably more important than the first serve.....who has a better second serve than Pete?

sonicare
09-27-2012, 08:40 AM
Really.....who?

And remember.....a second serve is probably more important than the first serve.....who has a better second serve than Pete?

Second serve and first serve are both parts of the serve. Anyone's serve includes both the first and second serve. The distinction is unnecessary and an attempt by nostalgic losers to take attention away from the fact that Pete never did and never has had the best serve in history.

cc0509
09-27-2012, 09:22 AM
"[I]McEnroe, speaking to a tennis academy in New York this week, declared Djokovic the best returner of serve the game had seen -- better than Agassi...

Next week McEnroe will say something else. Depends which way the wind will blow. If Murray continues to win slams, McEnroe will say Murray has the best ROS. McEnroe is wrong here. In terms of consistency and longevity in a career Agassi has the best ROS. Let's see where Djokovic ends up on his ROS stats at the end of his career.

Tammo
09-27-2012, 09:23 AM
Santiago Giraldo...

cc0509
09-27-2012, 09:26 AM
Second serve and first serve are both parts of the serve. Anyone's serve includes both the first and second serve. The distinction is unnecessary and an attempt by nostalgic losers to take attention away from the fact that Pete never did and never has had the best serve in history.


He most certainly does have one of the best serves if not the best in history. Even the biggest Federer fan on earth has to admit that. Let's not get crazy.

flyinghippos101
09-27-2012, 09:35 AM
if you look at statistics for this year Rafa leads in 3 categories and has played 23 less matches than Joker.

http://www.atpworldtour.com/Rankings/MatchFacts.aspx

He is high on break point conversion as well.

had he still been playing these past few months his numbers would be way higher than the competition.

I see you have Joker in the poll...yet he's not even beating rafa in return of serve stats having played more than him.

You're joking right?

Limpinhitter
09-27-2012, 10:04 AM
1. Andre Agassi
2. Jimmy Connors
3. Rod Laver
4. Roger Federer
5. Bjorn Borg
6. Novak Djokovic
7. Don Budge
8. Ken Rosewall
9. Ivan Lendl
10. Lew Hoad

Honorable mention: Andy Murray, Llayton Hewitt, John McEnroe (yes you read it right, even if he is full of crap most of the time), Guillermo Vilas

PS: Agassi hitting clean winners against the serves of Sampras coming in, and Roddick and Federer staying back: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TdDzhENhMXs&feature=g-vrec

Alchemy-Z
09-27-2012, 10:08 AM
You're joking right?

I was just testing the waters about how serious people would be :)

/end troll

answer to the thread in all honesty is Andre Agassi

Tony48
09-27-2012, 10:12 AM
I can't speak for all-time, but as far as today's game is concerned, Murray and Djokovic are pretty much tied for the top spot.

Not sure how Fed's name is even mentioned; he just chips/floats it back most of the time.

TheFifthSet
09-27-2012, 10:21 AM
1. Andre Agassi
2. Jimmy Connors
3. Rod Laver
4. Roger Federer
5. Bjorn Borg
6. Novak Djokovic
7. Don Budge
8. Ken Rosewall
9. Ivan Lendl
10. Lew Hoad

Honorable mention: Andy Murray, Llayton Hewitt, John McEnroe (yes you read it right, even if he is full of crap most of the time), Guillermo Vilas

PS: Agassi could hit clean winners against the serves of Sampras, Roddick and Federer:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TdDzhENhMXs&feature=g-vrec

Fed's return is great, but better than Murray, Borg, Agassi Djokovic, Hewitt? Why so high?

Limpinhitter
09-27-2012, 10:28 AM
Fed's return is great, but better than Murray, Borg, Agassi Djokovic, Hewitt? Why so high?

I put Agassi at the top, not below Fed. In any event, I'm judging Fed at his peak 2004-2007. After he got mono in 2008 his entire game slipped a bit, but, not as much as you would expect compared to what happened to Roddick and Soderling. Now that he's been presumably healthy for some time, age has slowed his reflexes to the point that he's not quite the returner he was.

PS: FYI, all of my rankings are debatable and subject to change upon convincing argument, except Agassi.

Limpinhitter
09-27-2012, 10:35 AM
I can't speak for all-time, but as far as today's game is concerned, Murray and Djokovic are pretty much tied for the top spot.

Not sure how Fed's name is even mentioned; he just chips/floats it back most of the time.

Except for when he stepped around and hit clean winners to every concievable spot on the court.

pc1
09-27-2012, 10:38 AM
I put Agassi at the top, not below Fed. In any event, I'm judging Fed at his peak 2004-2007. After he got mono in 2008 his entire game slipped a bit, but, not as much as you would expect compared to what happened to Roddick and Soderling. Now that he's been presumably healthy for some time, age has slowed his reflexes to the point that he's not quite the returner he was.

PS: FYI, all of my rankings are debatable and subject to change upon convincing argument, except Agassi.

Limpin,

Check out Federer's percentage of games won as a returner in his best years on the ATP website.

It's really not nearly as good as Agassi's and a number of others.

http://www.atpworldtour.com/Tennis/Players/Top-Players/Roger-Federer.aspx?t=mf

Mike Sams
09-27-2012, 10:49 AM
Djokovic is up there. Check out how easily he handles Nadal's heavy topspin lefty serve on grass. He handles it far far better than the likes of Federer and Murray.

Limpinhitter
09-27-2012, 11:11 AM
Limpin,

Check out Federer's percentage of games won as a returner in his best years on the ATP website.

It's really not nearly as good as Agassi's and a number of others.

http://www.atpworldtour.com/Tennis/Players/Top-Players/Roger-Federer.aspx?t=mf

PC1, I see Fed's year-to-date return stats, and past stats. But, I don't see a comparison of all player return stats other than for year-to-date.

Polvorin
09-27-2012, 11:16 AM
I see I'm not the only one here who thinks Murray is a better (or at least equally good) returner than Djokovic.

IMO Agassi is the best aggressive serve returner ever. Federer is the best ever at neutralizing the server's advantage by getting the return low/deep.

The-Champ
09-27-2012, 11:21 AM
Djokovic is up there. Check out how easily he handles Nadal's heavy topspin lefty serve on grass. He handles it far far better than the likes of Federer and Murray.

Yeah...because being able to handle Rafa's serve makes him the greatest returner of all time. What an idiot!

NadalAgassi
09-27-2012, 11:24 AM
Yeah...because being able to handle Rafa's serve makes him the greatest returner of all time. What an idiot!

LOL I have to admit that was hilarious.

