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View Full Version : Serve And Volley Is Not Dead


TennsDog
08-28-2006, 12:04 PM
I know that it is a dying style and that it is a tough game to play in modern tennis. However, I have found my niche with the s/v gameplay. It still surprises me even. When I entered high school tennis, I was actually afraid to play net. It was a defensive position. I would hit a short ball near the service line then retreat back to the baseline, even in doubles. Over the course of 4 years of playing doubles and working on my serve, I now find serve and volley to be my go-to play. I will hit a serve and find myself rushing the net without even meaning to. First serve, second serve, whatever, take the net. I never would have imagined I would become a full-fledge serve and volleyer, but that's where I'm currently heading, looking for any chance to come to net, even blaming some losses on having not come to net often enough. The ironic thing is that most of my winners now come from approach shots.

I'm not suggesting everyone go out and start serving and volleying or whatever, but I just wanted to give my input on the somewhat debated topic of the serve and volley game. It's a great strategy and can put a lot of pressure on the guy across the net. And oh yeah, my rate of coming to net increased significantly after switching to the PS 85, unintentionally.

thursdayisgod
08-28-2006, 01:08 PM
A lot of it depends on the level of your opponent. Stronger opponents are obviously going to have much better placement along with plenty of pace that just barely skim the net, making for a very wicked yet consitent passing shot. Players also just barely have to touch a ball with their racquet to land a nice defensive lob so they can jump right back in the point. Talking tennis in general, I'd agree that SV is dead, however there are the minority of players that can execute it strongly, and those players are most likely playing doubles.

TennsDog
08-28-2006, 01:26 PM
Ideally, serve and volley doesn't really depend on your opponent. You start the point with a good serve that they return defensively, which gives you an easy volley to either put away or take control of the point. I have played a few people who passed me a lot, but that was largely my fault in not doing enough with approach shots and first volleys. I think another reason serve and volley can work well in today's game is actually because it doesn't match up all that great, so most players don't do it and most players don't face it much. As the game becomes more and more baseline, people don't have to face the pressure of consistently hitting passing shots. I was playing my friend today who commented that he missed a few easy shots just because he saw me coming in and questioned himself in what to do. It puts thinking back into the game compared to a lot of the mindless baseline bashing that goes on today. I'm not saying baseliners are mindless, I certainly respect Agassi's game, but a lot of baseliners, particularly younger ones, don't think all that much on the court and just hit hard.

All in all, serve and volley may not be the best idea to try on the pro tour, but I think with enough practice and possibly good coaching, many people could be successful with it in the recreational and amateur levels.

squints
08-28-2006, 01:34 PM
tennsdog i agree with you completely. you and i seem to be going through the same thing. its very eerie.

good thing we dont use the same racquet that'd be really weird.

Bungalo Bill
08-28-2006, 01:42 PM
I know that it is a dying style and that it is a tough game to play in modern tennis. However, I have found my niche with the s/v gameplay. It still surprises me even. When I entered high school tennis, I was actually afraid to play net. It was a defensive position. I would hit a short ball near the service line then retreat back to the baseline, even in doubles. Over the course of 4 years of playing doubles and working on my serve, I now find serve and volley to be my go-to play. I will hit a serve and find myself rushing the net without even meaning to. First serve, second serve, whatever, take the net. I never would have imagined I would become a full-fledge serve and volleyer, but that's where I'm currently heading, looking for any chance to come to net, even blaming some losses on having not come to net often enough. The ironic thing is that most of my winners now come from approach shots.

I'm not suggesting everyone go out and start serving and volleying or whatever, but I just wanted to give my input on the somewhat debated topic of the serve and volley game. It's a great strategy and can put a lot of pressure on the guy across the net. And oh yeah, my rate of coming to net increased significantly after switching to the PS 85, unintentionally.

The PS 85, one of my favorite racquets. Anyway, I agree with you that the S&V at the club levels is still a strong style.

travlerajm
08-28-2006, 01:45 PM
We welcome you to the club. Keep working on your serve!

Now that you've joined the club, you may as well start leading up your hoop to take your S-&-V game to the next level. :)

TennsDog
08-28-2006, 01:47 PM
We welcome you to the club. Keep working on your serve!

Now that you've joined the club, you may as well start leading up your hoop to take your S-&-V game to the next level. :)
Ha, no thanks. I'm pretty sure 13 oz is heavy enough.

Haha, wow. Al Trautwig just said on USA, "Who says serve and volley is dead? It was a part of Andy Roddick's game today." I was watching that match and he did use s/v rather effectively, as he has been a lot recently.

Rickson
08-28-2006, 01:55 PM
Another thing you might try is practice volleying with a ball machine or a strong passer because although you get many weak replies with good serves and approaches, you'll get the occasional rocket launchers and volleying strong passing shots is what separates good volleyers from poor volleyers.

AngeloDS
08-28-2006, 02:32 PM
Serve and volley isn't dying but I dont think the thread belongs here :p hehe sorry there bud.

I see it a lot in high school & college level tennis doing serve & volley. Not so much in pros but there's a lot of movement up to the net to close out the point which is nice to see.

I think it's just overshadowed because of pro singles tennis; no one really notices or talks about anything other than that. There's a lot of beautiful serve & volleying in doubles (doesn't get the coverage). College tennis isn't really shown on television (beautiful serve & volleying in there) and even High School Tennis has decent serve & volley lol.

TennsDog
08-28-2006, 02:54 PM
I don't consider doubles serve and volley because that is pretty much just the way doubles is played. I know that some players don't necessarily serve and volley in doubles, but that is the standard/accepted/traditional way of playing.

