Who is the best returner of all time

Which player has the best return ever

  • Novak

    Votes: 91 71.1%
  • Agassi

    Votes: 22 17.2%
  • Nadal

    Votes: 5 3.9%
  • Murray

    Votes: 6 4.7%
  • Connors

    Votes: 1 0.8%
  • Ferrer

    Votes: 3 2.3%

  • Total voters
    128

clayqueen

Talk Tennis Guru
What's the point of walking out onto the court?

Nadal best walk-on confirmed.
You are avoiding answering my question. You can't just make a statement if you don't want to elaborate on it. I will go further as to say that every single shot made is with the intention of winning the point.
 

alexio

Hall of Fame
You are avoiding answering my question. You can't just make a statement if you don't want to elaborate on it. I will go further as to say that every single shot made is with the intention of winning the point.
to prove that we live in the matrix, and to feel happy and comfortable we must follow the rules, including sports rules, i.e. players must return the serve in order to continue the game, for starters....i hope you satisfied enough with this answer, queen:D
 
You are avoiding answering my question. You can't just make a statement if you don't want to elaborate on it. I will go further as to say that every single shot made is with the intention of winning the point.
If my point missed then that's on you. You're just being obtuse, and quite frankly ridiculous. The vast majority of rallies are comprised of more shots than just a return. If your return was generic, fairly tame, quite short in the court etc., but your movement and other shots were amazing, you could still win the point - it doesn't mean your lackluster return was suddenly incredible. You don't make up for a merely decent return shot with some other shots and then suddenly upgrade the return in hindsight, that's absurd. If Nadal had a groundstroke forehand like Zverev do you think he'd be where he is on that list even if his return was the same?
 

clayqueen

Talk Tennis Guru
to prove that we live in the matrix, and to feel happy and comfortable we must follow the rules, including sports rules, i.e. players must return the serve in order to continue the game, for starters....i hope you satisfied enough with this answer, queen:D
That means players should not behave like Tomic in deciding not to play the ball.

Players play to win points with every shot, can't see why anyone thinks this is not the case. Here is a great example of returning the serve to win the point:

 

clayqueen

Talk Tennis Guru
If my point missed then that's on you. You're just being obtuse, and quite frankly ridiculous. The vast majority of rallies are comprised of more shots than just a return. If your return was generic, fairly tame, quite short in the court etc., but your movement and other shots were amazing, you could still win the point - it doesn't mean your lackluster return was suddenly incredible. You don't make up for a merely decent return shot with some other shots and then suddenly upgrade the return in hindsight, that's absurd. If Nadal had a groundstroke forehand like Zverev do you think he'd be where he is on that list even if his return was the same?
Players aim to win every point in every game; they don't decide not to win the point when they return the serve. They aim to win the point but, of course, that not always possible same as a server aims to win the point on every serve.
 
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Players aim to win every point in every game; they don't decide not to win the point when they return the serve. They aim to win the point but, of course, that not always possible same as a server aims to win the point on every serve.
Not if you're Tomic the Tank Engine ;)

But anyway... What you've said here simply doesn't add anything. So tennis players try and win points... Fantastic. Now it's true that if a player is winning lots of points then they are doing something well, and if they're winning lots of return points then they are at least getting the ball back in play on the return a good number of times. Did they outright win the point off the return shot? Was the return strong enough to immediately put them in a commanding position in the rally? Was the return merely neutral and the point was won through excellent subsequent shot selection? Was the opponent unable to capitalize on a neutral return shot due to your anticipation, defensive or counter-punching skillsalicious? None of those questions are actually answered by the statistic of return games won; all you can conclude is the player must be at least a competent returner, who puts a good proportion of balls back in play in a way that doesn't leave complete sitters. If your ground game is god-like, then that standard of return shot should well be enough to rack up some very good return games won, especially on clay.
 

Gonzo_style

Hall of Fame
Who is the best returner?

Watch the last game of 2015 Wimbledon final and see for yourself

LOL at that list with bunch of claycourters, Berasategui for example never won a match at Wimbledon
 

skaj

Legend
WTA top 10:

1. Seles
2. Dementieva
3. Date
4. Clijsters
5. Hingis
6. Azarenka
7. Serena
8. Zheng
9. Evert
10. Sharapova/Davenport
 

NonP

Hall of Fame
'95 Agassi is the most dazzling returner I've ever seen and it's doubtful anyone before or since (including his more mature self) has ever hit more outright winners per return point.

