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"If your serve is good, you can win on grass even without playing your best"

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"If your serve is good, you can win on grass even without playing your best" - Page 3 Empty "If your serve is good, you can win on grass even without playing your best"

Post by hawkeye Mon 15 Jun 2015 - 8:05

First topic message reminder :

"If your serve is good, you can win on grass even without playing your best"

I thought that was an interesting quote from Nadal after his win in Suttgart

http://www.tennis-tourtalk.com/?p=2796

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Post by Belovedluckyboy Sat 20 Jun 2015 - 4:33

MMT, like I said in my earlier post,you need different skill sets to win on clay and on grass.

One without a good serve may be easily dispatched on grass by one with a good serve, so those who win on grass are generally those who come with a good serve. However, a good serve may not be enough to win on clay, as good ROS may come into play on clay, where the slower surface may neutralize a good to even big serve, and so good ground strokes and rallying skills come into play.

You talk about on grass one slip up and you may be beaten (by a big serve I suppose) but those who come with a big or good enough serve would be there to tough it out and thats why we see so many TBs on grass.

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Post by Belovedluckyboy Sat 20 Jun 2015 - 12:39

SB, I watched that Becker/Edberg match and also the Fed/Sampras 2001 Wimbledon match. My thoughts:

1) while I appreciate their skills at the net and their S&V prowess, the tennis really didn't excite me. We basically had a player who S&V during his service games and his opponent hardly able to return serves or was busy defending once the server blocked back the ROS, and rinse and repeat throughout the match;

2) it's usually the one who served that won the game and breaking serve was tough; no wonder there were so many TBs on grass. It's usually two or three shots and the point was over, should there be no ace.

3) honestly, I prefer watching badminton, especially played between Lee Chong Wei and Lin Dan, than watching S&V tennis on grass. Badminton is a lot more exciting when both players could and would attack and be at the net at the same time attacking and defending and points are harder to win.

4) I find Fed/Nadal Wimbledon 2007/2008 more exciting than S&V tennis on grass. The Delpo/Novak Wimbledon 2013 SF match was also exciting, attacking tennis from the baseline, while they both served well,

5) while I believe tennis on grass should and would favor players with good to great serves, and points should be shorter than tennis on other surfaces, I still prefer tennis where the one returning serves has a chance to win the point despite facing a big serve.

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Post by laverfan Sat 20 Jun 2015 - 14:50

Belovedluckyboy wrote:LF, I don't understand what you mean by 'you don't give credit to foot speed....'

I wanted to wait till the Federer v Karlovic match was over to further discuss this. If you gritted you teeth over sand paper and your walls do not have nail marks running down their height, the Old Man played very well, in sharp contrast to Berdych v Karlovic. The second set was better with Federer able to put returns in play (RoS on clay).

There is no difference between RoS On clay or grass, just different techniques are required to handle the pace. It requires the ability to read the serve, position, and block or drive the serve back. There is no lack of speed. Nick Lester on ATP commentary said that 75% of the time Karlovic serves wide-out in Deuce court.

Some players handle big servers better than others. You can see H2Hs. Djokovic is the best RoS player in the world right now. One of 2015 losses is to Karlovic, but the other is to Wawrinka at FO.

Please see http://www.rolandgarros.com/en_FR/scores/stats/day20/1701ms.html?promo=sumscores

As an image, if RG takes the website down...

"If your serve is good, you can win on grass even without playing your best" - Page 3 TN9rKrt

Is Djokovic a big server on Clay ? Clay by definition is slower (higher coefficient of restitution) which gives the returner the extra few milliseconds to put the ball back in play. Grass shaves that time off, so your hands and hand-eye coordination should be that much faster. If Lydian was around, he could write a treatise on the musculature and Short Stretch cycles.

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Post by Belovedluckyboy Sat 20 Jun 2015 - 15:19

LF?? You cleaely doesnt understand my question!

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Post by laverfan Sat 20 Jun 2015 - 15:38

Belovedluckyboy wrote:LF?? You cleaely doesnt understand my question!

Then please elaborate. Wink.

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Post by Belovedluckyboy Sat 20 Jun 2015 - 15:45

In the first place, I didnt even question the importance of foot speed, hand eye co-ordination etc and etc when returning serves. However, we know how tough it is returning a big serve on grass and so we see good returners of serves are also struggling with ROS - be it Simon or Murray or Kei.

What Fed did in the Karlovic match was to block back the serves, hoping that Karlovic would make errors dealing with the blocked returns. Karlovic is not a young Edberg or Becker, both of whom would have no problems dealing with the blocked returns most of the times, not Karlovic who is slower in his movements. Still, it took Fed two TBs to beat Karlovic, when he couldnt break Karlovic's serves throughout the match, as Karlovic would serve an ace or a good serve to fend off BPs and held serve.

Karlovic did have his nerves during the TBs, not able to produce aces to get out of troubles when Fed put pressure on him when he was serving.


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Post by laverfan Sat 20 Jun 2015 - 16:31

Yesterday, the same Karlovic beat Berdych. Why and how?

Belovedluckyboy wrote:...match was to block back the serves, hoping that Karlovic would make errors dealing with the blocked returns. Karlovic is not a young Edberg or Becker, both of whom would have no problems dealing with the blocked returns most of the times, not Karlovic who is slower in his movements.

Did Karlovic become slower overnight after beating Berdych?  You have articulated the proper Grass technique clearly, and yet you refuse to see that the technique required is practiced by very few of the current players. No Tennis match was ever won on hoping. Wink  

Watching Anderson vs Simon, I see 20 shot rallies on grass because neither player is willing to take higher risks. Anderson is a big server. Please compare Djokovic, Anderson, Wawrinka on these statistics. There is no significant difference between them, but there are relative differences.

"If your serve is good, you can win on grass even without playing your best" - Page 3 0XrO5fp

PS: I scored the 1996 Olympic Badminton Finals between Hoyer-Larsen and Dong Jiong. Met the legendary Rudy Hartono. Amazing experience. I have seen Svend Pri and Padukone in action. I played it for years and occasionally still can swing a racquet.

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Post by Belovedluckyboy Sat 20 Jun 2015 - 16:54

I had watched Rudy Hartono of Indonesia, not live matches though, i live in Singapore.

You're comparing Berdych to Fed? Look, Fed has been blocking back serves since day 1 if I'm not wrong, probably picked up from his earlier S&V days. I notice players of the S&V era all block back the serves,as thats the most effective way to deal with S&V. Berdych, and most of the other players of the post S&V era dont do that, they normally try to hit hard to return serves, only the good returners of serves vary their returns.

