Greatest Serves of All Time

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by NonP, Jan 14, 2010.

  1. abmk

    abmk Talk Tennis Guru

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    @NonP :

    Pete's URS is comparable to Roddick in part because he SnVed far more. (Same applies for Goran, Krajicek, but I think to a lesser extent )

    that tends to raise the % of unreturned serves. We saw that Federer's highest unreturned serve%s were mainly when he was SnVing (2001,2003)

    Otherwise, I think Sampras' would be clearly below Roddick's, if he was staying back and returners could just get the ball back in
     
  2. NonP

    NonP Hall of Fame

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    K, I'ma put this together before I hit the cinema in literally 5 min. You can save your thanks for later. Just keep in mind that the following lists are far from complete (esp Fed's - I've got close to 80-90 of his matches by now) and I will most likely keep updating this post going forward as I add more names and #s.

    Krajicek - https://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/ind...rves-of-all-time.306579/page-24#post-11355021
    Roddick - https://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/ind...rves-of-all-time.306579/page-23#post-10535921
    Isner, Curren, Pim Pim & Noah - https://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/ind...rves-of-all-time.306579/page-23#post-10544220
    Stich - https://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/ind...rves-of-all-time.306579/page-23#post-10550026
    Federer - https://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/ind...rves-of-all-time.306579/page-23#post-10525077
    Muller - https://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/ind...rves-of-all-time.306579/page-24#post-10623285
    Kyrgios - https://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/ind...rves-of-all-time.306579/page-23#post-10555858
    Vines & Doeg - https://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/ind...rves-of-all-time.306579/page-23#post-10559815

    That's only part of the whole picture. Will try to follow up later tonight.
     
  3. Steady Eddy

    Steady Eddy Hall of Fame

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    Once upon a time, I kept track of points won on 2nd serve for a Connors vs. Courier match. They were only winning about 1/3 of those points! Many pros get their first serve in about 75% of the time, and win about 75% of the ones that go in. These results point to that it's better to risk some doubles. At their level the opponent jumps all over a non-aggressive serve.

    "Sexual degenerates"? :confused:
     
  4. abmk

    abmk Talk Tennis Guru

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    you could put a link to this list in your opening post and specify it clearly. Just a suggestion ;)

    and no thanks until there are further updates to the lists :D

    more return winners is one aspect. But that doesn't change what I said.

    Another aspect I can think of would be the use of serve to set up the volley instead of going for outright aces or service winners/forcing errors off the return. But that's more Edberg/Cash/Rafter , not Sampras/Becker/Stich/Krajicek ;)

    Higher first serves % in with poly compared to pre-poly ? That's valid , but counter-balanced by the speed/conditions of 80s/90s compared to the 2000s.
     
  5. Chanwan

    Chanwan G.O.A.T.

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    Cheers, will have a longer look later! Not much time today. I was under the impression that high ace rate ≈ high unreturned serves numbers. But you say Pete and Roddick are in Karlovic's league despite falling significantly short on the ace rate count?
    And yes, this thread sure seems like the most serious on the matter.
     
  6. NonP

    NonP Hall of Fame

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    Was surprised at some of the missing names up there. Here are a few URS #s for Karlovic (opponent's in brackets as usual, and links to Moose's, krosero's and/or Voo de Mar's posts are included in case you wanna see the 1st/2nd-serve breakdown and other stats):

    2005 Wim 1R L Bracciali - at least 66.7% (132+/198), 51 aces, 8 DFs [??% (??/193), 33 aces, 5 DFs]
    2007 Stockholm F W T. Johansson - 60.6% (40/66), 27 aces, 1 DF [??% (??/66), 5 aces, 2 DFs]
    2015 Newport QF W Brown - 58.7% (37/63), 23 aces, 2 DFs [52.6% (30/57), 5 aces, 3 DFs]
    2015 Newport SF W Sock - 55.7% (34/61), 14 aces, 2 DFs [??% (??/72), 4 aces, 6 DFs]
    2015 Newport F L Ram - 48.1% (52/108), 19 aces, 4 DFs [47.0% (54/115), 17 aces, 2 DFs]
    2003 Wim 1R W Hewitt - 45.7% (59/129), 19 aces, 8 DFs [37.2% (42/113), 10 aces, 8 DFs]
    2013 Newport QF L Isner - 45.3% (34/75), 14 aces, 3 DFs [53.2% (41/77), 23 aces, 1 DF]
    2005 USO 2R L Agassi - 45.3% (63/139), 30 aces, 7 DFs [??% (??/115), 5 aces, 1 DF]
    2005 Queen's F L Roddick - 39.5% (32/81), 16 aces, 3 DFs [55.4% (41/74), 9 aces, 1 DF]
    2010 Delray Beach F L Gulbis - 37.7% (26?/69), 14 aces, 5 DFs [37.5% (18?/48), 6 aces, 2 DFs]

    (Question marks for the Delfray Beach match due to discrepancies between Voo's own tallies - main page vs. bmp chart.)

