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*JR*
Mar 21st, 2010, 05:36 PM
This is not a statistical question like receiving points won (on first serve) as that goes more into how well one plays the rallies. The question is what players you think most often return the ball well enough to not be much on the defensive, come the next stroke by the server.

(No poll, I don't want to skew the answers) If you want to add comments like day vs. night or on what surface, feel free to. And retired players active since metal racquets became the norm are perfectly OK to mention here, IMO.

MBM
Mar 21st, 2010, 05:39 PM
when zheng is on, she is takes it sooo early that the harder you hit your serve, the more difficult your next shot will be

silyaunWILLIAMS
Mar 21st, 2010, 05:42 PM
Venus, her return owns all on a grass court, on clay....hmm

hingisGOAT
Mar 21st, 2010, 05:47 PM
Venus? No way... she can't attack second serves with the same force as her sister, and makes a lot of errors.

I used to think Clijsters' had the best return of first serves, and Henin attacked second serves most consistently, however that has clearly not been true in 2010.

I'd say Serena is the best, but Hingis/Capriati/Davenport/Seles (i.e. last generation) were generally superior returners...

tennismaster8820
Mar 21st, 2010, 05:51 PM
Serena by far.

Ferg
Mar 21st, 2010, 05:52 PM
Besides the obvious ones, Bartoli returns pretty well, most of the time they player serving has little time to prepare for their second shot. I just wish she'd return more aggresively sometimes though, like recently against Radwanska.

Viktymise
Mar 21st, 2010, 05:53 PM
Dementieva, Jankovic.

Julian.
Mar 21st, 2010, 05:53 PM
Sharapova when she is on her best.

Break My Rapture
Mar 21st, 2010, 05:54 PM
Vika.

Stamp Paid
Mar 21st, 2010, 05:57 PM
Serena Williams.

PLP
Mar 21st, 2010, 05:57 PM
Venus
Serena
Justine
Kim

Obvious I Know.
Of course when they were playing Hingis and Davenport as well.
:sobbing:

fantic
Mar 21st, 2010, 06:03 PM
of current players, Serena;

When I see her make a return ace with her BH painting the line, it's just :eek:

She's like Shaq, MDE :lol:

50Sense
Mar 21st, 2010, 06:04 PM
Elena returns Serena's serve better than anyone I've ever seen.

Beny
Mar 21st, 2010, 06:05 PM
Serena, Bartoli, Dementieva, Henin not (she can only attack a serve that goes to her FH :o), actually Jankovic returns really well, Ivanovic first half 2008 (since then she is not able to put any shot in including return), Sharapova

Donny
Mar 21st, 2010, 06:06 PM
Sharapova when she is on her best.

Sharapova has always been mediocre at best returning good first serves.

When Serena or Venus or Ivanovic, et al have been on a serving groove while playing her, she has looked completely lost on return.

Slutiana
Mar 21st, 2010, 06:09 PM
The obvious one are the best returners. To be honest though, most players are good returners on the tour considering most players can barely even hold serve. :lol:

Chakvenus
Mar 21st, 2010, 06:09 PM
Bartoli is a great returner when on (Stanford 08, Wimbledon 07)
she takes it SO early.

Volcana
Mar 21st, 2010, 06:16 PM
Venus takes such an agressive location when returning serve. She's giving away some points if the opponent makes a real good first serve, but where she stands, the opponent also know Venus will be in command of the point for any weak or short first serve.

hingisGOAT
Mar 21st, 2010, 06:20 PM
Venus takes such an agressive location when returning serve. She's giving away some points if the opponent makes a real good first serve, but where she stands, the opponent also know Venus will be in command of the point for any weak or short first serve.

It's a total bluff -- she doesn't have the ball-striking capability on her forehand to dominate immediately, like her younger sister...

