Originally Posted by Limpinhitter
I didn't argue to that winning a championship was a requirement. But, if you're not a champion, in some respect, be it majors or high level pro events, how great can your serve really be? How do you assign greatness to a shot that hasn't been employed to win a championship of some kind, or at least attain great results against other champions?
There is no reason why a great server needs to win majors, or even win anything at all, in order to be acknowledged as a great server.
Individual shots can be isolated, and none can be more completely isolated than the serve. It’s almost like a separate part of the game.
In a race that consists in part running, part swimming, if someone consistently wins the running part by a mile, but then consistently loses the race because he is a lousy swimmer, would you conclude he is not a great runner?
Serving is not a sport by itself, but it could be easily imagined as a one, in combination with receiving. A sport where play stops right after the return and the score is kept by returned vs unreturned points, switching server at the end of each game as usual.
At this kind of sport, Karlovic would do a lot better than most of the people placed above him on these lists in the serving department. And the only reason he’d do better is that he is a much better server.