Who's the better server? Isner or ARod?

Discussion in 'General Pro Player Discussion' started by shake&bake, Feb 29, 2012.

  1. shake&bake

    shake&bake Rookie

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2011
    Messages:
    110
    Location:
    on a tennis court
    Who's the better server in their prime? Roddick (a few years ago) or Inser (present day)? Take placement, speed, # of aces, and percentage into account.
     
    #1
  2. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2008
    Messages:
    36,324
    Location:
    East side of San Francisco Bay
    Andy, because he's much shorter, but still able to play based on his service alone.
    If you were almost 7' tall, even with average skills, you could hammer a 135 mph serve with ease. Long limbs equals rackethead speed thru extended leverage and good angle into the court.
     
    #2
  3. Towerofpower205

    Towerofpower205 Rookie

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2012
    Messages:
    181
    milos ftw!!!
     
    #3
  4. swordtennis

    swordtennis Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2010
    Messages:
    4,179
    Roddick Serve in his prime was a monster.
    That Serve and Forehand got him everything,
    He most likely have won 2 majors if he was on the 90's fast courts.

    Isner's serve is more natural and absolutely awesome in its own right.
    IMO the best right now on tour.
     
    #4
  5. Tammo

    Tammo Banned

    Joined:
    May 23, 2011
    Messages:
    3,875
    I'm not sure we have senn big John's prime yet. He is always rising in the rankings and is at #11.
     
    #5
  6. Xizel

    Xizel Professional

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2011
    Messages:
    1,404
    Roddick's serve is a part of history.
     
    #6
  7. shake&bake

    shake&bake Rookie

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2011
    Messages:
    110
    Location:
    on a tennis court
    I agree, John seems like a quality top 10 player, he is almost there. Roddick's was something special, hope he can make a comeback! And Milos, he smacks the heck out of the ball, I wont be surprised if he sets the new record soon.
     
    #7
  8. hoosierbr

    hoosierbr Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2005
    Messages:
    1,837
    Roddick, hands down. More consistent, incredible kick (which he doesn't use enough) and he backs it up better.

    Roddick has a spot to hit whereas with Isner I get the feeling that sometimes, as with Dolgopolov, he doesn't always know where it's going and gets caught flat footed.
     
    #8
  9. kishnabe

    kishnabe G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2008
    Messages:
    17,159
    Location:
    Toronto
    What Roddick does behind his serve is better than Isner.
     
    #9
  10. swordtennis

    swordtennis Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2010
    Messages:
    4,179
    Love to see him make a big run @ the USO Series.
    Win fast Cincinnati or Montreal?
    He does play well at Madrid and French Open however.
    Balls been jumping there.

    Roddick's 2009 Wimbledon was Epic better than 2008 by far IMO.
     
    #10
  11. shake&bake

    shake&bake Rookie

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2011
    Messages:
    110
    Location:
    on a tennis court
    I agree, but I've always thought that John can place his serve better than Andy. Maybe its just me :)
     
    #11
  12. droliver

    droliver Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2008
    Messages:
    689
    Location:
    Birmingham, AL U.S.A.
    Roddick for now, mostly due to body of work, but Isner continues to lay down some impressive serving and arguably has the biggest serve going on tour currently (apologies to Raonic). Andy is either the best or 2nd best server (after Ivo) of the last 30 years on tour as measured by most metrics of the service game ATP stats

    The career ATP leaders for % service games held (source ATP Match Facts)
    1. Karlovic 91%
    2. Roddick 90%
    3. Isner 90%
    4. Sampras 89%
    5. wayne Arthurs 88%

    Breakpoints saved gives you the same list of suspects.
    1 Karlovic, Ivo 70%
    2 Roddick, Andy 68
    3 Sampras, Pete 68
    4 Isner, John 68
    5 Arthurs, Wayne 67
     
    #12
  13. joeri888

    joeri888 G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2008
    Messages:
    13,120
    So it's obviously

    1. Karlovic
    emptiness....

    The guy has zero groundgame but wins every servicegame stat there is out there, which is quite amazing.
     
