Greatest Volleyer of all-time?

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by onehandbh, Jul 21, 2011.

  1. onehandbh

    onehandbh Hall of Fame

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    My vote is for Edberg.

    Check out this FH volley in the clip below:
    He routinely handled low FH volleys with ease, which makes me think he
    might have done well against the current crop of players.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DqhcMrEjWDE
     
    #1
  2. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    Last edited: Jul 21, 2011
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  3. MarinaHighTennis

    MarinaHighTennis Professional

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  4. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    FrewMcMillian would have to be on the short 20 list. Little serve, no movement, and more than 6 grand slam doubles titles and well over 60 tourney doubles titles. 2hbh and 2hfh volleys.
     
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  5. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    There's a previous thread with the exact same topic. And, BTW, there's a difference between being a great volleyer and being a great net player. It takes great volleys, great athleticism and familiarity and knowledge about how to play the net to be a great net player. With that in mind, IMO, the greatest net players I can think of, in no particular order (ordering this subject is just too hard for me), are:

    Roche
    Emerson
    Laver
    Newcombe
    Gonzales
    Rosewall
    Edberg
    McEnroe

    Yes, Edberg was a great volleyer and net player and could really drive low volleys with a very small margin for error. Compare your clip of Edberg with Roche's net play here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wHaN2h21ANs
     
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  6. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    An attempt

    1. McEnroe
    2. Edberg
    3. Sedgman
    4. Roche
    5. Laver
    6. Rosewall
    7. Emerson
    8. Gonzales
    9. Hoad
    10. Segura
    11. Kramer
    12. Newcombe
    13. Panatta
    14. Rafter
    15. Henman
    16. Cash
    17. Ashe
    18. Lutz
    19. Borotra
    20. Nastase
    21. Stich
    22. Sampras
    23. Becker
    24. Perry
    25. Gottfried
    26. Gerulaitis
    27. Bahrami
    28. Krajicek
    29. Rusedski
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2011
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  7. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    Excellent list. I'm glad you have Brian Gottfried there since in a number of ratings they had in tennis magazines had him among the best volleyers in tennis. I'm sure many in the top ten can be interchanged but Edberg is about a good a choice as possible for best volleyer. Sometimes you got the impression Edberg couldn't miss a volley even if he wanted to.

    I may move Kramer a little higher since they said his volleys were very penetrating and he often put it away with one volley. They also said he had excellent range at the net. I can see Kramer in the top ten.
     
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  8. Laver777

    Laver777 Rookie

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    Bahrami, who knows what he could have accomplished if his country let him play tennis
     
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  9. Edberg is without a doubt the best volleyer of all time
     
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  10. Whirly

    Whirly New User

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    S&V my favourite play style. Rafter is my fave but what is interesting is every name before his are before my time. Going to spend some time on youtube watching some of those oldies now.

    Rusedski was a great vollier when he wasn't knackered after the first few games.
     
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  11. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    Could we call this a BHtB approach volley?
     
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  12. Tennishacker

    Tennishacker Professional

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    McEnroe

    By far the best. Naturally great hands, anticipation, touch, creativity, focus, excellent footwork, drive...
     
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  13. jakemcclain32

    jakemcclain32 Banned

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    McEnroe with Edberg second.

    Edberg was dead spot on, and beautiful to watch. Mac, though, showed more creativity. Could hit them in places no one knew were places.
     
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  14. jaggy

    jaggy G.O.A.T.

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    Navratilova had one
     
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  15. Manus Domini

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  16. duusoo

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    David Wheaton seems to be neglected here. I thought he had one of the better ones. Of course Johnny Mac.!
     
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  17. CDestroyer

    CDestroyer Professional

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    Edberg by a long shot. He volleyed effortlessly and his volleys were difficult to run down and hit passing shots on.

    Mcenroe had good feel but hit awkward soft volleys that were returnable.

    Edberg is THE man no doubt.
     
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  18. onehandbh

    onehandbh Hall of Fame

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    Agreed. What stands out to me the most about Edberg's volleys/net game
    was how penetrating his volleys were and his ability to close the net and
    cover it like a blanket. The court were faster back then, though. One
    interesting thing is that he made the French open final one year.
     
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  19. Backhanded Compliment

    Backhanded Compliment Hall of Fame

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    Simple.... McEnroe

    in his matches he not only volleyed well... he made impossible shots look routine.

    Edberg is second. His strength as a volleyier came from his impressive ability on the approach and staging of points... Mac made it happen with the most amazingly gifted set of hands at the net ever, bar none. Edberg hit great solid, supremely well constructed volleys... Mac did something akin to magic at the net that one has trouble believing just happened... it just isn't possible for even very very good pros of any era to mimic his touch and shot selection at the net.