Gdsimmons
Mar 21st, 2010, 06:26 PM
Serena Jameka Williams

DOUBLEFIST
Mar 21st, 2010, 06:30 PM
Serena
ED
Venus/Clijsters
Sharapova

Stamp Paid
Mar 21st, 2010, 06:35 PM
Elena returns Serena's serve better than anyone I've ever seen.Capriati.

zhangxian22
Mar 21st, 2010, 06:54 PM
it's easy. Those top players with the weakest service game will be the best returners. Otherwise they have no way to survive.

brent-o
Mar 21st, 2010, 06:56 PM
when zheng is on, she is takes it sooo early that the harder you hit your serve, the more difficult your next shot will be

I agree! I love Zheng's return game. I remember she was pummeling Ana's serves when she upset her at Wimbledon (back when Ana was good...)

Arnian
Mar 21st, 2010, 06:56 PM
Justine I would probably say, she and Serena

The Dawntreader
Mar 21st, 2010, 07:01 PM
Hingis used to be the most efficient returner on tour.

Now that mantle has passed to Jankovic. Extraordinary ability to deflect pace and angle off serves and still have enough time to maintain her court positioning.

Serena has the most powerful returns, but not consistently enough. Her footwork and forehand are precarious at times.

LeRoy.
Mar 21st, 2010, 07:02 PM
Seles and Serena

Andrew Laeddis
Mar 21st, 2010, 07:05 PM
Peak Clijsters

Apoleb
Mar 21st, 2010, 07:09 PM
Serena has the most powerful returns, but not consistently enough. Her footwork and forehand are precarious at times.

They are not very consistent, but they are far more damaging than most returns. When she zones on them, you're done, cause you can't do much on the serve either. And that's what happened with poor Azarenka.

Serena's return was very important in the AO final, but I think it's interesting that she hasn't been able (yet) to give Justine's second serve the treatment that other second serves have received from her. Which imo is good argument why Justine's second is one of the best second serves in the game, even though it's quite predictable.

Dunlop1
Mar 21st, 2010, 07:10 PM
It's a total bluff -- she doesn't have the ball-striking capability on her forehand to dominate immediately, like her younger sister...

In total agreement.
Venus used to be an amazing returner, but that has long stopped being the case.
Now she steps in and often times just hits the ball right back to her opponent. There's nothing offensive about the shot other than her positioning.
In fact, in a lot of matches, she suffers for it.

I think in her case, it is a matter of comfort. She isn't comfortable returning way behind the baseline so she stays up close even though she isn't going to blast away at the return.

Anyway, for me, Elena is one of the most effective returners.
Serena has a great serve, so she has the luxury of swinging out on the return because she knows she can back it up with her serve, should she fail to break.
Elena on the other hand has the traits of a great returner. The compact Agassi-like swing with the short step forward to neutralise the big serves and restart the point.
JJ had this as well but is one of the things that has deserted her in her sucky stage.

sweetpeas
Mar 21st, 2010, 07:12 PM
Serena no doubt!

The Dawntreader
Mar 21st, 2010, 07:13 PM
They are not very consistent, but they are far more damaging than most returns. When she zones on them, you're done, cause you can't do much on the serve either. And that's what happened with poor Azarenka.

Serena's return was very important in the AO final, but I think it's interesting that she hasn't been able (yet) to give Justine's second serve the treatment that other second serves have received from her. Which imo is good argument why Justine's second is one of the best second serves in the game, even though it's quite predictable.

Well exactly. Just for the record, i would say Serena is the best clutch returner on serve, but through the whole passage of a match, her return can undulate.

Serena's return is far less damaging IMO than it was back in '02/03. Serena has incorporated a considerable ampunt of spin and security on her groundstrokes, so naturally this has followed on return.

kaktusino
Mar 21st, 2010, 08:02 PM
Serena, Elena, Jankovic.

KV
Mar 21st, 2010, 08:04 PM
Serena, Elena, Sharapova

DragonFlame
Mar 21st, 2010, 08:20 PM
Serena, Elena, Justine, Azarenka, Li. These are the quickest that come to my mind.

Sharapova is failing hard on the servicereturn right now, and i'm surprised people even mention venus? :confused: I'd say that's one of venus's worst area's along with the second serve.

