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View Poll Results: Who's is the greatest first serve ever?

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  • John Isner

    5 27.78%
  • Pete Sampras

    10 55.56%
  • Goran Ivanisevic

    0 0%
  • Andy Roddick

    1 5.56%
  • Boris Becker

    1 5.56%
  • Roger Federer

    1 5.56%
  • Roscoe Tanner

    0 0%
  • Other

    0 0%
Results 1 to 15 of 15
  1. #1

    Great strokes. FIRST SERVE, ATP.

    John Isner. A player that is usually considered soporific, with a maximum of 5 shots per rally. But there is no doubt that the serve is lethal. One aspect is that he is almost capable of hitting DOWN on the stroke. But lost amidst all this is the fact that Isner is biomechanically very sound on this stroke. The motion is fluid, there are no unnecessary movements, and the end result is very smooth. And, he holds the recognized record for fastest serve (157 MPH).
    Pete Sampras. Go to the tape, and check how many times Pete left his opponent flat footed, completely fooled as to where the serve was going. Surprisingly, his fastest serve does not even put him in the top 30. But nobody mixed power, accuracy and guile as well as Sampras. Nobody.
    Goran Ivanisevic. The opposite of Sampras, not only in his left hand-ness. Goran must have been the player that made more opponents lunge towards his serve. And miss. By a lot.
    Andy Roddick. No player has more serves over 140 MPH. And if you ever hit one at 153, you make this list. Even with the weird stance.
    Boris Becker. The original supersonic bomber. Odd mechanics and serving with a Western Forehand grip. Still, a whole bunch of aces again and again. Must be considered.
    Roger Federer. Can you be smoother than the maestro? A very similar motion to Sampras, but with over 10,000 aces in a career there is no way he can be left out of this list.
    Roscoe Tanner. Go to the tape. Check how Tanner hit his serve AS THE BALL WAS GOING UP. Must have been one reason why he hit so many aces. His opponents were still waiting for him to finish the toss while the ball was going up. And then it went by them.

    Honorary mention
    Ivo Karlovic. Everything that can be said about Isner can be said about the Croatian. He lives and usually dies with the stroke. But again, a smooth, fluid motion delivers his atomic bombs. Plus, when you hold the record for fastest SECOND serve (142 MPH) you get in this list.
    Milos Raonic. The most elastic shoulder/elbow/wrist sequence ever. And that extreme backhand grip, for a serve. Again, the biomechanics are almost perfect.
    John McEnroe. By today standards, a very soft serve. But the variety of slices and spins and effects made him lethal during the early 1980’s.
    Greg Rusedski. He held the record at one time. I think.
    Great’s from the past: Legend has it that Pancho Gonzalez had a bomb for serve. Also: Jack Kramer, and Laver.
    Face it. It's the apocalypse.

  2. #2
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    James7's Avatar
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    Re: Great strokes. FIRST SERVE, ATP.

    Hmmm. I'm having a hard time deciding. But I think I'm going with Sampras.
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  3. #3

    Re: Great strokes. FIRST SERVE, ATP.

    I think I'll go with Isner here. Sampras will win the 2nd serve contest instead.
    Roger forever

  4. #4

    Re: Great strokes. FIRST SERVE, ATP.

    I went with Sampras.

    I would go with Isner for the second serve; his second has a mean kick and I haven't checked numbers, but he seems to hit a decent number of second serve aces.
    My Happy Place

  5. #5

    Re: Great strokes. FIRST SERVE, ATP.

    I voted for Roddick. Don't @ me.
    “No matter how cynical I get, I just can't keep up.” – Lily Tomlin.




  6. #6
    Everyday Warrior MJ2004's Avatar
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    Re: Great strokes. FIRST SERVE, ATP.

    Sampras. I just can’t go with Isner for anything.

  7. #7

    Re: Great strokes. FIRST SERVE, ATP.

    Sampras edges Roddick for me.
    This is not the bouquet you toss

  8. #8

    Re: Great strokes. FIRST SERVE, ATP.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ti-Amie View Post
    I voted for Roddick. Don't @ me.
    That's like voting for Jill Stein - you're going to get Trump elected, again.

  9. #9

    Re: Great strokes. FIRST SERVE, ATP.

    I didn't want to vote for Sampras and there was no way I was voting for Isner so I did the next best thing.
    “No matter how cynical I get, I just can't keep up.” – Lily Tomlin.




  10. #10
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    Re: Great strokes. FIRST SERVE, ATP.

    You all are totally underestimating Federer. Sure, he doesn't have the biggest first serve in the history of the sport, but he's right up there in terms of having the smartest first serves at the smartest times.

    Which is a major reason why Federer has 32 wins over those on the list that he's played (he never played Becker or Tanner) compared to a paltry 5 losses (3 to Roddick, 2 to Isner).
    Winston, a.k.a. Alvena Rae Risley Hiatt (1944-2019), RIP

  11. #11

    Re: Great strokes. FIRST SERVE, ATP.

    Quality over 'quantity' please.
    25 GRAND SLAM TITLES: 5 SINGLES 13 DOUBLES 7 MIXED

  12. #12

    Re: Great strokes. FIRST SERVE, ATP.

    If Karlovic was in the poll itself rather than in the "other" category, I would have voted for him. His serve feels like he can put it out of reach anywhere in the box and hit aces at will more than anyone else. He has the highest number of aces per match of any player in tennis history.

    Since he wasn't in the poll, I voted for Isner.
    Go Pack Go!

  13. #13

    Re: Great strokes. FIRST SERVE, ATP.

    I debated about putting Karlovic in, and in the end decided not to simply because he is the least accomplished of the list I made. And mind you, I admire Ivo. I understand that at times he may seem boring, but any player that is that tall and still has been in the top 50 for a long time (not anymore) deserves my respect.
    Face it. It's the apocalypse.

  14. #14

    Re: Great strokes. FIRST SERVE, ATP.

    Yeah, Karlovic has the best serve in tennis history in my opinion. Heck, I tried to immortalize it on another thread on another website many years ago.

    On this list, I vote for Sampras, with Isner a close second. Raonic would be close, too, if he were an option. At Wimbledon only, Ivanisevic has a strong case, but his serve, though lethal, was not quite the same off of grass.

  15. #15
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    Re: Great strokes. FIRST SERVE, ATP.

    This is very difficult because it depends on what a "great" stroke is - is it effectiveness, aesthetics and form, speed (for serves), memorability.

    I went with a sentimental choice and picked Becker because his serve is probably the reason I started consistently watching tennis, I was just so impressed as a kid.


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