    The fact that Mac is the greatest doubles player of all time reiterates why he's the best vollier.
     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2011
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  20. woodrow1029

    woodrow1029 Guest

    #20
  21. Manus Domini

    Manus Domini Hall of Fame

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    Darn, was gonna learn that serve since it would be more effective than my current one :)
     
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  22. Cesare

    Cesare Semi-Pro

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    vijay armitraji, especially for his backhand volley, should be in the top 20 IMHO.
     
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  23. Datacipher

    Datacipher Banned

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    Come on David, the jig is up! ;-)


    Greatest Volleyers of All Time (2009)
    Pure Vollyer of all time? Edberg or Rafter?
     
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  24. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    Ah, Vijay. What a great player to watch! Arthur Ashe mentioned one time on television that he thought Vijay's forehand volley was one of the five best in tennis. I don't remember the year.
     
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  25. urban

    urban Hall of Fame

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    'American in Paris' Budge Patty was one of the best volleyers of the post war era. I found a description in Lawn Tennis-The Australian Way: "He used almost no backswing, pushing into the ball after contact with a characteristic wrist-action similar to that used by a good squash-player.".
     
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  26. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Pretty good list.I think Cochet and Mc Laughlin should be up there; another one was Mervin Rose, an aussie of the mid 50´s.rest of the list, even if positions could change is pretty good....oh¡ and what about Bob Lutz and Frew Mc MIllan, doubles specialists, with amazing volleying talent?
     
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  27. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    That´s true, I missed him.Ross Case , in the 70´s, was one of the best doubles volleyers.But that list is quite respectable...anybody has noticed no 2000-2011 player is included.Rafter was the last, true, volley great.
     
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  28. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    ¿Women? King,Wade,Cawley,Mandlikova,Novotna and, of course, Navratilova in modern times.As for the olides, I heard a lot about Darlene Hard,Althea Gibson,Suzanne Lenglen, Bueno and, may be the greatest one , Alice Marble.As for doubles play, Rosie Casals and Kerry Reid were also very solid at the net, so were Stove and Shriver ( although not as good as those above mentioned)
     
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  29. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    I'm glad you put King first, even if you didn't intend it to mean that you thought she was the best. So, I'll say it explicitly, IMO, BJK was the best vollyer ever in woman's tennis. But, I'm inclined to say that Martina was the overall best net player due to her athleticism.
     
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  30. Cesare

    Cesare Semi-Pro

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    yeah, amazing serve and volley's player. and what a Gentleman.

    Look at here when he defeated Borg at U.s. open '74. That Forest Hills grass was beautiful..( second round)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YDFd4q3CycU
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2011
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  31. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Lovely guy, one of the great charachters of the 70´s and 80´s - among many others- he was so fluid on court...and I´m glad he broke Mac´s unbeaten run in 1984.
     
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  32. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    I agree.But I´d also consider, when on, Hana Mandlikova´s net play as one of the best.Court and Wade were good net players, very solid and athletic.There have been , due to obvious reasons, less S&V players among the women than among the men, but those women could hit volleys as well as any top pto.
     
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  33. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Volleying is an almost australian ( and some americans) art, whose love for doubles play made them improve net game.Look at Newcombe, Roche,Emmo,Hoad,Sedgman,Fraser, even Cash, they were among the greatest doubles players of any time.Even not so great players like Alexander,Case,Edmondson,Warwick were pretty better volleyers than guys ranked well ahead of them.And Brian Gottfried and Arthur Ashe, probably the 2 best US volleyers of the 70´s were great doubles players...not to mention, of course, JMac.See what doubles can make for you volley ( even women like Casals,King,Navratilova,Reid improved a lot their net game because they keep playing doubles week in, week off)
     
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  34. WCT

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    I remember one of those magazine ratings. World Tennis. A 1980 poll of the players. Gottfried won for best volley. And he won for best forehand and backhand volley. I still remember how taken aback I was that he'd win both. I always thought he was a very good volleyer, but thought Mcenroe would win at least one of the wings by that point.
     
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  35. timnz

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    Hoad combined with Roche

    Newcombe said that Hoad had the best forehand volley and many have said that Roche had the best backhand volley
     
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  36. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    Dennis Ralston was a great volleyer, especially known for his fh volley. I would put him and Marty Riessen ahead of a few on Hood's list.
     
