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View Full Version : Who is the worst volleyer EVER to win a slam?


@wright
03-15-2004, 10:52 AM
Has anyone who just wasn't comfortable up at the net ever won a major? I really can't think of any off the top of my head. I'd say Agassi has to be up there, although he is an effective volleyer(comes in when he knows he can put it away). Who is your choice? (Is Johansson any good at net?)

jmckinney
03-15-2004, 10:57 AM
Andres Gomez, Jim Courier, Sergui Brugera, Agassi would be some of my picks.

Rabbit
03-15-2004, 11:11 AM
Thomas Muster is a great player, Stefan Edberg he ain't.

Camilio Pascual
03-15-2004, 12:08 PM
Barbara Jordan, who is also possibly the worst player ever to win a Major.

edge
03-15-2004, 12:17 PM
Oviously, Andre Agassi. He only puts away volleys when his opponent is off court. If the opponent in on court, Agassi proceeds to dump it in the net.

galain
03-15-2004, 12:17 PM
OMG

Haven't heard about Barbara Jordan in years!

I never remembered Vilas as having a great volley. And even though he was technically sound, Lendl used to just look so uncomfortable and out of place hitting volleys I'd be inclined to throw him into the mix.

Camilio Pascual
03-15-2004, 12:23 PM
Evert - 18 Majors, and Borg - 11 Majors, were not comfortable at the net.

Rabbit
03-15-2004, 12:38 PM
Au contraire, mon ami! I watched Borg playing the other day when he was 18, playing against a 29 year old Stan Smith. Borg's play was to serve and volley! His victories at the French were from the baseline, but at Wimbledon and the US Open, he ventured to the net quite often, albeit to take the net away from his more net-worthy opponent, but done nonetheless.

Borg's volley had a gorrilla volley. (Not aesthetically pleasing, but very effective.) He hit a dump volley on grass (somewhere between a drop volley and a regular volley) that never came up and was very effective. I agree that Borg was never comfortable at net, never the killer that McEnroe, Becker, Stich, or certainly Edberg was, but he was effective.

Evert....another story. I really get a kick out of Chrissie (and Tracy Austin) now saying that players should come in more. The two of them would only venture in if they were forced to by a ball that was so short they couldn't return to the baseline before their opponent got to the ball.

ILoveChokers
03-15-2004, 01:03 PM
Vilas had a good volley, but his placement at the net was horrible, he would get passed constantly.

chad shaver
03-15-2004, 01:18 PM
Toss-up between Muster and Chang on the men's side. Monica Seles on the women's.

baseliner
03-15-2004, 02:21 PM
Evert and Auswtin for the distaff side. For the men would be a clay courter at the French Open. Gomez?

@wright
03-15-2004, 02:40 PM
Actually, I think Roddick has to be in there somewhere, he has improved alot since last US Open. He just beat Safin and was coming in pretty often and volleying well. I hope Federer embarasses him...

WYK
03-15-2004, 03:32 PM
Chang.

irishbanger
03-15-2004, 03:57 PM
Thomas Johanssen is the worst volleyer, server, groundstroker and lobber to ever win a major.

Hyperstate
03-15-2004, 06:03 PM
When AA won Wimby, he ventured to the net a lot of the time. I remember he regularly used the wide serve, followed by a put away volley at the net.

Courier was terrible at the net, IMO, but I'll pick Chang; Evert for the WTA.

fastdunn
03-15-2004, 06:06 PM
Actually, Chang was a good volleyer, IMO. His volleys are mechanically sound and stable. He just had few chances to use them against top players at his time.
But he occasionally showed his volleying capabilities;
For example, in the quarter-final of 1993(?) against Sampras, I believe
Chang ventured into net more than Sampras (who was a baseliner at the time,IMHO) and volleyed exceptionally well.

Hyperstate
03-15-2004, 06:22 PM
Wait, wait, I forgot about contemporary players for the worst volleyer to win a slam... and the gawd-but-that-was-the-worst-looking-volley-ever award goes to Roddick. Yes, he won, but his volleys were UGLY! He said he's working on finesse, so let's hope he improves his volleying technique.

@wright
03-15-2004, 06:28 PM
Hyperstate, IMO Roddick has improved his volleys by leaps and bounds since August. He was volleying very well against Safin today, even scooping them off the ground. The only time he didn't do well was when he would hit a sitter for Safin to bludgeon past him for a winner.