RF20Lennon
09-27-2012, 12:28 PM
I can't speak for all-time, but as far as today's game is concerned, Murray and Djokovic are pretty much tied for the top spot.

Not sure how Fed's name is even mentioned; he just chips/floats it back most of the time.

Federer has the ability to just block balls back with good pace watch the federer vs karlovics match in wimby 2009 and also it's just getting the ball back which fed does I think djokovic is better but fed is good as well

BauerAlmeida
09-27-2012, 12:31 PM
Agassi and it's not even close imo.

Then Hewitt, Connors, Djoker, Borg, and Nalbandian.

dangalak
09-27-2012, 12:34 PM
Limpin,

Check out Federer's percentage of games won as a returner in his best years on the ATP website.

It's really not nearly as good as Agassi's and a number of others.

http://www.atpworldtour.com/Tennis/Players/Top-Players/Roger-Federer.aspx?t=mf

Back then, servers held less often in general. Breaking serve was easier.

Tony48
09-27-2012, 12:49 PM
Federer has the ability to just block balls back with good pace watch the federer vs karlovics match in wimby 2009 and also it's just getting the ball back which fed does I think djokovic is better but fed is good as well

Well Federer doesn't HAVE to have an aggressive return since his ground game is better than 99% of the field. Just like how Karlovic doesn't have to have an excellent ground game because his serve is so reliable.

Fed does return extremely well at times but I wouldn't put him on par with Djokovic and Murray who are consistently better from point to point. But like I said earlier, Federer more than makes up for his return game in his ground game. Against most players, a neutral return usually works to his advantage.

dangalak
09-27-2012, 01:29 PM
Agassi and it's not even close imo.

Then Hewitt, Connors, Djoker, Borg, and Nalbandian.

Borg wasn't all that good. Nalbandian, while great, doesn't really belong in the top category.

I feel Agassi is overrated. He is the most unbelieavable returner, but not necessarily the best.

jaggy
09-27-2012, 01:32 PM
I couldnt resist someone else although I think it was Agassi

Russeljones
09-27-2012, 01:33 PM
Pete's serve is massively overrated. I can name you 5 guys with a better serve.

:lol: name one please!

sonicare
09-27-2012, 02:05 PM
:lol: name one please!

Sure, just off the top of my head

- karlovic
- isner
- raonic
- ivanesevic
- J. Johansson

Limpinhitter
09-27-2012, 04:36 PM
Borg wasn't all that good. Nalbandian, while great, doesn't really belong in the top category.

I feel Agassi is overrated. He is the most unbelieavable returner, but not necessarily the best.

Borg was all that good. He also had the greatest passing shots of all time. And, Agassi is the best returner ever, overrated or not. I do agree that it's difficult to rank anyone as an all time great in some respect of the game if he/she hasn't used that greatness to win major championships. But, I still think Nalbandian's backhand is an all time great. It's just that good.

FYI, a good view of a young Borg's return against Vijay Amritraj. Watch to the end:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YDFd4q3CycU

Limpinhitter
09-27-2012, 04:38 PM
Sure, just off the top of my head

- karlovic
- isner
- raonic
- ivanesevic
- J. Johansson

One major championship between them. Impressive list.

Mike Sams
09-27-2012, 04:41 PM
Yeah...because being able to handle Rafa's serve makes him the greatest returner of all time. What an idiot!

It makes him better than Federer and Murray. Did you know that Andy Murray said once that there's no serve more difficult to return than Nadal's brutal lefty topspin serve on grass. Then go and see how Djokovic makes a mockery of Nadal's serve in the Wimbledon final. 5/6 Breakpoints converted. Federer was 1/12 on Nadal's serve on the exact same court.

Mike Sams
09-27-2012, 04:44 PM
Well Federer doesn't HAVE to have an aggressive return since his ground game is better than 99% of the field. Just like how Karlovic doesn't have to have an excellent ground game because his serve is so reliable.

Fed does return extremely well at times but I wouldn't put him on par with Djokovic and Murray who are consistently better from point to point. But like I said earlier, Federer more than makes up for his return game in his ground game. Against most players, a neutral return usually works to his advantage.

Slicing and blocking balls back is what kills Federer against Nadal. It's why he has such a poor BP conversion against Nadal. You have to drive through those returns and put Nadal on the defensive the way Djokovic does. It's funny how Federer even after all these years still just can't learn to be aggressive on Nadal's serve. Wimpy little slice returns and blocking balls back will get you nowhere on Nadal's serve. Then again, Federer has that 1 hander. Can't do much with that against Nadal when the pressure is on.

Paul Murphy
09-27-2012, 07:10 PM
Can't split Hewitt, Connors and Agassi.
Hewitt's placement of the return against big servers was superb while the other two were sensational at re-directing pace.

dangalak
09-27-2012, 07:13 PM
It makes him better than Federer and Murray. Did you know that Andy Murray said once that there's no serve more difficult to return than Nadal's brutal lefty topspin serve on grass. Then go and see how Djokovic makes a mockery of Nadal's serve in the Wimbledon final. 5/6 Breakpoints converted. Federer was 1/12 on Nadal's serve on the exact same court.

Murray is wrong.

Seriously, Federer has a problem with Nadal's serve in particular. It doesn't mean that Nadal's serve is godly.

Also, why not mention the 2 previous encounters?

Slicing and blocking balls back is what kills Federer against Nadal. It's why he has such a poor BP conversion against Nadal. You have to drive through those returns and put Nadal on the defensive the way Djokovic does. It's funny how Federer even after all these years still just can't learn to be aggressive on Nadal's serve. Wimpy little slice returns and blocking balls back will get you nowhere on Nadal's serve. Then again, Federer has that 1 hander. Can't do much with that against Nadal when the pressure is on.

It's almost like Djokovic is a better returner than Federer and has a better BH. :|

Federer can't consistently attack Nadal's serve, it's not a choice, as you said. On hardcourts he sometimes does a good job though.

JimF
09-27-2012, 07:17 PM
When Roddick hit the, then record 154 mph serve, Jonas Björkman, not only returned Andy's serve, he chipped and charged. My vote :)

MichaelNadal
09-27-2012, 08:44 PM
I have to say Agassi. He ate those balls for breakfast, it was beautiful to watch.

mightyrick
09-27-2012, 08:48 PM
Agassi. There's nobody else even close. Agassi's backhand return was absolutely sickening.

swordtennis
09-27-2012, 09:19 PM
Man Agassi was awesome have to say Djokovic.
This scro is a chest thumping Beast. Just viscous what he does with the ball.