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  37. 2ndServe

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  38. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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  39. Backhanded Compliment

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    That is very impressive, Roche is a serious contender (but Id still give the edge to Edberg for his better approaches) but this shows why it has to be Mac: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gnq2PRw5Dmc

    Edberg, Roche and Laver are undeniable machines... GREAT, if not 3 of the 5 greatest volleyers ever but Mac's hands are just obscene. The others hit shots that are classic, undeniably outstanding vollies with awe inspiring regularity, but Mac hit shots that transcended tennis.

    In sports there are only handful of athletes that had shots impressive enough to redefine the popularity of that sport. For tennis it was Mac's volleys. Nothing else has captivated the worlds attention and focused it on the sport in quite the same way... not even Sharipova's grunts!
     
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  40. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    I agree.Mac´s volleys were God´s blessed.Unbelievable touch and angles.
     
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  41. juanparty

    juanparty Semi-Pro

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    mac and edberg!!
     
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  42. juanparty

    juanparty Semi-Pro

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    but also llodra has a great volley
     
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  43. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    I would give Laver the edge on volleys taken above the net cord. He crushed the ball. I remember watching him win a hardcourt event in which his volleys caused the ball to literally flatten out when it hit the court. Below the net cord, Roche, Edberg, Rosewall, Newcombe and Emerson were probably better. Edberg was bigger and quicker than the others. So, his net coverage was better. And, his low fh volley was probably the greatest ever. However, Gonzales was bigger and quicker than Edberg, and his volley's nearly as great, and his touch better. I was never a big fan of McEnroe's low volleys. He didn't get down to the ball as well as others. But, his touch volleys were the best I've ever seen, and his instincts at the net were as great as anyone.
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2011
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  44. fed_rulz

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    In the "greatest BH of all time thread", it seems like the consensus was that a player should be ranked based on how they measured in their respective time. Hence, I nominate to include either Llodra, or Nadal to be included in the top 10 volleyers of all time (JMac claimed that Nadal has the best volleys of any active player, "bar none" during wimby).
     
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  45. CyBorg

    CyBorg Legend

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    I'll explain why I don't agree with this thinking.

    The reason why the backhand of someone like Laver has to be analyzed in understanding of the context of his time is because it is important to grasp the effect of racquet technology on the way pros hit the ball at that time (along with other things, such as instruction).

    Even though Laver did not hit his shots with nearly as much power and accuracy as the stars of today, with the woodies he had, it nonetheless objectively true that hitting technique was exemplary. But it was exemplary in a different way, relative to his time, equipment and conditions.

    Volleying today is pretty much a lost art. Players barely do it anymore. Saying that Federer or Nadal, or whoever, is one of the all time great volleyers because they are among the best today does not make them among the best of all time.

    So your analogy of volleying doesn't fit well with the examples of backhands or even serves in past eras, because hitting backhands and hitting serves were always fundamental aspects of tennis. You can't play tennis without hitting backhands in pretty much every single point. But now you can play tennis and barely hit volleys.

    P.S. I should add that I don't think either Nadal or Federer are the best volleyers in the game today. Someone might know better than me, but I think it would be reasonable to assess lower-ranked players like Llodra or Kendrick as being better. Not to mention doubles specialists. Nadal is however excellent at point construction and competent enough at volleying. Federer has extremely good half-volleys, but struggles with some other aspects.
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2011
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  46. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    Nalbandian is the best volleyer I've seen among current pros. At least, he was.
     
    #46
  47. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Definitely, you have very little idea of tennis...or, at least, of the tennis that was played ( yes, there was tennis then) before your current "Golden Era".To Put Nadal or LLodra´s or Fed´s volleys at the same level as Edberg,Mac,Rafter,Cash,Panatta,Newcombe,Rosewall,Roche,Sedgman,Hoad,Newcombe,Emmo,Laver or Fraser...in the middle ages you would go straight to the burning pile.:)
     
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  48. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    I forgot Margaret Court...
     
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  49. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    It's not as if he is a witch . . .
     
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  50. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    1. McEnroe/Edberg
    3. Sedgman
    4. Roche
    5. Laver
    6. Rosewall
    7. Emerson
    8. Gonzales
    9. Hoad
    10. Kramer
    11. Newcombe
    12. Panatta
    13. Rafter
    14. Segura
    15. Henman
    16. Cash
    17. Ashe
    18. Lutz
    19. Borotra
    20. Cochet
    21. Fraser
    22. Gerulaitis
    23. Perry
    24. Nastase
    25. Stich
    26. Sampras
    27. Becker
    28. Gottfried
    29. Leconte
    30. Kriek
    31. Patty
    31. Bahrami
    33. Krajicek
    34. Rusedski
    35. Amitraj
    35. Forget
    36. Fitzgerald
    37. Llodra
    38. Noah



    * Hon. Mention (for invention): McLaughlin
     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2011
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