How come Edberg has such a high unreturned serve percentage?


Hall of Fame
most tennis players (most athletes, really) who rely on a particularly athletic, explosive approach to their sport tend to drop off a cliff at some point. edberg played a young man's brand of tennis. i think about mike tyson the same way--even had he not gotten bogged down by his various issues, that high intensity peek-a-boo style isn't the kind of thing you can 'coast' on in your later years, he was never gonna be a force past his mid-late 20s.

I think it was a different time in Tennis too. Most studs retired young or peaked late 20s Connors and to some extent Agassi were exceptions.

If you look at Edberg’s game as opposed to what the big 3 have to put up with in terms of long drawn out baseline battles these days even at their ages. their games take much more of a toll on the body than did Edberg’s. But everything is different now. Diet, Fitness, Off the court recuparation and medical science. Most importantly the mindset that 30 is not too old.


Double faults but how many games lost on his serve? He served heavy and didn’t look at kick serves as a safety serve as many do today . But it was still safe enough where he knew that going for it would still win him many more points/games than what he would lose with double faults.

I read somewhere that Edberg won more than 90% of his service games in 1991, second only to Stich that year. Great follow-up or not, you don't do that with a mediocre serve.

Edit: I believe the number was referenced in Gilbert's Winning Ugly, but I could be wrong


And I've still never seen anyone be further into the court when he actually made contact with the serve than Stefan. Seemed like he was already halfway to the service line when he hit the serve!

Edberg's toss was quite deep into the court for a kick serve. The current players hit their kick serves with a toss that is much closer to the baseline.
Edberg must've had the most ambitious service placement of all greats, with his extreme forward movement and double fault risk. It messed with a lot of returners.