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View Full Version : The change in style from S&V to baseline play about 10 years ago.


Wangtang1
12-26-2011, 12:19 AM
I don't know a huge amount about stuff like this. Was this just a natural evolution as the players got used to the new rackets that were introduced during the late 80s or were the courts all slowed down?

You see Federer do a lot of S&V against Sampras. Did this change from S&V to the baseline play mean a lot of young players who were originally hyped up suddenly went crap? Or was it usually the case that anyone who was originally good at S&V was probably talented enough to hit from the baseline?

Bartelby
12-26-2011, 12:57 AM
There was also a cultural change from a more Anglo-American style of serve and volley to more Continental baseline style of play with the ascendancy of continental European tennis.

Baseline tennis had been coming since Borg, but took twenty years to become triumphant. Federer is the 'transitional figure' in this development.

BeHappy
12-26-2011, 04:45 AM
The courts were slowed down, meaning aggressive players in general, either at the baseline or net, can't win against pushers like Roddick, Murray, Djokovic or Nadal anymore.

DjokovicForTheWin
12-26-2011, 11:46 AM
In other words Sampras would not have been talented enough to make the transition

Mustard
12-26-2011, 11:56 AM
A combination of a small narrowing of the surfaces, and different racquet and string technology which enables much better return of serves and thus makes life more uncomfortable for anyone who would attempt serve and volley on a regular basis.

TennisLovaLova
12-26-2011, 01:04 PM
At my modest tennis amateur level: I just tried the rpm blast on my racquet and I was playing against a s&v guy. I've never returned his serves better. My guess is that rbm blast helps a lot in returns and spin. It was weird, because we had more baseline rallies than before...

tudwell
12-26-2011, 01:18 PM
Strings changed everything. Players can hit the ball harder than ever and still keep the ball in play. Tennis has really never been more difficult or impressive to play than it is today.

wings56
12-26-2011, 01:22 PM
In other words Sampras would not have been talented enough to make the transition

lololololol.

Lsmkenpo
12-26-2011, 02:09 PM
A combination of a small narrowing of the surfaces, and different racquet and string technology which enables much better return of serves and thus makes life more uncomfortable for anyone who would attempt serve and volley on a regular basis.

Complete nonsense, if racquet and string technology improved the return than it also improved the serve.

Slower court speeds is the #1 reason S&V is not as viable a strategy now.
Slower courts mean higher bounce, a higher bounce makes a passing shot much easier. The same reason S&V has never been a great strategy on clay.

Gee, I wonder why S&V worked well at the Bercy tournament last year, you know the only tournament played the whole season on a true fast court. Did they force everyone to use old technology there or what?

The average court speeds across the tour have never been slower in the history of the sport, that is the main reason S&V is harder to play.

Lsmkenpo
12-26-2011, 02:18 PM
Strings changed everything. Players can hit the ball harder than ever and still keep the ball in play. Tennis has really never been more difficult or impressive to play than it is today.

Another fallacy, many top players still use gut mains in their racquet including Federer and Djokovic. The same string that has been around for decades. Sure poly strings can give you about 5-10% more spin than a gut setup but poly isn't what killed S&V. It is slower court speeds.

Bartelby
12-26-2011, 02:29 PM
The dominance of topspin groundstroke technique is the number one reason - made more lethal when amplified by new racquet and string technologies - and then the slower courts.

Tennis is now a continental sport - a new kind of clay game.

Mustard
12-26-2011, 02:54 PM
Complete nonsense, if racquet and string technology improved the return than it also improved the serve.

It is not nonsense. Serving has improved in terms of power, but the returns are also better so there's not too many of the 1-2 shot rallies that were pretty commonplace at Wimbledon in the 1990s in matches between two big servers. The new technology has changed the dynamics of the game. The differences between the different surfaces has narrowed, but the extent of it is exaggerated by a lot of people. There are still clear differences between the different surfaces, just that it doesn't reflect a difference in terms of totally different style of play like it did in the past, when it was baseliner vs. serve and volleyer, and is instead more about tactics such as stepping into the court more or being well behind the baseline in the rallies.

Crazy man
12-26-2011, 03:12 PM
Complete nonsense, if racquet and string technology improved the return than it also improved the serve.

Slower court speeds is the #1 reason S&V is not as viable a strategy now.
Slower courts mean higher bounce, a higher bounce makes a passing shot much easier. The same reason S&V has never been a great strategy on clay.

Gee, I wonder why S&V worked well at the Bercy tournament last year, you know the only tournament played the whole season on a true fast court. Did they force everyone to use old technology there or what?

The average court speeds across the tour have never been slower in the history of the sport, that is the main reason S&V is harder to play.


Someone should sticky this post.



A combination of a small narrowing of the surfaces, and different racquet and string technology which enables much better return of serves and thus makes life more uncomfortable for anyone who would attempt serve and volley on a regular basis.

Delete post.

Z-Man
12-26-2011, 03:17 PM
I agree the slower courts and spiny strings have had an effect on strategy. Along with the courts, I wouldn't be surprised if the balls changed as well. Remember when everyone talked about how the points were too short, and it was making tennis boring--killing the sport? The courts changed in repsonse to the more powerful racquets--it just took a few years.

Also, don't forget the effect of coaching and the international network of tennis academies. Kids are being coached to win in today's game on today's courts. If they sped courts up, it would still take several years for a new crop of pros to come along who grew up being coached for faster courts.

Lastly, the grass and carpet seasons have shrunk, and the clay season has expanded. They even have clay tournaments in Europe after the French Open. That makes it even harder for a netrusher to survive on the tour.

Mustard
12-26-2011, 03:28 PM
There was far more clay tournaments in the 1990s than today. Have a look at Berasategui's match results and how many were on clay compared to other surfaces.

GOAT BAAH!!!
12-26-2011, 03:35 PM
Baseline style is merely a transitional era between S&V and the turbo all court tennis that will sprout up in the next ten years.

Lsmkenpo
12-26-2011, 03:48 PM
It is not nonsense. Serving has improved in terms of power, but the returns are also better so there's not too many of the 1-2 shot rallies that were pretty commonplace at Wimbledon in the 1990s in matches between two big servers. The new technology has changed the dynamics of the game. The differences between the different surfaces has narrowed, but the extent of it is exaggerated by a lot of people. There are still clear differences between the different surfaces, just that it doesn't reflect a difference in terms of totally different style of play like it did in the past, when it was baseliner vs. serve and volleyer, and is instead more about tactics such as stepping into the court more or being well behind the baseline in the rallies.

