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Serve-and-Volley, Anyone?

angiel
04-20-2007, 05:50 PM
Serve-and-Volley, Anyone?

Once the dominant style in tennis, rushing the net is now a vanishing art

by Andrew Clark
photomontage by Frank Weidenfelder
Published in the October 2006 issue

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It is difficult to describe the serenity one attains from striking a tennis ball with authority. Gravity, geometry, and all the forces of nature collaborate, and the fuzzy yellow orb spins as it should. Intent becomes action, and action becomes reality. That is the high. For some, tennis is a hobby; for others, it is a compulsion. For the most stricken, like me, it is a religion that, like Buddhism, allows devotees to transcend time and space and glean insight into the true nature of existence. The most fanatical of us are known as “serve-and-volleyers.” Too impatient to sit at the baseline waiting for enlightenment, we seek purity by serving big and rushing the net, hoping for an easy volley. Success often feels like equal parts hard work and good karma.

“It seems risky, but serve-and-volleying is the opposite of gambling, if you know what you’re doing,” twenty-seven-year-old Matt Klinger, a professional player and former member of Canada’s Davis Cup team, tells me as we stand on a court under the midday heat. “As a serve-and-volleyer, you’re putting all your cards on the table. You’re saying, ‘I’m coming in and if you can pass me consistently, you’ll win. If not, you’re finished.’?” For five months, Klinger has been working with me to polish my net-rushing game. When you follow your serve to the net, you force the player opposite you to make a difficult passing shot. The objective is to set up a volley — a shot in which you return the ball before it touches the ground — that will either be an outright winner or set up an easy finishing volley. While it sounds simple, volleying is an immensely difficult feat that requires lightning agility, intense concentration, and instinctive hand-eye coordination. Tennis is a game of time: you must take time away from your opponent. If you succeed, your adversary will make more mistakes, and you will hit more winners. “Serve-and-volley can be unbelievably tough to play against,” says Dean Coburn, the Tennis Canada coach who works with Peter Polansky, one of the country’s top male prospects. “They just keep coming. It is demoralizing. Of course, in order to serve-and-volley well, you have to be mentally tough. Resilient. You have to have a ‘next’ mentality, a belief that your opponent is going to break down at some time under the pressure.”

The strategy was the dominant style of play in men’s tennis from the fifties through the seventies (but was not fully embraced on the women’s side until the sixties). As recently as ten years ago, serve-and-volley was still fairly prevalent; the average men’s tennis rally was said to last three strokes. “Pistol” Pete Sampras won fourteen Grand Slam titles charging relentlessly forward, applying pressure, driving himself into his opponents’ psyches, crushing their hopes.

Yet today, the art of serve-and-volley is on the verge of becoming a relic, atrick to be employed once in a while to keep an opponent off balance. “In college tennis,” says Coburn, “a lot of top players believe in serve-and-volley, but few guys on the professionaltour are doing it.” In fact, you’ll find only a handful of pure serve-and-volleyers among the top one hundred players on the men’s Association of Tennis Professionals (atp) tour. In coaching circles, there is a drift away from cultivating the idiosyncratic genius of serve-and-volley players such as John McEnroe, Stefan Edberg, and Patrick Rafter, and toward fostering the overwhelming efficiency and consistency of Spanish phenomenon Rafael Nadal, or the versatility of today’s dominant player, Swiss right-hander Roger Federer, who is happy to pack a lunch and camp out at the baseline. “Ten years ago there were a lot more serve-and-volleyers. No one now is going to come in,” a defiant Sampras, who still plays the occasional game on the World Team Tennis tour, told reporters during Wimbledon in 2006. “I will die serving and volleying. It’s my natural instinct.”

The demise of the serve-and-volley style of tennis could be dismissed as a curious sports footnote were it not for the game’s resonance. Tennis is a barometer of modern culture. When things are on the boil, tennis is on the boom. It has experienced two explosions in popularity, both during periods of social upheaval. The first occurred during the tumultuous twenties, while the latter began in the wake of the Summer of Love and culminated in the early eighties. Throughout these eras, the classic struggle — whether it was Tilden versus Borotra in the late twenties or Borg versus McEnroe in 1980 — always pitted a wily, rock-solid baseliner against a slashing serve-and-volley virtuoso. In essence, it was steady nineteenth-century values (baseline) against streamlined, unsentimental modernism (serve-and-volley). The net rushers were the barbarians at the gate, throwing up skyscrapers, dreaming in Bauhaus, and stomping pastel landscapes.

“Most serve-and-volleyers are wild men,” Klinger tells me during a drill. “It’s like they say, ‘Your game has to reflect your personality.’?”

“But I’m not a wild man.”

“But you were, man, you’ve just got a family now and shit. But inside you’re still fucking crazy. You’ve got to be a little crazy to come to the net, man. If you weren’t crazy, you wouldn’t like it so much. You wouldn’t want to be up there daring people to rip one by you.”

This screw-loose, wild-man-within theory is what led my editor to assign this story. “I want you to bring yourself into it,” he tells me over the phone as we discuss the piece.

I steer the discussion to history. “I can bring it back to the sixteenth century. There are poems extolling the virtues of coming to the net.” I quote sixteenth-century French poet Guillaume de la Perrière: “?‘Whoever prefers the bounce to the volley has never been considered a good player...’”

“Yeah,” he says, interrupting. “That’s great, but I want to know, I mean it’s odd, don’t you think...” I hear him draw a breath, choosing words. “Don’t you think it’s odd that you prefer this hyper-aggressive style of play?”

“I guess.”

“Well, I find it strange. You don’t exactly try to dominate conversations.”

“I guess not,” I say, proving his point.

Out on the court, I am hitting serves while Klinger, who stands beside a basket of balls, lets them go by and hits mock-return shots that I must volley and follow in. It is thirty-seven degrees Celsius and sweat is pouring off me. On the courts next to us, players look at me as if I were an exhibit at the zoo. I am the only serve-and-volleyer at my club. It was always in my nature to “come to net,” as they say. As a kid, I would watch McEnroe play Borg, then head out, wooden Dunlop Maxply in hand, and stand in front of a school wall volleying like Johnny Mac. The goal was to hit the ball as many times as possible without letting it hit the ground.

But McEnroe was not the prototype. Jean Borotra (“the Bounding Basque”) was the first truly world-famous serve-and-volleyer, one of France’s “Four Musketeers,” who dominated tennis in the late twenties and early thirties. Borotra started playing while serving in the French army and developed a style in which, according to tennis histor-ian Arthur Voss, “he sought [the net] at every opportunity.” Borotra was followed by Pancho Gonzalez, who grew up playing on the concrete courts of South Central Los Angeles and was never embraced by the wasp tennis establishment. A loner with an explosive temper who only grew more effective when angry, Gonzalez played a serve-and-volley game so devastating that tournament organizers briefly changed the rules in order to prevent him from coming to the net immediately after serving. Legendary Australian player Rod “the Rocket” Laver, though skilled from the backcourt, came in incessantly and won all four of the major singles titles (Wimbledon and the Australian, French, and US Opens) twice each, becoming the only double Grand Slammer in the history of the game. Laver’s style inspired the generation of great serve-and-volley players led by McEnroe, Edberg, and Boris Becker.

