Greatest Serves of All Time

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by NonP, Jan 14, 2010.

  1. pc1

    pc1 Legend

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2008
    Messages:
    9,353
    Okay a couple of minor criticisms. Isner's serve is terrific but he hasn't been around that long. I don't think he should be on the list quite yet.

    Roddick's serve is actually one of the best ever since he's often led the ATP in percentage of holding serve for a number of years. Considering that I don't think he has the all court skills or mobility of a Nadal or Federer, that says something for his serve.

    I'll look at it a little more when I had the time.
     
  2. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2010
    Messages:
    9,277
    I think Smith had a bigger and better serve than Ashe, Newcombe and Noah who are on your list. I think Alexander had a bigger serve than Smith, one of the biggest ever. But, I can't say it was better. Smith had much more success as a player overall, and that counts for something when assessing the greatness of a player's best shot. I don't know that much about Falkenburg, other than that he was a Wimbledon champ.

    Having said that, Federer's serve is conspicuously missing from your list. He's easily top 10, IMO. What he lacks in power compared to some othres he more than makes up for in pinpoint accuracy and disguise.
     
  3. pc1

    pc1 Legend

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2008
    Messages:
    9,353
    Respectfully I disagree. With all his all court skills Federer has only led the ATP in holding serve one time outright that I know of. If his serve was that good and with his baseline skills and forehand, he would lead that category every year.

    Kavolovic and Roddick beat him in most years in holding serve.

    Sampras for example led the ATP in most the of the decade of the 1990's by comparison. I think I may have it listed somewhere way back in this thread.

    A lot of the players we are discussing have great first serves but some may not have the greatest second serves. For example Pete Sampras is not only known for the great first serve but his great second serve. Jack Kramer for ages was known for having the greatest second serve ever. John Newcombe was known for a great second serve and also a great heavy first serve. In Newcombe's prime he was considered to have the best overall serving game in tennis.

    Federer has an excellent serving game but you can't call him top ten all time in serving ahead of Roddick and Karlovic if both hold serve by a percentage basis better than him.

    I think we should almost pay attention to longivity. Roddick can qualify there as would Sampras, Gonzalez, Kramer, Goran among others. Karlovic may be there also since he's done it for a number of years but Isner is not there yet for me.
     
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2011
  4. Datacipher

    Datacipher Banned

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2004
    Messages:
    4,611
    Yes, it is a good thread...one reason I haven't commented is because it's such a huge subject, and I forget what's been said, and what I've already said! LOL. So, I only chime in if I have something specific to say about something else that's been said. Enjoyed reading it though...
     
  5. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2010
    Messages:
    9,277
    Well, the 3 serves you compare to Fed's serve are all top 6 on NonP's list. I said I thought Fed's serve was top 10. So, there's not that much between our positions. Also, although holding serve % is an important stat., so is hitting aces and service winners on big points, something that Fed used to excel at as I recall.
     
  6. MethodTennis

    MethodTennis Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2008
    Messages:
    3,604
    Roddick, Samprass, Karlovic, some of the other tall guys in the modern game, end of discussion
     
  7. shake&bake

    shake&bake Rookie

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2011
    Messages:
    110
    Location:
    on a tennis court
    Agree 100%. Fed's serve has been outstanding throughout his career, and he hits the aces and wins the key points when he needs to. In the post above yours, I disagree about Roddicks serve. Sure, he can hit it 155 (well not anymore) but he doesnt move it around as much as the other big servers (Karlovic, Isner). Also, if he serve and volleyed more then he could easily win another major.
     
  8. pc1

    pc1 Legend

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2008
    Messages:
    9,353
    The thing about Roddick's serve is that you can't argue with results. He holds his serve regularly over 90% of the time and leads the ATP often in holding serve. And you guys know that Roddick's mobility and all court skills aren't in the same league as Federer's. So those who disagree please tell me how Roddick is holding serve on a percentage basis better than just about anyone over the years with the possible exception of Karlovic? If Federer has a better serve than Roddick why is Roddick holding serve more often than Federer? And I will say that I think Federer's serve is superb. I'm just trying to be logical here.
     
