Greatest All Time Serve and Volleyer

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by pc1, Oct 27, 2009.

?

Who is the greatest all time serve and volleyer?

  1. Jack Kramer

    3 vote(s)
    1.4%
  2. Pancho Gonzalez

    9 vote(s)
    4.2%
  3. John Newcombe

    1 vote(s)
    0.5%
  4. John McEnroe

    57 vote(s)
    26.8%
  5. Stefan Edberg

    78 vote(s)
    36.6%
  6. Frank Sedgman

    1 vote(s)
    0.5%
  7. Pete Sampras

    64 vote(s)
    30.0%
  1. pmerk34

    pmerk34 Legend

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2007
    Messages:
    5,192
    Location:
    L. Island, NY
    Except when Connors beat him (even though Ken made the finals). then it's of course Connors beat Rosewall like a drum. Rosewall was 39!
     
  2. pmerk34

    pmerk34 Legend

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2007
    Messages:
    5,192
    Location:
    L. Island, NY
    No one has hit more half volley winners in tennis history than Pete.
     
  3. kiki

    kiki Banned

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2010
    Messages:
    18,715
    have you heard about Cochet ?
     
  4. pmerk34

    pmerk34 Legend

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2007
    Messages:
    5,192
    Location:
    L. Island, NY
    He played 80 years ago. I don't normally comment on players back that far
     
  5. kiki

    kiki Banned

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2010
    Messages:
    18,715
    Not a true S&V player.He took advantage of his huge serve, one of the best ever, but he didn´t have the true instinct.
     
  6. gavna

    gavna Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2010
    Messages:
    3,661
    All this Edberg love must come from folks who didn't see tennis played in the 60s or 70s. Guys like Brian Gottfried and Dickie Stockton who were PURE serve and volleyers - Being able to get to the finals of so many events with clay being the predominant surface is amazing. If you take into account doubles which i think you must Gottfried is up there and Stockton would have been if not for the bad back that cut him short.
     
  7. kiki

    kiki Banned

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2010
    Messages:
    18,715
    I really missed a lot of Stockton action, probably the big 70´s player I didn´t watch, but i did see Brian and I have a great respect for him.Clean,net groundies and volley and a terrific work ethic.Great guy, if he had had a winning baseline shot, he´d have won a GS title.
     
  8. pc1

    pc1 Legend

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2008
    Messages:
    9,339
    Yes I thought Sampras was an excellent half volleyer. Pancho Gonzalez, Ken Rosewall and yes Henri Cochet (as Kiki mentioned) were famous for being superb half volleyers.

    McEnroe was pretty good also.
     
  9. kiki

    kiki Banned

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2010
    Messages:
    18,715
    ...Now that you mention Gottfried, there were many great S&V in the 70´s.Alexander,Tanner,Gottfried,Stockton,Edmondson, Amritraj,Mottram,Case,Pattison...I´m missing a lot.John Mc Enroe himself is a 70´s player albeit most of his success came in the 80´s.
     
  10. pc1

    pc1 Legend

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2008
    Messages:
    9,339
    I think in a tennis magazine years ago Gottfried finished second in a backhand and forehand volley poll. He was a very strong volleyer.
     
  11. WCT

    WCT Rookie

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2010
    Messages:
    217
    I read a WORLD TENNIS article circa 1980. A player poll on best strokes. Gottfried won for both best forehand and backhand volley.
     
  12. kiki

    kiki Banned

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2010
    Messages:
    18,715
    I do remember now that you mention it.He was the clutch volleyer for some time, possibly the best in between Newcombe´s peak and Mc Enroeçs peak.

    Vitas Gerulaitis was also excellent, Gottfried´s levels.
     
  13. Azzurri

    Azzurri Legend

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2006
    Messages:
    7,884
    Location:
    Next door to Elisha Cuthbert.
    what is your point? did you read his book? he clearly states his serve, the Sampras serve just showed up months (I don't recall specifics) before the 90 USO. Did I say his serve prior was weak? poor? lame? I said the Sampras serve we all know. If you think the video shows the same serve then its your opinion...good for you. Now go back to your shine box.
     