The-Champ
09-27-2012, 10:39 PM
It makes him better than Federer and Murray. Did you know that Andy Murray said once that there's no serve more difficult to return than Nadal's brutal lefty topspin serve on grass. Then go and see how Djokovic makes a mockery of Nadal's serve in the Wimbledon final. 5/6 Breakpoints converted. Federer was 1/12 on Nadal's serve on the exact same court.


A claim of this magnitude wouldn't go unnoticed in this forum, I haven't seen any thread created on it. where's your source?

Since Federer has beaten Nadal not once but twice at wimbledon, bageling Nadal in one of those matches, wouldn't that make Federer a better returner than Djokovic?

What if Murray beats Nadal next year at wimbledon? Would that make him equal to djokovic return-wise?

Murray is a ******* and for him Nadal cannot do anything wrong, so of course nadal's serve on grass is the most difficult serve to return lol. I doubt he said this, unless he is ***. :D To quote the late Whitney Houston: "Where's the receipt"?

Feather
09-28-2012, 05:43 AM
A claim of this magnitude wouldn't go unnoticed in this forum, I haven't seen any thread created on it. where's your source?

Since Federer has beaten Nadal not once but twice at wimbledon, bageling Nadal in one of those matches, wouldn't that make Federer a better returner than Djokovic?

What if Murray beats Nadal next year at wimbledon? Would that make him equal to djokovic return-wise?

Murray is a ******* and for him Nadal cannot do anything wrong, so of course nadal's serve on grass is the most difficult serve to return lol. I doubt he said this, unless he is ***. :D To quote the late Whitney Houston: "Where's the receipt"?

lolz @ receipt hehe

Feather
09-28-2012, 05:44 AM
Andre Agassi

I feel he is the best guy in return of serve.

mightyrick
09-28-2012, 12:13 PM
Djokovic Return of Serve : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B8Qh-r77Sk4
Agassi Return of Server (first 4.5 mins): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TdDzhENhMXs

After seeing this, I just don't know how anybody could possibly think Djokovic is a better returner. There's no way. I'm not saying Djokovic is a bad returner, but the guy doesn't make a living off of hitting return winners. Most times, Djokovic's opponents can get to his returns -- albeit for a weak reply.

On the other, Agassi had much more pace on the forehand and backhand side both. The guy wasn't a chipper. If he got ahold of the ball, it was a putaway. Also keeping in mind that in Agassi's footage, more than half the clips show him easily hitting return winners against against Sampras, Roddick, and Federer -- all in their prime.

To my eyes, the difference between the Agassi and Djokovic return is night and day.

rdis10093
09-28-2012, 12:21 PM
lets go lleyton

Hawkeye7
09-28-2012, 05:41 PM
Well, I guess it depends on your criteria... Are we talking about return games won or overall points won here? 1st or 2nd serve, or both? A lot depends on the surface as well.

helloworld
09-28-2012, 06:34 PM
If we're talking about the ability to return the serve alone, and the the ability to 'get the ball back into play', then Agassi wins this by a huge landslide.

LeeD
09-28-2012, 07:13 PM
Agassi, Connors, and Hewitt belong in any knowledgeble tennis critic's list of the top 5.
You youngsters who never saw Hewitt at his best don't have a full complement of information to recall.
A and C had no service game to work with, so had to break serve to win, and both were former No. ONES.

Down_the_line
09-28-2012, 07:49 PM
LOL I have to admit that was hilarious.

Yeah, for whatever reason that post made me laugh as well.

Down_the_line
09-28-2012, 07:50 PM
Agassi. If he didn't technically have the best, he sure had the best technique and the best looking return. I love watching him take a swing and fire big serves right back off his backhand. Pretty stuff.

Sid_Vicious
09-28-2012, 07:53 PM
Agassi, Connors, and Hewitt belong in any knowledgeble tennis critic's list of the top 5.
You youngsters who never saw Hewitt at his best don't have a full complement of information to recall.
A and C had no service game to work with, so had to break serve to win, and both were former No. ONES.

Agassi's serve was not that bad.

NadalAgassi
09-28-2012, 08:03 PM
Slicing and blocking balls back is what kills Federer against Nadal. It's why he has such a poor BP conversion against Nadal. You have to drive through those returns and put Nadal on the defensive the way Djokovic does. It's funny how Federer even after all these years still just can't learn to be aggressive on Nadal's serve. Wimpy little slice returns and blocking balls back will get you nowhere on Nadal's serve. Then again, Federer has that 1 hander. Can't do much with that against Nadal when the pressure is on.

I agree. I mostly agree with Tony48 on Federer's return but when facing Nadal, Federer's lack of assertion on mostly average serves is really on display, and once Nadal starts jerking Federer (or anyone) around the baseline he is in big trouble, and that is an area Djokovic is far superior on the return, and really shows when he plays Nadal vs when Federer does.

5555
09-29-2012, 08:46 AM
it's called "appeal to authority fallacy"

No, it's not. Had I said it's truth that Djokovic's ROS is the best ever because Agassi and McEnroe said so I would have committed the authority fallacy but I did not say that. I just quoted what Andre and Mac said.

So, you lost the argument.

McEnroe is what we call a "prisoner of the moment". The moron actually claimed that Nadal is a better netplayer than Federer. :lol:

And Agassi deepthroats modern tennis harder than a hooker from his home city.

Agassi and McEnroe know far more about tennis than you, therefore their opinion carries far more weight that yours.

TMF
09-29-2012, 09:10 AM
One of the reason Agassi gets so much praise for his ROS because he was the great one during his period, and same for Connors. But today there's Hewitt, Federer, Nole and Murray are all exceptional returners, and Ferrer/Nalbandian aren't no slouch either. It's easy to pick Agassi as the best returner because he was the only focal point back then while these guys are just about equally great thus having to share the praises.

If Agassi was playing in this era, he would be part of the group instead of being unique, and he wouldn't get so much votes.

dangalak
09-29-2012, 09:20 AM
No, it's not. Had I said it's truth that Djokovic's ROS is the best ever because Agassi and McEnroe said so I would have committed the authority fallacy but I did not say that. I just quoted what Andre and Mac said.

So, you lost the argument.



Agassi and McEnroe know far more about tennis than you, therefore their opinion carries far more weight that yours.

Maybe they know more overall, but even those knowledgable in something cannot be immune to BS, as McEnroe's quotes especially prove.

One of the reason Agassi gets so much praise for his ROS because he was the great one during his period, and same for Connors. But today there's Hewitt, Federer, Nole and Murray are all exceptional returners, and Ferrer/Nalbandian aren't no slouch either. It's easy to pick Agassi as the best returner because he was the only focal point back then while these guys are just about equally great thus having to share the praises.