    #13
  14. monfed

    monfed Guest

    This.

    /thread
     
    #14
  15. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2006
    Messages:
    11,053
    Location:
    Stuck in the Matrix somewhere in Santa Clara CA
    Isner has a few good serving years under his belt -- most notably 2010 and 2011. While Roddick had decent serving stats in 2011, his best serving years were 2003 thru 2010. Altho' he had a higher ace count in 2003 and 2004, Andy's best serving percentages were garnered in 2005 (with fewer DFs than either of the 2 previous years). That year he hit 912 aces, held 93% of his service games and saved 72% break points. Isner has not yet equaled those stats.

    Karlovic had a stellar serving year in 2007. Most of his serving stats were a bit higher than Roddick's stats of 2005. However, Ivo only won 53% of his 2nd serve points in 2007 whereas Roddick won 56% of his 2nd serve points in 2005. Event tho' Ivo and Andy both turned pro in 2000, Andy has a career ace count of 8762 compared to a mere 6948 for Ivo. However, this higher count for Andy is due to the fact that he has gone deeper in more tournaments than Ivo and, as a result, has served more games.
     
    #15
  16. joeri888

    joeri888 G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2008
    Messages:
    13,120
    @Systemic: The fact that Roddick won more points behind his second serve has everything to do with him having a better groundgame.

    The fact Roddick hit more aces has to do with him winning more matches and thus playing more matches per season. Per match, I'm pretty sure Karlovic schools Roddick.
     
    #16
  17. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2006
    Messages:
    11,053
    Location:
    Stuck in the Matrix somewhere in Santa Clara CA
    ^ Yes, I agree on both counts. I already mentioned your 2nd point at the end of my previous post. The 2nd serve stat might say a little bit about the effectiveness of Andy's 2nd serve but, as you indicate, it probably has more to do with Andy's ability after the serve is in play.
     
    #17
  18. SLD76

    SLD76 Legend

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2009
    Messages:
    9,793
    Location:
    Minneapolis, North of the Wall
    where would his game be if he'd had someone to actually hit with? lol.
     
    #18
  19. joeri888

    joeri888 G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2008
    Messages:
    13,120
    Yeah, it's a real shame. The guy has some talent and since 2006 his groundgame and volleys have tremendously improved. Had he been coached all his life like Federer and Nadal, he could have been a serious threat, especially had he played during the 90's. He reached no. 14 in the world without a backhand, so yeah.. he's got something.

    Shame he never got the chance to be real good. He'd be like Raonic by now, but with an even bigger serve
     
    #19
  20. pvaudio

    pvaudio Legend

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2009
    Messages:
    7,543
    Roddick, without question. He is known solely for his serve. Up until he started falling out of the top 10, only Federer would consistently neutralize it. Isner can be broken by anyone, and while he may not be "prime" yet, he really isn't all that young still. He'll be 27 this year.
     
    #20
  21. pvaudio

    pvaudio Legend

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2009
    Messages:
    7,543
    The bolded part is the only relevant part. Karlovic could never dominate now. He's too large to move efficiently. Roddick, on the other hand, used to be quick and had a ground game in addition to his 150mph serve. Since the courts are slower now, even his serve doesn't win him titles.
     
    #21
  22. pvaudio

    pvaudio Legend

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2009
    Messages:
    7,543
    That's also ignoring the fact that Karlovic has been playing professionally since 2000 and is nearing his mid 30s.
     
    #22
  23. heninfan99

    heninfan99 Legend

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2008
    Messages:
    7,515
    Isner!

    Federer out-aces Roddick when they play most of the time.

    Best 1st serve in history goes to Goran. Best 2nd serve in history goes to Sampras.
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2012
    #23
  24. Crazy man

    Crazy man Banned

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2011
    Messages:
    701
    Karlovic and Roddick top two on both counts despite the surfaces dramtically slowing down throughout is very impressive. I'd take Roddick's serve over anyone's from this era. If you take Karlovic's or Isner's serve then you have to also take their height (as LeeD mentioned).
     
