Lendl's serve

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by David_86, Jun 24, 2009.

  1. David_86

    David_86 Rookie

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    I think Lendl's serve is overrated.

    His first serve was good, but not in the same class as Becker's. It would be a good day if he was averaging over 50%. It was not a weapon he could rely on to get himself out of trouble.

    His second serve was good for a second serve, but it killed him at Wimbledon when he came in behind it. (Becker's backhand returns come to mind)

    Fortunately, Lendl had the best forehand and backhand in the world.
     
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  2. thalivest

    thalivest Banned

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    Did Lendl really have the best backhand in the world?
     
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  3. pmerk34

    pmerk34 Legend

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    Lendl would save break point after break point in big matches with Aces. What are you talking about? How many times did you see him play?
     
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  4. pmerk34

    pmerk34 Legend

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    I don't know but he could rip it crosscourt and up line with massive pace. He passed people all day up the line with it. He could chip it, slice it, lob and topspin lob with it and do it on the run. Other than that it was below avg.
     
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  5. CEvertFan

    CEvertFan Hall of Fame

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    Lendl had a great serve. I'm kind of shocked you don't think so. :shock:

    No, it's not as good as Sampras or Becker or Ivanisevic but it's much better than you make it out to be.
     
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  6. David_86

    David_86 Rookie

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    I honestly don't think it was a great serve. It was a very good serve.

    I'm paying Lendl a backhanded compliment. I'm saying that, unlike guys (Sampras, Becker, Ivanisevic,) who bang down huge serves after huge serves, Lendl was more reliant on his fabulous groudstrokes.

    As a weapon, I would certainly rank his serve behind his forehand and backhand.
     
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  7. pmerk34

    pmerk34 Legend

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    When I watched Lendl play I thought he hit hard. Now when I watch tapes of his matches and compare it to today's players it's clear that todays players blast every ball considerably harder

    When he played his serve was rarely described as great so that is true.
     
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  8. MIRO_1975

    MIRO_1975 New User

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    I also think Ivan had a good serve.

    Especially at his best times his serve was better than most of the other guys (as long as they were no serve-specialists like Boris, Zivojinovic etc.) on the tour.

    Certainly compared to today's serves it wasn't so hard but he could hit it flat and fast and very placed what helped him very much on grass or carpet!
     
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  9. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    I was listening to a radio talk show I would guess in the late 1980's to early 1990's with Brad Gilbert as one of the guests. Someone asked Gilbert who had the best serve in tennis. Brad said Ivan Lendl. The reason why was not just because of the power, but also for the variety of serves. Gilbert never knew what Lendl would do.

    Now it's possible that Gilbert meant who had the serve that bothered him the most and not necessarily the best serve but I thought he meant best serve in the game. That's impressive considering guys like Becker were around.

    A quote from Gilbert's book Winning Ugly on Ivan Lendl-When he's ahead he starts going for his aces with more regularly and with more confidence, because he trusts his second serve.
     
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2009
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  10. Cosmic Charlie

    Cosmic Charlie New User

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    In the '80's, it was among the best. Becker, Bobo, Curren had more explosive first serves, McEnroe had a nastier lefty slice, but Lendl's serve (first and second) were among the best in his era. Edberg's second serve was superior/less attackable.
    Lendl's forehand was the most feared weapon. In the late eighties, with Agassi's arrival, there was something comparable.
    Lendl's backhand was versatile-and he used it to create an opening to employ his forehand and take control of/end the rally. 90 percent of the shots played were directed to his backhand. It was dependable, but not so much of a strength on the return of serve as Becker's backhand.

    In the late seventies, early eighties, he had an unusually high ball toss. He lowered it before the mid-eighties.
     
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  11. crash1929

    crash1929 Hall of Fame

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    does anyone remember that point where lendl is running to his right and the ball gets hit behind him. while behind the baseline he reaches behind him and hits a fh behind his back down the line for a winner. i believe the match was on clay.
     
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  12. galain

    galain Hall of Fame

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    Lendl himself said his serve was his best shot. I recall him saying something along the lines of him not always serving at a high percentage, but his serve rarely let him down when he needed to rely on hit.
     
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  13. crash1929

    crash1929 Hall of Fame

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    his fh was his best shot. oh no i mean his half volley.
     
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  14. crash1929

    crash1929 Hall of Fame

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    #14
  15. crash1929

    crash1929 Hall of Fame

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    come on guys i've written some pretty good thread killers but this is not one of them. funny as hell.
     
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