Better Serve: Roddick or Sampras?

Better Serve

  • Andy Roddick

    Votes: 10 23.3%
  • Pete Sampras

    Votes: 33 76.7%

  • Total voters
    43

LttlElvis

Professional
Got to see a young Roddick and past his prime Sampras on grass in Houston for Davis Cup matches. Roddick’s power was incredible, but Sampras’ disguise and variety was mind blowing. Could not tell where or what spins were coming off his toss. Sampras by far
 

Sport

Legend
I dream reality, true.

In any case, it was you who said Nadal had the best 2nd serve cause he leads 2nd serve stats.

Ergo Roddick holds serve more so he had the better serve.

Quod Erat Demonstrandum.
Objective stats incoming.
 

Sport

Legend
Best servers of all time, measured by the Return Rating, based on the ATP official statistics. The Return Rating considers the following criteria: % 1st serve, % 1st serve points won, % 2nd serve points won, % service games won, Avg. Aces Match, Avg. Double Faults/Match.

1. John Isner
2. Ivo Karlovic
3. Reilly Opelka
4. Milos Raonic
5. Andy Roddick
6. Nicholas Kyrgios
7. Roger Federer
8. Kevin Anderson
9. Pete Sampras

Based on objective stats, both Roddick and Federer are better servers than Sampras. So are Isner and Karlovic. And the argument that "Sampras' serve was as lethal as his first one" is a complete exaggeration. He only won 52% of his second serve points, as compared with an 80% of points won with his first serve. In comparison, Roddick won 79% of the points with his first serve and 56% of points with his second serve.

Link to the ATP Return Rating:
 
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King No1e

Legend
Best servers of all time, measured by the Return Rating, based on the ATP official statistics. The Return Rating considers the following criteria: Serve Rating, % 1st serve, % 1st serve points won, % 2nd serve points won, % service games won, Avg. Aces Match, Avg. Double Faults/Match.

1. John Isner
2. Ivo Karlovic
3. Reilly Opelka
4. Milos Raonic
5. Andy Roddick
6. Nicholas Kyrgios
7. Roger Federer
8. Kevin Anderson
9. Pete Sampras

Based on objective stats, both Roddick and Federer are better servers than Sampras. So are Isner and Karlovic. And the argument that "Sampras' serve was as lethal as his first one" is a complete exaggeration. He only won 52% of his second serve points, as compared with an 80% of points won with his first serve. In comparison, Roddick won 79% of the points with his first serve and 57% of points with his second serve.

Link to the ATP Return Rating:

Impressed at Raonic's numbers. He has a very weak ground game - he won purely on his serve and net game, which in this era is incredibly difficult. His 1st serve isn't quite the level of the 3 manmountains above him, but he makes up for it with an ATG 2nd serve and the most ruthlessly efficient net game I've seen since Fed.
 

Sport

Legend
Impressed at Raonic's numbers. He has a very weak ground game - he won purely on his serve and net game, which in this era is incredibly difficult. His 1st serve isn't quite the level of the 3 manmountains above him, but he makes up for it with an ATG 2nd serve and the most ruthlessly efficient net game I've seen since Fed.
True, Raonic's serve is no joke. Do you remember the titanic match between Djokovic and Raonic at Cincinnati 2018? God, very few times have I seen a more impressive serve performance. Raonic's serves had everything: angels and specially power. How on earth was Djokovic able to handle those bombs is beyond me. One of the most impressive return performances by Djokovic.
 

Heuristic

Hall of Fame
Roddick used a modern day racket tailor made for power, Sampras did not.

Generally.:
First serve: Sampras
Second serve Roddick...

The difference in quality between Roddick's second serve and Sampras's make me want to give it to Roddick.
 

mika1979

Professional
Best servers of all time, measured by the Return Rating, based on the ATP official statistics. The Return Rating considers the following criteria: % 1st serve, % 1st serve points won, % 2nd serve points won, % service games won, Avg. Aces Match, Avg. Double Faults/Match.

1. John Isner
2. Ivo Karlovic
3. Reilly Opelka
4. Milos Raonic
5. Andy Roddick
6. Nicholas Kyrgios
7. Roger Federer
8. Kevin Anderson
9. Pete Sampras

Based on objective stats, both Roddick and Federer are better servers than Sampras. So are Isner and Karlovic. And the argument that "Sampras' serve was as lethal as his first one" is a complete exaggeration. He only won 52% of his second serve points, as compared with an 80% of points won with his first serve. In comparison, Roddick won 79% of the points with his first serve and 56% of points with his second serve.

