Infamous Sampras hater Rusedski: Federers's serve is in the category as Sampras

How good is Federer's serve


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NoleFam

Talk Tennis Guru
I think Pete would win on grass and fast and indoor hard. Clay and slower hard goes to Novak tho, so I see it as a tight rivalry that would slightly favor Pete.
As for Nadal, Pete obv. wouldn't have a prayer on clay, but anywhere else he'd lick his chops.
I agree but this rivalry would be closer than Sampras/Agassi and indoor would be quite a tussle. Djokovic may edge Pete because he is so versatile, but it would be close.
 

Heuristic

Hall of Fame
Federer has a top 10 serve of all time.

The problem is his serve gos missing when he’s under big pressure or he’s playing a fellow great.

That’s because Federer is a mental midget.

Look at the 2008 Wimbledon final. Federers serve went walk about. Petes serve improved under intense pressure. Sampras would have won that in straight sets. Becker Djokovic and prime McEnroe also win that match against nadal. Federers a great player and I love his style on court. I watch all his match’s. He’s single handily saved tennis these last 15 years. He’s a hero of mine. But when it comes to match play he’s weak. And that’s where Sampras was strongest. Pete was clutch and Pete was gritty. Pete would destroy nadal head to head. Djokovic is a more difficult proposal and off grass I see Djokovic besting Pete.

I have Sampras and Djokovic as 1 and 2 in the goat race.
And Federer would destroy Pete.
 

SaintPetros

Hall of Fame
And Federer would destroy Pete.
Obviously your post is biased, but I actually think their matches would be incredibly close. Fed is a hard matchup for Pete because of his amazing reflex returns, which if executed consistently could get in Pete's head and make his serve and volley combo less effective. Having said that, it may not always go down to the wire, as Pete's serving isn't like Roddick's.
 

Heuristic

Hall of Fame
Obviously your post is biased, but I actually think their matches would be incredibly close. Fed is a hard matchup for Pete because of his amazing reflex returns, which if executed consistently could get in Pete's head and make his serve and volley combo less effective. Having said that, it may not always go down to the wire, as Pete's serving isn't like Roddick's.
It's not just Roddick. Federer has an overwhelming record against all the big servers. Grandpa Federer is 11-3 against Raonic, 13-1 against Karlovic, 7-2 against Isner, 10-2 against Safin, and the list goes on
 

SaintPetros

Hall of Fame
i thought you said young pete was best.
1-2, his serve and follow-up (either big forehand or volley) were way more effective than Roddick and the rest of the mugs you mentioned, who aside from being mugs, were mostly big servers without much to back it up (Safin did when he brought his brains to the match)
 

SaintPetros

Hall of Fame
Well yeah, unlike those guys he misses much more first serves, which dooms disaster against Federer. He can't rely on his second serve to get him out of trouble every single time.
Unlike those guys he has power and precision, superior disguise and spin despite using a tiny racket without poly
Pete's second serve wasn't too bad.
 

Heuristic

Hall of Fame
I for one think that baseline Sampras in early 90s looked sensational, and it's precisely that Sampras who at least in theory would stand the worst chance. Agassi is a great baseliner but he's no prime Federer.
 

SaintPetros

Hall of Fame
I for one think that baseline Sampras in early 90s looked sensational, and it's precisely that Sampras who at least in theory would stand the worst chance. Agassi is a great baseliner but he's no prime Federer.
Roddick had a great serve, but he was no Sampras.
Fred's not gonna get away with chipping backhand returns all day long against Pete. It's gonna be a tough match either way.
 

Heuristic

Hall of Fame
Roddick had a great serve, but he was no Sampras.
Fred's not gonna get away with chipping backhand returns all day long against Pete. It's gonna be a tough match either way.
It depends where. There is no way he beats Fred at the AU if he can't get passed Agassi. On grass, Federer has prodigious talent to take the ball early, while Sampras hold-game is very good. Still more options for Fred so he's the favorite there too. US Open is where Sampie stands his best chance IMO. And I dare say it better be young Sampras (1990-1995).
 

SaintPetros

Hall of Fame
It depends where. There is no way he beats Fred at the AU if he can't get passed Agassi. On grass, Federer has prodigious talent to take the ball early, while Sampras hold-game is very good. Still more options for Fred so he's the favorite there too. US Open is where Sampie stands his best chance IMO. And I dare say it better be young Sampras (1990-1995).
Fed has prodigious talent to take the ball early pretty much anywhere, but he isn't gonna be taking a spin heavy groundstroke early, but rather a cleanly struck volley within a foot or two of the baseline. Doing that well over the course of a match is a tough order even for Fred. Agreed about the US Open. I think Pete would be prohibitive favorite indoors.
I give Fred the Aussie and French, mostly since Pete was just "above average" most days on clay. Down under Pete's endurance would be a major factor, and if we're going by the 90s and early to mid 2000s, it would be the surface that would best fit Fred's moderately aggressive baseline game.
 

