2nd best second serve of former pro's pre 2000

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by tennisdad65, Oct 1, 2009.

  1. tennisdad65

    tennisdad65 Hall of Fame

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    It is the general consensus that Pete's second serve was the best second serve of all time.

    Amongst the former players (say before 2000) , who had the second best second serve?
     
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  2. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    Pete's could have the best second serve but who knows for sure?

    Jack Kramer, John Newcombe are some names that have been considered for the greatest second serve.
     
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  3. jnd28

    jnd28 Rookie

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    I seem to remember an story that Vic Braden told about Pancho Gonzales. Because his serve was so dominate they played a tournament with only one serve allowed, in an effort to minimize this weapon. He won the tournament running away. I would think that Pancho would be on this list.

    JND28
     
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  4. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    After Sampras, I'd say Edberg or Newk.
     
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2009
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  5. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    A friend of mine went to Edberg's tennis camp a few years ago and he tried to return Edberg's second serve. Anyway he told me that it seemed to bounce over the moon. My friend's a very good player so when he's impressed it had to be pretty amazing.
     
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  6. President of Serve/Volley

    President of Serve/Volley Semi-Pro

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    Sampras, without a doubt.
     
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  7. drwood

    drwood Hall of Fame

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    Whose do you think was better than Pete's 2nd serve? This thread is about who had the second-best second serve of former pros.
     
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  8. drwood

    drwood Hall of Fame

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    That's one reason I'm surprised Edberg didn't do better at the French, making only one final; the high bouncing clay would seem to have given his kick serve even more juice. His game (which was based on movement and placement more than power) was well-suited for clay especially compared with other aggressive players of his era.
     
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  9. KrossKourt

    KrossKourt New User

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    Todd Martin is practically the poster child for how to be the best at doing second serves.
     
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  10. President of Serve/Volley

    President of Serve/Volley Semi-Pro

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    Edberg has a good one, didn't he?
     
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  11. boredone3456

    boredone3456 Legend

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    After the obvious choice of Sampras, I would have to go with Edberg. His had a nice skid to it, but he could also make it bounce when he needed to, the only thing that really keeps it behind Pete's is that I think Pete had slightly better placement on his.
     
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  12. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    I was checking old ATP stats a few months ago and I noticed that in a number of years, Michael Chang's percentage of points won on second serve was actually higher than Pete Sampras' in the 1990's. Now Chang was a terrific player but his second serve wasn't even on the same planet's as Pete Sampras. I guess it was because of Chang's extraordinary defensive skills.
     
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  13. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    Which years were those? Before 2000 the ATP usually counted aces and double-faults twice, so that players would show up with lower success on second serve than they really had. If Sampras served more double faults than Chang, I'd expect Pete's numbers at the ATP to skew low.
     
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  14. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    It was from 1991 to 2000
     
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  15. tennisdad65

    tennisdad65 Hall of Fame

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    how do you pull up old ATP stats? I have not been able to do so from the ATPTour site. I would love to get Pete's/Edberg's second serve winning percentages.
     
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  16. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    #16
  17. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    I don't have Edberg's but I do have Pete's somewhere. Just for fun I'll compare it to Michael Chang's because while Michael's second serve isn't as good as Pete's, in some years I think he was ahead of Pete. Hopefully I can find the stats.
     
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2009
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  18. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    But how are you going to decide which ATP numbers are good and which aren't?

    Or are you pulling these stats from a non-ATP source?
     
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  19. Moose Malloy

    Moose Malloy Legend

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    Do you think the wrong atp stats are just a glitch involving the website?

    I have a few ATP player guides from the 90s, they have a table with year end match stats, I wonder if those numbers are correct. Can't believe they would publish them otherwise. Is there any way to compare these stats to the atp site? I don't see year end numbers there.

    As to Chang, Sampras, etc. Sampras wasn't in the top 10 for 2nd serve points won in '95, while Chang was #3 with 54%(Agassi was #1 with 56%)
    They only list the top 10 in each category, & there are of a lot guys that are tied in the 2nd serve category(5 guys had 53%), so maybe Sampras still had high numbers in that stat. He was #1 in 1st serve points won that year, with 83%, according to this guide.
     
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  20. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    Well in some ways it looks like a computer glitch. If you or I miscount the number of aces in a match, we'll get 24 instead of 25, something like that. But for all the aces to be counted twice in all the other categories (success on first serve, total points won), systematically in match after match, looks like a computer glitch.

    On the other hand, boxscores started including service sometime in the 90s, as far as I can tell. The earliest boxscore I know that says "service included" is Agassi-Stich at the 1994 USO. It's confusing for us, looking back on those stats many years later, and it probably was confusing then -- I mean about whether any particular stats you were looking at in a newspaper, in a TV graphic, etc., included service.

    So sometimes I wonder, was there confusion at the ATP about whether the stats in front of them included service? Let's say the stats did include aces; but you thought service was not included, so you threw the aces in a second time.

    So it could be human error after all, and those tables you have from the 90s might be wrong. Honestly I don't know, but I'm trying to find out.
     
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  21. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    I got these stats from someone at the ATP. Hopefully they are correct as far as the comparison between Sampras and Chang's second serve percentage of points won.

    Sampras Chang

    1991-56%(2) 54 (10)
    1992-52 52
    1993-53 (6) 55 (2)
    1994-52 (8 ) 54 (1)
    1995-51 54 (3)
    1996-53 (2) 53 (9)
    1997-53 (5) 53 (3)
    1998-51 51
    1999-53 (7) 52
    2000-54 (10) 51
    2001-52 48
    2002-52 49
    2003-Retired 46

    Chang had injury problems the last few years and Sampras was declining and retired in 2003.
     
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