Greatest Volleyer of all-time?

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

  1. kiki

    kiki Banned

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2010
    Messages:
    18,714
    Excellent list.I never saw Bahrami.Amritraj and Frase could also be there, but, for the rest, you got it right
     
    #51
  2. urban

    urban Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2005
    Messages:
    4,378
    From all i read, Kramer was by far the more accomplished volleyer than Segura. Conventional wisdom says, he invented the serve and volley thing. Also Newk was deadly with his punch forehand volley. And Budge Patty deserves a mention, even Hopman and the Aussies held his backhand volley the highest among all players of the 50s. Sedgman had the best forehand volley in that period.
     
    #52
  3. #53
  4. SusanDK

    SusanDK Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2010
    Messages:
    613
    Another vote for Edberg as #1 here.

    I don't know how it's possible to stretch all the way to #35 and not include Fitzgerald, Jarryd, Forget, Noah, Leconte.
     
    #54
  5. heathcliff

    heathcliff Rookie

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2008
    Messages:
    124
    gerulaitis 28th?
    as far as volleys are concerned i´d put him above becker and sampras.
    fitzy´s in the same league to me.
     
    #55
  6. fed_rulz

    fed_rulz Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2007
    Messages:
    3,622
    your comprehension skills are astounding, to say the least !! I was using the TW historian logic (or lack thereof) that one should be measured against their own peers -- if Edberg's BH should be at the top because his BH was a great one for his time, then Nadal's (if you have an issue with considering Nadal's volleys as great, take it up with JMac, and I'm with you) or Llodra's should find a place in the top 10 too, because of the current players, they arguably have the best volleys.
     
    #56
  7. BTURNER

    BTURNER Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2007
    Messages:
    3,607
    Location:
    OREGON
    Mac tried for volleys no one including even Edberg dreamed of. We forget how often his belief in his own magic was a curse. Mac went for pretty when solid would do, and that backfired occasionally. He made such volleys higher percentage than anyone else. That does not always translate into high enough percentage to be smart. The Greeks had it right. Even the Gods themselves are punished for hubris.

    On that basis I give the slightest of edges to Edberg over John.
     
    #57
  8. kiki

    kiki Banned

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2010
    Messages:
    18,714
    I know what you mean but, it terms of volleys we do not need to be relative.We can talk in absolute terms.it is impossible to choose a volleyer in current´s game, not because they couldn´t have the ability...it is just that they don´t VOLLEY, just as simple as that.easy to understand for anybody, ain´t it ?
     
    #58
  9. kiki

    kiki Banned

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2010
    Messages:
    18,714
    That is a great description of Mac´s volley art.there are volleyers who play more the percentage, basing on sharp anticipation, positioning and easy backswing (Roche,Ashe,Edberg,Rafter,Rosewall), while others then to overrisk a bit, going for the first winning volley (JMac,Laver,Panatta,Hoad,Becker)
     
    #59
  10. chrischris

    chrischris Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2010
    Messages:
    2,974
    Edberg Rafter Cash Sampras Federer Mcenroe Laver Henman
     
    #60
  11. kiki

    kiki Banned

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2010
    Messages:
    18,714
    Vitas climbing up¡¡ hurray¡¡¡
     
    #61
  12. kiki

    kiki Banned

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2010
    Messages:
    18,714
    7 out of 8...not bad¡¡¡
     
    #62
  13. RF_fan

    RF_fan Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2011
    Messages:
    417
    Maybe Mac had better hands and volleying skills, but Edberg moved quicker and could volley with more power, so more effective.
     
    #63
  14. kiki

    kiki Banned

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2010
    Messages:
    18,714
    Edberg was terrific in terms of volley consistency, he seldom missed even the most difficult ones.I agree mac had better hands, but had also less covaregae, tough his anticipation matches Edberg, no doubt.

    Another super solid volleyer was Newcombe.He and Roche were a net machine doubles team, Newcombe being the one that opened up and Rcohe, ending up in his very flamboyant stile.I liked a lot Hewitt/Mc Milland and also Mc/Fleming but Newcombe/Roche are most likely the best doubles team ever.
     
    #64
  15. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2007
    Messages:
    12,769
    Location:
    Bierlandt
    Good call:

    4. Roche
    . . .
    11. Newcombe
     
    #65
  16. ClairHarmony

    ClairHarmony Rookie

    Joined:
    May 24, 2010
    Messages:
    102
    Edberg STUCK his first volley like a butcher striking it into the heart of a candied pig (don't want to offend any animal rights activists...long live, compadres, long live). Translating? Into nobody closed off the net, I mean, literally sealed it Zip Lock bag, tight, then vacuum sucked all the air out of the newly bagged, sealed, and trapped opponent like Edberg at his best. He would send baseliners, stumbling, re-shuffling, wetting their panty hose, if he got a beat on the ball to the net. If you did not knock the absolute stuffing out of your first shot at the pass, it'd be too late. You didn't get second chances with him. Any sniff of a ball, and he'd planch the beguile out of the ball, and the point would be over.

