Greatest Serves of All Time

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

  1. Carsomyr

    Carsomyr Hall of Fame

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    :lol::lol::lol:
     
  2. Paul Murphy

    Paul Murphy Hall of Fame

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    lol :)

    10chars
     
  3. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    Mike Sangster's service motion was aesthetically a beautiful and graceful serve as well. I have a great photo of his serve at the peak of the toss. You can see the loaded up energy about to be unleashed just by the way he is set up. Unfortunately, the photo is split across the spine of the book and very difficult to copy.
     
  4. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    Actually since someone mentioned Nadal perhaps someone should have a list of top lefty serves of all time.

    I have a few names..Neale Fraser, Roscoe Tanner, John McEnroe, Drobny, Goran Ivanisevic, Henri Leconte, Rod Laver (an excellent serve but not quite in the class of the players listed before him), Guy Forget, John Doeg, Nadal (not a great serve in my opinion but excellent generally speaking but I have seen him falter on second serve). Many said that you never broke Doeg's serve but you just waited for him to tire. Many thought he won the US Nationals on serve along.

    Lots of great serves here. Drobny has been named on some lists as having one of the all time great serves. Tanner's serve is perhaps the fastest from ball toss to the receiver's side of the court that I've ever seen. Goran's is perhaps the best lefty serve or even the best serve I've seen. It's up there with any player. Fraser's serve is legendary. John McEnroe's serve didn't have the power of some here but his spin and his disguise on the serve made it super effective.

    My initial thought is that it would be either Fraser, Goran or Tanner. Probably Fraser or Goran would be the top two in my opinion.

    I would tend to think the greatest lefty women's serve would be Martina Navratilova. I'll try to think of some others to place on the list.
     
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2012
  5. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    Here it is. Didn't come out too bad.

    [​IMG]
     
  6. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    The Alex Olmedo serve.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2012
  7. RF20Lennon

    RF20Lennon Legend

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    Thats only two tournaments! lets look at the average here although I think nadal has better serves than murray and better ad side and first serves than novak
     
  8. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    Hard to say in comparing Nadal's serve with Murray's and Djokovic. Murray has improved his serve I believe recently and between the three of them only Murray has been known to serve over 140 mph so he has the fastest serve.

    Nadal's second serve can be a problem at times. Verdasco in the 2009 Australian semi blasted Nadal's second serve all over the court for winner. I like Djokovic's second serve better.

    But Nadal does have the edge of being a lefty.
     
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2012
  9. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    Dont' know if this one's been mentioned before.
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/te...urvives-bombardment-as-Karlovic-lets-fly.html

    No one died out there, as Boris Becker once said, but one of Karlovic's aces thudded so hard into the scoreboard all the numbers flew off. It was like a lorry shedding its load on the M1, and took almost as long to clear up.

    This took place with something like ace No 10 in a total of 51, which does not include the 102 occasions (officially described in the match statistics as "unreturned serves") when Bracciali barely got a racket on the ball.

    It was a tribute to the Italian's refusal to surrender (not to mention one in the eye for national stereotypes) that it took him the thick end of 4½ hours to break the Croatian's serve, but when he eventually did, it gave him the match 6-7, 7-6, 3-6, 7-6, 12-10.​
    If that’s correct, then Karlovic had 153 unreturned serves altogether. The ATP has him serving on 198 points, so that would come to an unreturned rate of 77.3%.

    If the 102 unreturned include the 51 aces, then the unreturned rate would be 66.7%.

    Anyway Karlovic held in his first 32 service games, a great run.
     
  10. DolgoSantoro

    DolgoSantoro Professional

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    Dang, that's pretty impressive. The article seemed needlessly critical of Karlovic though. I mean, yes he only has a serve but that article kinda ripped into him
     
  11. Moose Malloy

    Moose Malloy Legend

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    wouldn't be surprised if Bracciali had an unreturned rate of 60% as well, I remember espn showing a lot of that 5th set.
     
  12. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    Krosero,

    That's great info. I think he has a great serve and his serving stats are out of this world. Still considering he rarely goes far into the tournaments I would guess that he often doesn't play against the best players so that's a strike against.
     
  13. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    While searching miles per hour and % of serves can give a general definition, there are many other untangibles, such as techniche (Gonzales and I also would include here Stich), beautiful and coordinated movements (Newk and Sampras, also Ashe) use of spin and effects (Edberg and Mc enroe) and the ability to maximize it ( like Becker and Borg in their best days) to consider along mere statistics
     
  14. dangalak

    dangalak Banned

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    Who had a better serve people, Federer or McEnroe?