  14. Azzurri

    Azzurri Legend

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2006
    Messages:
    7,884
    Location:
    Next door to Elisha Cuthbert.
    don't you just love when people yap about a player they only watched on video clips. also, how many half volley returns could he have on a 75 mph serve??
     
  15. Azzurri

    Azzurri Legend

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2006
    Messages:
    7,884
    Location:
    Next door to Elisha Cuthbert.
    if he was not a "true" s&v player then what was he?

    oh god, another expert that is utterly clueless.
     
  16. pc1

    pc1 Legend

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2008
    Messages:
    9,339
    Nice to have you posting here Azzurri. Always makes it interesting.
     
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2012
  17. krosero

    krosero Legend

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2006
    Messages:
    5,579
    No, you said the serve we all know was not there when he turned pro, which was in early '88, and nobody disagreed with that. What's incorrect is that "his serve began to boom just a few months before" the '90 Open.

    You don't recall the specifics in Pete's book? Here's a refresher.

    "When Mats and I met in the second round [89 USO], it was my first appearance on the Louis Armstrong Stadium court at the original USTA National Tennis Center....I was a little apprehensive and still green--emotionally, mentally, and even technically. My forehand--my best shot-- was a little shaky, and in the big picture I had no backhand worth the name. But the one thing I suddenly did have was a serve. In 1989, I suddenly started serving up aces. Don't ask how, because I can't give you a good answer."

    "I started my quest at Flushing Meadows [1990] as a dark horse, although I was definitely on the radar of my rivals, the pundits, and knowledgeable fans. Through 1990, I was slowly becoming a better mover and all-around athlete, and my serve--already vastly improved--just kept getting better. There was no magic bullet, coaching or techniquewise. Suddenly the big serve was just there, and getting bigger as the months passed."​
     
  18. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2010
    Messages:
    9,277
    That's one way of putting it!
     
  19. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2010
    Messages:
    9,277
    So, you think Ivanisevic belongs on this list? If so, you're clueless. If not, what's the point of bringing it up?
     
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2012
  20. kiki

    kiki Banned

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2010
    Messages:
    18,715
    Anybody could be a decent volleyer with his monster serve...but he had big flaws at the net...disguissed by the huge number of aces or first serve winners that he got.Just didn´t feel comfortable there and didn´t have Becker´s, Stich´s,Sampras´or Edberg´s feeling at the net.THAT IS OBVIOUS TO ANYBODY WHO HAS WATCHED SOME REAL S&V ACTION
     
  21. pmerk34

    pmerk34 Legend

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2007
    Messages:
    5,192
    Location:
    L. Island, NY
    Well that and that fact that tennis in the 1920's and 1930's bear's virtually no resemblance to the sport as played in the 1990's.
     
  22. kiki

    kiki Banned

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2010
    Messages:
    18,715
    Azurri´s Peteworshipping makes me start liking the Federals troop...
     
  23. kiki

    kiki Banned

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2010
    Messages:
    18,715
    BTW, How many Federals in the Confederacy?
     
  24. Azzurri

    Azzurri Legend

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2006
    Messages:
    7,884
    Location:
    Next door to Elisha Cuthbert.
    Thanks for information. Point is he did not come in with that serve. Although he mentions the 89 USO, his serve was getting better as he CLEARLY STATED. I said in the months before the 90 USO...please show me where Pete says it any differently? He said through 90 my serve was already vastly improved...JUST KEPT GETTING BETTER!. Can you read?? NO.
     
  25. Azzurri

    Azzurri Legend

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2006
    Messages:
    7,884
    Location:
    Next door to Elisha Cuthbert.
    you think IVO was an all-courter?? he certainly was not a baseliner. his game was based on his serve, coming in on his serve and aggresively playing to finish points and not get into long rallies.
     
  26. Azzurri

    Azzurri Legend

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2006
    Messages:
    7,884
    Location:
    Next door to Elisha Cuthbert.
    OK, I am done discussing this with you. he is a 7 time W champ. flaws?? big flaws?? here's a flaw...your brain.
     
  27. Azzurri

    Azzurri Legend

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2006
    Messages:
    7,884
    Location:
    Next door to Elisha Cuthbert.
    LOL..exactly. they wore heavy pants back then and were not allowed to leave their feet. I have said it many times, you cannot compare tennis today, 90's or even the 80's to anything in the wood era. and to look at 100 years ago is even a bigger joke.
     
