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View Poll Results: Whose is the greatest first serve ever?

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  • Martina Navratilova

    3 18.75%
  • Venus Williams

    0 0%
  • Serena Williams

    13 81.25%
  • Steffi Graf

    0 0%
  • Sabine Lisicki

    0 0%
  • Hana Mandlikova

    0 0%
  • Madison Keys

    0 0%
  • Other

    0 0%
Results 1 to 14 of 14
  1. #1

    Great strokes. FIRST SERVE, WTA

    Martina Navratilova. You must consider that the woman started her playing career with wood rackets, and then see how the first graphite rackets were very flexible. And then watch in YouTube her perfect mechanics. Her lefty spin should carry a warning for the LINE JUDGES in that side, as she was able to spin the ball that far wide. She had power, placement, disguise and form. Greatest ever is up for debate here, but greatest of the 80’s? Only one other player can challenge (see below).
    Venus Williams. She has other strokes too. But the serve is a beauty. One thing that always seemed out of this world: her extension upon impact. And the flexible wrist was originally an incredible source of power (later it became a bit of a liability, and perhaps a source of some wild double faults).
    Serena Williams. Some people frown when comparing the two sisters. But here it is inevitable. Similar (not identical) motions, great extension, and pioneers of players going for more on the stroke. A superb shot.
    Steffi Graf. Yes, Steffi Graf. She had a great serve, with a peculiar trait: her toss was exaggeratedly high. Which made it even more amazing. On windy days, how could she serve balls that were coming from the clouds?
    Sabine Lisicki. Still the holder of the fastest recorded serve. A beautiful motion, and perhaps (no, certainly) the most powerful thrust with the legs ever.
    Hana Mandlikova. There was something about the Czechoslovakian School at the time. Together with Navs and Helena Sukova, these three players had perfect mechanics. The fact that all three avalanched towards the net after their deliveries made them even more beautiful to watch.
    Madison Keys. Ok, laugh. But take a really good look at Maddie’s motion. It is gorgeous.

    Honorary mention:
    Brenda Schultz-McCarthy. At a time when nobody had a serve, she did. Held the record for some time.
    Claudia Kohde-Kilsch. An underrated serve and volleyer. An exaggerated back bent (very Pat Rafter, or vice versa, as she came first).
    Alexandra Stevenson. Tutored by Pete Fisher, the coach that taught Sampras HIS serve. Stevenson was a flash in the pan, but all the flash came from her serve.
    Evonne Goolagong. Like everything else in her game: hit it AS SOFT AS POSSIBLE. Did she ever even get injured? (She was that easy flowing)
    Elena Dementieva. Because we need to joke every once in a while, ferchrissake!
    Face it. It's the apocalypse.

  2. #2
    Everyday Warrior MJ2004's Avatar
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    Re: Great strokes. FIRST SERVE, WTA

    Serena

  3. #3

    Re: Great strokes. FIRST SERVE, WTA

    I voted for Serena here, BUT I admit to being poorly familiar with the games of Navratilova and Mandlikova (just few short youtube videos).
    Roger forever

  4. #4
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    Re: Great strokes. FIRST SERVE, WTA

    Navratilova for me. I just remember how easy it made Wimbledon for her at times. So many "free" points on the serve-and-volley.

  5. #5

    Re: Great strokes. FIRST SERVE, WTA

    I went with Navratilova. Serena's is probably better when she is on, but Martina (after the beginning of her career), seemed much more consistent, particularly when I factor in her doubles record (during a time when a lot more players participated in doubles).
    "And for my next fearless prediction..."

  6. #6

    Re: Great strokes. FIRST SERVE, WTA

    Serena, but I'm not familiar with many of the previous generation's serves.
    Meet again we do, old foe...

  7. #7

    Re: Great strokes. FIRST SERVE, WTA

    I will only say I am very surprised Venus has not received a single vote.
    Face it. It's the apocalypse.

  8. #8

    Re: Great strokes. FIRST SERVE, WTA

    Quote Originally Posted by ponchi101 View Post
    I will only say I am very surprised Venus has not received a single vote.
    I've always been more of a Venus fan than Serena fan but Venus serve is a little more erratic and that thing she does with her head when she serves detracts from it even more.

    Still, when Venus' serve is on it's unreturnable. She could use her lower body a bit more.
    “No matter how cynical I get, I just can't keep up.” – Lily Tomlin.




  9. #9

    Re: Great strokes. FIRST SERVE, WTA

    Serena's serve
    https://www.facebook.com/wtcatennis/...9112808993498/

    Venus serve (from 2013)

    “No matter how cynical I get, I just can't keep up.” – Lily Tomlin.




  10. #10

    Re: Great strokes. FIRST SERVE, WTA

    Quote Originally Posted by ponchi101 View Post
    I will only say I am very surprised Venus has not received a single vote.
    10 years ago, she would have gotten my vote, but Serena's serve has improved since then while Vee's has deteriorated.

    The women's serve changed so drastically in the late 90's that it is hard to compare current players to past ones.
    This is not the bouquet you toss

  11. #11

    Re: Great strokes. FIRST SERVE, WTA

    Venus has chronic knee issues no? And I've always wondered if her abdominal injury ever properly healed. She has less control over her serve now.
    “No matter how cynical I get, I just can't keep up.” – Lily Tomlin.




  12. #12

    Re: Great strokes. FIRST SERVE, WTA

    Why would we even discuss her serve now? At least I only considered candidates (men and women) in their prime years. I my opinion prime Serena serve is better than prime Venus serve.
    Roger forever

  13. #13

    Re: Great strokes. FIRST SERVE, WTA

    Navratilova got the yips on her serve under pressure at times.

    Serena's serve is by far the best ever. The peak came at Wimbledon and the U.S. Open in 2012, when it felt like she was getting two to three free points every service game and could hit an ace whenever she needed it.

  14. #14
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    Re: Great strokes. FIRST SERVE, WTA

    Quote Originally Posted by Ti-Amie View Post
    I've always been more of a Venus fan than Serena fan but Venus serve is a little more erratic and that thing she does with her head when she serves detracts from it even more.

    Still, when Venus' serve is on it's unreturnable. She could use her lower body a bit more.

    Yeah, I would say Venus' best serves are the best serves ever, but, even at her prime, she also serves/d a good number of "not-the-greatest" serves in a match, which disqualifies her here.


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