Hyperstate
03-15-2004, 06:57 PM
Thanks for the note @wright. Gee, wish the bleeping tv stations here had broadcasted that match. Most interested in seeing how he has changed his technique. During ARod's US Open run, I really shuddered every time I saw him execute a jerky, choppy volley. His improvement means that opponents had better watch out. A major weakness nullified...

@wright
03-15-2004, 07:08 PM
Yeah I know, if he starts doing anything close to dominating my interest in pro tennis will go down the crapper. And I'm not so sure you wish you had seen the match today, the PMAC lovefest was almost unbearable. After almost every point "what a smart play from roddick..." Safin could do the same thing that Roddick just did and PMAC and Cliffy hardly said a word about it before getting on to the next climaxing over Roddick's volleys.

Jack Romeo
03-15-2004, 07:10 PM
Worst volleyer to win a slam? That's sooo easy... wonder why nobody thought of it yet... who else but MONICA SELES

Most of the guys who win a slam have at least OK volleys. Even Roddick and Courier. But Seles played and won slams in an age when Navratilova, Novotna and Sabatini were playing too. These three had the best technique on the volley. Even other baseliners like Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario and Mary-Joe Fernandez had much better volleys than Seles.

jings
03-15-2004, 07:39 PM
I'm surprised Lendl hasn't been mentioned so far ... very clunky in my mind's eye.

chad shaver
03-15-2004, 07:46 PM
Jack Romeo,

I mentioned Seles......

Hyperstate
03-15-2004, 10:50 PM
LOL! at @wright's PMac comments. CRINGE!

Deuce
03-15-2004, 11:59 PM
Roddick.

I haven't seen him at IW - but 6 months ago, his volleys were still among the ugliest I'd ever seen.

Wow - the U.S. Open was half a year ago... Anyone else notice that the planet has accellerated its orbit?

Camilio Pascual
03-16-2004, 03:23 AM
Rabbit - Not really so contriare! Jordan was my pick. I see we agree that Borg was not comfortable at the net. I really brought him up to see if somebody would cite Wimby as evidence of great volleying skills, no takers. Grass aids those who do not volley particularly well, hard courts punish the poor volleyer, perhaps a minor reason Borg did not win the US Open? Good hearing from you!

joe sch
03-16-2004, 07:16 AM
I agree with Jiings, for an alltime great player, multi-slam winner like Lendl, he had very little confidence and touch at the net.

Shaolin
03-16-2004, 07:32 AM
irishbanger--Johansson is very good at all of those things you just said he's not. He is actually one of the biggest servers ON TOUR especially for his size. He gets hits around 130 easily on first serve, and also has a great ground game. His volleys are solid technique wise, he just doesnt come in that much.

I would agree Agassi is one of the worst, along with Rodhole at the US Open 03, although he did change my thinking about him a little yesterday vs Safin, where he came in a couple dozen times in the second set alone and won most of those points. I didnt think I would ever say this, but good going Andy.

miguelcoletta
03-16-2004, 08:04 AM
RODDICK OF COURSE, HES GOT NO STYLE :? :D

Kevin Patrick
03-16-2004, 01:59 PM
camilo,
who's barbara jordan? what major did she win? I've heard of Kathy Jordan, but I don't think she won a major.

Ronaldo
03-16-2004, 02:13 PM
Barbara and Kathy Jordan, sisters, were the NCAA dbls champs in 1978. Barbara Jordan won the 1979 Aus Open. Kathy Jordan won all 4 slams in Dbls.

Camilio Pascual
03-17-2004, 03:21 AM
Bingo! She also had a career winning percentage well under .400. I remember her win so well, a miracle, and totally unexpected. I consider it the biggest upset Major in the Open Era, including Becker, Chang, and Sanchez-Vicario.

Kevin Patrick
03-17-2004, 07:55 AM
Yeah I just looked her up on tenniscorner.net(great site by the way) she did have a pretty poor slam record. But considering how lackluster the Aussie fields were at the time, do you really consider her win that big an upset? Also Camilio, did you actually see any of her win? I didn't think the Aussie Open got any TV coverage until the 80s.

Camilio Pascual
03-18-2004, 03:17 AM
Yes, it was a weak field, but Jordan was a total unknown and was never ranked higher than 37 and had a .250 career record, I'd say this matches up with the others I listed who eventually got to #1 or #2 in the world. She beat a red hot up and coming Mandlikova, who would win Oz the next year.
I was on a CCTV crew, we didn't show everything we got, mainly football & golf, but some tennis (it was hot in the mid-to-late 70's) and little basketball or baseball. We had reel-to-reel and U-matic!