    I'd say that whose the better volleyer, depends on who you talk to. I think that against Edberg, the key was to blitzkrieg him with power, by taking it early. I think Agassi especially was good at this. You had to hit lasers at him/by him, as with Edberg it was more of a race between trying to ZIP the ball by him in time, and him seiling the net off on you in time...in which case, his technique was flawless and never seemed to break down. He was absolutely machine like at that point, and by then the geometry of the court would be working decidely in his favor. He had the athleticsm to cover lobs, and could get down for low volleys without his technique breaking down like no other. Not too many could take the ball early enough to get it buy him in time, while still hitting it with pace. I think Medvedev matched up fairly well with him for this reason. I think someone who takes massive swings to Hulk up on you, like Gonzales would struggle against peak Edberg. Such technique under pressure wouldn't allow for the zip, AND precision you need to get the ball by him. You have to be ready to pick the ball up off your shoe laces against him and send it flying. He really kept you on the seat of your pants.

    With McEnroe, he didn't have Edberg's world class athleticism/speed, nor quite his reach. He relied on the hokey pokey, voodoo black magic, don't know what's coming next aspect to throw your passes all out of sync, out of rhythm. He was like a Santoro at net. He played matador with the ball. In watching Bruguera dismantle him rather easily on the seniors tour, I felt like at times he was actually letting up on him, to keep him somewhat in it. To me, the best plan of attack on McEnroe is to expose the athlete gap. If you could bamboozle him by simply letting it rip like Agassi, on the fly, and on the rise, that would be one way. The other way, would be to give him a little of his own medicine. From what I saw, he really struggled getting reads on the curvature of Bruguera's balls...despite having coached him, so presumably being quite familiar with the feel of his strokes. Age has a lot to do with it, but still I just got the sense, that against extreme dipping, feathery, style passes...hands can only take you so far sometimes. Meaning, that the athleticism gap between he and Edberg is exposed here.

    I'd say that Edberg's volleys had less holes, had less to worry about vs. different styles; whereas McEnroe had the mercurial hands that sometimes stole the show. If you did not allow yourself to get too mesmerized though, there were ways to expose that he was an above average "natural" athlete...but no Cash, Rafter, or Edberg.

    Cash and Rafter were great at what they do, swarm the net, and jump around like kangaroos...but I don't feel like that style, relying so much on your athleticsm, can get you to the level of the all-time greats. It's great, and as difficult to beat as any when all cylinders are cooking, fired up, rocket boosting...but how often can you really count on that? Exactly, no one stays a constant energy bunny forever, the level of intensity required to play that style is just too much. They lacked Edberg's clean, efficient, lines to the path of the ball...he made it look so simple, when really it's not.

    For me, I give Edberg the edge in volleys, as I feel his athleticism and ability to stick the first volley to the point of no return one-up McEnroe. Touch is nice, but at the end of the day, Edberg at his best didn't give you a second look, and to me that's more important. His athetlicsm was on par with Cash and Rafter, long limbs. To me, where McEnroe had the edge was on the serve. Edberg's was far too predictable by comparison, not a lefty. Effective at his best, but not the take you out of a match on a good day kind of serve like McEnroe's was. McEnroe's game was all about throwing you off, it wasn't just his hands at net. His whole game was so pokey-inciting, that players found it very difficult to seat themselves in the pocket and settle into any kind of blasting groove. He diffuseed your dynamite, because you did not know what to expect. Sometimes a pokey, off-pace, ball that always lands where you don't want it too, is the most frustrating thing in the world to deal with. You don't know why you can't just clobber it away, feel like you should, and yet the percentages work against you and you're left scratching your head. There was a mental aspect to playing McEnroe...in the sens of not going crazy. The tricky spins and direction on the serve, everything about his game was pokey and unreadable with the occasional dart thrown-in for good measure.

    With Edberg, you knew what was coming, he was as straight-forward as they come. With him, it came down to constant-pressure/execution. It was possible to beat him, but you knew you had to be on your toes and execute to absolute perfection from the word go...and this could make you sweat. It was a different kind of pressure. With McEnroe, you're battling flies, trying to swat them away...dizzying, you feel like poop by the end of the day, and want to cry. With Edberg, you felt stranded out in the Antarctic in the middle of an ice cap with nowhere to go. You feel naked, helpless, exposed, by the cold, harsh, cold weather...but whatcha really gonna do? The foe is obvious, but whatchya gonna do? Ask for a life saver? What good's that gonna do you? You'd just die of frost bite the second you hit the water. You're ice toast with Edberg...game, set, match...but at least with Edberg, you got a nice pat on the back of the shoulders at the end of the match, to make you feel better..."awe...," he slips a note in your back pocket, "P.S. Don't forget to vote for me, for ATP Best Sportmanship of the Year, 'kay? Signed, your buddy Stefano Edberg," "...awe...." :oops: Such a great guy, blush.

