Talk Tennis

Talk Tennis (http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/index.php)
-   General Pro Player Discussion (http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/forumdisplay.php?f=13)
-   -   Is Murray the greatest hardcourt returner ever? (http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=438737)

batz 09-05-2012 05:18 AM

Is Murray the greatest hardcourt returner ever?
 
ATP stats suggest he might be.

Number 1 on the all time list for return games won

Number 2 on the all time list for 1st serve return points won

Number 3 on the all time list for 2nd serve return points won

Only player to feature in top 3 of all 3 lists.

Govnor 09-05-2012 05:20 AM

Hard to say best ever, but certainly it's a very strong part of his game. I guess those stats suggest he is....

DragonBlaze 09-05-2012 05:39 AM

Weak era.

(Sorry batz, someone had to do it lol. But I agree.)

joeri888 09-05-2012 05:44 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by batz (Post 6866189)
ATP stats suggest he might be.

Number 1 on the all time list for return games won

Number 2 on the all time list for 1st serve return points won

Number 3 on the all time list for 2nd serve return points won

Only player to feature in top 3 of all 3 lists.

the weak era is absolutely NO argument. Because it's ridiculous to suggest that the average atp pro would get worse at any point in time. Why on earth would they?

The real reason is slowing down of the surfaces and the fact that this made S&V that much harder. Murray would not be winning the amount of points on the return he's is winning today on the old faster surfaces.

Another reason, of course, is the technology. Guys like Borg used a wooden racquet with which the serve is way harder to control. Murray is a master at that, but would probably not have a clue with a wooden racquet.

So in an absolute sense he maybe is the best returner ever, but you can't really say that he did better at this than former ATP heroes who had a much tougher time returning.


Also, a definition issue. What is a great returner? Someone who hits the RETURN OF SERVE well? or someone who wins a lot of points. Rafa is an average returner, but wins a lot of points because he's an AMAZING baseliner. Theoretically, one can have the best return of serve, yet still hardly win a point because his next ball is so poor. What do you mean by returner. Best return of serve or best return GAME?

roberttennis54 09-05-2012 06:01 AM

Quite possibly and the argument can be made for him. Personally I think Agassi and Hewitt are better over the last 20 years or so. Would put Murray third. When it comes to punishing second serves they are better than Murray. Even when it comes to punishing average to good serves. Hewitt and Agassi could punish even the Federer serve in a way Murray cannot. Hewitt even now can punish Djokovic's serve. Murray and Federer are probably the two best defensive returners I have seen.

The stats are telling, but not the be all for several reasons.
1. You have to take into account that return stats are always going to favour the player with a better defence. Case in point Murray is always going to win more points that Agassi when he has been made to run.
2. Murray plays on slower hard courts than Agassi and Hewitt did.
3. Murray has yet to decline. Agassi had several years where he was playing terrible tennis and continued to play into an advanced age. Hewitt has been fighting on the tour for 6 years, after injuries finished him as a top player. Murray's numbers will no doubt fall if he is a 31 year old ranked in the 80s.

batz 09-05-2012 06:08 AM

Good to see such reasonable responses so far. For my part - I can't see past Agassi in any 'best returner' debate.

Monsieur_DeLarge 09-05-2012 06:20 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by batz (Post 6866189)
ATP stats suggest he might be.

Number 1 on the all time list for return games won

Number 2 on the all time list for 1st serve return points won

Number 3 on the all time list for 2nd serve return points won

Only player to feature in top 3 of all 3 lists.

First thing to remember is that the "all time" stats only go back as far as about 1990, when IBM began compiling them. What numbers would Connors and Lendl have if their '70s and '80s performances were also recorded? What would Borg's numbers be?

Second, as others mentioned, Andy is mid-career, i.e. his stats don't yet include the almost inevitable age-related decline in performance which is factored into retired rivals' numbers (e.g. Chang's).

Third, stats only tell you so much, but they never take into account the opponent or the occasion. One of the reasons Sampras rates so highly as a server was his ability to ace when he was break-point down, or match-point up. Becker too was a guy who played better at critical junctures. And of course Djokovic had an uncanny ability in 2011 to hit the lines when it really mattered ~ as Roger Federer would attest to. I don't think Murray has a track record like that yet as a returner.

Fourth, as raised by other posters, the changing technologies and court speeds of the last ten years mean that it's probably easier for returners than in the '70s or '80s (fast grass, wooden racquet, blah blah blah).

But I do acknowledge that he is one of the very best over the past 20-25 years, no doubt about it.


Regards,
MDL

monfed 09-05-2012 06:30 AM

Agassi>Hewitt>Mugray

Feņa14 09-05-2012 08:15 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by batz (Post 6866271)
Good to see such reasonable responses so far. For my part - I can't see past Agassi in any 'best returner' debate.

I agree, i'd put Murray ahead of Hewitt though.

BigboyDan 09-05-2012 08:19 AM

1. Andre Agassi

tank_job 09-05-2012 08:20 AM

Murray is not even close to Djokovic on hard-court return.

Frying Pan Forehand 09-05-2012 08:40 AM

Fanboy approved thread!!!!

seattle_1hander 09-05-2012 09:55 AM

Yes those glorious returns got him 0 sets in hardcourt GS finals

kiki 09-05-2012 10:08 AM

Ever heard of Connors,Budge,Agassi?

NikeWilson 09-05-2012 10:20 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by batz (Post 6866271)
Good to see such reasonable responses so far. For my part - I can't see past Agassi in any 'best returner' debate.

Agreed.

Infact, I still think Djokovic is the best returner in the game today, not Murray.

batz 09-05-2012 10:26 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Frying Pan Forehand (Post 6866639)
Fanboy approved thread!!!!

Thank you for your approval, Fanboy.

batz 09-05-2012 10:28 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by NikeWilson (Post 6866908)
Agreed.

Infact, I still think Djokovic is the best returner in the game today, not Murray.

And you could well be right - there is no definitive basis for establishing 'best returner' - I was being a bit naughty in the thread title. I just thought it noteworthy that Murray appeared so high on the 'career' lists - I didn't expect that.

roberttennis54 09-05-2012 10:30 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Frying Pan Forehand (Post 6866639)
Fanboy approved thread!!!!

I don't see how this can be a Fanboy thread when it is topic up for discussion. Murray IS one of the best returners of the last 20 years. Most people would agree he was in the top 5 at the least.

decrepitude 09-05-2012 10:32 AM

To those who think he would not have returned as well on the faster courts - don't forget that the players then were not facing 140+mph serves a lot of the time. The courts may be slower now, but the modern technology aids much faster serves.

In other words, you can't compare eras.

Prisoner of Birth 09-05-2012 10:50 AM

Two words. Andre Agassi.


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 11:02 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.6.9
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
© 2006 - Tennis Warehouse