    Oh wait I forgotm here is the place where Federer is a mere club player, while GM is the place where he is a god who serves better than Roddick. :lol: Too bad there is no middle ground.
     
  15. NadalDramaQueen

    NadalDramaQueen Hall of Fame

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    It isn't quite like that. There are plenty of people here who give Federer his due (even if they prefer to stick Laver or Gonzales in the #1 slot). Of course, there are others who insist that obviously inferior players are much better than Fed.

    However, that doesn't mean I would ever suggest that Federer had a better serve than a player from a previous era here, out of sheer terror. With that said, I will go with no comment. :cool:
     
  16. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Federer fits much in the Mac,Sedgman,Edberg,Rafter,Roche mold. a great server, not a very fast serve, but very effective and he uses to stablish a pattern for the point.But he is the only one of the group not following it to the net, which I think is the good decision, since he is not a good volleyer.
     
  17. dangalak

    dangalak Banned

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    :lol:

    Thanks for proving my point.

    www.youtube.com/watch?v=MqExjxCJr4Q

    He did that against Murray, one of the best passers in the game. You know, guys who use polystrings that allow for easy spin and therefore, easy passing shots, not even mentioning the slowed down surfaces.

    You just couldn't help but leave a dig at him could you? If he "isn't a good volleyer" then who is? Surely you don't think that the likes of Edberg and Rafter would do much better than him? These days, a pure S&V or netrushing style will see you getting almost passed at will, even with these mercurial volleyers at the net. The surfaces and strings changing make it so that he shouldn't come in constantly behind his serve.

    I mean God, watch his volleying since the Olympic final. You should be ashamed of yourself.
     
  18. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Federer, in Golden Era would be AT MOST AN AVERAGE VOLLEYER

    Other than that, I fully agree with you that slow surfaces and strings and reacket tecno makes the game go in the opposite direction of S&V play.I agree with you on that, but that is another problem.
     
  19. dangalak

    dangalak Banned

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    Federer in his recent years would be an average or below average volleyer.

    Federer before he became a baseliner would be a fairly good volleyer with potential to be great.
     
  20. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    Don't confuse being a great volleyer with being a great net player. Federer is neither, of course, but, he did seem more comfortable at net in the early years of his career than he does now. To some extent, that may be due to the evolution of racquets and string since 2000-1. But, IMO, his volley technique is not great and would not hold up very well in the era of S&V domination. Not that he couldn't change that any time he wanted to. There is no limit to Federer's "potential" even now. But, he hasn't done it, and, given the current state of the game and equipment, there's no justification for it. It would not be the most productive use of his time. We now live in the era of groundstrokes as ping pong slams. If you want to win, that's what you have to do.
     
  21. dangalak

    dangalak Banned

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    It boggles my mind how Federer is supposedly "not a good volleyer". How can you be in the top ten of your time in terms of volleying and not be a good volleyer? If you had said "he isn't a great volleyer", you'd have a point. But saying Federer isn't a good volleyer is like saying "Sampras didn't have a good forehand".
     
  22. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    Read again. Your mind is boggled for nothing. I didn't say Federer didn't have a good volley. I said he didn't have a great volley, and that he isn't a great net player.

    Your analogy to Sampras' forehand fails because Sampras, in fact, did have a great forehand. Not as great as Federers or Nadal's, of course, but, it was still a great forehand.
     
  23. dangalak

    dangalak Banned

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    For his time. I doubt that it would hold up in terms of consistency.

    But then again, I don't know that much about the early Sampras. Heard his groundies were much better around the early 90s.
     
  24. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    That is better:)
     
  25. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    GM?
    General manager?
    General Motors?
     
  26. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    Fed is in the top-10 of his time in terms of the serve-and-volley game.
     
  27. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    Probably true.
     
  28. Romismak

    Romismak Rookie

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    Good one

    Must say it again for those who believe in Sampras or Federer or such things, prime Karlovic-serving prime i mean of course is biggest server in history

    Best 1st serve ever + his 2nd isn´t as bad as people think - just it looks bad, because he can´d do much once he is in rally - but according to those statistics from this match he had probably a lot of 2nd serve unreturnables too, and on 1st serve i believe he was almost untouchable.
     
  29. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    Overall Karlovic ended up winning 58% of his 2nd serve points. On 1st serve he won 85%.

    Bracciali was 67% and 87%.
     
  30. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Are even 10 guys who played S&V in Federer era?
     
