Who is the Greatest Server of All-time?

Greatest Server of All-time

  • Sampras

    Votes: 47 44.8%
  • Ivanisevic

    Votes: 16 15.2%
  • Federer

    Votes: 9 8.6%
  • Isner

    Votes: 4 3.8%
  • Karlovic

    Votes: 20 19.0%
  • Roddick

    Votes: 3 2.9%
  • Raonic

    Votes: 3 2.9%
  • Groth

    Votes: 3 2.9%

  • Total voters
    105

uncooling

Semi-Pro
It's hard to judge players from different generations, but I thought this would be an interesting topic to discuss. Couple of tihngs that must be taken into account though:


Old days:
-not as good racquet technology, so lower serve speed
-but this means it's also hard to block the serve with weak string/racquet, etc.

Nowadays:
-coursts are WAY slower, so harder to ace/hit service winner
-players return much better because of racquet technology/better reflex, etc.
 

Leelord337

Hall of Fame
This is such a hard question to answer. I might go roscoe tanner on this one because he hit huge with a wooden racket. imagine him w/a modern racket!
 

Leelord337

Hall of Fame
^^he's the tiger woods of tennis. (recognizable name) and I wouldn't say its the best serve...but the most Clutch server of all time Definitely.

most non-tennis fans don't know those other players!
 

6-1 6-3 6-0

Banned
Nadal has an argument for being one of the greatest servers of all time.

-Broken only 5 times en route to the USOpen2010 title, broken by Verdasco, Youzhny, Djokovic (a record shared with Andy Roddick)
-Broken only TWICE en route to the final at USOpen2010 (broken by Verdasco and Youzhny)
-Held 71 of 72 service games at RolandGarros2012 from 1R to SF (was broken by Bolelli in the first round)
-Has consistently had the best first serve percentage in the top 4 for the past few years
-Broken only TWICE en route to the final at Wimbledon2006 (held 80 straight times)

 

Jeffrey573639

Semi-Pro
Nadal has an argument for being one of the greatest servers of all time.

-Broken only 5 times en route to the USOpen2010 title, broken by Verdasco, Youzhny, Djokovic (a record shared with Andy Roddick)
-Broken only TWICE en route to the final at USOpen2010 (broken by Verdasco and Youzhny)
-Held 71 of 72 service games at RolandGarros2012 from 1R to SF (was broken by Bolelli in the first round)
-Has consistently had the best first serve percentage in the top 4 for the past few years
-Broken only TWICE en route to the final at Wimbledon2006 (held 80 straight times)

Calling
10letmegogravities :)
 

Romismak

Rookie
Sampras again leading the poll.... omg i don´t have words really

Best server is Ivanisevic or Karlovic - in Ivo´s case he is up there among best servers in every department statistically and he is by far worst besides serve from all top servers.

Goran is arguably best server from 90s and also he can be choosed as best ever

Sampras was great, but to claim he is best server, because i have seen him hit 5unreturnables from 0-40 to win service game or that he was that good and so good is one thing, but honestly he is definitely not best server ever, he wasn´t even best server in his era with Goran, Krajicek clearly better servers, i mean he was way better than those guys besides serve and still they were able to beat him, Krajicek was even tough match-up for him, if Pete was better in all aspects including serve than how the hell he loose so many times?
 

Romismak

Rookie
Nadal has an argument for being one of the greatest servers of all time.

-Broken only 5 times en route to the USOpen2010 title, broken by Verdasco, Youzhny, Djokovic (a record shared with Andy Roddick)
-Broken only TWICE en route to the final at USOpen2010 (broken by Verdasco and Youzhny)
-Held 71 of 72 service games at RolandGarros2012 from 1R to SF (was broken by Bolelli in the first round)
-Has consistently had the best first serve percentage in the top 4 for the past few years
-Broken only TWICE en route to the final at Wimbledon2006 (held 80 straight times)

I hope you are joking, otherwise you are so stupid you can´t say difference between serve and service game hold

Nadal is statistically and also in reality one of best ever in holding his serve - which is thanks to his groundgame. But his serve - his serve was major weakness at least half of his career, now he is serving o.k, but still he is not even one of better servers among top 20 guys.
 

helloworld

Hall of Fame
What separates Sampras from the pack is his SECOND SERVE, not his first serve! Goran and Krajcek can hit as good first serve, but nowhere as good on the second serve.
 

Relinquis

Hall of Fame
Sampras has the complete serving package. Placement, speed, spin, consistency and disguise on both his first and second serves. His second serve really was a cut above the rest.

Federer is very close to this imo. Maybe better on the disguise though, although Sampras' serve looked cooler.

