Monday, January 12, 2009

TennisSpeed's Top 5 Pro First Serves (1985-2009)

Remember how I said I would be posting more frequently and trying to promote more feedback and discussion?

Well, here's words put into action...

I've noticed that people like to respond to "best of/worst of" lists.

So in the hope of getting folks who read this blog into "response mode" around here, I present the first of my lists: the Top 5 first serves of the last 25 years.

I'll do a few lists over the coming weeks and months for all of the strokes of general interest (serve, forehand, backhand, etc.), for completeness.

One thing I wanted to know is: should I separate these list by gender (i.e. men and women) or just make a master list?

Maybe I won't separate them the first time around...

But, if you think I should provide a second series of Top 5 lists focusing only on the women, you need to let me know (hint, hint...)!

So, without much further ado...

Top 5 First Serves (1985-2009)

--in alphabetical order---

Boris Becker
Goran Ivanisevic
Andy Roddick
Pete Sampras
Michael Stich

All 5 serves blended unbelievable power, accuracy, spin, variety and disguise under pressure.

Honorable mention:

Roger Federer
Ivo Karlovic
Richard Krajicek
Greg Rusedski

These 4 guys are close, but fall short in one of the five categories above...

So, what do you think?


P.S. Let me know which online tennis instructional websites you would like to see reviewed here. Just leave a comment or email me!

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At 7:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i am a huge fan of your writing. i am aspiring to be a pro tennis player set to debut in april. what ive read in your blogs is so true. the fast explosive movements and fast serve speed is exactly what i have. at 5'6 and 108 lbs, i can serve above 110mph so i think whats more important is the height/weight ratio combined with athleticism that will determine a player's potential.

for 45,000$, i can tell you why 5'6 is ironically a GREAT height for producing some of the most wicked serves ever witnessed

At 4:55 PM, Anonymous Wildvolley said...

I've always been a fan of Goran and Roddick's low toss. If you can learn to time the motion, I believe a low toss is superior in that it is easier to place and less susceptible to being blown around by the wind.

Karlovic might deserve to be put in the top group. Other than Roddick, he's the only one I've been able to watch serve from courtside and I was very impressed. It's amazing how much pace he generates with what seems a relaxed, or even slow, swing.

At 6:38 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

actually, i use a medium toss, people say it looks very low because i don't throw it a mile into the air. i try to get as much forward momentum going and and swing a few degrees downward, so the trajectory of the ball is always low. it's very hard to return my serve because the ball will remain below net height after the 1st bonce onto the court. this pretty much means that at 115mph+, the returner has 2 options, dedicate himself to the ball and swing very hard with a lot of topspin for an aggressive return (which would be very difficult because it would be a pure spin shot), or tap/slice it back for a drop or deep lob kind of shot, both of which tend to not work because they hit it out or into the net. if the ball is returned, it is a very weak reply and can be taken advantage of. well, there you have my secret lol. when your serves look like gravity on earth has increased by 10x, very hard to read kind of shot


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