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View Full Version : Sampras and Becker on Federer vs. a top serve & volleyer...


THUNDERVOLLEY
07-11-2007, 07:12 AM
According to a recent FOX Sports article ("Is Federer the Greatest Player Ever?"), Pete & Boris offer the following:

Sampras himself and Boris Becker, who won Wimbledon three times, say Federer benefits from not having to face a top serve-and-volleyer like themselves.

Reasonable theory? Ego, or a bit of both? Among the more notable, active players who are either S&Vs (or use the technique to some degree), Henman is not exactly a S&V of legendary talent (last win over RF coming in '04), Taylor Dent has not faced Federer, but is either injued, or lacks the intelligence to avoid approaching the same way (and hipping the world to his one-note strategy), while Ancic incorporates it but his last win against RF was in '02, with Fed dominating the last 4 meetings.

If--for a moment--one imagines a guy with the superior talents of Becker & Sampras (with present day training) facing Federer, do you think Federer would be overwhelmed?

Paul Annacone (from the same article) counters with:

"The best players tend to conform to what's successful" in terms of playing style, he said. "Great players can do that. Borg did it, Pete did it. In 2001, when Roger beat Pete at Wimbledon (ending his string of seven Wimbledon titles in eight years), Roger served and volleyed an incredible amount. That tells you a lot about his game and talent."

Interesting.

Thoughts?



Link: http://msn.foxsports.com/tennis/story/7005666?MSNHPHMA

crazylevity
07-11-2007, 07:14 AM
They've never played on the slow grass. Serving n volleying with today's racquets and surfaces is suicide. Federer occasionally does it because he can, but guess what? He wins far easily with a baseline game.

Phil
07-11-2007, 07:21 AM
I think Federer would have trouble with Becker's and Sampras' games-but who wouldn't/didn't? He's good enough to beat these guys, too, but he would not dominate them...not like he does the one-dimensional baselining weenies who make up the vast majority fo the ATP today. I've said it before and I'll say it again-Sampras would beat Federer 7 of 10 times if they were playing on the REAL Wimbledon grass (or US Open hard courts). A great serve and volleyer would not allow Federer to get away with those blocked returns. NOW, he can return pretty much anyway he wants and as long as the ball lands around or a bit deeper than the service line, he's in the point (or he wins it on the next shot).

dh003i
07-11-2007, 07:27 AM
Phil,

He plays those returns because they're a lot safer to make than going for more. It's % tennis.

When he played against Sampras, he played pretty aggressively on returns, and serves. And that was on faster grass. The commentators even noted that some of Sampas' serves, while good, weren't good enough against somebody who returns as good as Federer.

Your 7/10 figure is I think biased. They had one match, in which neither was in their prime, and it was pretty even.

CyBorg
07-11-2007, 07:33 AM
Phil,

He plays those returns because they're a lot safer to make than going for more. It's % tennis.

When he played against Sampras, he played pretty aggressively on returns, and serves. And that was on faster grass. The commentators even noted that some of Sampas' serves, while good, weren't good enough against somebody who returns as good as Federer.

Your 7/10 figure is I think biased. They had one match, in which neither was in their prime, and it was pretty even.

I just don't see how Pete would volley with any kind of success against Federer's passing shots. Sampras would be forced into a baseline battle - on any surface and lose because Federer's groundstrokes are superior - particularly from the backhand side.

The old grass/new grass arguments are tiring. They can be used to diminish Nadal's accomplishments somewhat, but not Federer's. This is the guy who beat Pete on the old grass and this is when his tennis IQ was much lower than today. He served and volleyed - at times clumsily - and still beat Pete. And Pete did not play badly (a mere two months later making the final at the USO).

The new grass hurts Roger if anything. His backhand is insanely good when the ball plays faster and stays lower.

Eviscerator
07-11-2007, 07:42 AM
They've never played on the slow grass. Serving n volleying with today's racquets and surfaces is suicide.

That is the main point in that conditions are slower and the ball bounces much higher now than just 6 years ago. If you were to put Federer back in time at W to face Becker, Rafter, Goran, Pete, etc., he would have a much tougher time. I suspect he would adapt his game since he is so talented. He did against Pete the one time he played him in the epic 5 set match. Federer has said that conditions are too slow for him to S&V like he use to.

Phil
07-11-2007, 07:45 AM
Phil,

He plays those returns because they're a lot safer to make than going for more. It's % tennis.

When he played against Sampras, he played pretty aggressively on returns, and serves. And that was on faster grass. The commentators even noted that some of Sampas' serves, while good, weren't good enough against somebody who returns as good as Federer.

Your 7/10 figure is I think biased. They had one match, in which neither was in their prime, and it was pretty even.

Of course it's % tennis, but he wouldn't be able to play that way against an aggressive serve and volleyer, of which there ARE NONE today. He would have to take risks or else be crushed at the net. Federer played Sampras ONCE, in Sampras' next to last year on the tour-I'm not sure why so-called knowledgable tennis fans things a single match when NEITHER player was in his "prime" is any kind of indicator of how they might fare if both were in their prime (of course, there IS no indicator for this...it's all speculation).

My 7/10 figure is based on watching Sampras play for 13 years and watching Federer play for the last 7. It's subjective-as any statement like this would be-but it's not biased.

rommil
07-11-2007, 07:48 AM
With the technology and the level of play and fitness of today's pros, Becker would not have as much success playing a serve and volley game.

CyBorg
07-11-2007, 08:02 AM
With the technology and the level of play and fitness of today's pros, Becker would not have as much success playing a serve and volley game.

Becker would be a baseliner and a very good one at that.

anointedone
07-11-2007, 08:43 AM
New grass hurts Federer probably vs Nadal, but would help him vs Becker and Sampras. Then agan all those playeres are talented enough, athletic enough, and skilled enough to adapt probably anyway.

Everyone would have trouble with the 90s Sampras, and the mid-late 80s Becker though, and definitely Federer would. Conversely though Sampras did not play someone on grass as consistently good as Federer is, unless you count erratic serve-and-nothing else Ivanisevic who could take himself out easily anyway by an early round loss or choking on all the big points in the final anyway. Krajicek when he put it all together maybe, but he only did that once his whole career, maybe twice if you count 98 when he made the semis. Other then that a bunch of early round flops and dissapointing showings at the big W from him too.

anointedone
07-11-2007, 08:45 AM
Of course it's % tennis, but he wouldn't be able to play that way against an aggressive serve and volleyer, of which there ARE NONE today. He would have to take risks or else be crushed at the net. Federer played Sampras ONCE, in Sampras' next to last year on the tour-I'm not sure why so-called knowledgable tennis fans things a single match when NEITHER player was in his "prime" is any kind of indicator of how they might fare if both were in their prime (of course, there IS no indicator for this...it's all speculation).

My 7/10 figure is based on watching Sampras play for 13 years and watching Federer play for the last 7. It's subjective-as any statement like this would be-but it's not biased.