Interesting thing about racquet technology, wasn't there a test where they measured Mark Philippoussis' serve and then gave him an old wooden racquet and he served within 1-2 mph of the speed of the new ones?
 

TennisLovaLova

Hall of Fame
Federer has the worst serve by far in the poll, but he gets the second most votes. LOL!!!
Variation ( a lot)
Also, not very powerful, but hard to read
in his peak, he could pull 3-4 straight aces to secure a game
Also: I find his serve the most beautiful in terms of style and grace
 

tennisaddict

Bionic Poster
In terms of points won, may be Sampras, partly due to players having a relatively inferior returns as opposed to top players of today.

But as an overall package in terms of style, beauty, elegance, disguise, accuracy, consistency, Fed is way ahead.

Also i think Fed may have served lesser double faults than Sampras.
 

Roddick85

Hall of Fame
Sampras without a shadow of a doubt. He had speed, placement, disguise, the total package. He played in the Agassi era and even he had trouble returning Pete's serve. For #2, i'd go with Federer, he did model his serve after Pete. What Federer's serve lacks in overall MPH, he makes up with excellent variety and placement. Honorable mention to Roddick, had he not been injured in the last couple of years, I would of voted for him as #2, that serve at the beginning of his career was extremely hard to break. Hitting such hard serves with that kind of consistency proves he was a great server.
 

Flash O'Groove

Hall of Fame
if anyone votes for federer they are mororns
http://www.atpworldtour.com/Matchfacts/Matchfacts-List.aspx?c=4&s=0&y=0
karlovic is easily #1 on that list
Nadal is also 12th on that list, Djokovic 19th. I don't think that they are top 20 in service as a single stroke. Service game is not only about the serve.

However in the case of someone like Karlovic, who has only his serve to win service game, it works. It shows that he is the best server. He might not have the disguise, placement or what else that Sampras or Fed have, but he can nonetheless hold serve: you may know where the ball will bounce and still be unable to do anything.

What would be Fed or Sampras Resume if they had Karlovic's serve?
 

Flash O'Groove

Hall of Fame
Sampras without a shadow of a doubt. He had speed, placement, disguise, the total package. He played in the Agassi era and even he had trouble returning Pete's serve. For #2, i'd go with Federer, he did model his serve after Pete. What Federer's serve lacks in overall MPH, he makes up with excellent variety and placement. Honorable mention to Roddick, had he not been injured in the last couple of years, I would of voted for him as #2, that serve at the beginning of his career was extremely hard to break. Hitting such hard serves with that kind of consistency proves he was a great server.
By your argument Nadal has a top serve. His serve is perfectly taylored for his game. He is very clutch in important moment and is extremely hard to break.
 

Towser83

G.O.A.T.
Hard to say. there's different areas. Just sheer speed, placement, reliability, 1st serve, 2nd serve.

Sampras probably had the best all round serve. Goran had the hardest serve to return for a fairly normal height guy. Karlovic has the hardest serve to return for any height of guy. Him or Roddick or isner have the fastest speed.

Statistically who won the greatest percent of points from the serve or second shot (from a weak return forced by the serve) ? Hard stat to even compile..
 

Towser83

G.O.A.T.
Nadal has an argument for being one of the greatest servers of all time.

-Broken only 5 times en route to the USOpen2010 title, broken by Verdasco, Youzhny, Djokovic (a record shared with Andy Roddick)
-Broken only TWICE en route to the final at USOpen2010 (broken by Verdasco and Youzhny)
-Held 71 of 72 service games at RolandGarros2012 from 1R to SF (was broken by Bolelli in the first round)
-Has consistently had the best first serve percentage in the top 4 for the past few years
-Broken only TWICE en route to the final at Wimbledon2006 (held 80 straight times)

I agree that Nadal would never have won that uso had it not been for his wonder serve which suddenly appeared and promptly disappeared up his butt afterwards. No wonder he picks his shorts - he was trying to pull a decent serve out of his arse all that time.
 

Wilander Fan

Hall of Fame
McEnroe should be on the list as well. Like Fed, a great location server with respectable pace. Mac lost a little pace later in his career and this let really good players wait and tee off on one position since they knew they could defend the other positions. Fed is also facing the same issue and you can see good returners giving him alot of problems these days.

Nadal has a very underrated lefty slice wide. Its a big reason for his h2h over Fed and his good record in general.
 

Devilito

Hall of Fame
People need to remember that Petros is shorter than Fed. That should give you an idea of how good his serve is. Its not difficult to bomb aces when you're 6'-10". A good serve is independent of height. David Ferrer would benifit more from Petro's technique than Karlovic who looks like he's hitting the ball with a frying pan.
 

