Sampras Serve of Federer Forehand?

Discussion in 'General Pro Player Discussion' started by Cacoepy, Jan 20, 2013.

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Sampras Serve or Federer Forehand?

  1. Sampras Serve

    44 vote(s)
    59.5%
  2. Federer Forehand

    30 vote(s)
    40.5%
  1. Cacoepy

    Cacoepy New User

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    The Scenario - You are a young, up and coming player on the ATP Tour. Analysts have put you on their 'one to watch' list, however, they feel you don't posses any major 'weapons', and this could hold you back from being a top player. Disheartened by this news, you trudge off in the rain with no destination in mind, and as the Sun starts to disappear over the horizon and the night sets in, you are approached by a mysterious figure. He gives you the opportunity to possess either Sampras' serve or Federer's forehand for the rest of your career.

    Now assuming this guy is legit, which option do you take?
     
    #1
  2. 90's Clay

    90's Clay Legend

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    Pete's serve (especially the 2nd serve and placement) made it extremely difficult to break him.

    Fed's FH is huge but he has other very good weapons in his game as well.

    I would rather just have close to an unbreakable serve that I could rely on in the clutch
     
    #2
  3. federer_FREAK

    federer_FREAK New User

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    The serve is probably the most important shot in tennis so I would definitely take Pete's serve.
     
    #3
  4. Prisoner of Birth

    Prisoner of Birth Banned

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    The serve. Federer is better than Sampras at everything except the serve. So forehand wouldn't be as big an advantage as the one thing that Sampras has over Federer.
     
    #4
  5. paulorenzo

    paulorenzo Hall of Fame

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    often times, federer's own serve determines how well his forehand performs. though fed's forehand would be nice to have on return games, i'd favor sampras's serve.

    now, if in this hypothetical situation i didnt have to play tennis for a living, i'd take fed's forehand. more chances to show off.
     
    #5
  6. 90's Clay

    90's Clay Legend

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    What the heck.. No he isn't.

    Sampras is wayyy more all court player.. Better transition to the net, better feel, better net play, more athleticism and pure speed

    Feds got a better inside-out FH, but Pete's is better on the run

    Similar BH's though Fed's is a bit better

    Fed isn't better at everything. Take your pink Fed shades off
     
    #6
  7. smoledman

    smoledman Legend

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    Fed is better at the forehands, backhand smash, half volleys, trick shots and defense.
     
    #7
  8. President

    President Legend

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    Federer forehand is the best of all time, Sampras serve wasn't. IMO Roddick had a better serve even if we are excluding very tall people.
     
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  9. 90's Clay

    90's Clay Legend

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    pfttt. Roddick doesn't have the disguise or placement nor the 2nd serve Pete had.. Thus why Fed could totally pick Roddick's serve apart.. Its fast but also pretty readable
     
    #9
  10. tennis_pro

    tennis_pro G.O.A.T.

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    This isn't a fair comparison. Everyone would take a big serve over a big forehand just because it's the most important stroke in tennis.

    A better question would be - what would you consider higher quality/better - the Sampras serve or Federer's forehand.
     
    #10
  11. Prisoner of Birth

    Prisoner of Birth Banned

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    Federer was ripping Sampras's serve apart as a baby in 2001.
     
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  12. President

    President Legend

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    Federer is unusually good at taking care of big serves, look at how a great returner like Djokovic fared against Roddick's serve. Roddick hits the serve bigger and has a very good 2nd serve (maybe not as good as Sampras but still one of the best ever) and most importantly he gets a way higher percentage of first serves in than Sampras.
     
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  13. 90's Clay

    90's Clay Legend

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    Pete had 26 Aces
     
    #13
  14. JMR

    JMR Semi-Pro

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    "All-court play" can be divided into four main areas:
    1. Net play
    2. Aggressive, short-point groundstroke play
    3. Steady, long-point groundstroke play
    4. Defense

    Sampras is better at No. 1; Federer is better at No. 2. Federer is much better at Nos. 3 & 4.