Kevin Patrick
03-18-2004, 08:47 AM
Wow Camilio that sounds cool,
any interesting player stories from then?

Camilio Pascual
03-19-2004, 01:03 PM
At the tennis club there is some good natured generational rivalry on and off the court. I'm in the old farts camp and we will start talking about the most obscure players we can think of from the past. Then we start correcting each other and realizing memories can be very faulty. Sometimes we are putting on the young 'uns and sometimes they are grinning when we are trying to figure out what year (or decade) when so and so beat you know who. Which reminds me - when I was Hitler's roommate right after the war to end all wars I came back from a match and he was leaning out the window yelling at some rabbi. I coulda tipped him out the window right then and there if I thought he was going to get somewhere with all his Jew talk... And so on.

Brian Purdie
03-20-2004, 07:46 AM
GO GO Gomez!. He was widely regarded as on eof the best shotmakers in tennis at 30 years of age when he won the French. Not many people know that. Kind of like a Fernando Gonzolez of his time. However talented, he was a poor volleyer.

As for Borg, maybe he was poor in 76 when he won his first, but not in 80 when he picked up his last Wimby title

PROTENNIS63
05-24-2008, 05:25 PM
Nadal........

Why are you keep on bringing up threads from 4 years ago!!!???

carlos djackal
05-24-2008, 06:06 PM
agassi would be it...

Legend of Borg
05-24-2008, 06:26 PM
Roddick always makes dramatic scenes when he volleys. He leaps, trips, falls, and whatnot. His opponent looks at him as if to say "Was the drama necessary?". It is for Roddick. A volleyer the man is not.

NikeWilson
05-24-2008, 08:09 PM
I would have to go with Agassi. this guy was so anti-volley, he pretty much invented a new shot called the "swinging volley". which coincidentally is still used today by players who have strong baseline games but weak net games. ie the Williams Sisters and Sharapova.

superman1
05-24-2008, 09:00 PM
I disagree about Agassi. The guy used to come in to net a lot more when he was younger. He wasn't very effective at net unless he had an easy putaway, but that's more because his wingspan was so short, not because of his volleying technique which was solid.

A lot of people have won Slams...try picking one of the lesser known baseliners, and you'll have your answer.

h7hugo
05-25-2008, 05:51 AM
Nadal

10chart.

Legend of Borg
05-25-2008, 06:19 AM
Nadal

10chart.

I think his volleys are underrated. He's better than most people think.

35ft6
05-25-2008, 09:37 AM
^ I agree. Nadal's volleys are underrated. I remember when Safin first came on the scene, his volleys were the worst I'd ever seen on a player of that caliber. They've really come a long way.

tennis08tarheels
05-25-2008, 09:52 AM
Don't watch much women's tennis, but Serena's volleys are god-awful.

Vision84
05-25-2008, 10:01 AM
Many clay court baseline bashers can be mentioned. Nadal a few years ago when he won his first grand slam was pretty weak at the net compared to the rest of the top players. Now he has improved a lot in that area and is decent at the net. He has quick hands and is good with drop volleys though he only comes to the net when he is totally forced to so he doesn't tend to get many tough volleys. Also Roddick is an obvious pick back when he won the USopen. Now his volleys are better but back then they were pretty weak compared to other top players.

On the Women's side Sharapova deserves a mention. Serena isn't great either and has to grunt/shriek heavily just to get a drop volley over the net.

Legend of Borg
05-25-2008, 10:06 AM
Don't watch much women's tennis, but Serena's volleys are god-awful.

Funny you say that. I just watched her miss and easy volley in her match against Harkleroad.

spikyblackhair
05-25-2008, 10:45 AM
Harkleroad had a nice volley right before championship point, but Serena got it back. Serena's not all that bad. Her form isn't great, but she can do it.

veroniquem
05-25-2008, 11:16 AM
Don't watch much women's tennis, but Serena's volleys are god-awful.
Really? I think Sharapova's are much worse.

Shaolin
05-25-2008, 11:34 AM
Nadal

10chart.


You have no clue. Nadal is actually an awesome volleyer. It just looks weird because he has that Babolat grandma racquet and its a baseliner with insane topspin so hes not "supposed" to be good at volleying.

I vote Roddick. His backhand volley is pretty good but his fh volley is abysmal.

Morrissey
05-25-2008, 12:03 PM
You have no clue. Nadal is actually an awesome volleyer. It just looks weird because he has that Babolat grandma racquet and its a baseliner with insane topspin so hes not "supposed" to be good at volleying.