Link to the ATP Return Rating:
There is a problem with these stats. The better players, Federer and Sampras, play against better opponents, as they make it deeper in big tournaments. So these stats are really not like for like. A big server like Karlovic has mostly played lower tier players, where as say Fed, has played a big chunk of his matches against very best.
 

Rocket54

New User
Best servers of all time, measured by the Return Rating, based on the ATP official statistics. The Return Rating considers the following criteria: % 1st serve, % 1st serve points won, % 2nd serve points won, % service games won, Avg. Aces Match, Avg. Double Faults/Match.

1. John Isner
2. Ivo Karlovic
3. Reilly Opelka
4. Milos Raonic
5. Andy Roddick
6. Nicholas Kyrgios
7. Roger Federer
8. Kevin Anderson
9. Pete Sampras

Based on objective stats, both Roddick and Federer are better servers than Sampras. So are Isner and Karlovic. And the argument that "Sampras' serve was as lethal as his first one" is a complete exaggeration. He only won 52% of his second serve points, as compared with an 80% of points won with his first serve. In comparison, Roddick won 79% of the points with his first serve and 56% of points with his second serve.

Link to the ATP Return Rating:
Just goes to show that. as in most sports. statistics alone don't tell the full story. From a lifetime of being involved in and watching tennis i still believe that Sampras' serve is the best single shot i've seen. What the stats don;t show is Sampras' ability to hit the ace/unreturnable serve on the big points. Never seen anyone do it so consistently.
 

TheFifthSet

Legend
There is a problem with these stats. The better players, Federer and Sampras, play against better opponents, as they make it deeper in big tournaments. So these stats are really not like for like. A big server like Karlovic has mostly played lower tier players, where as say Fed, has played a big chunk of his matches against very best.
That’s sound in theory but Karlovic’s service stats against the top 20, 10 and 5 remain pretty stable.

His holding % against the top 10 in 80 career matches is 90.9%, not appreciably worse than his 92.1% career rate. In 37 matches against the top 5 its 90.5%.

If you’d like a larger sample, it’s 90.6% in 138 matches against the top 20.

Fed’s at 88.8% for his career but it’s 85.8%, 84.6% and 81.9% against the top 20/10/5.

The funny thing is that the better players beat Ivo with the most frequency not necessarily because they break his serve the most but just as much or more so because they have stabler service games of their own and limit the amount of freak breaks he notches. Fed’s an excellent example of this, he has broken Ivo 9% of the time in their 15 matches yet has won 14 of them.

Nobody can really do much to Karlovic’s serve. The opponent scarcely matters with regards to the service stats.
 
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Heuristic

Hall of Fame
There is a problem with these stats. The better players, Federer and Sampras, play against better opponents, as they make it deeper in big tournaments. So these stats are really not like for like. A big server like Karlovic has mostly played lower tier players, where as say Fed, has played a big chunk of his matches against very best.
Karlovic stats against the top 5 shows similiar figures.
 

JasonZ

Semi-Pro
Roddick used a modern day racket tailor made for power, Sampras did not.

Generally.:
First serve: Sampras
Second serve Roddick...

The difference in quality between Roddick's second serve and Sampras's make me want to give it to Roddick.
When it comes to first serve you must take the first serve % which Roddick is much higher than Sampras. For me Roddick has the better first and second serve
 

SaintPetros

Hall of Fame
o
Best servers of all time, measured by the Return Rating, based on the ATP official statistics. The Return Rating considers the following criteria: % 1st serve, % 1st serve points won, % 2nd serve points won, % service games won, Avg. Aces Match, Avg. Double Faults/Match.

1. John Isner
2. Ivo Karlovic
3. Reilly Opelka
4. Milos Raonic
5. Andy Roddick
6. Nicholas Kyrgios
7. Roger Federer
8. Kevin Anderson
9. Pete Sampras

Based on objective stats, both Roddick and Federer are better servers than Sampras. So are Isner and Karlovic. And the argument that "Sampras' serve was as lethal as his first one" is a complete exaggeration. He only won 52% of his second serve points, as compared with an 80% of points won with his first serve. In comparison, Roddick won 79% of the points with his first serve and 56% of points with his second serve.

