Serve toss disguise - Sampras Only

T

tdnxxx444

Guest
People speak of how Sampras serve toss was disguised and how it was impossbile to read what he would serve. Was he the only pro that was able to do this? When I watch them play on TV, it looks like all of their tosses are same to me?
 

Stuck

Rookie
Sampras was better at disquising because he almost turned his back to opponents before cracking the serve. Pros these days don't do it anymore as Fed himself in Wimbledon interview that most all players toss are easy to read maybe with the exception of Safin
 

finchy

Professional
i heard that pete's coach told him where to serve the ball while the ball was being tossed and pete would make those small, very technical changes with his wrist and be able to serve with the same toss.
 

Kevin Patrick

Hall of Fame
Ivanisevic was pretty amazing as well. When he was on, many frustrated opponents would start to guess on the return & lean in a certain direction. Remarkable to see that at the pro level.
 

jhhachamp

Hall of Fame
Yeah, it seems really crazy to me that they can hit all those different serves from the same toss. I cannot hit a very good kicker without throwing it well behind my head, but I cant hit the flat bomb from that toss. I wish I was able to do it like them.
 

tandayu

Professional
tdnxxx444 said:
People speak of how Sampras serve toss was disguised and how it was impossbile to read what he would serve. Was he the only pro that was able to do this? When I watch them play on TV, it looks like all of their tosses are same to me?
Roscoe Tanner, McEnroe, Steve Denton a few names that came up
 

Jet Rink

Semi-Pro
FedererUberAlles said:
Yeah, Sampras probably had the best serve you'll ever see. No one even comes close.
Yer mistaken sadly there son. I would say that Johnny Mac had a better disguised serve than Pete. Devastating. Plus it was lefty and the guy could spin it out of the ad court to make a returner practically have to climb into the seats to get it.

Best placement serve I've ever seen.

Jet
 
I would say that Johnny Mac had a better disguised serve than Pete. Devastating.
So how com he stopped winning slams after age 24?

Sampras was better at disquising because he almost turned his back to opponents before cracking the serve.
The back turn isn't part of the disguise. He turned his back to get more power on his serve.
 

FedererUberAlles

Professional
Jet Rink said:
Yer mistaken sadly there son. I would say that Johnny Mac had a better disguised serve than Pete. Devastating. Plus it was lefty and the guy could spin it out of the ad court to make a returner practically have to climb into the seats to get it.

Best placement serve I've ever seen.

Jet
Learn how to spell "you are" before you try to disprove my point.

I definitly think that prime vs. prime Pete would destroy John.
 

newnuse

Professional
It's not fair to compare Sampras vs Mac serves. Mac grew up using a woodie. Sampras mastered his game using graphite. Their game reflected the difference in their playing/serving style. I must say that Mac serve out wide to the AD court was the best I've seen. Guys would be 2 steps past the doubles sideline trying to return it. Sampras was the best combination of serves I've ever seen. Power, placement... 1st/2nd. But you shouldn't compare his serves to guys that grew up using woodies.

I think most of the pros do a great job disguising their serves. I seen most of the pros trying to cheat on their returns against a big server. They tend to lean 1 way or the other. Sometimes they guess right... other times not.
 

Jet Rink

Semi-Pro
FedererUberAlles said:
Learn how to spell "you are" before you try to disprove my point.

I definitly think that prime vs. prime Pete would destroy John.
"YOU ARE." There you go son.

Yer lacking a bit of good humor in all this aren't you? ;)

***

Yes - it's ludicrous to compare players of different eras, but it's fun. And that's what discussion boards are supposed to be all about. Fun.

I stand by my comment that Mac's serve was the best-disguised serve, in my opinion.

Jet
 

The tennis guy

Hall of Fame
FedererUberAlles said:
I definitly think that prime vs. prime Pete would destroy John.
This is an example of people like you who can't have a logical argument. Prime vs prime has nothing to do with service disguise everyone was talking about, for one. Two, how do they play prime vs prime, McEnroe with a wooden racquet while Sampras with graphite, or both of them use wood, or both of them use graphite? The answer is not that easy like you definitely think. Use your brain a little bit.
 

fastdunn

Legend
I remember couple of things to add about Sampras.

Muster's coach used to bring his laptop and record
direction of Sampras's serve. They believed he has
some pattern of serving. Obviously they failed.

It was actually not a same toss. He sometimes
intentionally toss to his left(like he's going to serve
a kicker), then he serves wide sliding slice
serves instead. Intentionally fooling his opponents.

