Who is the best returner in the world now? [Archive] - MensTennisForums.com

Who is the best returner in the world now?

NADALbULLS
06-27-2010, 07:34 AM
Who is the best in the world at breaking a serve? Last couple of eras I heard Agassi, Kucera and Hewitt. Haven't heard who the best is in recent times.

straitup
06-27-2010, 07:43 AM
Murray?

Rafaspin
06-27-2010, 07:46 AM
David Ferrer is the best. http://www.atpworldtour.com/Rankings/MatchFacts.aspx

Rafaspin
06-27-2010, 07:49 AM
Nadal, Davydenko, Djocovik, Ferrero and Hewitt are all up there.

Rafaspin
06-27-2010, 07:52 AM
Reading into those stats - perhaps Ferrer vs Soderling won't be so one sided after all.

tektonac
06-27-2010, 07:53 AM
nadal, but only after he receives a tip from uncle toni ;)

n8
06-27-2010, 07:54 AM
Ferrer is amazing at returning serve. It's very unusual to have possibly the world's best returner not even in the top 10 in the rankings but that seems to be the case. Ferrer has had incredible return stats for many years now so can realistically be considered one of the best if not the best out there at the moment.

Rafaspin
06-27-2010, 07:57 AM
Ferrer is amazing at returning serve. It's very unusual to have possibly the world's best returner not even in the top 10 in the rankings but that seems to be the case. Ferrer has had incredible return stats for many years now so can realistically be considered one of the best if not the best out there at the moment.

He's got a good test coming up haha.

BK 201
06-27-2010, 07:58 AM
Murray & Nalbandian.


Not Nadal, his ROS is actually average. His return of serve game as a package is very good though.

Rafaspin
06-27-2010, 08:06 AM
There are different factors to consider. Once you return a serve unless it's a return ace you still have a point to win, that's where nadal is so good dominating rally's and winning the points.

Blake was a return ace beast but in general didn't win many return games.

Certinfy
06-27-2010, 08:20 AM
Murray. :)

Tonkie13
06-27-2010, 08:22 AM
nadal, but only after he receives a tip from uncle toni ;)

:mad:

NADALbULLS
06-27-2010, 08:30 AM
nadal, but only after he receives a tip from uncle toni ;)

Yep that "VAMOS!" tip really helps yeah. Chair umpire is TOAST MUAHHAHAHAHA suffer chair umpire!

vn01
06-27-2010, 08:31 AM
Rafa

paseo
06-27-2010, 08:33 AM
Murray.

Fedicilous
06-27-2010, 08:39 AM
Federer with his slice return in the bottom of the net. Of course after second serve.

NADALbULLS
06-27-2010, 08:40 AM
Sampras had an awesome return when it got to 5-4 in a set, he hit blinders, clean winners.

RIboy
06-27-2010, 08:49 AM
Muzzah

ORGASMATRON
06-27-2010, 08:55 AM
not nadal.

LEGENDOFTENNIS
06-27-2010, 09:51 AM
Federers probably one of the worst in the top10. His ROS has dropped significantly.

Priam
06-27-2010, 09:55 AM
Federer. He gets all the 1st serves back, and can rely on the dropshot return when he needs it.

ORGASMATRON
06-27-2010, 09:56 AM
Federers probably one of the worst in the top10. His ROS has dropped significantly.

still way better than sampras was. its actually not that bad. its hard to ace him and he handles roddicks serve with ease. he just slices to much imo.

Clydey
06-27-2010, 09:57 AM
Murray. His return stats are down this year, but that has more to do with his general play. He finished number 1 for returning first serves last year.

Nadal's return stats get a huge boost from the clay stretch. His return isn't as good as the stats suggest.

ossie
06-27-2010, 11:18 AM
not nadal.+1 :o

madmax
06-27-2010, 11:19 AM
Andy Murray and no one else is even close

nanoman
06-27-2010, 11:23 AM
Murray.
Good at getting 1st serve back in play.
Excellent at attacking 2nd serves.

