Originally Posted by 35ft6
I never really thought of Edberg's serve as a true kicker. To me it was a slightly loopier version of a Sampras serve, which to me wasn't a true kicker either. They both hit a really solid, heavy, spinny ball but one that continuously moved forward with decent pace, not a true kicker in that it exploded up off the court on the bounce after almost a lazy arcing flight through the air. Like Sampras, also, his first and second serves often were indistinguishable in terms of speed.
Edberg's serve was different from Sampras, IMO. I saw it live
a couple times. His serve had more of an American twist kick.
So if you're a righty and it comes to your backhand, after
the bounce it breaks even more to your left and away from
your backhand. Sometimes it's hard to see the amount of
action on TV. I had some seats that were in the first
row right behind the baseline and you could definitely see
the action. Fed has a pretty good deuce side twist serve.
There's probably a good youtube of it from the returner's
perspective (to see the action) somewhere.
I rarely face anyone w/good twist kick serves these days,
so when I see one it messes up my returns -- especially
against lefties. You'll know when you're facing one b/c you
really have to adjust to take the action on the ball into
account. When you're returning on the backhand side, the
spin will make your returns go further left than usual.