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View Full Version : Serve and Volley alive and well at Wimby


arosen
06-30-2006, 10:32 AM
Looking at how the players that S&V all the time or most of the time are doing in a draw, can't help but notice the successes at least in early rounds of Max Myrnyi, Jonas Bjorkman, Radek Stepanek. These guys are at the net all the time, and doing well. Is the grass playing faster? Is it just luck? What changed?

travlerajm
06-30-2006, 10:42 AM
Looking at how the players that S&V all the time or most of the time are doing in a draw, can't help but notice the successes at least in early rounds of Max Myrnyi, Jonas Bjorkman, Radek Stepanek. These guys are at the net all the time, and doing well. Is the grass playing faster? Is it just luck? What changed?

This happens every year. Nothing's changed. It's not a secret that S&V is the best strategy on grass. It's just that there are not many S&V'ers around anymore.

Moose Malloy
06-30-2006, 10:45 AM
You can still S&V on slow grass, but you need have all or most of the following:

-good(preferably big) serve placed very well consistently

-good anticipation/ability at net

-good transition game

-above average athleticism

-the guts/mental toughness to actually continue to attack, even if you get passed a few times.

sadly most of the tour doesn't have this. mirnyi, bjorkman, stepanek would be considered mediocre s&v players a few years ago, but yet they are able to do well against todays field.

maybe some very athletic juniors will take note. it can be a successfull tactic in the modern game, you just need to develop it at age 13/14 not 18/19. and you have to very athletic(worth repeating) edberg, rafter, sampras were phenomenal athletes. mirnyi is not.

Puffdaddy
06-30-2006, 10:50 AM
Moose,

I agree 100%. On very fast grass, the "stiffer" guys (I think Tim Mayotte in the 80s) or perhaps Taylor Dent now could do OK.

Slightly slower grass places much more of a premium on athleticism, quickness, and shotmaking.

Bascially what I'm saying is that Edberg, Sampras and Becker would still win on slower grass, but Kevin Curran probably wouldn't.

Just my $0.02

fastdunn
06-30-2006, 10:54 AM
Looking at how the players that S&V all the time or most of the time are doing in a draw, can't help but notice the successes at least in early rounds of Max Myrnyi, Jonas Bjorkman, Radek Stepanek. These guys are at the net all the time, and doing well. Is the grass playing faster? Is it just luck? What changed?

Well, it's not the kind of S&V we used to see in the 90's.
max Myrnyi stayed at baseline on his 1st serves many times
in his match against Flipper, for example.

From I have seen, Stepanek is only one that can be close
to real S&Ver but I have not seen his matches at Wimbledon this year....

simi
06-30-2006, 11:32 AM
Just finished watching today's broadcast coverage, and I had the same thought. I love this tournament and watching some "real" tennis. Add Kendrick and Mahut to the list as S&V players who are making tennis exciting again.

I'm loving it. Nice change of pace from the mindless baseline bashing of the past several months. Tennis doesn't have to consist of 30 ball rallies to be exciting. Four or five ball "rallies" are exciting too. Just a different type of tennis, but it is still tennis.

Wondertoy
06-30-2006, 11:32 AM
You can still S&V on slow grass, but you need have all or most of the following:

-good(preferably big) serve placed very well consistently

-good anticipation/ability at net

-good transition game

-above average athleticism

-the guts/mental toughness to actually continue to attack, even if you get passed a few times.

sadly most of the tour doesn't have this. mirnyi, bjorkman, stepanek would be considered mediocre s&v players a few years ago, but yet they are able to do well against todays field.

maybe some very athletic juniors will take note. it can be a successfull tactic in the modern game, you just need to develop it at age 13/14 not 18/19. and you have to very athletic(worth repeating) edberg, rafter, sampras were phenomenal athletes. mirnyi is not.

The next great American tennis player will be an attack, S&V, all-court player, federer like but more attacking...

Moose Malloy
06-30-2006, 11:39 AM
The next great American tennis player will be an attack, S&V, all-court player, federer like but more attacking...

well, I think the next great player could be like you say. I doubt he will be American though. The talent pool in the US is very thin, hardly any very good athletes play tennis here anymore.

Considering we have very few americans even in top 100, I doubt we can produce a #1. at least not for a while.

ED_4.6HSE
06-30-2006, 12:05 PM
Just finished watching today's broadcast coverage, and I had the same thought. I love this tournament and watching some "real" tennis. Add Kendrick and Mahut to the list as S&V players who are making tennis exciting again.

I'm loving it. Nice change of pace from the mindless baseline bashing of the past several months. Tennis doesn't have to consist of 30 ball rallies to be exciting. Four or five ball "rallies" are exciting too. Just a different type of tennis, but it is still tennis.

Couldnt have said it better!


No mention of Ancic here?

if the courts were a little bit faster that guy would give fed something to think about! Even though, he'd still be my favourite other than you know who

araghava
06-30-2006, 12:10 PM
I think mentality make up a big part of being a S&V'r. By definition your opponent is going to win most of his points by passing you. i.e. hitting winners. The modern player hates giving up winners. The mentality is that it's better to lose points with unforced/forced errors that by allowing the opponent to hit winners.

