Originally Posted by tennis_pro
fastest first serve speed of Roger Federer: 135 mph 2006 AO against Haas.
fastest first serve speed of Andy Roddick: 155 mph
2004 Davis Cup against Volchkov
fastest first serve speed of Pete Sampras: 135 mph 1998 US Open 4th round against Safin
f. 2nd serve speed of Federer: 126 mph 2004 Halle against Haas
f. 2nd serve of Roddick: 133 mph 2004 Wimby final against Fed
f. 2nd serve of Sampras: 127 mph 2001 U.S Open against Agassi
average fist serve speed Fed: 114-121 mph
Roddick: 122-132 mph, Sampras: 114-123 mph
average second serve speed Fed: 90-105 mph
Roddick: 100-110 mph, Sampras: 90-115 mph
I take it back about that weak serve comments form me in the past. Federer does have a real fast and potent serve.
So you claiming that Sampras's serve had an additional 15 mph on it compared to Sampras is an utter lie as Sampras' FASTEST EVER RECORDED SPEED clocked at 135, which is nothing faster than Federer's fastest ever 1st serve.
Those stats which I found only prove that Sampras had a consistently better 2nd serve than Federer (not even by much) which I agree with (and always has), even considering that the surfaces were way faster in the Sampras era.
Also, for such a Federer fan you seem to favor Sampras quite heavily. Luckily, reality is on Federer's side.
To be fair, the radar guns they used back then (up til the late 90's) tracked the speed of the ball as it crossed the net, which resulted in slower speeds. Now they track the speed when the ball hits the court, part of the reason why guys are serving "faster" now. In the 2001 Wimby match between Sampras and Fed, Sampras's first serve averaged 125 and his second serve 111. For Fed it was 114 and 98. That's a big discrepancy. Near the end of Pete's career (using the same guns they use today) Pete regularly averaged 121-122 on his first serve per match.
Fed, in all the years of looked at post-match stats (which is pretty much every match) I've never seen him average higher than 120 over the course of a whole match. He tops out around 117-119, and is usually at 115-116. Sampras topped out at 125-126 and usually was at 121-124. So yes, Sampras was definitely a faster server.
As far as the speed issue goes though, I agree with edberg505. It's pretty negligible. Federer from 2004-2006 was a speed demon. He's lost a step, sure, but the difference isn't massive between Federer and Sampras IMO. Although I agree that Pete had the higher vertical leap. In the other aspects Fed mostly has him beat -- balance, coordination, stamina, etc.