If Agassi was playing in this era, he would be part of the group instead of being unique, and he wouldn't get so much votes.

I think he gets so much praise because he was so spectacular. I mean, it's sort of like calling Monfils the best passing shot guy cuz he can hit funhouse shots like the one against Ferrero (or was it Ljubicic)

TMF
09-29-2012, 09:30 AM
I think he gets so much praise because he was so spectacular. I mean, it's sort of like calling Monfils the best passing shot guy cuz he can hit funhouse shots like the one against Ferrero (or was it Ljubicic)

Whoever said Monfils is a great passing shot anyway? And Hewitt/Nole/Fed/Murray are not hitting "funhouse" return.

dangalak
09-29-2012, 09:42 AM
Whoever said Monfils is a great passing shot anyway? And Hewitt/Nole/Fed/Murray are not hitting "funhouse" return.

No but Agassi does. Which is why he is considered the best ever at it.

Calling Monfils the best passer would be similar because he also hits the most spectacular ones.

TMF
09-29-2012, 09:54 AM
No but Agassi does. Which is why he is considered the best ever at it.

Calling Monfils the best passer would be similar because he also hits the most spectacular ones.

I don't see my point has any connection with Monfils. :confused:

dangalak
09-29-2012, 10:10 AM
I don't see my point has any connection with Monfils. :confused:

It doesn't. I was just giving my opinion as to WHY Agassi is considered the best ever. I don't think it was because he was the only great one among mediocre returners, but it was because he was by far the most spectacular.

Federer20042006
09-29-2012, 01:18 PM
Djokovic's return is so overrated it's ridiculous. Murray is clearly the better returner between the two of them.

Mahboob Khan
09-29-2012, 07:25 PM
Roger Federer, Djokovic, Nadal, Agassi, Connors, they all have great return of serve but in the current times there is no pressure on the returner as the servers do not go to the net. Agassi had one of the best return of serve because he has to face the real pressure of a serve and volleyer such as Pete Sampras.

I have a great respect for Connors' return of serve because he was my favorite player and because he was playing with a very small head size racket Wilson T2000. I do not think the current players can even play with that racket. For Connors to middle the ball on routine basis required great vision and footwork. But then can you define "greatness". It's too bad players like Connors also age, also retire. That's how life is: Cruel!

dangalak
09-29-2012, 08:51 PM
Roger Federer, Djokovic, Nadal, Agassi, Connors, they all have great return of serve but in the current times there is no pressure on the returner as the servers do not go to the net. Agassi had one of the best return of serve because he has to face the real pressure of a serve and volleyer such as Pete Sampras.

I have a great respect for Connors' return of serve because he was my favorite player and because he was playing with a very small head size racket Wilson T2000. I do not think the current players can even play with that racket. For Connors to middle the ball on routine basis required great vision and footwork. But then can you define "greatness". It's too bad players like Connors also age, also retire. That's how life is: Cruel!

you are right about having to hit a srting return. However, don't forget that even a slightly stiff return could force a volley error. If you put a little stick on your return today, you wouldn't necessarily get a forced error.

NadalAgassi
09-29-2012, 09:03 PM
One of the reason Agassi gets so much praise for his ROS because he was the great one during his period, and same for Connors. But today there's Hewitt, Federer, Nole and Murray are all exceptional returners, and Ferrer/Nalbandian aren't no slouch either. It's easy to pick Agassi as the best returner because he was the only focal point back then while these guys are just about equally great thus having to share the praises.

If Agassi was playing in this era, he would be part of the group instead of being unique, and he wouldn't get so much votes.

By this logic Connors would have a ton of votes as he stood in as a returner by a long way in his era (which is not Agassi's era, even though their careers crossed since both played like 20+ years on tour, they are almost 20 years apart in age) and was well ahead of his time as a returner in his time just as Agassi was in his, doing things on the return nobody back then did yet. Yet as we see that is not the case. Being a player from the past has NEVER been something to help you in polls here, only hurts you. Which just shows how great a returner Agassi must be to be leading the poll in spite of his less recent/current playing status.

smoledman
09-29-2012, 09:05 PM
Agassi and McEnroe know far more about tennis than you, therefore their opinion carries far more weight that yours.

Where is this evidence of Nadal's "great" net play? You're just a sad sad troll.

NadalAgassi
09-29-2012, 09:06 PM
Agassi and McEnroe know far more about tennis than you, therefore their opinion carries far more weight that yours.

McEnroe's job is to promote current players, that is what he is payed huge money to do, and he has contradicted himself on statements more times than one can count.

Leelord337
09-29-2012, 10:22 PM
I'll never forget the 05 aussie open match when Agassi played Joachim Johansson. He stepped in the baseline by a good 3ft or so and took some of pimpim's 150mph serves early for clean flat struck winners

dangalak
09-29-2012, 10:54 PM
I'll never forget the 05 aussie open match when Agassi played Joachim Johansson. He stepped in the baseline by a good 3ft or so and took some of pimpim's 150mph serves early for clean flat struck winners

Didn't he get aced 50 times though? Like, literally?

TMF
09-29-2012, 11:18 PM
Didn't he get aced 50 times though? Like, literally?

Agassi was aced 51 times. Comparing to the top returners(Nole/Fed/Murray) today, they are diffitcult to get aced, and that's a set back on Agassi when debating as to who's the best returner of all time.

cc0509
09-30-2012, 02:32 AM
Didn't he get aced 50 times though? Like, literally?


Agassi was returning at a time when the court surfaces were faster and he was dealing with more big servers in the game on these faster surfaces. There really is no comparison, even though Agassi was aced more, in terms of an aggressive and efficient return, Agassi was the best.

vive le beau jeu !
09-30-2012, 02:47 AM
Can't split Hewitt, Connors and Agassi.
Hewitt's placement of the return against big servers was superb while the other two were sensational at re-directing pace.
good choice, i was also thinking on these three (agassi, hewitt, connors). peak fed was impressive too, but it seems his return significantly declined after 2007.
and at the moment, it seems nole's return is the best on tour.

Fedex
09-30-2012, 07:33 AM
good choice, i was also thinking on these three (agassi, hewitt, connors). peak fed was impressive too, but it seems his return significantly declined after 2007.
and at the moment, it seems nole's return is the best on tour.

Putting your open hatred of Murray to one side, if you were to give an honest unbiased opinion, what would it be?

