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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was just wondering what everyone's opinions on how Roddick would do if he served and volleyed are. I mean, he certainly has the serve for it, and his volleys are average, and look bad in general because he lacks the ability to chose the right time to come in and his approach shots are bad in general, but his slice isn't bad, and he could possibly chip and charge. I'm not advocating this strategy for him, but I was just wondering what everyone thought.
 

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I think he should serve and volley more often in order to mix up things and create some uncertainty in the mind of the opponent. However, becoming a pure serve/volley player is probably not a wise decision considering his somewhat unnatural volley.
 

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Although I think he would be reasonably succesful there are more than one reason why this would not be the optimum strategy for Roddick:

1 - This one is obvious, his volley isn't that good. He tries very hard but although he stretches for volleys okay his positioning is poor and his technical ability is lacking, he doesn't put away volleys that a good volleyer would.

2 - Suprisingly, I think his serve wouldn't be that great. The best thing about his serve is the pace, his positioning isn't perfect which means the returns often come back off the middle of a returners racquet because the ball is near them, this means returned serves often come back quite quick, if Roddick was appraching these volleys would be very hard.

3 - His baseline game has improved very much over the last few years overall although some of the lethal pace injection off the FH has gone. He is more rounded with a working backhand. If he serve volleyed his baseline game would be poorer and he would be getting outplayed from the back by poor players (he can usually hold his own vs most).
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I think his serve positioning has improved. Wish I could say his forehand had improved as well . . .
 

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I was just wondering what everyone's opinions on how Roddick would do if he served and volleyed are. I mean, he certainly has the serve for it, and his volleys are average, and look bad in general because he lacks the ability to chose the right time to come in and his approach shots are bad in general, but his slice isn't bad, and he could possibly chip and charge. I'm not advocating this strategy for him, but I was just wondering what everyone thought.
If it was a consistent Plan A ? The key would be his confidence. Anyone remember his '05 Cincinnati win against Hewitt?
 

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In fairness he has been trying to serve and volley more often. But he doesn't like volleying and he only does it because he feels he has to and his coaches keep telling him to try it. Bottom line he'll never be comfortable at the net.

With grass and carpet courts being taken over by clay and slow hard courts, no-one will ever be able to serve and volley successfully. Even Ancic and Karlovic are trying to stick to the baseline.
 

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He wouldn't have enough time to get into net.
 

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His volleys are crap to be honest. He doesn't have that natural instinct and anticipation that the great S/V players have.

Adding his incompetent volleys, he would choke when the pressure is on.
 

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He could do it more often. But overall, you can't serve and volley unless you have full confidence on your serve and VOLLEY. Roddick is so uncomfortable at the net that constant serve and volley game would probaby result in errors, frustration and a loss of confidence.
 

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He would be an all court player.
 

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Against players who are likely to give him a sliced defensive backhand return, this tactic could be effective. One might think it could work against Fed --- but Fed's ability to keep his slice low can force Roddick to volley up, and speedy Fed will usually track this down.

Roddick's serve is too fast to allow him to get him into an advantageous position against even a moderate topspin return.
 

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I think his serve positioning has improved. Wish I could say his forehand had improved as well . . .

He has always had good aiming with his serves. The only reason he doesn't aim for the angles and lines that often is because against the majority of the players, a huge serve anywhere in the box is enough to get a service winner or a weak return to put away. Besides a huge serve in the box has higher success rate compared to painting the lines with every serve. Hence he has more Serve winners than aces.

Now onto the Serve and volley thing. He isn't a natural serve and volleyer. It's not something he is gonna perfection or excel at, at this age. He can improve on his volleys but that's as far as it goes.Besides natural serve and volleyers are hard to find these days and they aren't that successful(Mirnyi and Stepanek and Dent and Henman are good examples of how modern racket technology makes life harder for that style of play.)
 

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Against players who are likely to give him a sliced defensive backhand return, this tactic could be effective. One might think it could work against Fed --- but Fed's ability to keep his slice low can force Roddick to volley up, and speedy Fed will usually track this down.

Roddick's serve is too fast to allow him to get him into an advantageous position against even a moderate topspin return.
That second point is quite important, it appears counter-intuitive at first but increased service speeds actually work against serve and volleying. If the ball doesn't come back it doesn't matter anyway but if the ball comes back, the high speed serve means that the server has less time to position himself advantageously at the net.

As for the thread, it appears to me that Andy will have to resort to serve and volleting more as he gets older (and slower) since he will be more vulnerable from the backcourt. However, I doubt he will ever be a pure serve-and-volley player. As for now, it doesn't appear to be a good strategy, for reasons already stated.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 · (Edited)
That second point is quite important, it appears counter-intuitive at first but increased service speeds actually work against serve and volleying. If the ball doesn't come back it doesn't matter anyway but if the ball comes back, the high speed serve means that the server has less time to position himself advantageously at the net.
Is that why Rafter's and Sampras's serves were so heavily topspun?
 

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Is that why Rafter's and Sampras's serves were so heavily topspun?
I think that the main concern there was to maintain control, so you have a greater chance of making a 1st serve. For example, look at somebody that serves flat, like Baghdatis or Berdych, it results in a low 1st serve %.

During the late 90s big servers were serving at 125-130mph first serves, these days we see serves more than 140mph, I think it makes a difference.
 
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