Better Serve--Mac or Rafa?

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by hoodjem, Oct 16, 2009.

  1. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    This thought came to mind when reading posts on the 1984 Mac vs. 2005 Fed thread.

    Both lefties, who had/has the better serve: McEnroe or Nadal?
     
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  2. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    No doubt, Johnny Mac. In his prime he had a better first and second serve. I think it was more deceptive because of the stance McEnroe had.

    Nadal's second serve, even though he has improved it can be very easily attacked at times. I remember Verdasco in the Australian Open semi was crushing his second serve (which was a creampuff that day) and that allowed him to take Rafa to five sets before losing.

    I wonder how Mac's serve at age 50 compares NOW to Nadal. McEnroe serves very well for a person his age.

    One advantage Nadal has over McEnroe is that he serves over 70% first serves which is far higher than McEnroe in his heyday. I think that has a lot to do with the rackets and the fact that Nadal doesn't try to do as much with his first serve as McEnroe wanted to.
     
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2009
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  3. grafselesfan

    grafselesfan Banned

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    I think on clay Rafa's serve is more effective and better. On all other surfaces though McEnroe, and on hard courts McEnroe by a huge margin. Nadal's serve is actually pretty effective on grass too, even the slowed grass of today.
     
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  4. helloworld

    helloworld Hall of Fame

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    WTF?? McEnroe's serve is one of the best shot in tennis. Nadal's serve is equivalent to a 1000 ranked ATP... Actually I've seen several 1000 ranked ATP with bigger serves than Nadal... This is a joke, right?
     
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  5. blackfrido

    blackfrido Hall of Fame

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    is this question for real? or just...
     
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  6. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    This begs the question, who had the best lefty serve of all time?

    I heard John Doeg was great in the 1930's as was Neal Fraser's serve. I read that some rated Fraser's serve better than Pancho Gonzalez.

    Also Roscoe Tanner, Tony Roche and Johnny McEnroe are other possible choices.

    Further back Norman Brookes in the 1900's and later.
     
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  7. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    Neale Fraser was an excellent player who gave a lot of great players trouble. (Maybe a bit more successful at doubles.) Even other lefties like Laver, beating Laver in two slam finals in 1960.

    His record--
    Australian Championships
    Singles finalist: 1957, 1959, 1960
    Men's Doubles champion: 1957, 1958, 1962
    Men's Doubles finalist: 1954, 1960
    Mixed Doubles champion: 1959

    French championships
    Men's Doubles champion: 1958, 1960, 1962
    Men's Doubles finalist: 1959

    Wimbledon
    Singles champion: 1960
    Singles finalist: 1958
    Men's Doubles champion: 1959, 1961
    Men's Doubles finalist: 1955, 1957, 1958, 1973
    Mixed Doubles champion: 1962
    Mixed Doubles finalist: 1957, 1959

    U.S. Championships
    Singles champion: 1959, 1960
    Men's Doubles champion: 1957, 1959, 1960
    Mixed Doubles champion: 1958, 1959, 1960
     
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2009
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  8. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    . . . rhetorically informative.
     
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  9. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    Have to go with nadal on this one. :roll:
     
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  10. Moozak

    Moozak New User

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    Johnny Mac. More variation, better placement. He set up his game around his serve. Rafa has a great serve, but it's not his bread and butter.
     
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  11. bigjimbofan

    bigjimbofan New User

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    What?
    Sorry and no disrespect intended, but is this a serious thread?McEnroe easy even with a wooden racket.
     
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  12. jrepac

    jrepac Professional

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    Mac v. Nadal

    Mac has the superior serve

    this really should not be in question...it was wickedly impossible to read

    perhaps on clay, Mac's serve might be blunted

    but not that much
     
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  13. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    Even on clay McEnroe's serve was great. Look what he did to Lendl with it on the 1984 French Open Final, even though Lendl eventually won.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pl513TGttGQ&feature=PlayList&p=F4CA04425EFF1DBC&index=0&playnext=1

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7x8Mp0u__gI&feature=PlayList&p=F4CA04425EFF1DBC&index=2
     
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2009
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  14. Datacipher

    Datacipher Banned

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    This shouldn't even be a question. Ivanisevic. Period. But you are right about Doeg, Tanner etc.
     
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  15. Datacipher

    Datacipher Banned

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    Quite true. Hopefully this was a joke thread. Power is about the same, but Mcenroe's disguise, was a 10, Rafa is a 3. Variety, and accuracy, especially on the 2nd serve cannot be compared.

    Who would want to SV against Lendl, Connors, Borg, Becker, Agassi, Chang, etc etc etc with Nadal's serve? No? I thought not.
     
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  16. CyBorg

    CyBorg Legend

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    Can't separate the serve from the head. It's not just the technical aspects (eg. power) that make for a good serve, but also variety and placement.

    Nadal's serve varies from pretty good to not-very-good. Often depends on what's going on in his head and how fit he is.

    Mac generated insane angles with his - far superior to Nadal in this respect. Much more consistent velocity as well and incredible disguise.
     
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  17. matchmaker

    matchmaker Hall of Fame

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    Mc Enroe without any doubt. Maybe he did not hit it necessarily harder, but the placement and disguise was far superior to Nadal.
     
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  18. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    Video of Laver vs. Fraser 1960 Wimbledon finals:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o0-6cRPqA8g&feature=related

    At least Laver made him work for it.
     
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2009
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  19. OHBH

    OHBH Semi-Pro

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    Mcenroe by far. Nadal's serve is the weak part of his game. Mac's serve was one of his best assets.
     
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  20. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    I forgot about Goran. I can't believe it I forgot him but Goran's clearly at worst one of the best lefty servers ever.
     
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  21. abmk

    abmk G.O.A.T.

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    mac by about a 100 miles :)
     
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  22. BTURNER

    BTURNER Hall of Fame

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    personally the way connors used to ace point after point with his cannonball, inspired me!
     
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  23. Datacipher

    Datacipher Banned

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    As I said, I think it's Goran by a mile, but the other players you mentioned are among the greatest for sure.

    A few other modern players who spring to mind for honorable mentions: Rusedski, Forget, and Daniel Nestor.
     
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  24. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    Ever the contrarian.
     
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  25. Brettolius

    Brettolius Professional

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    HA ha! He'll be here all week ladies and gentleman! Don't forget to tip your waitress!
     
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  26. EKnee08

    EKnee08 Professional

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    you mean to say..."Are you serious?"
     
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