    #24
  25. droliver

    droliver Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2008
    Messages:
    689
    Location:
    Birmingham, AL U.S.A.
    Those #'s also make you appreciate how good Wayne Arthurs' serve was as his the rest of his game makes Karlovic's look well rounded.
     
    #25
  26. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2008
    Messages:
    36,324
    Location:
    East side of San Francisco Bay
    Wayne had good volleys, behind his superior lefty serve.
    No, he had trouble breaking serve, but lots of players do. His service accuracy/placement was not normal.
     
    #26
  27. TTMR

    TTMR Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2009
    Messages:
    1,942
    That's because Roddick is a terrible returner, while Federer reads Roddick's serve extraordinarily well (matchup issue). Roddick at peak was at least as good of a server as Isner, if not better. Only Karlovic had the superior serve in the post-Goran/Sampras era.
     
    #27
  28. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2006
    Messages:
    11,053
    Location:
    Stuck in the Matrix somewhere in Santa Clara CA
    Federer has out-aced Roddick in some of their head-to-head matches because Roger has been better at reading & returning Andy's serve than Andy is at reading/returning Roger's. However, in their historic '09 meeting at Wimbledon, Andy was able to break Roger's serve to win the 1st and 4th sets. Roger, unable to break Andy, won the 2nd and 3rd sets in the tiebreakers. Finally, after 4 1/4 hours, Roger finally breaks Andy to win the final set, 16-14.

    Most other players have not been able to read & return Andy's serve as well as Roger does. If you look at Federer's serving stats, while very impressive, are generally not quite as good as Roddick's.

    Many consider the Sampras first serve to be one of the heaviest -- up to 120-130 MPH with an astounding spin in excess of 3000 RPM. That is the spin rate that many servers have on their slower 2nd serve. Pete could achieve spin rates of 5000 RPM on his 2nd serve.
    .
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2012
    #28
  29. tacou

    tacou Legend

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2007
    Messages:
    7,028
    Isner has never served an ace or saved a BP or held a game at love in a Grand Slam final, or even a semi-final, so I'll go with Roddick.

    Also Isner is a freak of nature. Both have magnificent serves for sure
     
    #29
  30. heninfan99

    heninfan99 Legend

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2008
    Messages:
    7,515
    Sampras himself says in his book that he believed Goran's 1st serve was better. True that Federer is a master at blocking back Roddick's serves but I could have sworn I've seen Warinka out ace him. Too lazy to check the stats right now but Rokkick doesn't have great disguise on his placement. He must have a tell.

     
    #30
  31. heninfan99

    heninfan99 Legend

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2008
    Messages:
    7,515
    Roddick's serve isn't nearly as effective as Isner's. It's tougher, for example, for Federer to handle it. Speed is not everything guys. Angle, depth, kick and disguise.

     
    #31
  32. The Baseline

    The Baseline Professional

    Joined:
    May 31, 2010
    Messages:
    1,226
    Roddick is the best server the game has ever seen. He places it well and hits with enormous pace.
     
    #32
  33. The-Champ

    The-Champ Legend

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2007
    Messages:
    6,541
    Location:
    Sweden
    Speaking of the 90s, Michael Stich' first serve was very good too at his very best.
     
    #33
  34. Fireball

    Fireball New User

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2012
    Messages:
    34
    Actually I would add Federer very high up on that list since he seems impossible to read for the receiver and often save BP with an ace.

    When Roddick met Federer in the Wimbledon final a couple of years ago he had less aces than Fed but it was obvious that he didn't cared much for the aces but rather (very effectivly) served into the body.

    Speaking of aces, wasn't Tsonga the king of aces 2011?
     
    #34
  35. TennisLovaLova

    TennisLovaLova Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2011
    Messages:
    3,069
    In that final federer served exceptionnally well
     
    #35
  36. celoft

    celoft Guest

    Yep. Karlovic.
     