  9. krosero

    krosero Legend

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2006
    Messages:
    5,583
    Wilander defeated Zivojinovic at the 1988 Wimbledon, and just before their match Mats said, "His serve is much better than Becker's. You can play for 10 minutes against Bobo without hitting a real shot."
     
  10. pc1

    pc1 Legend

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2008
    Messages:
    9,353
    I've seen Bobo Zivojinovic play in person and his serve did look awesome. Did not see him enough to really know his level of serving but he did look great when I did see him. Get this for serving power in doubles--I saw Zivojinovic and Becker against Noah and Leconte. Four servers of great power and all pretty decent volleyers. That was some doubles match.
     
  11. NonP

    NonP Professional

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2009
    Messages:
    1,082
    I actually had Stich pretty up high at first. The best 2nd serve Sampras says he ever faced, and the best disguise according to Goran. Stich's problem, though, was that he usually didn't get a very high % of 1st serves in, even if one considers that his head screwed everything up at times.

    Maybe the additional spin with today's racquets could improve it somewhat, but then you see today someone like Murray who is about the same height (just an inch shorter) but who also has trouble keeping up the %s.

    pc1, I actually agree that Isner hasn't been tested enough to rank near the top. He's on the list 'cause President (I think) suggested that his serve might be better than Roddick's, and I do think, as a pure shot, it is among the best, and we have enough data that support this view. But as you can see I still put him below A-Rod, for the reason you mentioned. Maybe I'll drop him down a few notches in my next update.

    Limpin, sorry, I meant to say Froehling, not Falkenburg. Obviously Falkenburg is going a little too far, even for you. :twisted:

    As for Fed, I'm not sure if you've been following this thread from the beginning, but what I'm trying to do here is to rank these serves as stand-alone shots. In other words, I'm trying to rank the greatest serves of all time, not greatest serveRs per se.

    Let me put it this way. As you may well know, Goran was one crazy SoB, and as such his form and in turn his service stats varied wildly. An infamous example is the '98 Wimbledon final, where he served a whopping 20 DFs against Sampras. (BTW the only match I recall in which a player served even more DFs was back at the '06 AO where Coria had 23 against Grosjean in the 3rd round, but that was when his serving yips had already begun in full swing. Also I remember watching Verdasco's 4th-round match against Davydenko from last year's AO and wondering, with a wide grin, whether he'd beat that dubious record. (Un)fortunately he cut down on those DFs in the 5th and ended up with only 20, though he did lose the match.)

    Of course, it's matches like that which make people (including a few posters on this very thread) say Goran served too many DFs, when the year-round stats show that his average # of DFs wasn't actually out of the ordinary. That tells me those rare instances of choking on his part were indeed just that, choking, attributable more to the mind than to the body (read: technique). Ditto "hitting aces and service winners on big points," to quote your own criteria.

    And that's also why most of us would nod our head when someone said, "Pete might have had the best package, but Goran had the best serve." I know urban once pooh-poohed this line of thinking, but it makes sense to me. And similarly, I don't think Fed's serve (or Borg's for that matter), again as a pure shot, is quite among the best of the best, partly for the reasons pc1 listed. Put another way, if you gave Fed Goran's or Arthurs' serve, he'd be even more devastating.

    (BTW, while I do agree that Fed deserves consideration among the best servers, one of the knocks against him is his history of liability to a low 1st-serve % in big matches.)

    Having said all that, you really think Smith's serve was better than Newcombe's, which is supposed to be one of the very greatest? Was Smith's 2nd serve comparable to Newk's? Also, I think you said on another thread that Alexander's serve was even bigger than Tanner's? How would you rank them in terms of consistency? (pc1 believes Dibley was too inconsistent to merit a place on the list.)