I think except on clay Sampras would probably win 7 of 10 over Federer since mentally he is the tougher player. When the games are close, that is what it comes to. I am not saying Federer is not mentally tough, but he is not tops in that particular area. You can definitely see in his rivalry with Nadal for example that Nadal is the much tougher player mentally.

helloworld
07-11-2007, 08:51 AM
Federer beat Sampras once when he was still a teenager. Back then, his tennis was still a joke. His footwork looked clumsy and he serve and volley against Sampras !!! And beat him in that game !?!? I mean if they were to play now, that Sampras would be totally owned by the current Fed easily.

ACE of Hearts
07-11-2007, 09:09 AM
I am tired of these ex players talking, let the great Fed live and break all these records.The guy is an athlete just like they where.Fed can adapt to any player because of his talents.I think Sampras and him would have classic matchups.Federer is just too good for Becker in my mind, Pete is a different story.

bammbamm
07-11-2007, 09:33 AM
I think except on clay Sampras would probably win 7 of 10 over Federer since mentally he is the tougher player.

I can't believe you said that. Sampras could not even get to the Finals of RG. He could not even get to the SF consistently. Meanwhile, Roger is the only person to challenge the king of clay by ending Rafa's streak and the only person to take a set off of Rafa in RG. Fed got to the SF and Finals (2x) at RG where he actually had a chance to win it if his forehand did not betray him. Sampras has got nothing on Fed on clay. He's the second best clay courter right now.

fastdunn
07-11-2007, 09:34 AM
They all are right. A great player like Federer would adapt to whatever is
required. But I don't think he would dominate as much as now.

bluecephas
07-11-2007, 09:34 AM
When Fed beat Pete, he lost the next round to a serve-and-volleyer (Henman), which just proves Pete's and Becker's point. Imagine having to go through 2-4 top-notch serve and volleyers before reaching the finals, e.g. Sampras, Becker, Krajicek, Rafter, Ivanisevic. In slow grass, I believe the odds are definitely for Federer, but we won't be seeing 5 in a row, or ridiculously one-sided matches like we've witness these past several years.

jjjosh
07-11-2007, 09:43 AM
A reason for a lack of great serve and volley players maby because of the evolution of the game. Because of technology players return better, and so thoes with big serves are more incline to stay back. Everyone serves faster now, but the ball comes back. Hewitt game Sampras problems because of his defence and now there are players like Nadal that have taken that to another level.

poplar
07-11-2007, 10:02 AM
According to a recent FOX Sports article ("Is Federer the Greatest Player Ever?"), Pete & Boris offer the following:



Reasonable theory? Ego, or a bit of both? Among the more notable, active players who are either S&Vs (or use the technique to some degree), Henman is not exactly a S&V of legendary talent (last win over RF coming in '04), Taylor Dent has not faced Federer, but is either injued, or lacks the intelligence to avoid approaching the same way (and hipping the world to his one-note strategy), while Ancic incorporates it but his last win against RF was in '02, with Fed dominating the last 4 meetings.

If--for a moment--one imagines a guy with the superior talents of Becker & Sampras (with present day training) facing Federer, do you think Federer would be overwhelmed?

Paul Annacone (from the same article) counters with:



Interesting.

Thoughts?



Link: http://msn.foxsports.com/tennis/story/7005666?MSNHPHMA

wow. federer did face a top s&ver before he became federer. that was 2001 and the he won. wait, that top s&ver was pete himself. and federer himself was playing s&v in that match.

pete really does come off bitter with those comments, even if they were true, llet alone it isn't true. i am suprised that someone so knowledgeable would fail to realize tennis has evolved, and the grass has changed.

Feņa14
07-11-2007, 10:04 AM
I personally think Federer wouldn't have too many problems, he has too much genius in him to let a serve & volleyer have his own way for best of 5 sets on grass.

I agree though that all of these ex players who keep coming out with little comments is getting really old. Federer is the here and now and he's breaking records left, right and centre. It makes the likes of Becker and Sampras seem pretty bitter when someone new comes along and breaks all their records so they start complaining. Let Federer do his job without having to listen to ex players firing jealous comments at him seemingly every other week.

urban
07-11-2007, 10:04 AM
To counter the better returns, it would help, to learn a proper volley. I still think, that not the courts, but the Bollettieri-school is the reason for the loss of the volley.Its not only a question of the execution of the actual stroke, but also of the positioning and footwork.Its not forbidden, to volley after a baseline exchange. Connors did that to a great extend and with great success, despite being not the most natural volleyer. Djokovic could significantly shorten his matches, if he would learn a decent volley.

Spencer
07-11-2007, 10:12 AM
Federer has only won 1 of his 11 grandslams playing predominately serve & volley. The rest of his wins were mostly won from the baseline. Like it or not people, Federer is a baseline pounder just like Nadal. I think Nadal went to net more than Federer in their past 2 Wimbledon finals.

Federer was a brilliant serve & volleyer as displayed by his victory against Sampras in 2001. He definitely has the all court talent like Sampras but it's harder to play consistently good tennis when you face a greater variety of competition and surface variations like Sampras and Becker had to.

In today's game the courts all play at similar speeds and everyone stays back so each match is just like the previous one. Lack of variety in the game of tennis probably explains Federer's recent dominance more so than the lack of talent. In a nutshell, everyone plays baseline tennis on medium speed courts and Federer is the best with Nadal second. Neither of these guys had to adapt differently from day to day to beat an opponent. They are not being challenged to utilize all of their talent.

Still I think that if Federer were in Sampras' era, he would still be top 1 -2 with Sampras and I think he would having a winning lifetime record over Pete because of his consistency. Assuming he could maintain that level of consistency with the greater variety of opponents/surfaces that era had to offer.

fastdunn
07-11-2007, 10:14 AM
I'm sure Federer has superb defense and return game even on fast grass
but I'm not sure if he has strong enough 2nd serve and offensive
net game.

You 2nd serve and serve return used to be keys to win at Wimbledon.

ACE of Hearts
07-11-2007, 10:18 AM
Fed didnt believe in his talents in 2001.When he beat Pete and lost to Henman not everyone was shock.

fastdunn
07-11-2007, 10:23 AM
In 90's, Federer would have been the top clay courter without Nadal.

AAAA
07-11-2007, 10:25 AM
Imagine having to go through 2-4 top-notch serve and volleyers before reaching the finals, e.g. Sampras, Becker, Krajicek, Rafter, Ivanisevic.

IMAGINE is the key word here because as far as I can recall no one ever had to get through Sampras, Becker, Krajicek, Rafter, Ivanisevic in any wimbledon draw.

The Gorilla
07-11-2007, 10:28 AM
In 90's, Federer would have been the top clay courter without Nadal.

brugera
rios
kuerten
muster

ACE of Hearts
07-11-2007, 10:29 AM
I think people really give Krajicek, Rafter and Ivanisevic too much credit.Yes they where great servers but Pete beat them.There is a reason some players distinguish themselves and seperate themselves from the pack.I see no reason why Fed wouldnt have the same success.U are what u are.