    #36
  37. brettsticker86

    brettsticker86 Rookie

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2012
    Messages:
    186
    Location:
    USA
    I would say roddick mixes it up a bit better, but Isner's is much more difficult to deal with due to his height. Isner's will jump up higher, which can cause problems for quite a few people. Roddick does a great job of giving different looks. both great servers, just a little different in my opinion.
     
    #37
  38. IvanisevicServe

    IvanisevicServe Banned

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2009
    Messages:
    858
    Isner. Without that serve he's not on the ATP tour.

    Sure, his ground game is impressive compared to, say, Karlovic...but he's nowhere near as good as Roddick off the ground (though the way Roddick's been playing lately, you wouldn't know it).
     
    #38
  39. NamRanger

    NamRanger G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2005
    Messages:
    13,916



    Goran at his best at a basically unreturnable serve. He was basically the only guy that I know that can hit a 120/130 heavy slice serve outwide with that much accuracy.


    That's how insane his serve was when he was on.
     
    #39
  40. Crazy man

    Crazy man Banned

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2011
    Messages:
    701
    Definately agree, but Goran at his best comes with a mental instability which Sampras and Roddick didn't have. People don't actually realise how much the mental side comes into play with the serve (not saying you're one of them). Technically yes, Goran and Ivo top the charts for having the deadliest serves as an end product. Sampras and Roddick have deadly serves but also have the mentality these players often lacked (particularly Goran as Ivo has absoultely no game outside his limited net play and monsterous serve). If Goran had Sampras' mental fortitude on serve, I dont' know how many slams that guy would have won???
     
    #40
  41. droliver

    droliver Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2008
    Messages:
    689
    Location:
    Birmingham, AL U.S.A.
    I loved Mary Carillo's description of Goran years ago as a pusher with a thunderbolt attached to his shoulder for the serve. While it sold some of his skills a little short, that serve was so scary good and effective.
     
    #41
  42. BeHappy

    BeHappy Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2007
    Messages:
    4,789
    Stupid woman.

    Goran Ivanisavic was anything but a pusher. He was like if Safin had a bigger serve, moved way better, but was even more inconsistent off the ground.
     
    #42
  43. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2006
    Messages:
    11,053
    Location:
    Stuck in the Matrix somewhere in Santa Clara CA
    ^ Mary C = brilliant woman. Her comment was hyperbole, man
     
    #43
  44. decades

    decades Guest

    Isner. Way heavier.
     
    #44
  45. monfed

    monfed Guest

    Roddick because of his wrist snap. The amount of kick he'd generate at that speed was something else.
     
    #45
  46. Wilander Fan

    Wilander Fan Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2010
    Messages:
    1,555
    Isner has not had much exposure to the elite so those numbers may fall if he manages to get deep into more tournaments. Roddick deeply suffers from constantly running into Fed, who may not be the best returner, but is arguably the best ever at neutralizing big serves...not to mention all those meetings with Nadal and Novak etc.

    Sampras played alot of matches against one of the best returners in the game as well and played against the best. Too soon for Isner to be mentioned in the same breath.
     
    #46
  47. Crazy man

    Crazy man Banned

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2011
    Messages:
    701
    Safin moved way better than Goran. Sorry. Please don't compare Safin to Goran. Safin is in another league.
     
    #47
  48. devila

    devila Banned

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2004
    Messages:
    1,749
    roddick rushed bad serves thoughtlessly, even back in 2004. probably because his daddy federer was the best, most nice player in his high & mighty opinion.
     
    #48
  49. Rock Strongo

    Rock Strongo Legend

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2010
    Messages:
    7,686
    Location:
    Sweden
    ??????:confused::confused::confused::confused:
     
    #49
  50. devila

    devila Banned

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2004
    Messages:
    1,749
    isner's serve, body language and attitude toward top players are good, but roddick is ..... uh an abomination to tennis.
     
    #50

Share This Page