    And for the record, Ashe's actually not on the list yet. Do you think he deserves to be added at all? Let me stress that the goal here is to rank the best of the best only, not to give shout-outs to every excellent serve that we've seen over the course of history.

    As always, actual rankings would be nice. :)

    Your observation regarding Roddick's serve was probably true back in his hard-hitting days, but nowadays I find that he actually mixes it up quite well, and often with very high %s. A great example is the '09 Wimbledon final, where, the ace counts notwithstanding, he actually had more freebies than Fed thanks to those unreturned serves. And I should also point out that even post-prime Fed's return was (and is) better than Roddick's.

    If this quote proves anything, it's that Wilander had a penchant for hyperbole well before he became a media darling. :twisted: But seriously, does anyone buy that Zivojinovic had a much better serve than Boom Boom himself? Strictly speaking neither is in the same league as the top 4-5 on my list, but does Zivo boast the same consistency as Becker? Maybe krosero and others have a couple of stats handy?
     
  12. Datacipher

    Datacipher Banned

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2004
    Messages:
    4,611
    I have trouble giving Bobo the serve over BoomBoom....don't get me wrong, Bobo had better diguise, a quicker motion, and MAYBE a higher top end (or at least got the higher speeds more often), but I don't think he was the clutch server Becker was...I don't think his 2nd serve...while heavy...was as dangerous as Becker's.

    And no...not as consistent....it always seemed to me that the margin for error on his biggest flat blasts was low....he seemed in particular to hit a lot into the net, from what I remember. Not sure if that was due to his toss, posture, head, etc....just don't remember well enough to comment.

    He sort of reminded of Taylor Dent. A big plodding man....with a heavy serve that was a big weapon...but just seemed to miss a few too many of the big bomb serves when it really counted.
     
  13. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2010
    Messages:
    9,277
    Ahh, Froehling! Yes, I had the opportunity to see him play a few team tennis matches. He was tall, skinny, and really whipped his serve in there. It's been many years, but, to my recollection, his serve motion was a bit of a semi-straight arm motion, similar to Ashe's. For me, as I explained in my high rating of Federer's serve, the measure of any great shot has to include consideration of how it was used to win championships. To my knowledge, Froehling had a good, but short, record in majors. I think he was a U.S. Open finalist one year. But, that's not enough of a championship record to put him in to the top 20, IMO.

    As for Smith, IMO, his serve was one of the best, if not the best, of the early 70's. But, there was very little observable intensity in his game. He seemed very casual, almost indifferent in match play. He didn't get down well to low volleys or groundies. Overall, Newcombe was a better player IMO. Newk had a big serve and a big forehand, but, his real forte was his touch/dink and net game. Unlike Laver who took tremendous pride in how hard he could pound the ball and blast his opponent off of the court, and would never resort to dinks and touch as an approach to a match, Newk was just the opposite. He would be content, even delighted, to drop, lob and dink his opponent all day, the way he did to Connors in the 74' AO. So, overall, Newk was the better player, especially on grass. But, Smith's serve was slightly better IMO.

    As for Alexander, I remember him playing great overpowering Smith in a hard court match in a straight sets, only to lose easily to Dick Stockton in the next round missing many first serves and just looking off of his game. Yes, as I recall, Alexander's serve was as big as Tanner's serve (I can't say it was bigger, but, they both had the biggest serves in the game along with Colin Dibley), but, he didn't have as successful a career, especially in majors. So, it's hard for me to put Alexander in the top 20 as well.

    As for Ashe, IMO he had a top 20 backhand, top 20 athleticism and was top 20 in versatility and tactics. He was very able, and willing, to change his game to suit the situation in order to win. But, I don't think his serve was top 20. It was a great serve, but, not that great.
     