Mainad
09-30-2012, 07:42 AM
Delete post.

The-Champ
09-30-2012, 08:36 AM
One of the reason Agassi gets so much praise for his ROS because he was the great one during his period, and same for Connors. But today there's Hewitt, Federer, Nole and Murray are all exceptional returners, and Ferrer/Nalbandian aren't no slouch either. It's easy to pick Agassi as the best returner because he was the only focal point back then while these guys are just about equally great thus having to share the praises.

If Agassi was playing in this era, he would be part of the group instead of being unique, and he wouldn't get so much votes.

You obviously did not se AA in the 90s. He was spectacular in handling the serves of Boris, Stich, Krajicek etc.

dangalak
09-30-2012, 10:22 AM
You obviously did not se AA in the 90s. He was spectacular in handling the serves of Boris, Stich, Krajicek etc.

One could argue that Ferrer, Djokovic and Murray could as well.

vive le beau jeu !
09-30-2012, 10:29 AM
Putting your open hatred of Murray to one side, if you were to give an honest unbiased opinion, what would it be?
?
so if i say/think nole's return is the best on tour, it's automatically because i hate murray ?
the only acceptable answer is that murray's return is the best of all time since sliced triceratops ?

well, ok... i don't like the muzzette, i admit it, and anyway everybody here knows it. but when i wrote my answer in this thread it had sincerely nothing to do with my dislike for murray !
(not even "genuinely-subconsciously") ;)

peace ? :)

murray sucks.

nereis
09-30-2012, 11:35 AM
Just off the top of the head you have the Agassis, the Connors and the Hewitts of the world.

Those were guys you absolutely did not want returning your serve if you were planning on coming into the net.

Contrast their pattern of returns to a guy like Federer, who if you hit a strong kicker to his backhand 99% of the time will opt to chip it.

Still most likely to a high quality return, but less likely to go past your head for a clean winner.

I would say that Djokovic and Murray are fairly equal in the return game. Djokovic I would say goes for his returns more often than Murray, but both can and will step in and take the ball early if they have to.

cc0509
09-30-2012, 12:15 PM
One of the reason Agassi gets so much praise for his ROS because he was the great one during his period, and same for Connors. But today there's Hewitt, Federer, Nole and Murray are all exceptional returners, and Ferrer/Nalbandian aren't no slouch either. It's easy to pick Agassi as the best returner because he was the only focal point back then while these guys are just about equally great thus having to share the praises.

If Agassi was playing in this era, he would be part of the group instead of being unique, and he wouldn't get so much votes.

Not true. There is nobody today who returns the way Agassi did and by that I mean the consistently aggressive way Agassi returned serves and he did this in an era where the surfaces were much quicker. Djokovic and Murray are good returners but you simply cannot compare them to Agassi's returns in the 90's because of the fact that Agassi was playing on faster surfaces and he was up against big servers consistently. Djokovic and Murray just don't compare imo and are overrated because somebody has to be the best returner these days.
Federer used to be a great returner in his earlier days up until his prime, but he isn't any longer due to age.

cc0509
09-30-2012, 12:18 PM
I think he gets so much praise because he was so spectacular. I mean, it's sort of like calling Monfils the best passing shot guy cuz he can hit funhouse shots like the one against Ferrero (or was it Ljubicic)

That is it. Agassi's ROS was spectacular and he deserves the credit as best ROS. If Djokovic and Murray can sustain careers as long as Agassi's and continue having good ROS they may catch up with Agassi but right now you can't even place Djokovic and Murray in the same ballpark imo. All one has to do is watch old Agassi matches and you can see right away the difference.

cc0509
09-30-2012, 12:20 PM
Djokovic's return is so overrated it's ridiculous. Murray is clearly the better returner between the two of them.

I agree. Somebody today has to have the best ROS, so Djokovic has been nominated but he is 100% overrated and most of the hype has come from his very strong 2011 season.

cc0509
09-30-2012, 12:23 PM
McEnroe's job is to promote current players, that is what he is payed huge money to do, and he has contradicted himself on statements more times than one can count.

+1. You can't believe for a minute what McEnroe says, it is all done to promote today's players which he is paid to do. McEnroe's opinions change with the wind depending on who the flavor of the day is.

NadalAgassi
09-30-2012, 12:35 PM
+1. You can't believe for a minute what McEnroe says, it is all done to promote today's players which he is paid to do. McEnroe's opinions change with the wind depending on who the flavor of the day is.


Yes he said Nadal was the best ever last year (which even I didnt agree with) but has since changed his tune on that. Now he is saying Serena is the best ever, but no doubt once she starts struggling, if she doesnt have 20+ slams, he will go back on that too.

Fedex
09-30-2012, 12:50 PM
good choice, i was also thinking on these three (agassi, hewitt, connors). peak fed was impressive too, but it seems his return significantly declined after 2007.
and at the moment, it seems nole's return is the best on tour.

Putting your open hatred of Murray to one side, if you were to give an honest unbiased opinion, what would it be?

?
so if i say/think nole's return is the best on tour, it's automatically because i hate murray ?
the only acceptable answer is that murray's return is the best of all time since sliced triceratops ?

well, ok... i don't like the muzzette, i admit it, and anyway everybody here knows it. but when i wrote my answer in this thread it had sincerely nothing to do with my dislike for murray !
(not even "genuinely-subconsciously") ;)

peace ? :)

murray sucks.

I wasn't debating whether Murray had the best return of serve ever but was responding to your own assertion that, at the moment, Djokovic has the best on tour.
If we look, with a purely objective eye, and note that Murray is the current Olympic Champion straight setting Djokovic and Federer on route to gold, and current USO champion having gone through the toughest draw and a string of big hitters and huge servers followed by Djokovic to top it all off, and also current Wimbledon finalist, would that not make it hard to assert that Djokovic, at the moment has a better return of serve?
Would I be right in saying that Ferrer statistically, actually currently has the best return of serve with Murray second?

Daized
09-30-2012, 01:11 PM
I tend to think that Agassi is better on the return if he actually gets his racquet on it, but Djoker will get his racquet on more returns and gets more balls in play as a result with solid returns. In the end, I think that makes Djokovic better.

kiki
09-30-2012, 01:17 PM
Connors,Agassi,Borg,Rosewall,Laver,Budge,Bromch, And LLeyton Hewitt and D Sjokovic in the present

dangalak
09-30-2012, 01:41 PM
I would say that Djokovic and Murray are fairly equal in the return game. Djokovic I would say goes for his returns more often than Murray, but both can and will step in and take the ball early if they have to.

