Who had the better kick serve Peak Roddick or Thiem?

Who had the better kick serve?

  • Roddick

    Votes: 40 76.9%
  • Thiem

    Votes: 12 23.1%

  • Total voters
    52

Luka888

Hall of Fame
Roddick lol. What kick serve? I'm sorry I don't understand. All Roddick knew is how to hit the ball the hardest he could and kill the ball. AR was such a one dimensional player. He even forgot how to hit FH after 2003. Well, Fed happened I guess.

Thiem can think. There is a difference. Your answer is Dominic.
 

MeatTornado

Legend
I'm gonna go all Lew on ya and let it be known Andy is 4th all time in 2nd serve points won (56%).

Obviously that's not a direct measure of how much kick he got on his serves. But it was undoubtedly one of the best of all time to put himself in a position to win so many points.
 

Sysyphus

Talk Tennis Guru
I'm gonna go all Lew on ya and let it be known Andy is 4th all time in 2nd serve points won (56%).

Obviously that's not a direct measure of how much kick he got on his serves. But it was undoubtedly one of the best of all time to put himself in a position to win so many points.
Yes, his second serve points won is right up there with ATGs whose ground games were immeasurably better than his. Why? In no small part thanks to his super heavy kickers, loaded with both spin and pace.

I'm sure the people who are picking Thiem over Roddick would also argue that Thiem's ground game is much superior to A-Rod's. Well, then they've got a bit of an explanatory problem at their hands: How does Roddick then manage to win significantly more second serve points than Thiem (with a large part of them being kickers). Doesn't compute.
 

WhiskeyEE

Legend
Yes, his second serve points won is right up there with ATGs whose ground games were immeasurably better than his. Why? In no small part thanks to his super heavy kickers, loaded with both spin and pace.

I'm sure the people who are picking Thiem over Roddick would also argue that Thiem's ground game is much superior to A-Rod's. Well, then they've got a bit of an explanatory problem at their hands: How does Roddick then manage to win significantly more second serve points than Thiem (with a large part of them being kickers). Doesn't compute.
Have any stats on return points won on hard court for Roddick and Thiem? I'm not even sure Thiem's ground game is better than Roddick's on hard court (on grass absolutely not). Maybe it is. Not sure.

Might not be an accurate measure however considering hard courts are slower now.
 
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Sysyphus

Talk Tennis Guru
Have any stats on return points won on hard court for Roddick and Thiem? I'm not even sure Thiem's ground game is better than Roddick's on hard court (on grass absolutely not). Maybe it is. Not sure.
career return points won on hard = 36.5% for Thiem and 36.2% for Rod. Pretty similar.

So it does further point in the direction that Roddick achieves his superiority on second serve largely through a stronger serve.
 

WhiskeyEE

Legend
career return points won on hard = 36.5% for Thiem and 36.2% for Rod. Pretty similar.

So it does further point in the direction that Roddick achieves his superiority on second serve largely through a stronger serve.
Yeah and it was undoubtedly more difficult to return on hard court in Roddick's time.
 

FD3S

Hall of Fame
Roddick lol. What kick serve? I'm sorry I don't understand. All Roddick knew is how to hit the ball the hardest he could and kill the ball. AR was such a one dimensional player. He even forgot how to hit FH after 2003. Well, Fed happened I guess.

Thiem can think. There is a difference. Your answer is Dominic.
This reminds me of casual fans during Roddick's heyday that would watch highlight packages, see that Roddick's favorite serve was the heater down the T and just assume - for whatever reason - that was the only serve he had.
 
I'm gonna go all Lew on ya and let it be known Andy is 4th all time in 2nd serve points won (56%).

Obviously that's not a direct measure of how much kick he got on his serves. But it was undoubtedly one of the best of all time to put himself in a position to win so many points.
That’s impressive, considering his baseline game was not so much the reason for his success. Most players who lead the 2nd serve points stats are guys with dominant baseline games like Nadal.
 
Another point to consider for Roddick:

Unlike most big servers, his first serve was actually a kick serve. Seemed like he often had first serve percentage around 70%. Considering he wasn’t unusually tall, and how aggressively he served, there must have been some serious topspin RPMs on those first serves of his.
 

MeatTornado

Legend
That’s impressive, considering his baseline game was not so much the reason for his success. Most players who lead the 2nd serve points stats are guys with dominant baseline games like Nadal.
Compared to the rest of his generation, he did have a dominant baseline game. If you compare him to Nadal, then of course it doesn't look like a strong suit.

But in his prime, who else had a better forehand besides Fed/Nadal? Andy was right up there.
 

big ted

Hall of Fame
it can be easy to underestimate how good roddick was becuz he "only" won one slam & most expect thiem to win more than that... but don't forget roddick was #1 when he was 21 y.o... thiem is already ..25?
 
Compared to the rest of his generation, he did have a dominant baseline game. If you compare him to Nadal, then of course it doesn't look like a strong suit.

But in his prime, who else had a better forehand besides Fed/Nadal? Andy was right up there.
I disagree. AR’s forehand was not that special. If it was, his return stats would have been better.
 