TheNatural
07-11-2007, 11:42 AM
Rafter 3- Federer 0

quest01
07-11-2007, 11:46 AM
I think Annacone is right, Federer served and volleyed and still beat Pete Sampras in Wimbledon 01. That really speaks volumes on how good Federer is if he can beat Sampras at his own game. In the end Federer is the better player on grass.

TheNatural
07-11-2007, 11:51 AM
I dont thik Fed would return well enough to win consistently versus good attacking players. eg beats Sampras, then loses to Henman, He hardly did anything on Nadals serves, so he'd struggle even more against Rafter etc. Those guys are also better at attacking 2nd serves and blanketing the net than Fed is.

fact: rafter 3, federer 0

VGP
07-11-2007, 12:09 PM
Federer likes to settle in to points and settle into matches.

If he's constantly pushed around his frustration shows. He presses and the UEs rack up. The problem with that is the current conditions and players' mentalities don't put Federer in that situation very often.

That is what Nadal can do to Federer when the play. The best single-match example is the match between Federer and Safin at the AO of 2005. Safin hit huge and really put Roger on the defensive. Robbing him of the precious time that he needs to execute his game.

Becker and Sampras were masters of robbing you of time, obviously on surfaces that are conducive to that (grass, carpet, and faster hardcourts). After serve and first volley, Federer would be stuck having to thread needles on passes constantly.

Ok, Federer beat Sampras in 2001 and it's the only match that people can draw from. After four hours of tennis, Pete dropped just a hair mentally on a service game and got down 15-40. One good return and that was it. That's not enough to show that Federer "clearly" has the edge over Pete.

Also, people cite Sampras' lack of ability off the backhand side. Something happened to his backhand after his back injury in the summer of '99. From then on, it was a liability. Before that, I wouldn't have called it a weakness. I was watching the '00 Canadian Open match between Pete and Marat and Sampras' backhand was looking really ugly in that match. That carried through to his retirement with perhaps the exceptions of his USO matches in '01 and '02.

Now, if you watch Sampras on the senior tour, his backhand is looking pretty sweet. Some time off and some techincal fixes and his ground game is looking pretty strong (not to mention his equipment changes).

If Federer grew up under the faster conditions with players like the Samprases, Beckers, Ivanisevices, Rafters, et al. he'd have tried to bust through while being pushed more often.

On the otherhand, if the Samprases and Beckers of the 90's were playing under the current conditions, you'd have probably seen the Brugeras, Kuertens, Couriers, and Changs winning more on the tour with the slower grass and lack of carpet events.

ACE of Hearts
07-11-2007, 12:18 PM
Quit bringing up Rafter 3-0 vs Federer.Rafter would lose consistently if he faced Roger now.Rafter would serve and volley because his ground game stinks.He would be like another Tim Henman for Roger.When he faced Roger, he was green.I hate when people try to bring up winning records vs Fed, it doesnt have any value to them.Look at what happened to Hewitt vs Fed, Agassi as well.

TheNatural
07-11-2007, 12:30 PM
Rafter had a very high bouncing kick serve to the backhand. Isnt that Feds weakness? High balls to the backhand. Fed could barely do anything with Nadals serevs to his backhands, so its no wander Rafter had him 3-0.

Quit bringing up Rafter 3-0 vs Federer.Rafter would lose consistently if he faced Roger now.Rafter would serve and volley because his ground game stinks.He would be like another Tim Henman for Roger.When he faced Roger, he was green.I hate when people try to bring up winning records vs Fed, it doesnt have any value to them.Look at what happened to Hewitt vs Fed, Agassi as well.

iamke55
07-11-2007, 12:32 PM
It's funny how arrogant Sampras and Becker are, thinking they are so good that not one person in the millions of tennis player of today is a top serve & volleyer. I think they would consistently lose to S&V players of today ranked in the 100's. Nobody in the world today has a backhand(or a forehand, for that matter) as ugly as those of Sampras, except for maybe Nadal.

tricky
07-11-2007, 12:44 PM
Rafter had a very high bouncing kick serve to the backhand. Isnt that Feds weakness? High balls to the backhand.

Sure, but on 90s grass, it wouldn't have bounced like it did against Nadal.

This is a hard call because Federer's game evolved with the surface. In his teens, when surfaces were still fast, Federer played a balanced all-court game and volleyed a lot. His BH volley is as crisp as they come nowadays; he swings the FH volley a bit, and that put him into trouble. If he had played his prime in the 90s, he would have worked more on his volleying technique (just as his footwork in 2001 wasn't all there yet when he played Sampras) and become a solid, if not great, volleyer. Would that have been enough to beat peak Sampras on his favorite surface? We'll never know.

chaz_233
07-11-2007, 12:46 PM
I don't think Fed would have a problem, he might actually like it as today's games are so one dimensional.
His returns against Sampras where absolutely sick, he completely embarrassed Sampras.

fastdunn
07-11-2007, 12:48 PM
In his teens, when surfaces were still fast, Federer played a balanced all-court game and volleyed a lot.

But I think he volleyed mostly on grass. not much on hard court.
And not much S&V on carpet. He was definitely baseliner on carpet while
others were s&ving in late late 90's...

I still remmeber he blew off Chang from baseline when they played 1st time at US Open 2000.
And in 1998 he played 95% baseline game against Agassi on INDOOR CARPET.
He may have volleyed abit more than now back then but at that time, some of baseliners
volleyed more.

I have a doubt on the assertion that Federer game has evolved from all courter to a baseliner.
I think it's more like he never had a need to make any major changes in his baseline game.
I think he always has been a hard core baseliner as Brad Gibert suggested.
He was a baseliner when he debuted and tried some S&V at Wimbledon
and from 2003 he didn't need to.

ACE of Hearts
07-11-2007, 12:53 PM
The natural, he had him 3-0 but come on, he played a baby fed.Rafter would ge his *** handed to him now, i am sure he wouldnt admitted, but he knows he played him when he didnt display his full arsenal.

War, Safin!
07-11-2007, 12:56 PM
I think Federer would have trouble with Becker's and Sampras' games-but who wouldn't/didn't? He's good enough to beat these guys, too, but he would not dominate them...not like he does the one-dimensional baselining weenies who make up the vast majority fo the ATP today. I've said it before and I'll say it again-Sampras would beat Federer 7 of 10 times if they were playing on the REAL Wimbledon grass (or US Open hard courts). A great serve and volleyer would not allow Federer to get away with those blocked returns. NOW, he can return pretty much anyway he wants and as long as the ball lands around or a bit deeper than the service line, he's in the point (or he wins it on the next shot).
I've been reading Phil's posts for the last year or so and I can categorically say... he rocks.
He knows his tennis and objectively posts the *****!

ACE of Hearts
07-11-2007, 01:02 PM
7 out of 10 times?Now thats ridiculous, even if its on fast grass.I keep bringing up that 2001 match, sorry i just have too.Pete Sampras didnt play all that bad that day and Roger played extremely well but he has been 10x better then what he was that match.People really underestimate Federer's return game.This guy has some of the best reflexes and anticipation when it comes to returning serves.Pete's serve was very hard to break on grass but that day, Fed returned it like it was nothing.I can just imagine now.