No, it is clear you have little knowledge of the technical game, you are making biased assumptions for two reasons, number one you favor clay court tennis, number two you are a Nadal fan. you don't want to believe courts have been slowed because that would mean it has benefited your hero, plain and simple.

It isn't just the return, use some commonsense, it is much harder to hit a decent approach shot and get to the net at anytime during a rally, because players have much more time to get to a ball, setup and hit a pass. The ball is bouncing higher which makes a passing shot much easier.

A low bouncing fast ball is a tough pass no matter what kind of racquet or strings you use. If a court is fast you can come into the net off a good approach shot not just a serve.

You are simply ignorant, if you don't know that courts have been slowed, the speeds are recorded and published, players and tournament directors attest to it. It is obvious why you want to downplay play it.

Stick to what you know, that is posting useless clay court slanted stats from long ago.

BeHappy
12-26-2011, 03:50 PM
Complete nonsense, if racquet and string technology improved the return than it also improved the serve.

Slower court speeds is the #1 reason S&V is not as viable a strategy now.
Slower courts mean higher bounce, a higher bounce makes a passing shot much easier. The same reason S&V has never been a great strategy on clay.

Gee, I wonder why S&V worked well at the Bercy tournament last year, you know the only tournament played the whole season on a true fast court. Did they force everyone to use old technology there or what?

The average court speeds across the tour have never been slower in the history of the sport, that is the main reason S&V is harder to play.

Exactly right.

SLD76
12-26-2011, 03:58 PM
No, it is clear you have little knowledge of the technical game, you are making biased assumptions for two reasons, number one you favor clay court tennis, number two you are a Nadal fan. you don't want to believe courts have been slowed because that would mean it has benefited your hero, plain and simple.

It isn't just the return, use some commonsense, it is much harder to hit a decent approach shot and get to the net at anytime during a rally, because players have much more time to get to a ball, setup and hit a pass. The ball is bouncing higher which makes a passing shot much easier.

A low bouncing fast ball is a tough pass no matter what kind of racquet or strings you use. If a court is fast you can come into the net off a good approach shot not just a serve.

You are simply ignorant, if you don't know that courts have been slowed, the speeds are recorded and published, players and tournament directors attest to it. It is obvious why you want to downplay play it.

Stick to what you know, that is posting useless clay court slanted stats from long ago.

Playing devil's advocate, someone remarked in another thread that "sampras said court speeds are around the same now as before".

I dont believe that at all, but what of it.?

Lsmkenpo
12-26-2011, 04:08 PM
Here we have modern players with modern equipment playing on a fast court. See the low bounce and fast speed, this has been completely eliminated from the game, by the homogenizing of surface speed. Players could S&V on a surface like this, I don't care what kind of equipment they have, a low fast bounce is tough to setup and hit great passing shots on.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-MJZf3rxFLE

I like old man Pete Sampras chances against prime Nadal on the above surface, I don't care what racquet or strings Nadal is using, he simply wouldn't get many chances to even hit a decent passing shot.

Lsmkenpo
12-26-2011, 04:16 PM
Playing devil's advocate, someone remarked in another thread that "sampras said court speeds are around the same now as before".

I dont believe that at all, but what of it.?

I suspect it wouldn't take long for him to change his mind, especially if he stepped out on the grass at Wimbledon to play a competitive match right now.

Crazy man
12-26-2011, 04:31 PM
Safin and Federer have both stated in past interviews that the reason nobody comes to the net anymore is because of the dramatic change in grass (the speed) . But a few nerds at a computer disagree, so it must be false.

tennis_balla
12-26-2011, 04:49 PM
2 main reasons. First the slowing down of surface especially grass and secondly the strings. Players went from stringing their rackets with natural gut with tension in the mid 60's to Luxilon BB Alu being the main string of choice strung in the mid 50's (pounds of course). The lower tension resulted in a larger sweetspot, but the make up of poly strings allowed the players to take bigger cuts at the ball, thus resulting in more power. The strings offer tons of control and because they don't move lots of spin as well.
The result of the string change and tension change plus the slowing down of the courts are big reasons serve and volley is not used as much nowadays.

However, the baseline only game now too is obsolete and young players are trained to be comfortable in all areas if the court. This is huge down in Spain as they are training and pay equal attention to defensive balls, mid-court balls and net play. This will become more and more the norm within 5 years or so. Even Nadal, who the uneducated believe is one dimensional, has great volleys, and is not afraid of attacking and handling mid-court balls.
Players games will still have tendencies at what they do well (forehand or serve, or defence) but their overall arsenal will be more developed and they will be capable all-court players.

Wilander Fan
12-26-2011, 04:52 PM
Slower courts are a factor but the real killer is the strings. Even when players do try and S&V, you dont see the old half volley-put away combo. Its more like big serve and put away volley. Its too easy to hit dipping topspin shots now and players do the 2 shot pass where they force the player to volley up and then put away the easy passing shot.

Bartelby
12-26-2011, 04:59 PM
Wimbledon changed its grass because the new continental baseline game was still ill-adapted to grass so they had the choice between being a museum to an archaic form of the game made even more uninteresting by the huge serve or opening the court up to change.

Bartelby
12-26-2011, 05:00 PM
Topspin groundstrokes are first and foremost a revolution in the mastery and spread of a technique.

tennis_balla
12-26-2011, 05:03 PM
Topspin is nothing new chief. Bill Tilden used topspin

Bartelby
12-26-2011, 05:06 PM
Mastery and spread does not mean novelty.

Its the spread of the topspin game which means all equipment and surface innovations amplify this new universal.

The anthropologists call this cultural diffusion and it does require innovators.

BeHappy
12-26-2011, 05:12 PM
Slower courts are a factor but the real killer is the strings. Even when players do try and S&V, you dont see the old half volley-put away combo. Its more like big serve and put away volley. Its too easy to hit dipping topspin shots now and players do the 2 shot pass where they force the player to volley up and then put away the easy passing shot.

That has always been the way it was actually. Of all the top serve and volleyers of the last 30 years only McEnroe, Edberg and Rafter didn't have massive ridiculous serves. Everyone else like Becker, Sampras, Kraijeck, even Borg and Lendl had massive serves (125mph with the old speed guns).