Career-wise, though, it's pretty much a toss-up between Dre (winners and best hand-eye coordination), Novak (depth of return), Murray (kryptonite vs. big servers) and Jimbo (something of a hybrid between these three). You could make a case for any of 'em, though if forced I'd go with Dre for that peakest of all peaks. Ferru, Rusty and Chang are a slight notch below this foursome (it's no coincidence that they're all comparatively undersized), but deserve to be in the GROAT convo nonetheless.

I invite you to peruse this definitive analysis of mine, before I call your attention to these names that tend to be afterthoughts if not complete unknowns:
  • Edberg, above all. The only guy whose % of 1st-serve points won earns him a berth in the post-'90 top 10 on every surface. Has gotta be the most underappreciated returner of the OE.
  • Kucera, who was almost as versatile (and ignored).
  • McEnroe is another one whose attacking game has unjustly overshadowed his return prowess. If you think Fed's SABRs were unprecedented, you haven't seen Mac's even better "rip & charge" (hat tip to Moose) in the '84 USO final.
  • Kodes' return pushing Newk to the limit in the '73 USO final (hey another Moose sighting!) is one of the reasons why it used to be touted as one of the very best.
  • Korda, another Czech, returned the Sampras serve as well as anybody, "standing 2 meters towards the middle, covering [Pete's] favourite serve..but when sampras tried wide serve, korda would somehow get there too" (per @slice serve ace).
  • Henman's return, like the rest of his game, was unspectacular, but very reliable on all surfaces.
  • Kafelnikov may not quite boast the numbers of most of his, shall we say, nimbler peers, but the guy was also rock solid across the board.

Now the fun stuff, courtesy of (who else?) Mr. Image. Wish this had a snippet of Scud looking utterly stunned after Dre had taken one of his bombs on the rise for a winner, but can't really complain when it covers so much ground (his '95 tussles with Pete naturally make several appearances):


You're welcome.
 

abmk

Bionic Poster
'95 Agassi is the most dazzling returner I've ever seen and it's doubtful anyone before or since (including his more mature self) has ever hit more outright winners per return point.

Career-wise, though, it's pretty much a toss-up between Dre (winners and best hand-eye coordination), Novak (depth of return), Murray (kryptonite vs. big servers) and Jimbo (something of a hybrid between these three). You could make a case for any of 'em, though if forced I'd go with Dre for that peakest of all peaks. Ferru, Rusty and Chang are a slight notch below this foursome (it's no coincidence that they're all comparatively undersized), but deserve to be in the GROAT convo nonetheless.

I invite you to peruse this definitive analysis of mine, before I call your attention to these names that tend to be afterthoughts if not complete unknowns:
  • Edberg, above all. The only guy whose % of 1st-serve points won earns him a berth in the post-'90 top 10 on every surface. Has gotta be the most underappreciated returner of the OE.
  • Kucera, who was almost as versatile (and ignored).
  • McEnroe is another one whose attacking game has unjustly overshadowed his return prowess. If you think Fed's SABRs were unprecedented, you haven't seen Mac's even better "rip & charge" (hat tip to Moose) in the '84 USO final.
  • Kodes' return pushing Newk to the limit in the '73 USO final (hey another Moose sighting!) is one of the reasons why it used to be touted as one of the very best.
  • Korda, another Czech, returned the Sampras serve as well as anybody, "standing 2 meters towards the middle, covering [Pete's] favourite serve..but when sampras tried wide serve, korda would somehow get there too" (per @slice serve ace).
  • Henman's return, like the rest of his game, was unspectacular, but very reliable on all surfaces.
  • Kafelnikov may not quite boast the numbers of most of his, shall we say, nimbler peers, but the guy was also rock solid across the board.

