Federer: "they have slowed down everything [indoors & grass] "
Some interesting points after Melzer's match. I've seen these same points many times on this very board so I thought it would be interesting to post them again, coming from someone as important as Federer this time.
Q. How have slower courts and the heavier tennis balls contributed to the decline of the serve‑and‑volley game in your estimation?
ROGER FEDERER: It's tough to say. I obviously came here in the year when I played Sampras, let's say, I was serve and volleying 80% of the first serve, 50% on the second serve.
I remember once speaking to Wayne Ferreira who I was playing doubles with that year actually. He said he used to serve and volley always first serve, 50% of the second serve. And towards the end of his career at Wimbledon, he used to serve and volley 50% of his first serve and not anymore on his second serve.
You wonder, how in the world has that happened? Have we become such incredible return players or can we not volley anymore or is it just a combination of slower balls, slower courts?
I think it's definitely a bit of a combination of many things. If I look back, I think we definitely had many more great volley players in the game back then. When you do have that, you are forced to move in, as well, because you don't want to hit passing shots against a great volleyer over and over again. But because we don't have that as much anymore, everybody's content staying at the baseline.
A bit unfortunate, I think, because I love guys moving in, like a Melzer match today who throws in the occasional serve and volley. You have to throw in great passing shots. It's unfortunate for the games. Unfortunately, they've slowed down everything, indoors, grass. Everything has become so slow, I think that is a bit of a pity.
Q. What have you missed by having that contrast like Sampras and Agassi?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I used to, thank God, still play in that era where I played against serve‑and‑volley players, chip‑and‑charge guys. It was a completely different game plan. Mindset you felt pressure the whole match because you knew it doesn't matter what surface on a couple of shots here and there. You don't get that feeling anymore as much.