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2011
  14. Bilbo

    Bilbo Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2009
    Messages:
    532
    I've seen Froehiling play, matter of fact I have a video of him playing Wanaro N'Godrella, if my CD drive wasn't messed up I'd post it. But, i digress, Arthur Ashe had a huge serve, but I don't know about top 20. Clark Graebner's serve, I think should be in the top 10. I haven't actually seen it yet, but I should be getting the 1968 Davis Cup F in the mail in a couple of days, so then I can do a more accurate analysis.

    Also, John McEnroe said Ivan Ljubicic's serve was top 10 all time, and I respect his opinion on that. For what it's worth, here's my list (Open Era only because Pre-Open Era and Open Era players should not be compared).

    1. Goran Ivanisevic
    2. Ivo Karlovic
    3. Pete Sampras
    4. Andy Roddick
    5. Boris Becker
    6. Ivan Ljubicic
    7. Roscoe Tanner
    8. Clark Graebner
    9. Jon Isner
    10. Richard Krajicek
     
  15. Moose Malloy

    Moose Malloy Legend

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2005
    Messages:
    7,866
    when did he say that?

    I noticed you removed your youtube clips. are you posting them on another site?
     
  16. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2010
    Messages:
    9,277
    Interesting list. I never saw Graebner play, but, he did use (experiment with) the Wilson T2000, one of the most powerful racquets ever made, toward the end of his career. I can't wait to see your Froehling clip. When/where did you see him play?
     
  17. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2010
    Messages:
    9,277
    I heard him say something like that during highlights of Ljubicic's last match.
     
  18. krosero

    krosero Legend

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2006
    Messages:
    5,583
    Roddick did have more freebies than Federer (98 to 88 ) if you count all unreturned serves, but that is only because he had to serve far more points than Federer (239 vs. 197). If the two men had served close to the same number of points Roddick would be behind in freebies.

    That has something to do with the quality of the returner and I agree even in '09 Federer had the better return. And overall I'd take Roddick's serve over Federer's.

    Same consistency, I don't think so. As for stats the only one I have is from Wimbledon '87:

    "Yesterday, in dispatching Great Britain's Jeremy Bates in three sets - 7-6, 7-5, 7-6 - Zivojinovic served on 110 points. Of that number, 26 serves were aces. Another 30 points were service winners. What that means is that Bates returned only 54 out of 110 serves - 49 percent. That is how well Zivojinovic is serving." (Philadelphia Daily News)

    That comes to a rate of 51% of all serves unreturned (presuming that Bobo's double-faults are accounted for in the above excerpt, or that he didn't serve any).

    Anyway 51% is right up there with the top rates mentioned upthread. I think we had Becker just barely over 50% in a few matches, and Sampras just slightly higher than that in a few.
     
  19. Bilbo

    Bilbo Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2009
    Messages:
    532
    I have a DVD of him playing Wanaro N'Godrella in the 1973 French Open 3rd Round. Froehling beat him pretty soundly, but I really wanted the video for the N'Godrella footage (him being one of the first significant black pro tennis players and all). I'm only 18, so i never saw him play live or anything :). Ill post it up within the next week once I get my external CD Drive.

    And to answer Moose Malloy's question, I deleted my old youtube account, but I'll repost the stuff I had up (since it's already downloaded to my computer)
     
  20. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2010
    Messages:
    9,277
    OK, I'm dying to know how one gets there hands on a DVD of a Froehling/N'Godrella match. Seriously! Because, if you can do that, then there must be innumberable other matches you can find on DVD, no.
     
  21. Bilbo

    Bilbo Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2009
    Messages:
    532
    Absolutely! Enter Rick Sasha! The most awesome man I've ever met in the entirety of my life (outside of my dad). He needs to get back to me on the 1968 Davis Cup F singles match between Graebner and Ruffels :evil:... but anyways he has the largest collection of high quality classic tennis matches I've ever seen in my life. And, perhaps the most amazing thing is most of them cost no more than 10 bucks :).

    http://www.ricklovestennis.com/ (note you won't find the N'Godrella match on the website i don't think. I had to request that one).
     