VeeReeDavJCap81
Mar 21st, 2010, 08:36 PM
Serena, Elena, Justine, Azarenka, Li. These are the quickest that come to my mind.

Sharapova is failing hard on the servicereturn right now, and i'm surprised people even mention venus? :confused: I'd say that's one of venus's worst area's along with the second serve.

I think people mention Venus because she used to be a great returner and used to break her opponents seemingly at will. For the last few years however her return game has declined drastically.

serenafan08
Mar 21st, 2010, 10:16 PM
Venus has the most aggressive return position. As for the return itself she usually hits it into the middle of the court and plays out the point. Serena will go for the outright winner off the return, and usually makes them. If she's not hitting a winner she's hitting the ball deep to set up a short reply she can attack. Serena and Lindsay were the tour's best returners when they played, now it's Serena and Elena. I like Dementieva's return game.

SIN DIOS NI LEY
Mar 21st, 2010, 10:29 PM
Dementieva is good returning huge serves and bad returning weak serves (Radwanska . Jankovic )

:cuckoo:

Justin SW
Mar 21st, 2010, 11:04 PM
Serena and Zheng

Bobisa
Mar 21st, 2010, 11:12 PM
Serena and JJ!

AcesHigh
Mar 21st, 2010, 11:13 PM
In total agreement.
Venus used to be an amazing returner, but that has long stopped being the case.
Now she steps in and often times just hits the ball right back to her opponent. There's nothing offensive about the shot other than her positioning.
In fact, in a lot of matches, she suffers for it.

I think in her case, it is a matter of comfort. She isn't comfortable returning way behind the baseline so she stays up close even though she isn't going to blast away at the return.

Anyway, for me, Elena is one of the most effective returners.
Serena has a great serve, so she has the luxury of swinging out on the return because she knows she can back it up with her serve, should she fail to break.
Elena on the other hand has the traits of a great returner. The compact Agassi-like swing with the short step forward to neutralise the big serves and restart the point.
JJ had this as well but is one of the things that has deserted her in her sucky stage.

I agree. It's a shame what has happened with Venus's return game. She used to be able to destroy weaker servers and take the likes of Serena and Davenport(great servers) head on. I have no idea what has happened. If someone could explain, I'd really appreciate it.

Dementieva absolutely needed to be a great returner with that godawful serve of hers.

Other than the ones mentioned in this thread, I can't really think of other great returners. It seems to have become a lost art? I remember so many better returners in the late 90s and early 2000s.

hugo2004
Mar 21st, 2010, 11:28 PM
Michelle Larcher de Brito

SerenaSlam
Mar 21st, 2010, 11:45 PM
Elena returns Serena's serve better than anyone I've ever seen.

:rolleyes: and yet serena aced her over 20 times at wimbledon last year...def not too good in returning. thats 5 games worth of aces. :eek: :bounce:

SerenaSlam
Mar 21st, 2010, 11:50 PM
the point was after the return not being on defense to much after that return. consider that when speaking of these options. how often do we see serena running around returning serve let alone on serve? i laugh at some of these responses but hey everyone is entitled to their opinions. of active players id say serena and JJ.

capriati though used to piss me off playing serena. always did a good job returning her serves but sucked when it came to venus'

Ferg
Mar 21st, 2010, 11:51 PM
:rolleyes: and yet serena aced her over 20 times at wimbledon last year...def not too good in returning. thats 5 games worth of aces. :eek: :bounce:

Im sure if Serena played a 37 game match or whatever that was, she'd get 20 aces, especally serving like she was that day. You cant base anything on one match.

gc-spurs
Mar 21st, 2010, 11:54 PM
Serena, Elena, Justine, Azarenka, Li. These are the quickest that come to my mind.

Sharapova is failing hard on the servicereturn right now, and i'm surprised people even mention venus? :confused: I'd say that's one of venus's worst area's along with the second serve.