    "Better feel" belongs to Federer too. He has Mac-class hands; Sampras is not quite in that league.

    I'll give you that, but the problem is that Federer hits about 10x as many inside-out forehands as Sampras hits running forehands in a typical match.

    Sampras has the better serve, but Federer has the better return of serve.
     
    #14
  15. JMR

    JMR Semi-Pro

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    Sampras had 26 aces and 9 double-faults (net +17). Federer had 25 aces and 6 double-faults (net +19).

    Sampras had a higher first-serve percentage (69 to 62), but Federer won a higher percentage of points on both first (82 to 76) and second (51 to 45) serves.
     
    #15
  16. psYcon

    psYcon Semi-Pro

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    have to go with Federer's forehand. Did anyone consider what use Sampras' serve has on clay? He failed to make a big impact there and probably forehand has way more importance on clay than a serve.
     
    #16
  17. Paul Murphy

    Paul Murphy Hall of Fame

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    The Fed FH, like the rest of his game is a thing of beauty, but if I wanted to win the most number of matches I'll take Pistol's serve.
     
    #17
  18. ctoth666

    ctoth666 Professional

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    Neither. I'll take the Chardy forehand. That shot is monstrous. I've never seen Federer hit forehands as huge as Chardy.
     
    #18
  19. MindoverMatter

    MindoverMatter Professional

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    You would take Chardy's forehand over Sampras' serve or Federer's forehand?
     
    #19
  20. SStrikerR

    SStrikerR Hall of Fame

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    He wants the forehand that works for about 5-10 matches per year and sucks the rest of it.
     
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  21. ctoth666

    ctoth666 Professional

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    I was only half-joking. I mean, I don't actually think that Federer has any one single shot that is the best in the world. He's just simply world-class at everything he does, except converting break points. But Chardy has a marvelous forehand, and based on my understanding of human anatomy, the apparent length of his arms gives hims a physical advantage in producing the forehand over Federer. They look longer than average don't they? Or is it just me...

    Anyway, I think Chardy has a better than 40% chance to beat Murray in the quarters. I think he can honestly hit Murray off the court if he can maintain his current form.
     
    #21
  22. adil1972

    adil1972 Professional

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    pete serve

    a die hard federer agassi seles fan
     
    #22
  23. Blocker

    Blocker Semi-Pro

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    I would go with Pete's serve.

    The ball is in Pete's hands, he can do what he wants with it.

    Federer's forehand is contingent on so many things, how fast the ball is coming at him, how much spin the ball has as it comes at him, where he is positioned on the court at the time of impact and where his opponent is positioned.

    But with the serve, it's your call each and every time.
     
    #23
  24. Tennis_Hands

    Tennis_Hands Hall of Fame

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    Federer's forehand.

    Once the things get going, it is the forehand, that decides things more often than not. More universal and one get to use it several times during a point.
     
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  25. fed_rulz

    fed_rulz Hall of Fame

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    Karlovic/Goran/Isner's serve over Federer's FH surely.

    Federer's FH over Pete's serve.
     
    #25
  26. Bobby Jr

    Bobby Jr Legend

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    And during every game too, not just your service game.
     
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  27. BevelDevil

    BevelDevil Hall of Fame

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    vs.

    +1+1

    They pointed out two key, countervailing considerations:
    1. You have complete control over your serve, but not your forehand
    2. You only serve in half the games

    It's an interesting way to frame the question.

    I suspect the "correct" answer is that it depends on what else you bring to the table. Specifically, it depends on your ability utilize/capitalize the big weapon.

    Footwork and a decent backhand would be key in getting the most out of Fed's forehand.

    Capizalizing on Pete's serve seems a little trickier. Would it be better to have good volleys to go with it? Or would that be unneccessary, and more important to have good returns?
     
