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View Full Version : Lost 6-0, 6-1 to a Serve and Volleyer, Help?


Daized
02-15-2009, 07:56 PM
Well to start off, I'm a player with a 1hb and a western forehand, and an OK serve (That strikes fear in no one).

So today I decided to go out on the court before the rain storms hit SoCal and hit on a ball machine when a guy suddenly asked to play with me.

Now I am 4.5 player (At least I'd like to think so) and after a few minutes of hitting with this guy, I was able to tell from the work and pace of his shots that he was pretty good. I asked him what his NTPR is and he said a 4.5 with a 5.0 serve. I assumed the 4.5 part, but the 5.0 serve got me interested. I asked to play a match and he obliged.

We flipped a racquet and he got to serve, and I felt pumped up (Though in a few minutes I wouldn't be). Very first point, I got aced down the T with a serve which I am pretty sure was about 100 MPH. This pretty much said it all about the match.

No matter what I did, I could never get a rhythm. I have an all court game that I make use of, but I never got to employ any of my variety at any point during the match. During his service games, though I read his serve very well over the course of it, my weak replies would just get crushed by him at the net. On my service games he ripped apart my second serve (I was having trouble making my first serve) flat and deep, so I could not even get ready for the shot as I was still unwinding from my serve.

This was highly frustrating to say the least, because every point was about 3 shots.

Some of the things I tried to do, but I guess failed were:

1. Keep my swings on returns short
2. Try to get the ball down at his feet

So my question is how does one play a serve and volleyer with such a power game? Any help would be very much appreciated.

Bud
02-15-2009, 08:06 PM
Well to start off, I'm a player with a 1hb and a western forehand, and an OK serve (That strikes fear in no one).

So today I decided to go out on the court before the rain storms hit SoCal and hit on a ball machine when a guy suddenly asked to play with me.

Now I am 4.5 player (At least I'd like to think so) and after a few minutes of hitting with this guy, I was able to tell from the work and pace of his shots that he was pretty good. I asked him what his NTPR is and he said a 4.5 with a 5.0 serve. I assumed the 4.5 part, but the 5.0 serve got me interested. I asked to play a match and he obliged.

We flipped a racquet and he got to serve, and I felt pumped up (Though in a few minutes I wouldn't be). Very first point, I got aced down the T with a serve which I am pretty sure was about 100 MPH. This pretty much said it all about the match.

No matter what I did, I could never get a rhythm. I have an all court game that I make use of, but I never got to employ any of my variety at any point during the match. During his service games, though I read his serve very well over the course of it, my weak replies would just get crushed by him at the net. On my service games he ripped apart my second serve (I was having trouble making my first serve) flat and deep, so I could not even get ready for the shot as I was still unwinding from my serve.

This was highly frustrating to say the least, because every point was about 3 shots.

Some of the things I tried to do, but I guess failed were:

1. Keep my swings on returns short
2. Try to get the ball down at his feet

So my question is how does one play a serve and volleyer with such a power game? Any help would be very much appreciated.

Is he a true serve and volley-er? Did he serve and volley 75% of his shots?

Did you simply try lobbing him on the serve return? That messes SV's up ALOT! They also hate low-sliding slices (not on the serve return, though).

Was he primarily a junk-baller? How was his pace?

Bud
02-15-2009, 08:07 PM
Well to start off, I'm a player with a 1hb and a western forehand, and an OK serve (That strikes fear in no one).

So today I decided to go out on the court before the rain storms hit SoCal and hit on a ball machine when a guy suddenly asked to play with me.

Now I am 4.5 player (At least I'd like to think so) and after a few minutes of hitting with this guy, I was able to tell from the work and pace of his shots that he was pretty good. I asked him what his NTPR is and he said a 4.5 with a 5.0 serve. I assumed the 4.5 part, but the 5.0 serve got me interested. I asked to play a match and he obliged.

We flipped a racquet and he got to serve, and I felt pumped up (Though in a few minutes I wouldn't be). Very first point, I got aced down the T with a serve which I am pretty sure was about 100 MPH. This pretty much said it all about the match.

No matter what I did, I could never get a rhythm. I have an all court game that I make use of, but I never got to employ any of my variety at any point during the match. During his service games, though I read his serve very well over the course of it, my weak replies would just get crushed by him at the net. On my service games he ripped apart my second serve (I was having trouble making my first serve) flat and deep, so I could not even get ready for the shot as I was still unwinding from my serve.

This was highly frustrating to say the least, because every point was about 3 shots.

Some of the things I tried to do, but I guess failed were:

1. Keep my swings on returns short
2. Try to get the ball down at his feet

So my question is how does one play a serve and volleyer with such a power game? Any help would be very much appreciated.