Now the fun stuff, courtesy of (who else?) Mr. Image. Wish this had a snippet of Scud looking utterly stunned after Dre had taken one of his bombs on the rise for a winner, but can't really complain when it covers so much ground (his '95 tussles with Pete naturally make several appearances):


You're welcome.
Nalby over Ferrer.
Probably Davy as well
 

Wurm

Semi-Pro
'95 Agassi is the most dazzling returner I've ever seen and it's doubtful anyone before or since (including his more mature self) has ever hit more outright winners per return point.
He did have the benefit of playing a fair few pure s&v players who'd be just trying to get set for the first (half) volley as the ball went whizzing by them. I dunno how many times he'd have hit winners off the same serves in the modern game where so many players get a nose bleed if they get anywhere near the service line but he would still have been a great returner and it was very enjoyable watching him do it back in the day.

With respect to your analysis, I was going to bring up that around 2019 I'd screenshotted leaderboards for return game %ages won and on hard courts Murray was then #1 all time, Noval #4. On grass, Murray was #13 all time, Novak #18.

Just looking at the leaderboards now:

On hard courts (https://www.atptour.com/en/stats/le...r&surface=hard&versusRank=all&formerNo1=false) Murray's, unsurprisingly, dropped from the 32.91% return games won to 32.3%. Novak's also dropped from 32.34% to 32%, which I didn't expect, so Murray retains the advantage. First serve return %age also favours Murray, though Edberg and McEnroe leapfrog him there. Second serve return %age favours Novak, which doesn't surprise me too much given Novak's the better rallier on hard courts. Where the hard court analysis gets interesting is in break points converted %age where Murray drops way off to 24th, with Novak up at 6th. I heavily suspect this plays its part in the perception of Novak's returning being superior.

On grass Murray remains higher ranked than Novak for %age of games won (#9 to Novak's #11)... I expect that to have reversed after the next Wimbledon when Novak wins it and Murray loses within 3 rounds (if he's even fit enough to play, which is sadly not guaranteed these days), but I was surprised to see Novak's ahead of Murray for first serve %age points won and trails him on second serve. Murray's #29 and Novak #56 for breakpoint conversion %age on grass courts...

Personally speaking I don't include clay for looking at return stats. I just don't think it's that relevant to the conversation given how distorted the numbers are for clay court specialists.
 

MichaelNadal

Bionic Poster
'95 Agassi is the most dazzling returner I've ever seen and it's doubtful anyone before or since (including his more mature self) has ever hit more outright winners per return point.

Career-wise, though, it's pretty much a toss-up between Dre (winners and best hand-eye coordination), Novak (depth of return), Murray (kryptonite vs. big servers) and Jimbo (something of a hybrid between these three). You could make a case for any of 'em, though if forced I'd go with Dre for that peakest of all peaks. Ferru, Rusty and Chang are a slight notch below this foursome (it's no coincidence that they're all comparatively undersized), but deserve to be in the GROAT convo nonetheless.

I invite you to peruse this definitive analysis of mine, before I call your attention to these names that tend to be afterthoughts if not complete unknowns:
  • Edberg, above all. The only guy whose % of 1st-serve points won earns him a berth in the post-'90 top 10 on every surface. Has gotta be the most underappreciated returner of the OE.
  • Kucera, who was almost as versatile (and ignored).
  • McEnroe is another one whose attacking game has unjustly overshadowed his return prowess. If you think Fed's SABRs were unprecedented, you haven't seen Mac's even better "rip & charge" (hat tip to Moose) in the '84 USO final.
  • Kodes' return pushing Newk to the limit in the '73 USO final (hey another Moose sighting!) is one of the reasons why it used to be touted as one of the very best.
  • Korda, another Czech, returned the Sampras serve as well as anybody, "standing 2 meters towards the middle, covering [Pete's] favourite serve..but when sampras tried wide serve, korda would somehow get there too" (per @slice serve ace).
  • Henman's return, like the rest of his game, was unspectacular, but very reliable on all surfaces.
  • Kafelnikov may not quite boast the numbers of most of his, shall we say, nimbler peers, but the guy was also rock solid across the board.

Now the fun stuff, courtesy of (who else?) Mr. Image. Wish this had a snippet of Scud looking utterly stunned after Dre had taken one of his bombs on the rise for a winner, but can't really complain when it covers so much ground (his '95 tussles with Pete naturally make several appearances):


You're welcome.
Epicness

 

Feather

Legend
Andre Agassi,
Novak Djokovic,
Andy Murray

Honestly don't know who is the best , so wrote in chronological order
 
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