Difference between Nadal and Borg; 1st Serve!

Discussion in 'General Pro Player Discussion' started by Mr Topspin, Jun 12, 2007.

  1. Mr Topspin

    Mr Topspin Semi-Pro

    Jun 28, 2005
    Peter Fleming, the respected doubles champion of the early 80's claims that the main difference between Borg and nadal is that Borg had a more powerful 1st serve. Fleming feels that both guys are evenly matched elsewhere on the court. Fleming claims that Borg used to be crap on grass untill one year he was practicing his serve and something clicked and he had a huge 1st serve. If that is the case, then Nadal need only work on getting his 1st serve speed to say 130mph, which he can do on a more consistent basis.

    I think Nadal has to do more but there is no doubt if Nadal could serve as well as say Federer then he would have a chance at every major outside of clay with that sort of delivery. It would make his life easier. I remember last year Nadal made some modifications to his serve at Queen's last year and he later got injured and resorted to his old style. I personally feel that he has a decent serve already, he just needs to vary it more rather than hitting 90% of serves DTL with spin.
  2. Ripper

    Ripper Hall of Fame

    Nov 22, 2005
    "Where Moth & Rust Destroy"
    Sometimes, I think serving is a lot like pitching. Most of it comes from the raw talent you have inside for it. Maybe he's giving his best, already. Maybe not. We'll see.
  3. David L

    David L Hall of Fame

    Apr 1, 2006
    Doing well at Wimbledon and the US is more than just about the serve.
  4. deluxe

    deluxe Semi-Pro

    Feb 15, 2005
    My recollection of what he said was Borg had a better 1st serve, Borg had a "bomb" of a 1st serve, which he claimed was the reason he did so well at Wimbledon.

    He has to be saying this in relation to their contemporaries though.
  5. Jack Romeo

    Jack Romeo Professional

    Mar 11, 2004
    a bigger, more versatile serve will definitely help Nadal on non-clay slams; and i do think he has room for improvement with regards to the serve.

    but then again, Gustavo Kuerten had a big serve too, but never did well at the non-clay slams. he only got to 1 Wimbledon quarterfinal and 1 us open quarterfinal. and he always lost early in Australia.

    so it's definitely more than just a big first serve that will determine whether or not Nadal succeeds in the other slams.
  6. dirtballer

    dirtballer Professional

    Sep 15, 2004
    Nadal's may not have the high MPHs on his serve but he gets a lot of action on it and it's left handed. I know the grass at Wimbledon is slower than it used to be but his left handed slice serve to the ad court should still get a good skid on the grass.
  7. djsiva

    djsiva Banned

    Jun 1, 2007
    Nadal has already done a lot of work with his serve

    I am not talking about mechanics. He places his serves much better than he did three years ago when he pretty much just spun it in the the center of the box. Now he goes for the corners. I think its a good idea for him to keep his first serve percentage up like he does. It's more important than aces or easy points.

    You don't want him to be like Chang who used to always miss his first serve and then serve up a sitter for guys like Tim Wilkison and subpar players to attack like its going outta style.

    This is the reason why subpar player like Blake can beat him so much. He attacks Nadal like McEnroe whether he comes in or not. Nadal really needs to guard against this hit and miss type of tactics.
  8. The Gorilla

    The Gorilla Banned

    Nov 21, 2006
    borg had a 120mph serve with a wooden racquet, which is about 140 by today's standards.
  9. ivo#1fan

    ivo#1fan Rookie

    Jun 14, 2006
    North Carolina
    Nadal doesn't need to bomb away at the 1st serve. He's very clever. Usually he has no trouble holding serve even just placing them in, so that's what he does. But when a break point comes along he usually pulls out the bigger ones for a surprise. This is clearly working well for him. He does go for more at Wimbledon where it's more important to serve big. If I remember correctly he averaged 10-12 mph more on his serve at Wimbledon last year than he did the month before at the French. The announcers were marveling how he improved so much suddenly. It was there all along, just smart STRATEGY!
  10. War Safin!

    War Safin! Professional

    Aug 15, 2005
    Only guys like Roscoe Tanner, Colin Dibley and Steve Dent had 120mph+ serves in the 70s....

    Borg, Connors, McEnroe, etc, were all around the 100-115mph mark, tops.
  11. Moose Malloy

    Moose Malloy Legend

    Dec 27, 2005
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2007

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