Where in SoCal are ya?

Daized
02-15-2009, 08:09 PM
Is he a true serve and volley-er? Did he serve and volley 75% of his shots?

Did you simply try lobbing him on the serve return? That messes SV's up ALOT! They also hate low-sliding slices (not on the serve return, though).

Was he primarily a junk-baller? How was his pace?

In two sets, he stayed back only 1 point on his serve. I had like 15 break points in the second set and he would not even stay back on those points.

He was about 6'1-6'2 so I had difficulty lobbing him successfully, as he hit very flat I couldn't quite get it over his head and deep very well (Guess something I have to work on).

I did try slicing some shots down low to him, but he closed very well and could do drop volleys .

Daized
02-15-2009, 08:11 PM
Where in SoCal are ya?

I'm in the Agoura Hills-Thousand Oaks-Westlake area, which is basically next to LA.

i8myshirt
02-15-2009, 08:12 PM
You try any body returns? It's hard to hit a strong volley when it's coming straight at you at a pretty fast speed.

Bud
02-15-2009, 08:16 PM
I'm in the Agoura Hills-Thousand Oaks-Westlake area, which is basically next to LA.

Ya, I used to drive through there on my way to Santa Barbara.

Bud
02-15-2009, 08:18 PM
The best way to completely mess up a SVer is to lob deep on serve return. They are halfway into the net before they realize they have to back up. Then, their entire rhythm is thrown off. If that shot isn't in your repertoire... practice it.

If possible, lob to the backhand side so if the lob isn't deep enough... it's still more difficult to return/put away than a low forehand volley

Ballinbob
02-15-2009, 08:19 PM
hahahahah OWNED! S&V all the way baby! You gotta love em!

haha just joking. I'm a S&Ver myself so I kinda have to take your opponents side. I can give some advice though that will prob help. Let me read your post first though b/c right when I saw the title I started laughing lol

Bud
02-15-2009, 08:20 PM
hahahahah OWNED! S&V all the way baby! You gotta love em!

Yep.. it's sorta like playing a lefthander. You have to find the keys to the castle and mess up their rhythm.

Ballinbob
02-15-2009, 08:31 PM
^^ Lol yep.

Anyway, here's my advice for you.

This guy has a really similar game to mine it seems like, and I'm saying all this from experience. I'm a strong 3.5 player who has a strong 4.0 serve, but average volleys.

1. Don't give us a rhythm. Just don't. It will get you killed every time. Even if you have to sacrifice a few points, make sure your not being predicable. Make us guess where your putting your returns.

2. Practice your lobs. Alot of S&Vers (including myself) are so used to covering passing shots but don't know what to do when we get lobbed. This is a really underrated shot. If you can execute a good topspin lob then that will get you far against a S&Ver. No need for flashy passing shots really

3. You've got to hold serve... You can't let a S&Ver break you often, because i'm telling you right now breaking a S&Ver is not easy at all. And I'm sure you probably experienced that the hard way haha. Once again, mix up your spins on your serve and make sure you hold.

4. If he's blasting flat serves 100mph at you, you can use that your advantage. He is hitting his serves hard and therefore has less time to come into the net. Start hitting your returns all over the place and see how well he moves. Chances are he's going to have trouble if you mix the placement up because he's going to be sprinting as fast as he can to follow that big serve of his to the net. I personally use a big twist serve for my serve to allow me time to close in, but yeah I would use this against him

5. Take the net before him. Simple and it works, especially if you've got some all court skills. start S&Ving like he does a little. this always takes me by surprise when someone does this to me. the more unpredictable, the better

6. Try and get him engaged in more baseline rallies so you can use your groundstrokes against him (im assuming thats your strong point). You'll have to figure out how to do this though, because it depends on the player

--------------
Anyway, hope this helped, and good luck

You just got owned this time haha, but now you know what to do

Daized
02-15-2009, 08:31 PM
You try any body returns? It's hard to hit a strong volley when it's coming straight at you at a pretty fast speed.

I don't hit with enough pace to intimidate a player like him.

The best way to completely mess up a SVer is to lob deep on serve return. They are halfway into the net before they realize they have to back up. Then, their entire rhythm is thrown off. If that shot isn't in your repertoire... practice it.

If possible, lob to the backhand side so if the lob isn't deep enough... it's still more difficult to return/put away than a low forehand volley

I never considered lobbing him on the service return... I'll give it a shot.

hahahahah OWNED! S&V all the way baby! You gotta love em!

haha just joking. I'm a S&Ver myself so I kinda have to take your opponents side. I can give some advice though that will prob help. Let me read your post first though b/c right when I saw the title I started laughing lol

Hey, hey, hey... No one in the top 10 is a S&V :twisted:.

