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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
So I was looking at the Top100 and curiosity struck me to group them by playing styles. Obviously nothing’s set in stone as to which plays what but over the course of watching tennis for a good while now I think I could make a reasonable assesment to what everyone’s dominant style of play is. No statistics involved here just the objective (hopefully) opinion of a viewer of the sport.

For starters I’ll just list the playing styles and give an eloquent example to each one of them:

1.Serve and Volley (this includes chip and chargers as well) - Serve-and-volleyers come up to the net at every opportunity when serving. They are almost always attackers and can hit many winners with varieties of volleys and drop volleys. When not serving, they often employ the "chip-and-charge", chipping back the serve without attempting to hit a winner and rushing the net. The serve-and-volleyers' strategy is to put pressure on the opponent to try to hit difficult passing shots.(eq: Mahut)
2.All-court: All-court players have aspects of every tennis style, whether that be offensive baseliner, defensive counter-puncher or serve-and-volleyer. All-court players use the best bits from each style and mix it together thus resulting in using all of the tennis court so to speak.(eq:Youzhny)
3.Defensive baseliner (includes /grinder/counter-puncher/retriever): returns every ball and relies on the opponent making mistakes, has consistent shots, makes few errors of his own while making it difficult for opponents to hit winners. Strong emphasis on physical endurance, good mental fortitude and a good understanding of the tennis tactics. (eq: Ferrer)
4.Offensive baseliners: An offensive or aggressive baseliner tries to win the point by hitting winners from the back of the court, attacking with fast penetrating balls that the opponent cannot reach or return effectively to get them back in the point. Offensive baseliners normally have at least one great groundstroke, forehand or backhand.(eq: Soderling)

Important note:
In case the player’s serve far outweights his playing style meaning that it’s a far stronger shot than any of his ground strokes or tactical play I will mention it.

A few notes:
What I’ve taken into consideration is the players most recent performances, like some of you might know there are players that have changed their styles throughout their career, I will try to guide myself after their most recent year on the tour.