Link to the ATP Return Rating:
oh now he's Pete eh?
 

SaintPetros

Hall of Fame
Best servers of all time, measured by the Return Rating, based on the ATP official statistics. The Return Rating considers the following criteria: % 1st serve, % 1st serve points won, % 2nd serve points won, % service games won, Avg. Aces Match, Avg. Double Faults/Match.

1. John Isner
2. Ivo Karlovic
3. Reilly Opelka
4. Milos Raonic
5. Andy Roddick
6. Nicholas Kyrgios
7. Roger Federer
8. Kevin Anderson
9. Pete Sampras

Based on objective stats, both Roddick and Federer are better servers than Sampras. So are Isner and Karlovic. And the argument that "Sampras' serve was as lethal as his first one" is a complete exaggeration. He only won 52% of his second serve points, as compared with an 80% of points won with his first serve. In comparison, Roddick won 79% of the points with his first serve and 56% of points with his second serve.

Link to the ATP Return Rating:
errors in the recording of 90s stats makes comparison untenable
also please tell me you did a big ROFLMAO after making this post
 

Heuristic

Hall of Fame
Yeah, Murray was one of the lone exceptions and was the best at returning his serve...and even then, Karlovic still held 82% of the time with a 17% ace rate.
Not in their 2008 Cincinnati encounter. Only 8.5% ace percentage and a meager 61% first serves won for Ivo..

And that was after he had beaten Fed the round before.
 

ChrisRF

Hall of Fame
Just goes to show that. as in most sports. statistics alone don't tell the full story. From a lifetime of being involved in and watching tennis i still believe that Sampras' serve is the best single shot i've seen. What the stats don;t show is Sampras' ability to hit the ace/unreturnable serve on the big points. Never seen anyone do it so consistently.
Statistics don’t tell everything, that’s right. But I think nobody would deny that Sampras is the better overall tennis player than anyone in that list apart from Federer.

So if the others still have better service point stats but have a worse backup game, then their serve must have been better by some margin.

The only factor in favour of Pete would be that he had more matches against top players.

Still his serve was one of the best if we consider his height. Make Isner and Karlovic that much smaller and things look different. But as it is in reality, as a standalone shot of course their serve is better.
 

mika1979

Professional
That’s sound in theory but Karlovic’s service stats against the top 20, 10 and 5 remain pretty stable.

His holding % against the top 10 in 80 career matches is 90.9%, not appreciably worse than his 92.1% career rate. In 37 matches against the top 5 its 90.5%.

If you’d like a larger sample, it’s 90.6% in 138 matches against the top 20.

Fed’s at 88.8% for his career but it’s 85.8%, 84.6% and 81.9% against the top 20/10/5.

The funny thing is that the better players beat Ivo with the most frequency not necessarily because they break his serve the most but just as much or more so because they have stabler service games of their own and limit the amount of freak breaks he notches. Fed’s an excellent example of this, he has broken Ivo 9% of the time in their 15 matches yet has won 14 of them.

Nobody can really do much to Karlovic’s serve. The opponent scarcely matters with regards to the service stats.
37 matches against top 5 is not much Fed has played djokovic more often. It is weaker and I think with more matches against the top 3 it will go down further
 

TheFifthSet

Legend
37 matches against top 5 is not much Fed has played djokovic more often. It is weaker and I think with more matches against the top 3 it will go down further

But pick any 37 match sample of Federer vs the top 5 over his career — go with 2004-2006, if you must — and his hold % still never comes close to touching 90.6. So it strikes me as unlikely that Karlovic’s #’s are so much better by sheer happenstance. Same thing happens if you pick the most flattering 80 match sample against the top 10, or 138 match sample against the top 20. Karlovic just has a legitimately much stronger service game than Federer or anyone else on tour today, it’s just that it’s supported by an arguably sub-1000 return game.
 

NonP

Hall of Fame
Just goes to show that. as in most sports. statistics alone don't tell the full story. From a lifetime of being involved in and watching tennis i still believe that Sampras' serve is the best single shot i've seen. What the stats don;t show is Sampras' ability to hit the ace/unreturnable serve on the big points. Never seen anyone do it so consistently.
Wow all of 20 messages since Jan 2008. Can you confirm I'm not talking to a ghost?

