Originally Posted by Metalica
That's not the same thing. I didn't say you can't hit Fed's forehand because you have weak arms, I said you don't have the foot speed to hit forehands all the time. Now when I think about being gifted Fed's forehand, I don't imagine I'd be gifted his speed and footwork as well. There are just a skill sets needed to use a good forehand effectively. Shot selection for example, knowing what kind of forehands to hit, how hard. I feel a serve is more straight forward.
A lot of posters here are underestimating the benefits of having a great serve. Yes you only serve during a service game and you only hit the serve at the beginning of a point but it will reward you with a huge amount of free point. People say Raonic and Isner and Karlovic don't get anywhere with their serve. That's because the rest of their game are really average. Bad return of serve, very bad movement, inconsistent groundstrokes, and they don't even come to the net that much behind that big serve. If anything, it's amazing they got to where they are with that serve.
On clay the serve is probably not as important as physical fitness and consistency but it's still very helpful. How else was Isner able to beat Federer at Davis Cup and take Nadal to five sets at the French? My knowledge of 90's tennis isn't that great but I'd assume those clay specialists didn't make that much impact outside of clay.
Now with all that being said, I think think Fed's forehand is the best one I've ever seen and I modeled mine after his.
But if your strategy is to hold serve and win the tie-break, then you should rather go with Karlovic, Raonic, or any -ic serve. Because if you consider that to use properly a Federer forehand, you need to have his footwork and his shot selection, then you also need to have Sampras serve selection (and mental fortitude) to use it properly, as well as the game to back up this serve, which also was great to set-up points. With Karlovic's you don't really need shot selection. You just have to execute well, and if you do, even if Agassi or Djokovic know exactly where it will land, they can't do a lot about it.