Where is Sharapova not failing hard?? :sobbing:

BuTtErFrEnA
Mar 22nd, 2010, 12:14 AM
serena, elena, hingis

denny5576
Mar 22nd, 2010, 01:50 AM
2009 RETURN GAMES WON - Nov 16, 2009
Pos Name % Match
1 AZARENKA , VICTORIA 49.5 60
2 SHARAPOVA , MARIA 48.6 40
3 DEMENTIEVA , ELENA 47.0 72
4 SAFINA , DINARA 46.5 71
5 BARTOLI , MARION 45.8 68
6 WOZNIACKI , CAROLINE 44.9 91
7 RADWANSKA , AGNIESZKA 43.8 67
8 PENNETTA , FLAVIA 43.2 75
9 PEER , SHAHAR 42.9 57
10 ERRANI , SARA 42.8 52

2009 POINTS WON RETURN FIRST SERVICE - Nov 16, 2009
Pos Name % Match
1 SAFINA , DINARA 43.1 71
2 DEMENTIEVA , ELENA 42.5 72
3 AZARENKA , VICTORIA 42.5 60
4 WOZNIACKI , CAROLINE 42.2 91
5 MEDINA GARRIGUES , ANA 41.5 59
6 SHARAPOVA , MARIA 41.4 40
7 GOVORTSOVA , OLGA 41.4 50
8 SUAREZ NAVARRO , CARLA 41.1 54
9 ERRANI , SARA 40.7 52
10 CORNET , ALIZE 40.7 44
2009 POINTS WON RETURN SECOND SERVICE - Nov 16, 2009
Pos Name % Match
1 AZARENKA , VICTORIA 62.1 60
2 BARTOLI , MARION 60.9 68
3 SHARAPOVA , MARIA 60.2 40
4 JANKOVIC , JELENA 59.5 61
5 BAMMER , SYBILLE 59.3 43
6 PENNETTA , FLAVIA 59.2 75
7 BACSINSZKY , TIMEA 59.1 27
8 RADWANSKA , AGNIESZKA 59.1 67
9 MIRZA , SANIA 58.9 30
10 REZAI , ARAVANE 58.7 45

As you can see Serena and Venus are out of the TOP 10 in the 3 tables. How could they be best returners?

Uranium
Mar 22nd, 2010, 01:57 AM
^Tainted by Serena playing like shit/not caring outside the Slams, Miami and YEC last year.

The Dawntreader
Mar 22nd, 2010, 02:03 AM
I agree. It's a shame what has happened with Venus's return game. She used to be able to destroy weaker servers and take the likes of Serena and Davenport(great servers) head on. I have no idea what has happened. If someone could explain, I'd really appreciate it.



I agree totally with what you and Dunlop have said. Venus's game has transitioned since late '08 from audacious shot-maker, to a controlled and more accurate ballstriker, rightly or wrongly. Such is this shit in approach, that it has leaked into her return game. Frankly, her serve is the only element in her game these days which is exclusively applied with great pace. Not that i'm against Venus playing with more control and margin, but the blend has to be sufficient to still stay true to her fundamental strengths. One of which is the return.

She is still adamantly aggressive with her positioning, but the eventuality has changed. Doesn't look at all to hit winners off the return, and rarely even tries to get the ball that deep. Venus surely believes when a rally is intiated, she's athletic and resilient enough to hold her own, but i'm not convinced. It was a hard sight seeing Venus just returning so mildly against Li Na at the AO, allowing her SO much time on the ball. I was watching a highlights reel of Venus vs Justine from the same tournament in '03. Back then hitting a second serve, or even a first serve carried great risk, such was her aggressive intent. Venus still has amazing racquet control and timing on return against huge serves (see vs Lisicki at Dubai this year), but she definitely isn't as proactive, so it's puzzling why she adopts such a imposing stance. Interestingly at Wimbledon last year (for the first time in an age), Venus was standing behind the baseline to return, but her returning was still fairly tame by her standards.