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Post by laverfan Sat 20 Jun 2015 - 18:57

Karlovic v Berdych - 45 aces / 17 service games (Average aces per game 2.65). -https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2g9oUY3meUQ

Please notice the aces in deuce court. Berdych completely failed to move his feet even when 75-85% serves were wide out.

Karlovic v Federer 20 aces / 12 service games (Average aces per game  - 1.67 ) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tjQkiIiBMHM

The average aces per game is reasonable indicator of the ability of returner to RoS.

Belovedluckboy wrote:Look, Fed has been blocking back serves since day 1 if I'm not wrong, probably picked up from his earlier S&V days. I notice players of the S&V era all block back the serves,as thats the most effective way to deal with S&V. Berdych, and most of the other players of the post S&V era dont do that, they normally try to hit hard to return serves, only the good returners of serves vary their returns.

Berdych was standing 2m behind the base line, while Federer was on the baseline with block able returns. Bps saved for Berdych were 1/3, for Karlovic 3/3. Berdych played 2010 W finals, IIRC, so he is no stranger to Grass court Tennis, is he? He has played plenty of doubles with Stepanek for DC and other events. He knows who to play S&V.

Federer did not have a BP on Karlovic's serve, and saved 1/1.


Last edited by laverfan on Sat 20 Jun 2015 - 19:06; edited 1 time in total

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Post by Belovedluckyboy Sat 20 Jun 2015 - 19:02

Yeah, like I said, you can't compare Berdych to Fed. On grass Fed is the 7 times winner at Wimbledon, whilst Berdych only made one final at Wimbledon.

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Post by laverfan Sat 20 Jun 2015 - 19:08

I am referring to learning the technique of playing on grass, not Berdych v Federer.

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Post by Belovedluckyboy Sat 20 Jun 2015 - 19:37

The fact that Berdych only made one Wimbledon final and that was some five years ago, and he was having inconsistent results on grass, tell us that Berdych really hasn't mastered the technique of playing on grass.

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Post by laverfan Sat 20 Jun 2015 - 21:34

Belovedluckyboy wrote:The fact that Berdych only made one Wimbledon final and that was some five years ago, and he was having inconsistent results on grass, tell us that Berdych really hasn't mastered the technique of playing on grass.

Not many have, since Federer had cornered the Grass market in his hey-days. The only real competition was Nadal and Falla. Laugh

Here is a good example of good serving without too many aces on Grass and blocked returns.

Karlovic (younger) - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XY3fBvASDrM

Haas - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uvcDYepm4wo

If you carefully notice at the top right of your screen where serve speeds are shown. Clay matches in 2015 (my examples) were serving much harder than these two matches in 2009. Wink

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Post by summerblues Sun 21 Jun 2015 - 1:17

Belovedluckyboy wrote:SB, I watched that Becker/Edberg match and also the Fed/Sampras 2001 Wimbledon match.  My thoughts:

1) while I appreciate their skills at the net and their S&V prowess, the tennis really didn't excite me.  We basically had a player who S&V during his service games and his opponent hardly able to return serves or was busy defending once the server blocked back the ROS, and rinse and repeat throughout the match;

2) it's usually the one who served that won the game and breaking serve was tough; no wonder there were so many TBs on grass.  It's usually two or three shots and the point was over, should there be no ace.

3) honestly, I prefer watching badminton, especially played between Lee Chong Wei and Lin Dan, than watching S&V tennis on grass.  Badminton is a lot more exciting when both players could and would attack and be at the net at the same time attacking and defending and points are harder to win.  

4) I find Fed/Nadal Wimbledon 2007/2008 more exciting than S&V tennis on grass.  The Delpo/Novak Wimbledon 2013 SF match was also exciting, attacking tennis from the baseline, while they both served well,

5) while I believe tennis on grass should and would favor players with good to great serves, and points should be shorter than tennis on other surfaces, I still prefer tennis where the one returning serves has a chance to win the point despite facing a big serve.  
Hehe, I did not necessarily expect it would excite you if you like watching Rafa vs Nole. Smile

I am not so much trying to convince you to enjoy S&V but rather trying to give more background as to where I am coming from when I do not enjoy players like Rafa of Nole.  In the old days, tennis used to have both an important S&V component (as for example in that Edberg Becker match) as also a baseline component (more readily seen at RG).  And right now the S&V component is non-existent.

Today, virtually everywhere it is only the baseline game that dominates.  For all the talk about servers having a huge advantage on grass, we see pretty much the same players playing pretty much the same baseline game in the later rounds of all slams.

Also, I do not think it is quite fair to say that breaking serve was all that tough then.  That was more true in the 1990s by which time power servers were able to impose their serves.  In the 1980s it was not nearly as true.  There was only one ace in that stretch of play I looked at yesterday.  Also, for example, from 1988-1990 Edberg and Becker played three consecutive Wimbledon finals for a total of 12 sets.  Only two of those sets went to TB.

PS.  Yes, badminton is fun to watch too.


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Post by summerblues Sun 21 Jun 2015 - 1:30

summerblues wrote:Here is an example - Edberg vs Becker in 1988 Wimbledon:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gm8AP85RMCo

- There were 41 points played in total
- Only one ace was served
- Not a single point was played from the baseline
I have now looked at a couple of more examples:

---------------
1981 RG final Borg vs Lendl (the video has the very beginning cut-off, so I looked at the rest of the first set - from 1:1 through 6:1):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2dCKD2SvehU

- 23 points played
- 2 aces, 1 DF
- 12 points played fully from the baseline
- 8 points with a player advancing to the net (either voluntarily or maybe after a drop shot)

---------------
2010 Wimbledon final Nadal vs Berdych (I could not find 2011 Nadal vs Nole, so I chose this as an example of two "modern" players.  I looked at the first 6 games):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=skHbMAau34A

- 30 points played
- 4 aces, 1 DF
- 16 points played fully from the baseline
- 9 points with a player advancing to the net

---------------
Looking at the raw numbers, 2010 Wimbledon almost looks more baseline-based than Borg vs Lendl from 1981 at RG!!!  Now, admittedly, this does not quite give the full picture as the tennis itself is more attacking in 2010 Wimbledon than in 1981 RG but it still gives a very good indication of how much tennis has changed.

Now, if you had always been a fan of clay curt tennis, you can perhaps put up with it, but if you used to enjoy grass court tennis or at least enjoyed having variety in tennis, then you could understandably miss the parts of the game that went extinct.