Starting in the midseventies, however, technological advances and the popularization of tennis set the stage for the demise of the serve-and-volley ethos. In 1976, Howard Head, an engineer with the sporting goods–manufacturer Prince, introduced an oversized metal tennis racquet with almost sixty-five more square centimetres of hitting surface than the standard wooden racquet of the day. At first, pros laughed at it, dubbing it the “flyswatter,” but club players embraced it. Prince’s sales rose from $3 million in 1976 to $60 million in 1982. The metal racquet was soon replaced by the stronger and lighter “graphite” racquet, made from carbon and other materials, which also sported a large face. The bigger sweet spot on these new racquets made it possible to hit with more force, and the result was a crop of players who had one or two main weapons, such as a big serve and a killer forehand. In the late eighties, players such as Michael Chang were using the bigger racquet to add topspin, playing high-percentage tennis (involving, for instance, hitting cross-court over the low part of the net). This made it easier for baseliners to pass serve-and-volleyers as they charged forward.

Tennis courts have changed, too. Originally, tennis was played indoors, on hardwood floors, but in 1873, in an attempt to make the sport more accessible, an English army officer patented “lawn tennis.” Similarly, in the seventies, as the sport became more popular in North America, hard courts made of asphalt and concrete, which were easier and cheaper to maintain than grass, began to take over. Professional tennis reflected this shift. In 1974, three of the four Grand Slams were played on grass, which favours the serve-and-volleyer. Today, Wimbledon is the only major tourney played on turf. Both the US Open and Australian Open are played on hard courts, the French Open on snail-slow red clay. In recent years, tournament organizers have taken steps to slow down their courts even further and are experimenting with slower balls in an attempt to eliminate the big-serve game and encourage longer ral-lies, which spectators are said to prefer.

Dean Coburn believes that while the serve-and-volley strategy will not live on as a single-minded way of life, it will survive as a facet of the game. He sees a shift to the all-court mastery perfected by Federer. “You’ll see eight or nine guys trying to play like Roger. The philosophy is to try and dictate, but to be able to do it in a different way each point,” says Coburn.

In other words, a pragmatic, flexible approach for a pragmatic, flexible era. Today there are three main types of player: the grinder (Nadal), who hits everything back with heavy topspin, the aggressive baseliner (Agassi), who takes the ball as it rises from its bounce and looks to control play, and the all-court player (Federer), who can stay at the baseline but is comfortable making the occasional foray to the net. But something has been lost with the decline of the serve-and-volley game?—?honesty, perhaps. The pure serve-and-volleyer wasn’t hiding anything. He was coming in. He was going to apply pressure.


At home after my lesson, I go down to the basement and dig up my private stash of videotapes. These are old matches: Connors versus Krickstein, Agassi versus Sampras. I find the tape I am looking for and put it in the vcr. It is Sampras versus Australian serve-and-volley guru Rafter in the 1998 US Open in New York City. There is Rafter, whose brother had acquainted him with Buddhist teachings, sunscreen on his face like war paint, serve-and-volleying the king off the court. I was actually in New York for the match but had it taped so that I could watch it again later. I can still recall the look of absolute concentration on Rafter’s face. “I’ve just got to knuckle down and play my game,” he tells the announcers before play begins. “And if he can beat me at my game, well, I’ve just got to take my hat off to him.” Rafter, who was so poor early in his career that he once slept in an atm lobby, wins in five sets: 6-7, 6-4, 2-6, 6-4, 6-3. He went on to win the championship a few days later, donating all the prize money to a foundation for terminally ill children, proving that nice guys finish...at the net.


Andrew Clark is a contributing editor for The Walrus.

marcRD
04-20-2007, 06:13 PM
That is a great article. I miss serve and volley, I wonder if it is not raquets more than slower courts which doesnt allow serve and volley. I mean there are many bigservers who still can survive out there, they just dont dare to come to the net.

tangerine_dream
04-20-2007, 06:19 PM
Ho hum, de dum. More dinosaurs whining about a "vanishing art" when it's not vanishing at all. If anything, there's been a resurgence lately by many players who are trying to improve their skills at the net and add a new dimension to their game. In some players' cases, learning to s/v has become a necessity, re: Federer in his bid to defeat Nadal on clay.

Everything old is new again. Serve and volley will never completely disappear but it will probably never be as popular as it was during the wooden racket era.

MisterQ
04-20-2007, 07:09 PM
Ho hum, de dum. More dinosaurs whining about a "vanishing art" when it's not vanishing at all. If anything, there's been a resurgence lately by many players who are trying to improve their skills at the net and add a new dimension to their game. In some players' cases, learning to s/v has become a necessity, re: Federer in his bid to defeat Nadal on clay.

Everything old is new again. Serve and volley will never completely disappear but it will probably never be as popular as it was during the wooden racket era.

I have to agree... circa 2002 this felt more relevant than it does now. There's more and more understanding of the value of closing in on the net.

But actual serve and volley, however (as opposed to net play within points), is still quite infrequent, it's true.

Metis
04-20-2007, 07:11 PM
Even Nadal served and volleyed off a 2nd serve today :lol:.

sykotique
04-20-2007, 07:15 PM
Serve-and-volley still exists, but whereas it was a style of play in and of itself, it has become more of a tactic.

angiel
04-21-2007, 06:19 PM
Serve-and-volley still exists, but whereas it was a style of play in and of itself, it has become more of a tactic.


Do you know that the serve is the most important stroke.:eek: :eek:

m9m9m9m9m9
04-21-2007, 06:26 PM
Is there any players still play strictly serve-and volley ?(like Edberg, Rafter)
:confused:

sykotique
04-21-2007, 06:35 PM
Do you know that the serve is the most important stroke.:eek: :eek:

Well, umm...if you can't serve...then obviously you can't even start the point...which means you can't win.

So, yes. Thank you for the revelation that the serve is in fact the most important stroke. Would never have guessed.

stebs
04-21-2007, 06:48 PM
Tennis is coming toward a place where it is the msot varied it has ever been. Although it now provides a refreshing feeling of nostalgia watching S&Vers lock horns is actually very dull 99% of the time. In form Rafter vs Sampras is obviously an awesome match up and there are others like this but much of the time the rallies are limited to 1 stroke too much of the time for it to be intruiging. The modern style of agressive baseliners who are gradually learning to come to the net at the right time is great so long as the trend continues.

The premise behind the article is fine, serve and volley is nice and having a couple of top players doing it more often would be great but the actual substance of the article is 99% BS as far as I am concerned. I really don't get the impression that the writer is in the know about tennis. What does a sixteenthy century French Poet know about modern day tennis that makes him such a great source to reference?

GlennMirnyi
04-21-2007, 07:04 PM
Ho hum, de dum. More dinosaurs whining about a "vanishing art" when it's not vanishing at all. If anything, there's been a resurgence lately by many players who are trying to improve their skills at the net and add a new dimension to their game. In some players' cases, learning to s/v has become a necessity, re: Federer in his bid to defeat Nadal on clay.