1 Nadal, Rafael (ESP) - Offensive Baseliner
2 Djokovic, Novak (SRB) – Offensive Baseliner
3 Federer, Roger (SUI) – All-court
4 Murray, Andy (GBR) – Defensive Baseliner
5 Soderling, Robin (SWE) - Offensive Baseliner
6 Ferrer, David (ESP) – Defensive Baseliner
7 Berdych, Tomas (CZE) – Offensive Baseliner
8 Verdasco, Fernando (ESP) – Offensive Baseliner
9 Melzer, Jurgen (AUT) – Offensive Baseliner
10 Monfils, Gael (FRA) - Defensive Baseliner
11 Fish, Mardy (USA) – All-court
12 Almagro, Nicolas (ESP) – Offensive Baseliner
13 Wawrinka, Stanislas (SUI) – Offensive Baseliner
14 Roddick, Andy (USA) - Serve/Defensive Baseliner
15 Youzhny, Mikhail (RUS) – All-court
16 Troicki, Viktor (SRB)– Offensive Baseliner
17 Tsonga, Jo-Wilfried (FRA) – Offensive Baseliner
18 Gasquet, Richard (FRA) - Offensive Baseliner
19 Nalbandian, David (ARG) – Offensive Baseliner
20 Querrey, Sam (USA) – Serve/Offensive Baseliner
21 Dolgopolov, Alexandr (UKR) – Offensive Baseliner
22 Cilic, Marin (CRO) – Offensive Baseliner
23 Simon, Gilles (FRA) – Defensive Baseliner
24 Montanes, Albert (ESP) – Defensive Baseliner
25 Llodra, Michael (FRA) – Serve and Volley
26 Baghdatis, Marcos (CYP) – Offensive Baseliner
27 Garcia-Lopez, Guillermo (ESP) – Offensive Baseliner
28 Chela, Juan Ignacio (ARG) – Defensive Baseliner
29 Isner, John (USA) – Serve/Offensive Baseliner
30 Robredo, Tommy (ESP) - Defensive Baseliner
31 Gulbis, Ernests (LAT) - Offensive Baseliner
32 Bellucci, Thomaz (BRA) - Offensive Baseliner
33 Anderson, Kevin (RSA) – Serve/Offensive Baseliner
34 Kohlschreiber, Philipp (GER) – Offensive Baseliner
35 Raonic, Milos (CAN) – Serve/Offensive Baseliner
36 Mayer, Florian (GER) – All-court
37 Monaco, Juan (ARG) – Defensive Baseliner
38 Tipsarevic, Janko (SRB) - Offensive Baseliner
39 Stakhovsky, Sergiy (UKR) – All-court
40 Golubev, Andrey (KAZ) – Offensive Baseliner
41 Ljubicic, Ivan (CRO) – Serve/Offensive Baseliner
42 Davydenko, Nikolay (RUS) – Offensive Baseliner
43 Lopez, Feliciano (ESP) – Serve/All-court
44 Lu, Yen-Hsun (TPE) – Defensive Baseliner
45 Del Potro, Juan Martin (ARG) – Offensive Baseliner
46 Malisse, Xavier (BEL) – Offensive Baseliner
47 Starace, Potito (ITA) – Offensive Baseliner
48 Seppi, Andreas (ITA) – Offensive Baseliner
49 Giraldo, Santiago (COL) - Offensive Baseliner
50 Granollers, Marcel (ESP) - Defensive Baseliner
51 Chardy, Jeremy (FRA) – Offensive Baseliner
52 Fognini, Fabio (ITA) – Offensive Baseliner
53 Istomin, Denis (UZB) – Offensive Baseliner
54 de Bakker, Thiemo (NED) – Offensive Baseliner
55 Dodig, Ivan (CRO) – Defensive Baseliner
56 Nieminen, Jarkko (FIN) – Defensive Baseliner
57 Ferrero, Juan Carlos (ESP) – Offensive Baseliner
58 Hanescu, Victor (ROU) – Offensive Baseliner
59 Mannarino, Adrian (FRA) – Offensive Baseliner
60 Gimeno-Traver, Daniel (ESP) - Offensive Baseliner
61 Nishikori, Kei (JPN) – Offensive Baseliner
62 Haase, Robin (NED) – Offensive Baseliner
63 Kukushkin, Mikhail (KAZ) - Offensive Baseliner
64 Hewitt, Lleyton (AUS) – Defensive Baseliner
65 Becker, Benjamin (GER) - Serve/Offensive Baseliner
66 Cuevas, Pablo (URU) – Offensive Baseliner
67 Petzschner, Philipp (GER) - All-court
68 Stepanek, Radek (CZE) – All Court
69 Andujar, Pablo (ESP) - Defensive Baseliner
70 Dimitrov, Grigor (BUL) – Offensive Baseliner
71 Devvarman, Somdev (IND) – Defensive Baseliner
72 Berlocq, Carlos (ARG) – Defensive Baseliner
73 Kamke, Tobias (GER) – Offensive Baseliner
74 Berankis, Richard (LTU) – Offensive Baseliner
75 Volandri, Filippo (ITA) – Offensive Baseliner
76 Rochus, Olivier (BEL) – Offensive Baseliner
77 Gabashvili, Teymuraz (RUS) – Offensive Baseliner
78 Benneteau, Julien (FRA) - Offensive Baseliner
79 Serra, Florent (FRA) – Offensive Baseliner
80 Kendrick, Robert (USA) - All-Court
81 Berrer, Michael (GER) – All-Court
82 Tursunov, Dmitry (RUS) – Offensive Baseliner
83 Gil, Frederico (POR)– Defensive Baseliner
84 Riba, Pere (ESP) - Defensive Baseliner
85 Brands, Daniel (GER) – All-court
86 Mello, Ricardo (BRA) – Defensive Baseliner
87 Schuettler, Rainer (GER) – Defensive Baseliner
88 Mahut, Nicolas (FRA) – Serve and Volley
89 Kunitsyn, Igor (RUS) – Offensive Baseliner
90 Kavcic, Blaz (SLO) - Defensive Baseliner
91 Soeda, Go (JPN) - Offensive Baseliner
92 Russell, Michael (USA) - Defensive Baseliner
93 Sweeting, Ryan (USA) – Defensive Baseliner
94 Zeballos, Horacio (ARG) – Offensive Baseliner
95 Gonzalez, Maximo (ARG) – Defensive Baseliner
96 Haider-Maurer, Andreas (AUT) – Offensive Baseliner
97 Andreev, Igor (RUS) – Offensive Baseliner
98 Hajek, Jan (CZE) – Defensive Baseliner
99 Machado, Rui (POR) - Defensive Baseliner
100 Zverev, Mischa (GER) – Offensive Baseliner
This means:

60% players - Offensive Baseliners
27% players - Defensive Baseliners
10% players - All-Court
3% players - Serve And Volley

Here we have the playing styles by Nations in the top 100:

 

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Forum Umpire:, Gaston Gaudio,
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Stepanek I'd say is an all courter. Dodig for a defensive baseliner has quite a good serve which can win him free points.

