Greatest return of serve of all time

Discussion in 'General Pro Player Discussion' started by The Dark Knight, Sep 26, 2012.

?

Greatest return of serve of all time

  1. Joker

    34 vote(s)
    24.8%
  2. Agassi

    75 vote(s)
    54.7%
  3. Connors

    5 vote(s)
    3.6%
  4. Someone else

    23 vote(s)
    16.8%
  1. The Dark Knight

    The Dark Knight Legend

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2012
    Messages:
    6,340
    What do you think? Poll is on its way
     
    #1
  2. tricky

    tricky Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2006
    Messages:
    3,305
    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.
     
    #2
  3. dangalak

    dangalak Banned

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2012
    Messages:
    608
    Djokovic is a very overrated returner.

    I'd say it's Hewitt.
     
    #3
  4. Russeljones

    Russeljones G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2011
    Messages:
    12,377
    I'd say Murray has been for a while a better returner than Djokovic, still I went for Agassi.
     
    #4
  5. BorisBeckerFan

    BorisBeckerFan Professional

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2009
    Messages:
    1,164
    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.
     
    #5
  6. rofl_copter3

    rofl_copter3 Professional

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2011
    Messages:
    851
    Location:
    Eugene, OR
    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
     
    #6
  7. Vcore89

    Vcore89 Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2012
    Messages:
    1,902
    Location:
    The synapse
    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:
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2012
    #7
  8. slickerthansleek

    slickerthansleek Rookie

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2011
    Messages:
    125
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    Hewitt pretty much ruined Serve & Volley, he should at least be included on the list.
     
    #8
  9. Feña14

    Feña14 Legend

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2004
    Messages:
    5,377
    Location:
    England
    Agassi, then Murray for me.
     
    #9
  10. dangalak

    dangalak Banned

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2012
    Messages:
    608
    Andre has the most legendary ROS (up there with Connors) but I'd day Lleyton's is BETTER. as in, more useful.
     
    #10
  11. NDFM

    NDFM Rookie

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2012
    Messages:
    255
    Agassi all the way for me, then perhaps djokovic
     
    #11
  12. The Bawss

    The Bawss Banned

    Joined:
    May 8, 2011
    Messages:
    2,829
    Location:
    Lyon, France.
    Peak Hewitt. Made Pete look like Pablo Andujar.
     
    #12
  13. AnotherTennisProdigy

    AnotherTennisProdigy Professional

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2012
    Messages:
    891
    Location:
    Miami, FL
    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.
     
    #13
  14. dangalak

    dangalak Banned

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2012
    Messages:
    608
    Federer pwned him that one time. :)

    Djokovic could fluke one as well. :twisted: Also, James Blake did that as well IIRC.
     
    #14
  15. Roddick85

    Roddick85 Professional

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2011
    Messages:
    1,160
    Location:
    Montreal
    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.
     
    #15
  16. cc0509

    cc0509 G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2010
    Messages:
    14,756
    This topic again? :rolleyes:

    Agassi.
     
    #16
  17. Alchemy-Z

    Alchemy-Z Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2010
    Messages:
    1,503
    Location:
    Augusta, GA
    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.
     
    #17
  18. 5555

    5555 Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2007
    Messages:
    2,707
    Location:
    London
    "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/spo...a-of-mens-tennis/story-fnbe6xeb-1226262260411
     
    #18
  19. dangalak

    dangalak Banned

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2012
    Messages:
    608
    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.

    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:
     
    #19
  20. RoddickAce

    RoddickAce Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2007
    Messages:
    2,467
    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.
     
    #20
  21. Roddick85

    Roddick85 Professional

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2011
    Messages:
    1,160
    Location:
    Montreal
    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.
     
    #21
  22. dangalak

    dangalak Banned

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2012
    Messages:
    608
    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:
     
    #22
  23. TennisLovaLova

    TennisLovaLova Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2011
    Messages:
    3,069
    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....
     