Venus Williams will always remain an enigma.

sasha&tennis
Mar 22nd, 2010, 02:16 AM
Venus, Serena & Dementieva

The reason I chose Venus first is because she is the only person that I have seen who hit 4 return winners in a row to win a game. I could not believe it, I was like you have got to be kidding. The lady served then :timebomb:in the corner, then she served again and :timebomb:in the other corner. She did that for the other 2 points as well. I think it was like 2 forehands and 2 backhands all instant winners, the lady did not even have time to move. The announcers had a field day with that game.

skanky~skanketta
Mar 22nd, 2010, 02:22 AM
:rolleyes: and yet serena aced her over 20 times at wimbledon last year...def not too good in returning. thats 5 games worth of aces. :eek: :bounce:Based on one match? :rolleyes:

If anything, despite Serena having a good serving day, she still got pushed so hard and had to face a matchpoint before finally closing it out. Which tells you a lot about Elena's return calibre.

And FYI, Agassi got aced a lot as well, but you cannot deny that he's probably the best returner to ever play the game.

denny5576
Mar 22nd, 2010, 02:27 AM
2008 Return Games Won
Pos. Player% Match

1 JANKOVIC, JELENA (SRB) 48.40% 80
2 DEMENTIEVA, ELENA (RUS) 48.10% 69
3 WOZNIACKI, CAROLINE (DEN) 47.60% 73
4 RADWANSKA, AGNIESZKA (POL) 46.90% 70
5 ERRANI, SARA (ITA) 46.60% 51
6 SHARAPOVA, MARIA (RUS) 46.10% 34
7 AZARENKA, VICTORIA (BLR) 46.00% 60
8 ZVONAREVA, VERA (RUS) 46.00% 80
9 ZAKOPALOVA, KLARA (CZE) 44.70% 42
10 WILLIAMS, SERENA (USA) 43.60% 50

2008 Points Won Returning 1st Serve
Pos. Player% Match

1 ERRANI, SARA (ITA) 43.10% 51
2 ZAKOPALOVA, KLARA (CZE) 42.30% 42
3 JANKOVIC, JELENA (SRB) 42.10% 80
4 SHARAPOVA, MARIA (RUS) 41.80% 34
5 DEMENTIEVA, ELENA (RUS) 41.80% 69
6 RADWANSKA, AGNIESZKA (POL) 41.60% 70
7 ZVONAREVA, VERA (RUS) 41.60% 80
8 CORNET, ALIZE (FRA) 41.50% 57
9 WOZNIACKI, CAROLINE (DEN) 41.40% 73
10 MAURESMO, AMELIE (FRA) 41.30% 49

2008 Points Won Returning 2nd Serve
Pos. Player% Match

1 AZARENKA, VICTORIA (BLR) 61.80% 60
2 DEMENTIEVA, ELENA (RUS) 60.90% 69
3 JANKOVIC, JELENA (SRB) 60.50% 80
4 SHARAPOVA, MARIA (RUS) 60.40% 34
5 RADWANSKA, AGNIESZKA (POL) 60.20% 70
6 PENG, SHUAI (CHN) 59.50% 48
7 WOZNIACKI, CAROLINE (DEN) 59.50% 73
8 ZVONAREVA, VERA (RUS) 59.00% 80
9 WILLIAMS, SERENA (USA) 58.80% 50
10 ARVIDSSON, SOFIA (SWE) 58.70% 32

Ryan
Mar 22nd, 2010, 02:30 AM
^Tainted by Serena playing like shit/not caring outside the Slams, Miami and YEC last year.



Not tainted. If she plays like shit thats her fault, not any of the other players - you can't say "this stat is tainted because player x played like shit most of the time". :spit:


Azarenka=best returner. :worship:

denny5576
Mar 22nd, 2010, 02:35 AM
Posted data for 2008 season as well. The data for 2008 and 2009 seasons clearly shows Serena and Venus are not best returners.

Dunlop1
Mar 22nd, 2010, 02:38 AM
Posted data for 2008 season as well. The data for 2008 and 2009 seasons clearly shows Serena and Venus are not best returners.