I also remember Pete being dumfounded by Roger's serve that day.He kept pounding the serve to Pete's backhand.

War, Safin!
07-11-2007, 01:08 PM
7 out of 10 times?Now thats ridiculous, even if its on fast grass.I keep bringing up that 2001 match, sorry i just have too.Pete Sampras didnt play all that bad that day and Roger played extremely well but he has been 10x better then what he was that match.People really underestimate Federer's return game.This guy has some of the best reflexes and anticipation when it comes to returning serves.Pete's serve was very hard to break on grass but that day, Fed returned it like it was nothing.I can just imagine now.

I also remember Pete being dumfounded by Roger's serve that day.He kept pounding the serve to Pete's backhand.
Nope - Federer just caught lightning-in-a-bottle that afternoon.
If he was that good in 2001, he'd have crushed Henman the next round, crushed Rafter or Ivanesivic in the final and gone to win a slam the next year.
As it was he didnt do jack-***** for another 18 months.
NOTHING.

The Federer-Sampras win was as lucky as Safin's in 2000.

Too many folks putting too much into that Wimbledon win.
Sampras would've owned Federer at the 2001 US and 2002 Aus Open if they'd met.

sunflowerhx
07-11-2007, 01:14 PM
Imagine having to go through 2-4 top-notch serve and volleyers before reaching the finals, e.g. Sampras, Becker, Krajicek, Rafter, Ivanisevic.

Ivanisevic is NOT a serve and volleyer. Got a record at Wimbledon cos of his serve.
Krajicek - never rated him, for some reason he was Sampras boogie player.

You forgot to mention Edberg the only true natural serve and volleyer. Stitch was also deserves a mention.

ACE of Hearts
07-11-2007, 01:15 PM
Plz, Fed was very up and down back then.He once said in an interview, he never thought he was capable of being consistent day in and day out.

Pete would have nightmares even on fast grass against Roger.Roger is a prototype of Pete minus the big serve.

TheNatural
07-11-2007, 01:59 PM
Fed with his full arsenal struggled to beat short little serve volleyer Zuzuki 4-6 7-5 7-6, at the end of last year. (hes about a 300 rank player and was ranked 1080 then). Rafter and Sampras are a much tougher proposition. Fed just doesnt like people taking his time away. IF Suzuki can almost beat Fed playing attacking tennis, why would it be a surprise if Sampras and Rafter and others would take their fair share of wins versus Federer, or that Pete would win 70% of the time.

Pro Staff Pete
07-11-2007, 02:08 PM
Well, Federer used to lose against Henman.. every time.

scaramanga
07-11-2007, 02:16 PM
The S&V depends on the quality of serve and return, if served good
and pushed opponent away from court and off balance, then it is a
a good weapen. If the opponet has enough time to respond then
the returned ball may be tough to handle, likely resulting in a soft ball.

When Samp plays AA, his serve often pulled AA off court, AA can merely
get the ball back into court, no time to consider pace and placement.
so the next one is a easy poach.

When playing against Fed, his ball reading is fantastic and his movement is unbelivable, so most likely he will hit a passing short, and with tremendous spin and pace, even if you got the balll back the quality of volley is no good and opponent are more likely put that away.

Roddick had tried this often, Connors may have figured that SV is a way to beat Fed. But obviously not working on Fed. The break points oftern comes from an approaching valley from Roddick.

Yeah Roddick is no Sampras. But Sampras's main weapen is SV, if
engaged in an rally Sampras is not so good to get this point eventually.
If Fed can handle his serve, then Samp is no match on baseline rally with Fed. Percentage wise Fed wins. AA said to play with Samp one has a chance but against Fed, no chance, he had a reason to say that.

TheNatural
07-11-2007, 02:33 PM
Sampras would do a lot of damage on the return of serve too:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Ih-fWw5TE8


The S&V depends on the quality of serve and return, if served good
and pushed opponent away from court and off balance, then it is a
a good weapen. If the opponet has enough time to respond then
the returned ball may be tough to handle, likely resulting in a soft ball.

When Samp plays AA, his serve often pulled AA off court, AA can merely
get the ball back into court, no time to consider pace and placement.
so the next one is a easy poach.

When playing against Fed, his ball reading is fantastic and his movement is unbelivable, so most likely he will hit a passing short, and with tremendous spin and pace, even if you got the balll back the quality of volley is no good and opponent are more likely put that away.

Roddick had tried this often, Connors may have figured that SV is a way to beat Fed. But obviously not working on Fed. The break points oftern comes from an approaching valley from Roddick.

Yeah Roddick is no Sampras. But Sampras's main weapen is SV, if
engaged in an rally Sampras is not so good to get this point eventually.
If Fed can handle his serve, then Samp is no match on baseline rally with Fed. Percentage wise Fed wins. AA said to play with Samp one has a chance but against Fed, no chance, he had a reason to say that.

Bassus
07-11-2007, 02:54 PM
Fed with his full arsenal struggled to beat short little serve volleyer Zuzuki 4-6 7-5 7-6, at the end of last year. (hes about a 300 rank player and was ranked 1080 then). Rafter and Sampras are a much tougher proposition. Fed just doesnt like people taking his time away. IF Suzuki can almost beat Fed playing attacking tennis, why would it be a surprise if Sampras and Rafter and others would take their fair share of wins versus Federer, or that Pete would win 70% of the time.

As others have said, Federer would make adjustments to his game if he consistently faced attacking players. Federer is pretty good at making adjustments...except when he's playing Nadal at the French Open.

Sampras and Federer have been my favorite players, so I don't think I'm biased towards either. Pitting them against each other in their primes would be a great thing to see, and I think it would come down to surface.

On the old, fast grass, I would favor Sampras to win the majority of the time. I don't know about 70% though.

On the newer, slower grass I'd give at least a slight edge to Federer.

Clay would be the most lopsided surface in my opinion, with Federer dominating.

I think they'd be close to even on fast hard courts and indoor carpet.

On slower hard courts I'd give the edge to Federer.

superman1
07-11-2007, 04:56 PM
Even today, when Fed faces these serve and volleyers who are either 35 years old or can't even hit a decent volley, he struggles with them more than with the baseline bashers he meets on a routine basis. The thing about serve and volleyers is that they can have a phenomenal day where everything just goes in, and the guy on the other side of the net can't do anything about it. Sampras and Becker had a lot of those days. A perfect drop volley at the net is a lot easier to pull off than an outright winner from the baseline against Federer.

fastdunn
07-11-2007, 05:00 PM
When Sampras played AA, he went for two 1st serves try to make
AA unable to return meaningfully.

Sampras had GOAT serves but AA had GOAT service return.

anointedone
07-11-2007, 05:01 PM
Even today, when Fed faces these serve and volleyers who are either 35 years old or can't even hit a decent volley, he struggles with them more than with the baseline bashers he meets on a routine basis.