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Post by MMT1 Sun 21 Jun 2015 - 6:27

Belovedluckyboy wrote:MMT, that's only your opinion (ie Wimbledon is more difficult to win) but the fact is both the FO and the Wimbledon are difficult to win.  Like I said, there are similar numbers of one time winners (FO 30, Wim 33), two time winners (FO 12, Wim 10) three time winners( both at 4) and four time winner(both at 1) too!  There are two dominant FO winners vs three dominant Wimbledon winners, so there's no proof that one slam is more difficult to win than the other.

Nobody said the FO was EASY to win, just not as hard at Wimbledon, and that is borne out by a logical analysis of smaller versus bigger tournaments and how many players are able to win smaller titles versus bigger ones. The number of multiple, or 2-time or 3-time or 4-time winners is not at all probative in any way.

It's really a simple question - what's harder to do - something that (relatively) a lot of people have been able to do or something that (relatively) few people have been able to do? Yes, the margins are not big, but there is a difference and it is borne out over 40 years - that's what counts.
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Post by MMT1 Sun 21 Jun 2015 - 6:44

Belovedluckyboy wrote:MMT, like I said in my earlier post,you need different skill sets to win on clay and on grass.  

One without a good serve may be easily dispatched on grass by one with a good serve, so those who win on grass are generally those who come with a good serve.  However, a good serve may not be enough to win on clay, as good ROS may come into play on clay, where the slower surface may neutralize a good to even big serve, and so good ground strokes and rallying skills come into play.  

You talk about on grass one slip up and you may be beaten (by a big serve I suppose) but those who come with a big or good enough serve would be there to tough it out and thats why we see so many TBs on grass.

You are mixing and matching two things - one doesn't compare serves - that is irrelevant because only one player at a time serves. One compares serves to returns. A player with a big serve can escape losses to other players with big serves if they return well. It is rare that players with really big serves return well, and also why players with just big serves (and little else to their game) rarely win Wimbledon.

Goran Ivanisevic is a perfect example - that man had the biggest and best serve in the history of tennis, but he won Wimbledon exactly once almost by accident. His best chance, 1992 he lost to a player with a relatively weak serve but a great return. The other losses were to another player with a great serve - what distinguished them? The return - Sampras' was a little better (as well as the rest of his game, but I digress).

The point is that a big serve gets you a chance to win a match or two here or there - but if you want to win Wimbledon, you need more than a big serve. You need the whole package including a good serve - and only the best of the best have the whole package, and as such, relatively few players have won Wimbledon as compared to the French Open, where a lot of players that did not have the full package, have won relatively more titles than at a Wimbledon.
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Post by Belovedluckyboy Sun 21 Jun 2015 - 7:54

SB, the Becker vs Edberg match looked like in slow motion compared to current tennis being played. You should ask why the power servers from 1990s onwards.

You brought up the Wimbledon 2010 final but thats just one match that year. Watch Nadal vs Petzhner, vs Kei or vs Murray. There were certainly more varieties than in the final. Surely, who your opponent is will decide how the match is played.

We cant deny that baseline tennis is the norm now but players do add in some varieties now and then even though not many play the S&V game now. Frankly, its the contrast of styles that makes a match interesting, which is why I find two players playing the S&V game boring to watch; likewise for two big servers/big hitters, or two playing never ending baseline rallies.

I'll favor Fedal matches over Rafa/Novak matches, always, not because Rafa is winning most of the times but because of the contrast of styles.

Rafa vs Murray as in WTF 2010 was also good as they tried to outfox each other. Rafa is the aggressor most of the times when he faces Murray. Even Rafa vs Novak on clay, there are not that many endless long rallies, for they know whoever is more aggressive will win the point so they tend to try and outhit each other. I certainly find that FO2013 SF entertaining.

There are players like Kei, Dolgo, Kygrios who can make the game more interesting. Even a Rosol, or a Jerzy or Raonic, as long as similar styles dont clash most of the times, tennis can be interesting.

I must say the Rosol vs Rafa matches at Wimbledon 2012 and 2014 were entertaining, though its painful to watch that 2012 match back then. Rosol was hitting so hard all match and Rafa had to think of ways to counter Rosol's power. He did in 2014 with success, adjusting his ROS position at the baseiine, varied his serves, etc and etc and finally came through in that 2014 match. Contrast of styles does provide entertaining matches.


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Post by Belovedluckyboy Sun 21 Jun 2015 - 8:48

MMT, Nobody says winning at Wimbledon depends ONLY on a good or big serve, but those winning there come with a good to great serve. Why were there so many TBs on grass? Its because its hard to return a good to great serve on grass, and so many times sets have to go to TBs. The serve matters more on grass than the ROS is, of course having a great ROS does help when your opponent isnt right up there with you on the returns. Still, how many win Wimbledon because of a great ROS? Of course winning on grass requires other skills, footwork, footspeed, quick reflexes, racket skills etc and etc.

Like I said, matches on clay require different skill sets, you probably couldnt earn much cheap points with the serve on clay, so your other skills come into play.

You talked as if winning at FO is easier than at Wimbledon but based on the stats at FO and Wimbledon, there're not that much difference in terms of different numbers of players winning at FO or Wimbledon, in fact dominant players are rare at both slams and there aren't more one time winners at the FO than at Wimbledon.

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Post by hawkeye Sun 21 Jun 2015 - 8:55

^ The players that can win at both Wimbledon and the French are pretty special king Very Happy

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Post by Belovedluckyboy Sun 21 Jun 2015 - 11:22

MMT, You think one skill is harder to acquire than the other but again thats subjective opinion. Its like saying its easier to acquire a good FH or BH than acquiring a good serve.

Also, because of the short grass season compared to clay, players now have fewer opportunities to play on grass and thus have fewer opportunities to hone their skills on grass. Who's to say there wont be more players winning on grass should there be more tournaments on grass?

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Post by laverfan Sun 21 Jun 2015 - 15:21

Belovedluckyboy wrote:Also,  because of the short grass season compared to clay, players now have fewer opportunities to play on grass and thus have fewer opportunities to hone their skills on grass.  Who's to say there wont be more players winning on grass should there be more tournaments on grass?

The season was deliberately shortened. At one point there were three slams on Grass and many smaller tourneys on Grass and it was distributed as

"If your serve is good, you can win on grass even without playing your best" - Page 3 ATP_Surfaces_1971_2013

Clay-court specialists used to boycott W, because it was considered too fast by some.

Stuttgart switched from Clay to Grass. Halle became a ATP500. It is purely a question of demand and supply. If there were more Grass tourneys, there would be more players playing on it and playing s&v (perhaps).