Everything old is new again. Serve and volley will never completely disappear but it will probably never be as popular as it was during the wooden racket era.

Such amount of :bs: could only come from a Roddicktard. :rolleyes: Maybe because if S&V was in vogue right now Roddick wouldn't even be a top 50.

Is there any players still play strictly serve-and volley ?(like Edberg, Rafter)
:confused:

:cuckoo: look at my avatar.

Tennis is coming toward a place where it is the msot varied it has ever been. Although it now provides a refreshing feeling of nostalgia watching S&Vers lock horns is actually very dull 99% of the time. In form Rafter vs Sampras is obviously an awesome match up and there are others like this but much of the time the rallies are limited to 1 stroke too much of the time for it to be intruiging. The modern style of agressive baseliners who are gradually learning to come to the net at the right time is great so long as the trend continues.

The premise behind the article is fine, serve and volley is nice and having a couple of top players doing it more often would be great but the actual substance of the article is 99% BS as far as I am concerned. I really don't get the impression that the writer is in the know about tennis. What does a sixteenthy century French Poet know about modern day tennis that makes him such a great source to reference?

Varied? You're kidding me. Today 99% of the players are baseliners and like 3% can volley.

angiel
04-21-2007, 07:44 PM
Tennis is coming toward a place where it is the msot varied it has ever been. Although it now provides a refreshing feeling of nostalgia watching S&Vers lock horns is actually very dull 99% of the time. In form Rafter vs Sampras is obviously an awesome match up and there are others like this but much of the time the rallies are limited to 1 stroke too much of the time for it to be intruiging. The modern style of agressive baseliners who are gradually learning to come to the net at the right time is great so long as the trend continues.

The premise behind the article is fine, serve and volley is nice and having a couple of top players doing it more often would be great but the actual substance of the article is 99% BS as far as I am concerned. I really don't get the impression that the writer is in the know about tennis. What does a sixteenthy century French Poet know about modern day tennis that makes him such a great source to reference?


You know for someone who think they know tennis you are really a blind person and then you say the author of the article dont know what he is talking about, neither do you my friend, tennis is at it's most varied you say, which planet are you living on??:o : not Mars I hope, if tennis is at it's most varied today as you claim, I wonder why there are only baseliners in the game today, for your information everybody plays the same my friend, but guess what, you can't see that i guess, no???:mad: :mad: :sad:

stebs
04-21-2007, 07:46 PM
Varied? You're kidding me. Today 99% of the players are baseliners and like 3% can volley.

There is no debating to be done here. You misunderstood, the upcoming generation of tennis players can mostly volley okay:

Murray isn't awful, same for Djokovic, Berdych and Gasquet.

The point is, even if the volleying is nothing compared to what it has been in the past which is true. There are coming to be more players attempting to volley which can only be a good thing and I expect the next few years will show an uprise in the volleying ability of the top young players as well as thows who will burst onto the scene in half a decade or so.

MisterQ
04-21-2007, 07:50 PM
for your information everybody plays the same my friend, but guess what, you can't see that i guess, no???:mad: :mad: :sad:

You're telling us that players as disparate as Djokovic, Federer, Nadal, Gasquet, Baghdatis, Nalbandian, Roddick, Berdych, and Murray play the same way?

stebs
04-21-2007, 07:51 PM
You know for someone who think they know tennis you are really a blind person and then you say the author of the article dont know what he is talking about, neither do you my friend, tennis is at it's most varied you say, which planet are you living on??:o : not Mars I hope, if tennis is at it's most varied today as you claim, I wonder why there are only baseliners in the game today, for your information everybody plays the same my friend, but guess what, you can't see that i guess, no???:mad: :mad: :sad:

You say I am the blind one but you are the one who didn't see my post. Tennis is coming toward a place where it will be at it's most varied. That is the case and if you think different okay but the signs are clear. I do not mean in a month or two but down the line in a decade or so I think that will be the case.

You cannot take people disagreeing with you angiel and so I suggest that if it makes you so upset you stop reading and posting in GM.

If everybody plays the same then why does the top 5 contain one all rounder, one defensive grinder, one big server, one counterpunching baseliner and one big hitter?

GlennMirnyi
04-21-2007, 07:51 PM
There is no debating to be done here. You misunderstood, the upcoming generation of tennis players can mostly volley okay:

Murray isn't awful, same for Djokovic, Berdych and Gasquet.

The point is, even if the volleying is nothing compared to what it has been in the past which is true. There are coming to be more players attempting to volley which can only be a good thing and I expect the next few years will show an uprise in the volleying ability of the top young players as well as thows who will burst onto the scene in half a decade or so.

None of them has any the firm wrist it takes to be a good volleyer. Djokovic's BH volleys are :tape: Berdych is insecure at the net and even though Gasquet and Murray are a little better, they don't have the instinct.

stebs
04-21-2007, 07:59 PM
None of them has any the firm wrist it takes to be a good volleyer. Djokovic's BH volleys are :tape: Berdych is insecure at the net and even though Gasquet and Murray are a little better, they don't have the instinct.

They aren't S&V players. I am not saying that we have a bunch of Edberg's and Rafter's on the way. I still stand by what I say, it will be more varied and better to watch. Pitching style vs. style is great but in the future it will be all rounder vs. all rounder.

GlennMirnyi
04-21-2007, 08:02 PM
They aren't S&V players. I am not saying that we have a bunch of Edberg's and Rafter's on the way. I still stand by what I say, it will be more varied and better to watch. Pitching style vs. style is great but in the future it will be all rounder vs. all rounder.

A very dark future indeed.

stebs
04-21-2007, 08:04 PM
A very dark future indeed.

Why do you think so? The thought of the top of the game pitching players who can do everything against one another is very appealing to me.

GlennMirnyi
04-21-2007, 08:11 PM
Why do you think so? The thought of the top of the game pitching players who can do everything against one another is very appealing to me.

Because the game doesn't exactly gives conditions to do everything anymore. It's too slow, and even the players who know how to play at the net prefer to stay behind the baseline. There's hardly any variety, as, opposed to the 90s, most courts are all of a medium speed. Take, for instance, a guy like Stepanek. Of course he goes to the net a lot, but he's most of the time at the baseline, even having sub-par groundstrokes. Gasquet maybe is the best volleyer of the new generation and he's usually 3-4 meters behind the baseline all the time. If being an all-rounder is staying a 90% of the time at the baseline and coming to the net only when the ball is good enough, then that is not a good sign.

On a personal note, style vs style is much more interesting than "medium at everything" vs "medium at everything".

stebs
04-21-2007, 08:19 PM
Because the game doesn't exactly gives conditions to do everything anymore. It's too slow, and even the players who know how to play at the net prefer to stay behind the baseline. There's hardly any variety, as, opposed to the 90s, most courts are all of a medium speed. Take, for instance, a guy like Stepanek. Of course he goes to the net a lot, but he's most of the time at the baseline, even having sub-par groundstrokes. Gasquet maybe is the best volleyer of the new generation and he's usually 3-4 meters behind the baseline all the time. If being an all-rounder is staying a 90% of the time at the baseline and coming to the net only when the ball is good enough, then that is not a good sign.