I vote Roddick. His backhand volley is pretty good but his fh volley is abysmal.

Yeah, nothing like the even bigger 107 sq inch OS Head Radical Agassi used. My vote is for Agassi. For God's sake, he invented the swinging volley just so he didn't have to actually hit a proper volley.

Shaolin
05-25-2008, 12:06 PM
^^Andre's a good choice too. He looks incredibly uncomfortable trying a normal volley.

spikyblackhair
05-25-2008, 12:17 PM
He might not be great at normal volleys, but Andre had a pretty soft touch handling drop shots

Alexio92
05-25-2008, 12:53 PM
Spadea
10char

WillAlwaysLoveYouTennis
05-25-2008, 01:53 PM
Why are you keep on bringing up threads from 4 years ago!!!???


Well, for one I think some bring up threads from long ago because you have so many people replying to a new thread saying, "Why didn't you use the search function this topic has been covered before..?!!"

One can't win for losing apparently LOL

robby c
05-25-2008, 05:03 PM
Sergi Bruguera
Robby C

superman1
05-25-2008, 06:21 PM
^^Andre's a good choice too. He looks incredibly uncomfortable trying a normal volley.

Not really. Not more uncomfortable than Roddick. I haven't seen Gaudio volley but I wonder what he looks like up there. Or Thomas Johansson. Or...

lambielspins
05-25-2008, 06:25 PM
Umm has anyone seen Ferrero volley? He looks like he is trying put a hot potatoe in the stove without burning his hands or something. Even easy volleys he sprays long, he tries not to volley for the most part and take even real short balls off the bounce.

superstition
05-25-2008, 08:35 PM
Men: Roddick
Women: Evert

PascalMariaFan
05-25-2008, 10:00 PM
Moya.
Agassi could put volleys away without problem.

Defcon
05-25-2008, 11:24 PM
I'm sorry, Moya ?! He's ok at net, he even plays decent doubles.

I'd vote for anyone coached by Nick Bollettieri - the man has made it his life's work to destroy all court tennis and I'm sure a one-hander and any net play were banned at his academy !!

sandyCX
05-26-2008, 06:16 AM
I'm sorry, Moya ?! He's ok at net, he even plays decent doubles.

I'd vote for anyone coached by Nick Bollettieri - the man has made it his life's work to destroy all court tennis and I'm sure a one-hander and any net play were banned at his academy !!

Haas has a good all-round game, I think and Mallise too (dunno how long he was taught at Bollettieri's). And in his list of grand-slam champions, Hingis is also included (although he coached her very briefly in '98). I wonder how her game would've developed if she'd carried on with him.

Not having watched that many matches before 2001, I'd say Roddick had the most shaky looking volley when he won at US Open. Serena Williams' among the women, her volleys look really unflattering. Sharapova is mostly hitting drive volleys when she taking balls out of the air, where she's good. Her normal volleys leave a lot to be desired for, but don't look as uncomfortable as Serena's

WillAlwaysLoveYouTennis
05-26-2008, 07:11 AM
I first thought of Lendl, although through hard work and sheer determination he improved later in his career. He never looked comfortable there though.

Roddick next, although he also has improved up late and looks a lot more natural there than Lendl ever did.

morten
05-26-2008, 08:16 AM
Lendl, Agassi.

L4RZ
05-26-2008, 08:19 AM
Roddick 10 char

jean pierre
05-26-2008, 10:32 AM
OMG

Haven't heard about Barbara Jordan in years!

I never remembered Vilas as having a great volley. And even though he was technically sound, Lendl used to just look so uncomfortable and out of place hitting volleys I'd be inclined to throw him into the mix.

Vilas had a good volley. He didn't go to the net on clay, but I have the DVD of the Australian Open final and Masters final, on grass : he came a lot of times to the net and his volley was very good.

boredone3456
05-26-2008, 10:50 AM
Capriati is up there to...she could play the net if she had to, but she preferred to slug it from the line, and would only come in if it was absolutely necessary at times, she was not comfy up there. Barbara Jordan and Chang are up there also.

Shaolin
05-26-2008, 08:36 PM
Not really. Not more uncomfortable than Roddick. I haven't seen Gaudio volley but I wonder what he looks like up there. Or Thomas Johansson. Or...

Uh, the guy I mentioned FIRST was roddick, much worse than dre.

slack hack
05-27-2008, 09:00 PM
Toss-up between Muster and Chang on the men's side. Monica Seles on the women's.

Chang???!!!!
Nothing wrong with either of his volleys.
They were technically very sound.