Lsmkenpo
12-26-2011, 05:36 PM
Slower courts are a factor but the real killer is the strings. Even when players do try and S&V, you dont see the old half volley-put away combo. Its more like big serve and put away volley. Its too easy to hit dipping topspin shots now and players do the 2 shot pass where they force the player to volley up and then put away the easy passing shot.

Players are able to hit that dipping topspin shot when they have time to setup due to a poor approach shot, volley or high bouncing slow surface, this has always been the case.

On a fast court you will not see it nearly as much against a good S&V player, the approach shots will be faster and lower bouncing. A heavy dipping topspin shot becomes much harder to hit due to speed and trajectory of the ball on a fast court no matter what string or racquet you use. The dipping shot isn't what you want to hit if someone is already at net, this is a shot you use against someone that is transitioning to net.

Once the player is at net, a lower trajectory shot that doesn't cross the net with the height of a heavy topspin shot is far superior. A great volleyer steps in and takes the ball before it starts to dip from topspin.

cc0509
12-26-2011, 05:55 PM
Safin and Federer have both stated in past interviews that the reason nobody comes to the net anymore is because of the dramatic change in grass (the speed) . But a few nerds at a computer disagree, so it must be false.


Yet Sampras stated when he was asked what Roger should do to beat Nadal, that he would try and be more aggressive and come in to the net more if it were him playing Nadal.

Here is the YT video of Pete discussing that:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tx0MtThBLjc

droliver
12-27-2011, 10:36 AM
poly strings allowed the players to take bigger cuts at the ball, thus resulting in more power. The strings offer tons of control and because they don't move lots of spin as well.

Actually, poly strings may impart more spin in part because they move so much which has been shown on high speed photography. One of the other ideas is that players have changed their strokes' mechanics in response to the stiff, low-powered response of the string rather then found a string to respond to their stroke.

http://twu.tennis-warehouse.com/learning_center/stringmovement.php

jackson vile
12-27-2011, 11:19 AM
Actually, poly strings may impart more spin in part because they move so much which has been shown on high speed photography. One of the other ideas is that players have changed their strokes' mechanics in response to the stiff, low-powered response of the string rather then found a string to respond to their stroke.

http://twu.tennis-warehouse.com/learning_center/stringmovement.php

Good point, a lot of people simply don't understand how strings work. The strings slide and return imparting spin. Poly strings return more energy and they do so in a much more coordinated manner do to their stiffness, furthermore this allows the strings to bit into the ball more as well.

jackson vile
12-27-2011, 11:20 AM
Yet Sampras stated when he was asked what Roger should do to beat Nadal, that he would try and be more aggressive and come in to the net more if it were him playing Nadal.

Here is the YT video of Pete discussing that:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tx0MtThBLjc

Sampras has a way better volley game though, Federer has no better volley game than Nadal, hate it or love it.

InspectorRacquet
12-27-2011, 11:28 AM
Sampras has a way better volley game though, Federer has no better volley game than Nadal, hate it or love it.

And that's where I believe you are wrong. Federer is definitely a better volleyer than Nadal. Nadal makes Federer look like a bad volleyer because Nadal makes amazing passing shots. Against anyone else, though, you can see Federer's sublime volley skills.

jackson vile
12-27-2011, 11:36 AM
And that's where I believe you are wrong. Federer is definitely a better volleyer than Nadal. Nadal makes Federer look like a bad volleyer because Nadal makes amazing passing shots. Against anyone else, though, you can see Federer's sublime volley skills.

As far as looks go, Federer is above almost anyone. As far a results, that is a far different story. Any time it is Federer and Nadal at the net at the same time, you best odds are putting money on Nadal. Federer is not a S&V player, he does so just to try and mix it up once in a while, otherwise he should easily be able to do to Nadal and others exactly what Sampras is saying shouldn't he?

DRII
12-27-2011, 11:41 AM
Players are able to hit that dipping topspin shot when they have time to setup due to a poor approach shot, volley or high bouncing slow surface, this has always been the case.

On a fast court you will not see it nearly as much against a good S&V player, the approach shots will be faster and lower bouncing. A heavy dipping topspin shot becomes much harder to hit due to speed and trajectory of the ball on a fast court no matter what string or racquet you use. The dipping shot isn't what you want to hit if someone is already at net, this is a shot you use against someone that is transitioning to net.

Once the player is at net, a lower trajectory shot that doesn't cross the net with the height of a heavy topspin shot is far superior. A great volleyer steps in and takes the ball before it starts to dip from topspin.

Its more of a case of both-and; instead of either-or.

Its, both the homogenization of surfaces (due to customer demand I might add) and equipment technology (poly strings and lighter racquets).

In your analysis (which is good, just one sided) you fail to ascertain and account for the tremendous difference in racquet head speed of today vs yesteryear. Because of the newer technology, players have much more racquet head speed, when hitting ground strokes, than they had in the past and can still keep the ball in play with greater spin, pace, and angle. The difference is not as great when it comes to serving and of course volleying due to the different ball trajectory at contact point.

Also, grass is still fast - nearly as fast as before. Its the bounce that is different (its higher and more predictable) due to firmer undergrowth and foundation.

sunof tennis
12-27-2011, 12:21 PM
A combination of a small narrowing of the surfaces, and different racquet and string technology which enables much better return of serves and thus makes life more uncomfortable for anyone who would attempt serve and volley on a regular basis.

This is accurate and the techinology also conspires to make passings shots easier which has further led to the demise of serve and volley.

ultradr
12-27-2011, 12:28 PM
And that's where I believe you are wrong. Federer is definitely a better volleyer than Nadal. Nadal makes Federer look like a bad volleyer because Nadal makes amazing passing shots. Against anyone else, though, you can see Federer's sublime volley skills.

That I'm not sure. Federer has adequate volleying skill. But I don't think
he has the hand of volleyer. Nadal, although he doesn't volley much, sometimes
show he has a great hand.

ultradr
12-27-2011, 12:31 PM
Slower courts are a factor but the real killer is the strings. Even when players do try and S&V, you dont see the old half volley-put away combo. Its more like big serve and put away volley. Its too easy to hit dipping topspin shots now and players do the 2 shot pass where they force the player to volley up and then put away the easy passing shot.

I'm not sure string is #1 reason. Everything changed when Wimbldeon
and US Open changed their surface between 2001-2003, when some
S&Ver started to make mid-career change to baseline game. That, I'm
100% sure, was definitely due to the surface change.