  22. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2010
    Messages:
    9,277
    SHAH-WINGGGGGG!
     
  23. Moose Malloy

    Moose Malloy Legend

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2005
    Messages:
    7,866
    stats I took on '85 Wimbledon 1st Round, Zivojinovic d. Wilander 62 57 75 60

    Bobo was 52 of 113 on 1st serve(46%)
    Had 15 aces(3 on 2nd serve), 12 df's
    Had 29 other unreturned serves.
    so 39% of serves were unreturned

    stats I took on '86 Wimbledon SF, Lendl d Zivojinovic 62 67 63 67 64

    96-174(55%)
    18 aces(1 on 2nd serve), 7 df's
    had 46 other unreturned serves
    37% of serves unreturned
     
  24. LeftyFL

    LeftyFL New User

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2010
    Messages:
    9
    Location:
    Gulfport, Florida
    You don't include Federer?!!!
     
  25. abmk

    abmk G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2008
    Messages:
    15,724
    Location:
    U.S
    eh, I can recall only two instances, AO 2009 final, USO 2009 final ( neither of them in his peak years ) , that's about it. Not sure how that makes it a liability to a low 1st serve % in big matches ?
     
  26. rod99

    rod99 Professional

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2005
    Messages:
    1,197
    no. his serve isn't top 20 all time. anyone who thinks it is doesn't know anything about tennis. and i'm a huge federer fan.
     
  27. fed_rulz

    fed_rulz Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2007
    Messages:
    3,614
    so what???
     
  28. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2010
    Messages:
    9,277
    Well, anyone who thinks it isn't is a great big poopy pants . . . and I'm not a huge Federer fan.
     
  29. rod99

    rod99 Professional

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2005
    Messages:
    1,197
    i'm saying that i'm not one of those guys who talks down someone's game b/c they don't like him or they are a huge fan of one of his rivals.
     
  30. krosero

    krosero Legend

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2006
    Messages:
    5,583
    Curren had an unreturned rate of 57.6% when he swept Connors at '85 Wimby, per Moose's count.

    I don't recall any other rate upthread that was higher. The next highest I know of is Sampras at 52.3%, 2000 Wimbledon final vs. Rafter.

    The only previous rate we had for Curren was 40% in his loss to Becker.
     
  31. pc1

    pc1 Legend

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2008
    Messages:
    9,353
    What are some of Goran's rates in his matches at Wimbledon?
     
  32. krosero

    krosero Legend

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2006
    Messages:
    5,583
    Slice Serve Ace posted somewhere that Goran had a rate of 52.8% when he defeated Becker in straights at 94W.

    He also posted this list upthread, with a number of Goran matches in it: http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?p=5293727#post5293727

    Right at the top of the list is one rate even higher than Curren's rate against Connors: 59.2% by Sampras against Pioline in the 97W final.

    I had forgotten that one, and maybe SSA knows of even higher rates -- though 59% is unbelievably good.
     
  33. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2007
    Messages:
    12,668
    Location:
    Bierlandt
    1. Sampras
    2. Ivanisevic
    3. P. Gonzales
    4. Roddick
    5. Krajicek
    6. Stich
    7. Tanner
    8. Newcombe
    9. Tilden
    10. Curren
    11. Edberg
    12. Federer
    13. McEnroe
    14. Becker
    15. Dibley
    16. Karlovic
    17. Rusedski
    18. Kramer
    19. Fraser
    20. Dent
    21. Noah
    22. Borg
     