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Post by MMT1 Sun 21 Jun 2015 - 23:58

Belovedluckyboy wrote:MMT, Nobody says winning at Wimbledon depends ONLY on a good or big serve, but those winning there come with a good to great serve.  Why were there so many TBs on grass? Its because its hard to return a good to great serve on grass, and so many times sets have to go to TBs. The serve matters more on grass than the ROS is, of  course having a great ROS does help when your opponent isnt right up there with you on the returns.  Still, how many win Wimbledon because of a great ROS? Of course winning on grass requires other skills, footwork, footspeed, quick reflexes, racket skills etc and etc.

Like I said, matches on clay require different skill sets,  you probably couldnt earn much cheap points with the serve on clay, so your other skills come into play.

You talked as if winning at FO is easier than at Wimbledon but based on the stats at FO and Wimbledon, there're not that much difference in terms of different numbers of players winning at FO or Wimbledon, in fact dominant players are rare at both slams and there aren't more one time winners at the FO than at Wimbledon.

The logic and the stats on the universe of players who have won Wimbledon vs the FO is very clear - it's not a matter of opinion. As for the effect of the serve on grass, it is overrated - Nadal has 2 Wimbledons, Djokovic 2, Murray 1...even Federer at 7 - none of them could be said to have the biggest serves on tour, earning a lot of "cheap" points. Roddick had a huge serve, but consistently lost to players who return better than him (after all, so few serve better than him). Ivanisevic had the biggest serve ever and he won once, each time he lost to a player, not with a better serve, but a better return.

To win at Wimbledon you need a good serve among many things, but it is not the deciding factor - the return is. But even a good return (alone) isn't enough - you need the full package. You have to be able to attack and defend, you need decent volleys, but most importantly you need a good serve, because everybody gets a little help on the serve on grass. That the serve is the deciding factor to winning Wimbledon is a myth of grass court tennis that has persisted for years since the late 40's when serve and volley tennis became a full time tactical approach. There have been a lot of players with great serves who have not won Wimbledon, but almost none with bad returns, and certainly no multiple champions with a poor return of serve.

The perfect is example if Ivan Lendl - his biggest problem on grass wasn't his serve (which was excellent) it was his return, which he was never able to master on grass, despite years of trying. Lendl just wasn't that talented, and as a result he needed time and a certain bounce to return well, which he would get on clay or hard courts, and won many majors on those surfaces - what foiled him on grass was the return.
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Post by JuliusHMarx Mon 22 Jun 2015 - 0:48

Sampras also said (in his book, iirc) that the return of serve was the most important thing to win Wimby.

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Post by Belovedluckyboy Mon 22 Jun 2015 - 2:27

MMT, read again. I didn't say having a good to great serve ONLY would win you Wimbledon. I said you have to have a good to great serve to win Wimbledon. I also said that 'having a good ROS does help if your opponent is not right up there with you on the returns'.

Sampras beat Ivanisevic most of the times because he has his serves plus his returns, whilst Goran has his serves only. Fancy a Sampras with good returns but without his serves? When everyone is serving well, the deciding factor will then be how one returns.

Novak vs Fed final last year, both served well but Novak was the better returner of serves; Novak vs Delpo, both served well but Novak was the better returner of serves, Novak won both times.

Both Fed and Murray served well at Halle and Queens respectively. Fed after beating Seppi : 'I served well which you have to on the grass... '. Murray after beating Anderson : ' I served extremely well. I wasn't expecting to have loads of opportunities with the way Anderson had been serving this week...,'

I really don't see the contradiction here, in order to win on grass you have to have a good serve to begin with. Following that of course your other techniques on grass come into the picture. Nobody says you need only a serve to win on grass but without a good serve its almost impossible to win on grass, unless you meet another poor server. Now when everyone is serving well, then of course how one returns come into the picture. It's more difficult to return a good serve than to use a good serve to win you points. So having a good serve is important when playing on grass.

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Post by MMT1 Mon 22 Jun 2015 - 14:33

Belovedluckyboy wrote:MMT, You think one skill is harder to acquire than the other but again thats subjective opinion. Its like saying its easier to acquire a good FH or BH than acquiring a good serve.

Also,  because of the short grass season compared to clay, players now have fewer opportunities to play on grass and thus have fewer opportunities to hone their skills on grass.  Who's to say there wont be more players winning on grass should there be more tournaments on grass?

Go down the list of players with the biggest serves on tour over the last 40 years and remove those players with good returns (Colin Dibley, Ivan Ljubicic, Steven Denton, Mark Phillipousis, Kevin Curren, Bobo Zivojinovic, Greg Rusedski, Ivo Karlovic, Roscoe Tanner, Andy Roddick) and you'll have a very long list of players with big serves who have never won Wimbledon.  Now, do the reverse - list the players with the best returns in the game, remove those with great serves and you'll still have a list of players who have won Wimbledon  (Agassi, Borg, Connors, Nadal, Murray, Djokovic, etc.).  That's just good analysis that dispels the myth that the deciding factor in winning Wimbledon is the serve.  Remember that on grass everybody's serve is a little more effective because of the reasons you pointed out, therefore getting an edge over the field would necessarily come from being able to neurtralize that phenomonen, not from benefitting from it, which everyone does and which does not give you an edge.

Whether the return is harder to master or acquire is (not what I said, and) not relevant - it is whether having an outstanding return or an outstanding serve is the deciding factor in whether you will win Wimbledon.  Nadal, Murray, Djokovic, even Federer to some extent, rarely lead the ATP in aces, 1st percentage won or even service games won - and if they do, it isn't because they get a lot of free points on the serves like the Karlovic's, Isners, Lopez's, Tsonga's, Almagro's and Raonics of the world. They may use their serve better than this lot, but that's because they're better tennis players that are able to do more with less (on the serve). What they all do better than that lot is return of serve, and they've all won Wimbledon in the last 10 years - 3 of them more than once.

Counter-intuitive, I know, but true.
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Post by temporary21 Mon 22 Jun 2015 - 15:09

That analysis ignores the overall calibre of the players in each category. That might suggest you need a good return more than a good serve... or that the people who did win it were much better players overall, not considering either their serve or return.

In short I would say that maybe Agassi, Djokovic Murray etc won because they were great overall players, not just big returners. The servers only just arent the same calibre of player in general, mentally, from the back etc.

When you look at the guys with big serves who won it a lot, Federer, Sampras, Mcenroe etc, you get a more even looking match up of champs. All of them have in common of being great overall players

You also forgot Borg in that category of big returns but no real serve, at least I think soo.

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Post by MMT1 Mon 22 Jun 2015 - 16:25

temporary21 wrote:That analysis ignores the overall calibre of the players in each category. That might suggest you need a good return more than a good serve... or that the people who did win it were much better players overall, not considering either their serve or return.