ZPTennis
08-28-2006, 04:18 PM
I love the serve and volley game.

I've been improving mine also recently especially since im a big fan of not getting into long baseline rallies. If you have a great serve, its definitely something to take advantage of.

I don't do it every time, but even when im at the baseline im always looking for an opportunity to move in.

dave333
08-29-2006, 07:55 AM
when I practice volleying, my dad just serves it at me. my reflex volleys are a lot better now.

at my age (14), serve and volley is very effective since kids can't handle pressure like that and think too much about their shots and don't have as much control yet.

donnyz89
08-29-2006, 09:38 AM
serve and volley is not dead... but VERY FEW people are serve and volliers.

kids grow up learning forehand, backhand, ripping groundstrokes. Why go to the net when you dont have to in order to win?

yes we will see serve and volliers, but... how many top 10 are S&V? how many parents will say "yea, let our kid be a serve and vollier!" how many coaches will say "you should practice S&V growing up". and how many kids will want to go to the net with 9/10 people with huge ground strokes?

so if you honestly think s&v is not dead, you are a bit wrong... saying its dead is a bit extreme, but it sure isnt around the "players" any more.

different story with doubles... my club forces all juniors to S&V on doubles, otherwise he/she looses the game.

ZPTennis
08-29-2006, 10:32 AM
It will come back in the pros. There isn't anyone right now but that doesn't mean there won't be someone that comes along sooner or later whos so good at it that they become one of the best in the world.

FH2FH
08-29-2006, 11:55 AM
Federer said if he was going to play himself he would S&V every point. That said... Nadal has proven it works from the baseline as well!

emcee
08-29-2006, 01:50 PM
It's very effective in high school because no one is used to hitting so many passing shots. The #1 player on our high school team had a decent record even though he didn't have a big serve, had ok groundies, and didn't even have good volley form! Fast hands can take you a long way at the rec level.

donnyz89
08-29-2006, 02:08 PM
It's very effective in high school because no one is used to hitting so many passing shots. The #1 player on our high school team had a decent record even though he didn't have a big serve, had ok groundies, and didn't even have good volley form! Fast hands can take you a long way at the rec level.

yea but highschool hardly counts... I know a 1 single player in my conference that S&V constantly... he was a great highschool player, he actually had a big serve. not so good ground strokes but tall guy, long reach and good vollies. he was I think #3 or #4 in the conference record wise. but in tournament play, he gets smoked. so highschool dont count, too many bad players.

Kaptain Karl
08-29-2006, 02:47 PM
I've said S&V will return. Just like most things, playing styles are also cyclical.

- KK

TennsDog
08-29-2006, 02:49 PM
I'm an advocate for teaching multiple methods to young people learning tennis. Teach both the one-hander and the two-hander for backhands. Teach both pinpoint and platform serves. And, of course, teach both baseline and serve and volley. Why teach just one thing? People need to try different things to see what works. I think there may be more serve and volleyers if there were more coaches advocating it as a style, but since coaches do just teach the basics of baseline, many kids develop not even really knowing serve and volley.

ryohazuki222
08-29-2006, 03:21 PM
thank you tennsdog for the topic!

S&V is definitely not dead. I'd say it's more correct to call it a "sleeping giant." It might be dying right now at the pro level, but i believe it's because no one actually does it enoguh. For those saying how s&v players get passed left and right..... that's because they arent (arent playing the percentages... they go up... get passed... give up... of course it wont work! but the more you keep it up, the less likely your opponent can). The s&v game is a game of percentages (as is tennis in general -- but, much more so). The goal is to pressure your opponent... you take away his time... you cut off the angles as much as possible.... make him constantly do the impossible. You WILL get passed -- but you actually WANT to force your opponent to hit those low percentage shots. About the lobs... a HUGE aspect of serve and volley is the overhead. It's in the job description. You need a killer overhead so that you show your opponent that they will have to lob exceptionally well to get it passed you -- if not.... it's over... your point! As for myself... being tall is great. Many times, ppl have tried to lob over me... only to have me smash the ball back... "oh ya... HE'S TALL!" they say... and you know what?! I don't see much lobs the rest of the match.

I read somewhere, and agree with this statement (sorta paraphrased):

"If you serve and volley and are constantly getting passed, it either means 1) your opponent is too good for you, or 2)you are not cutting off the angles and anticipating properly"

@tennsdog... i agree with many of the points you made... the two that stood out were how s&v is so effective because no one ever sees it... and how you naturally find yourself following serves to the net.... personally, if i dont follow a serve to the net (which at this point is instinctive) I feel completely lost on the tennis court.

Long Live the Serve and Volley!!!

donnyz89
09-02-2006, 12:03 PM
^^^ and you are not approaching properly. I see some people approaching with a short floater to the T!!!!!! and they wonder why they are getting passed!

tennus
09-05-2006, 04:06 PM
Haha, wow. Al Trautwig just said on USA, "Who says serve and volley is dead? It was a part of Andy Roddick's game today." I was watching that match and he did use s/v rather effectively, as he has been a lot recently.

Well, Roddick is not the greatest volleyer going around but......if ever there was a case for a player to force himself to serve volley it's got to be Roddick !:)

VolklVenom
09-05-2006, 09:42 PM
watching the Safin v Vik match, i noticed how Vik started to S&V after being smoked in first 2 sets, 6-1,6-1.
It worked. He won the next set and made Safin work hard for the 4th.