Selby
06-27-2010, 11:25 AM
Murray, he has that Agassi return, it's something that can't be learned, just unique talent.
Hewitt at his prime was even a better returner than Murray, but now it's not as good, although he could prove me wrong against Roddick.

Johnny_Bravo
06-27-2010, 11:26 AM
Federer with his slice return in the bottom of the net. Of course after second serve.

:haha: :worship:

MacTheKnife
06-27-2010, 11:27 AM
I might have to go with Murray too. Although I don't really see any great returners out there right now. Nothing approaching connors-agassi level on returns. (and it's really painful to type connors here :lol)

Har-Tru
06-27-2010, 11:32 AM
Are we talking about return only? Cause Nadal is up there in return games won but his return of serve isn't that great.

Murray and Ferrer are one step above the rest. Nalbandian when fit too.

zlaja777
06-27-2010, 11:52 AM
Djokovic

BK 201
06-27-2010, 11:52 AM
still way better than sampras was. its actually not that bad. its hard to ace him and he handles roddicks serve with ease. he just slices to much imo.

Lol wut? Sampras had a much better return and would break better serves than Roddick on FAST GRASS. Sampras never needed 16-14 against Goran did he. Federer has never actually played Roddick serving sensibly, except for Wimbledon 09, and look what happened!

NADALbULLS
06-27-2010, 11:59 AM
Sampras return was scary good, he'd just smash a clean winner down the line or sharp cross-court angle out of nowhere, and he'd absolutely murder a short 2nd serve. He often cruised through a set and then unleashed hell at 5-4.

MacTheKnife
06-27-2010, 12:03 PM
Sampras return was scary good, he'd just smash a clean winner down the line or sharp cross-court angle out of nowhere, and he'd absolutely murder a short 2nd serve. He often cruised through a set and then unleashed hell at 5-4.


That's true. If the question was, who has the most underrated ROS, sampras would be near the top of my list. His serve was so dominate, that his return was not talked about that much.

Har-Tru
06-27-2010, 12:25 PM
Sampras's return was overshadowed by Agassi's, which was clearly better. Pete's return was good though, albeit rather peculiar. He'd just take risks on pretty much all returns, especially towards the tail-end of his career. That is what made him so hard to break: he would focus on his serve games 100%, then in return games he would just go for it all the time, and if he managed to get an early lead he'd then concentrate on breaking.

PiggyGotRoasted
06-27-2010, 12:41 PM
Davydenko is very good

mcnasty
06-27-2010, 01:06 PM
nadal. it has to be what with his serve being so-so.

NADALbULLS
06-27-2010, 01:17 PM
Nadal hardly ever gets broken, so its hard to call that so-so. In his 3rd round Nadal only faced 2 breakpoints, while he had 14 breakpoints on his opponent's serve. Nadal is serving over 130 miles per hour at times this week, and has a great slider. Petz served brilliantly but Nadal got into a lot of service games, and even when Nadal and Federer play its Federer who gets broken the most. In the 2008 Wimbledon Final Nadal won the 1st 2 sets 6-4 6-4 whereas Federer need 2 tie-breakers to win the next 2 sets. And the Australian Open Final when Nadal won the fifth set 6-2.

mcnasty
06-27-2010, 01:23 PM
Nadal hardly ever gets broken, so its hard to call that so-so. In his 3rd round Nadal only faced 2 breakpoints, while he had 14 breakpoints on his opponent's serve. Nadal is serving over 130 miles per hour at times this week, and has a great slider. Petz served brilliantly but Nadal got into a lot of service games, and even when Nadal and Federer play its Federer who gets broken the most. In the 2008 Wimbledon Final Nadal won the 1st 2 sets 6-4 6-4 whereas Federer need 2 tie-breakers to win the next 2 sets.

i doubt if even half of players in the atp would make it on the pro tour if they had nadal's serve to work with. it's only because nadal is nadal that he holds so many of his service games. that's what i mean.