Give some examples.

fastdunn
07-11-2007, 05:10 PM
Federer d. Suzuki 4-6, 7-5, 7-6(3) - 2006 Tokyo

In this match, Federer had to defend more break points(3) than Suzuki(2)
and won on 26% of 1st return points and 40% of 2nd returns...

Suzuki is 31 year old pure S&Ver, 5'8" Japanese.

ACE of Hearts
07-11-2007, 05:12 PM
My problem with some of u is that u think Fed cant hang with Sampras on fast grass which is a joke in it self.All u need to do is look at the match on sunday and tell me if u think u could volley in that thing called grass, plzzzzzz.Fed would be coming in like he did against Sampras in 2001.I think its 50-50 on fast grass.Thats why i want them to speed up the grass so u can see his talent come to fruition,

ACE of Hearts
07-11-2007, 05:17 PM
So Suzuki played one good match and that tells u what?That he would struggle with serve and volley player?plz.Suzuki played a great match.I need to remind u that Sampras loss to alot of guys like that as well, weird names in no name tournaments.

fastdunn
07-11-2007, 05:19 PM
it certainly "proves" nothing. i never gave suzuki to prove anything.

but I certainly don't think the match suggest completely meaningless to the whole issue.

Chang
07-11-2007, 05:24 PM
Too hard to say. Conditions these days are different. Seve and volley may not be as effective now than back then

anointedone
07-11-2007, 05:25 PM
Federer d. Suzuki 4-6, 7-5, 7-6(3) - 2006 Tokyo

In this match, Federer had to defend more break points(3) than Suzuki(2)
and won on 26% of 1st return points and 40% of 2nd returns...

Suzuki is 31 year old pure S&Ver, 5'8" Japanese.

OK so one random early round match in an event of Tier III type event was close. That is the best example out there? OK I guess no more needs to be said then. :p

It would be fun to gather a collection of Sampras's results vs low ranked mediocre type players counting smaller tournaments as well, both the near losses and losses.

ACE of Hearts
07-11-2007, 05:30 PM
Look, great players always lose to players that suck.Its not secret that Roger struggles with retrievers but Sampras alsos struggled in mini-tournaments but that doesnt mean those players are better and can beat them consistently.

fastdunn
07-11-2007, 05:38 PM
Don't get a wrong idea on the issue I'm refering to.

Federer will turn out as one of the greats in any era.
But the fact that he has to deal with baseliners only 99% of time
certainly helps him to dominate this much.

But as I said many times here last couple of years,
homogenity of playing style and surface condition prolly makes it
harder to dominate longer period.

So there's advantages and disadvantages in all era that evens out.

At the end, the number of slams and how much (and long) a player
dominate, matters.

anointedone
07-11-2007, 05:39 PM
Look, great players always lose to players that suck.Its not secret that Roger struggles with retrievers but Sampras alsos struggled in mini-tournaments but that doesnt mean those players are better and can beat them consistently.

I wonder what conclusion one would draw from Pete's 1-3 vs Paul Haarhuis? That he must struggle to even beat any pretty good serve-volley player, even those who prefer doubles to singles? Or what conclusion would one draw from Pete's 6 match losing streak to Wayne Ferreira? That he struggles with any baseliner who is pretty consistent with a pretty good forehand (probably a fair accessment of Ferreira without being either generous or harsh)? Those are many matches too, not just 1 random match in an event far below a Masters in importance, which Federer still won but was close vs a small Japanese serve-volleyer. You can see the silliness of the whole concept to begin with pretty well I think.

fastdunn
07-11-2007, 05:48 PM
I repeat I never meant to draw any conclusion from the suzuki match result.

In fact, I don't think this debate will have any conclusion
because we just don't have enough data.

This is a debate with speculation and insight.

anointedone
07-11-2007, 05:50 PM
I repeat I never meant to draw any conclusion from the suzuki match result.

In fact, I don't think this debate will have any conclusion
because we just don't have enough data.

This is a debate with speculation and insight.

That is fine. I am just saying I dont think one random match in such a small event is much to even have any speculation about its meaning. If Federer is that closely scrutinized then he really must be the best ever, if he is expected to be that perfect at all times compared to other greats.

If you want to speculate based on one random match in a tier III type event though, you have every right to do so.

CyBorg
07-11-2007, 05:51 PM
Fed with his full arsenal struggled to beat short little serve volleyer Zuzuki 4-6 7-5 7-6, at the end of last year. (hes about a 300 rank player and was ranked 1080 then). Rafter and Sampras are a much tougher proposition. Fed just doesnt like people taking his time away. IF Suzuki can almost beat Fed playing attacking tennis, why would it be a surprise if Sampras and Rafter and others would take their fair share of wins versus Federer, or that Pete would win 70% of the time.

Is Suzuki better than Tim Henman - a server and volleyer that Federer owns?

anointedone
07-11-2007, 05:53 PM
Is Suzuki better than Tim Henman - a server and volleyer that Federer owns?

Actually Henman owned Federer for awhile. Federer began to own Henman in 2004, which was arguably Henman's best year ever. 2004 was also when Federer became his current self as a player too. So it is probably the year you have both at their top levels.

Eviscerator
07-11-2007, 05:55 PM
I think people really give Krajicek, Rafter and Ivanisevic too much credit.

:roll:


Yes they where great servers but Pete beat them. I see no reason why Fed wouldnt have the same success.U are what u are.

The reason Pete was able to beat them (aside from his overall skill and will) was because he himself had a monster serve, arguably the best in the game. While Federer is very talented and would find a way to compete against them, he does not have the serve Pete did.

CyBorg
07-11-2007, 06:12 PM
Actually Henman owned Federer for awhile. Federer began to own Henman in 2004, which was arguably Henman's best year ever. 2004 was also when Federer became his current self as a player too. So it is probably the year you have both at their top levels.

Hence, 'owns' - in the present tense.:) Clearly Roger's adjusted, though granted Tiger's teeth have no more bite.

kingdaddy41788
07-11-2007, 06:24 PM
I think if Fed played Pete 10 times on grass, it'd go 5 and 5.

On hard, probably 5-5 or 6-4 fed.

on clay, 10-0 fed. I mean... yeah I think it's obvious.

ACE of Hearts
07-11-2007, 06:46 PM
U dont need to be a great server to beat those guys.I never doubted Sampras against those guys, i am saying that Fed would have the same success, he might not have Pete's serve but i would take everything else.

Lets take an example a baseliner like Agassi who has a winning record of 18-11 combined with all 3.Agassi did really well against those guys and Federer in my mind is a better baseliner/all court player then Agassi.

TheNatural
07-11-2007, 06:47 PM
So he learnt to own one serve volleyer, his good friend which he practices with often.

Besides Henman is 33 this year. Fed only started beating himwhen he hit about 30.

I wander what type of players will start beating Federer when he's 30.


Is Suzuki better than Tim Henman - a server and volleyer that Federer owns?

DNShade
07-11-2007, 06:49 PM
Look. This whole thing is really kinda pointless. But here is the thing- The reason Fed hasn't faced many S&V is because there aren't really any out there anymore.