In all seriousness, if we're going by aces/unreturnables on (career) BPs Sampras probably isn't at the very top 'cause the ATP database shows that Karlovic, Isner and Raonic rank higher in % of BPs saved. But then the likes Bourgeois, Radoslaw Nijaki and Boris Bachert, the all-time top 3 (since 1991) per this metric, are even higher at 90.9%, 87.5% and 86.7%, so that's probably not the best way to look at this thing.

What then? Well, you mentioned "big points," and what could be bigger than Grand Slam finals where you generally face the other best player of the tournament? And since people keep mentioning that Pete was undoubtedly a better player than all these other guys (save Fed) let's consider the oft-ignored statistic of % of serves that are unreturned by the opponent. Absolutely no frills here: if the returner fails to get the ball back in play, you get an unreturned (if not quite the same as unreturnable) serve added to your tally. Simple as that.

OK, so how did Sampras fare in his GS finals? Funny that you ask (OK, I did), because I looked at this very topic and calculated Pete's numbers pretty recently (with the help of others over the years):


Long story short Pete averaged 44.5% (855/1923) of unreturned serves in his career major finals, 46.9% (690/1471) in the finals won, with a whopping 50.8% (398/783) at Wimbledon. And as someone who has looked at this statistic very closely since the early part of this decade (here's a primer, with hat tip to @slice serve ace) I can say that anytime you get 45% or more of your serves unreturned you're awfully difficult to break, and when over 50%, virtually unbreakable. Just to give you another idea of how mind-boggling that 50% Wimby career average is, even Ivanisevic, the nonpareil ace dispenser of his time, could manage "only" 46.3% (283/611) in his four Wimby finals. That's the second-highest average we've come across, so suffice it to say posting 50% in this category in a major final is rare even at Wimbledon (indeed we've so far seen only Stich in '91 and Fed in '17 pull it off in the Open Era, the latter vs. an injured Cilic at that).

You wouldn't be surprised to know Roddick doesn't come close to matching Sampras in his own five GS finals (36.3% or 246/677, FYI), and while one could chalk it up to having to face his nemesis Federer time after time, given his subpar record against the top 10 (for a player of his caliber, of course) I don't think it very likely that he would've done much better against Pete's own competition under similar conditions. Then how about Karlovic? As you might have suspected Ivo does score rather high per this metric, but not to the extent he's head and shoulders above everyone else. Indeed, among the 11 matches I've got so far (that old post of mine is missing his 2015 Halle QF vs. Berdych) more than half (six) show him averaging below 50% even on grass. And none of these matches come close to a Wimbledon final on Centre Court where the pressure is infinitely greater and the opponent considerably more difficult to beat. Would he still have posted a 50+% average just like Sampras over a period of eight years? Perhaps, but I doubt it. My guess is that he'd be around Goran's range, above 45% but still below 50%. Still a damn impressive %, of course, but quite the best ever which as of now belongs to Sampras.

And contrary to common wisdom that was in the '90s when top players were holding serve less often than are their successors today, probably because whatever slowdown effects are offset by the gains in power and spin from today's poly racquets. Add 'em all up and it's hard not to come to the conclusion that, yes, there was nobody more reliable on big points than Pistol Pete. As I said in that first linked post of mine I do believe Goran and Ivo have the potential to be even more dangerous on a point-by-point basis, but Grand Slam finals in tennis as with their counterparts in other major sports are played mostly in the mind, and that's where Sampras truly excelled.
 

Rocket54

New User
Wow all of 20 messages since Jan 2008. Can you confirm I'm not talking to a ghost?

In all seriousness, if we're going by aces/unreturnables on (career) BPs Sampras probably isn't at the very top 'cause the ATP database shows that Karlovic, Isner and Raonic rank higher in % of BPs saved. But then the likes Bourgeois, Radoslaw Nijaki and Boris Bachert, the all-time top 3 (since 1991) per this metric, are even higher at 90.9%, 87.5% and 86.7%, so that's probably not the best way to look at this thing.

What then? Well, you mentioned "big points," and what could be bigger than Grand Slam finals where you generally face the other best player of the tournament? And since people keep mentioning that Pete was undoubtedly a better player than all these other guys (save Fed) let's consider the oft-ignored statistic of % of serves that are unreturned by the opponent. Absolutely no frills here: if the returner fails to get the ball back in play, you get an unreturned (if not quite the same as unreturnable) serve added to your tally. Simple as that.

