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Old 04-24-2012, 12:12 PM   #25
Moose Malloy
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 7,841

I don't think you can judge Pancho's serve by that match. Pancho was 40 years old, and that match was a war of attrition against the #1 ranked American at the time.

From what I've read, Pancho had the biggest serve, and hit the most aces, of anyone on the pro tours he played on. The fact is, Pancho went for, and succeeded at hitting a lot of aces when he was down. Vic Braden writes at length about how dominant Pancho's first serve was. He explains that, because Pancho's serve was so dominant, a pro event was held in which the players were allowed only one serve per point. Pancho dominated even more than usual with only one serve.
from what I've read(& from what Kramer said throughout the match & according to Pancho himself) is that Pancho was big on making a lot of 1st serves throughout his career (surely you've heard of his rep of always making 1st serves down break point?)

doesn't that seem like a bit of a contradiction? that someone could serve at such a high % throughout his career & also be a 'big server?'
and did 'big server' in those times really mean what it came to mean once Becker started hitting 100 aces in one tournament(while only serving at like 50%)? Would love to know what the 'most aces' meant in the 1950s. I'm guessing it meant something quite differently than we think of today.

Now I'm not saying he was just spinning his serves in, they were agressive serves(they had to be because he was coming in behind all of them) but they were much more about placement than power(seemed like he could hit a dime)

Yeah its just one match(which happens to be the most famous match of his career), but I really doubt Pancho circa '59 served anything like Sampras or really played so differently from Pancho '69(Kramer went on about how he was still as fit as ever & hadn't gained an ounce since his 20s. Like Rosewall he was a freak of nature)

His service motion was not really one designed to get a lot of aces or service winners, certainly not compared to say Newcombe imo. Not surprised he could dominate with one serve(of course I heard that story as well) since he had such great volleys & overheads & court coverage in general (he had an incredible reach, it seemed almost impossible to get the ball by him at times) He was quite a bit more than a serve(btw he never came over his bh once in this match, it was Rosewall like)

It was quite a treat to see this match, I don't imagine any other Gonzales matches will ever turn up, something is better than nothing. Maybe you will get to see it on youtube some day.
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