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Discussion Starter #1
Is it just me or is a good ROS a dying art? Are there any young guys with returns that could be classed as weapons? Or is experience required to develop a strong return?
 

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Only Nishikori (if you consider him young, that is), apart from him every U-25 player is a pedestrian returner at best.
 

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There are not so many good returners in general.
some CH level players like Coric, Krajinovic (well he is 22) and Nishioka (even he is too short) are good returners IMO
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Only Nishikori (if you consider him young, that is), apart from him every U-25 player is a pedestrian returner at best.
Yes... he was pretty much the only player I could think of, and as you say it's debatable whether we can still refer to him as 'young' anymore.
 

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Yes... he was pretty much the only player I could think of, and as you say it's debatable whether we can still refer to him as 'young' anymore.
Yup, I don't think 23/24yo players should be referred to as 'young' but rather in their physical prime.

But if you include them as young as a lot of people seem to, then the answer is easily Nishikori, his return is one of the very best on tour (when he's fit of course). This year in Barcelona he broke 26 times in 46 return games for instance, including massive servers like Cilic and Gulbis, and he once bagelled Raonic too. Return is his biggest weapon.

Klizan and goffin are decent returners.
Yeah, decent, but their return isn't a weapon. Nishikori is the only guy younger than Djokovic/Murray whose return is really a big weapon in his game, for players like Raonic, Dimitrov, Tomic, etc... it's actually a liability.
 

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Garin is a good returner, future top 20 :yeah: the worst young returner has to be Raonic :lol:
 

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A dying art? I'm pressed to think of the last time it was a prevalent shot on tour before guys like Djokovic, Murray and company ushered it in (and are anomalous in doing so). Sampras and the 90's really ushered in the "serve as a point-ender" and "few breaks" format that have defined the nature of the game for years. Today, even "average" servers in the top 100 are actually pretty good. It's unlikely that this will change with this next generation, which has so far been shaped on the same principles.

Part of what's holding them back is--Nishikori aside--I can't really think of a youth who's equally strong on either side. So many of these guys treat the one side as a liability, and half of their efforts on return are spent trying to circumvent that rather than playing the ball as it lands. Personally, I don't think it's a coincidence that Andy and Novak are both such great returners when they're so solid on either side.
 

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^ Connors perhaps?
 

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The return is a shot that requires a lot of skill and talent. I love it, it's one of my favorite shots, but I know what you mean op. Today's young generation are mediocre at best, so it's logical that they will lack such a difficult shot in their arsenal. Most of them are serve bots and nothing else, I know it's ugly but what can you do?
 
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