OK, so how did Sampras fare in his GS finals? Funny that you ask (OK, I did), because I looked at this very topic and calculated Pete's numbers pretty recently (with the help of others over the years):


Long story short Pete averaged 44.5% (855/1923) of unreturned serves in his career major finals, 46.9% (690/1471) in the finals won, with a whopping 50.8% (398/783) at Wimbledon. And as someone who has looked at this statistic very closely since the early part of this decade (here's a primer, with hat tip to @slice serve ace) I can say that anytime you get 45% or more of your serves unreturned you're awfully difficult to break, and when over 50%, virtually unbreakable. Just to give you another idea of how mind-boggling that 50% Wimby career average is, even Ivanisevic, the nonpareil ace dispenser of his time, could manage "only" 46.3% (283/611) in his four Wimby finals. That's the second-highest average we've come across, so suffice it to say posting 50% in this category in a major final is rare even at Wimbledon (indeed we've so far seen only Stich in '91 and Fed in '17 pull it off in the Open Era, the latter vs. an injured Cilic at that).

You wouldn't be surprised to know Roddick doesn't come close to matching Sampras in his own five GS finals (36.3% or 246/677, FYI), and while one could chalk it up to having to face his nemesis Federer time after time, given his subpar record against the top 10 (for a player of his caliber, of course) I don't think it very likely that he would've done much better against Pete's own competition under similar conditions. Then how about Karlovic? As you might have suspected Ivo does score rather high per this metric, but not to the extent he's head and shoulders above everyone else. Indeed, among the 11 matches I've got so far (that old post of mine is missing his 2015 Halle QF vs. Berdych) more than half (six) show him averaging below 50% even on grass. And none of these matches come close to a Wimbledon final on Centre Court where the pressure is infinitely greater and the opponent considerably more difficult to beat. Would he still have posted a 50+% average just like Sampras over a period of eight years? Perhaps, but I doubt it. My guess is that he'd be around Goran's range, above 45% but still below 50%. Still a damn impressive %, of course, but quite the best ever which as of now belongs to Sampras.

And contrary to common wisdom that was in the '90s when top players were holding serve less often than are their successors today, probably because whatever slowdown effects are offset by the gains in power and spin from today's poly racquets. Add 'em all up and it's hard not to come to the conclusion that, yes, there was nobody more reliable on big points than Pistol Pete. As I said in that first linked post of mine I do believe Goran and Ivo have the potential to be even more dangerous on a point-by-point basis, but Grand Slam finals in tennis as with their counterparts in other major sports are played mostly in the mind, and that's where Sampras truly excelled.
It seems that you equate the number of words posted on this forum with tennis knowledge. The loudest voice is not necessarily the wisest.
 

NonP

Hall of Fame
It seems that you equate the number of words posted on this forum with tennis knowledge. The loudest voice is not necessarily the wisest.
And the most garrulous voice is not necessarily the loudest. Did you have an actual point to make or just an inane unsolicited bit of folk wisdom to show off?

Unwise for me to support your assertion and boasting with actual evidence, I guess, so thanks for that. Won't be making the same mistake again.
 
Just goes to show that. as in most sports. statistics alone don't tell the full story. From a lifetime of being involved in and watching tennis i still believe that Sampras' serve is the best single shot i've seen. What the stats don;t show is Sampras' ability to hit the ace/unreturnable serve on the big points. Never seen anyone do it so consistently.
We would need even more 'specific' stats, but somewhere on Earth someone must be compilating Sampra's aces on big points.
 
That’s sound in theory but Karlovic’s service stats against the top 20, 10 and 5 remain pretty stable.

His holding % against the top 10 in 80 career matches is 90.9%, not appreciably worse than his 92.1% career rate. In 37 matches against the top 5 its 90.5%.

If you’d like a larger sample, it’s 90.6% in 138 matches against the top 20.

Fed’s at 88.8% for his career but it’s 85.8%, 84.6% and 81.9% against the top 20/10/5.

The funny thing is that the better players beat Ivo with the most frequency not necessarily because they break his serve the most but just as much or more so because they have stabler service games of their own and limit the amount of freak breaks he notches. Fed’s an excellent example of this, he has broken Ivo 9% of the time in their 15 matches yet has won 14 of them.

Nobody can really do much to Karlovic’s serve. The opponent scarcely matters with regards to the service stats.
Exactly. Karolovic has arguably the one of best serves ever, but against the absolute best he doesn't have the return statistics to back it up...I wonder what his tiebreak win % is...honestly I'm to lazy to look it up right now but I feel like that is where he usually ends up losing many matches because guys get 1 point of his serve and he can't overcome that. If he doesn't get the ace and gets drawn into the rally...he is in trouble.