MrChopin
06-27-2010, 01:31 PM
Lol wut? Sampras had a much better return and would break better serves than Roddick on FAST GRASS. Sampras never needed 16-14 against Goran did he. Federer has never actually played Roddick serving sensibly, except for Wimbledon 09, and look what happened!

Hi SetSampras. :wavey:

Sapeod
06-27-2010, 02:05 PM
Murray is one of the best, if not the best nowadays.

brent-o
06-27-2010, 02:41 PM
Have to go with Murray. He just reads serves so well, almost like Agassi.

BK 201
06-27-2010, 02:52 PM
Have to go with Murray. He just reads serves so well, almost like Agassi.

Actually, Murray is the best 'block back' returner. Agassi was someone who got aced a lot but once he returned the ball he was in command. Murray doesn't attack the serve, but both are the best returners at what they do.


Out of the two, Agassi is the best IMO, he faced better servers on faster surfaces.

Persimmon
06-27-2010, 03:21 PM
Murray.

Johnny Groove
06-27-2010, 03:23 PM
Depends on what your criteria is.

Is it: "Who returns serves most consistently deep to get the rally going?"

or is it: "Who hits the most offensive 2nd serve returns?"

or: "Who breaks serve most often?"

BK 201
06-27-2010, 03:30 PM
Depends on what your criteria is.

Is it: "Who returns serves most consistently deep to get the rally going?"

or is it: "Who hits the most offensive 2nd serve returns?"

or: "Who breaks serve most often?"

1) Murray
2) Nalbandian
3) Ferrer

paseo
06-27-2010, 03:41 PM
Lol wut? Sampras had a much better return and would break better serves than Roddick on FAST GRASS. Sampras never needed 16-14 against Goran did he. Federer has never actually played Roddick serving sensibly, except for Wimbledon 09, and look what happened!

:lol: Fed is a better returner than Sampras. No doubt. You can't compare Sampras career return highlights to ever-declining-Fed's return. It's not fair. Fed in his prime was a very good returner.

ORGASMATRON
06-27-2010, 03:56 PM
Lol wut? Sampras had a much better return and would break better serves than Roddick on FAST GRASS. Sampras never needed 16-14 against Goran did he. Federer has never actually played Roddick serving sensibly, except for Wimbledon 09, and look what happened!

who had a better serve than roddick? last year was obviously an anomaly vs roddick and it had nothing to do with roddick serving sensibly and everything to do with the fact that it was such a huge occasions. everyone knows the GOAT played like shit and that his serve is what won him the match. the GOAT owns the one dimensional GOAT in returning, there is no doubt about it.

Mechlan
06-27-2010, 04:08 PM
1) Murray
2) Nalbandian
3) Ferrer

Agreed.

Clydey
06-27-2010, 04:08 PM
1) Murray
2) Nalbandian
3) Ferrer

Ferrer breaks most often this season. Again, however, his return stats get a big boost from the clay. Return isn't as important on that surface, so clay courters likes Nadal and Ferrer get a big boost to their return stats.

Mechlan
06-27-2010, 04:09 PM
:lol: Fed is a better returner than Sampras. No doubt. You can't compare Sampras career return highlights to ever-declining-Fed's return. It's not fair. Fed in his prime was a very good returner.

Yes, Federer in his prime would win the "most serves back in play" category. Now his ROS is shit.

Sharp
06-27-2010, 04:11 PM
Gasquet

BK 201
06-27-2010, 04:15 PM
who had a better serve than roddick? last year was obviously an anomaly vs roddick and it had nothing to do with roddick serving sensibly and everything to do with the fact that it was such a huge occasions. everyone knows the GOAT played like shit and that his serve is what won him the match. the GOAT owns the one dimensional GOAT in returning, there is no doubt about it.

Guy named Goran Ivanesevic, apparently he had a good serve, also Krajicek, many good servers in the 90's.

