Originally Posted by HKz
Roddick's returning I thought was a bit underrated. No, he certainly is no Nalbandian when it comes to returning, but I thought for a big server, he would get a lot of serves back when he was younger. While his baseline game is obviously not Agassi status, I think in his prime he could have competed as well as Goran on the faster stuff. Great slice backhand, despite the poor flat/topspin one, and he used to really hammer away with that forehand of his. Could he knock Pete Sampras out? Probably never, but if Courier is one player to compare, Roddick arguably could have had some success in the 90s. Maybe he would have learned to volley had he been born to play in the 90s
I mean Ivanisevic was definitely nowhere near the strongest returner or baseliner, and yet he was able to have great success on grass. Don't see why Roddick wouldn't be able to have some similar type of success.
Lleyton Hewitt on the other hand, man that is probably my biggest wish that he was born a decade earlier. Such a rivalry he could have had with Sampras on grass.
Roddick might've got a decent stick on a few serves when he was younger, but you were required to do more than that, as I said, or you'd be punished. Courier defeated Edberg by excellent returning, and playing exceptionally well with his weaker wing and barely missed a passing shot. Courier had the ability to step up to the baseline, anticipate and actually do something with his returns. He also serve and volley'd a considerable amount for a baseliner. Roddick tried to step closer to the baseline in his returning in lots of insignificant matches throughout his career, and couldn't do so successfully even on slower courts. I can't see how it would have been possible.
Ivanisevic had a much, much
better return of serve than Roddick. Players feared Ivanisevic because he obviously had the ability to hold service games with ease, but because he also had the ability to break due to his approach of anticipating, stepping in and returning with real power. Not to mention Ivanisevic had far superior reflexes and a considerably longer reach. Ivanisevic's return is often forgotten because it was "inconsistent" and wild, but that's the beauty of having one of the greatest serves of all time. The return is a stroke that doesn't need to be consistent, if you have a way of holding with ease. Especially when you're up against big servers who consistently served well, you're required to take a risk and that's what Ivanisevic was good at.
Obviously Roddick's forehand is better than anything Goran could mostly come up with at the back, but we're talking about 90's grass and the return of serve is far more crucial than any shot from the baseline.
And yes, Hewitt in a 90's scenario would be mouth watering.