ShcMad
06-30-2006, 12:13 PM
I heard an ESPN commentator say that Max Mirnyi came to the net about 120 times against James Blake. If I did that, I'd be lying on the ground out of breath and dead. I noticed it's very tiring to play serve and volley.

simi
06-30-2006, 12:21 PM
I heard an ESPN commentator say that Max Mirnyi came to the net about 120 times against James Blake. If I did that, I'd be lying on the ground out of breath and dead. I noticed it's very tiring to play serve and volley.

In general, the points don't last as long. Which is more tiring, a S&V set consisting of 4-5 ball points, or a clay court set consisting of 20-30 ball points? Max was taking a lot of time between points, but he's in pretty good cardio shape.

FedererUberAlles
06-30-2006, 12:30 PM
I heard an ESPN commentator say that Max Mirnyi came to the net about 120 times against James Blake. If I did that, I'd be lying on the ground out of breath and dead. I noticed it's very tiring to play serve and volley.

Get on the bike! I'm just kidding, but if you really want to improve you're endurance, you've got to push yourself, and it will come.

The tennis guy
06-30-2006, 12:33 PM
Well, it's not the kind of S&V we used to see in the 90's.
max Myrnyi stayed at baseline on his 1st serves many times
in his match against Flipper, for example.

From I have seen, Stepanek is only one that can be close
to real S&Ver but I have not seen his matches at Wimbledon this year....

I agree. They are not serving and volleying even on every FIRST serve. In 90s, they would have served and volleyed on every serve.

I agree with Gilbert, big serve and turf is as effective if not more on slow grass.

CivicLx
06-30-2006, 12:39 PM
The Mirnyi/Blake match was great...even though I fell asleep for a couple sets, but it's so fun to watch and it's great that Max got to the 4th round for the first time in his career. I'm just sorry it had to be at Blake's expense

arosen
06-30-2006, 01:16 PM
Couldnt have said it better!


No mention of Ancic here?

if the courts were a little bit faster that guy would give fed something to think about! Even though, he'd still be my favourite other than you know who


I shelled over a 20$, watched everything I could online, and I noticed how well Ancic was striking the ball so far. Dude knows how to volley, plus he is really tall yet moves well for his height. He's having his hands full with Wavrinka though.
J-Mac keeps harping on how Henman should have attacked the net all the time against Fed to have any kind of chance. After watching Mahut, Ancic, Kendrick and Stepanek, I can't help but agree with him. Playing Fed from the baseline on grass is suicide, but if someone like Ancic catches fire playing SV, Fed can get rattled.

fastdunn
06-30-2006, 01:27 PM
The thing is Ancic seems to fare pretty well against Federer
from baseline too. Maybe Federer is alluring everybody to baseline
make them thinking he is beatable from baseline.

Anyway, there's something different about the matchup between
Federer and Ancic. I have watched about 2 matches between
Fed and Ancic and Ancic never really gave Federer any control
over the match, IMHO. Even if Ancic loses, it was Ancic's call.
For most of Federer matches, it's usually Federer's call, if you know
what I mean.

The tennis guy
06-30-2006, 01:30 PM
The thing is Ancic seems to fare pretty well against Federer
from baseline too. Maybe Federer is alluring everybody to baseline
make them thinking he is beatable from baseline.

Anyway, there's something different about the matchup between
Federer and Ancic. I have watched about 2 matches between
Fed and Ancic and Ancic never really gave Federer any control
over the match, IMHO. Even if Ancic loses, it was Ancic's call.
For most of Federer matches, it's usually Federer's call, if you know
what I mean.

I don't think Ancic was in control of the match. I do think Federer doesn't read Ancic's serve as well as he reads Roddick's.

fastdunn
06-30-2006, 01:35 PM
I don't think Ancic was in control of the match. I do think Federer doesn't read Ancic's serve as well as he reads Roddick's.

OK. I take back that "control" from my posting.
As you said, Federer struggles with Ancic's sevre surprisingly more than
expected. And Ancic also put Federer somewhat defenive modes
from baseline too, IMHO. Ancic loses becasue his unforced
error piles up.

The tennis guy
06-30-2006, 01:40 PM
OK. I take back that "control" from my posting.
As you said, Federer struggles with Ancic's sevre surprisingly more than
expected. And Ancic also put Federer somewhat defenive modes
from baseline too, IMHO. Ancic loses becasue his unforced
error piles up.

Ancic hits very heavy ball, power with heavy spin. He is not a natural baseliner. He is going to make errors from there. He has improved that aspect in the past year.

simi
06-30-2006, 03:00 PM
The Mirnyi/Blake match was great...even though I fell asleep for a couple sets, but it's so fun to watch and it's great that Max got to the 4th round for the first time in his career. I'm just sorry it had to be at Blake's expense

Minor correction...Max played in the fourth round at Wimbledon in 2003. He lost to Jonas Bjorkman by a score of 6-4 3-6 6-3 7-6(4). Jonas then lost in the next round, the quarterfinals, to Andy Roddick, who in turn lost in the following round, the semifinals, to Roger Federer, who went on to win the first of this three Wimbledon championships over Flipper.