That being said the guy hits a ton of aces which is why he ranks so high on that stat list.
 

badmice2

Rookie
Don't know if anyone looked at the status by surface, but Sampras is ranked pretty low in the ratings (50th?). Assuming he played a ton of matches on clay, his clay stats prob dragged his overall ranking down quite a bit.

It's also known that Sampras taks a lot of risk with his serves - for example, he used to internally miss his first serve to serve a first serve as a second serve.

If the ranking are purely serving stats, i can understand how there are many players ahead of Sampras. What i want to see is serve is serve percentage won that excludes aces (which i'm guessing is included as part of the 1st serve won stat), perhaps after 2nd/3rd ball in the rally.
 

NonP

Hall of Fame
Don't know if anyone looked at the status by surface, but Sampras is ranked pretty low in the ratings (50th?). Assuming he played a ton of matches on clay, his clay stats prob dragged his overall ranking down quite a bit.

It's also known that Sampras taks a lot of risk with his serves - for example, he used to internally miss his first serve to serve a first serve as a second serve.

If the ranking are purely serving stats, i can understand how there are many players ahead of Sampras. What i want to see is serve is serve percentage won that excludes aces (which i'm guessing is included as part of the 1st serve won stat), perhaps after 2nd/3rd ball in the rally.
Be careful now, that'd involve more than a tweet-length explanation which would give the smartphone crowd fits.

To really answer your question/request, I don't think such a comprehensive breakdown by shot length exists, certainly not from the '90s when they couldn't even get the basic 1st-serve/2nd-serve stats right. The one (mostly) reliable metric is % of service games won, but obviously that doesn't tell you much about the strength of the player's serve itself.

That's why I suggested looking at the % of serves unreturned by the opponent. It's about as close as one gets to a measure of pure serving prowess which mostly is proportional to ace frequency but not always with outliers like Sampras and Roddick who score unusually high in the URS department for guys of their height. Of course no single stat is perfect and one could add that Sampras gets an extra bump here from his S&V/net rushing and his opponent having to go for more than is necessary against an all-time great like him, but still the URS % is probably the best one we've got. (Too bad it's not widely used, otherwise we wouldn't have to rely on indefatigable fans and researchers to compile these numbers by hand.)
 

badmice2

Rookie
Be careful now, that'd involve more than a tweet-length explanation which would give the smartphone crowd fits.

To really answer your question/request, I don't think such a comprehensive breakdown by shot length exists, certainly not from the '90s when they couldn't even get the basic 1st-serve/2nd-serve stats right. The one (mostly) reliable metric is % of service games won, but obviously that doesn't tell you much about the strength of the player's serve itself.

That's why I suggested looking at the % of serves unreturned by the opponent. It's about as close as one gets to a measure of pure serving prowess which mostly is proportional to ace frequency but not always with outliers like Sampras and Roddick who score unusually high in the URS department for guys of their height. Of course no single stat is perfect and one could add that Sampras gets an extra bump here from his S&V/net rushing and his opponent having to go for more than is necessary against an all-time great like him, but still the URS % is probably the best one we've got. (Too bad it's not widely used, otherwise we wouldn't have to rely on indefatigable fans and researchers to compile these numbers by hand.)
Assuming percentage first serve won is inclusive of aces and unreturned served, URS will not hold much weight. The only things URS will tell you is whether the point is won by an ace vs. no ace. Sampras's serve was a setup for a put away volley; therefore i would imagine the return will cross the net at a health ratio. It's one of the reasons i speculate why there are at least 10-15 other people ahead of him, because he hits less aces.

To that same degree, his clay record should be taken into account if volume of matches play is relative to Grass and Hard Court respectively, the clay neutralizes the first or 2nd volley, limiting the Sampras's ability to put away at the first or 2nd ball.
 
Roddick
Total aces: 9,068
Total matches: 776
Ave aces per match: 11.7
Sampras
Total aces: 8,713
Total matches: 792
Ave aces per match: 11.0
. . Ah Weedhopper, my one-dimensional (if well-meaning) simpleton: . do heed this time-honored axiom, embraced by both followers and players of tennis:

. . "you're only as good as your second serve"

. . #myopia
.
 
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