  34. slice serve ace

    slice serve ace Rookie

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2009
    Messages:
    185
    karlović vs thomas johansson, stockholm 07
    40 of 66 serves unreturned (27 aces) = 60.6 %

    i have 2 other for karlović

    vs agassi, uso 05, 63 of 139 (30 aces) = 45.3 %
    vs roddick, queens 05, 32 of 81 (16 aces) = 39.5 %

    few more for krajicek

    vs sampras, wimb 96, 62 of 117 (29 aces) = 53 %
    vs sampras, stuttgart 98, 52 of 101 (16 aces) = 51.5 %

    few for joachim johansson

    vs agassi, ao 05, 76 of 149 (51 aces) = 51 %
    vs ljubičić, marseille 05, 25 of 58 (20 aces) = 43.1 %

    few for goran i did recently

    vs edberg, stuttgart 92, 58 of 143 (32 aces) = 40.6 %
    vs martin, grand slam cup 95, 55 of 97 (28 aces) = 56.7 %
    vs becker, frankfurt 92, 50 of 101 (23 aces) = 49.5 %

    few for roddick that i have

    vs federer, wimb 09, 98 of 239 (27 aces) = 41 %
    vs el aynaoui, ao 03, 79 of 231 (27 aces) = 34.2 %
    vs karlović, queens 05, 41 of 74 (9 aces) = 55.4 %
    vs sampras, uso 02, 25 of 69 (8 aces) = 36.2 %
    vs safin, houston wtf 03, 40 of 92 (13 aces) = 43.5 %

    and few for sampras i did most recently

    vs stich, wimb 92, 46 of 82 (9 aces) = 56.1 %
    vs agassi, paris 94, 40 of 100 (19 aces) = 40 %
    vs agassi, hannover 96, 21 of 38 (9 aces) = 55.3 %
    vs agassi, monte carlo 98, 27 of 63 (6 aces) = 42.9 %
    vs kucera, vienna 98, 35 of 101 (13 aces) = 34.7 %
    vs henman, vienna 98, 22 of 40 (10 aces) = 55 % (thanks laurie for uploading - one of the best performances i ever saw)


    now, people don't have experience with these unreturned serves stats; it is not part of the standard stats they show at the matches and it is rarely or never showed (i only saw few times at wimbledon it's reverse stat - returns in)
    so, i will make a small ladder, based on my experience, which will help to understand this stat better

    20 % or less - for the worst servers, or if playing in the mud
    20 - 29 % - bad stat for the server
    30 - 34 % - returner will be more happy with this, but the server is making some impact
    35 % - i would call this middle ground
    36 - 40 % - server is making some real impact but is not dominating
    41 - 45 % - server is dominating, returner has serious troubles; however, there are still probabbly "pockets" where returner gets opportunities and returns well
    46 - 50 % - big domination of server; opportunities for the returner are few and far between
    over 50 % - total domination of server; breaks highly unlikely



    and lastly, on topic - 4 best servers i saw are ivanišević, krajicek, karlović and sampras - but i don't know in which order to put them
     
  35. pc1

    pc1 Legend

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2008
    Messages:
    9,353
    Thanks Krosero.


    Great information.
     
  36. krosero

    krosero Legend

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2006
    Messages:
    5,583
  37. urban

    urban Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2005
    Messages:
    4,357
    Those lists are quite reasonable. With Sampras, Vines and Gonzalez you are on a safe plank. What is lacking a bit, is the lefthanded aspect (except Goran). Neale Fraser and for the women Martina Nav, who imo had the best womens serve (better than King or Court imo), could be added.
     
  38. Magnetite

    Magnetite Professional

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2011
    Messages:
    906
    Sampras @ #1 for sure.
     
  39. This ^ omg this!! A left hander using it to such an incredible advantage.

    Dalmatia + Tennis = Service win!!
     
  40. NonP

    NonP Professional

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2009
    Messages:
    1,082
    Good to see this thread up and running again. :) Hopefully I can get back to the individual posters (if necessary) later this week. For now, just wanted to say thanks to krosero and slice serve ace for those stats.

    Enjoy the USO, all.
     
