Is Serena’s Serve ATP quality?

Is Serena’s serve ATP quality?

  • Yes

    Votes: 6 19.4%
  • No

    Votes: 25 80.6%

  • Total voters
    31
#1
It’s obviously the GOAT WTA serve.

I’m watching the Kanepi match and she just hit a 97 mph second serve.

Could her serve, taken in isolation from the rest of her game, stack up to the average Joe on the ATP?
 

TMF

Talk Tennis Guru
#2
You can't be serious.

The quality of return in the WTA is WAY inferior to the quality in the ATP.

Serena serve would be just average at best if she faces the ATP players.

Big NO.
 
#4
You can't be serious.

The quality of return in the WTA is WAY inferior to the quality in the ATP.

Serena serve would be just average at best if she faces the ATP players.

Big NO.
The question is not whether it would be an elite ATP serve. I’m not that naive. My only question is whether it would be up to average on the ATP (or at least not egregiously bad). I mean if we compared it to Diego Schwartzman, is it that much worse?
 
#5
She has one of the best ball tosses and most efficient service motions in the history of overall tennis IMO.

But she is still leagues behind the majority of the pros we see on the ATP.
They hit with more spin, placement, and their height helps them a lot.

I think she would have a top 300 serve in the ATP.
 
#8
It's about average by ATP standards,but every other aspect of her game is far below average so she would get hit off the court by anyone in the ATP top 1000
 
#10
It's about average by ATP standards,but every other aspect of her game is far below average so she would get hit off the court by anyone in the ATP top 1000
Right. That’s my feeling as well.

For the record, I am NOT arguing that she would compete in the ATP. The movement issue would be her downfall. Her serve (and arguably her groundstrokes) are CLOSE to ATP quality, right?
 
#12
There are a few clay specialists on the ATP with worse serves but it’s a shot that would have to be backed up with a world class ground game and not a shot that will win many free points in the men’s game
 

TMF

Talk Tennis Guru
#16
The question is not whether it would be an elite ATP serve. I’m not that naive. My only question is whether it would be up to average on the ATP (or at least not egregiously bad). I mean if we compared it to Diego Schwartzman, is it that much worse?
Schwartzman is one of the worst server on the men's tour, but he's judge by the ATP standard. Serena serve looks great because her peers are lousy returners.

I would pick Schwartzman serve over Serena.
 
#18
Schwartzman is one of the worst server on the men's tour, but he's judge by the ATP standard. Serena serve looks great because her peers are lousy returners.

I would pick Schwartzman serve over Serena.
Fair enough. But it isn’t clearly better, is it?

Schwartzman has a ridiculous ground game and return game that make up for his below average serve.
 
#21
Right. That’s my feeling as well.

For the record, I am NOT arguing that she would compete in the ATP. The movement issue would be her downfall. Her serve (and arguably her groundstrokes) are CLOSE to ATP quality, right?
She probably wouldn't serve as well against ATP players though since the returns would be coming back with interest,she would have to go for more and miss a lot more as a result
 
#22
ON the ATP tour Serenas serve would be about on par with Nishikoris i.e. not that good and useless against a elite returner.

Comparing it to Schwartzmans serve (worst server in the top 100) is a weak argument. Like comparing Justin Henins backhand to Karlovics and claiming that means she would have a good backhand on the ATP. Or comparing Kerbers fitness to Tomics and claiming that means she would have good stamina on the ATP circuit.
 
#24
yeah I don't see her serve being much better than Schwartzman's if at all, which is a clearly below average ATP serve. Schwartzman can place in the 110-115 range just like Serena can. Balls make a big difference, as noted.
 

oldmanfan

Hall of Fame
#25
I think both her serve and FH/BH are 'close' to ATP200-300 level (currently, declined/old Tommy Robredo is ranked ATP214). That's also why she can win so much in her 30s bc her game is close to ATP level so the WTA players have a hard time beating when she's on. It's also why she would be around top700 (more like top1000-1500) or so if played on the ATP, the way JMac said. The other problem that will make her performance drop sharply in the ATP is that WTA tennis balls are lighter, hence easier to play with.

I didn't vote. :p
 
#26
She probably wouldn't serve as well against ATP players though since the returns would be coming back with interest,she would have to go for more and miss a lot more as a result
Excellent point. She has confidence that few players in the WTA have the return game to give her trouble. The ATP returns would shatter her confidence and take away her mojo.
 

tennis_pro

Bionic Poster
#27
I think both her serve and FH/BH are 'close' to ATP200-300 level (currently, declined/old Tommy Robredo is ranked ATP214). That's also why she can win so much in her 30s bc her game is close to ATP level so the WTA players have a hard time beating when she's on. It's also why she would be around top700 (more like top1000-1500) or so if played on the ATP, the way JMac said. The other problem that will make her performance drop sharply in the ATP is that WTA tennis balls are lighter, hence easier to play with.