Murray eclipses Djokovic by a decent margin in consistency and defensive returning ability. Let me put it this way: if you are a big server and your serve is your weapon, you would rather face Djokovic rather than Murray.

Not true. There is nobody today who returns the way Agassi did and by that I mean the consistently aggressive way Agassi returned serves and he did this in an era where the surfaces were much quicker. Djokovic and Murray are good returners but you simply cannot compare them to Agassi's returns in the 90's because of the fact that Agassi was playing on faster surfaces and he was up against big servers consistently. Djokovic and Murray just don't compare imo and are overrated because somebody has to be the best returner these days.
Federer used to be a great returner in his earlier days up until his prime, but he isn't any longer due to age.

Agassi is overrated. He does deserve repect for owning so many SnV guys, during a time where surfaces were faster than now. However, keep in mind that modern returners could easily do the same. It is easier to break a netrusher than it is to break a baseliner. I mean, even though the surfaces have been slowed down and people don't come in as much, we see players hold more often. That is because if you face a stiff return while rushing the net, it will either be an easy return winner or you will miss the volley. I mean, just look at how many return winners Federer typically hit when facing serve and volleyers. (and he isn't even all that aggressive on the return)

It is arguable that Murray and Djokovic would drill the balls right back at those guys as well and by extension, look just as impressive.

I tend to think that Agassi is better on the return if he actually gets his racquet on it, but Djoker will get his racquet on more returns and gets more balls in play as a result with solid returns. In the end, I think that makes Djokovic better.

Djokovic doesn't aced as often as Agassi, but unreturned serves are free points too.

merlinpinpin
09-30-2012, 01:46 PM
Agassi is the logical choice, of course. However, from the same era, Krickstein bears mentioning, too. Not an all-time great, of course, but he had pretty big returns off both wings and wasn't that far from Agassi (his heyday was much shorter, though).

TheFifthSet
09-30-2012, 02:07 PM
One of the reason Agassi gets so much praise for his ROS because he was the great one during his period, and same for Connors. But today there's Hewitt, Federer, Nole and Murray are all exceptional returners, and Ferrer/Nalbandian aren't no slouch either. It's easy to pick Agassi as the best returner because he was the only focal point back then while these guys are just about equally great thus having to share the praises.

If Agassi was playing in this era, he would be part of the group instead of being unique, and he wouldn't get so much votes.

Well no dude. Agassi, Chang, Rios, Korda, Kafelnikov, Lendl, and others in that era were regarded as fanstastic returners.

Remember that, even in his 30's, Agassi had as good or better return stats than prime Hewitt. How do you explain that? Clearly Agassi is in the first tier of great returners, and it's hard to argue against his body of work. While a lot of people think he may have been susceptible to big servers, that simply isn't true. He had a losing record against Sampras -- sure, who didn't? But he bested virtually every other big server: Ivanisevic, Stich, Krajicek, Roddick, Rafter + Edberg (well those two might not be **big** servers but were incredibly hard to break), Becker, Martin, etc....all positive H2H's. Other than Sampras no big serve had his number. And a mid-30s Agassi had an even H2H with Hewitt . . . also rather telling.


PS, I don't think Fed is in this category of all-time great returners. He's on the cusp/border of it, but I don't think he quite makes it. His first serve return is fantastic, but his second serve return isn't close to as good as those guys. He's far too passive with it, and it has cost him in big matches. There are components to having an all-time great return: consistency, being able to get the ball back, and being able to be aggressive given the chance. Fed misses out on the third one which is why I can't rate his return at the same level. A shame, because I always thought his return had untapped potential. It gets frustrating watching him be so stubborn returning those second serves against Nadal in the way he does.

cc0509
09-30-2012, 02:13 PM
Agassi is overrated. He does deserve repect for owning so many SnV guys, during a time where surfaces were faster than now. However, keep in mind that modern returners could easily do the same. It is easier to break a netrusher than it is to break a baseliner. I mean, even though the surfaces have been slowed down and people don't come in as much, we see players hold more often. That is because if you face a stiff return while rushing the net, it will either be an easy return winner or you will miss the volley. I mean, just look at how many return winners Federer typically hit when facing serve and volleyers. (and he isn't even all that aggressive on the return)


No it isn't. A competent server and net rusher puts constant pressure on the opponent. In Agassi's day, a guy like Sampras who was a great serve and volleyer put pressure on Agassi all of the time(by the same token Agassi put constant pressure on Sampras to try and make his first serve better because of Agassi's return of serve capabilities.) Add to that the quicker surfaces back then and you have a situation where having a good return of serve is even more impressive. There is no way you can argue around it. Today the surfaces are slower and the equipment has made returning a serve a little easier. In addition because of these factors you don't see many competent serve and volley players. You just can't compare this era to Agassi's era in his prime when returning a serve was more difficult because of the factors I have listed.
Agassi>Djokovic/Murray. Go watch some old Agassi matches,

dangalak
09-30-2012, 02:23 PM
No it isn't. A competent server and net rusher puts constant pressure on the opponent. In Agassi's day, a guy like Sampras who was a great serve and volleyer put pressure on Agassi all of the time(by the same token Agassi put constant pressure on Sampras to try and make his first serve better because of Agassi's return of serve capabilities.) Add to that the quicker surfaces back then and you have a situation where having a good return of serve is even more impressive. There is no way you can argue around it. Today the surfaces are slower and the equipment has made returning a serve a little easier. In addition because of these factors you don't see many competent serve and volley players. You just can't compare this era to Agassi's era in his prime when returning a serve was more difficult because of the factors I have listed.
Agassi>Djokovic/Murray. Go watch some old Agassi matches,

Then why do current players hold more often on average?

It's easier to pressure a guy who is rushing forward with a sharp return than it is to pressure somebody who is standing behind.

I guess, if you are a poor returner, you will be punished harder by a SnVer than you would be by a baseliner with a big serve. You could just block serves back against the latter. Against the former, that is an easy volley winner.

However, if you have strong returns, you will bother a guy coming forward more than you would a guy staying back for the same reason that dodging a baseball from point blank is harder than doing it with some distance between you.

nereis
10-01-2012, 02:12 AM
Murray eclipses Djokovic by a decent margin in consistency and defensive returning ability. Let me put it this way: if you are a big server and your serve is your weapon, you would rather face Djokovic rather than Murray.