  41. Moose Malloy

    Moose Malloy Legend

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2005
    Messages:
    7,866
    did you count sampras' numbers vs roddick in this match?

    do you ever count unreturned serves on 2nd serves in any of your stats?

    thanks
     
  42. Otherside

    Otherside Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2008
    Messages:
    697
    No one mentioning Joachim Johansson?

    Swedish tv did a story on him during stockholm open a couple of years ago and feliciano lopez was practicing next to him and the reporter asked feliciano about his serve, Feliciano just replied-just look at it, nothing compares to it while Pim Pim was hammering serves, feliciano also said he had never faces a tougher serve with as many variations of spin and pace.

    Pim Pim said he was extremely focused an the variety, he had tons of different serve for each side.

    Pim Pim is also said to have a monster sound serve technically.
     
  43. pc1

    pc1 Legend

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2008
    Messages:
    9,353
    Interesting how they have Federer there but not Roddick even though Roddick has held serve more often over the years and has led the ATP in percentage of holding serve numerous times. You add that Federer has more overall weapons outside his serve to hold serve so I cannot figure why Federer is ranked higher than Roddick. Actually I know why, Federer's the better player and experts tend to rate better players as better in everything which may or may not be true. In this case I would think not when it comes to serve.
     
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2011
  44. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2010
    Messages:
    9,277
    IMO, Stan Smith's serve was better than about half of the serves on this, maybe more! I think that Smith modeled his serve after Gonzales, the motions are very similar, and he was even bigger than Gonzeles. The only serves clearly better than Smiths on this list would be Sampras, Gonzales, Ivanisovic, Roddick, Becker and Tanner. IMO, Smith's serve was at least as good as Newk's, and better than Mac's and Edberg's.

    PS: Not that representative of Smith's serve in singles, but, here's the best I could find on short notice. At least you can get a view of the beautiful technique and power that Smith had: http://www.ina.fr/sport/tennis/vide...oland-garros-victoire-ashe-et-riessen.fr.html

    PPS: Come to think of it, I'd put Nastase's and maybe even Ashe's serves ahead of some on this list.
     
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2011
  45. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2010
    Messages:
    9,277
    I think Federer's serve is probably top 10, but, I can think of at least a few serves that I would put in the top 5 ahead of Federer.

    As for the women, it's a joke not to have Venus Williams in the top 5. The only reason she's not #1 is because her toss went off from time to time. I would also put Virginia Wade's serve above BJK's.
     
  46. BTURNER

    BTURNER Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2007
    Messages:
    3,512
    Location:
    OREGON
    I agree completely. I think Navratilova's serve should be above King's as well. King was more dependent on that first volley (the best placed ever IMHO) than either Wade or Martina.
     
  47. pc1

    pc1 Legend

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2008
    Messages:
    9,353
    I agree with you about Martina Navratilova's serve. It's much better than King's.

    It's weird to have BJ King's serve so high. I don't think her serve was ever ranked so high when she was playing. It's a fine serve but in her prime years I think Court's serve and Wade's serve were easily ranked higher.

    Is Graf's serve on the list somewhere for this thread?
     
  48. BTURNER

    BTURNER Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2007
    Messages:
    3,512
    Location:
    OREGON
    Krosero's link above explains the rationale for King to placed so high. Every word is true enough. Certainly King picked her serve with the same intellegnce as she picked every shot she hit, but none of those serves were that potent by themselves.
     
  49. magnut

    magnut Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2011
    Messages:
    2,737
    Sampras will probably always have the greatest serve based on Variety and being able to come up with the goods when it counts.

    However...The most devastating serveing I have ever seen is definitly Joachim Johansson. Just a scary, scary server. He was like a demon monster from the depths of hell.
     
  50. pc1

    pc1 Legend

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2008
    Messages:
    9,353
    I vote this post as one of the most amusing descriptions of any player I have read. I like it.:)
     

Share This Page