And no, it's not because of the strings, rackets etc...And it's not because the "players are better or stronger" and that S&V is dead...

It's because all these kids grew up learning to just hit big from the baseline AA style etc. Just how the kids learned. It's much easier to win as juniors from the baseline then taking your blows learning to play from the net. Just how things have happened. You can can Nick B. or all the coaches out there etc...But trust me - someone soon will show up and S&V his as off McEnroe-Edberg-Becker style and start kicking ***...then we'll see how Fed, Rafa and the rest react. To be honest, Fed plays baseline because he found he can win that way without having to come in - because of the players that he faces. Beats them at their own game. But if someone starts really S&Ving - pushes him - then we'll see how he reacts and changes up his game.

NadalForever
07-11-2007, 06:59 PM
Let's all remember that Roddick was a point away from beating Federer in straight sets at last year's Master's cup. If Roddick can serve and volley himself to that point against Fed then Sampras, Rafter, Becker, Edberg, Ivasinevic would be able to do the same and since they are not chokers like Roddick then they would actually be able to win that match point.

ACE of Hearts
07-11-2007, 07:01 PM
Ivanisevic not a choker?mmmmm, and Rafter?Those guys are hyped to a T.

Tennis_Monk
07-11-2007, 07:14 PM
May be some of these pointless arguments would also go like this...

Federer lost twice to Guillermo Canada and once to Volandri. May be federer isnt that good at Baseline because he lost to guys most Top 10 players would beat easily.

Extending this argument, Fed shouldnt be winning any slams but he is...11 and counting.

Stop this pointless crap. There is no objective way to measure how Becker would fare against Federer. Fed and Sampras played once and thats all we got. Any arguments regarding Player A of 90's is better than Federer is just that..Argument .with no quantifiable objective basis.

inquisitive
07-11-2007, 07:24 PM
Federer has a better overall game than Sampras or Becker. Obviously, Sampras and Becker had great serves to be good s/v players, but i think Rafter was probably the best at the net considering his serve was weaker than Sampras or Becker. Rafter didn't have a big serve, just a deep chop shot to the corners for him to get to the net.

Swissv2
07-11-2007, 07:50 PM
I dont thik Fed would return well enough to win consistently versus good attacking players. eg beats Sampras, then loses to Henman, He hardly did anything on Nadals serves, so he'd struggle even more against Rafter etc. Those guys are also better at attacking 2nd serves and blanketing the net than Fed is.

fact: rafter 3, federer 0

Then Rafter should get more Grand Slams, no? These matches were played in 2001, and 1999

Lee James
07-11-2007, 08:10 PM
I just don't see how Pete would volley with any kind of success against Federer's passing shots. Sampras would be forced into a baseline battle - on any surface and lose because Federer's groundstrokes are superior - particularly from the backhand side.

The old grass/new grass arguments are tiring. They can be used to diminish Nadal's accomplishments somewhat, but not Federer's. This is the guy who beat Pete on the old grass and this is when his tennis IQ was much lower than today. He served and volleyed - at times clumsily - and still beat Pete. And Pete did not play badly (a mere two months later making the final at the USO).

The new grass hurts Roger if anything. His backhand is insanely good when the ball plays faster and stays lower.

I'd tend to disagree with you a bit on your point about Sampras having trouble with Federer's return of serve on grass. Of course Federer would come up with some great returns and make it difficult for Sampras to execute his style of play, but the whole point of serving and volleying is to put pressure on your opponent to come up with those shots service game after service game. You have to believe that as good as Federer is, he can't keep up that kind of consistency for an entire match as it would wear on him mentally to know that he has to come up with amazing returns against one of the best servers ever. That's the problem that most players face against Federer is that none of them are as good as he is from the baseline, so that it's difficult to truly pressure him to come up with the goods time after time. So with that in mind, I would have to believe that the likes of Sampras or Becker would have a really good chance at beating Federer. It definitely wouldn't be the domination that we have seen over the current crop of players. I guess you would also have to take into consideration Federer's ability to adapt to a serve and volley style of tennis, but I don't think he is nearly as good at serving and volleying as Sampras was.

ACE of Hearts
07-11-2007, 08:13 PM
They have a chance not doubt but its not a forgone conclusion.I hate to beat a deadhorse but on fast grass, Fed is not staying back, we saw that in 2001.

TheNatural
07-11-2007, 08:27 PM
I didnt say rafter was that great. Just that Fed had troubles versus guys who took his time away, and no one did that better than Sampras.





Then Rafter should get more Grand Slams, no? These matches were played in 2001, and 1999

CyBorg
07-11-2007, 08:50 PM
So he learnt to own one serve volleyer, his good friend which he practices with often.

Besides Henman is 33 this year. Fed only started beating himwhen he hit about 30.

I wander what type of players will start beating Federer when he's 30.

You must be schizophrenic. You brought up Suzuki and I mentioned Henman. Now you're spewing some kind of crap about...

Actually, never mind. Everyone knows you're a troll.

coo-coo.

CyBorg
07-11-2007, 08:53 PM
I'd tend to disagree with you a bit on your point about Sampras having trouble with Federer's return of serve on grass. Of course Federer would come up with some great returns and make it difficult for Sampras to execute his style of play, but the whole point of serving and volleying is to put pressure on your opponent to come up with those shots service game after service game. You have to believe that as good as Federer is, he can't keep up that kind of consistency for an entire match as it would wear on him mentally to know that he has to come up with amazing returns against one of the best servers ever. That's the problem that most players face against Federer is that none of them are as good as he is from the baseline, so that it's difficult to truly pressure him to come up with the goods time after time. So with that in mind, I would have to believe that the likes of Sampras or Becker would have a really good chance at beating Federer. It definitely wouldn't be the domination that we have seen over the current crop of players. I guess you would also have to take into consideration Federer's ability to adapt to a serve and volley style of tennis, but I don't think he is nearly as good at serving and volleying as Sampras was.

On the old grass Sampras would certainly trouble Federer to an extent - what kind of extent, we'll never know. What I take issue with, however, are those comments that present Federer as having some kind of advantage of the bouncier grass than the old-style grass. Federer loves fast surfaces and hits the ball much earlier than Sampras ever did - watch his groundstrokes and the way the ball hits off his racket; much cleaner than Pete's.

The serve-and-volley would be an adjustment for Roger, but the sheer power of Roger's groundstrokes would also require an adjustment for Pete's volleys. I think he'd have a hard time as well.

TheNatural
07-11-2007, 08:55 PM
now youre acting like a 2 year old

You must be schizophrenic. You brought up Suzuki and I mentioned Henman. Now you're spewing some kind of crap about...

Actually, never mind. Everyone knows you're a troll.

coo-coo.

superman1
07-11-2007, 11:03 PM
The point is, if Fed had to play more good serve and volleyers, I suspect that he'd lose slightly more often, because those guys can have ridiculously good days when they have a high first serve percentage and all their volleys go in. But the courts are all slow now, so everyone stays back and tries to hit winners against Federer, which is pretty damn difficult to do.