In short I would say that maybe Agassi, Djokovic Murray etc won because they were great overall players, not just big returners. The servers only just arent the same calibre of player in general, mentally, from the back etc.

When you look at the guys with big serves who won it a lot, Federer, Sampras, Mcenroe etc, you get a more even looking match up of champs. All of them have in common of being great overall players

You also forgot Borg in that category of big returns but no real serve, at least I think soo.

I agree 100% that it takes more than just a good serve to win Wimbledon - you need the whole package, and on this, there is no disagreement. What I'm saying is that it's not even critical to have a great serve, to win Wimbledon, because there a lot of players (including Borg, who I did mention) who had just good serves and still won - therefore the serve cannot be the deciding factor in whether you will win Wimbledon. What Nadal referred to with the big serves is really a reference to the risk a great player runs of being dumped out of the tournament by a guy serving his socks off for one day, but without much of an overall game. That kind of player can be a spoiler, and there are a lot of spoilers at Wimbledon, and from that I conclude (along with the universe of players argument) that that's one big reason why Wimbledon is harder to win than the other majors. Particularly on grass, where everyone's serve is helped by the surface, there is a greater risk that a spoiler that can serve you off the court in one match. That doesn't happen on other surfaces because the serve doesn't have as big effect - and that is the reason why at Wimbledon a great return is more important than a great serve - because if you can't efficiently take advantage of the few opportunities you get to break serve (attack second serves, attack poorly placed first serves, or just get your racquet on the ball a lot), you will eventually run into someone who serves you off the court. The truly great players (among other things) have great returns, so they survive the serving mine field that is grass court tennis better than the other (numerous) players with great serves, but a minimal/weak return game - hence the cream really rises to the top at Wimbledon.

Sampras rarely served above 125mph, even at his best - there were always players on tour with bigger serves, but none with better serves - he used his to great effect. And it helps to use a great serve to great effect if you have the game to back it up, which Rusedski, Roddick, Ljubicic, Phillipousis, Ivanisevic and oh so many other big serving contemporaries did not have - and a big part of that overall game to back up whatever serve you may possess (good to great) is the return of serve. Federer also rarely serves big (130+), but his placement is outstanding, and nobody uses the serve to set up their game better than Federer - of course it helps that his game is outstanding, but it's not all down to the serve. Riddle me this - why is it that Federer was so frequently able to out ace Roddick at Wimbledon when they played? Because his return was better, not because his serve was. And if I'm not mistaken, McEnroe never hit a serve over 120mph in his career, not so of the Roscoe Tanners and Kevin Curren's of his era - their serves were huge even by modern standards. But his overall game (including the return) was superior to both of those players, and as such he had more success at Wimbledon.

But I said take the list of players with great returns and remove those with great serves and you still have a considerable list of Wimbledon champions. If you take the list of players with great serves and remove those with great returns you have a curious list of great serves that never won a tournament where the serve is supposedly the key success factor - that is an assumption that simply isn't justified by the record. It's counter intuitive to think that on grass, where the serve appears to be king, the return is really the critical success factor. But I give another example - in that absurd farce of a match between John Isner and Nicolas Mahout where the 5th set had 138 games in it, it took Isner 69 games to break Mahut's serves.

Does anyone think that any of the players who've won Wimbledon in the last 10 years would take 69 games to break anyone's serve, let alone Nicolas Mahut? Neither Isner nor Mahut have much of a return game to speak of, and not coincidentally neither has every done anything significant at Wimbledon other than that match. They may win matches and/or smaller tournaments with depleted fields, but when the best of the best are all there, they just can't serve their way to glory - eventually their inability to return serve well catches up to them. That's not the case with the best players in the world. That's why only the best players in history win Wimbledon. And that's why Wimbledon is the hardest tournament to win.
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Post by Belovedluckyboy Mon 22 Jun 2015 - 17:20

Again MMT, youre clutching at straws. Read again, I said good to great serve, not necessarily a big serve like serving aces. To say that ROS IS the deciding factor is simply not true, its only true when both players could match each other in terms of their serves(like Isner vs Mahut).

Just ask yourself, how many win Wimbledon without a good serve, and how many win with a poor serve but just a good return?

You mention Nadal,Djoko, Murray, but they have good enough serve plus technique to win on grass. If Djoko didnt serve that well, he wont be able to beat Delpo at Wimbledon in 2013. If Rafa didnt have a good enough serve, he wont be able to save all those BPs he faced at Wimbledon, esp vs Fed.

You mentioned Lendl at Wimbledon and said that he didnt have the talent to win as he had poor returns, but he had reached the final and SF there, only losing to players like Becker and J Mac, who were just better player than Lendl on grass. If Lendl was so lacking in talent on grass, he wont even reach the SF and finals at Wimbledon!

Roddick reached three finals at Wimbledon, lost to Fed who was simply a better player on grass. Its not like Roddick couldnt even reach the final. Without Fed, Roddick would have won a Wimbledon title.

Lets see after the big four era, will there be anyone dominating at Wimbledon or will there be random players winning every year. The past decade till now, its only the big four winning at Wimbledon, one of them dominating and the other three managed to win some. Dont blame Isner or Mahut or whoever for not winning even with their big serves, because Wimbledon is/was dominated by the big four who are simply better players, on any surface, than all other players.

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Post by Belovedluckyboy Mon 22 Jun 2015 - 17:25

Only the best players win Wimbledon? Weren't there some one time winners, about 33 of them, throughout the history of Wimbledon? Your views seemed bias.


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Post by Belovedluckyboy Mon 22 Jun 2015 - 17:49

I would say the best players of each generation do/did win at Wimbledon, there are/were some exceptions of course, like Lendl or Wilander who were world no.1s of their times.

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Post by MMT1 Mon 22 Jun 2015 - 17:57

Belovedluckyboy wrote:Again MMT, youre clutching at straws.  Read again, I said good to great serve, not necessarily a big serve like serving aces.  To say that ROS IS the deciding factor is simply not true, its only true when both players could match each other in terms of their serves(like Isner vs Mahut).

Just ask yourself, how many win Wimbledon without a good serve, and how many win with a poor serve but just a good return?

You mention Nadal,Djoko, Murray, but they have good enough serve plus technique to win on grass.  If Djoko didnt serve that well, he wont be able to beat Delpo at Wimbledon in 2013.  If Rafa didnt have a good enough serve, he wont be able to save all those BPs he faced at Wimbledon, esp vs Fed.

