Return of serve (THE SHOT) Nadal or Ferrer?

abmk

Bionic Poster
Neither are "return acers", but both have amazing return games, Nadal's being extremely underrated on this forum. Nadal is a better returner than Federer.
Those are strong stats (if you look them up).
nadal is a better returner only on clay.
fed is a better returner and stats are clearly better on grass.

on HC, overall nadal's are better, but narrow it down to play vs top 20, fed goes ahead by a clear margin
24.4% break games for fed to 22.2% for nadal


its upto you if you want to give more credence to nadal bashing sub top 20 players or fed doing clearly better on the return when it matters more&not going for too many breaks like nadal vs sub top 20 players.
 

RaulRamirez

Legend
OP, Just to clarify, are you separating the ROS, itself, from the return game? (I have no immediate answer, either way.)
 

TTMR

Hall of Fame
nadal is a better returner only on clay.
fed is a better returner and stats are clearly better on grass.

on HC, overall nadal's are better, but narrow it down to play vs top 20, fed goes ahead by a clear margin
24.4% break games for fed to 22.2% for nadal


its upto you if you want to give more credence to nadal bashing sub top 20 players or fed doing clearly better on the return when it matters more&not going for too many breaks like nadal vs sub top 20 players.
Shouldn't it be easier for Federer to return on clay, too?
 

abmk

Bionic Poster
Shouldn't it be easier for Federer to return on clay, too?
not necessarily. in comparision:
nadal's 2HBH helps him get fewer errors against topspin/bounce on clay. on other surfaces the topspin/bounce isn't as much.
his return position on clay helps him out in returning more serves into play. on other surfaces nadal is more prone to being aced out wide/not being able to return wide serves back from that return position.
 

TTMR

Hall of Fame
There's tennis and then there's clay tennis, so we should be careful not to combine stats across surfaces, as it might inflate the stats of players better on clay. Got it.
 

WildRevolver

Semi-Pro
nadal is a better returner only on clay.
fed is a better returner and stats are clearly better on grass.

on HC, overall nadal's are better, but narrow it down to play vs top 20, fed goes ahead by a clear margin
24.4% break games for fed to 22.2% for nadal


its upto you if you want to give more credence to nadal bashing sub top 20 players or fed doing clearly better on the return when it matters more&not going for too many breaks like nadal vs sub top 20 players.
I could go either way, both are obviously amazing. But you lost me on the fed doing better "when it matters more." Nope.
 

Kralingen

Legend
There's tennis and then there's clay tennis, so we should be careful not to combine stats across surfaces, as it might inflate the stats of players better on clay. Got it.
To some extent this is true though:

given that clay has a much higher average RPW% and higher amount of breaks than other surfaces, it would hold that an average player who played clay only would likely have better return stats than if they played HC or grass only, no? That is an undeniably factual statement.

So given that Federer skipped clay for a few years while Nadal was playing tons of clay tournaments (i.e. skewing his general statistics towards clay more than say, Djokovic or Federer or Murray), the stats might not be fully accurate and weighted in this case.

For example Thomas Muster had better return stats than Andre Agassi his entire career, because he traveled around the globe searching for any and all red clay year-round like he was hunting for Carmen San Diego. Absolutely no one in their right mind would say Muster is a better returner than Agassi, and their exploits on HC (where agassi was able to beat amazing S&Vers, Muster was usually embarrassed) proved this fact eloquently.

As always context is king.
 

Fabresque

Hall of Fame
I don’t think we need to analyze “stats” for return games, just watch tennis and you’ll see who has the better return game.
 

TTMR

Hall of Fame
I don’t think we need to analyze “stats” for return games, just watch tennis and you’ll see who has the better return game.
Yes ideally but the trouble with this forum is it prefers players who take low percentage blasts off the serve rather than players who are tactical and try to win actual return games. They also conflate "not being aced" with "having a better return game". So a diving chip that prevents an ace on grass makes for a better returner than a player who gets aced but actually has a much higher winning percentage of return games.

Hence why people think Federer is a better returner than someone like Ferrer, despite the stats. Flash over function for the tendentious tt poster.
 

abmk

Bionic Poster
I could go either way, both are obviously amazing. But you lost me on the fed doing better "when it matters more." Nope.
Look at the context. I'm specifically referring to vs top 20 players there when talking about "when it matters more". fed's return games % is 2% higher on HC vs top 20.
On HC, nadal getting a higher% of breaks vs players ranked below 20 isn't as relevant as the above since in vast majority of the cases fed gets more than enough breaks vs players ranked below 20 even if nadal gets more
 

Verbal_Kint

Rookie
Hence why people think Federer is a better returner than someone like Ferrer, despite the stats. Flash over function for the tendentious tt poster.
How is Federer a flashy returner? His bread-and-butter was/is slicing/blocking the ball somewhere inconvenient. Ask Roddick.
 

President

Legend
To some extent this is true though:

given that clay has a much higher average RPW% and higher amount of breaks than other surfaces, it would hold that an average player who played clay only would likely have better return stats than if they played HC or grass only, no? That is an undeniably factual statement.

So given that Federer skipped clay for a few years while Nadal was playing tons of clay tournaments (i.e. skewing his general statistics towards clay more than say, Djokovic or Federer or Murray), the stats might not be fully accurate and weighted in this case.

For example Thomas Muster had better return stats than Andre Agassi his entire career, because he traveled around the globe searching for any and all red clay year-round like he was hunting for Carmen San Diego. Absolutely no one in their right mind would say Muster is a better returner than Agassi, and their exploits on HC (where agassi was able to beat amazing S&Vers, Muster was usually embarrassed) proved this fact eloquently.

As always context is king.
now Chang might have actually been a flat out better returner than Agassi, even on hard courts
 
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