I didn't vote. :p
I think Mac was talking about peak Serena. Today's Serena would have a big problem with beating a top 14-year old male junior.
 
#28
The quality of Serena's serve is similar to Ferrer's.

The problem is that she's so slow that she wouldn't win any rally against a male pro.
OK, so that’s my point. I’m NOT saying she’d compete. Ferrer’s movement is light years ahead of hers.

Next question: Can her groundstrokes (again, taken in isolation from movement) compete with some of the crappier players on the ATP?

Could the Serena BH stack up with say Jack Sock’s?
 

tennis_pro

Bionic Poster
#31
OK, so that’s my point. I’m NOT saying she’d compete. Ferrer’s movement is light years ahead of hers.

Next question: Can her groundstrokes (again, taken in isolation from movement) compete with some of the crappier players on the ATP?

Could the Serena BH stack up with say Jack Sock’s?
Well you know going with this logic you can kinda say that she does everything on ATP level

Similar serve to Ferrer
Better movement than Karlovic
Better backhand than Johnson
Better volleys than Zverev (my 92 year old grandma has better volleys than him so I wouldn't brag about that)
etc.
 

tennis_pro

Bionic Poster
#32
OK, here’s another question:

Is the Karlovic ground game below average for the WTA? I’d say probably.
Karlovic's ground game sucks compared to ATP players.

The dude actually has a half-decent forehand and that alone would be enough to rally with the women. Or rather "rally" because one good forehand would basically win him the point 95 out of 100 times.
 
#33
OK, so that’s my point. I’m NOT saying she’d compete. Ferrer’s movement is light years ahead of hers.

Next question: Can her groundstrokes (again, taken in isolation from movement) compete with some of the crappier players on the ATP?

Could the Serena BH stack up with say Jack Sock’s?
in a strictly backhand to backhand drill sort of rally? Sure. Once movement gets factored into it, she'd win very few of those rallies especially because she rarely sees a slice of even Sock's quality and Sock wouldn't it find it very hard to eventually get a FH and then Serena would have no chance.
 
#35
She has one of the best ball tosses and most efficient service motions in the history of overall tennis IMO.

But she is still leagues behind the majority of the pros we see on the ATP.
They hit with more spin, placement, and their height helps them a lot.

I think she would have a top 300 serve in the ATP.
I agreed with you until you said she is leauges behind the majority in placement.
 
#36
OK, so that’s my point. I’m NOT saying she’d compete. Ferrer’s movement is light years ahead of hers.

Next question: Can her groundstrokes (again, taken in isolation from movement) compete with some of the crappier players on the ATP?

Could the Serena BH stack up with say Jack Sock’s?
Wich crappier players on the ATP? guys ranked 800? top 100?
 

clout

Hall of Fame
#38
Not at all. It's wayy easier to hit aces and unreturnable serves against WTA players compared to ATP players. Elite returners like Djokovic, Nadal and Agassi, for example, would crush their ROS right back at her with authority and ease. She has the best serve in WTA history by 1000 miles, but if she used this serve in the ATP, it'd be considered one of the worst among the top 300 or so.
 
#40
Well you know going with this logic you can kinda say that she does everything on ATP level

Similar serve to Ferrer
Better movement than Karlovic
Better backhand than Johnson
Better volleys than Zverev (my 92 year old grandma has better volleys than him so I wouldn't brag about that)
etc.
Cracked me up! I needed that!
 
#44
ON the ATP tour Serenas serve would be about on par with Nishikoris i.e. not that good and useless against a elite returner.
Not even close. The thing the article, and many here, omits to factor in is the margin men put into their second serves. Ferrer, Nishikori, Schwartzman etc all put much more spin on their serves because the results are better in terms of making it harder for the returner than if they went for more pace and accepted the higher error rate that came with it. Men return so much better than females so the penalty for going for massive first serves, missing and then throwing in a Serena type second serve is much, much greater than it is for Serena who is playing females.

If Ferrer played WTA tennis and served like he did in his prime he would have the best all-round serve on tour. His first serve speed would be well below the top echelon but he would dominate tons more second serve points than the others.
 
#45
Next question: Can her groundstrokes (again, taken in isolation from movement) compete with some of the crappier players on the ATP?
No. Same reason as explained above on serving. Margin. She gets to play like she does because she's playing opponents who don't penalise her for her looser shots so vs a man - even if movement was completely factored out of the discussion - she would look like a college player compared to someone not even known for his ground-stokes like Ivo Karlovic.
 
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