Lawn Tennis
12-27-2011, 12:33 PM
I don't know a huge amount about stuff like this. Was this just a natural evolution as the players got used to the new rackets that were introduced during the late 80s or were the courts all slowed down?

You see Federer do a lot of S&V against Sampras. Did this change from S&V to the baseline play mean a lot of young players who were originally hyped up suddenly went crap? Or was it usually the case that anyone who was originally good at S&V was probably talented enough to hit from the baseline?

I feel a lot of great points were made with one thing being left out: The game of tennis was not mastered as much as it is today. What I'm saying is that had a large group of pros back then practiced and played tournaments from the baseline, the weaknesses of serve 'n volley would have been revealed just as it has now days. Obviously, the slower courts and better equipment help, but mostly I feel it was just undiscovered until the late 90s.

mattennis
12-28-2011, 12:56 PM
I've been re-watching hundreds of matches from the 90s and I still don't know who said that 90s matches were boring serve and volley fests.

There were very few players that made serve and volley on hard courts on first serves, and almost noone on second serves.

In most than 95% of the hard court matches I have re-watched from the 90s, the huge majority of poinst were baseline points.

Even Becker and Sampras didn't do serve and volley on second serves when playing on hard court outdoor (sometimes they didn't even on first serves) neither when playing on clay. At least on the majority of their matches until 1998.

It is true that the rallyes started to get shorter and shorter in years like 98, 99, 00 (on hard court and specially on indoor carpet) but they were baseline shorter rallyes most of them (only a handful of players, like Krajicek, Rusedski, Rafter, Henman, Sampras...were doing serve and volley consistently on first serves, and sometimes on second serves mostly on grass and indoor carpet, at the end of the 90s, the rest were baseline players). Players started hitting with more and more power from the baseline, looking for winners baseline shots at the first or second shot of each rallye. But the huge majority of top-30 players were baseline players.

So I would call 90s Era a "baseline players Era" because the huge majority of top-30 players were baseliners and the few who did serve and volley, did it on grass and indoor carpet, and much less on hard courts (specially on second serves) or on clay.

Yesterday I watched Lendl-Becker Aus Open'91 Final and Lendl-Sampras Aus Open'94 R16 and those matches had every type of points. Many baseline exchanges (yes, neither Becker nor Sampras did serve and volley on second serves in those matches and sometimes neither even on first serves), many volleys to finish points at the net after a baseline exchange, serve and volley on first serves Sampras and Becker and a few times Lendl, all court fabulous points, everything.

As I said, it started to change later, at the end of the 90s. If you watch Sampras-Agassi Miami'94, the huge majority of points are baseline exchanges, but they are longer points than their baseline exchanges points from their matches of 99 (for example). They both started to hit harder and harder (and many more players followed them) and baseline points started to last less and less (be shorter and shorter) because players were aiming winners almost from the get go.

The slow down of the courts and balls made baseline points longer again. The strings and the huge amount of top-spin in the shots made baseline poinst even longer (because it is much more difficult to hit a clean winner off of a hugely top-spun coming ball), and all these things together killed the few all court players and serve and volley players that were extinguising anyway.

But I still think that had they not slow down surfaces and balls, the few players that still were doing serve and volley and attacking the net well game, like Sampras, Rafter, Krajicek,....would have triumph as well against modern strings, because the type of super topspin shots needs more time to setup, and they can do it on slow high bouncing surfaces, but not so much on really fast courts.

Mustard
12-28-2011, 01:02 PM
I've been re-watching hundreds of matches from the 90s and I still don't know who said that 90s matches were boring serve and volley fests.

They only happened on grass and carpet and in matches involving big servers, where there were a tonne of aces and service winners, the 1994 Wimbledon final between Sampras and Ivanisevic being the most obvious. The moaning about the "lack of rallies" nearly always happened at Wimbledon in the 1990s.

mattennis
12-28-2011, 01:13 PM
They only happened on grass and carpet and in matches involving big servers, where there were a tonne of aces and service winners, the 1994 Wimbledon final between Sampras and Ivanisevic being the most obvious. The moaning about the "lack of rallies" nearly always happened at Wimbledon in the 1990s.

Yes, I know, but still many people think it was everywhere.

droliver
12-28-2011, 03:50 PM
I really enjoyed 1990's HC and clay tennis personally.

Can we agree that 1990's grass courts was the low point for that particular surface in terms of tennis as a spectator sport? It was nigh unwatchable as it was so unbalanced between the serve and all other aspects of the game.

Modern grass court tennis is actually really fun to watch as it's still rewards a more aggressive serve but is more even for all styles. Last summer's Nole V. Nadal match was stunning for the way the guys were striking the ball and defending. Crazy high quality stuff!

Crazy man
12-28-2011, 03:53 PM
Can we agree that 1990's grass courts was the low point for that particular surface in terms of tennis as a spectator sport? It was nigh unwatchable as it was so unbalanced between the serve and all other aspects of the game.

Modern grass court tennis is actually really fun to watch as it's still rewards a more aggressive serve but is more even for all styles. Last summer's Nole V. Nadal match was stunning for the way the guys were striking the ball and defending. Crazy high quality stuff!

No.



10 char.

tennis_balla
12-28-2011, 03:57 PM
Actually, poly strings may impart more spin in part because they move so much which has been shown on high speed photography. One of the other ideas is that players have changed their strokes' mechanics in response to the stiff, low-powered response of the string rather then found a string to respond to their stroke.

http://twu.tennis-warehouse.com/learning_center/stringmovement.php

Yup, what I was referring to when I mentioned the strings not moving is they slide back to their original place. You don't get strings all over the place with poly like you do with syn gut.
Also, I thought I mentioned that with the added control and spin players were able to take bigger cuts at the ball. Hmm maybe not, but the players adapted and took advantage of the poly strings.

Lsmkenpo
12-28-2011, 05:40 PM
Matches in the 90's between players such as Andre Agassi, Michael Chang, Marcelos Rios, Yevgeny Kafelnikov, Gustavo Kuerten, Carlos Moya, Alex Corretja, Thomas Muster and Jim Courier became nothing but ace fests there was very little baseline play amongst these top players. Something had to be done to put a stop to it. 8)

Lsmkenpo
12-28-2011, 05:45 PM
Can we agree that 1990's grass courts was the low point for that particular surface in terms of tennis as a spectator sport? It was nigh unwatchable as it was so unbalanced between the serve and all other aspects of the game.