On a personal note, style vs style is much more interesting than "medium at everything" vs "medium at everything".

I think people need to watch what they are seeing a little more. Many points on the ATP tour end up with a player volleying at the net. Of course there aren't as many as some would like but your views on tennis are not defintively ideal for the tennis world (mine aren't either of course). I think the idea that all players just bash at the baseline has become a mantra which much of the time isn't actually true.

Also, to reply to the last sentance of your post. Of course I envisage players having strengths and weaknesses and their still being a lot of players who play one way. I just think more all rounders are coming through and that is great because it makes for great viewing to watch players who can defend, attack, serve and volley.

GlennMirnyi
04-21-2007, 08:22 PM
I think people need to watch what they are seeing a little more. Many points on the ATP tour end up with a player volleying at the net. Of course there aren't as many as some would like but your views on tennis are not defintively ideal for the tennis world (mine aren't either of course). I think the idea that all players just bash at the baseline has become a mantra which much of the time isn't actually true.

Also, to reply to the last sentance of your post. Of course I envisage players having strengths and weaknesses and their still being a lot of players who play one way. I just think more all rounders are coming through and that is great because it makes for great viewing to watch players who can defend, attack, serve and volley.

Mate, the fact is: volleying a floating, easy ball doesn't mean anything. Again, I watch tennis a lot and it's not like there are many players looking to finish points at the net more often than not. They go there usually when forced to after a baseline shot.

angiel
04-21-2007, 08:23 PM
You're telling us that players as disparate as Djokovic, Federer, Nadal, Gasquet, Baghdatis, Nalbandian, Roddick, Berdych, and Murray play the same way?


Dont they?? I watch them all play and i dont see any difference between them, do you?? they all play baseline tennis, no serve & volley, so yes that what I am telling you, go watch them play again and see for yourself.:wavey: :wavey:

stebs
04-21-2007, 08:27 PM
Mate, the fact is: volleying a floating, easy ball doesn't mean anything. Again, I watch tennis a lot and it's not like there are many players looking to finish points at the net more often than not. They go there usually when forced to after a baseline shot.

I suppose it does have to be accpeted that the players you hate, grinders and 'moonballers' do actually encourage volleying. Watch the Madrid match between Berdych and Nadal for instance and you get to watch Berdych, who is questionable at net, make some excellent clutch volleys against Nadal most of which are far more than taking a floating ball out of the air.

angiel
04-21-2007, 08:28 PM
You say I am the blind one but you are the one who didn't see my post. Tennis is coming toward a place where it will be at it's most varied. That is the case and if you think different okay but the signs are clear. I do not mean in a month or two but down the line in a decade or so I think that will be the case.

You cannot take people disagreeing with you angiel and so I suggest that if it makes you so upset you stop reading and posting in GM.

If everybody plays the same then why does the top 5 contain one all rounder, one defensive grinder, one big server, one counterpunching baseliner and one big hitter?


Chat all the nonsense you want stebs and you are talking nonsense, but tennis is not varied now and it is a fact.:rolleyes: :rolleyes: :eek: :sad:

GlennMirnyi
04-21-2007, 08:28 PM
I suppose it does have to be accpeted that the players you hate, grinders and 'moonballers' do actually encourage volleying. Watch the Madrid match between Berdych and Nadal for instance and you get to watch Berdych, who is questionable at net, make some excellent clutch volleys against Nadal most of which are far more than taking a floating ball out of the air.

All about confidence, in this case. How many volleys did he try today?

stebs
04-21-2007, 08:32 PM
All about confidence, in this case. How many volleys did he try today?

Wish I could've watched the match and be able to tell you.

In any case, Nadal on clay is not a place to come to the net off anything other than excellent approaches. In the Mathieu - Nadal match last year (arguably the highest quality of clay tennis in any match all year) what eventually did for Mathieu was his impatience. He came to the net too cheaply and his bad volleying didn't cost him anything because he couldn;t get his racquet to any of Nadal's passing shots.

stebs
04-21-2007, 08:33 PM
Chat all the nonsense you want stebs and you are talking nonsense, but tennis is not varied now and it is a fact.:rolleyes: :rolleyes: :eek: :sad:

No, it isn't. :lol:

Oh, and Djokovic, Federer, Nadal, Gasquet, Baghdatis, Nalbandian, Roddick, Berdych, and Murray don't play the same.

NYCtennisfan
04-21-2007, 08:40 PM
I love threads started by angiel, the ne plus ultra of tards....the ultra Sampratard. :lol: :eek: :eek: :eek: :wavey: :wavey: :wavey: ; ;

NYCtennisfan
04-21-2007, 08:41 PM
As for the topic at hand, players being taught at young ages at academies aren't learning to S and V because there have to be a lot of variables in your favor to be a successful S and V player.

-You have to be decently tall with a good reach.
-You have to have a very good 1st serve
-You have to be quick, especially coming to net (like Krajicek who was not a good mover side-to-side but was really quick to the net)
-You have to be more athletic than the average athlete in the top 50
-You have to have good hands
-You have to have good anticipation

Serving and vollehing on 1st serves is still possible today even with the new racquet technology and slower courts as long as you have a good serve. The problem is on the 2nd serve. Most serve and volleyers don't develop their games enough to be able to deal with 2nd serve points if they aren't coming to net because of the time and devotion it takes to become a serve and volleyr in the 1st place.

This is exactly the case with Federer. He realized that he was having difficulty winning 2nd serve points with regularity against good returners, essentially giving them the point on one or two strokes when he could work the point and use his superior overall game. That is why the BH had to improve because if you were going to rally, you needed a good BH.

You take young kids today and teach them to try and be overall players or a baseline player because you know it takes longer for a serve and voleyr to develop and that there is very little room for most S & V'ers to apply a plan B IF the serve is off. At least most baseliners don't have to rely that much on the 1st serve--this right here is a huge benefit of NOT serving and volleying. You're hedging your bets in a way.

Then you see what racquets, athletes and slower courts can do (better athletes and better racquets helping to slow down the courts as well). You have all sorts of players hitting winners from 6 inch bounces 2 feet behind the baseline. That's going to discourage anyone.

angiel
04-21-2007, 08:50 PM
No, it isn't. :lol:

Oh, and Djokovic, Federer, Nadal, Gasquet, Baghdatis, Nalbandian, Roddick, Berdych, and Murray don't play the same.


