Did Wilander have an under utilized serve?

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by Limpinhitter, Oct 23, 2011.

  1. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Connors serve was better than Wilander´s, because he put so much spin, it was not easy to take control of.Mats had a flat serve, with no angles or spins and too predictable.
     
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  2. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    I can't agree with you there. Connor's serve was all arm and almost "0" upper body rotation. As a result, he could hit a few hard serves in a match, but, there's no way he could hit big serves for an entire match. IMO, for the most part, Connor's serve was a point starter with just enough movement, placement and deception to keep it from being attacked.
     
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  3. Zimbo

    Zimbo Semi-Pro

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    Agreed. Connors second serve may be better than Wilander's though.
     
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  4. Zimbo

    Zimbo Semi-Pro

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  5. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    Wilander had the better serve for sure. Better technique, as Limpin said. His ace count was certainly higher -- that is, when he was in the mindset to hit aces.

    I wrote above that Wilander, when he met Lendl, actually tended to get more "free points" on serve -- at least in the matches for which we have stats. That was not true for Connors when he met Lendl in their first 3 Slam meetings. Connors won all 3 matches and yet he always got fewer "free points" than Lendl did.

    And that's pretty significant considering Connors' service return, and how well Jimmy was able to "steal" aces and service winners from Lendl.

    Don't know whether that's true, but for what it's worth, both of these men have come up in our stats with matches in which their success on 2nd serve was higher than their success on 1st serve.

    That's happened with Connors several times in our stats. His 1st and 2nd serves were practically the same (and I think we've already established that Connors' 1st serve was inferior to Wilander's). You could sometimes say that about Wilander's 1st and 2nd, but only in those matches where he was spinning his 1st serve in.
     
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  6. Zimbo

    Zimbo Semi-Pro

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    Hmmm, very interesting. I think your right about Connors 1st and 2nd serve being very similar. That's why using the eye ball test it appeared that Connors had the better second serve. It was harder for guys like Mac, Lendl, Becker, and Edberg to attack than that of Wilander's 2nd serve.
     
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  7. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    I see your point about the eyeball test, but with Wilander, again, it depends on what match or what year you're talking about. Definitely in the '87 RG final I remember that when he'd miss his first serve, Lendl would move over to pummel a forehand, and the second ball seemed to sit up enough for him to do that.

    But 88 USO final, that's one of the matches where Wilander's success on 2nd serve exceeded his 1st. The figures were 63% to 61%. And 63% success on 2nd serve is excellent -- not necessarily higher than some figures we have for Connors, but comparable.
     
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  8. Zimbo

    Zimbo Semi-Pro

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    That's the key isn't it? It all depended on the year and on a certain match Wilander was playing. Some matches Wilander's second serve didn't look so weak ('88 USO finals or '88 Cincinnati finals) while some matches his 2nd serve looked like a powder puff ('83 or '87 FO finals or '89 Davis Cup finals). I guess you can say that about his 1st serve also. However, his first serve was more dependent on which opponent he was playing and what was his tactical game plan for the match.
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2011
    #58
  9. SusanDK

    SusanDK Semi-Pro

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  10. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    Yes basically agreed to that.
     
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  11. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    I fully agree.I just think that neither Connors neither Wilander had good serves.But Connors probably had a little bit more of sidespin, which made his serve not so easy to attack.But, true, Wilander improved his serve with years
     
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