Modern grass court tennis is actually really fun to watch as it's still rewards a more aggressive serve but is more even for all styles. Last summer's Nole V. Nadal match was stunning for the way the guys were striking the ball and defending. Crazy high quality stuff!

Nonsense, tennis at Wimbledon has never been worse than now, grass court tennis wasn't meant to be played defensively.

It is supposed to be the surface that rewards aggressive play not defense.

mattennis
12-28-2011, 06:26 PM
Look at this link (Indian Wells Final'95 )

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TEbjgzQJQl8&feature=related

It looks quite slow and high bouncing hard court. Indian Wells and Miami have always been very slow and high bouncing hard courts (possibly the slowest hard courts on tour).

If you watch this match between Agassi and Sampras, at least 70% of the points were baseline exchanges (that ended with Pete on the net, or the majority of the times with a baseline winner of anyone of this two players). But you had as well serve and volley points (almost all of Pete's first serves, around 30% of the points of the match), and in general an all court game.

Watching this final I think this two tournaments (Indian Wells and Miami) probably have stayed mostly the same slow as they already were in the 90s.

Pete and Andre hit very powerful baseline shots that should look faster than the extremely topspun shots of Nadal and Djokovic in this year Indian Wells and Miami finals, so it is not surprise that Nadal's and Djokovic's shots look more loopy and slower pace than those of Pete and Andre even though this court is probably just the same speed it was 15 years ago.

But in the 90s other outdoor hard courts were much much faster than Indian Wells and Miami (Cincinnati, Los Angeles, Washington, USOPEN,...) and it is these ones (along with the Wimbledon grass and all indoor tournaments) that have slow down their hard court surfaces (indoor tournaments even stop using carpet).

Today it is almost if every hard court (even indoor hard court) is as slow as Indian Wells and Miami are (and always have been).

There have been a huge homogenization of all the hard courts, making almost all of them as slow as the slowest ones (IW and Miami), along with slowing down Wimbledon (not as much as many people think, the main factor probably is that now bounces higher and truer with a firmer soil) and the death of carpet.

I agree with Lsmkempo that in the last two years, the only one fast court was Paris last year, and that if there were more courts like that, players like Nadal or Djokovic would have much more difficult to setup their hugely topspun forehand shots. In a really fast, low bouncing and skidding court, today's string would not have that much impact, because the players would have much less time to setup their shots and very compact and flat strokes would be better suited.

On slow and high bouncing hard courts it is true that the new strings have had a great impact on the way the game is played.

mattennis
12-28-2011, 06:30 PM
I preferred the 90s situation. I liked Wimbledon being fast and low bouncing (even the many bad bounces) and I loved the indoor carpet tournaments.

I liked clay and slow and fast hard courts as well. I loved the whole season just as it was.

Why can't you have some fast and low bouncing tournaments surfaces if the majority of year already had slow courts even in the 90s?

Bobby Jr
12-28-2011, 06:49 PM
Anyone involved in a line of discussion which goes: Nadal is a better volleyer than Federer should leave this discussion for showing their inability to understand what entails good volleying technique.

Bobby Jr
12-28-2011, 06:52 PM
Nonsense, tennis at Wimbledon has never been worse than now, grass court tennis wasn't meant to be played defensively.

It is supposed to be the surface that rewards aggressive play not defense.
This ^

I agree completely.

Lsmkenpo
12-28-2011, 06:53 PM
I preferred the 90s situation. I liked Wimbledon being fast and low bouncing (even the many bad bounces) and I loved the indoor carpet tournaments.

I liked clay and slow and fast hard courts as well. I loved the whole season just as it was.

Why can't you have some fast and low bouncing tournaments surfaces if the majority of year already had slow courts even in the 90s?

Agreed, tennis in the 90's was much more interesting, we had a diversity of play amongst the surfaces and the players.

Not nearly as predictable as now, the way things are right now there are only 4 players who have a good chance of winning major tournaments.

Bobby Jr
12-28-2011, 06:54 PM
Yet Sampras stated when he was asked what Roger should do to beat Nadal, that he would try and be more aggressive and come in to the net more if it were him playing Nadal.
To be fair though, that would be Pete's answer to any strategic/tactical issue. When things get tough just attack! attack! attack!

BeHappy
12-28-2011, 07:06 PM
To be fair though, that would be Pete's answer to any strategic/tactical issue. When things get tough just attack! attack! attack!


Sampras seems to be trying to portray himself and his playing style as a McEnroe to the media, in reality, when he was at his best, he only followed his first serves in. He spent 3/4's of most matches from the baseline, outside Wimbledon and indoors.

Virtually all the serve and volleyers of the last 20 years have been guys with massive first serves for whom the volley was a put away shot. Becker, Sampras, Krajicek, Martin, Ivanisevic etc etc etc

Sampras was kind of inbetween though, he was actually as good at volleying as someone like Rafter, as he proved in 1993 when he won Wimbledon with a shoulder injury unable to serve over 110mph.

There have been very very few (Top) players who spent most of their time at the net. The only ones I can think of in the last 30 years are McEnroe, Edberg and Rafter.

droliver
12-28-2011, 07:16 PM
Nonsense, tennis at Wimbledon has never been worse than now, grass court tennis wasn't meant to be played defensively.
It is supposed to be the surface that rewards aggressive play not defense.

Have you watched a grass court match recently? It still rewards aggressive play and favors the server as evidenced by the ATP stats compared to other surfaces. It's an extremely fair surface now with true bounces that no longer looks like a battlefield by the 1st weekend. You can play aggressive all-court tennis (which is in fact what all the top players do) or have more success with S&V then other surfaces.

Watching old videos of week 2 was embarrassing looking at what they were playing on. It had made the surface obsolete for the men as serves were almost unplayable and resulted in too many 1-2 shot points to be enojyed as a spectator.

Mustard
12-28-2011, 07:33 PM
Nonsense, tennis at Wimbledon has never been worse than now, grass court tennis wasn't meant to be played defensively.

In the 1990s, many people bemoaned the "lack of rallies" at Wimbledon, with some, like John Lloyd at the time, saying that grass should be binned as a surface for tennis.

Have you watched a grass court match recently? It still rewards aggressive play and favors the server as evidenced by the ATP stats compared to other surfaces.

Exactly.

