Whats the difference % a baseliner's serve and a S&Ver's serve?

Discussion in 'General Pro Player Discussion' started by Golden Retriever, Mar 4, 2007.

  1. Golden Retriever

    Golden Retriever Hall of Fame

    Apr 3, 2004
    Is there any difference % a baseliner's serve and a S&V'er? Does the baseliner go for more consistency while the S&Ver takes more risk on the serve? Does the baseliner aim for the backhand more while the S&Ver likes to go DTL more? Does the baseliner serve with more topspin while the S&Ver serves more flat?
  2. The Grand Slam

    The Grand Slam Hall of Fame

    Jun 10, 2006
    the earth..?
    I'm a S&V and all of the S&V parts there fit the bill for me. I do whatever I can on my serve, usually hitting flat and going down the line. I asked my dad to record my first serve % in my latest match (which I won 6-3, 7-6(4)) and it was a surprising 66% considering I absolutely RIPPED my serve. Not sure about many of the professionals though...
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2007
  3. DariusRaiden

    DariusRaiden Rookie

    Oct 29, 2004
    I think it depends on the player. Nadal, for example, has a very high first serve percentage, but there are other baseliners with big serves (Like Safin and Gonzalez) who don't put as many in play as Edberg did and he was a serve and volley player. For any player, what's more important is how the serve sets up the point. Big servers like Roddick or Safin want the serve to do a lot of work for them while others like Nadal or even Edberg just wanted to place it and start the point.
  4. 4brotherdrive

    4brotherdrive Rookie

    Oct 7, 2006
    The serve and volleyer will usually have some spin even on there first serve because it will allow them more time to get to the net. The baseliner can get away with hitting a flat bomb. Playing styles will cause different serve percentage. For example some serve and volleyers will have a higher percentage of serve because they want to set the point up, other will want a free point on serve and therefore have a low first serve percentage. The serve and volleyer also mixes up the locations and spins, while I see the baseliner hitting the same second serve in the typical spots half the time. After all the serve and volleyer relies on having a good serve or they cant execute there game plan, a good baseliner can get away with a weak serve every now and then.
  5. LowProfile

    LowProfile Professional

    Mar 10, 2006
    Pat Rafter had a kick serve with a very pronounced drop and kick upwards, which gave him ample time to get to the net. Edberg's serve was very similar.

    Sampras's serves had high spin, but also so much weight and velocity that the spin really made little difference in the reaction time his opponents had to return the serve.
  6. Breaker

    Breaker Legend

    Jul 24, 2005
    I would think that in general Serve and Volleyers would have a higher percentage. However, there are baseliners such as Roddick and Nadal who always seem to hover in the high 60's/low 70s. Also, on clay, some specialists are content with just spinning the first serve in.
  7. travlerajm

    travlerajm Hall of Fame

    Mar 14, 2006
    I think serve-and-volleyers tend to use a higher percentage of first serves in play, mainly because they tend to take higher risk on the second serve.

    If you are a baseliner, it makes more sense to use a flat high-reward/low-percentage bomb on the first serve, and use a safe second serve.

    If you are a serve-and-volleyer, that approach doesn't work because then you won't be able to serve-and-volley behind a super-safe 2nd serve. Instead, you need a more powerful, higher risk 2nd serve. So it's better to use a similar type of serve for your 1st serve too so that you won't double fault as often. That's why Rafter and Edberg almost never hit flat serves.
  8. thejackal

    thejackal Hall of Fame

    Oct 17, 2004
    Montreal, Canada
    sampras' first serve % was quite low sometimes, but then again he had one of the best 2nd serves ever. same with phillippousis and dent - no wonder their results weren't as good.
  9. laurie

    laurie Guest

    Conventional wisdom was for serve and volleyers to use a kick second serve and get close to the net quickly for a volley. Edberg, Cash, Rafter, Krajicek are examples of that. Sampras changed that approach!

    Probably why his style of play is very hard to duplicate.

    I would say only take risks on your second serve if you are 100% confident in your ability. Otherwise it will be a disaster. I've learned to go for more on my second serve because I really studied Sampras' ball toss. It is so much easier to go for more when you toss the ball to the left instead of to the right. So there is not much difference for me when I hit the first serve and second serve, if I miss the first serve, I toss the ball in the same place and come over it to get the same amount of spin. So I'm basically hitting fast serves with a lot of spin, be it slice or topspin. I also find it so much easier to hit a slider/kicker to the forehand on the deuce court by tossing the ball to the left and coming over it, as opposed to tossing the ball to the right and swinging around it (Capriati, Dementieva for instance) If I miss a first serve by going to the forehand on the deuce court, because of my ball toss I can hit the second serve in the same direction if I wish without any inhibition. Possibilities of serving aces also rise as well for me. I can use the serve to volley or set up a forehand on the third shot off the return on either deuce or ad.

    So I always recommend tossing the ball to the left because it opens up so much more possibilities and variety.

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