Agassi is overrated. He does deserve repect for owning so many SnV guys, during a time where surfaces were faster than now. However, keep in mind that modern returners could easily do the same. It is easier to break a netrusher than it is to break a baseliner. I mean, even though the surfaces have been slowed down and people don't come in as much, we see players hold more often. That is because if you face a stiff return while rushing the net, it will either be an easy return winner or you will miss the volley. I mean, just look at how many return winners Federer typically hit when facing serve and volleyers. (and he isn't even all that aggressive on the return)

It is arguable that Murray and Djokovic would drill the balls right back at those guys as well and by extension, look just as impressive.



Djokovic doesn't aced as often as Agassi, but unreturned serves are free points too.

From the latest seasons we have evidence that Djokovic handles the Nadal serve a lot better than Murray, who correspondingly handles pace better than Djokovic. That's purely a function of how they approach returning. Djokovic likes to take big swipes at the ball while Murray will opt to use the pace and punch it.

In other areas they are fairly equal. It takes more than handling pace well to make a superior returner, or else we would say that Federer (who does not have a losing head to head against any big server) is in contention.

That's my basis for reasoning that they're fairly equal.

5555
10-01-2012, 09:56 AM
Maybe they know more overall, but even those knowledgable in something cannot be immune to BS, as McEnroe's quotes especially prove.

Rational people who are not tennis experts will rather believe McEnroe than to unknown person like yourself on issue who is the best serve returner ever.

Where is this evidence of Nadal's "great" net play? You're just a sad sad troll.

You are a troll. This thread is not about Nadal's net play, but discussion who is the greatest serve returner of all time.

The-Champ
10-01-2012, 11:21 AM
Agassi had proven he could handle net rushers with big serves. AA is a precision returner. We don't know how Murray and Djoker would have done against those types of players. Old Tommy Haas and Old Stepanek (not exactly your Boris or Stich levels) have posted wins against Andy and Novak though.

Hewitt was great against net rushers but unfortunately, he was karlovic' little b!tch since day one. Novak and Murray handle Karlovic missiles just fine.

Rafa is quite underrated on the return, Haas, Stepanek and Karlovic are winless against him.

My vote goes to AA for the greatest return of serve ever.

Leelord337
10-01-2012, 02:06 PM
as an honorable mention James Blake has a great return

Federer20042006
10-01-2012, 03:16 PM
I agree. Somebody today has to have the best ROS, so Djokovic has been nominated but he is 100% overrated and most of the hype has come from his very strong 2011 season.

Murray should've been the one nominated. He eats the big servers alive, whereas Djokovic actually tends to struggle with them (Isner at IW, Roddick a few years ago...not to mention he can't return Federer when his serve is on).

NadalAgassi
10-01-2012, 03:26 PM
Djokovic's problems with Roddick have almost nothing to do with the serve. The only time he was overpowered by the Roddick serve was Dubai in 2008. The other losses were all from a shockingly high number of unforced errors from the baseline, he had many more winners, he returned Roddick's serve pretty easily, he just lost the match with uncharacterisally huge UE totals. Clearly Roddick's junkballing from the baseline annoys him.

dangalak
10-01-2012, 03:32 PM
Well no dude. Agassi, Chang, Rios, Korda, Kafelnikov, Lendl, and others in that era were regarded as fanstastic returners.

Remember that, even in his 30's, Agassi had as good or better return stats than prime Hewitt. How do you explain that?


PS, I don't think Fed is in this category of all-time great returners. He's on the cusp/border of it, but I don't think he quite makes it. His first serve return is fantastic, but his second serve return isn't close to as good as those guys. He's far too passive with it, and it has cost him in big matches. There are components to having an all-time great return: consistency, being able to get the ball back, and being able to be aggressive given the chance. Fed misses out on the third one which is why I can't rate his return at the same level. A shame, because I always thought his return had untapped potential. It gets frustrating watching him be so stubborn returning those second serves against Nadal in the way he does.

1. Proof?

2. Maybe because he had superior ggroundstrokes?

3. Honestly, there should be a punishment for calling Federer "stubborn". It must be shorthand for "I like to parrot what others have said".

Do you seriously think he CHOOSES to return Nadal's serve weakly? Use your head.

TheFifthSet
10-01-2012, 08:16 PM
1. Proof?



That's a bit broad. Proof of what? I said a lot of things in that post.


2. Maybe because he had superior ggroundstrokes?

He did, but I think a bigger reason was because his second serve return was unbelievably punishing. If you compare Agassi's and Hewitts return stats from 2001-2005, they're fairly even. This is Agassi in his 30's versus a young and inspired Hewitt, who has 10 times the wheels. To each their own I guess, but I think Agassi "gets so many votes" because on his best day he was lethal (as well as Hewitt) AND had sustained brilliance returning serve (2 decades being among the best returners), which Hewitt doesn't have. At least not to the same extent.

3. Honestly, there should be a punishment for calling Federer "stubborn". It must be shorthand for "I like to parrot what others have said".


No there shouldn't be. At all. All great champions are stubborn in some way. Most of the time it helps them and motivates them, but other times it can hinder them. Federer has unbelievably talented, amazing groundstrokes, gets almost everything back, yet posts pedestrian second serve return stats almost every year.

Do you seriously think he CHOOSES to return Nadal's serve weakly? Use your head.


I am. I think you're overreacting a bit. I'm not saying if he made a few adjustments, he would tee off on Nadals serve. Not at all. However, as a Federer fan it frustrates me to see him go 1/18, 1/13 etc. on breakpoint chances against Nadal when 90% of Rafa's serves are to Fed's bh corner. He's effectively pinned Fed time and time again.

Look, I'm not some armchair expert saying Federer doesn't know what he's doing or something. I just disagree with a few of his tactics. Nadal gives him the same looks time and time again and it yields the same results. For a player of Federers caliber, he's definitely underachieved in that regard.

papertank
10-01-2012, 08:20 PM
1. Agassi 2. Djokovic 3. Connors 4. Murray

Hawkeye7
10-02-2012, 07:58 PM
If we go by statiscs here, Murray's ROS is better than Djokovic's. He is the best hard court returner of all time, according to those. And the USO statistics from this year back that up. He finished the tournament ranked #1st and 2nd on return points won (2nd on 1st serve points won, 1st on 2nd serve points won). Djokovic wasn't even in the top 3 in either category. The only surface where Djokovic is the better returner, is clay and Djokovic isn't leading by much.

Due to his clay dominance (he is behind by a fair margin on the other two surfaces) Rafa actually has the best overall return statistics out of the current players. He is ranked 2nd (all time), with Murray ranked 4th and Djokovic 12th.

If you feel like checking this out, go to the ATP website. ;) Statistics don't lie.

