Originally Posted by Bobby Jr
Sampras had the better serve without doubt. The main reason for this is Roddick had a narrower range of variety and his American junior level thinking that pace alone would suffice. Playing against the top guys he was simply too predictable - 225km/h flat bombs served well within the service box don't trouble the top guys as much as variety and disguise. That's what makes a truly serve great and Sampras (as does Federer) had these things in spades.
Which is probably why Roddick was not as successful as everyone may have expected. He relied too much on his serve, and fast flat serves come back harder. His serve became predictable. Federer's serve is not as fast, but often harder to return. Sampras was even better.
I never really liked Roddick's technique on the serve. Reminds me of a baseball player just pitching/slugging away.
Anyone see Roddick play McEnroe in world team tennis? Roddick almost lost when Mac was already 50 years old. A lot of respect should go to Mac and his serve was also very good.
Someone like Michael Stich had a very smooth serve.