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Old 01-25-2010, 05:02 AM   #76
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 1,071

Howdy, folks. Hope y'all have been enjoying the AO so far.

I just wanted to do some thread maintenance and hopefully expand and revise the current list a bit. Here's where we stand right now:

1. Ivanisevic
2. Karlovic
3. Sampras
4. Krajicek
5. Roddick
6. Stich
7. Becker
8. McEnroe
9. Rusedski
10. Edberg

Honorary mentions: Tilden, Vines, Kramer

So the roster remains the same as before. The million-$ question is which of the following names should be added to it.

These I believe should belong somewhere on the list or at least deserve an honorary mention:


I'm also willing to add these names or think a good case can be made for their inclusion:

Joachim Johansson

And I'm leaving out these names unless one can play a convincing devil's advocate (remember, we're trying to rank the best of the best): Borg, Denton, Sadri, Lendl, Leconte, Warner, Goellner, Rafter, Dent, Federer.

Of the old-timers I think Fraser may deserve an honorable mention. Doeg and Roche, not so much. I’m still undecided on Ashe, Dibley, Smith and Vijay Amritraj.

Maybe this post above by krosero could move this debate forward a little:

Originally Posted by krosero View Post
Ashe was doing commentary for that tournament; he put Noah's serve above Becker's and below McEnroe's.
Do you guys agree? Feel free to weigh in on this and more.

And for the record, I’ve seen that a lot of you have put Sampras at or near the top. Let me say I don’t actually disagree. Pete sure had a complete package, and if I had to pick one player to serve for that ultimate match I'd probably go with Sampras myself. I just think that, as a pure stand-alone shot, Goran’s and Ivo’s serve is better.

Now there are a few areas where Pete is superior, including his matchless 2nd serve and clutch (though I’d say the latter has more to do with his mental strength than his service mechanics per se). And there’s the phenomenal amount of spin (topspin in particular) he put on his serves, which not only made the ball at the time of the return higher and heavier but also sometimes made it all but impossible to return. If you carefully observe some of Sampras’ serves down the T on the ad side you can see the ball clearly moving away from the returner by as many as three feet after it hits the ground. Just imagine how demoralizing it must be, especially on a break point, for the returner to guess correctly where the serve is going but still be unable to make the slightest contact with the ball. That’s what Sampras’ opponents had to endure when he smacked cannonballs right on the center line onto the ad court. They knew it was coming but there was nothing they could do about it. Having said all that, I still think Goran’s and Ivo’s serve can bring more heat and do more damage as a stand-alone shot, and Sampras himself has admitted this (regarding Goran’s).
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