View Full Version : Which is More Important: Serve or Return of Serve?

Cybelle Darkholme
Mar 23rd, 2003, 07:41 PM
MJ brought up an interesting point. Is the serve or return of serve the better shot to have?

There are very few women with a great serve and fewer still with a great second serve. Serena williams has both, Iroda, lindsay, venus, kim, daniela all have good strong serves while on the other hand the return of serve is infamous on the women's side. so which is better?

Mar 23rd, 2003, 07:51 PM
is Agassi the better play or is Sampress the beter player?

well, it's hard to say, but they win Slams
or dominate Slams on different surfaces,
so i guess it depends on the surface,

but on WTA, the surface is less of a factor,
so serve becomes more important than return,
so i say it's the serve......

Venus Forever
Mar 23rd, 2003, 08:09 PM
The serve is the first advantage you can get in the point. It sets up the entire point. You hit nice and deep and fast, advantage server. If you hit it slow, and short, advantage returner. Most times it is what decides the point.

Even if you have a GREAT return, but the opponent has a GREAT serve, the server normally wins, as in the case of Sampras / Agassi.

Conclusion: Serve

Mar 23rd, 2003, 08:30 PM
The Serve - A No-brainer

Mar 23rd, 2003, 08:39 PM
The Serve - An ABSOLUTE No-Brainer. :)

Mar 23rd, 2003, 08:43 PM
serve is more important
andy can't return at all and he is still in the top 10;)

Mar 23rd, 2003, 08:49 PM
i guess you could look at it in 2 ways. 1) if you have the serve then you should be able to hold serve and 2) you need the return of serve to break them so you can win. i'd say return of serve is more important to be a top player.

to put it this way you don't need a brilliant serve (you just need a mediocore one) to hold serve. but if you aren't good at return of serve then it is almost a given that your on the beck foot straight away when you are recieving. how are you supposed to break them? sure if you have a good serve you can take everyone to tie breaks but you still need to get a mini-break to win the set so i'd say that return of serve is more important.

Mar 23rd, 2003, 08:53 PM
Serve for sure.

Mar 23rd, 2003, 08:58 PM
I really can't say. Remember that pre-stabbing, Seles had a pretty mediocre serve and it was her return which took her to the top of women's tennis. Steffi was the better server in their rivalry, but Monica was the better returner. Monica won 3 of the 4 major finals they played.

Return of serve, I'd say.

I'm still undecided though!

Mar 23rd, 2003, 09:10 PM
for the men's game, i'd say the serve.

for the women's i vote for the return-of-serve.

Mar 23rd, 2003, 09:10 PM
i think the return of serve. i mean look at it, if you suck big time at serving then what are you gonna do. if you suck at returning then you have to be a damn good server. for instance lets say there's 2 players, one good at serving and bad at returning, the other the total opposite. well the one who returns good has a better chance of breaking than the one with the bad return. i seriously have no clue, but i would rather have an amazing return and an ok serve, IMO.

Mar 23rd, 2003, 09:20 PM
If you suck at either you're going to be screwed no matter what... bad at serving = always broken. bad at returning = never breaking yourself.

I'd rather have the security on my own serve. I think serving is a much more high pressure thing than returning, so IMHO if you've got the serve sorted, you're closer to tennis nirvana than if ur return is sorted.

Mar 23rd, 2003, 09:23 PM
Well it depends how you look at it.

If you have an awesome serve but a crappy return....you'll hold serve every time and can't break worth shit. You need that one break to win the set.

If you have a fantastic return but a shitty serve...you'll break every time but can't hold to save your life. You'll need that one hold to win the set.

So it's equal in that way. But still, it turns out that you don't need that great of a serve to hold serve in general..especially in men's tennis. The serve is an added initiative.

As such, in the end I'd have to go with: SERVE

The server gets to pick where and how to start the first point. The returner, as a great as he/she may be has to always react to the serve and is at the server's whim.

Mar 24th, 2003, 03:03 AM
The serve is nearly always an attacking shot.

The return is generally defensive. Think of the shock when someone makes a winner off the return. It's so rare.

A really good server can dominate and win their serve-games easily, saving energy for the opponent's serve game. Then, even if they aren't that great a returner, they can wait for their opponent to mess up on serve - and get the break. Holding easily is also a great psychological advantage.

The poor server/good returner, on the other hand, always has to fight for her service games, using a lot of valuable energy. And against a really good server, even the best returners flounder.

Mar 24th, 2003, 03:08 AM
they are basically just as important as each other. there are aspects of a great serve that can make things easier but there are also aspects of a good return of serve that can make things easier.

when it all comes down to it i think it is the individuals decision because someone might hate serving and love to receive while another person maky like the opposite and these different attidudes change the way each player plays in both their receiving and serving games.

Mateo Mathieu
Mar 24th, 2003, 03:15 AM
Serve, of course! It help you win more games if you're very good at serve so, you will win a match. If you can't hit at serve and it would difficult to win a match.

Mar 24th, 2003, 03:17 AM
This is a debatible topic (Agassi/Sampras) .

Sampras has more slams, but he has 0 finals at Roland Garros. So who is more complete?

Getting back to this one. I think is a better weapon to have a booming serve than a great return, because there are some serves that are unreachable, so you can`t use your return in the way the serve can be hit by the server. Plus winning your service games with good serves (eg: short points) give you a better chance on the returning games. Not even having a great return, just winning your serve with ease puts a lot pressure.

Mar 24th, 2003, 03:27 AM
The Serve here is obvious the most improtant, if you can't get a damn serve it, why worry about you return of serve, knowing you will be broken? it will put so much pressure and worry on your return of serve, unless its excellent, you will be worrying. But that is the thing, if you have no serve, you rely on your returns. With that said the serve obviosly is most important, if its good, your don't have to worry to much about the return. But I say if you are an upcoming player, you should really look into watching Serena Williams. Not onlly does she have the best serve on tour right now, she has the best return. If your first or second serves aren't placed well w/ her, you will be trounced. Yes First or Second. Watching all of Serena's Matches against Venus since the French. Serena improved on her return of service against Venus every single match. Some times venus would blast 115 down the middle, and serena would crack the hell out the ball, put venus right on the defense. She has the best return. She has the best serve. She is the best. But venus is not far behind.

Mar 24th, 2003, 03:29 AM
individual we are obviously going to have our own preference. take me for example. i have a big serve but return game isn't all that it could be (although it is getting better). see i'm already set with the good serve so i'm going to say that a good return of serve is more important because i'm have trouble with it. it really comes down to the individuals game and the level they are at. at the top level where players are mentally tough then it would be better to have a good serve because due to their mental toughness they are going to be harder to break.