He also had crazy varieties of spins and pace.
I remember a Tennis magazine articles on serving
variety and claimed you can hit 16 different kind
of serves "kinda" like Sampras.

He also had bone chiling accuracy.
He sometimes does this: He serves flat bomb
at the "T" but it is called out. He argues with
the umpire about the call unusually. You should
know what's coming for his 2nd serve when he argues
about the call on his 1st serve. Exactly
same flat bomb at the "T". 2nd serve ace.
Exactly same spots. Very chiling moments for me
and evryone including the umpire....
 

RonP

Rookie
Besides the obvious answer of practice and stop trying to find quick fixes, is there a special toss placement (as in how far into the court, how left or right, etc.) or something else that one has to have to disguise one's serve placement and spin used?
 

x Southpaw x

Semi-Pro
fastdunn said:
He also had bone chiling accuracy.
He sometimes does this: He serves flat bomb
at the "T" but it is called out. He argues with
the umpire about the call unusually. You should
know what's coming for his 2nd serve when he argues
about the call on his 1st serve. Exactly
same flat bomb at the "T". 2nd serve ace.
Exactly same spots. Very chiling moments for me
and evryone including the umpire....
That's awesome. The in-your-face serve.
 

Galactus

Banned
newnuse said:
It's not fair to compare Sampras vs Mac serves. Mac grew up using a woodie. Sampras mastered his game using graphite...
...but weren't Mac's prime years between early 1983-85 when he used the Dunlop Max 200G racquet?
 

Fedubai

Semi-Pro
He also had bone chiling accuracy.
He sometimes does this: He serves flat bomb
at the "T" but it is called out. He argues with
the umpire about the call unusually. You should
know what's coming for his 2nd serve when he argues
about the call on his 1st serve. Exactly
same flat bomb at the "T". 2nd serve ace.
Exactly same spots. Very chiling moments for me
and evryone including the umpire....
Nice story!
 

kicker75

Rookie
Sampras "one toss" a myth

Recently Paul Annacone stated that Sampras did not have the same toss for every serve, thus eliminating the myth that he could hit any serve with the same toss. However, he did state that Sampras could hit many different serves with only a very slight variation on his toss, mainly because he could make slight changes in his body movements (i.e. foot position, bend of knees, trunk rotation, and racquet head speed) which would add into a significant change in direction, rotation, and speed on his serves.

Makes sense his serve was so deceptive since we are all taught to keep our eyes on the ball... interesting if any pros watched for Sampras' body changes to try to read his serve, but I imagine that would be unbelievably dificult to do while you're also trying to track the ball.
 

finchy

Professional
fastdunn, his serve was not flat at all. with spin exceeding 2000 rpm's on his first serve, i doubt anyone could call that flat.
 

Goenitz_196

New User
Where have all the Federer fanboys/fangirls gone?? People here are praising Pete...shouldn't you all be replying to stamp your authority on the fact that Federer is better than everyone at everything? :D
 

The tennis guy

Hall of Fame
FedererUberAlles said:
Trust me, even we (Federer humpers) know that we'll never see a serve better than Pete's.
Pete's serve is one of the best. I have to say Ivanesevic's is right up there. Obviously Ivanesevic's other games are no where near as good as Sampras'.
 

The tennis guy

Hall of Fame
Galactus said:
...but weren't Mac's prime years between early 1983-85 when he used the Dunlop Max 200G racquet?
He switched after he already developed as wooden racquet player. You can't change that even after you switch to graphite. Someone who grows up playing wood will have a different game than if he grows up playing graphite. If someone plays with wood as kid but switch to graphite during young age, that's a different story.
 

fastdunn

Legend
finchy said:
fastdunn, his serve was not flat at all. with spin exceeding 2000 rpm's on his first serve, i doubt anyone could call that flat.
Yep. I should have siad "relatively" flat for his serves.
Sampras had ideal ratio of spin/pace.
 

newnuse

Professional
The tennis guy said:
Pete's serve is one of the best. I have to say Ivanesevic's is right up there. Obviously Ivanesevic's other games are no where near as good as Sampras'.
I have to differ here. I think Pete's overall serve was the best. Goran's 1st serve could compare, but Pete had a devastating 2nd serve as well. I don't think I'm exaggerating if I said his 2nd was as good as some top players 1st. He had quite a variety of serves. You could not just tee off on his 2nd serve. It was a weapon. This is what makes him so difficult to break.
 
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