    #23
  24. dangalak

    dangalak Banned

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2012
    Messages:
    608
    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. :)
     
    #24
  25. AnotherTennisProdigy

    AnotherTennisProdigy Professional

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2012
    Messages:
    891
    Location:
    Miami, FL
    Something to think about. Even though Agassi faced stronger servers, return winners are easier to do against serve and volleyers.
     
    #25
  26. RF20Lennon

    RF20Lennon Legend

    Joined:
    May 2, 2011
    Messages:
    7,225
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    I think nole and Agassi maybe even ferrer to an extent
     
    #26
  27. PSNELKE

    PSNELKE Legend

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2009
    Messages:
    6,134
    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:
     
    #27
  28. The Bawss

    The Bawss Banned

    Joined:
    May 8, 2011
    Messages:
    2,829
    Location:
    Lyon, France.
    #28
  29. RF20Lennon

    RF20Lennon Legend

    Joined:
    May 2, 2011
    Messages:
    7,225
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    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
     
    #29
  30. sonicare

    sonicare Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2010
    Messages:
    1,733
    Location:
    london
    Pete's serve is massively overrated. I can name you 5 guys with a better serve.
     
    #30
  31. RF20Lennon

    RF20Lennon Legend

    Joined:
    May 2, 2011
    Messages:
    7,225
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    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
     
    #31
  32. sonicare

    sonicare Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2010
    Messages:
    1,733
    Location:
    london
    Ahh..OK..glad you agree. i agree with you too on the ground game of the super lanky guys.
     
    #32
  33. The Dark Knight

    The Dark Knight Legend

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2012
    Messages:
    6,340
    Really.....who?

    And remember.....a second serve is probably more important than the first serve.....who has a better second serve than Pete?
     
    #33
  34. sonicare

    sonicare Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2010
    Messages:
    1,733
    Location:
    london
    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.
     
    #34
  35. cc0509

    cc0509 G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2010
    Messages:
    14,756


    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.
     
    #35
  36. Tammo

    Tammo Banned

    Joined:
    May 23, 2011
    Messages:
    3,875
    Santiago Giraldo...
     
    #36
  37. cc0509

    cc0509 G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2010
    Messages:
    14,756

    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.
     
    #37
  38. flyinghippos101

    flyinghippos101 Legend

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2009
    Messages:
    5,311
    You're joking right?
     
    #38
  39. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2010
    Messages:
    9,277
    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
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2012
    #39
  40. Alchemy-Z

    Alchemy-Z Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2010
    Messages:
    1,503
    Location:
    Augusta, GA
    I was just testing the waters about how serious people would be :)

    /end troll

    answer to the thread in all honesty is Andre Agassi
     
    #40
  41. Tony48

    Tony48 Legend

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2008
    Messages:
    6,896
    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.
     
    #41
  42. TheFifthSet

    TheFifthSet Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2009
    Messages:
    2,356
    Fed's return is great, but better than Murray, Borg, Agassi Djokovic, Hewitt? Why so high?
     
    #42
  43. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2010
    Messages:
    9,277
    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.
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2012
    #43
  44. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2010
    Messages:
    9,277
    Except for when he stepped around and hit clean winners to every concievable spot on the court.
     
    #44
  45. pc1

    pc1 Legend

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2008
    Messages:
    9,401
    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
     
    #45
  46. Mike Sams

    Mike Sams Legend

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2011
    Messages:
    5,270
    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.
     
    #46
  47. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2010
    Messages:
    9,277
    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.
     
    #47
  48. Polvorin

    Polvorin Professional

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2006
    Messages:
    817
    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.
     
    #48
  49. The-Champ

    The-Champ Legend

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2007
    Messages:
    6,541
    Location:
    Sweden
    Yeah...because being able to handle Rafa's serve makes him the greatest returner of all time. What an idiot!
     
    #49
  50. NadalAgassi

    NadalAgassi Guest

    LOL I have to admit that was hilarious.
     
    #50

Share This Page