Dont they stebs, go watch them play again, and see you next week, we will chat then.:wavey: :D

angiel
04-21-2007, 08:50 PM
I love threads started by angiel, the ne plus ultra of tards....the ultra Sampratard. :lol: :eek: :eek: :eek: :wavey: :wavey: :wavey: ; ;

I love you too , see ya.:wavey:

MisterQ
04-21-2007, 08:57 PM
Dont they?? I watch them all play and i dont see any difference between them, do you?? they all play baseline tennis, no serve & volley, so yes that what I am telling you, go watch them play again and see for yourself.:wavey: :wavey:

I remember when I learned that there were more ice cream flavors than chocolate, vanilla and strawberry. What a joyous day that was. :drool:

Flibbertigibbet
04-21-2007, 09:04 PM
I remember when I learned that there were more ice cream flavors than chocolate, vanilla and strawberry. What a joyous day that was. :drool:

I recently had a black raspberry shake. Delicious! :drool:

GlennMirnyi
04-21-2007, 09:06 PM
I remember when I learned that there were more ice cream flavors than chocolate, vanilla and strawberry. What a joyous day that was. :drool:

Still, chocolate is 1000000x better. ;)

Jimnik
04-21-2007, 09:45 PM
We need Taylor Dent back. :lol:
And hopefully, the good Doctor Ivo will stay healthy.

Actually, I remember back to Wimbledon 2002, first round, Federer v Ancic, both players were serve-volleying. But since then, they've both retreated to playing behind the baseline. I guess that's just the way it is these days. :shrug:

CyBorg
04-21-2007, 09:57 PM
Nostalgic nonsense. Not to mention that similar articles like this have been written for years. A cut and paste job.

I like wood as well, but there were downsides to it - particularly on clay courts. That was ugly, boring tennis. I also much prefer tennis on hard courts the way it is today. The baseline rallies have a good pace to them.

The lost art is grass court tennis. Today it is ugly, ugly stuff with big servers like Roddick getting deep into tournaments with mediocre groundstrokes. Too bad.

D-man
04-21-2007, 10:05 PM
Pure S&V is fun to watch, but I've always thought that it's smarter to vary, because then you are not predictable.

BigAlbinoDonky
04-21-2007, 10:15 PM
I think the biggest mistake is making all the surfaces slower and more similar. What's the point of having all these different surfaces if you're gonna slow them all down? I think it'd be nice if different styled players had a better chance at certain tournaments, such as a S&Ver on grass and a grinder on clay. While the hardcourts are varied somewhere in between. Wasn't that the original intent anyway?

CyBorg
04-21-2007, 10:17 PM
I think the biggest mistake is making all the surfaces slower and more similar. What's the point of having all these different surfaces if you're gonna slow them all down? I think it'd be nice if different styled players had a better chance at certain tournaments, such as a S&Ver on grass and a grinder on clay. While the hardcourts are varied somewhere in between. Wasn't that the original intent anyway?

I don't think similarity is a problem. The problem is that we are seeing barely any tennis on grass and barely any tennis on carpet.

All it is today is hard and clay. Hard and clay every day.

I don't understand why there are so many indoor hard courts when there's perfectly good carpet that plays nice and fast.

Seneca
04-22-2007, 12:05 AM
Is it just me or the matches I've been watching or are we actually seeing a bit more net play now in MC than there was in IW / Miami?

I'm not too fond of dogmatic S&V but I appreciate it as a tactic to keep the opponent off balance and discourage him from just slicing those serve returns back. Usually we have a couple of Ancic-Roddick -semifinals during grass season to refresh my dislike for S&V (actually S&v, the volley is more often than not an easy putaway). But I've got to admit that the current crop of players have too many guys who make Ivan Lendl look like a volleying genius. That fact sort of demostrates the diminishing influence of volleying skills. You can get away with shoddy netplay but you can not get away with a feeble forehand (or maybe you can, if it wasn't for Volandri, I'd have used serve as an example).

MisterQ
04-22-2007, 01:04 AM
:hearts: You have no idea how happy I was when they started making non-dairy ice creams. They just need to come out with a green tea one and my life is complete. :drool:

I'm glad to inform you that your life is now complete. :dance:

http://www.welovesoy.com/imagedir/green-tea-low.jpg

leng jai
04-22-2007, 01:20 AM
Being able to hit a low volley occasionally and execute put aways does not exactly equate to being a varied player. The only two players that I can think of who volley as well as they baseline is Federer and Haas. Both of are what I consider to be "natural" volleyers who know what they are doing at net. The problem is they do not use it enough due to the fact that many players today seem to have exceptional passing shots. The only time they really volley a lot is when their groundstroke games aren't working. Federer could easily operate as a serve volleyer but you can bet he wouldn't be a 10 time grandslam champion right now he serve volleyed for his whole career.

Kolya
04-22-2007, 03:30 AM
Its tough to see more S/V players because juniors are scared to play that style. Juniors today try to S/V once and get passed and they stop trying.

Tzar
04-22-2007, 04:10 AM
Read all that is boring!

fanancic
04-22-2007, 12:51 PM
serve and volley.. it is mario ancic!

ezekiel
04-22-2007, 02:13 PM
There was nothing "artsy" about big lumbering servers coming to the net simply overpowering their opponent. Thankfully most players today are athletic enough and have enough shots so that such non players are a thing of the past

ezekiel
04-22-2007, 02:21 PM
Its tough to see more S/V players because juniors are scared to play that style. Juniors today try to S/V once and get passed and they stop trying.


I am more of a basketball person so I see S&V as a big guy just trying to outmuscle and shoot over the smaller guy. Now there are rules in basketball to prevent that but tennis today is much more athletic than before to simply reduce it to net play

angiel
04-23-2007, 09:06 PM
I am more of a basketball person so I see S&V as a big guy just trying to outmuscle and shoot over the smaller guy. Now there are rules in basketball to prevent that but tennis today is much more athletic than before to simply reduce it to net play


They are not more athletic today than yesteryear, they just never learn to serve & volley, they rather keep bashing the ball from beyond the baseline and see who will blink first.:sad: :sad: :sad: :mad:

GlennMirnyi
04-23-2007, 09:20 PM
Nostalgic nonsense. Not to mention that similar articles like this have been written for years. A cut and paste job.

I like wood as well, but there were downsides to it - particularly on clay courts. That was ugly, boring tennis. I also much prefer tennis on hard courts the way it is today. The baseline rallies have a good pace to them.

The lost art is grass court tennis. Today it is ugly, ugly stuff with big servers like Roddick getting deep into tournaments with mediocre groundstrokes. Too bad.

Clay tennis is mostly moonballing so of course it's ugly.

The part of "lost art of grass tennis will be answered next".

I think the biggest mistake is making all the surfaces slower and more similar. What's the point of having all these different surfaces if you're gonna slow them all down? I think it'd be nice if different styled players had a better chance at certain tournaments, such as a S&Ver on grass and a grinder on clay. While the hardcourts are varied somewhere in between. Wasn't that the original intent anyway?

So true. During the 90s clay was slower and hardcourts were faster. That's how it should be, so you can have variety and open the possibility of more netplay. Why grass tennis is lost? Because after this ridiculous process of slowing down the circuit, there's not many places where you can play consistently at the net. If a player never goes to the net during a whole year, why would he go during a month?

serve and volley.. it is mario ancic!