BK 201
06-27-2010, 04:16 PM
Ferrer breaks most often this season. Again, however, his return stats get a big boost from the clay. Return isn't as important on that surface, so clay courters likes Nadal and Ferrer get a big boost to their return stats.

Whilst i agree about nadal, Ferrer does have a great ROS on most surfaces. Hence why he has done well indoors and hard courts.

Clydey
06-27-2010, 04:16 PM
Yes, Federer in his prime would win the "most serves back in play" category. Now his ROS is shit.

That sounds about right. He was pretty much even with Davydenko in 2005 and 2006 (there were 3 clay courters ahead of them statistically in 2005), with Murray just behind both in 2006. Davydenko was just ahead of Murray and Federer in 2007. Federer's return went to shit after that, though.

Clydey
06-27-2010, 04:18 PM
Whilst i agree about nadal, Ferrer does have a great ROS on most surfaces. Hence why he has done well indoors and hard courts.

He's certainly a better returner than Nadal, but he does play a few more clay court tournaments than the average top player. The same goes for Davydenko.

BK 201
06-27-2010, 04:19 PM
:lol: Fed is a better returner than Sampras. No doubt. You can't compare Sampras career return highlights to ever-declining-Fed's return. It's not fair. Fed in his prime was a very good returner.

Good point, however Federer only played one world class serve in his prime, Roddick. And Roddick always went to set up the point against Federer, not hit through him.

Roddick was successful against Federer at Wimbledon because he was placing serves on the line and serving at Federer's body. If you serve at Federer's body then you limit his reach and his incredible reaction times get slowed down. Roddick always employed the wrong tactics against prime Federer when he was serving.

Tonkie13
06-27-2010, 04:19 PM
He's certainly a better returner than Nadal, but he does play a few more clay court tournaments than the average top player. The same goes for Davydenko.

Yeah i don't think that changes that much, he's just the best returner and after that rafa
Spainards rule!s

BK 201
06-27-2010, 04:21 PM
He's certainly a better returner than Nadal, but he does play a few more clay court tournaments than the average top player. The same goes for Davydenko.

It's obvious that Ferrer has a great return on most surfaces. His best results have come at the US Open and other indoor courts such as TMC, granted, not just by his ROS but i watched him play Roddick in 07, and i believe he won 6-4 6-1, he was returning unbelievably well.


Davydenko is like Nalbandian, plays close and takes the ball early - however he gets aced a lot.

BK 201
06-27-2010, 04:22 PM
Yeah i don't think that changes that much, he's just the best returner and after that rafa
Spainards rule!s

Um no, Nadal's ROS is actually poor.

Clydey
06-27-2010, 04:23 PM
Yeah i don't think that changes that much, he's just the best returner and after that rafa
Spainards rule!s

It changes a lot. There are a lot more breaks on clay and it has little do with how good a player's return is. Even at that, both Ferrer and Nadal finished behind Murray for returning first serves in 2009.

Clydey
06-27-2010, 04:24 PM
It's obvious that Ferrer has a great return on most surfaces. His best results have come at the US Open and other indoor courts such as TMC, granted, not just by his ROS but i watched him play Roddick in 07, and i believe he won 6-4 6-1, he was returning unbelievably well.


Davydenko is like Nalbandian, plays close and takes the ball early - however he gets aced a lot.

I'm not denying that Ferrer is probably in the top 3 or 4 returners in the world. He has an excellent return game.

Tonkie13
06-27-2010, 04:25 PM
It changes a lot. There are a lot more breaks on clay and it has little do with how good a player's return is. Even at that, both Ferrer and Nadal finished behind Murray for returning first serves in 2009.

Yeah ok, but the murray thing, i expect we're talking about the present and murray seems to peek last year but this year NO, maybe it'll come though!