Roddick got to net constantly in Shanghai and he damn near beat Federer. It's amazing that if Roddick won just ONE point, everyone here would have a completely different opinion of him. Then they play again on a slow court in Australia and Roddick gets his @$$ kicked from the baseline and at net. But the point is, Roddick had an amazing day in Shanghai, and he was able to throw Federer off with his net play.

Eviscerator
07-12-2007, 05:56 AM
But the point is, Roddick had an amazing day in Shanghai, and he was able to throw Federer off with his net play.

Even more to the point is that Roddick is average at the net compared with the other great players being discussed.

---

To the person comparing Agassi to the S&V's and have a winning record to everyone but Pete keep this is mind. While I would agree that Federer was better overall than Andre, the service return Agassi had was one of the best of all time. So against S&V's having the best service return of his day (better than Federer IMO) helped him to pass S&V's more than any other player of his time. So while Federer was more talented/better overall, Agassi had the perfect weapon to thwart them.

kaiotic
07-12-2007, 08:02 AM
Federer beat Sampras once when he was still a teenager. Back then, his tennis was still a joke. His footwork looked clumsy and he serve and volley against Sampras !!! And beat him in that game !?!? I mean if they were to play now, that Sampras would be totally owned by the current Fed easily.

a joke??
not in the Wimby R16 2001 match. go watch the epic video some more.
he was playing out of his mind that afternoon. returning effective enough to put a good dent in Pete's serves, and was volleying and striking from the baseline like a seasoned pro who knew how to handle Pete's game.
Pete did well, but not his best that day.

going with Phil on this...

kaiotic
07-12-2007, 08:05 AM
wow. federer did face a top s&ver before he became federer. that was 2001 and the he won. wait, that top s&ver was pete himself. and federer himself was playing s&v in that match.

pete really does come off bitter with those comments, even if they were true, llet alone it isn't true. i am suprised that someone so knowledgeable would fail to realize tennis has evolved, and the grass has changed.

"evolved"? ahahhahhahha

kaiotic
07-12-2007, 08:14 AM
brugera
rios
kuerten
muster

and Courier

ACE of Hearts
07-12-2007, 08:15 AM
Thats such a load of crap that Pete didnt play well that day.

fastdunn
07-12-2007, 09:50 AM
That is fine. I am just saying I dont think one random match in such a small event is much to even have any speculation about its meaning. If Federer is that closely scrutinized then he really must be the best ever, if he is expected to be that perfect at all times compared to other greats.

If you want to speculate based on one random match in a tier III type event though, you have every right to do so.

Do you think it gave absolutley zero insight ?

anointedone
07-12-2007, 11:07 AM
Do you think it gave absolutley zero insight ?

Yes I do believe that. It is 1 match out of around the 300 or so Roger has played since the start of 2004. The majority of the best players in history have a few truly gruesome results out of any random 300 or so played in their respective primes, even worse then going 3 sets with a small Japanese serve-volleyer. Roger actually seems to have less of those then most of them.

I believe it would take atleaast 3 matches like that to give insight.

CyBorg
07-12-2007, 11:55 AM
now youre acting like a 2 year old

And you have the attention span of a flea.

anointedone
07-12-2007, 01:38 PM
Even more to the point is that Roddick is average at the net compared with the other great players being discussed.

---

To the person comparing Agassi to the S&V's and have a winning record to everyone but Pete keep this is mind. While I would agree that Federer was better overall than Andre, the service return Agassi had was one of the best of all time. So against S&V's having the best service return of his day (better than Federer IMO) helped him to pass S&V's more than any other player of his time. So while Federer was more talented/better overall, Agassi had the perfect weapon to thwart them.

I think there alot of guys who return a huge first serve better then Agassi did, and Federer definitely does. Federer and Hewitt are two examples of guys who are much much harder to ace then Agassi was. The reason people talk about Agassi's return being so great is that he was so agressive vs poor-average quality serves, but against the highest quality serves he was much easier to ace then some of the best returners.

anointedone
07-12-2007, 01:49 PM
I think people really give Krajicek, Rafter and Ivanisevic too much credit.

Those players definitely get too much credit. People look at Krajicek playing the tournament of his life at Wimbledon 1996 and assume that was his typical level of a player. When in actuality his typical level at Wimbledon had him lose to Darren Cahill, Bryan Shelton, Lorenzo Manta, at Wimbledon during his prime. He was also a marginal threat at most on any non-grass surface.
Ivanisevic did not have much game outside the serve (arguably even less then Roddick), was hardly ever a threat outside Wimbledon, and couldnt even win Wimbledon the years Sampras lost like 1992 and 1996, until the 2001 miracle. To his credit he was atleast more consistent at Wimbledon then Krajicek, who was consistent taking the early plunge out of event.

Rafter was a very late blooming player, the same way some of current top 10 are. Granted he was much better then current late blooming top 10 players like Davydenko and Ljubicic, but it still is an indication of triumph of hard work over talent. He struggled on grass until his final few years, even while he was winning 2 U.S Opens. He did not have a huge serve by any means, but used it to get in very well. His ground game and returns were weak. He was a better, and mentally tougher version of Tim Henman I would say.

Not only would Federer have only had the occasional loss to players like that, but Nadal probably as well. Nadal is already a better hard court player then either Krajicek or Ivanisevic, that is for sure.

Dolphina
07-12-2007, 02:01 PM
Becker would stand no chance against him. It would need an extraordinary talent on that, to beat Fed, like Samp. But who else ever played it with the same quality like him? I think this discussion is useless, coz what happened if all the great players of each generation played in one generation? They would probably all win half, or 1/4, or less of their slams.
One could also argue, that, if there wouldīve been more great baseliners, Sampras wouldnīt have been as dominant in his era. Is that realistic? Sampras proved, s/v works great, Fed now proves, baseline works as well as that, if not better.

anointedone
07-12-2007, 02:28 PM
Becker would stand no chance against him. It would need an extraordinary talent on that, to beat Fed, like Samp. But who else ever played it with the same quality like him? I think this discussion is useless, coz what happened if all the great players of each generation played in one generation? They would probably all win half, or 1/4, or less of their slams.
One could also argue, that, if there would´ve been more great baseliners, Sampras wouldn´t have been as dominant in his era. Is that realistic? Sampras proved, s/v works great, Fed now proves, baseline works as well as that, if not better.

Exactly. Great players like Sampras, Federer, and you will soon start to see if you arent already seeing early signs of Nadal, would all win less if they played vs one another. It is like how many slams would Borg, McEnroe, Connors, Lendl, all have won if they were not playing each in the golden era of mens tennis. Alot more then they each did, and each would compare more favorably vs Sampras or Federer, if they were playing the kind of competition Sampras and Federer do, instead of in the golden age of mens tennis.

Sampras and Federer would each deny the other alot of slams. Federer would win less, but so would Sampras. Players like Rafter, Krajicek, and Ivanisevic would be the same to either player. Players who would give a decent fight to Pete or Roger, when they were not upset in an early round as happened very often in their careers, but ultimately would almost always fall short, only denying Sampras or Federer the very occasional slam at most.

fastdunn
07-12-2007, 03:18 PM
I hope ATP does something to have at least a few number of S&Ver's
in top 20.