:haha: it seems you haven't watched Ancic since 2003. :lol:

I am more of a basketball person so I see S&V as a big guy just trying to outmuscle and shoot over the smaller guy. Now there are rules in basketball to prevent that but tennis today is much more athletic than before to simply reduce it to net play

That you know **** about tennis we already knew, you finally admitted it. Sampras, Rafter, McEnroe were all guys of a pretty regular physique. Serving is technique, it has nothing to do with strenght. Being a baseline grinder that is more about physical prowess than technique.

SheepleBuster
08-04-2008, 05:55 AM
So all the courts are slowing down and it seems we have more baseliners that we have ever had in the history of the game. Will we see the courts getting faster in the playing life off let's say Andy Roddick or John Isner?

opeth84
08-04-2008, 07:04 AM
Im not so sure i would want to see a rise of servers again. Rafter losing to that all serve Ivanisevic in 5 sets at Wimbledon was criminal. I wouldn't call that a fair surface but im not saying its a fair surface now either. :shrug:

rafa the best
08-04-2008, 12:01 PM
NEVER, I hope

Black Adam
08-04-2008, 12:09 PM
Actually super-fast courts don't help Roddick as he has a hard time breaking the opponent's serve in the same the opponent strugles against his serve.

I think the Tour is okay the way it is but they should probably use lighter balls in some of the tournaments.

Mateya
08-04-2008, 12:12 PM
I hope never. I mean, they should only rock on grass and faster surfaces.

But we could see a rise of moonballers. :tape:

oranges
08-04-2008, 12:53 PM
Im not so sure i would want to see a rise of servers again. Rafter losing to that all serve Ivanisevic in 5 sets at Wimbledon was criminal. I wouldn't call that a fair surface but im not saying its a fair surface now either. :shrug:

LOL, you're so perceptive. Haven't noticed anything else about his game, have you, the serve impressed you so much. No return of serve, crappy backhand and volleys, such poor movement for a guy with such height, anticipation of a mummy and reflexes of a snail, none of those helped him in his career.

On topic, I'm not sure why you connect strong serves with predominance of baseliners. After all, Roddick fit both when he achieved his best results, he just lost that forehand somewhere on the way. The slowing down of surfaces and homogenizing make baselining the most worthwhile approach. Speeding up some would benefit all-court players the most. Those with huge serves will still need to put together other parts of the game for any significant results.

opeth84
08-04-2008, 01:21 PM
LOL, you're so perceptive. Haven't noticed anything else about his game, have you, the serve impressed you so much. No return of serve, crappy backhand and volleys, such poor movement for a guy with such height, anticipation of a mummy and reflexes of a snail, none of those helped him in his career.

On topic, I'm not sure why you connect strong serves with predominance of baseliners. After all, Roddick fit both when he achieved his best results, he just lost that forehand somewhere on the way. The slowing down of surfaces and homogenizing make baselining the most worthwhile approach. Speeding up some would benefit all-court players the most. Those with huge serves will still need to put together other parts of the game for any significant results.



Sure the guy could move around the court very well for his size and volley quite well. I wouldn;t say his return game was anything special, like Karlovic an Isner or even Roddick. Big servers put alot of pressure on there opponents to keep there own serves and this draws errors making players go for more then they usually do.

But you make some good points. :)

But maybe im still just bitter about Rafters loss :p

oranges
08-04-2008, 01:39 PM
I wouldn;t say his return game was anything special,

Returning Sampras' serve well on old grass is no small feat.


But maybe im still just bitter about Rafters loss :p

If it were anyone but Goran, my heart would be him :D One of my all-time favorites in all respects :worship:

Ivanatis
08-04-2008, 01:51 PM
Hopefully soon. S&V rocks.

dweijnen
08-04-2008, 01:52 PM
We have the gooch.

groundstroke
08-04-2008, 01:59 PM
Im not so sure i would want to see a rise of servers again. Rafter losing to that all serve Ivanisevic in 5 sets at Wimbledon was criminal. I wouldn't call that a fair surface but im not saying its a fair surface now either. :shrug:
How ironic, Rafter wants the courts to be faster and he himself benefited from fast courts as he did a lot of s&v.... When did you pick-up such stupidity?

FairWeatherFan
08-04-2008, 02:04 PM
Hopefully soon, as long it's proportional to a rise of serve-volleying. All this mind-numbing Bollettieri-baseline-ball-bashing-banality is enough to make me sick.

prima donna
08-04-2008, 02:21 PM
The proposition of the game being dominated by players winning based on their service game hardly breeds a sense of enthusiasm, at least from my perspective. Moreover, I'm old enough to be able to recall the finer days of Andy Roddick's career (irony intended) and suffice to say, those were far from what I'd describe as the glory days of our sport.

The game has yet to reach an equilibrium which would reward both variety and big shots alike, but surely the way in which to improve upon the current deficiencies of the game is not to replace one extreme with another -- we don't need players winning tournaments based solely on their ability to declare war against the opposition's backhand by employing excessive amounts of top spin, however, it needs to be said that we should not counter this fad by facilitating the dominance of players possessing rather modest ground strokes and minimal volleying skills, with the exception of overheads and put aways which are quite simple when one imagines the weak responses generated by 135mph serves on surfaces conducive to such shots.

In this very moment, the images of Nadal hoisting the Wimbledon trophy are still ripe in my head, but I would be no more pleased to see John Isner, Andy Roddick or Ivo Karlovic hoisting it, as such would be a threat to the very fabric of the game by encouraging tennis academies to produce players which are one-dimensional and mechanical, which would ultimately cause what is now considered to be a fad to evolve into the way in which to actually play the game.

zicofirol
08-04-2008, 02:38 PM
Im not so sure i would want to see a rise of servers again. Rafter losing to that all serve Ivanisevic in 5 sets at Wimbledon was criminal.


:o:smash::retard::retard:

Pfloyd
08-04-2008, 03:07 PM
Karlovic has played well the last few seasons.

And Roddick is simply....not that good anymore, even in faster surfaces he loses.

jcempire
08-04-2008, 05:04 PM
Im not so sure i would want to see a rise of servers again. Rafter losing to that all serve Ivanisevic in 5 sets at Wimbledon was criminal. I wouldn't call that a fair surface but im not saying its a fair surface now either. :shrug:

I miss this two, amazing game between them;

Now, it's tough to say one game like this.

Dougie
08-04-2008, 05:57 PM
I miss this two, amazing game between them;

Now, it's tough to say one game like this.

It was a great match, but mostly because of the drama and intensity, not because of the quality of the game. While I think grass should be a fast surface, I can´t say I miss watching matches like Becker-Stich (Wimbledon 1991), where there was ALMOST one baseline rally (almost because Becker netted his first forehand when they were both at the baseline).

If by "Servers" we are talking about players who rely solely on their serve (Ivanisevic, Rusedski, Krajicek, maybe even Becker) then I don´t really like to see those kind of players dominate the field.

But Rafter for example was not just a server, he had great placement and spin in his serve, but he never had the power that the aforementioned players had. He was an attacking player, but mostly because of his athleticism, movement and volleys (a bit like Edberg). Those are the kind of qualities I´d really like to see more nowadays.