Gary Duane

G.O.A.T.
I have a date file for aces - DFs over games. In other words, I would say that at least to some extent DFs cancel aces, so that's what I'm going by. On that Fed is close to the top for his height and below. He's around .46, meaning that a little less than 1 out of 2 games he gets a net free point. F. Lopez is a hair higher. Lopez is even higher on grass. On grass Sampras and Fed are so close, it's not worth mentioning the difference. But Sampras is higher on AS, possibly because he played less clay. No one their height is as good as Sampras and Fed except for Lopez. Lopez might get a boost from mostly playing on earlier rounds and not facing really tough opponents.

Roddick easily leads all other players at his height on grass, at least since 1991. Arthurs is even higher, but he's about an inch taller.

Then taller: Kyrgios and Ivanisevic are tied. Then Raonic, who is again taller. No one beat Raonic at that height.

Karlovic and Isner at the best, with Opelka probably about to joint that elite group. So there is a huge link between the best serve and height.
 

Heuristic

Hall of Fame
Fed has prodigious talent to take the ball early pretty much anywhere,
I think it's pretty clear at this point that the magic factor with Fed gets an extra boost on grass, as if he's completely in-tune with the conditions. His timing is much better, his serving his better, his retrieving is better (which is insane since it's a more irregular bounce). At the US Open he missfired a lot more, and I believe Sampras has his best chance of beating him there. Del Potro could beat Federer with a forehand alone at the US Open.
 

SaintPetros

Hall of Fame
I think it's pretty clear at this point that the magic factor with Fed gets an extra boost on grass, as if he's completely in-tune with the conditions. His timing is much better, his serving his better, his retrieving is better (which is insane since it's a more irregular bounce). At the US Open he missfired a lot more, and I believe Sampras has his best chance of beating him there. Del Potro could beat Federer with a forehand alone at the US Open.
The grass Fred played on had a much more regular bounce than what PETE dominated. If they played on the faster grass of the 90s much of what we saw from Fred in his run wouldn't be possible and Pete would run away with the match 6-7 out of 10. I'd split it dead even if it's the grass from Fed's run in the mid 2000s.
 

Heuristic

Hall of Fame
The grass Fred played on had a much more regular bounce than what PETE dominated. If they played on the faster grass of the 90s much of what we saw from Fred in his run wouldn't be possible and Pete would run away with the match 6-7 out of 10. I'd split it dead even if it's the grass from Fed's run in the mid 2000s.
You said young Sampras. Young Sampras played much more impressive at the US Open than Wimbledon. You just don't want to play Federer on grass, I'm telling you! Every single stat of his is better on grass than HC. The difference between young Sampras on grass and HC is not that great, but it is great for Peak Federer even though he's a beast on both.
 

SaintPetros

Hall of Fame
You said young Sampras. Young Sampras played much more impressive at the US Open than Wimbledon. You just don't want to play Federer on grass, I'm telling you! Every single stat of his is better on grass than HC. The difference between young Sampras on grass and HC is not that great, but it is great for Peak Federer even though he's a beast on both.
Lol I definitely don't want to play Peak Fed on grass, I don't even want to play peak Sureshs on grass, but PETE is another beast altogether.
 

TheFifthSet

Legend
Who are the 30+ names ahead of him? I might agree with you if you can come up with a list.
For serve as a stand-alone shot, historically:

Karlovic
Isner
Ivansievic
Raonic
Arthurs
Becker
Krajicek
Stich
Tanner
Gonzales
Muller
Anderson
Querrey
Ljubicic
Kyrgios
Roddick
Scud
Opelka
Groth
Tilden
Kramer
Johansson
Rusedski
McEnroe
Vines
Guccione

26 off the top of my head, think there’s a few more that I haven’t thought of.

Fed’s is better than lots of big servers though, like Cilic (too erratic, 56.1% career first serves landed) JMDP (big guy with a pedestrian serve for his height actually), Soderling/Tsonga unless they’re redlining etc because what he lacks in pace he makes up for in just about everything else. I’d say his serve is a borderline ATG one.
 

Heuristic

Hall of Fame
For serve as a stand-alone shot, historically:

Karlovic
Isner
Ivansievic
Raonic
Arthurs
Becker
Krajicek
Stich
Tanner
Gonzales
Muller
Anderson
Querrey
Ljubicic
Kyrgios
Roddick
Scud
Opelka
Groth
Tilden
Kramer
Johansson
Rusedski
McEnroe
Vines
Guccione

26 off the top of my head, think there’s a few more that I haven’t thought of.