You mentioned Lendl at Wimbledon and said that he didnt have the talent to win as he had poor returns, but he had reached the final and SF there, only losing to players like Becker and J Mac, who were just better player than Lendl on grass.  If Lendl was so lacking in talent on grass, he wont even reach the SF and finals at Wimbledon!

Roddick reached three finals at Wimbledon, lost to Fed who was simply a better player on grass.  Its not like Roddick couldnt even reach the final. Without Fed, Roddick would have won a Wimbledon title.

Lets see after the big four era, will there be anyone dominating at Wimbledon or will there be random players winning every year. The past decade till now, its only the big four winning at Wimbledon, one of them dominating and the other three managed to win some. Dont blame Isner or Mahut or whoever for not winning even with their big serves, because Wimbledon is/was dominated by the big four who are simply better players, on any surface, than all other players.

Roddick lost to a lot more players at Wimbledon than just Roger Federer, and that Federer is a better player is a general statement which provides no insight - the better player doesn't always win (if that were the case, the trophy could be handed out at the draw), but on grass, Federer bested Roddick as frequently as he did because he neutralized his serve with a great return of serve, which Roddick could never do - that was the deciding factor between them, not either of their serves which were both outstanding. And of course Nadal Djokovic and Murray have good enough serves to win - as part of a great overall game which you can't have without a good serve, but the serve was not the deciding factor in their victories at Wimbledon - it was the return of serve as evidenced by the fact that they beat players with much better serves than them because they were able to neutralize them with their returns. And Lendl's talent limited his return against the best players with the best serves - this is not an on/off proposition as in "either you're talented enough or not" - it does depend on the guy across the net. He had as good a serve as the players he lost to, with perhaps the exception of Becker, but he lost to a lot more players than Becker, his problem against those players he lost to was that he couldn't make any headway in his returns. His own serve was excellent. Just because your return isn't good enough against Edberg, Becker and Pat Cash, doesn't mean it won't be good enough against Jeff Tarango or Brad Gilbert. And I don't your comment about Isner and Mahut - blame them for what? - I'm merely pointing out that despite have great serves, neither have made much headway at a tournament where the serve is supposedly king - it isn't. It's the return that's key (and both of whom have crappy return games), and that is borne out by the players that don't have as good a serve as those two, and have won Wimbledon.

And I should also point out that the better players have better returns of serve precisely because it requires more talent consistently respond well to the easiest shot in the game to produce - i.e. the serve. For a good return you need particularly good hand-eye coordination, anticipation, consistent strike zone, balance, quickness, footwork, etc.). So a relative donkey, like Lukas Rosol can beat a great player from his serve, here and there, but win the tournament, no chance - not without a great return. There are a lot more players out there with great serves than players with great returns of serve - and it's no coincidence that they tend to do most of the winning. That's because it's harder to do than serve well, and as such it is a more telling facto in who wins the tournament - particularly on grass where the serve is helped so much by the surface, and everyone looks like a world beater with their serve - by the same token, only the best of the best appear to have even decent returns of serve on grass.
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Post by Belovedluckyboy Mon 22 Jun 2015 - 18:47

Aren't you going round in circle? Didnt I say if two players could match each other in their serves, then the returns becomes the deciding factor?? Just like the Fed vs Roddick match up on grass? No argument there!

Why are you going round the bush and keep repeating the same thing? Like I said, you need your SERVE on grass, to help you to hold your own service game, before thinking of neutralizing your opponent's serves with your returning.

Think about Rafa vs Kygrios. Rafa couldnt do anything with aces from Kygrios but at least he held his own serve, but he faltered when serving at the end of the third set tiebreak, lost the first serve and served a weak second serve that allowed Kygrios to return with interest and so lost the set and then went on to lose the fourth. Against Rosol in 2012, he couldnt do anything to Rosol in the fifth set when Rosol simply served without missing. Rafa faltered in the end when he couldnt hold his own serve and lost. Its not like Kygrios or Rosol were particularly good at returning of serves, but they capitalized when Rafa faltered during his service game.

Fed is the better player on grass than Roddick is because he has a better all round game, not just better returns. Roddick lost to other players on grass but Fed too lost to others, like Tsonga, Berdych, Stakhovsky, didnt he? Are we expecting Roddick or Fed not to lose to anyone else on grass? The same could be said of Lendl, when grass wasnt his favorite surface. Becker or Edberg, they did lose to some others on grass too if I'm not wrong.

Of course the better players would come with better games including the ROS, no dispute about that, and so they generally win the bigger tournaments, not just Wimbledon.

Again, I'm not arguing that those who win Wimbledon don't need to have a good ROS, or a good all round game, but they DO NEED to have a good serve (at least) to help them win at Wimbledon.



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Post by MMT1 Mon 22 Jun 2015 - 19:24

Because I'm trying to dispel the myth that the serve is the key/critical/deciding success factor on grass - it's not at all, it's the return. You've agreed that the return is the key success factor if the serves are equal, but the serves are rarely equal and frequently the player with the better serve loses to the player with the better return. Therefore, it's pretty clear that the return is the key success factor and not the serve - of course your return has to be pretty good to beat a player with a great serve, especially on grass...but that's more to my point of why so few players have what it takes to win Wimbledon.

I don't know how one can say Federer has/had a serve equal to Roddick's - better game, obviously (especially the return) - but not the serve. But let's set that debatable example aside...can the serve possibly explain his losses to Murray (2006), Gasquet (2007), Randy Lu (2010), Tipsarevic (2008), Lopez (2011), Ferrer (2012)? Maybe Ivanisevic (2001), but that entire tournament was the outlier - he also lost to Rusedski in 2002, but in both matches to equally dominant serving players, the telling factor was the return - Rusedski broke Roddick 3 times 2002 and Ivanisevic twice in 2001...but he never broke either of them. And equally telling of Rusedski - he lost in the very next round, not to Xavier Malisse. Now I can tell you that there were about 25 things Malisse did better than Rusedski, but the serve wasn't one of them - and if there were every a place where Rusedski should have put his serve to use against Malisse (if it were key) it would have been Wimbledon. But surprise, surprise, Malisse broke Rusedski 3 times to 2.

To be honest, I watched Roddick play tennis for 10 years, and honestly, I can't ever remember him serving poorly - he may have, but it would have been exceedingly rare. It was the one part of his game that never broke down. But I have seen a lot of guys get a beat on his serve in one game and the rest of his game fell apart. He himself rarely broke serve on grass, precisely because it is so hard to do.
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Post by Belovedluckyboy Mon 22 Jun 2015 - 21:12

MMT,

You failEd to realize one thing, that I said: 'IT'S NOT THE SERVE ONLY THAT WINS YOU WIMBLEDON'
'
You keep going on and on about Roddick with his big serve still couldn't win at Wimbledon but that's not the point we're discussing, because its not the serve only that wins you Wimbledon!