David L
07-12-2007, 08:21 PM
I hope ATP does something to have at least a few number of S&Ver's
in top 20.Why should they? That's not their responsibility. It's up to individuals how they decide to play.

kaiotic
07-12-2007, 08:41 PM
I hope ATP does something to have at least a few number of S&Ver's in top 20. hahahahhhahhha
how would they pull this off?

chronicler
07-13-2007, 08:38 AM
"Becker would stand no chance against him. It would need an extraordinary talent on that, to beat Fed, like Samp."

********! Peak Becker would've stood a very good chance against Federer. And Sampras was roughly Becker level in talent just more focused. Considering how tough he found it to beat Becker when he was in decline. In fact, Federer probably learned lessons from Becker on how NOT to squander your talents on booze and women instead of winning Grand Slams

Eviscerator
07-13-2007, 09:29 AM
I think there alot of guys who return a huge first serve better then Agassi did, and Federer definitely does. The reason people talk about Agassi's return being so great is that he was so agressive vs poor-average quality serves, but against the highest quality serves he was much easier to ace then some of the best returners.

I not only disagree, but I think a majority of tennis savvy people would as well. Outside of Connors, most everyone feels Agassi had the best return game of all time. He faced bigger servers than current players do on a regular basis. With conditions being slower now, the current crop of pros do not have the same challenge Andre did facing Sampras, Goran, etc.
Granted Agassi was aggressive with his service return, but he had to be with net rushers coming in behind their bombs. He had to take the ball as early as possible to steal time from the S&V's and have them hit their 1st volley from their shoestrings behind the service line. If he chipped his return like Federer does so often he would have lost much more often against the big guns.

anointedone
07-13-2007, 09:58 AM
I not only disagree, but I think a majority of tennis savvy people would as well. Outside of Connors, most everyone feels Agassi had the best return game of all time. He faced bigger servers than current players do on a regular basis. With conditions being slower now, the current crop of pros do not have the same challenge Andre did facing Sampras, Goran, etc.
Granted Agassi was aggressive with his service return, but he had to be with net rushers coming in behind their bombs. He had to take the ball as early as possible to steal time from the S&V's and have them hit their 1st volley from their shoestrings behind the service line. If he chipped his return like Federer does so often he would have lost much more often against the big guns.

At Wimbledon in 2003 Phillipousis played both Agassi and Federer. He was able to ace Agassi 49 times over 5 sets, but Federer only 14 times over 3 sets. Granted Agassi was a bit past his prime at that point probably, but not much. Also when Roddick played Agassi, even the times Agassi beat Roddick convincingly earlier on, he found it much easier to ace Agassi then he did Hewitt or Federer. Also when Sampras played Federer at 2001 Wimbledon Federer returned his serve alot better then Agassi did even the times he played Sampras in 2001-2002, and that is when the late blooming Agassi was still at his peak. Safin played Agassi when he was still in his prime and was aceing and winning freebies much easier then when he played Federer or Hewitt. I stand by what I said that players like Federer and Hewitt return a huge first serve much better then Agassi, or atleast Agassi was much easier to ace and win free points off of if you had a monstrous first serve. Agassi is much more agressive returning weak-fairly good serves, but is more easily overwhelmed by a huge server getting first serves in.

Federer chips his returns back alot since he doesnt feel the need to do more. He plays baseliners and those type of returns are perfect to neutralize the point and he knows he will win more of the rallies vs almost anyone. When he plays Nadal he has a timid mindset it seems, Nadal is definitely "in his head" and his overall mindset is not an agressive one. I wouldnt assume he couldnt do more with the return if he had to, but he doesnt.

fastdunn
07-13-2007, 01:22 PM
Why should they? That's not their responsibility. It's up to individuals how they decide to play.

Exact opposite way they influenced to kill S&Ver's careers.

Quicker surfaces, lighter balls, more indoor tournaments, etc...

AAAA
07-13-2007, 03:51 PM
The conditions were changed because the serving shoot outs bored the majority of the audience. In short the dominance of the big servers made the commercial product of ATP tennis unpalatable for the majority audience so serve and volleyers were responsible for their own demise.

Eviscerator
07-13-2007, 04:06 PM
The conditions were changed because the serving shoot outs bored the majority of the audience. In short the dominance of the big servers made the commercial product of ATP tennis unpalatable for the majority audience so serve and volleyers were responsible for their own demise.

:confused:

S&Vers were around long before the advent of the huge servers, so they were not responsible for their own demise as you put it. Probably the two things that helped destroy fast court tennis is the rule change that allowed you to hit the serve while in the air, and more powerful racquets.

AAAA
07-13-2007, 04:23 PM
:confused:

S&Vers were around long before the advent of the huge servers, so they were not responsible for their own demise as you put it. Probably the two things that helped destroy fast court tennis is the rule change that allowed you to hit the serve while in the air, and more powerful racquets.

They were responsible because their style of play developed into something the majority audience didn't want to watch. The rule change about being able to jump on serve was in place way before the 90s but the courts remained fast until the late 90s. So as I said the so serve and volleyers were responsible for their own demise. You mention the powerful racquets, funny how the majority audience wasn't bored with the baseliners equiped with powerful racquets but they were bored with the serve and volleyers using the same equipment. Hence serve and volleyers were responsible for their own demise, on both and all counts.

fastdunn
07-13-2007, 05:29 PM
Things in real life is combination of manny parameters.

It's true that extinction of S&Vers were part of game's evolution process
but it would be foolish to ignore conditions like court surfaces and tennis
balls used.

fastdunn
07-13-2007, 05:37 PM
They were responsible because their style of play developed into something the majority audience didn't want to watch. The rule change about being able to jump on serve was in place way before the 90s but the courts remained fast until the late 90s. So as I said the so serve and volleyers were responsible for their own demise. You mention the powerful racquets, funny how the majority audience wasn't bored with the baseliners equiped with powerful racquets but they were bored with the serve and volleyers using the same equipment. Hence serve and volleyers were responsible for their own demise, on both and all counts.

Majority of audience can relate better to the baseline tennis they actually play.
And some audiences who never plays just wants longer points whenever
they tune in for tennis all year long. Wimbledon increasingly estranged from
general public. Wimbledon finally succumbed to tennis outside Wimbledon.
That's the story.

When big servers were doiminating in 90's, Mary Carrillo argued new racquet
actually benefits baseliners more and predicted the game will eventually
evolve to baseline tennis. Simply because racquet manufacturers caters
more for general public who plays baseline tennis.

Tennis used to be a marketting tool for very very narrow and focused group of audiences.
To me, ATP seems to be attempting to make it as a marketing tool for wider
range of general public with series of changes and experiments like league formats.
IMHO, ATP has succeeded it brilliantly. Great rivalries at slams. I think we will see
more familiar players at all slams and all year long.