    #27
  28. 2ndServe

    2ndServe Professional

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    part of what makes Fed's forehand so great is his footwork, balance, and speed. If you woke up tomorrow with Fed's forehand, you wouldn't actually be hitting his forehand, save for some short midcourt shots.
     
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  29. sdont

    sdont Legend

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    Fed's FH obviously.

    Look at the top 4 players right now. These days, a huge serve gets you nowhere if you don't have anything to back it up.
     
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  30. PSNELKE

    PSNELKE Legend

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    Then Ivanisevic wins it. He ain't very tall.
     
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  31. MasturB

    MasturB Hall of Fame

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    Federer's currently serving in a time that currently has arguably 3 of the better returners of all time in Nadal-Djokovic-Murray.

    I'd be interested to see how Sampras would handle the pressure of second serves against those three.

    While Fed doesn't have the pistol Pete had on his serve, he certainly ain't no slouch either.
     
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  32. forzamilan90

    forzamilan90 Legend

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    Forehand. Canbe played during every single point. Serve is only used when you're serving sohalf of the time it doesn't even come into play. GOAT forehand too
     
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  33. zagor

    zagor Talk Tennis Guru

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    Yup, many people fail to separate movement and the shot, if I couldn't glide on court like Fed, as a pro Pete's serve would be much more useful to me.
     
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  34. Metalica

    Metalica New User

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    Pete's serve because the serve is the only stroke where you're not affected by the opponent. You may have Fed's forehand but if your footwork, agility and speed aren't as good as his then you won't get similar result. The serve is also the most important stroke imo, so I'd think having an amazing serve would help me win more than having an amazing forehand.
     
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  35. fed_rulz

    fed_rulz Hall of Fame

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    that's like saying you may have Pete's serve, but if you don't have Pete's shoulders, you won't get similar result.

    If the serve is the most important stroke, hundreds of clay courters in the 90s must've missed the memo. or Agassi, when he won his 8 slams.
     
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  36. Towser83

    Towser83 Legend

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    plus these days on slower surfaces, the serve is less crucial than it used to be. You can get away with an average serve if your ground strokes are deadly and reliable. On the other hand a great serve and you end up playing many tiebreaks and probably losing them.
     
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  37. TheFifthSet

    TheFifthSet Hall of Fame

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    Forehand, footwork and slice, especially in his prime. Overhead too, possibly (who has a better overhead on tour now? Roddicks might have been better, but he's retired now).
     
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  38. TMF

    TMF Talk Tennis Guru

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    A player with an average serve + great fh is more successful than a player with a great serve + average fh. So the fh is more important.
     
    #38
  39. mental midget

    mental midget Professional

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    i believe roddick wound up with a higher career hold % than pete.

    that, with an all-around game that was nowhere near as good as pete's.

    in an era where the quality of returning has without question gotten much better.

    roddick serve>sampras serve
     
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  40. Magnetite

    Magnetite Professional

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    Got to go with Pete's serve, my forehand is pretty big as it is.

    lol.
     
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  41. World Beater

    World Beater Hall of Fame

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    This is key.


    A serve can be at most used twice to win a point.

    A fh can be used several times - though this is dependent on the opponent.

    The reality is that there are players who extremely serve reliant ...i.e. karlovic, isner etc.

    But are there really that many players who are overly fh reliant? Sure some have stronger fhs, but this doesnt mean they dont know how to hit an average backhand.

    Karlovic serve - best in the game and still hasnt got him that far.

    Contrast to say a fh reliant player like F.Gonzalez and he has reached the australian open final and had a better career.

    What about other serve reliant players ? Wayne Arthurs, J.Isner....not saying too much.

    Nadal and federer in their younger days had barely passable backhands - these wings could be broken down. Federer would constantly slice and nadal would hit short backhands to get clobbered. Still they achieved very good results compared to serve only players.

    In reality, an fh reliant player is going to have more success than a serve reliant player. In theory - having a serve seems better, but there are very few examples of players having a fh but absolutely no bh.
     
