Originally Posted by Sir Stefwhit
I'm not comfortable with people saying "serving has gone down" in years. I started watching tennis in the late 80s and I find it mind-boggling that such a statement can be said with a straight face- and it's not just you I've been hearing tons of people say that. Lets put aside technology for now because BJK, Court, and Navratilova all had top notch serves in their time. The simple truth was that for most women back in the day all the way up till the late 90s, the serve was simply a means to get the point started.
The players didn't have the mindset of winning the point from the very first shot, if anything serve and volleyers would serve out wide then rush the net to put the shot away to the open court. At its best, the serve used to be part of a 'one-two combo', it generally wasn't thought of or used as a weapon right out of the gates.
When the technology changed and players started being more aggressive on the returns it forced players to take more chances on their first serve. So it was almost out of necessity that players had to beef up their serves. I think we see more double faults now of days because of the pressure that returners put on servers. If players could simply spin it in with no worries of an opponent crushing the return they could all be as consistent and non-effective as the women used to be back in the old days.
You do make a great point that women don't take the time and attention to fully develop their serves when they get started and I won't argue that in general the women can do a much better job in that department because they are definitely lacking. I just make the argument that they aren't lacking compared to past players- they're just lacking overall....does that make any sense?
yup, serving in general hit a peak in the 90s and early 00s and gone down after that because of changing priorities in tennis......past players were more renowned for finesse skills like their volleying, slicing, drop shots etc......
before 80s, serving was a mere formality of putting the ball in the opposite box......