Lsmkenpo
12-28-2011, 07:35 PM
Have you watched a grass court match recently? It still rewards aggressive play and favors the server as evidenced by the ATP stats compared to other surfaces. It's an extremely fair surface now with true bounces that no longer looks like a battlefield by the 1st weekend. You can play aggressive all-court tennis (which is in fact what all the top players do) or have more success with S&V then other surfaces.

Watching old videos of week 2 was embarrassing looking at what they were playing on. It had made the surface obsolete for the men as serves were almost unplayable and resulted in too many 1-2 shot points to be enojyed as a spectator.

I don't like the current play at Wimbledon, it isn't very interesting to me compared to when it played fast.

Looking at serve stats doesn't tell the whole picture, return of serve is still tough on grass even if it has been slowed due to the footing, players still can't cut and move as quickly. If we look at the serve stats they didn't achieve what they had hoped slowing the grass down but did change the entire style of play on grass.

To me players standing 10 foot behind the baseline and retrieving isn't grass court tennis. We see this at enough tournaments already. If you watch a lot of tennis during the year a change in playing style is refreshing, right now I don't see it.

Mustard
12-28-2011, 07:40 PM
To me players standing 10 foot behind the baseline and retrieving isn't grass court tennis.

Who does this?

Lsmkenpo
12-28-2011, 07:48 PM
In the 1990s, many people bemoaned the "lack of rallies" at Wimbledon, with some, like John Lloyd at the time, saying that grass should be binned as a surface for tennis.

I hear this reasoning a lot, but I don't buy it. Decisions aren't made because of what John Lloyd or a handful of fans think, decisions are made for money.

I also don't buy the lack of rallies theory, tennis was played on grass for over a hundred years and S&V was always a part of the play. Grass court tennis isn't about long rallies, that is what clay court tennis is for.

When you have players with two of the biggest serves in the history of the sport facing each other of course there will be a lot of aces, that will happen on any surface not just grass.

Karlovic vs. Isner on a slower surface doesn't suddenly turn their play into Agassi vs. Nadal.

mattennis
12-28-2011, 08:14 PM
To droliber:

Depends on the players you were watching (in Wimbledon in the 90s).

For example, in Wimbledon'95 SF Agassi-Becker, almost 70% of the poinst were played from the baseline. Agassi rarely did serve and volley on any serve, and Becker stayed back in almost all his second serves. For me it was a very beautiful all court game match.

You could complain about the Sampras-Ivanisevic, Ivanisevic-Krajicek, Sampras-Philippoussis...in Wimbledon (though I loved those matches as well), but if you watched Chang-Bruguera (I think it was Wimbledon'94 R16) they were playing baseline points (and it looked much more slow, just because they were rallying from the baseline could make you think it was a slower grass than the one were Sampras and Ivanisevic played the final, when it was obviously the same).

In fact, even in Wimbledon in the 90s, except for 8 or 10 players (who happened to be the best grass court players, namely: Sampras, Rafter, Krajicek, Ivanisevic, Becker, Edberg, Rudeski, Henman, Philippoussis, Forget,...all them usually got to second week there) the rest stayed back on second serves and many as well on first serves.

Agassi, Chang, Courier, Pioline, Kucera, Korda, Ríos, Kuerten,....and many top-50 players played from the baseline the majority of the points on 90s Wimbledon. You just rarely saw them if you only watched QF, SF and Final, because the players that usually got to those last rounds were precisely the almost only ones that actually perfected the serve and volley technique.

As I said, I loved even the Sampras-Ivanisevic Finals of 94 and 98, and much more the Sampras-Agassi Final in 99 and Sampras-Rafter Final 00 (these two were great played finals to me).

In reality I loved all Wimbledon tournaments of the 90s (and 80s and 70s) because I understand what playing on grass is about. You have to understand what is going on to be able to appreciate what is happening in front of you.

Many people don't have a clue about grass tennis. They think that if you have an incredible serve you'll get to the Final of Wimbledon and that has never been the case.

In every decade there have been many fantastic servers that did not do well on Wimbledon.

Victor Amaya, Steve Denton, Colin Dibley, John Sadri, Hank Pfister, Slovodan Zivojinovic, John Feaver, Kevin Curren, Paul Annacone, Chip Hooper, John Alexander, Mark Kevin Goellner, Magnus Larsson, Mark Rosset,....(I could put 20 more if I stop to try to remember them) all of them were huge servers and most of them never got to a Wimbledon QF or SF (of those I think only Curren got to a Wimbledon Final once, and Zivojinovic to a SF only once).

In every decade there were players with monster serves that could not triumph in the fast grass of Wimbledon.

You need much much more than a monster serve to aspire to do well on Wimbledon.

Rjtennis
12-28-2011, 08:19 PM
[QUOTE=Mustard;6196014]Who does this?

Nadal basically uses the same shots and strategy that he does on clay. Thats not a dig, its just what I see. Nadal plays the same on all services as do many of the players on the tour.. That tells me that they really need to start changing surface speeds to reward players for playing different styles of tennis.

mattennis
12-28-2011, 08:35 PM
The people who think Sampras won seven Wimbledon titles because of his serve don't have a clue about grass tennis.

Krajicek, Ivanisevic, Philippoussis, Stich, Rusedski, Becker,...usually made much more aces than Sampras in Wimbledon. There were others like Rosset, Larsson, Forget, Goellner, Wheaton, Martin,....that made many aces and had big serves as well.

But Sampras had the ability to hit return winners when needed, passing-shots with the forehand and the backhand when needed, forehand and backhand lobs when needed. He could waste many points that didn't matter (when he was 30-0 down in a return game), but when he saw an opening (30-30 all, 15-30 when returning) he had the ability to return greatly and to produce passing-shots to the highest caliber.

But most important than all this, is that Sampras was an amazing athlete (something extremely important when playing on grass) he was much much quicker than what he may look. He deceives you. He can look ordinary in many fases of a match, but in the big points he showed what an incredible athlete he was.

And I don't mean staminawise (something he lacked), I am not talking about fitness neither. I am talking about athlete in the sense of a great explosive mover, very quick and could anticipate extremely well on grass.

He made it look easy, but it was deceiving. He was an amazing mover on grass but did it look so easy that you may not realize.

That set him appart from other big servers and good volley players.

