Roger Federer (*81 / SUI), who might eventually be the best tennis player of all time, has a lot of great assets in his fantastic game. Service is then one of the greatest among them. With his body size of 185 cm (6’1”), Roger can’t compete with the “Goliaths” like Karlovic, Isner or Raonic, but when compared to the other most dominant players of his era, he comes in most statistics on the top.
Roger’s service was always very good, but after improving some aspects in the Spring of 2009, it became even more dominant and got still a bit better margin. When comparing Roger to Andy Murray (his service is documented in another block on this website), Roger’s service has more pronounced pronation and he spends a higher percentage of the service energy on the dominant (=right) side of the body than Andy. Over his entire career on the tour (data until mid-January 2017), Federer has the 1st service percentage of 62% (Murray 58%, Djokovic 65%, Nadal 69%) on which he won 77% of the points (Murray 75%, Djokovic 73%, Nadal 72%). He also won 57% of points on his 2nd service (Murray 52%, Djokovic 55%, Nadal 57%). In total Federer won 69% of his overall service points (Murray 65%, Djokovic 67%, Nadal 67%). Federer’s ace probability per game is 60% (Murray 55%, Djokovic 44%, Nadal 27%, Raonic 113%, Isner 122%, Karlovic 142%) and his double fault probability per game is 15% (Murray 20%, Djokovic 18%, Nadal 13%). Also on the saving of the break-points is Federer slightly ahead with his 67% success quote (Murray 63%, Djokovic 66%, Nadal 66%). Pete Sampras has probably not his entire career documented in the statistics available (early years must be missing) but for comparison, his 1st service percentage is 59% of which he won 81% of the points, he also won 58% of the second services. Pete won 69% of his overall service points (same like Roger), had an ace probability of 83%, double fault probability of 28% and saved 68% of the breakpoints.
Photos below are from the 2014 US.Open, where Roger lost in semifinals to the eventual winner Marin Cilic (CRO), and also from the 2007 US.Open, which Roger won as well as from 2009 when he lost to Juan Martin Del Potro (ARG) in the finals. Besides other elements, the essential aspect is the well controlled targeted pronation after the impact in the first part of the follow through, which I call the follow through 1:
This is just a partial analysis where not all of the aspects are covered. More detailed photos and in-depth information are available upon request at drmgb11(at)gmail.com
Photos (August 2007, 2009, 2014) & text (February 2017) copyright by Dr. Martin G. Baroch