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Old 01-18-2010, 05:53 PM   #59
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 4,611

Originally Posted by pc1 View Post

One serve that is not mentioned but perhaps at worst deserves an honorable mention is Ivan Lendl's serve. He had a very powerful first serve and an excellent second serve. I heard an interview years ago in New York that Brad Gilbert did. They asked him who had the toughest serve for him. He answered Ivan Lendl. The reason was that besides the fact his serve was so powerful, that he had such a variety of serves and every one of them were very good.
Yes, Lendl's is underrated. His second serve was not fast (about 75 on old radar so let's say 90 today) BUT very heavy, and he could hit kick or slice or a combination with it. He'd even hit an occasional second serve ace, particularly with a surprise on-the-line slice out wide. Which is the other great thing about his serve, it wasn't beautiful, but it was methodical and well-balanced, very upright posture, and I think that helped him nail his spots well. (which is part of what makes Sampras great and Roddick a little less than what he should be). Lendl could nail those service corners. Now of course, all pros can do this, and do it quite well, nonetheless, Roddick might go for a 145mph serve, and he might put it right on the line as he hoped, or it might just swerve in a foot and half inside the box, then curve a bit more into the body, meaning the returner need not even take a step but simply stick his racquet out! Much better to his a 120-135mph serve(what Lendl would register today) that goes STRAIGHT down the tee.

My only knock on Lendl's serve is that, if not confident, it really decreased its potency. This often seemed to happen against Boris...
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