  28. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2010
    Messages:
    9,277
    My point was, whatever IVO is, he's not an all time great serve and volleyer. So, why bring him up in this thread? All court player? Yes, if your definition of all court is someone who is equally skilled at net and backcourt. But, great S&V'er, no, not IMO!
     
  29. Azzurri

    Azzurri Legend

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2006
    Messages:
    7,884
    Location:
    Next door to Elisha Cuthbert.
    go back and re read what I was talking about. I never, ever said he belongs on this list. is this a list of "true" S&V players...is it? Please tell me where I stated he was an all time great, show me where I came anywhere near it. I simply stated he was a S&V player. His back court game was not as good as his volley game...proof is in the pudding...WIMBLEDON OF THE 90'S.

    CLUELESS AS EVER.

    and, did bring him up in this thread??? did I?
     
  30. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2010
    Messages:
    9,277
    Clueless? Go back and re-read my post:

     
  31. krosero

    krosero Legend

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2006
    Messages:
    5,579
    Okay, great, let's look at your original statements.

    So you claim his serve started booming a few months before the 1990 USO. Moreover, you claim that Sampras clearly stated this. In fact, Sampras never makes a reference to such a specific time frame. He says very generally that he started serving aces in 1989 and that his serve kept improving throughout 1990. Please quote Sampras clearly specifying a time frame beginning a few months before the 1990 USO.

    And please don't play with his words. If he clearly makes a reference to a time frame of a few months, then all you should have to do is quote his clear statement specifying it.

    "When Mats and I met in the second round [89 USO], it was my first appearance on the Louis Armstrong Stadium court at the original USTA National Tennis Center....I was a little apprehensive and still green--emotionally, mentally, and even technically. My forehand--my best shot-- was a little shaky, and in the big picture I had no backhand worth the name. But the one thing I suddenly did have was a serve. In 1989, I suddenly started serving up aces. Don't ask how, because I can't give you a good answer."

    "I started my quest at Flushing Meadows [1990] as a dark horse, although I was definitely on the radar of my rivals, the pundits, and knowledgeable fans. Through 1990, I was slowly becoming a better mover and all-around athlete, and my serve--already vastly improved--just kept getting better. There was no magic bullet, coaching or techniquewise. Suddenly the big serve was just there, and getting bigger as the months passed."​
     
  32. ctromano

    ctromano Rookie

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2006
    Messages:
    191
    Johnny Mac is the greatest of all time in the SV sense because the guy had once main goal and focus... finish the point at net. I also like Pat Rafter as the modern day SV, the guy had plan A and then used plan B to get to use plan A... I miss the SV player. In my own game I may not win many points at net but i enjoy being different for a little while :)
     
  33. kiki

    kiki Banned

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2010
    Messages:
    18,715
    Big confusion in your mind.I pointed out Ivo is not a great S&V IMO.I never said something like that about Sampras.He is a top 10-15 all time s&v
     
  34. robow7

    robow7 Professional

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2008
    Messages:
    966
    From on that list and that I have seen play live during their prime, I could live with Mac or Edberg. Both made a HOF career with their S&V. Maybe a righty and lefty division?

    I saw IVO play live several times, great serve but only a fair volley and movement, definitely not the complete S&V package.
     
  35. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2010
    Messages:
    9,277
    Mac is definitely a S&V goat candidate. But, your observation of Mac doesn't really distinguish him from the vast majority of male players from about 1950-1990. They all sought to end points at the net. And some were, arguably, even better at it than Mac. What made Mac so great was his natural talent, athleticism and eye hand coordination. He was also a great and underrated backcourt player, BTW.
     
  36. pc1

    pc1 Legend

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2008
    Messages:
    9,339
    I would agree McEnroe is up there with anyone. I'm not so sure about Edberg before some top returner like Connors and Agassi would attack his serve, which was good but I don't think it was so good as some others like Newcombe and Gonzalez.

    Newcombe in his prime, while perhaps not having quite the volley Edberg had (it was still excellent) in my opinion had a clearly better serve and Edberg so I may give him the edge over Edberg as a serve and volleyer.
     