Attacking tennis at it´s best require qualities that demand real skill and touch. That´s what I´d like to see more. But if I can´t have Rafter of Edberg, then give me Nadal rather than Ivanisevic.:lol:

JolánGagó
08-04-2008, 06:11 PM
Hopefully that Era of Ivanisevics and Beckers will never ever again in a million year come back.

oranges
08-04-2008, 06:25 PM
Hopefully that Era of Ivanisevics and Beckers will never ever again in a million year come back.

Goran-Nadal play of the week (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nEp1QF5H1VM)

:lol: You need some love, this should cheer you up for a couple of minutes.

A_Skywalker
08-04-2008, 06:27 PM
serve only is boring. never again!
Things change always for good, not for worser.

oranges
08-04-2008, 06:32 PM
Things change always for good, not for worser.

:haha: We should be so lucky. No different examples is history in general, or is tennis apart from the rest of the life? Who came up with the devolution term anyway and why?

FiBeR
08-04-2008, 06:34 PM
February 30th, 2010

JolánGagó
08-04-2008, 07:44 PM
Goran-Nadal play of the week (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nEp1QF5H1VM)


and your point is? that the old man could play a more than two strokes point against a 17 years old, and lose it? :rolleyes:

and the other Italian...:rolleyes:... really, if *that* is all you can come up with... I'm sure even you realize how pathetic and counterproductive to your positions those examples are ;)

oranges
08-04-2008, 08:03 PM
and your point is? that the old man could play a more than two strokes point against a 17 years old, and lose it? :rolleyes:

and the other Italian...:rolleyes:... really, if *that* is all you can come up with... I'm sure even you realize how pathetic and counterproductive to your positions those examples are ;)

Actually, both exemplify how pathetic and counterproductive your positions are and both are hilarious in that respect. Do I need to draw it? The first one lets you revel at the fact that your God won a point, while at the same time watching some of that "despicable" net play. The second is "crueler", presenting one of the guys you're all too eager to belittle kicking your God's butt, essentially beating him at his own game. But, hey, I won't interrupt anymore you narrow-minded, ignorant drivel that disparages anything outside your impaired vision with humorous counterpoints so you can enjoy it in peace. :o

Blue Heart24
08-04-2008, 08:09 PM
NEVER, I hope

serve only is boring. never again!
Things change always for good, not for worser.

I respect Nadal and his results,but his fans are fucking pathetic.:smash:

JolánGagó
08-04-2008, 08:10 PM
Oh dear.

Well if you feel good about it that's fine for me. I can even, if of some use, tell you how delighted I always was with the game of that God Goran, how well it suited to my tastes and hell, I would even reckon Italian tennis was, is and will ever be best among the best, only second to Croatian ;)

I hope you're even happier now than a few minutes ago while crafting those marvelous "humorous counterpoints".

oranges
08-04-2008, 08:21 PM
Oh dear.

Well if you feel good about it that's fine for me. I can even, if of some use, tell you how delighted I always was with the game of that God Goran, how well it suited to my tastes and hell, I would even reckon Italian tennis was, is and will ever be best among the best, only second to Croatian ;)

I hope you're even happier now than a few minutes ago while crafting those marvelous "humorous counterpoints".

No, no, you got it wrong. We all know that there is onyl 3-4 players worthy of incessant, endless and harebrained praise. There is also only one worthy way of playing tennis and it includes not crossing the service line if at all possible, having an average of at least 20 strikes per shot and naturally cultivating huge bicepses. Everything else is there just to provide food for people with serious inferiority complexes to poop on, what else. Does that make your posts any clearer to you?

JolánGagó
08-04-2008, 08:35 PM
two words: personal taste.

does that get to your one sided brain or should I draw it for you in watercolours? am I allowed to prefer a style of play different than yours or must I worship your God Goran and Italian tennis über alles?

Geeez.

oranges
08-04-2008, 08:48 PM
^^ Personal taste makes you poop on everything else incessantly. while glorying beyond measure 2-3 players to your taste :confused: Do inverted arguments normally work for you? I apologize, you're obviously a broad-minded tennis aficionado :worship:

groundstroke
08-04-2008, 08:57 PM
Let's hope the grass courts and hard courts are faster. Then S&V would be more popular. :)

MacTheKnife
08-04-2008, 08:58 PM
When these threads get combined I always go WTF >> think I've lost it for a minute.

JolánGagó
08-04-2008, 09:03 PM
Not on "everything else", coincidence that I "poop" on something you hold dear. Your God Goran and the style he represents fail to affect me in any way similar to how it affects you. That alone makes you call "bullshit" my preference (remember that?) You despise long rallies and Nadal's biceps, I don't remember name calling you because of that.

Listen I've had enough of this idiocy, Goran and the f**g S&V bore me to death, deal with it or don't, I don't give a f**k either way.

oranges
08-04-2008, 09:06 PM
Not on "everything else", coincidence that I "poop" on something you hold dear.

LOL, I don't hold any of the Italian players dear, yet I get that nauseating feeling in my stomach reading your comments about them. But, hey continue pooping on anything and everything :p

Tom Paulman
08-04-2008, 10:16 PM
serve only is boring. never again!

Serve only is not the same as serve & volley :rolleyes:

fast_clay
08-04-2008, 10:52 PM
i dont buy this BS of die-hard serve-volley disappearing from tennis forever.



The answer to it momentarily leaving eyesight, is the fact that dumbf*ck 'coaches' like Bolletieri saw a way to make money from the game in the easiet way possible. The formula is that simple it is insulting to some of the 'guru-like' posters here in MTF.

Swing, bash, train for 5 years non stop like a robot and at 18 you'll be hard to break down.

I think its down to the coaches. Long gone is the day when every coach knew it took 10 years of non-stop serve volley dedication to produce a truly attacking player with bullet-proof mentality to boot.

Now... coaches just train to suit what works... it is more reactive coaching... scared to see their player hit off the court...

bottom line... building a serve volley player doesnt suit short term high monetary return - baseline boredom is an altogether easier path to follow for dumb c**ts...

in saying that... only certain percentage have the in built make up for a serve volley player.. ie: mentality, phsyque, etc... it is true that some players were born to be boring and that is understood...

and.. in truth.. we need boring baseliners to make the serve-volleyers look good.. they are essential to one another...

GlennMirnyi
08-05-2008, 12:20 AM
Not on "everything else", coincidence that I "poop" on something you hold dear. Your God Goran and the style he represents fail to affect me in any way similar to how it affects you. That alone makes you call "bullshit" my preference (remember that?) You despise long rallies and Nadal's biceps, I don't remember name calling you because of that.

Listen I've had enough of this idiocy, Goran and the f**g S&V bore me to death, deal with it or don't, I don't give a f**k either way.