Fed’s is better than lots of big servers though, like Cilic (too erratic, 56.1% career first serves landed) JMDP (big guy with a pedestrian serve for his height actually), Soderling/Tsonga unless they’re redlining etc because what he lacks in pace he makes up for in just about everything else. I’d say his serve is a borderline ATG one.
Federer has a better serve than Rosqoue Tanner's erratic power serve with very little precision.
 

Heuristic

Hall of Fame
For serve as a stand-alone shot, historically:

Karlovic
Isner
Ivansievic
Raonic
Arthurs
Becker
Krajicek
Stich
Tanner
Gonzales
Muller
Anderson
Querrey
Ljubicic
Kyrgios
Roddick
Scud
Opelka
Groth
Tilden
Kramer
Johansson
Rusedski
McEnroe
Vines
Guccione

26 off the top of my head, think there’s a few more that I haven’t thought of.
You forgot Safin
 

droliver

Professional
I genuinely think Sampras destroys nadal everywhere but clay. Nadal is made for Sampras. There head to head would be more one sided then Sampras Agassi 20-14.
On anything other then a great serving day, Nadal would pose a lot og problems for Sampras outside grass, and even there he'd be at least competitive on modern Wimbledon grass courts because of the number of balls in play. There's nothing Sampras did much better then Federer that can hurt Nadal, and there's a lot he did significantly worse. A match with Nadal I think ends with Sampras pinned in the ad court spraying backhand errors and chasing shots to the deuce court
 

Bobby Jr

G.O.A.T.
This is a very silly statement refuted by every statistic known to man but It made me wonder...
As with watching old footage, you have to factor into old statistics that the conditions massively benefited servers to an extent that serve stats from the 90s, for example, need to be adjusted to make fair like-for-like comparisons with modern day conditions.

For almost all of Federer's career the courts and balls have been changing in-general to dampen his serving statistics. Sampras didn't have that handicap, especially when you consider how mediocre his career was on clay which meant he played an even far lower proportion of his total matches on clay than Federer, Isner, Raonic etc. Sampras played only 14% of his career matches on clay. Federer not only had to contend with overwhelmingly slower hard courts but also played 19.6% of his career matches on clay.

Adjust for surface, or court speeds (if a fair method was possible), and Federer's serve stats look every bit as good as Sampras's.
 

Heuristic

Hall of Fame
As with watching old footage, you have to factor into old statistics that the conditions massively benefited servers to an extent that serve stats from the 90s, for example, need to be adjusted to make fair like-for-like comparisons with modern day conditions.

For almost all of Federer's career the courts and balls have been changing in-general to dampen his serving statistics. Sampras didn't have that handicap, especially when you consider how mediocre his career was on clay which meant he played an even far lower proportion of his total matches on clay than Federer, Isner, Raonic etc. Sampras played only 14% of his career matches on clay. Federer not only had to contend with overwhelmingly slower hard courts but also played 19.6% of his career matches on clay.

Adjust for surface, or court speeds (if a fair method was possible), and Federer's serve stats look every bit as good as Sampras's.
Roddick won 80% of his first serves in 2003 on HC, with 15% ace rate, 81% first serves in 2004, with 18% ace rate, and in 2005, 83% first serves won, and 18% ace rate.

Roger Federer's serve stats, in his prime, arenowhere near those stats. Federer is consistently at 78,77, 76, first serves won, and ace rate around 9-11%.. So he wins less points off his first serves despite being a 20th time grand slam champion vs 1, and aces less.
 
D

Deleted member 733170

Guest
As with watching old footage, you have to factor into old statistics that the conditions massively benefited servers to an extent that serve stats from the 90s, for example, need to be adjusted to make fair like-for-like comparisons with modern day conditions.

For almost all of Federer's career the courts and balls have been changing in-general to dampen his serving statistics. Sampras didn't have that handicap, especially when you consider how mediocre his career was on clay which meant he played an even far lower proportion of his total matches on clay than Federer, Isner, Raonic etc. Sampras played only 14% of his career matches on clay. Federer not only had to contend with overwhelmingly slower hard courts but also played 19.6% of his career matches on clay.

Adjust for surface, or court speeds (if a fair method was possible), and Federer's serve stats look every bit as good as Sampras's.
Good point. Personally I would take Federer’s everyday over Sampras’.

All this talk about Sampras’ second serve is misleading. So what, he used his first serve as a second serve every now and again. He obvious couldn’t do it the whole time and it has become a highlight reel memory.
 
D

Deleted member 733170

Guest
And Roddick's??? Despite dominating the serve stats completely over Fed?
Yes I would. Again the serve stats don’t convey the clay bias Federer has relative to Roddick, nor the quality of the opponents as Roddick wasn’t a regular feature at the business end of tournaments anywhere near to the same degree Federer has been.
 