  37. robow7

    robow7 Professional

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2008
    Messages:
    966
    Limpinhitter,
    I agree about many in those earlier years, but a guy like Laver, Rosewall, and even Sampras could win points from elsewhere on the court where Mac and Edberg weren't going to win if they couldn't get in. They were pretty much dedicated to that style of tennis almost 100% of the time. They didn't have a big back court weapon and weren't known as counterpunchers and hence why I give them the nod.
     
  38. kiki

    kiki Banned

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2010
    Messages:
    18,715
    Mac won many points from the back, even if he sought to settle up his attack.In 1981 he could play Borg face to face from the ground.In his peak 1984 year, he dominated Lendl from the backcourt ( in indoors and hard) and toyed Connors there, too.
     
  39. Xavier G

    Xavier G Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2012
    Messages:
    510
    Mac's ground game is often under-rated. He was primarily S&V, but he had effective strokes which worked for him. Even that loopy forehand, if my memory serves me right. By 84, he was handling Lendl on clay easily. Even at Roland Garros until he let Lendl back into the match. His ground game looked pretty good in the Wimby final against Connors that year!
     
  40. rdis10093

    rdis10093 Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2011
    Messages:
    3,879
    Location:
    states
    Mr. Mc takes it
     
  41. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2010
    Messages:
    9,277
    That's not really true. I've seen Mac beat great backcourt players, like Vilas and Lendl, from the baseline when he was at his peak. Not that he had a better baseline game than they did, but, he was much better from the baseline than most give him credit for. As for Edberg, I haven't seen him win matches from the baseline, but, I've certainly seen him win impressive points from the baseline. His 1hb is one of the all time greats.

    I just don't like seeing players like Mac and Edberg being pigeon-holed as one dimentional players when they were really complete players and champions.
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2012
  42. kiki

    kiki Banned

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2010
    Messages:
    18,715
    I´d say mac was better from the baseline than Borg or Lendl at the net.As for Edberg, while he didn´t have the whole range of a Mac, his brilliant backhand certainly can compete with the best.He had trouble with his fh, though.Mainly due to his wrist, his preparation for this shot always seemed too rigid.
     
  43. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2010
    Messages:
    9,277
    We agree on that.
     
  44. kiki

    kiki Banned

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2010
    Messages:
    18,715
    specially in indoors where his lack of power was jeopardized by the fast carpet, which enhanced his anticipation sense and very sound, straightforwarss techniche with almost no backswing.

    it was a great spectacle to see an inspired Mac playe indoors ( along Sampras,Becker and Lendl, the true best fast carpet players )
     
  45. robow7

    robow7 Professional

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2008
    Messages:
    966
    Hey guys, I like Mac's loosey goosey strokes as well but Mac's not winning majors with his ground game. He didn't win a single US Open or Wimbly from the back court and he didn't come close on the one occasion at the FO by staying back on clay. He didn't lose matches from the baseline but he didn't win many either.
     
  46. kiki

    kiki Banned

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2010
    Messages:
    18,715
    No backswing+anticipation, that made John Mc Enroe a very fine indoors player, and it worked extremely well on grass too.He passed Borg in the 1980 finals many times with that.It almost looked unrealistic...
     
  47. Azzurri

    Azzurri Legend

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2006
    Messages:
    7,884
    Location:
    Next door to Elisha Cuthbert.
    did I bring him up? you are so retarded you can't answer a simple question.
     
  48. Azzurri

    Azzurri Legend

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2006
    Messages:
    7,884
    Location:
    Next door to Elisha Cuthbert.
    read the bold. you should talk about a play with words. don't cry in your cheerios too much.
     
  49. Azzurri

    Azzurri Legend

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2006
    Messages:
    7,884
    Location:
    Next door to Elisha Cuthbert.
    my god you are absolutely intolerable. I have placed you on my ignore list. have a nice life you weird, weird dude. guys from the 50's...as if you saw a single player from that era.
     
  50. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2010
    Messages:
    9,277
    I didn't realize I was arguing with a 15 year old. Yes you did! You wasted bandwidth and forum readers' time defended him as a "true serve and volleyer."
     

Share This Page