Your 10 year-old friends taught you those words?

fast_clay
08-05-2008, 01:01 AM
B for Baseline
B for Beginner

Black Adam
08-05-2008, 01:20 AM
Dinosaurs. Extinct. Get used to it. Unless they bring back the poor racket technology that art will stay dead.

rocketassist
08-05-2008, 01:40 AM
Not on "everything else", coincidence that I "poop" on something you hold dear. Your God Goran and the style he represents fail to affect me in any way similar to how it affects you. That alone makes you call "bullshit" my preference (remember that?) You despise long rallies and Nadal's biceps, I don't remember name calling you because of that.

Listen I've had enough of this idiocy, Goran and the f**g S&V bore me to death, deal with it or don't, I don't give a f**k either way.

:confused: what the hell?

opeth84
08-05-2008, 03:02 AM
How ironic, Rafter wants the courts to be faster and he himself benefited from fast courts as he did a lot of s&v.... When did you pick-up such stupidity?

Im well aware faster courts did benefit players like Rafter but my concern lays with big servers like Karlovic an Isner on faster courts. They don't play great volleys but off there serves they won't need to volley. Just be putting a ball back into an open court. Perhaps Goran was not the best example.

I just think if they were to speed things up again there needs to be the right balance not too fast. Im all for all court tennis but i don't want to see players like Federer,Haas, Stepanek getting blown off the court by the latest big server.

RagingLamb
08-05-2008, 03:19 AM
Im well aware faster courts did benefit players like Rafter but my concern lays with big servers like Karlovic an Isner on faster courts. They don't play great volleys but off there serves they won't need to volley. Just be putting a ball back into an open court. Perhaps Goran was not the best example.

I just think if they were to speed things up again there needs to be the right balance not too fast. Im all for all court tennis but i don't want to see players like Federer,Haas, Stepanek getting blown off the court by the latest big server.

People tend to exaggerate the serving of 90s tennis. Let's not forget when Agassi won Wimbledon and who he had to beat to win it.

It was never like that, that all you needed was a big serve and you were set.

To repeat what a lot of people have said before; it's the contrast that's missing from tennis. It would be nice to have that again.

fast_clay
08-05-2008, 03:33 AM
i always kinda thought that... if one variable was changed ie: racquet technology... and everything else stayed the same... then, the human body would adapt and compensate for whatever reason... whereas, starting to screw with more variables ie: balls, court surafce, court dimensions... then you are gonna take the game further away from the natural balance that it would have acheived itself anyway...

maybe that sounds naive to some... but, i think things move in cycles... and for sure... no policing was done on racquet technology when it presented itself... so... whatever then... thats the path it took...

but changing the game even further to correct supposed shortcomings is just a pure lack of trust in the evolution of the game that has served tennis so well so far...

by the end of the 90's there were great returners and better athletes... this happened naturally...

tennis moves in cycles...

the slowing of the court surfaces and balls probably sets any date of the serve volley style returning with force back some indeed...

finishingmove
08-05-2008, 03:39 AM
definitely.

this is the era of highlanders with patchy beards..

but when the people responsible see what they've created, they'll make haste in speeding up all the surfaces.

no doubt.

fast_clay
08-05-2008, 03:43 AM
this is the era of highlanders with patchy beards...

i hear you...

dude needs to thicken his pubes up with some mascara or some sh!t...

Johnny Groove
08-05-2008, 03:44 AM
Here come the serve and volley tards :zzz:

fast_clay
08-05-2008, 03:55 AM
Im well aware faster courts did benefit players like Rafter but my concern lays with big servers like Karlovic an Isner on faster courts. They don't play great volleys but off there serves they won't need to volley. Just be putting a ball back into an open court. Perhaps Goran was not the best example.

I just think if they were to speed things up again there needs to be the right balance not too fast. Im all for all court tennis but i don't want to see players like Federer,Haas, Stepanek getting blown off the court by the latest big server.


but... like... 6'11' is what a 'server only type' needs to be today because the athletes are that much better... u cant mess around the game too because a couple of anomolies in nature are getting about the tour... in the mid 90's the big servers were 6'4" - 6'5".... guys like rosset and zoecke...

it just goes to show that you have to be dead set freakishly tall to be on the tour with a 'alleged' serve only... and even then.. tennis is such a great levelling sport that the best athletes and most skilled players will tear them apart anyway... if not first time... then consecutive times thereafter...

i watched federer vs karlovic at wimby 2004... it was scary how easy fed took him apart when he needed to... just open faced all the returns... no swing... the equation was simple...

he went to old school in order to move forward...

fast_clay
08-05-2008, 03:59 AM
Here come the serve and volley tards :zzz:

unlike the baseline tards... the serve volley tards understand that they need they baseline tards in order to look sexy... we understnd that we need you about...

generally speaking, basline tards the world over are incapable of such enlightenment... tho, i wont speak for all of your half breed...

Johnny Groove
08-05-2008, 04:26 AM
unlike the baseline tards... the serve volley tards understand that they need they baseline tards in order to look sexy... we understnd that we need you about...

generally speaking, basline tards the world over are incapable of such enlightenment... tho, i wont speak for all of your half breed...

Coming from someone with Chewbacca in their avatar :lol:

fast_clay
08-05-2008, 04:32 AM
Coming from someone with Chewbacca in their avatar :lol:
huh...? ummm.. doesnt look much different to yours if you ask me... anyways...

:lol:

finishingmove
08-05-2008, 04:35 AM
:lol:

Nadal_Fanatic
08-05-2008, 04:40 AM
Ok to do it every once in a while but you will get burned if you did it every time.

groundstroke
08-05-2008, 04:59 AM
Im well aware faster courts did benefit players like Rafter but my concern lays with big servers like Karlovic an Isner on faster courts. They don't play great volleys but off there serves they won't need to volley. Just be putting a ball back into an open court. Perhaps Goran was not the best example.

I just think if they were to speed things up again there needs to be the right balance not too fast. Im all for all court tennis but i don't want to see players like Federer,Haas, Stepanek getting blown off the court by the latest big server.
Just because you have a big serve does not mean you will win a match, Karlovic is a little bit different as he is very tall but his groundstrokes are awful and he never wins a Grand Slam match.

opeth84
08-05-2008, 07:17 AM
Just because you have a big serve does not mean you will win a match, Karlovic is a little bit different as he is very tall but his groundstrokes are awful and he never wins a Grand Slam match.

Well obviously it's not going to win them the match but it's going to be a far more effective weapon on a fast surface. Don't get me wrong i like S&V but im not into ace fests.

Lopez
08-05-2008, 08:01 AM
I don't think there would be ace fests, even if the courts became faster. It's not like some of the serves would magically become aces just because the ball bounces a bit quicker.

Besides, even if there would be more aces, so frigging what? The serve is the single most difficult shot in tennis, and the only one you can control completely. An ace is always a great athletic performance, that's why the greatest servers are usually the most athletic players. Having played tennis long and seriously enough, I can totally appreciate even ace fests.

Playing an attacking game of serve&volley, or just serve and attack, is technically more challenging than running, defending and pushing serves in. I guess what my problem is with some of the courts nowadays that they don't reward technically challenging performances enough. The risk/reward ratio is not what it should be on supposedly FAST courts.