Chardy couldn't you just the use the term ballbasher? Good thread btw.
 

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Stepanek I'd say is an all courter. Dodig for a defensive baseliner has quite a good serve which can win him free points.

Chardy couldn't you just the use the term ballbasher? Good thread btw.
Stepanek attempts serve and volley, however most of the time he's forced to play all court. Depends on the opponent, I'd say.

Chardy, unfortunately, when he tries to be offensive, it means losing the point. At least this season. As for ballbasher, I'd add "ballbashing headcase". I still love him, though.
 

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Forum Umpire:, Gaston Gaudio,
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Stepanek attempts serve and volley, however most of the time he's forced to play all court. Depends on the opponent, I'd say.

Chardy, unfortunately, when he tries to be offensive, it means losing the point. At least this season. As for ballbasher, I'd add "ballbashing headcase". I still love him, though.
Steps is a mix of the two, he doesn't serve/volley all the time say like Mahut.

Seppi is a hard one because he is not a true offensive baseliner but not a grinder per se, though he is prepared to play long points and not all court player.
 

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Forum Umpire:, Gaston Gaudio,
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It's an excellent thread and thanks for putting it together, lets see if tards will piss on this one as well.
 

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I would say that Melzer is an allcourt-player for sure, maybe Dolgo too. Stepanek aswell. And Dodig is a defendive baseliner when returning but is quite a serve&volley player on serve.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I would say that Melzer is an allcourt-player for sure, maybe Dolgo too. Stepanek aswell. And Dodig is a defendive baseliner when returning but is quite a serve&volley player on serve.
Melzer is playing exclusively from the baseline in the last year.
Dolgopolov still very much plays from the baseline.

They're competent at the net and in matches they venture towards it but their dominant style is behind the baseline.
 

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Nice thread and a good effort. Like krystel who posted above, I would have to say that it is difficult to accurately split all the baseliners into two categories. The players who play at the back but were hard to decide, maybe they should have a third, 'mixed', category.
 

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Sweeting is serv, stepanek also, berrer mostly depends on serv but i agree with this...
And Cilic is retard (stlye-ue machine ).
 

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Nice list, very impressive, I just have a few differences in opinion:

1)Sweeting isn't defensive.

2)Stepanek, Melzer and Petzschner are all court players.

3)Rochus is more counter-punching than offensive, and counter-punching is inherently defensive.

4)Chela isn't really defensive.

Great work!
 

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I'd suggest that Rochus is more of a defensive baseliner, not offensive.

Seppi is a hard one because he is not a true offensive baseliner but not a grinder per se, though he is prepared to play long points and not all court player.
I was also wondering about Seppi...I'm more inclined to say he's a defensive baseliner.


One that has me stumped is Benneteau - he doesn't strike me as being a true offensive baseliner; he can counterpunch effectively and has a relatively good net game. But I suppose he doesn't volley often enough to warrant being labelled anything other than a baseliner.
 

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When Nadal plays Murray, Murray is the offensive baseliner and Nadal is forced to defend. Difficult to put Nadal in a specific cathegory, he is sometimes forced to play very defensive but he tries hard to be offensive.
 

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Forum Umpire:, Gaston Gaudio,
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I'd suggest that Rochus is more of a defensive baseliner, not offensive.



I was also wondering about Seppi...I'm more inclined to say he's a defensive baseliner.


One that has me stumped is Benneteau - he doesn't strike me as being a true offensive baseliner; he can counterpunch effectively and has a relatively good net game. But I suppose he doesn't volley often enough to warrant being labelled anything other than a baseliner.
Oli Rochus isn't a defensive baseliner, he is a better version of Dudi Sela.

Benneteau is a scrapper, gets a lot back, attacks now and then with good volleys.
 

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Nice list, very impressive, I just have a few differences in opinion:

1)Sweeting isn't defensive.

2)Stepanek, Melzer and Petzschner are all court players.

3)Rochus is more counter-punching than offensive, and counter-punching is inherently defensive.

4)Chela isn't really defensive.

Great work!
1) Sweeting has no game at all
2) Agree
3) Agree
4) Agree
 

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Good thread.
Could anyone do this for previous years say 5,10,15 years ago so we can compare how the game has changed over time.
I imagine you would get about 40% serve volleyers 15-20 yrs ago.
 
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