How many times must I repeat, that you need a good to great serve to allow you to win or at least have a chance to win Wimbledon? Without a good enough serve, even if you have a world class ROS, you still may not win on grass, if your opponent is just good enough to return your not so good serve. The serve is not the single most important element in your game to win on grass, but without it you'll have a hard time winning on grass.

There're some one time winners like Goran, Stich, Krajicek who really relied on their big serves to win at Wimbledon so it's possible that a big serve allows you to win on grass. Even Roddick, for all his lacking of an all court game and not so good ROS, came close to beating Fed at Wimbledon if not for one or two errors, and the fifth set went the distance.

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Post by JuliusHMarx Mon 22 Jun 2015 - 21:53

If your serve is a sh!te as mine was tonight, you won't win anything on any surface no matter how good the rest of your game Sad

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Post by MMT1 Tue 23 Jun 2015 - 17:38

JuliusHMarx wrote:If your serve is a sh!te as mine was tonight, you won't win anything on any surface no matter how good the rest of your game Sad

Yeah, saying you need a good serve to win Wimbledon is obvious as it is uninsightful - that's the case anywhere. Nobody wins any major without a good serve - that is not the question. The question: is there a key success factor on grass, and what is it. Earlier, you said it was the serve, but I contend it's the return.

I say everyone's serve is better on grass, so that's not the key success factor - that's a myth. it's the return.
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Post by Born Slippy Tue 23 Jun 2015 - 18:12

I don't see that. Take Sampras and Agassi. Agassi had an all-time great return and relatively average serve. Sampras had an all-time great serve and relatively average return. Off grass, I think I'm right that they won 7 slams each. On grass, Sampras won 7 to 1. Its that comparison which tells you the relative importance of the serve and return on grass.

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Post by temporary21 Tue 23 Jun 2015 - 20:30

Hmm. I mean I think you certainly can win wimbledon with a average serve if the rest of your game is good like most the great guys who win it are.  Overa though the best dominating players hs the best serves.  Not the fastest, but the best. Pete had the best of his time , fed has great argument of having the best now.  Here's a thought. Take all the winners from the open era and categorise them as better serve or return. I wonder what the spread would be

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Post by temporary21 Tue 23 Jun 2015 - 20:45

Our open era champs are with number and better server/returner (or n/a if ive no idea)

Rod Laver: 2 (server?)
John Newcombe 2 (n/a)
Stan Smith:1 (n/a)
Jan Kodes: 1 (n/a)
Jimmy connors:2 (returner)
Arthur Ashe:1 (n/a)
Borg: 5 (returner)
Mcenroe:3 (Server)
Becker: 3 (server)
Pat Cash:1 (server)
Edberg:2 (server? Probably?)
Stich:1 (server)
Agassi: 1 (returner)
Sampras :7 (server)
Krajicek:1 (server)
Ivanisevic : 1 (server)
Hewitt :1 (returner)
Overlord Fedex: 7 (Server)
That bloke from Spain: 2 (returner I guess)
and Muzz and Novak with 3 a piece, both returners


On my count, with missing ones thats 28 with a better serve and 14 known for a good or better return and 5 I really dont know.

The big serve seems to have lifted more titles (thank Pete and Rog for HALF of that)
Interestingly it wasnt really until Mac and especially Becker, when he big serves came down that the serve made a big difference

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Post by banbrotam Tue 23 Jun 2015 - 20:46

Belovedluckyboy wrote:MMT, Still, how many win Wimbledon because of a great ROS? Of course winning on grass requires other skills, footwork, footspeed, quick reflexes, racket skills etc and etc


Murray, Nole, Rafa, Agassi and Connors. And in fairness Roger's ability to return is often underestimated (yes, by me) it's virtually as good as his serve

The only players who won purely because of their serve are Stich, Krachiec and Goran. I'd add Sampras in there - but his forehand and serve volley skills were as good as his serve

A great return of serve will out fox a great server no matter what

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Post by banbrotam Tue 23 Jun 2015 - 20:55

temporary21 wrote:Our open era champs are with number and better server/returner (or n/a if ive no idea)

Rod Laver: 2 (server?)
John Newcombe 2 (n/a)
Stan Smith:1 (n/a)
Jan Kodes: 1 (n/a)
Jimmy connors:2 (returner)
Arthur Ashe:1 (n/a)
Borg: 5 (returner)
Mcenroe:3 (Server)
Becker: 3 (server)
Pat Cash:1 (server)
Edberg:2 (server? Probably?)
Stich:1 (server)
Agassi: 1 (returner)
Sampras :7 (server)
Krajicek:1 (server)
Ivanisevic : 1 (server)
Hewitt :1 (returner)
Overlord Fedex: 7 (Server)
That bloke from Spain: 2 (returner I guess)
and Muzz and Novak with 3 a piece, both returners


On my count, with missing ones thats 28 with a better serve and 14 known for a good or better return and 5 I really dont know.

The big serve seems to have lifted more titles (thank Pete and Rog for HALF of that)
Interestingly it wasnt really until Mac and especially Becker, when he big serves came down that the serve made a big difference


You can do anything with stats. Who's declared Mac was a big server? It was his extra-ordinary hand eye co-ordination which meant he  broke serve at will in his pomp

I thought the argument about a great server winning, was that they could do this without relying on much else. I mean besides Mac, what on earth is Roger doing there. He didn't cream Roddick in 2005, in what for me is still the best ever performance, due to his serving skills picard


Here I'll give you a new version Smile

Rod Laver: 2 (n/a)
John Newcombe 2 (n/a)
Stan Smith:1 (n/a)
Jan Kodes: 1 (n/a)
Jimmy connors:2 (returner)
Arthur Ashe:1 (returner)
Borg: 5 (returner)
Mcenroe:3 (n/a)
Becker: 3 (server)
Pat Cash:1 (server)
Edberg:2 (server)
Stich:1 (server)
Agassi: 1 (returner)
Sampras :7 (server)
Krajicek:1 (server)
Ivanisevic : 1 (server)
Hewitt :1 (returner)
Overlord Fedex: 7 (n/a)
That bloke from Spain: 2 (returner I guess)
and Muzz and Novak with 3 a piece, both returners

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Post by temporary21 Tue 23 Jun 2015 - 21:02

I wasnt asking if they had a huge serve , but were better known for their serve. Feds got a big serve, he hardly rolls it in, he out-aced Roddick in 09 and match dominated by serve

When Mac came in his nasty serve was what gave people soo much touble

Ive no idea if Ashe had a noted return OR serve

If you arbitrarily remove some good servers, im sure it would look more even.