ORGASMATRON
06-27-2010, 04:34 PM
Guy named Goran Ivanesevic, apparently he had a good serve, also Krajicek, many good servers in the 90's.

roddick has a bigger serve than those guys. did you even watch the GOAT vs karlovic last year?
the GOAT keeps breaking guys like roddick, karlovic, isner, delpo, etc. sampras never broke much. he used his big serve to get to the tie break and then used clutch play to win it. he is definitely not known for his returning. for one thing he had a crappy backhand. like i said, there is no comparison.

Clydey
06-27-2010, 04:35 PM
Yeah ok, but the murray thing, i expect we're talking about the present and murray seems to peek last year but this year NO, maybe it'll come though!

For the last 4 years, Murray has been at the top or near the top of the return statistics. His whole game has been poor this year, but he's still 6th on the list of first serve returners for 2010. I think he'll climb further up the list as his form comes back.

.-Federers_Mate-.
06-27-2010, 04:37 PM
Federer

Mechlan
06-27-2010, 04:37 PM
Yeah ok, but the murray thing, i expect we're talking about the present and murray seems to peek last year but this year NO, maybe it'll come though!

Murray hasn't lost his returning abilities. Because Nadal swept the clay season and Murray played poorly doesn't magically make Nadal the better returner. If we use that kind of logic we have a new best returner every few months.

tennishero
06-27-2010, 04:38 PM
i would say nalbandian but hes been out for too long..

so its between murray/nadal/ferrer atm

fran70
06-27-2010, 04:42 PM
On these days there is not a player that is much better than the others . My favourite players returning serve in not particular order are Nadal, Murray, Davydenko, Nalbandian, Hewitt and Baghdatis.

Tonkie13
06-27-2010, 04:45 PM
Federer

:haha: :haha: :haha: :haha: :haha: NOT!

BK 201
06-27-2010, 04:45 PM
roddick has a bigger serve than those guys. did you even watch the GOAT vs karlovic last year?
the GOAT keeps breaking guys like roddick, karlovic, isner, delpo, etc. sampras never broke much. he used his big serve to get to the tie break and then used clutch play to win it. he is definitely not known for his returning. for one thing he had a crappy backhand. like i said, there is no comparison.

'Sampras never broke much' Are you kiddin' me? Sampras rarely needed multipule TB's in matches to win sets. Oh and don't refer to Federer at the GOAT, because Laver and Borg are in their with him.

raahaat7
06-27-2010, 04:47 PM
The argument seems to be settling in favour of Murray.

mcnasty
06-27-2010, 04:48 PM
stats are tricky when determining the best ROS. because if you have to break serve more than others to win, then that means your serve is deficient, and not necessarily than you are the better ROS.

Clydey
06-27-2010, 04:51 PM
stats are tricky when determining the best ROS. because if you have to break serve more than others to win, then that means your serve is deficient, and not necessarily than you are the better ROS.

I don't see your logic. What does holding serve have to do with returning?

straitup
06-27-2010, 04:53 PM
There's a bunch of ways to return serve. Someone like a Blake will be able to take cuts at the ball no matter what, and so their return might not appear good but it could be intimidating. Likewise, a Ferrer or Murray is able to get their racquet on any ball and get it in play, but they won't go for a ton on the return. Then you have someone like Nadal who can get aced a lot, but when he is in position for a return, you better watch out. I personally think the guys who can get anything back in play are the best returners, but there's merit for many different players in terms of being good returners.

mcnasty
06-27-2010, 04:56 PM
I don't see your logic. What does holding serve have to do with returning?

you only have to do enough to win. if you hold your serve easily, there's no reason to give it your all when returning serve. you can pick your spots. whereas if your serve is shaky, and you struggle to hold it, then every point counts.

ORGASMATRON
06-27-2010, 05:00 PM
'Sampras never broke much' Are you kiddin' me? Sampras rarely needed multipule TB's in matches to win sets. Oh and don't refer to Federer at the GOAT, because Laver and Borg are in their with him.

i think ive made my point. but ill say it one more time in case you missed it. the GOAT >>>>>>>>> the one dimensional GOAT in returning. moving on now.