Heuristic

Hall of Fame
Yes I would. Again the serve stats don’t convey the clay bias Federer has relative to Roddick, nor the quality of the opponents as Roddick wasn’t a regular feature at the business end of tournaments anywhere near to the same degree Federer has been.
You are in denial. I was giving hard court stats for when Fed was 1 and Roddick was 2. But nothing will convince hopeless fanboys like you
 

MarTennis

Semi-Pro

He even said on another occasion that the only thing Sampras had that was better was his second serve.

This is a very silly statement refuted by every statistic known to man but It made me wonder...

Is there ANY big server Federer had a better serve than? Well, Marat Safin has similiar stats to Fed in aces and first serves won (actually slightly worse in first serves won, even).. So that would be it..

Federer IMO better than anyone else besides the big servers. Now that's a great serve but not in Sampras category.


Please make your vote
By his individual approach as well as by the numbers, Roger Federer is the best server in tennis history. Pete Sampras has the best 1st serve ever. Probably the best 2nd serve on grass. There is a difference in serve and service game.
 
D

Deleted member 733170

Guest
You are in denial. I was giving hard court stats for when Fed was 1 and Roddick was 2. But nothing will convince hopeless fanboys like you
I am not in denial thank you, I am just offering my opinion on your thread OP. At no point did you state that you would only acknowledge statistics as valid opinions.

Even on that stats you bring above, I think Feds serve has improved considerably since Roddick was world No 2.
 

Dolgopolov85

G.O.A.T.
Most of those comments don't even come from Fed fans anymore although I will admit there was a time period when Fed was getting close to the record that you heard a lot of nonsense (mostly related to Sampras' clay game, his losses to the younger guys in 00-01). Calling someone a servebot to diminish was started by certain other fanbases, likely insecure about the serving prowess of their own favorites due to prop up the "modern game". The demeaning of Sampras today is more about the strict sense of superiority most have about the 25 feet behind the baseline spinny grind game and Sampras' supposed inability to play it. And also because people don't know who Courier, Chang, Goran, Henman, Rafter etc. are and only vaguely recall Agassi as the drug addicted bald guy who somehow lucked into winning 03 AO and recall Becker for being the German drunk who gave Djokovic some good serving tips. I can assure you that isn't most Fed fans although there are some.
This servebot talk is the work of those who would like to make tennis like badminton, where the serve is just a point-starter and not a killer weapon. Anyway, @ topic, it's utterly laughable to compare Fed's serve with Sampras. Like seriously, Rusedki, get over it now. He and Fed hater Pat Cash must drink the same Kool Aid.
 

Dolgopolov85

G.O.A.T.
Federer has a great serve. Only problem is it doesn’t react well under pressure.
He can't go boom boom down the middle like Boom Boom Becker or Sampras. That's the extra gear he lacks. And before any apologists attack me for this, I am not saying Fed can't serve big down the middle. He just can't serve as big as Sampras. On the fast USOs of back in the day, that down the tee big first serve of Sampras was pretty much impossible to return.
 

Dolgopolov85

G.O.A.T.
Good point. Personally I would take Federer’s everyday over Sampras’.

All this talk about Sampras’ second serve is misleading. So what, he used his first serve as a second serve every now and again. He obvious couldn’t do it the whole time and it has become a highlight reel memory.
Well, Sampras wouldn't be wasting two match points on serve at Wimbledon or pretty much anywhere other than clay, that's for sure. You can take Fed' serve everyday over it...and the ensuing heartbreaks as well.
 

Dolgopolov85

G.O.A.T.
You said young Sampras. Young Sampras played much more impressive at the US Open than Wimbledon. You just don't want to play Federer on grass, I'm telling you! Every single stat of his is better on grass than HC. The difference between young Sampras on grass and HC is not that great, but it is great for Peak Federer even though he's a beast on both.
I don't know what you're on about, young Sampras won three back to back Wimbledons, beating Courier, Goran and Becker. You can't argue getting to beat Roddick twice and Nadal in his first grass final is harder than that.
 

Heuristic

Hall of Fame
I don't know what you're on about, young Sampras won three back to back Wimbledons, beating Courier, Goran and Becker. You can't argue getting to beat Roddick twice and Nadal in his first grass final is harder than that.
Nadal in 07 final is. Roddick in the first final is miles better than Goran. Federer's merits on grass are better.
 
D

Deleted member 733170

Guest
Well, Sampras wouldn't be wasting two match points on serve at Wimbledon or pretty much anywhere other than clay, that's for sure. You can take Fed' serve everyday over it...and the ensuing heartbreaks as well.
That’s a cheap shot. Sampras was serving for glory on the seniors tour at 37.
 
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