Interesting sidenote, Jonas, in partnership with Todd Woodbridge, won the gentlemen's doubles defeating Max Mirnyi in the finals, who was partnered with Bupathi at that time.

jhhachamp
06-30-2006, 04:13 PM
The next great American tennis player will be an attack, S&V, all-court player, federer like but more attacking...

Unfortunately, the next great American player is not even on the horizon as of right now, it could be 10-20 or even more years before we see another player as good as Sampras, Agassi, Connors or McEnroe. The rest of the world has caught up.

skip1969
06-30-2006, 05:43 PM
some good posts on this thread. especially, moose.

I think mentality make up a big part of being a S&V'r. By definition your opponent is going to win most of his points by passing you. i.e. hitting winners. The modern player hates giving up winners. The mentality is that it's better to lose points with unforced/forced errors that by allowing the opponent to hit winners.
i gotta agree here. i don't know if it's vanity or what. but we are in an age where it's all about flash and the only winners that really "matter" are the ones hit from the baseline. somehow, even if you're missing from the back, you still don't lose too much credibility. everyone still gushes over you for having power or "going for it" or whatever.

which i think is stupid, but explains why almost everyone plays from the back. i think to be a good serve and volleyer, you can't be vain (which most players are). you look at the great net players and you remember them not being afraid to get passed, cos they realized it was part of the game, part of the serve and volley "deal."

i remember martina in her prime. someone would hit this brilliant passing shot by her, she'd applaud or say "that's too good", and she'd walk her *ss back to the baseline, serve up the next point, and run right back to the net. now, that takes GUTS! and a different kind of mentality that most of today's players don't have. that's why they don't come in. cos it takes a certain humility (in addition to the skills other posters have already mentioned) to get passed left and right, or have tennis balls ripped at your head. it takes guts to stand at the net and be that close to your opposition. most players nowadays feel "safer" 10 feet behind the baseline.

araghava
06-30-2006, 09:02 PM
some good posts on this thread. especially, moose.

i remember martina in her prime. someone would hit this brilliant passing shot by her, she'd applaud or say "too good", and she'd walk her *ss back to the baseline, serve up the next point, and run right back to the net. now, that takes GUTS! and a different kind of mentality that most of today;s players don't have. that's why they don't come in. cos it takes a certain humility to get passed left and right, or have tennis balls ripped at your head (in addition to the skills other posters have already mentioned). it takes guts to stand at the net and be that close to your opposition. most players nowadays feel "safer" 10 feet behind the baseline.

Peter Bodo has a quote from Mike Estep (Martina's coach). He would tell Martina that if she didn't get passed atleast 30 times, she wasn't comming in enough. It takes a strong personality to do that.

The Myrni - Blake match was a classic example of a S&V'r mentality. Myrni kept comming in even after losing the 3rd set. Finally it wore down Blake and he collapsed.

urban
07-01-2006, 01:27 AM
I am normally not complaining about the bad status of mens tennis or clowns era. But on grass, the standard is simply not high, if a player like Bjorkman can go through the field as through hot butter. He is a good, maybe even great doubles player with a great return, but as a singles player he was not much more than a journeyman - that means in his prime, ten years ago. And Myrni is not and was never top twenty material. I saw Mahut yesterday, doing reasonably well vs. Fed, simply by coming in on everything, although his volleying was awful. If someone could volley, it would be still working.

Verbal_Kint
07-01-2006, 02:04 AM
Bjorkman finished at 4 in the world one year.. Journeyman, yeah.

urban
07-01-2006, 02:47 AM
Won 3 titles in 1997, finished Nr. 4 by playing many tournaments, reached sf Masters Cup, but in his long career reached only 1 sf in major, maybe 1 or 1 quarters, once at Wimbledon. Hardly an overwhelming record in majors or on grass. I always stated, that the standard of grass court tennis sunk since the mid 90s, when Edberg, Becker and Stich lost their form and focus. Only Sampras and Goran remained threats, Krajicek was always injured, Rafter was a better hard courter than grass courter because of his high bouncing kicker. The generation of Edberg and Becker and Cash had more experience on grass, because they had at least the Australian circuit on grass.

HyperHorse
07-01-2006, 03:00 AM
Excuse me for a moment but i really think the game has changed because of S&V...
Everyone is returning better these days...
This is a lasting impression left on the game by Agassi...
So now u have to have a consistent, monster serve...
Variety, you have to be able to mix it up otherwise your opponent will be all over u...
But i guess this varies from player to player...
And not a lot of youngsters are playing serve & volley either... I guess they'd rather hit forehands & backhands...

crazylevity
07-01-2006, 04:16 AM
I know this board has bashed the lack of variety in women's tennis, but the Stosur-Mauresmo match saw a lot of serve and volley from both players and a lot of good touches at the net.

arosen
07-01-2006, 05:56 PM
And now Max has to play Bjorkman all over again. Tough cookies for both of them, what with them being partners and friends. Max should win it, he is younger, so if they go the distance he should come out on top. On the other hand, Jonas has more variety, especially on the backhand side.