Off-season insights

tennis.com aka Tennis Magazine, offers some nice articles now and then. Now that there’s no pro play for another three weeks, they have started to look at players with some nice shots. The first shot is the SERVE.

Their pick is Sampras and I couldn’t agree more. It was perfectly balanced and he could do so much with it, even when it was slightly “off”.  Personally, I think McEnroe’s serve doesn’t get enough attention. Back in the 70s, his serve was kinda huge, mainly in that he also could do a lot of damage and setting up his points with perfect outcome.

For me, Tilden, Vines, Kramer and the oldies are too far back, and I’ve never seen any of these guys in action. But since their serve stood out with the impossible wooden rackets then yes, they had a good serve. In my mind, any serve that hits the box when playing with wood is a good serve!

What I don’t like is that the “Contemporary picks” are limited. Where is Ljubicic? That guy aces more than Roddick so it cannot be a bad serve! And have you forgotten who can ace on 2nd serve three match points down?!?!  Where the hell is Federer? His serve is one of the few best serves today and if I could choose his or McEnroe’s serve, I would take Federer’s! It is like Sampras’ also perfectly balanced with pace on 1st and 2nd and flexible like no other. I think Federer would have problems returning his own serve actually!

Ivanisevic? In some events it was his ultimate weapon, but against players who knew how to pass a serve-volley it was not as effective. Federer’s is better in my opinion.

In addition, Tom Perrotta has written a short entry on Roddick and his status. The thing is, I agree with every word. Roddick has been an underrated player since 2004 when Federer took over everything. The truth is that you could never say “if Federer wasn’t around then Roddick would…”. Who knows, maybe Roddick improved because of Federer’s rise, at least through 04 and 05. But the truth is still that Roddick would have been a completely different player if, in fact, Federer would sell shoes. Perrotta mentiones the fact that every time Roddick was heading towards a slam, BAM!!!! Federer closed the door on the finish line. He would have 1+5 slams! Two USO, at least two Wimbledon’s, perhaps three, at LEAST one AO.  Nadal suffers same story at Wimbledon; for now that is. Conclusion is that even if Roddick’s chances to win slams have worsened over the years, Nadal and Djokovic might not be strong enough to take him out in the major events, and if for some weird reason Federer loses to some other player before the final, then Roddick still stands a chance. He is 25 and might not even be halfway in his career.

Nadal and Roddick are clearly the two players who at this point suffer most due to Federer’s dominance. Lets just say that Federer did decide to sell shoes…. how much more would Nadal and Roddick have won? And this is only when they’ve lost to Federer in finals!

Roddick:
GS: 4 (1)
AMS titles: 6 (4)
Titles: 29 (23)
Roddick would probably have had even more than this, but if other players like Safin and Hewitt would be more motivated, there would be more competition.

Nadal:
GS: 5 (3)
AMS: 11 (9)
Titles: 27 (23)
Nadal hasn’t lost as much because he is able to beat Federer, but the two Wimbledon titles make a big difference!

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One Response to “Off-season insights”

  1. Mist Says:

    I agree. While watching the Us Open match I was thinking that Roddick would beat both Nadal and Djokovic with that level of play. But he doesn’t deserve a whole lot more. He should be right there in the battle with Djokovic and Nadal, but isn’t even close. I hope he gets his Wimbledon title, but everything else belongs to the good guys. Including Nalbandian

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