MichaelNadal
10-02-2012, 08:02 PM
If we go by statiscs here, Murray's ROS is better than Djokovic's. He is the best hard court returner of all time, according to those. And the USO statistics from this year back that up. He finished the tournament ranked #1st and 2nd on return points won (2nd on 1st serve points won, 1st on 2nd serve points won). Djokovic wasn't even in the top 3 in either category. The only surface where Djokovic is the better returner, is clay and Djokovic isn't leading by much.

Due to his clay dominance (he is behind by a fair margin on the other two surfaces) Rafa actually has the best overall return statistics out of the current players. He is ranked 2nd (all time), with Murray ranked 4th and Djokovic 12th.

If you feel like checking this out, go to the ATP website. ;) Statistics don't lie.

Haha wow that is awesome :)

dangalak
10-02-2012, 08:36 PM
That's a bit broad. Proof of what? I said a lot of things in that post.

Proof that Agassi had similar numbers to Hewitt.


He did, but I think a bigger reason was because his second serve return was unbelievably punishing. If you compare Agassi's and Hewitts return stats from 2001-2005, they're fairly even. This is Agassi in his 30's versus a young and inspired Hewitt, who has 10 times the wheels. To each their own I guess, but I think Agassi "gets so many votes" because on his best day he was lethal (as well as Hewitt) AND had sustained brilliance returning serve (2 decades being among the best returners), which Hewitt doesn't have. At least not to the same extent.

I think you're underrating how much better Agassi's groundies are. He has both one of the best fore- AND backhands. Hewitt is fairly umremarkable from either wing (I guess his BH was good). Agassi didn't typically have to move much because of his ballstriking.

What clinches it for me in the end is defense and Hewitt's ridiculous success against SnV guys. Agassi gave away more free points against big servers (Safin, Johansson) Hewitt could attack AND put frustratingly many serves back into play. And there's just something about seeing Hewitt almost singlehandedly destroy the style of serve and volley that affects me.

No there shouldn't be. At all. All great champions are stubborn in some way. Most of the time it helps them and motivates them, but other times it can hinder them. Federer has unbelievably talented, amazing groundstrokes, gets almost everything back, yet posts pedestrian second serve return stats almost every year.

People tend to keep referring to Federer as stubborn while other players doing similar thing go unscathed, mostly. I think he simply isn't capable of consistently ripping returns since people kick them out to his backhand. I mean Nadal doesn't attack second serves either :lol:

I am. I think you're overreacting a bit. I'm not saying if he made a few adjustments, he would tee off on Nadals serve. Not at all. However, as a Federer fan it frustrates me to see him go 1/18, 1/13 etc. on breakpoint chances against Nadal when 90% of Rafa's serves are to Fed's bh corner. He's effectively pinned Fed time and time again.

Look, I'm not some armchair expert saying Federer doesn't know what he's doing or something. I just disagree with a few of his tactics. Nadal gives him the same looks time and time again and it yields the same results. For a player of Federers caliber, he's definitely underachieved in that regard.

I think that is easier said than done. In the AO semi this year, Federer elected to run around a second serve of Nadal on breakpoint and Nadal just wrongfooted him by serving to his forehand. The guy is just uncanny.

If we go by statiscs here, Murray's ROS is better than Djokovic's. He is the best hard court returner of all time, according to those. And the USO statistics from this year back that up. He finished the tournament ranked #1st and 2nd on return points won (2nd on 1st serve points won, 1st on 2nd serve points won). Djokovic wasn't even in the top 3 in either category. The only surface where Djokovic is the better returner, is clay and Djokovic isn't leading by much.

Due to his clay dominance (he is behind by a fair margin on the other two surfaces) Rafa actually has the best overall return statistics out of the current players. He is ranked 2nd (all time), with Murray ranked 4th and Djokovic 12th.

If you feel like checking this out, go to the ATP website. ;) Statistics don't lie.

I like this post. I mean, with Murray, you can't say that it is due to his baseline game, since he has an inferior forehand, and is therefore inferior from the baseline, as opposed to Federer.

flyinghippos101
10-02-2012, 09:22 PM
as an honorable mention James Blake has a great return

Huh?? James Blake is notorious for his not-so-good return. Guy plays with so little margin, that every return is either a rocket or smacks the net at 100 mph. 9 times out of 10, its usually the latter.

Hawkeye7
10-02-2012, 09:46 PM
Haha wow that is awesome :)

Hard to argue with facts. :)

Here (http://www.atpworldtour.com/Matchfacts/Matchfacts-List.aspx?c=9&s=0&y=0) is the list btw.

So, according to statistics the best returner ever is actually Coria. Those 40% on Clay improve his overall statistics immensely though. I'd say if we are looking for the best returner on a variety of surfaces, he's not the guy.

Fedex
10-03-2012, 01:48 AM
If we go by statiscs here, Murray's ROS is better than Djokovic's. He is the best hard court returner of all time, according to those. And the USO statistics from this year back that up. He finished the tournament ranked #1st and 2nd on return points won (2nd on 1st serve points won, 1st on 2nd serve points won). Djokovic wasn't even in the top 3 in either category. The only surface where Djokovic is the better returner, is clay and Djokovic isn't leading by much.

Due to his clay dominance (he is behind by a fair margin on the other two surfaces) Rafa actually has the best overall return statistics out of the current players. He is ranked 2nd (all time), with Murray ranked 4th and Djokovic 12th.

If you feel like checking this out, go to the ATP website. ;) Statistics don't lie.

Can't argue with stats.
So Murray is actually one of the greatest, if not the greatest, returner in the history of tennis.
And he's only mentioned as the mysterious "Someone else".

Edit: I would still go with Agassi though.

Vcore89
10-03-2012, 01:56 AM
Numbers don't lie.

Statistical numbers don't lie.

...still, number of Grand Slams (Agassi's) don't lie.

Guess, it depends which number are we talking about taking into consideration all things into perspective.

Hawkeye7
10-03-2012, 02:25 AM
Since we are only talking about ROS here, GS titles don't really matter. You obviously need more weapons than that to win one or several.

Still, if anyone deserves to be in that poll from the current era, it's Murray and not Djokovic as he actually has better numbers than everyone else playing right now on 2 out of 3 surfaces.

Can't argue with stats.
So Murray is actually one of the greatest, if not the greatest, returner in the history of tennis.
And he's only mentioned as the mysterious "Someone else".

Edit: I would still go with Agassi though.

I think that's due to the fact that 'experts' keep saying Djokovic is the best returner of all time. :lol:

He was certainly the best returner of second serves. First serves not so much, but I would still agree, I think.