  31. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Denton,Rusedsky,Feaver,Dibley,Stich,Kk. were pretty good
     
  32. tomwill65

    tomwill65 New User

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    Ido not see Lew Hoad on the list, Art Larson said 12 months ago he had a faster serve than Roddick and very deceptive second serve, and when playing Conzales there was very little difference between the two.TomWill
     
  33. Blocker

    Blocker Semi-Pro

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    I pick Sampras.

    Purely for clutch factor. If I had a dollar for every time I saw him reel off 4 or 5 consecutive aces when down 0-40 or 15-40, I could buy a spaceship.
     
  34. sonicare

    sonicare Hall of Fame

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    It couldn't buy Sampras a French open. Very unlikely you get to buy a spaceship.
     
  35. NLBwell

    NLBwell Legend

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    Sampras might be able to buy a used spaceship.
     
  36. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Lendl matches Borg
     
  37. jean pierre

    jean pierre Semi-Pro

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    Steve Denton and John Sadri are in the top 10.
     
  38. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    Kiki,

    I'm glad you mentioned Lendl. Lendl was a very underrated server. Brad Gilbert thought Lendl's serve was so great not just because of its power but because of the great variety he had in his serve.
     
  39. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Lendl developed a first class kick when he started playing more and more on fast courts and less on clay, that happening by 82 or 83
     
  40. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    Nice list Hoodjem. I would put Newcombe ahead of Tanner. Newcombe was widely considered to have the best serve in tennis even when Tanner was serving bullets in the 1970's.
     
  41. robow7

    robow7 Professional

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    Boom Boom Becker at 14 and Stich at 6, tough to swallow. Also Curren was good but not consistent enough to be top 10 of all time? Just my nitpickings, now carry on.
     
  42. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    hoodjem, I miss Vines in your list.
     
  43. robow7

    robow7 Professional

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    Doh! Of course Vines must be on there, Kramer thought he had possibly the finest serve ever and that coming from a man who thought highly of his own serve but also witnessed several generations of players.
     
  44. forzamilan90

    forzamilan90 Legend

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    Most bada$$ serve from the old school, I'll go with Tanner.
    Of the newer tech rackets, take your pic out of Karlovic, Isner, Raonic, Ivanisevic, Roddick, basically any of those guys that can unleash hell in the 130s like it's no one's business.
     
  45. Moose Malloy

    Moose Malloy Legend

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    Took stats on Raonic vs Haas in San Jose today.

    27 of his 47 service pts were unreturned(57%)

    I believe 57% is just behind Karlovic('07 Stockholm) and Sampras('97 Wimbledon Final) in high matches listed so far.

    22 of his 41 pts vs Querrey in the semis were unreturned(54%)

    stats I took on the 2011 Memphis Final(Roddick d Raonic)

    Roddick - 45% of serves unreturned
    Raonic - 39% of serves unreturned

    and the '03 USO Final
    Roddick - 51% of serves unreturned

    '04 Cincinatti Final(Roddick d Agassi)
    Roddick - 51%
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2013
  46. Moose Malloy

    Moose Malloy Legend

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    Is the Monte Carlo % the highest rate you've seen on clay?

    how is that going?
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2013
  47. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    That, I'll give it to him
     
  48. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    I was recalling 82 USO doubs f with 4 big servers on court and Curren gunnunggunning down his mate Denton with a bomb to his back
    I Certainly would never be a ball boy in that classicdoubs 5 setter not even with an iron man vest>:)
     
  49. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    Many others like Don Budge felt Ellsworth Vines had the finest serve they had ever seen. Vines similar to other serving greats like Kramer, Gonzalez and Newcombe also had an excellent second serve.

    Sidney Wood who saw just about all the great servers and Vines is one of the top, if not THE top.
     
  50. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    And there were also a few greta servers in the cc specialist ranks.I can mention Jaroslav Drobny, who also won Wimbledon and was considered one of the best lefties servers.Adriano Panatta,Victor Pecci,Yannick Noah and Andres Gomez were great servers and most of their career was based on clay.Lendl and Borg developed very good serves, and Guga Kuerten had a very good first ball too.

    Australian Mervuyn Rose had a very good first ball, and his best results were on clay.Phil Dent reached the RG semifinals and was reputed for his ghood serve, although he was helepd by a very hard and deep forehand.John Alexander, while not exclusively a cc specialist, had pretty good results on clay, and so did Jose Luis Clerc and Ilie Nastase.Both had potent serves, when in their peak, although they had other shots to complement, specially a tremendous FH drive.I may think of others later on.But not all the greatest servers are fast courters.
     

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