His athleticism and his ability to make winners from everywhere (return winners, passing-shots winners, lob winners) in the important moments, something he did much more than other great grass players from his era.

mattennis
12-28-2011, 08:40 PM
Nadal usually return serve much much closer to the baseline on grass than on clay (about 2 or even 3 meters of difference).

Nadal is an amazing athelete as well and that is one (or the most important) reason why he does so well on grass today.

I wouldn't be surprised if Nadal got to a Wimbledon SF or Final on 90s Wimbledon grass. We will never know, but he is such an athlete.

urban
12-28-2011, 10:47 PM
Agree, that it is a myth, that 90s tennis was serve and volley tennis. Most players were baseliners, who grew up either on hard courts or on clay. There were very few players with a decent volley like Rafter or Henman (and some double players like Woodbridge). And even Rafter was more of a hard courter than a grass player because of his high kicking serve. The problem with grass courts was, that since the AO had abolished the Kooyong grass, players had almost no opportunity to learn the grass techniques. Since 1988 you had basically two grass tournaments in England or Halle. Players like Edberg and Becker had at least the Australian grass circuit, to get some grass practice. No wonder, that their Wim matches end of the 80s were imo stylisticly the epitome of modern grass court tennis, with all places on the court being used. Even when he came back out of retirement, old Becker in 1999 beat out then leading baseliners like Rios or Hewitt on grass. Agree, that matches at Wim involving Agassi (with Becker, Sampras or Rafter) were fascinating, because of the contrast of styles.

droliver
12-29-2011, 10:51 AM
The people who think Sampras won seven Wimbledon titles because of his serve don't have a clue about grass tennis.


Really.....When you're holding serve 93-95%+ (as Sampras was doing in the mid 90's) on grass, it's not your serve? Of course it was. Sampras' whole game was (crudely speaking and overgeneralizing I know) predicated on a dominant serve and grinding out the set with one break. While he's a fantastic athlete and a really skilled attacking player, his MO as it relates to the serve is really not a lot different then Ivo & Isner in that they can take a lot of chances on their return games because they're so hard to break.

helloworld
12-29-2011, 12:21 PM
Baseline style is merely a transitional era between S&V and the turbo all court tennis that will sprout up in the next ten years.
This is a possibility. I expect to see all-court tennis, meaning balance between S&V and baseline play, in the future. Now, we're in a transition period, the baseline grinding era...

mattennis
12-29-2011, 01:34 PM
Really.....When you're holding serve 93-95%+ (as Sampras was doing in the mid 90's) on grass, it's not your serve? Of course it was. Sampras' whole game was (crudely speaking and overgeneralizing I know) predicated on a dominant serve and grinding out the set with one break. While he's a fantastic athlete and a really skilled attacking player, his MO as it relates to the serve is really not a lot different then Ivo & Isner in that they can take a lot of chances on their return games because they're so hard to break.

There were many others who made equal or more aces+unreturned serves than Sampras in Wimbledon in the 90s.

It was not the serve what differentiated Pete from those other players in Wimbledon.

Neither his volleys (Becker, Krajicek, Stich, Ivanisevic, Edberg, Rafter, Philippoussis, etc....they all knew how to volley properly, most of them as good as Sampras's volleys, Edberg and Rafter even better volleyers than Sampras in my opinion).

It was his athleticism, mental strength and return game (returns, passing-shots and lobs) what set him apart from those other great servers and volleyers.

Especially the ability to play better than anyone the really important points (the few really important points that can decide a close grass match).


And, as I said earlier, there have always been many great, huge servers, in every decade, that did not even get to a Wimbledon QF ever in their lifes.

droliver
12-29-2011, 05:14 PM
It was his athleticism, mental strength and return game (returns, passing-shots and lobs) what set him apart from those other great servers and volleyers.

I agree he was a great athlete, super tough and disciplined, and the best big-match player of his time, but Sampras with an "average" serve would not have been a top 100 player and his return game was one of the weaker parts of his arsenal by most people's assessment. He had a very simple game that relied on his extraordinary serve and higher risk shots on his return games. When he served well he had the match on his racquet against most opponents and he was an absolute killer.

BeHappy
12-29-2011, 05:19 PM
I agree he was a great athlete, super tough and disciplined, and the best big-match player of his time, but Sampras with an "average" serve would not have been a top 100 player and his return game was one of the weaker parts of his arsenal by most people's assessment. He had a very simple game that relied on his extraordinary serve and higher risk shots on his return games. When he served well he had the match on his racquet against most opponents and he was an absolute killer.

Wrong, he won Wimbledon 1993 with a serve that topped out at 110mph due to an injured shoulder.

Lsmkenpo
12-29-2011, 05:30 PM
I agree he was a great athlete, super tough and disciplined, and the best big-match player of his time, but Sampras with an "average" serve would not have been a top 100 player and his return game was one of the weaker parts of his arsenal by most people's assessment. He had a very simple game that relied on his extraordinary serve and higher risk shots on his return games. When he served well he had the match on his racquet against most opponents and he was an absolute killer.

I think you should go back and watch a few matches of Sampras, if you
think his serve was the only thing that kept him in the top 100.

He frequently broke the best baseliners of his era, it wasn't as if he was playing tie break after tie break a la Ivo Karlovic.

Many consider his running forehand the best in the history of the game.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gMQKjhEpTiA

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j1ksF_0Lx_Y&feature=related

BevelDevil
12-30-2011, 02:18 AM
Poly strings and slower courts were the death blows, but S&V was fading before then. The ultimate cause was the introduction of the graphite racket in the 80s and the evolving swing mechanics that accompanied it.

As others have pointed out, SV was dying out before the court slowdowns and the poly strings of the 2000s.

Pete Sampras was an anomaly. He had the GOAT serve and overhead, excellent volleys, and a huge forehand (and I'm not just talking about the running version). But most of the tour in his time were baseliners who were riding the wave of improving groundstroke mechanics (particularly of the forehand).

It took 15+ years to evolve (to the forehands of Federer and Nadal). Why so long? Because a pro can't change his stroke in mid-career when a new technology is introduced. He's mostly stuck with the stroke he's got for the rest of his career.

So you can give John McEnroe a graphite racket in the early 80s but his groundstroke topspin production will probably be well below the tour average of today. His grip, stance, backswing and follow-through prohibit him from achieving the topspin and pace combination of today, no matter what racket he's using.

Thus, it takes a generation for groundstrokes to begin significantly adjust to the new technology, and two or three generations to adjust to its full potential. And at its potential, the S&V game doesn't have much of a chance.