Vermillion
02-15-2009, 08:33 PM
work on placing returns is what I'd suggest

NamRanger
02-15-2009, 10:33 PM
Sounds like he's abit better than a 4.5. That or you may have slightly overrated yourself abit. Who knows though, he could be a sandbagging 4.5 (there are tons in SoCal I hear).



If he's hitting flat serves, step in, and just block and use his pace against him.

Fay
02-15-2009, 10:49 PM
Wonder what happened to Daized

maverick66
02-15-2009, 11:18 PM
first thing i always think vs serve and volley is im making them hit the volley. no free points. they live for free points do to you going for to much. they love nothing better than hitting a serve and watching you panic. once u start getting serves back in play now start picking your spots and goiong for it. if he sees alot of returns coming back hes gonna up his serve and go for more which should lower his first serve %. hopefully from there you can take control and finish.

also if you lost 6-0 6-1 he was clearly much better than you. but think of it this way. you got to see what the next of level looks like.

Bud
02-16-2009, 03:15 AM
Wonder what happened to Daized

Perhaps he's confused, too ;-)

Recon
02-16-2009, 06:33 AM
Start practicing immortal federer-like passing shots, Flicking backhand crosscourts, whip-like dip forehands, and of course the topspin lobs. On both wings. Almost always, if not ALWAYS! aim to the backhand side. Even if he manages to scoot himself over to the forehand he had to move, and theres a possibility of him being late and not getting enough snap on the ball. Also....Stay on your feet..always be on the move, volleys come in quick, you got to be able to take large cuts and give him those passes, it will belittle his serve and volley game if hes being passed constantly.

wyutani
02-16-2009, 06:33 AM
aim at the legs mate'...

Kevo
02-16-2009, 06:52 AM
On a guy that good, you have to think about playing for the long haul. Of course you weren't really holding your serve, so he was probably just a higher level player.

Anytime you play someone with a really good serve, whether they volley or not, you have to think about finding a way into a service game. You have to be willing to try different things on the return in order to get into the point. You may need to stand in and block returns back, or play deep and try to get a good look at the ball. You can move over to bait him into giving you a forehand, or backhand, change positions during the toss, and other things like that. You basically have to hunt for an opening somewhere.


If he's really on fire and you're playing on a normal sized court, a good server will have your number 95% of the time and there won't be a lot you can do about it. The serve will hit the fence wide or deep before you can get a racquet on it. In these cases, you are almost forced to stand in and guess. When playing someone this good, you have to hold serve to put any pressure on them, and it may be that your serve is just going to need some work to play at the next level.

Daized
02-16-2009, 10:04 AM
Thanks for all the advice, I'm going to work on my service returns and the second shot after I serve a lot. I think I got Federer's syndrome of chipping serves back instead of actually hitting it.

The guy really was not another level above me stroke wise, his serve and return were just that much better (I underrated a really good service return).

He even said I was better if I could ever truly get into the point properly. Any rally that lasted beyond the 3rd shot I pretty much won.

But yeah, the guy was definitely no slouch.

maverick66
02-16-2009, 03:10 PM
nothing wrong with chipping them back as long as you place it so you are in position for the next ball.

superlobber
02-16-2009, 09:21 PM
I have a played a big server and having a big serve make a big different. Especially when he serve and volley. But if you have a big serve, would you serve and volley too? I know I would.
I have played a guy is kind of big, fat and a heavy, but have a big serve and a go for broke mentallity. At first, thought that all I have to do is wear him out, but it 's not the case at all because I could not figure it out. Why did he keep on swinging to the fence and keep on swinging. Everything I hit, he hits it back twice as hard. If he makes it, then hit make it; if he doesn't, then he does it again.
On the second set, I just have to tell myself that he is going to his serve and I need to hold mine. Therefore, if your opponent has a big serve, just play it out and don't be intimedated by his serve. Just think like a Pros, the server are going to hold his serve.
You see, Big server has a big serve and volley because I want to end the point quick. If you can drag the point out to 5-6 rally, then he will begin to attempt a wreckless attack that allow you to put the ball away.
Just don't get down to the the tie breaker because this is where a big serve play a BIG different. This is where I lost the match mentioned above.

Fedace
02-16-2009, 09:30 PM
Thanks for all the advice, I'm going to work on my service returns and the second shot after I serve a lot. I think I got Federer's syndrome of chipping serves back instead of actually hitting it.