Serena is the best clutch returner e.g down set point.
Somehow she just finds another gear.
But overall, yes I agree she isn't the best returner. And Venus is not even close to being in the running.

Gdsimmons
Mar 22nd, 2010, 02:39 AM
Anyways, once again Serena Williams

Robert-KimClijst
Mar 22nd, 2010, 02:55 AM
It depends. Who has the most consistent return of serve? Who has the most offensive return of serve? Players like Serena, Venus, and Kim hit their returns with purpose; they're not looking to just get the ball back in play. Of course, they miss more, but their returns are also much more effective when in. Players like Elena and Jankovic I don't think hit their returns with necessarily as much convinction but they get themselves in the point more.

Jedna je Jelena
Mar 22nd, 2010, 02:59 AM
Elena and Jelena by far

Stamp Paid
Mar 22nd, 2010, 03:21 AM
Not tainted. If she plays like shit thats her fault, not any of the other players - you can't say "this stat is tainted because player x played like shit most of the time". :spit:
Yes we can, and we are.

http://i43.tinypic.com/33tt561.jpg

shap_half
Mar 22nd, 2010, 03:36 AM
I'd have to make a case for Justine Henin, who consistently plays so aggressively on her returns. She always goes for it, for better or for worse.

fantic
Mar 22nd, 2010, 03:45 AM
I was surprised Justine positioned herself so near to the service line against Serena at AO F :eek:

madlove
Mar 22nd, 2010, 03:45 AM
this generation not so much... but hingis was a great returner.

Serenita
Mar 22nd, 2010, 04:36 AM
Serena by far

Six Feet Under
Mar 22nd, 2010, 04:40 AM
Marion is definitely one of the best.
Its her signature shot :)

Caralenko
Mar 22nd, 2010, 05:34 AM
Elena returns Serena's serve better than anyone I've ever seen.

This is exactly what I was going to echo. She returns so well that it kind of makes up for her less than GOAT serving :sobbing:

Mrs. Dimitrova
Mar 22nd, 2010, 05:55 AM
Maria and Victoria.

Pops Maellard
Mar 22nd, 2010, 07:55 AM
It's funny so many people are saying Lena.

It's actually the players with weak serves, and especially second serves (JJ, Caro, Aga, etc.) that she has so much trouble beating. :weirdo:

bandabou
Mar 22nd, 2010, 08:19 AM
Serena's return comes and goes..but I'd say she's still the most FEARED returner on pressure moments. Sometimes you see the girls already thinking: oh oh, here comes the return winner...and then df's start to happen.

Qua clutchness, nobody beats Serena's return...ask Maria. ;)

Pops Maellard
Mar 22nd, 2010, 08:23 AM
Serena's return comes and goes..but I'd say she's still the most FEARED returner on pressure moments. Sometimes you see the girls already thinking: oh oh, here comes the return winner...and then df's start to happen.

Qua clutchness, nobody beats Serena's return...ask Maria. ;)
Yeah and Maria's serve was actually good back then as well. :sobbing: :lol:

Ntour
Mar 22nd, 2010, 09:19 AM
the fact that serena relies so heavily on her serve to get her through matches she isn't playing her best shows that she is not consistently the best returner.

bandabou
Mar 22nd, 2010, 09:43 AM
the fact that serena relies so heavily on her serve to get her through matches she isn't playing her best shows that she is not consistently the best returner.

Consistently no..she doesn't put as many returns in as she used to. But I think it's called pacing.
she KNOWS that if she serves well, she's gonna hold most of the time pretty easily...and it goes like this. till 3-3 not much happening, then she goes booom couple of returns in, break..and set is over.

CLUTCH returning, she's the best.

Golovinjured.
Mar 22nd, 2010, 09:52 AM
There's all the obvious ones, but also Zheng. She takes it so early. She'd return some of Sharapova's serves standing closer to the service line than the baseline. :eek:

Renalicious
Mar 22nd, 2010, 10:07 AM
Sharapova has always been mediocre at best returning good first serves.

