Who had a better kick serve Roddick or Rafter?

Who had a better kick serve: Roddick or Rafter?

  • Roddick

    Votes: 7 38.9%
  • Rafter

    Votes: 11 61.1%

  • Total voters
    18

Cashman

Professional
Rafter and it's not even close. He won Grand Slams on the strength of his kicker.

I would even say Rafter's kick serve was better than Edberg's (and I am a huge Edberg fan). He just had so much variation. Best of all time, IMO. Shame it ruined his shoulder.
 

FD3S

Hall of Fame
Now this is an interesting one. Coin flip for me IMO; both had phenomenal kick serves, with Roddick's used as a heavy second serve (more raw spin, safer) while Rafter used his to get to net and set up his first volley (more aggressive delivery in terms of placement, more variation).

That said, we know one thing for sure; they both have better kickers than Theim. Sorry, zill.
 
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FD3S

Hall of Fame
Roddick had a very light kicker. Rafters was a bowling ball
Bear in mind, Roddick's average first serve (130+ MPH with 2400 RPM as per John Yandell) was a insanely heavy ball as it was; it's not unreasonable to assume that his second serve, with speed traded in for topspin and sidespin, could have had close to double the RPM while still clocking in at 90+ MPH. While there's no doubt that Rafter's was indeed a 'bowling ball' - because it was - there's also no doubt that Roddick's own kick serve was heavy as all get out.
 

Shaolin

G.O.A.T.
Not mentioned yet was Rafter's variety with the kicker...he hit the kick into the forehand as well as backhand, very hard to read where it was going. Roddick hit his kick mainly just to the backhand side.
 

Shaolin

G.O.A.T.
Bear in mind, Roddick's average first serve (130+ MPH with 2400 RPM as per John Yandell) was a insanely heavy ball as it was; it's not unreasonable to assume that his second serve, with speed traded in for topspin and sidespin, could have had close to double the RPM while still clocking in at 90+ MPH. While there's no doubt that Rafter's was indeed a 'bowling ball' - because it was - there's also no doubt that Roddick's own kick serve was heavy as all get out.
Courier was quoted as saying that he played against Roddick and he thought his serve "felt light".
 

Chadalina

Hall of Fame
Bear in mind, Roddick's average first serve (130+ MPH with 2400 RPM as per John Yandell) was a insanely heavy ball as it was; it's not unreasonable to assume that his second serve, with speed traded in for topspin and sidespin, could have had close to double the RPM while still clocking in at 90+ MPH. While there's no doubt that Rafter's was indeed a 'bowling ball' - because it was - there's also no doubt that Roddick's own kick serve was heavy as all get out.
I thought he was more fast than heavy, 130 @2400 doesnt sound right, wasnt sampras like 118 and 2000?

I'll ask my buddy tomorrow, he was one of roddicks hitting partners for a few years.
 

FD3S

Hall of Fame
I thought he was more fast than heavy, 130 @2400 doesnt sound right, wasnt sampras like 118 and 2000?

I'll ask my buddy tomorrow, he was one of roddicks hitting partners for a few years.
I used this site: https://www.popularmechanics.com/adventure/sports/a2072/4221210/ which described Roddick's average as 2400 RPM for a 130 MPH serve, along with Yandell's post in this topic (https://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/index.php?threads/john-yandell-service-speed-loss-and-depth.38749/) which describes much the same. In that topic Yandell has the Sampras figures at 120 MPH and 2500 RPM, meaning that Roddick had a advantage in raw speed whereas Sampras had an advantage in spin. Pete had insane command over his serve though, and that's saying a lot considering that Roddick wasn't a slouch himself - despite the popular opinion that he was toss and bash, A-Rod had every serve in the book with the direction to back it up.

Courier was quoted as saying that he played against Roddick and he thought his serve "felt light".
Interesting! I'm curious as to when that quote was from; a younger Roddick might very well have had a lighter serve than what it would eventually become as he grew more seasoned/bigger.
 

MeatTornado

Legend
Interesting! I'm curious as to when that quote was from; a younger Roddick might very well have had a lighter serve than what it would eventually become as he grew more seasoned/bigger.
They never played a match on tour, they turned pro & retired in the same year.

Unless Jim practiced with him when Andy was a teenager, the quote was probably referring to his time playing him on the senior tour.
 

Chadalina

Hall of Fame
They never played a match on tour, they turned pro & retired in the same year.

Unless Jim practiced with him when Andy was a teenager, the quote was probably referring to his time playing him on the senior tour.
Were they on the same davis cup team? I think jim still practiced with the guys
 

Shaolin

G.O.A.T.
They never played a match on tour, they turned pro & retired in the same year.

Unless Jim practiced with him when Andy was a teenager, the quote was probably referring to his time playing him on the senior tour.
No it wasn't from the seniors tour. Courier said it commenting on a Roddick match a long time ago. I think he played a practice match with him around Davis Cup time. Jim said yes its fast but compared to Pete it felt really light. Then went on to talk about the greatness of Pete's serve like he usually does.
 

wangs78

Hall of Fame
There's a reason Roddick never followed his kick serve into the net... and it wasn't just his poor volleying form.
Not a reason but many reasonS. Terrible touch and finesse. Terrible footwork especially if drawn off the baseline. Terrible instincts when it came to positioning himself at net. And lack of variation and precision on his serve. He had power and spin but that’s not enough against the good returners.
 

J011yroger

Talk Tennis Guru
Not mentioned yet was Rafter's variety with the kicker...he hit the kick into the forehand as well as backhand, very hard to read where it was going. Roddick hit his kick mainly just to the backhand side.
Roddick had the best kick/slice wide to the FH I've ever seen, but he often used it as a first in the low 110s.

J
 

mxmx

Professional
There's a reason Roddick never followed his kick serve into the net... and it wasn't just his poor volleying form.
Yes. If a kicker is too fast, there is not enough time to contact the first volley closer to the net. A slower kick like Rafter's or Edberg's would give more time. But it also depends on who's returning...
 

Luka888

Hall of Fame
Rafter by far. I'm not sure what we are talking about here. Sure, Roddick's serve overall was better because he was able to hit it so hard but when it comes to kick serve it's Rafter.

Rafter also had more variety in his game than AR. The only thing I liked about AR were his press conferences :). Oh yeah, Roddick had a beautiful FH back in 2003 but then he somehow managed to lose it which is still bizarre.
 
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