FD3S

Hall of Fame
I disagree. AR’s forehand was not that special. If it was, his return stats would have been better.
There was no doubt that it was significantly better as an attacking groundstroke as opposed to a return of serve or defensive tool; I remember Sampras wrote in his book that something along the lines of Courier's FH having much the same issue and that going after it with the serve was actually a very good play for him because Courier lacked the time to wind up and tag it. He couldn't counterpunch/defend with it the way Agassi or Hewitt could with theirs, but the flipside was that it was probably the most consistent out of the pure blaster forehands of the time, to the point where the Roddick serve/FH combo was probably second only to Federer's in terms of effectiveness. Very few players had a serve that could compare with Roddick's, and when given a ball that was attackable his FH was absolutely lethal.
 
D

Deleted member 307496

Guest
Roddick lol. What kick serve? I'm sorry I don't understand. All Roddick knew is how to hit the ball the hardest he could and kill the ball. AR was such a one dimensional player. He even forgot how to hit FH after 2003. Well, Fed happened I guess.

Thiem can think. There is a difference. Your answer is Dominic.
Actually arguing Thiem over Roddick is a joke.
 

Gary Duane

G.O.A.T.
Have any stats on return points won on hard court for Roddick and Thiem? I'm not even sure Thiem's ground game is better than Roddick's on hard court (on grass absolutely not). Maybe it is. Not sure.

Might not be an accurate measure however considering hard courts are slower now.
According to Tennis Abstract, career HCs:
36.2%, Roddick
36.5%, Thiem

You can't get a decimal from the ATP because neither player returned well enough to get on the stats list.

Roddick, return games, 21%
Thiem, return games, 21%

As you can see, games and points are generally mathematically related.
 

ghostofMecir

Hall of Fame
Yes, his second serve points won is right up there with ATGs whose ground games were immeasurably better than his. Why? In no small part thanks to his super heavy kickers, loaded with both spin and pace.

I'm sure the people who are picking Thiem over Roddick would also argue that Thiem's ground game is much superior to A-Rod's. Well, then they've got a bit of an explanatory problem at their hands: How does Roddick then manage to win significantly more second serve points than Thiem (with a large part of them being kickers). Doesn't compute.
This. I wasjust going to argue this exact point.

Frankly, he was an underachiever on clay given how effective hisnkick serve was on dirt. He would have players reaching into the stands on some of those and then mess up so many rallies from + or even ++ situations.

Roddick lol. What kick serve? I'm sorry I don't understand. All Roddick knew is how to hit the ball the hardest he could and kill the ball.
Good lord this is an ignorant comment.
 

Pmasterfunk

Semi-Pro
This. I wasjust going to argue this exact point.

Frankly, he was an underachiever on clay given how effective hisnkick serve was on dirt. He would have players reaching into the stands on some of those and then mess up so many rallies from + or even ++ situations.



Good lord this is an ignorant comment.
A big part of his lack of success on clay is mostly due to his *ahem* exceptional movement. Roddick looked like a drunk ballerina on hardcourts. On clay, well, I'm sure someone can find a fitting comparison.
 

mightyrick

Legend
I disagree. AR’s forehand was not that special. If it was, his return stats would have been better.
Roddick's return game was a real weakness -- not because of his forehand. But because his backhand was mediocre.

When you look at the list of GOAT returners all of them have great backhands. Connors, Agassi, Djokovic, Federer, Coria, Murray, Ferrer... etc... etc...
 

Cup8489

G.O.A.T.
Roddick lol. What kick serve? I'm sorry I don't understand. All Roddick knew is how to hit the ball the hardest he could and kill the ball. AR was such a one dimensional player. He even forgot how to hit FH after 2003. Well, Fed happened I guess.

Thiem can think. There is a difference. Your answer is Dominic.
I can see that you don't know much about tennis. You're in the right place to fix these errors! Welcome!
 
There was no doubt that it was significantly better as an attacking groundstroke as opposed to a return of serve or defensive tool; I remember Sampras wrote in his book that something along the lines of Courier's FH having much the same issue and that going after it with the serve was actually a very good play for him because Courier lacked the time to wind up and tag it. He couldn't counterpunch/defend with it the way Agassi or Hewitt could with theirs, but the flipside was that it was probably the most consistent out of the pure blaster forehands of the time, to the point where the Roddick serve/FH combo was probably second only to Federer's in terms of effectiveness. Very few players had a serve that could compare with Roddick's, and when given a ball that was attackable his FH was absolutely lethal.
That was true only when he was hitting the forehand. Post Gilbert that was sparatic at best. He almost became a male Conchita Martinez at times, someone who had a very big and effective forehand but was determined to not use it, and use a spinny wasteful one instead. Dean Golfine was a horrible coach for him imparticular. A good coach, who has done well with a lot of players, just not with Roddick.
 