The guy really was not another level above me stroke wise, his serve and return were just that much better (I underrated a really good service return).

He even said I was better if I could ever truly get into the point properly. Any rally that lasted beyond the 3rd shot I pretty much won.

But yeah, the guy was definitely no slouch.

I know it sounds good to say rip the return the right down on his feet. but to execute that shot, it is not easy. If you are facing 5.5 serve then it will be very difficult to do. You have to take it on the rise and rip the return so he won't have to get too close for the 1st volley. but this is easier said than done off a serve that is close to 100 mph and lots of spin.

Fay
02-17-2009, 07:59 AM
I have a played a big server and having a big serve make a big different. Especially when he serve and volley. But if you have a big serve, would you serve and volley too? I know I would.
I have played a guy is kind of big, fat and a heavy, but have a big serve and a go for broke mentallity. At first, thought that all I have to do is wear him out, but it 's not the case at all because I could not figure it out. Why did he keep on swinging to the fence and keep on swinging. Everything I hit, he hits it back twice as hard. If he makes it, then hit make it; if he doesn't, then he does it again.
On the second set, I just have to tell myself that he is going to his serve and I need to hold mine. Therefore, if your opponent has a big serve, just play it out and don't be intimedated by his serve. Just think like a Pros, the server are going to hold his serve.
You see, Big server has a big serve and volley because I want to end the point quick. If you can drag the point out to 5-6 rally, then he will begin to attempt a wreckless attack that allow you to put the ball away.
Just don't get down to the the tie breaker because this is where a big serve play a BIG different. This is where I lost the match mentioned above.

thank you for informative post ... I am still developing my game and this will help me keep cool thoughts during match.

LuckyR
02-17-2009, 09:55 AM
Thanks for all the advice, I'm going to work on my service returns and the second shot after I serve a lot. I think I got Federer's syndrome of chipping serves back instead of actually hitting it.

The guy really was not another level above me stroke wise, his serve and return were just that much better (I underrated a really good service return).

He even said I was better if I could ever truly get into the point properly. Any rally that lasted beyond the 3rd shot I pretty much won.

But yeah, the guy was definitely no slouch.

Assuming your information is completely accurate, I would describe this guy as significantly better than you, in the sense that I wouldn't take the loss as a failure on your part or evidence that there is a flaw in your game. If you can't pass the guy routinely (as a baseliner) because his serve is overpowering you (even on second serves) than he is better than you. If you could get to the point that the third shot (his first volley) was not a putaway (so that you had another groundstroke) you should be winning those points, as you mentioned.

SlapShot
02-17-2009, 10:02 AM
aim at the legs mate'...

This is my usual tactic as well - when I play a solid S/V player, I chip the returns back to try and keep it at their feet as well as possible. Trying to hit topspin off of the return runs the odds of giving them a shoulder height volley, which any S/V player worth their salt will put away.

I played a very solid S/V player from SoCal at Nationals this year, and my best returns were either FH returns chipped low or a strong, flat BH return. Popping up returns is bad news against a S/V player.

BreakPoint
02-18-2009, 03:13 PM
Well to start off, I'm a player with a 1hb and a western forehand, and an OK serve (That strikes fear in no one).

So today I decided to go out on the court before the rain storms hit SoCal and hit on a ball machine when a guy suddenly asked to play with me.

Now I am 4.5 player (At least I'd like to think so) and after a few minutes of hitting with this guy, I was able to tell from the work and pace of his shots that he was pretty good. I asked him what his NTPR is and he said a 4.5 with a 5.0 serve. I assumed the 4.5 part, but the 5.0 serve got me interested. I asked to play a match and he obliged.

We flipped a racquet and he got to serve, and I felt pumped up (Though in a few minutes I wouldn't be). Very first point, I got aced down the T with a serve which I am pretty sure was about 100 MPH. This pretty much said it all about the match.

No matter what I did, I could never get a rhythm. I have an all court game that I make use of, but I never got to employ any of my variety at any point during the match. During his service games, though I read his serve very well over the course of it, my weak replies would just get crushed by him at the net. On my service games he ripped apart my second serve (I was having trouble making my first serve) flat and deep, so I could not even get ready for the shot as I was still unwinding from my serve.

This was highly frustrating to say the least, because every point was about 3 shots.

Some of the things I tried to do, but I guess failed were:

1. Keep my swings on returns short
2. Try to get the ball down at his feet

So my question is how does one play a serve and volleyer with such a power game? Any help would be very much appreciated.
Now you know how Nadal would feel if he ever had to play a good serve and volleyer like a Sampras or Edberg or Krajicek or Becker or McEnroe, etc. :shock: