Mens Tennis Forums banner

1 - 20 of 39 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,847 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
This is simply an observation coming from someone who has watched men's tennis on the pro tour for well over 25 years. It appears to me, outside of Roger and the enigmatic Karlovic, that holding serve on the men's tour is MUCH harder than it was years ago.

I remember back then, when a player was serving, you felt pretty confident he would hold. And if broken, you felt the set was over for him. NOW...every point on serve seems very hotly contested, and going up a break in a set doesn't mean much. Is it the skill level? Is it the lack of guts/heart? I don't know...but I wonder if I alone feel this way.
 

·
Ace Loveforty
Joined
·
83,408 Posts
This is simply an observation coming from someone who has watched men's tennis on the pro tour for well over 25 years. It appears to me, outside of Roger and the enigmatic Karlovic, that holding serve on the men's tour is MUCH harder than it was years ago.

I remember back then, when a player was serving, you felt pretty confident he would hold. And if broken, you felt the set was over for him. NOW...every point on serve seems very hotly contested, and going up a break in a set doesn't mean much. Is it the skill level? Is it the lack of guts/heart? I don't know...but I wonder if I alone feel this way.
slower courts
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,618 Posts
This is simply an observation coming from someone who has watched men's tennis on the pro tour for well over 25 years. It appears to me, outside of Roger and the enigmatic Karlovic, that holding serve on the men's tour is MUCH harder than it was years ago.

I remember back then, when a player was serving, you felt pretty confident he would hold. And if broken, you felt the set was over for him. NOW...every point on serve seems very hotly contested, and going up a break in a set doesn't mean much. Is it the skill level? Is it the lack of guts/heart? I don't know...but I wonder if I alone feel this way.

i agree with you;)
...
i began watching tennis in the late 1980s & the likes of Lendl, Edberg, Becker etc. had a much easier time of it on serve;) ..
as you said, once someone got a break of serve the set was pretty much over:eek:


>>>
the game has developed: better athletes, faster reflexes, slower courts, more powerful rackets [which aid the returner prob even more than the server]~~ basically it`s evolution:angel:

Andre Agassi & his win @ Wimbledon win in 1992 did a lot to help the mindset of strong returners.. Other players realised they didn`t need Becker or Ivanisavic`s serve to beat the best players [even on the fast surfaces]:cool:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,847 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
All I know is that for the fan of ANY player, each service game seems to be a tension-filled cause of a heart attack waiting to happen.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,159 Posts
The players have better returns and ground strokes now. It's not like in the nineties when there were players like Siemerink and Rusedski. For them, 3 good backhands in a row was a reason to go out and celebrate. Nowadays all the players can hit good returns from both wings and attack the second serve. Slower courts are a factor as well.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,364 Posts
Ditto what Bobby said. Sampras was bombing 120s/130s in the early 90s, and there are few guys that can consistently serve harder today. By comparison, groundstrokes have evolved much further. The pace, weight, and consistency of the average groundstroke is far better than the 90s. By comparison, serves are not. The sum of these two leads to less dominant service games.

One plus of this is that, in response to the growing disparity (relative to history), events may start using faster courts as a balance, maybe several years down the road. It would be nice to see some fast grass (or even just more) again.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,359 Posts
I never saw the earlier eras, but while it's definitely harder to hold serve now I still think that an early break in the men's game is significant, far more so than in the women's. In the majority of matches the player who gets the early advantage holds on for the set, maybe less so on clay where you can expect a few back and forth breaks of serve, but the fact is it’s still a major blow for a player to lose serve early on, and not just against Karlovic. I find it a bit surprising that sawan included Federer as well, considering how many times he gets broken when serving for sets and matches.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20,460 Posts
I find it a bit surprising that sawan included Federer as well, considering how many times he gets broken when serving for sets and matches.
He actually led the tour in service games won last year and is second or third behind Karlovic this year;)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,166 Posts
No, not at all. I don't know where people are getting this from. If anything we have been seeing guys rely more on the serve in the past 10 years than ever before. The likes of Sampras, Ivanisevic, Roddick have all relied on their service game to win games. Federer over the past year as well - you watch him play and you expect him to hold serve.

This was not the case for the elite players of the past with some exceptions like Tanner. The likes of Wilander, Connors, even Borg to some extent all played a game that involved longer rallies and were all broken very many times. It was not uncommon to see multiple breaks a set, especially on clay.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,962 Posts
No, not at all. I don't know where people are getting this from. If anything we have been seeing guys rely more on the serve in the past 10 years than ever before. The likes of Sampras, Ivanisevic, Roddick have all relied on their service game to win games. Federer over the past year as well - you watch him play and you expect him to hold serve.

This was not the case for the elite players of the past with some exceptions like Tanner. The likes of Wilander, Connors, even Borg to some extent all played a game that involved longer rallies and were all broken very many times. It was not uncommon to see multiple breaks a set, especially on clay.
This is true, but Ivanisevic, Roddick, and Karlovic have truly MASSIVE serves....much moreso than those of past players. In general, I think it's fair to say that due to the speed of the courts and old racket strings which didn't allow for as much topspin, players with lesser serves were getting more free points and holding more often.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,359 Posts
He actually led the tour in service games won last year and is second or third behind Karlovic this year;)
I'm well aware of that. He's just not my idea of the impregnable server, no matter what the stats say.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,760 Posts
Why is it the case that technology advances in racquets have benefited the returners more than the servers?
 
1 - 20 of 39 Posts
Top