    #41
  42. PSNELKE

    PSNELKE Legend

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    Karlovic is a really bad example.
    He may have a big O serve, but his physicall abilities and technique are bounded by his height.

    Take an Ivanisevic and Sampras serve.
    You don't even need to hit an ace, a half decent, well placed serve getting returned weak is all you need.
    The rest is just a compulsive putaway.
     
    #42
  43. Metalica

    Metalica New User

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    That's not the same thing. I didn't say you can't hit Fed's forehand because you have weak arms, I said you don't have the foot speed to hit forehands all the time. Now when I think about being gifted Fed's forehand, I don't imagine I'd be gifted his speed and footwork as well. There are just a skill sets needed to use a good forehand effectively. Shot selection for example, knowing what kind of forehands to hit, how hard. I feel a serve is more straight forward.
    A lot of posters here are underestimating the benefits of having a great serve. Yes you only serve during a service game and you only hit the serve at the beginning of a point but it will reward you with a huge amount of free point. People say Raonic and Isner and Karlovic don't get anywhere with their serve. That's because the rest of their game are really average. Bad return of serve, very bad movement, inconsistent groundstrokes, and they don't even come to the net that much behind that big serve. If anything, it's amazing they got to where they are with that serve.
    On clay the serve is probably not as important as physical fitness and consistency but it's still very helpful. How else was Isner able to beat Federer at Davis Cup and take Nadal to five sets at the French? My knowledge of 90's tennis isn't that great but I'd assume those clay specialists didn't make that much impact outside of clay.
    Now with all that being said, I think think Fed's forehand is the best one I've ever seen and I modeled mine after his.
     
    #43
  44. kidbourbon

    kidbourbon New User

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    Sampras' serve is, imho, the greatest shot in the history of the game.
     
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  45. helloworld

    helloworld Hall of Fame

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    Federer's forehand requires world class movement to execute. Sampras' serve is a standalone shot that will make someone ten times better than they actually are.
     
    #45
  46. Leelord337

    Leelord337 Hall of Fame

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    Voted the Sampras Serve..wasn't that tough of a choice because having just a serve can make you big bucks in tennis. Dr. Ivo for ex
     
    #46
  47. Joseph L. Barrow

    Joseph L. Barrow Professional

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    He's 6'4". And although his serve was monstrous, he was also a bit double-fault prone, unlike Roddick. In his career, Ivanisevic hit 10,183 aces and 3,572 double faults, and held 86% of his service games. Roddick hit 9,074 aces and 1,585 double faults, and held 90% of his service games. Roddick was the better server.
     
    #47
  48. Flash O'Groove

    Flash O'Groove Hall of Fame

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    But if your strategy is to hold serve and win the tie-break, then you should rather go with Karlovic, Raonic, or any -ic serve. Because if you consider that to use properly a Federer forehand, you need to have his footwork and his shot selection, then you also need to have Sampras serve selection (and mental fortitude) to use it properly, as well as the game to back up this serve, which also was great to set-up points. With Karlovic's you don't really need shot selection. You just have to execute well, and if you do, even if Agassi or Djokovic know exactly where it will land, they can't do a lot about it.
     
    #48
  49. Blocker

    Blocker Semi-Pro

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    Read the OP again, we ain't talking just a serve, we are talking Pete's serve. You know, Pete Sampras, the guy that could serve you to love with just 4 strokes aka 4 straight aces or who could get out of 0-40 with his next 5strokes.

    All this rubbish about Roddick or Ivanisevic having better serves than Sampras is the biggest load of crap I've ever seen. They may have had faster serves, but they didn't have the placement, or the disguise, or the second serve or that x factor, the clutch serve.

    Sampras' serve by a mile.
     
    #49
  50. Metalica

    Metalica New User

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    Yea I haven't even watched any Sampras match so I would also take a Raonic/Karlovic serve. It's just that Sampras was mentioned in the OP and I wanted to make the point that it's better to have a great serve than a great forehand.
     
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