Cup8489

G.O.A.T.
This reminds me of casual fans during Roddick's heyday that would watch highlight packages, see that Roddick's favorite serve was the heater down the T and just assume - for whatever reason - that was the only serve he had.
Roddick had it all. The T, the wide, the slice, the kick, the flat...all over 70% first serves in and an average second serve speed in the high 100's and sometimes the low 110's. Honestly it's a hard sell for which serve between his and Sampras' I would take. Sampras backed it up so well and was probably more clutch. But day in and day out it is a hard call.
 

Flash O'Groove

Hall of Fame
Yes, his second serve points won is right up there with ATGs whose ground games were immeasurably better than his. Why? In no small part thanks to his super heavy kickers, loaded with both spin and pace.

I'm sure the people who are picking Thiem over Roddick would also argue that Thiem's ground game is much superior to A-Rod's. Well, then they've got a bit of an explanatory problem at their hands: How does Roddick then manage to win significantly more second serve points than Thiem (with a large part of them being kickers). Doesn't compute.
Geometric mean of opponent's ranking, problably.
 

FD3S

Hall of Fame
That was true only when he was hitting the forehand. Post Gilbert that was sparatic at best. He almost became a male Conchita Martinez at times, someone who had a very big and effective forehand but was determined to not use it, and use a spinny wasteful one instead. Dean Golfine was a horrible coach for him imparticular. A good coach, who has done well with a lot of players, just not with Roddick.
Yep, he went back to his junior grinding game post BG and while it helped his consistency it hurt his chances against the big guys. The odd thing was, he didn't have to go to either extreme as a player to be effective IMO; there were plenty of times when he would actually use the spinny forehand to great effect and force an opening after moving his opponent around... at which point he would then simply roll the ball into said opening into instead of flattening it out. C'mon, Andy.

Roddick had it all. The T, the wide, the slice, the kick, the flat...all over 70% first serves in and an average second serve speed in the high 100's and sometimes the low 110's. Honestly it's a hard sell for which serve between his and Sampras' I would take. Sampras backed it up so well and was probably more clutch. But day in and day out it is a hard call.
I can't recall the exact figures at the moment, but I think when Yandell looked at both (on separate occasions) Roddick's average first serve had slightly more MPH whereas Sampras' average first serve had slightly more RPM. It's certainly close when you're talking about the serves alone!
 

zill

Professional
Most people agree that Roddick has a better kick serve but how much of it is do with the fact that he had a larger size racquet and a more open string pattern??
 
Yep, he went back to his junior grinding game post BG and while it helped his consistency it hurt his chances against the big guys. The odd thing was, he didn't have to go to either extreme as a player to be effective IMO; there were plenty of times when he would actually use the spinny forehand to great effect and force an opening after moving his opponent around... at which point he would then simply roll the ball into said opening into instead of flattening it out. C'mon, Andy.
I was so dissapointed in Goldfine's coaching of Andy. He should have known Andy could not be that effective as a purely defensive player since while he is a good grinder he simply doesnt have the speed to be at the very top that way. And he nullified his best weapons. It is not like unforced errors were that much of a problem for him in 2004 or in hardly any of his losses. His problems were either not playing big points well enough (Wimbledon vs Federer, Australian vs Safin), or simply getting beat at his own game (Johansson at the U.S Open, but the big points problem here again). You are right he could have tried to strike a balance, even taking that approach, the approach he took with Andy was so wrong.
 

Cup8489

G.O.A.T.
Most people agree that Roddick has a better kick serve but how much of it is do with the fact that he had a larger size racquet and a more open string pattern??
Not much. The window of spin is virtually the same between a 21 mm 98 beam and a 23 mm 100 beam. It's widely known now that string pattern dictates launch angle more than spin potential. Plenty of great kickers come off the frames with 18x20 string patterns.
 

scotus

G.O.A.T.
I disagree. AR’s forehand was not that special. If it was, his return stats would have been better.
It was special ... until he lost his mojo. Then he paired up with Stefanki and started overspinning it. Yup, that was the end of his fearhand.
 

Enga

Hall of Fame
Roddick is like a baseball pitcher. He put so much work into his serve, and doing flexibility exercises for his shoulder. Dunno if other pros do a similar thing. But his serve was his specialty for sure... And I think he was capable of huge spin. I vote Roddick on this one. Theres probably footage out there but Im too lazy to find it.
 

zill

Professional
Not much. The window of spin is virtually the same between a 21 mm 98 beam and a 23 mm 100 beam. It's widely known now that string pattern dictates launch angle more than spin potential. Plenty of great kickers come off the frames with 18x20 string patterns.
So Roddick would get more net clearance from his kick serve which would mean it would bounce higher given same rpm as thiem’s Kick serve. Hence Roddick’s kick serve would still be more effective with 16 by 19.
 

FD3S

Hall of Fame
So Roddick would get more net clearance from his kick serve which would mean it would bounce higher given same rpm as thiem’s Kick serve. Hence Roddick’s kick serve would still be more effective with 16 by 19.
It'd help him out a bit, but it'd by no means be the difference maker. Roddick's kicker was so effective I'd wager he could swing with an 18X20 with Theim swinging a 16X19 and his would still be better by a fair margin.
 
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