Flash O'Groove

Hall of Fame
Yes but if a good player could hit a Karlovic's serve with a frying pan and back it up with actual tennis skills, he wouldn't lose a match ever.
 
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sunof tennis

Professional
I hope you are joking, otherwise you are so stupid you can´t say difference between serve and service game hold

Nadal is statistically and also in reality one of best ever in holding his serve - which is thanks to his groundgame. But his serve - his serve was major weakness at least half of his career, now he is serving o.k, but still he is not even one of better servers among top 20 guys.
Bingo. We have a winner...
 

Roddick85

Hall of Fame
To me, players like Isner or Karlovic shouldn't even be in the best serve poll. Those guys are super tall, and at they're height, they don't need great technique to have a decent serve, and save for they're height advantage over other opponents, they have no other weapons in they're game. Sampras serve/technique with an average height is much more impressive than Isner/Karlovic just smacking it because they are so tall and have a better angle.
 
Why make this so subjective? Why doesn't someone calculate the avg. 1st serve speed and avg % of 1st serve for all candidates? I realize serve speed will vary due to technology and rules, but that can be taken into consideration too.
 
N

NadalAgassi

Guest
ROTFL at 7 votes for Federer. Once again says it all about Planet **** Warehouse.
 

President

Legend
To me, players like Isner or Karlovic shouldn't even be in the best serve poll. Those guys are super tall, and at they're height, they don't need great technique to have a decent serve, and save for they're height advantage over other opponents, they have no other weapons in they're game. Sampras serve/technique with an average height is much more impressive than Isner/Karlovic just smacking it because they are so tall and have a better angle.
By that logic maybe Benjamin Becker or Phillip Kohlschreiber should be among greatest servers of all time, since they are considerably shorter than even Sampras and Federer but still have big serves.
 
N

NadalAgassi

Guest
I voted for Sampras but Ivanisevic should have more votes than he does. Best 1st serve ever IMO. Sampras has the best combination of 1st and 2nd though. Federer shouldnt be on this poll, nor should Groth or Raonic.
 

Devilito

Hall of Fame
By that logic maybe Benjamin Becker or Phillip Kohlschreiber should be among greatest servers of all time, since they are considerably shorter than even Sampras and Federer but still have big serves.
there is less of a difference in height between benjamin becker and petros than between petros and isner. However there is less of a difference in serve effectiveness between petros and isner than between ben and petros. So your assessment is false
 

Towser83

G.O.A.T.
People need to remember that Petros is shorter than Fed. That should give you an idea of how good his serve is. Its not difficult to bomb aces when you're 6'-10". A good serve is independent of height. David Ferrer would benifit more from Petro's technique than Karlovic who looks like he's hitting the ball with a frying pan.
Pretty sure sampras and Federer are at least roughly the same height. Sampras still has the better serve though.

Fed is not 6.10... Did you mean isner? Yeah Sampras gets more bang for the buck than isner.
 
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President

Legend
there is less of a difference in height between benjamin becker and petros than between petros and isner. However there is less of a difference in serve effectiveness between petros and isner than between ben and petros. So your assessment is false
My point was that its silly to use height in these arguments. We are not talking about who has the best service motion of all time or the best serve for their height, but rather who is the "greatest server of all time". Ivo Karlovic is clearly the greatest server of all time, IMO.

If we adjust for height on the serve maybe we should do it for footwork as well, does Jerzy Janowicz have the best footwork of all time because he is 6'8'' but still moves pretty well? Is Ferrer's footwork less impressive than Raonic's because he has an inherent advantage due to being shorter?
 

TMF

Talk Tennis Guru
Karlovic is the best. His stats are ridiculous considered having one of the worse all around game when compare to other great servers. Isner is still young but I think in a few years he will eventually move up, perhaps right behind Ivo.
 

TMF

Talk Tennis Guru
To me, players like Isner or Karlovic shouldn't even be in the best serve poll. Those guys are super tall, and at they're height, they don't need great technique to have a decent serve, and save for they're height advantage over other opponents, they have no other weapons in they're game. Sampras serve/technique with an average height is much more impressive than Isner/Karlovic just smacking it because they are so tall and have a better angle.
WUT? If height is unfair to compare then no one can say Pete's serve is better than Coria because he's a lot taller.:)

It isn't about technique we're debating, but simply who has the best serve...such as average ace/per game, average un-return serve/per game.
 

Relinquis

Hall of Fame
fed belongs on the list, he does have the consistency, placement and disguise. i remember in his early days in slams everyone would talk about how hard it was to read and how he would be able to keep it up during tough points in a match.

still, i voted for sampras. amazing 2nd serve, all the time, every time.
 
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