When Serena or Venus or Ivanovic, et al have been on a serving groove while playing her, she has looked completely lost on return.

This. Sharapova is okay when returning 2nd serves but when it comes to great first serves, she's not all that.

Carotastrophe
Mar 22nd, 2010, 10:10 AM
Zheng Jie

burn
Mar 22nd, 2010, 10:29 AM
Masha, JuJu and Serena!

Hardiansf
Mar 22nd, 2010, 12:40 PM
Active player: Serena
Of all time: Steffi

matty
Mar 22nd, 2010, 04:58 PM
Serena.

SVK
Mar 22nd, 2010, 05:00 PM
Marion Bartoli actually

Cakeisgood
Mar 22nd, 2010, 07:49 PM
Nobody tops Monica.

ptitnavet
Mar 22nd, 2010, 08:21 PM
Serena and Dementieva.

Golovin was a good service returner too.

But of all time it's clearly Seles and Graf.

Craig.
Mar 22nd, 2010, 08:22 PM
Seles.

Agassi on the men's.

Pops Maellard
Mar 22nd, 2010, 09:02 PM
Again, why are people saying Dementieva when she has so much trouble beating JJ, Caro and Aga, all of whom have puffball serves, especially second?

Dodoboy.
Mar 22nd, 2010, 09:41 PM
Elena

*JR*
Mar 22nd, 2010, 11:09 PM
A useful stat here (though its never been kept so far as I know) is the % of winners hit by players when receiving, within the first (lets say 2, and separately 3) strokes. UE's don't say anything about "controlling the point" but a receiver with a good return ought to be in position for more winners on her second or third shot, a poor returner far fewer.

Re. Lena, there was also this Slam final she lost to another Russian not known for a strong serve... :tape:

Craig.
Mar 22nd, 2010, 11:13 PM
Again, why are people saying Dementieva when she has so much trouble beating JJ, Caro and Aga, all of whom have puffball serves, especially second?

Because a tennis match is not just about returning serves?

miffedmax
Mar 22nd, 2010, 11:24 PM
A useful stat here (though its never been kept so far as I know) is the % of winners hit by players when receiving, within the first (lets say 2, and separately 3) strokes. UE's don't say anything about "controlling the point" but a receiver with a good return ought to be in position for more winners on her second or third shot, a poor returner far fewer.

Re. Lena, there was also this Slam final she lost to another Russian not known for a strong serve... :tape:

No there wasn't.

The Dawntreader
Mar 22nd, 2010, 11:27 PM
No there wasn't.

Acceptance is the first stage to recovery Max:p

Zhao
Mar 23rd, 2010, 05:35 AM
Jenn Cap should be mentioned when it comes to who returns Serena's serves best :p

bhathiya9999
Mar 23rd, 2010, 10:38 AM
Non other than Serena.......

Yonexforever
Mar 23rd, 2010, 01:35 PM
Mary Pierce

Kworb
Mar 23rd, 2010, 01:37 PM
Zheng for sure.

Vikapower
Mar 23rd, 2010, 01:53 PM
Vika is a very consistent returner maybe not the most aggressive and Jie I must agree very hard to put her off-balance with the serve so much she taes it early... Then Dementieva and Jelena are not bad. Maria one of the best aggressive returner when in good mood.

BlameSerena
Mar 23rd, 2010, 01:59 PM
Serena's ros may not be the most consistent outside of slams, but I do think it is the most effective ros on the tour when she's on.

StephenUK
Mar 23rd, 2010, 02:58 PM
There can't be anything worse in tennis than having to hit a second serve at Serena Williams! No-one is so intimidating and aggressive on return when faced with a weak second serve. Serena is the true heir of Seles on this point.

But Serena sometimes lacks consistency on her return, it must be said.

Elena Dementieva is a great returner also, though with her I think it is more about neutralising the server's advantage once a rally starts - she has had to be, given the problems she has had historically with her own serve!