Clydey
06-27-2010, 05:01 PM
you only have to do enough to win. if you hold your serve easily, there's no reason to give it your all when returning serve. you can pick your spots. whereas if your serve is shaky, and you struggle to hold it, then every point counts.

The game is different now. It's slower. We don't have many guys like Sampras who bet the house on their serve, unless you think the likes of Isner and Karlovic are underrated returners?

.-Federers_Mate-.
06-27-2010, 05:03 PM
:haha: :haha: :haha: :haha: :haha: NOT!

Hes won more slams than everyone in your avy,sig putogether. You havnt got a clue about returning.To busy watcing jankovithces meek Bh returns

Sapeod
06-27-2010, 05:03 PM
Murray is the best returner atm, without a doubt.

mcnasty
06-27-2010, 05:08 PM
if you hold your serve, you need to break once to win. if you have to break twice, yes you're the better returner of serves statistically, but are you really?

rhinooooo
06-27-2010, 05:09 PM
Simone Bolelli

mcnasty
06-27-2010, 05:53 PM
The game is different now. It's slower. We don't have many guys like Sampras who bet the house on their serve, unless you think the likes of Isner and Karlovic are underrated returners?

my point is that there's no point to returning serve better than the next guy if you don't win. so, yes, statistically, ferrer, nalbandian or whoever might have better return of serve stats than who i think is the best ROS (nadal); but until they win more than nadal it's academic.

roddick and federer rely on their serves to win and so do isner and karlovic. obviously federer and roddick return better than the other two, but if isner starts winning and win big than i'd consider ferrer's and nalbandian's superior return of serve stats moot when compared to isner's improved return of stats.

Clydey
06-27-2010, 06:17 PM
my point is that there's no point to returning serve better than the next guy if you don't win. so, yes, statistically, ferrer, nalbandian or whoever might have better return of serve stats than who i think is the best ROS (nadal); but until they win more than nadal it's academic.

roddick and federer rely on their serves to win and so do isner and karlovic. obviously federer and roddick return better than the other two, but if isner starts winning and win big than i'd consider ferrer's and nalbandian's superior return of serve stats moot when compared to isner's improved return of stats.

So we shouldn't discuss indiviual attributes at all? You're not making much sense. Tennis isn't that simple. Even in the context of how players match up, discussing things like ROS is not moot.

mcnasty
06-27-2010, 06:20 PM
So we shouldn't discuss indiviual attributes at all? You're not making much sense. Tennis isn't that simple. Even in the context of how players match up, discussing things like ROS is not moot.

i'm making a case for my man, nadal, as you would for yours. and to make my case i have to come at it from this angle. that's all.

Clydey
06-27-2010, 06:22 PM
i'm making a case for my man, nadal, as you would for yours. and to make my case i have to come at it from this angle. that's all.

I'm not making a case for "my man". If we were talking about who has the best forehand in the game, I wouldn't even mention Murray. People are talking about Murray because he is generally considered to have the best return of serve in the game.

emotion
06-27-2010, 06:28 PM
1. Davydenko
2. Djokovic
3. Murray
4. Hewitt
5. Ferrer/Nadal

BK 201
06-27-2010, 08:52 PM
I'm not making a case for "my man". If we were talking about who has the best forehand in the game, I wouldn't even mention Murray. People are talking about Murray because he is generally considered to have the best return of serve in the game.

He's the best at blocking serves back.

Clydey
06-27-2010, 09:32 PM
He's the best at blocking serves back.

That would include reading the serve. Apparently Agassi used to call Murray "extendo arms" when they practiced, because of his return.

Bilbo
06-27-2010, 09:34 PM
Murray and Ferrer

Glaciator
06-28-2010, 12:08 AM
Lol obviously Lleyton, he's still the best returner.

Topspin Forehand
06-28-2010, 03:18 AM
Murray, Federer, and Rafa.