Clay lover
12-30-2011, 02:47 AM
Poly strings and slower courts were the death blows, but S&V was fading before then. The ultimate cause was the introduction of the graphite racket in the 80s and the evolving swing mechanics that accompanied it.

As others have pointed out, SV was dying out before the court slowdowns and the poly strings of the 2000s.

Pete Sampras was an anomaly. He had the GOAT serve and overhead, excellent volleys, and a huge forehand (and I'm not just talking about the running version). But most of the tour in his time were baseliners who were riding the wave of improving groundstroke mechanics (particularly of the forehand).

It took 15+ years to evolve (to the forehands of Federer and Nadal). Why so long? Because a pro can't change his stroke in mid-career when a new technology is introduced. He's mostly stuck with the stroke he's got for the rest of his career.

So you can give John McEnroe a graphite racket in the early 80s but his groundstroke topspin production will probably be well below the tour average of today. His grip, stance, backswing and follow-through prohibit him from achieving the topspin and pace combination of today, no matter what racket he's using.

Thus, it takes a generation for groundstrokes to begin significantly adjust to the new technology, and two or three generations to adjust to its full potential. And at its potential, the S&V game doesn't have much of a chance.


Good analysis. Change of groundstroke technique is one of the more important reasons why the game is played as it is now. Back then people could hit hard. Now people could hit low or high balls hard, with or without spin, closed stance, neutral stance or open stance from all areas of the court. String and racquet tech have something to do with it as well, but mechanics have evolved and have become so widespread and important that no one could really get away with a Edberg/McEnroe type forehand nowadays. Not even serve and volleyers.

joeri888
12-30-2011, 02:53 AM
I think the amount of balls Djokovic gets back with interest is ridiculous. It will ruin the game eventually. There will be only over consistent extremely good defensively, players like Djokovic and Nadal. I think the baseliners had a bit of a disadvantage in the 90s, but now it's completely swung the other way around and I don't like it. Trying to win the point rather than not trying to lose it, should be rewarded more often than not.

urban
12-30-2011, 03:20 AM
To counter that tendency, you have to develop a complex attacking game, with changes of rhythms, short balls to the forecourt and smart approaches. I doubt if any of the current coaches can teach this properly.
Besides: Sampras hadn't anything of a simple game, but a very complex game, in contrast to Agassi who simply blasted forehands and backhands from the baseline. Sampras' vertical movement is imo unsurpassed, he could hit hard shots from wide out of the court and finesse shots from the forecourt. His (first) volley sometimes lacked pace and length, but his close net stop volley was excellent.

zagor
12-30-2011, 03:40 AM
I wouldn't classify Sampras as a serve and volleyer (and never really understood why so many people do so), the guy played a lot from the baseline during his peak.

The last great serve and volleyer IMO was Rafter

equinox
12-30-2011, 03:57 AM
ATP pulled the carpet rug out from under the players.

BeHappy
12-30-2011, 04:11 AM
Good analysis. Change of groundstroke technique is one of the more important reasons why the game is played as it is now. Back then people could hit hard. Now people could hit low or high balls hard, with or without spin, closed stance, neutral stance or open stance from all areas of the court. String and racquet tech have something to do with it as well, but mechanics have evolved and have become so widespread and important that no one could really get away with a Edberg/McEnroe type forehand nowadays. Not even serve and volleyers.

Murray's forehand is very much in the Edberg/McEnroe tradition. Gasquet too.

Clay lover
12-30-2011, 05:36 AM
Murray's forehand is very much in the Edberg/McEnroe tradition. Gasquet too.

I hope this is sarcasm.:???:

BeHappy
12-30-2011, 07:34 AM
I hope this is sarcasm.:???:

Not at all.

BevelDevil
12-30-2011, 02:13 PM
Murray's forehand is very much in the Edberg/McEnroe tradition. Gasquet too.


Saying "Edberg/McEnroe" forehand makes no sense. Their forehands were nothing alike, except for the grip. (Same goes for their backhands, btw)

Edberg's forehand was much more "modern" than McEnroe's: Big backswing with pronation, looser wrist, more open stance, more windshield wiper and rotation. It's as good of a forehand as you can get using a continental, I think.

The only recent player I've seen with a McEnroe-like forehand is Kimiko Date.

BeHappy
12-30-2011, 02:42 PM
Not really. The things you're talking about are in some cases superficial (size of backswing etc), and in some cases just wrong (pronation).

Murray's stiff wrist awkward 'forced' push stroke is very much like theirs, even though his grip isn't as weak as theirs was.

BevelDevil
12-30-2011, 03:57 PM
^^^

Edberg has a loop, McEnroe has a straight take back. That's hardly a superficial difference. There's a reason why pretty much all pros aside from Kimiko Date make a loop.

As for whether he pronates, look at Edberg's racketface on the take back-- it's facing downwards. That's either due to his "chicken wing" arm or pronation (or, most likely, both). In any case, pointing your racket face downwards on the backswing is also significant. Do you think someone like Federer would have the same forehand if his racket face never went flat down on the backswing? Think again. It's a critical part of his forehand.


Here's a good look at Edberg's forehand.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4zbIsIwsduw#t=9m21s

ultradr
12-30-2011, 04:17 PM
I wouldn't classify Sampras as a serve and volleyer (and never really understood why so many people do so), the guy played a lot from the baseline during his peak.

The last great serve and volleyer IMO was Rafter

Exactly. Some even think Sampras' 7 Wimbledon with S&V as a great "acting job". He was never a pure s&v-er and he was more of baseliner in the beginning and relied more on S&V toward the end of his career, especially after he had herniated disc injury.

ultradr
12-30-2011, 04:27 PM
....

But most important than all this, is that Sampras was an amazing athlete (something extremely important when playing on grass) he was much much quicker than what he may look. He deceives you. He can look ordinary in many fases of a match, but in the big points he showed what an incredible athlete he was.

.....

His athleticism and his ability to make winners from everywhere (return winners, passing-shots winners, lob winners) in the important moments, something he did much more than other great grass players from his era.

Exactly. He was absolutely big point player.

Players would play pretty neutrally with Sampras early in match, then boom the set is over. Players often wonder what just happened.

They think they played pretty evenly with Sampras but lost. And they think they can beat Sampras next time. Then same thing would happen again.

This is very different from Federer who push you hard from the onset till the end destroying your will to win.