    Newcombe:

    1973 USO F W Kodes (missing Newk's last 2 points; Voo's totals available only for aces/DFs) - 39.2%, 12 aces, 6 DFs [24.2%, 5 aces, 1 DF]
    1971 WIM F W Smith - 38.5% (57/148), 9 aces, 5 DFs [29.3% (44/150), 6 aces (2 on 2nd), 7 DFs]
    1975 AO F W Connors (Voo's) - 32.6% (44/135), 17 aces, 7 DFs [27.9% (39/140), 4 aces, 1 DF]
    1969 WIM F L Laver (Voo's) - 30.3% (40/132), 4 aces, 9 DFs [18.8% (24/128), 9 aces, 7 DFs]
    1970 WIM F W Rosewall - 21.5% (34/158), 6 aces (1 on 2nd), 7 DFs [21.0% (30/143), 2 aces, 11 DFs]

    Zivojinovic:

    1987 WIM 3R W Bates - 50.9% (56/110), 26 aces
    1988 DC SF L Becker - 46.2% (43/93) [57.3% (43/75)]
    1987 WIM QF L Connors - 42.1% (40/95), 25 aces, 0 DFs
    1985 AO QF W McEnroe - 40% (44/110), 13 aces, 6 DFs [37.7% (43?/114), 12 aces, 1 DF]
    1985 WIM 1R W Wilander - 38.9% (44/113), 15 aces (3 on 2nd), 12 DFs
    1986 WIM SF L Lendl - 36.8% (64/174), 18 aces (1 on 2nd), 7 DFs
    1987 USO 3R L McEnroe - 32.1% (54/168), 21 aces, 9 DFs [31.9% (53/166), 10 aces, 12 DFs]

    Tanner:

    1977 AO F W Vilas - 46.4% (39/84) [25.6% (22/86)]
    1983 WIM QF L Lendl - 43.9% (43/98), 12 aces, 7 DFs [37.1% (49/132), 11 aces (3 on 2nd), 2 DFs]
    1975 WIM SF L Connors (Voo's got his own #s) - 34.5% (30/87), 12 aces (1 on 2nd), 3 DFs [31.4% (22/70), 4 aces, 1 DF]
    1980 WIM QF L Connors (Voo's) - 33.6% (47/140), 16 aces, 6 DFs [26.4% (32/121), 4 aces, 2 DFs]
    1979 WIM F L Borg - 31.1% (52/167), 15 aces, 4 DFs [33.6% (51/152), 4 aces, 3 DFs]

    Smith:

    1971 WIM F L Newcombe - 29.3% (44/150), 6 aces (2 on 2nd), 7 DFs [38.5% (57/148), 9 aces, 5 DFs]
    1974 WIM SF L Rosewall - 26.3% (47/179), 3 aces, 8 DFs [23.3% (38/163), 0 aces, 9 DFs]
    1972 WIM F W Nastase (Voo's) - 17.9% (32/179), 1 ace, 6 DFs [21.7% (34/157), 4 aces (1 on 2nd), 5 DFs]

    And Ashe:

    1978 YEC F L McEnroe (Voo's) - 35.5% (33/93), 9 aces, 3 DFs [35.2% (43/122), 7 aces, 7 DFs]
    1975 WIM F W Connors - 32.4% (34/105), 4 aces, 2 DFs [21.4% (28/131), 1 ace, 3 DFs]
    1969 WIM SF L Laver (Voo's - since @urban's stats don't include URS I'm not sure where I got these #s) - 26.5% (31/117), 6 aces, 5 DFs [32.6% (30/92), 9 aces, 2 DFs]

    (Moose or any1 else, let me know if you can fill in the gaps for me: opponent's stats, ace/DF totals, etc.)

    Frankly thinking about yanking Smith off the list. I've been keeping him in there because of the glowing contemporary accounts of his serve and also because I'd been expecting to add to our tiny Smith collection, but given his underwhelming %s in three of his biggest matches (yes, even after grading on a curve) I find it hard to justify his ongoing inclusion when other candidates have been downgraded due to their own lack of clutchness and the near-greats with a similar track record (Ashe, Lendl, Forget, Tsonga, Kyrgios, etc.) are no longer in contention. What do you guys think?

    FYI I've been making this argument for a long time now. Like I said I do find your tennis IQ pretty high. :cool:

    Was referring to what frankly seems to be your obsession with non-cisgender identities, but let's drop it for now. :p

    I'll take those thanks now, thanks. :D

    Was actually thinking about doing just that with my OP. Will do before I hit the sack tonight.

    The strongest counterpoint I can offer is that Pete's stats on non-grass courts don't seem to drop a whole lot. Granted he still S&Ved more than Roddick on these surfaces, but then I can point to similar examples from other players, too. I'll try to elaborate tomorrow.

    It's indeed generally true that higher ace rate = higher URS %, but there are anomalies like Pete and Andy who win a disproportionate % of their service points for their height. Mind you, I still rate Ivo's serve higher as a stand-alone stroke, but considering the whole package I like Sampras over just about anybody else against a Murray or Djokovic.

    Do take your time to peruse the stuff later. I'm too beat now to reply anyway. :D
     
  7. Eggshen

    Eggshen New User

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    1. Sampras with a racquet
    2. Sampras with a fly swatter
    3. Sampras with a ball point pen
    4. Sampras serving while pretending to hold a racquet
    5. Everyone else
     
  8. abmk

    abmk Talk Tennis Guru

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    @NonP :

    Ok, now you get a thanks , thank you :D

    Will wait for the factor re : Sampras vs Roddick.
     
  9. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter G.O.A.T.

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    URS are not the only measure of serving greatness. In any event, how about Smith's numbers in the 71' U.S. Open final and the 73' WCT final in Dallas, his 2 second most important wins?
     
  10. Dan Lobb

    Dan Lobb Legend

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    You're saying that Larsen and Rosewall and Gonzales and Cooper and Laver were dummies who did not have a clue what they were talking about?
    That goes against the grain of logical thought.

    My understanding of "torque" in this context is consistent with the dictionary, I guess you have a better understanding?

    "Power" as Larsen used the term is more than just "speed"...two different concepts.

    Yes, Hoad used more spin and "torque" than Gonzales.
     

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