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Discussion Starter #1
I don´t know since when ATP page has that new ATP ricoh match facts, but i think only few days, there is that career statistics what is very interresting - Many people argue that Sampras, Roddick, Goran, maybe Becker, Isner, Krajicek are best servers ever. They are all all time great servers but the best is for sure Ivo.

http://www.atpworldtour.com/Matchfacts/Matchfacts-Landing.aspx

Those statistics are only for last 20 years, since 1991, but we can agree that before were worse racquets string and racquet technology so there is no best server before 90s- even from greatest players from 70-80s for example none of them was dominang, because of his serve - it was either, ground game or SV style.

Ivo has better ace-per match ratio than any of great servers, has won 83% of 1st serves, best in this category.
He has 91% won service games - best ever.
Had saved 70% of BP in his career - what is again best ever- we can agree, that saving BP´s has a lot to do with quality of serve.
He is not great in category 2nd serve points won is 48th, but this is logical, because after 2nd serve most likely will be rally and Ivo´s baseline game is bellow average - maybe poor we can say. But whole 2nd serve statistics are not so much about serve, because Nadal is best ever- and is obvious that his serve is average-bellow average for top players, so logicaly he won 2nd serves because of his ground game- baseline game not, because of his serve.
And than most important is % of FS in. Ivo is 18th, but what is more important is that from great servers only ISner has higher % of FS in.
So we can assume really that Ivo has for sure best serve ever no doubt about it. He is better than Sampras, Ivanisevic, Roddick, Becker, Isner in 4/5 categories - ace-per match, 1st serve points won, service games won, BP saved, only 2nd serve points won is worse. Also his FS% is higher than all of them besides Isner.

Don´t forget Ivo´s baseline game is for sure inferior to other guys, so % of unreturnable serves and free points by Ivo must be much higher than by others. If Ivo would have only 10% better ground game where his serve numbers would be? It is scary tought. Also don´t say his serve is good because he is tall, and similar things if this should be said than we can disqualified Usain Bolt as fastest guy on the planet, because he is taller, he has advantage than others on 100m.
 

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Nah it was never question especially in his first serve. There is some doubt in his second only.
 

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Great post and great from the ATP to have collected these career stats.

But even without looking at the stats his first serve has always been mentionned as the greatest ever.
Actually his 1st serve is so great that it makes up for his 2nd serve.

Also it is worth mentionning that back in 2003,2004,2005 he was coming to the net every time on 2nd serve too and averaged 110-112 mph on them.
 

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good thread and i kind of agree

plus, ivo would have fared a lot better in the nineties, when the courts were much faster.
 

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Karlovic has the best first serve, but I'd probably prefer Isner's. His first serve plus that massive second serve kicker = amazing.

Overall I tend to judge good servers by the quality of their second serve. The best first serves in the world are pretty close in quality, so the second serve tends to sort the wheat from the chaff. That's why people rate Sampras so highly - even if he faulted, his second serve set up an almost guaranteed 1-2 punch.
 

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Isner has the better 2nd serve, no doubt about that.

Ivo should hit every 2nd serve like a 1st serve. Even if that means 25 df a match, it is still better than losing baseline rallies.
 

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Recently I saw that career statistic page and wanted to post something like the OP, but was too lazy. :angel:

I'd say, best 1st server, not 'server' altogether. Also, obviously it has a lot to do with his height, but that doesn't matter. Otherwise you might make a point that Rochus has an excellent serve, given his height. Or that Tomic is an excellent mover given how skinny he is, etc. Obviously it doesn't make much sense.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Isner has the better 2nd serve, no doubt about that.

Ivo should hit every 2nd serve like a 1st serve. Even if that means 25 df a match, it is still better than losing baseline rallies.
Actually this is pretty interresting idea - i know we will never see anyone play like this, but just hypothetically if Ivo is playing someone with good baseline game - we can say some clay-courter on clay and has in match 66% FS in, maybe if he play that 2nd serves just like 1st serves, he will make many DF like you mentioned, but still thanks to those all ,,first serves,, % of points won on his serve on could be higher than normally, where he didn´t win even half of the points on his 2nd serves. Especcialy in TB´s you always feel when Ivo missed 1st serve this is chance for the other guy and he really mostly loose his 2nd serve point, so if he would instead hit 210km/h to the lines just like FS, he could won higher % than normally. But this is all what if and i can´t imagine how people would call him with such serve style:D
 

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Lets assume Ivo makes 65% of 1st serves. If he can hit 2nd serves like first serves and maintain a 65% hit ratio, he would win 54% on 2nd serve (0.65*0.83). Whether 54% is good depends a lot on the opponent. If Ivo plays someone like Fed or Rafa, the difference between points won on 1st and 2nd is massive. In these matches, I can't see Ivo not benefiting from smashing his second serves.

Furthermore, going for his second serves would deprive his opponent of rhythm, possibly making it harder for the opponent to hold.
 

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Lets assume Ivo makes 65% of 1st serves. If he can hit 2nd serves like first serves and maintain a 65% hit ratio, he would win 54% on 2nd serve (0.65*0.83). Whether 54% is good depends a lot on the opponent. If Ivo plays someone like Fed or Rafa, the difference between points won on 1st and 2nd is massive. In these matches, I can't see Ivo not benefiting from smashing his second serves.

Furthermore, going for his second serves would deprive his opponent of rhythm, possibly making it harder for the opponent to hold.
On the other hand, maybe it would also put some added pressure on himself, because of all the double-faults. It would look ugly, perhaps it would bother him and create further obstacles for doing that. You need to have good nerves for doing something that outrageous.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Lets assume Ivo makes 65% of 1st serves. If he can hit 2nd serves like first serves and maintain a 65% hit ratio, he would win 54% on 2nd serve (0.65*0.83). Whether 54% is good depends a lot on the opponent. If Ivo plays someone like Fed or Rafa, the difference between points won on 1st and 2nd is massive. In these matches, I can't see Ivo not benefiting from smashing his second serves.

Furthermore, going for his second serves would deprive his opponent of rhythm, possibly making it harder for the opponent to hold.
For sure on clay and against better returners playing all the time 1st serve could be better- could win few % more on his serve, but this really can´t i imagine in real match:D
 

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On the other hand, maybe it would also put some added pressure on himself, because of all the double-faults. It would look ugly, perhaps it would bother him and create further obstacles for doing that. You need to have good nerves for doing something that outrageous.
Absolutely, it is quite possible that he would not be able to get 62% second serves into court if he hit them like a first serve, purely for mental reasons.
 
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