Note that are a few there who won on the virtue of just a big serve, rare but doable no big return only players really did it

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Post by banbrotam Tue 23 Jun 2015 - 21:10

Belovedluckyboy wrote:MMT, read again. I didn't say having a good to great serve ONLY would win you Wimbledon.  I said you have to have a good to great serve to win Wimbledon.  I also said that 'having a good ROS does help if your opponent is not right up there with you on the returns'.

Sampras beat Ivanisevic most of the times because he has his serves plus his returns, whilst Goran has his serves only.  Fancy a Sampras with good returns but without his serves?  When everyone is serving well, the deciding factor will then be how one returns.

Novak vs Fed final last year, both served well but Novak was the better returner of serves; Novak vs Delpo, both served well but Novak was the better returner of serves, Novak won both times.

Both Fed and Murray served well at Halle and Queens respectively.  Fed after beating Seppi : 'I served well which you have to on the grass... '. Murray after beating Anderson : ' I served extremely well.  I wasn't expecting to have loads of opportunities  with the way Anderson had been serving this week...,'

I really don't see the contradiction here, in order to win on grass you have to have a good serve to begin with. Following that of course your other techniques on grass come into the picture. Nobody says you need only a serve to win on grass but without a good serve its almost impossible to win on grass, unless you meet another poor server. Now when everyone is serving well, then of course how one returns come into the picture.   It's more difficult to return a good serve than to use a good serve to win you points.  So having a good serve is important when playing on grass.


But don't all the slam winners have a good serve? We could argue that Murray serve is pretty average. It didn't stop him from winning Wimbledon though did it? And what about that match, him and Noel virtually broke serve more than they held it

Oh and it's great of Andy to talk about his serve at Queens. But it was his returning of a 140 mph Anderson serve which settled that match. After that Anderson had nowhere else to go

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Post by temporary21 Tue 23 Jun 2015 - 21:13

banbrotam wrote:
Belovedluckyboy wrote:MMT, read again. I didn't say having a good to great serve ONLY would win you Wimbledon.  I said you have to have a good to great serve to win Wimbledon.  I also said that 'having a good ROS does help if your opponent is not right up there with you on the returns'.

Sampras beat Ivanisevic most of the times because he has his serves plus his returns, whilst Goran has his serves only.  Fancy a Sampras with good returns but without his serves?  When everyone is serving well, the deciding factor will then be how one returns.

Novak vs Fed final last year, both served well but Novak was the better returner of serves; Novak vs Delpo, both served well but Novak was the better returner of serves, Novak won both times.

Both Fed and Murray served well at Halle and Queens respectively.  Fed after beating Seppi : 'I served well which you have to on the grass... '. Murray after beating Anderson : ' I served extremely well.  I wasn't expecting to have loads of opportunities  with the way Anderson had been serving this week...,'

I really don't see the contradiction here, in order to win on grass you have to have a good serve to begin with. Following that of course your other techniques on grass come into the picture. Nobody says you need only a serve to win on grass but without a good serve its almost impossible to win on grass, unless you meet another poor server. Now when everyone is serving well, then of course how one returns come into the picture.   It's more difficult to return a good serve than to use a good serve to win you points.  So having a good serve is important when playing on grass.


But don't all the slam winners have a good serve? We could argue that Murray serve is pretty average. It didn't stop him from winning Wimbledon though did it? And what about that match, him and Noel virtually broke serve more than they held it

Oh and it's great of Andy to talk about his serve at Queens. But it was his returning of a 140 mph Anderson serve which settled that match. After that Anderson had nowhere else to go

Then perhaps thats more more telling than anything else, that almost every big player had a good serve.

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Post by Belovedluckyboy Wed 24 Jun 2015 - 9:22

To all you posters here, whats the problem? I mentioned that all who win Wimbledon comes with a good serve, anything wrong with that statement?

All of a sudden we have people here talking about deciding factor, key factor to win on grass, etc and etc. Now when did I say having a good serve is the key or only key factor to win on grass? I would say thats a common factor to win on grass and a common factor among Wimbledon winners! Novak, Murray, while they have excellent ROS, they also come with a good serve.

Banbro, if Murray didnt serve well against Anderson, you think he returning Anderson's big serve was good enough for Murray to win the match? Which explains why Murray mentioned how well he served during the match.

On clay having an average serve still could survive, as you may still have time to deal with a solid return from your opponent.

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Post by Belovedluckyboy Wed 24 Jun 2015 - 9:46

I agree with temp21(if I get the poster right), that you need good techniques (grass court ones) to win on grass, so good serves and returns are among them.

Multiple Wimbledon winners all come with good grass court techniques, they dont just rely on only one aspect of their game - be it serve or return - to win their multiple titles at Wimbledon.

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Post by MMT1 Wed 24 Jun 2015 - 17:09

temporary21 wrote:Then perhaps thats more more telling than anything else, that almost every big player had a good serve.

I think we've all fallen prey to the blurring of the lines defining the quality of the serve - if there is such a thing as a good serve, there are great and below average serves - let's not lump everyone into sufficient/good/great serving category, cite Wimbledon champions (none of whom have a poor serve) and then claim that the key factor is something that they share in common with 90% of professional tennis players.

A key success factor is something that distinguishes players who've had success from those who have not. To point to the serve, which a large portion of players who have not won Wimbledon, and likely will never win, isn't informative. The return, however, is very probative. I happen to think that while the serve is the easiest stroke in tennis, because it's ball in hand, the return might be the hardest (because you must use a broad range of skills to respond to the easiest stroke in the game to hit at you), and by this logic, I am of the belief that the return, particularly at Wimbledon, even the worst serves in tennis get a lot of help, is the most important stroke to winning the tournament.
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Post by Belovedluckyboy Thu 25 Jun 2015 - 2:39

MMT, 'key factor'? Nah, it's common factor among Wimbledon winners. You're the one talking about 'key factor', not me.

Informative? Ha, saying that all Wimbledon winners come with good serve isn't for information, but a gerneral comment, an observation, a common feature among the winners. Note that I won't say having a good serve is a common feature among FO winners, some have just about average serve. I remember Rafa winning his first FO with an average serve, though he improved his serve through the years when he was winning at the FO.

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Post by hawkeye Thu 25 Jun 2015 - 8:10

If your serve is good can you win on clay without playing your best?

If your serve is good can you win on hard courts without playing your best?

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