    Who doesn't like Edberg, and who doesn't love to hate McEnroe? Not so much people really LOVED Edberg as everyone liked him. Edberg never really inspired that many feelings to me, he was just very, very, very good at what he did and everyone respected him...but he didn't really excite EMOTIONS out of anyone. He was just really well liked...not a bad thing, but he's the house guest at a party you hardly even noticed he was there...until he's gone, and then you go, awe, gosh, darn, why didn't I appreciate him more when he was around? Such is life. McEnroe's the guy you have arrested for distrubing the peace, then bring back for the next, next party, because the party in between was really boring...everyone just sitting around, picking their noses, with no one to love or hate anymore...without him. They both had their charm.
     
    #66
  17. powerslave

    powerslave Rookie

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2009
    Messages:
    255
    Location:
    Groton, CT
    How come Rafter is above Sampras ? I have seen Rafter miss some regulation volleys on numerous occassions, not that Sampras did not miss any but I never found Rafter head and shoulders above Sampras.

    Having said that this is one topic where I am sure everyone will agree that Edberg was God!
     
    #67
  18. kiki

    kiki Banned

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2010
    Messages:
    18,714
    I think Edberg never minded about his serve being too predictable, since he had the edge when he reached the net comfortably, no mather whom he was pitted against.

    He used his serve to give him time to volley comfortably, aided by his superb athleticism.So, even if it was predictable, it was also very very hard to put him off his game.
     
    #68
  19. ChocoLab

    ChocoLab New User

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2009
    Messages:
    19
    McEnroe was the best I've ever seen.
     
    #69
  20. kiki

    kiki Banned

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2010
    Messages:
    18,714
    Thanks...yes, a good call...
     
    #70
  21. HarveyPitnik

    HarveyPitnik New User

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2009
    Messages:
    88
    I haven't really seen the guys from 50's, 60's and 70's, but the what I've seen the maestro on the net is Stefan Edberg. Completing the top three would be McEnroe and Cash.
    Technically the best looking volleys that I have ever seen were from Jeremy Bates of UK.
     
    #71
  22. BrooklynNY

    BrooklynNY Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2010
    Messages:
    1,627
    Because somehow on this forum, Sampras actually sucks at tennis.

    The guy is top 5 of all time, one of the most, if not the most spectacular game ever, and he is completely swept to the side.

    He is apparently 26 on the volley list, behind Rafter and Henman, he apparently not even worth being on LimpinHitter's footwork thread, and if he is its peaking at around 21, behind Andy Murray, I am not even sure where guys are ranking Pete Sampras in that other "Greatest Serves" thread hahaha

    No beef, just saying.
     
    #72
  23. NikeWilson

    NikeWilson Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2008
    Messages:
    683
    Edberg is #1.
    and then maybe McEnroe or Rafter.
    then maybe Sampras.
     
    #73
  24. kiki

    kiki Banned

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2010
    Messages:
    18,714
    Mark Cox was a helluva volleyer.It is true than some brittons have some of the best volleys; Cox looked to me a bit like Henman.
     
    #74
  25. Logan71

    Logan71 Rookie

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2011
    Messages:
    120
    Location:
    Norfolk,England
    Edberg was a classical volleyier.The serve and the move up the court and the shape of his body on the volley.Textbook stuff,but Mcenroe created his own volley's.

    By far the greatest half volley pick ups I have ever seen.He didn't just get them back,he would direct them to the most awkward spot possible.The pulled back upright posture when he advanced in,the balance simply brilliant
     
    #75
  26. Logan71

    Logan71 Rookie

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2011
    Messages:
    120
    Location:
    Norfolk,England
    I like your list I won't disagree on the order because I haven't seen everyone and not enough of everyone to judge such a list.One thing I will say the smoothest volleyer's are often the best because it's a combination of footwork and compact stroke combined with natural feel.

    Mcenroe,Edberg and The Australians in the list were obvious choices.The other notable mention is Henman who I saw on a highlight reel when he won Paris indoors Masters 2003,he beat everyone that week including Roddick and Federer who were at the top at that point.

    His net game was fantastic and the only reason he's not higher in the list is because of other parts of his game like his serve didn't have the quality to aid his volley game or he would have won more.

    Then you have Sampras and Rafter,and Becker who had stellar gifts and in the case of Sampras and Becker incredible serves that set up the first volley.The thing with Sampras was that his serve was so great he hardly ever had to hit volley's below net height,and it wasn't until Hewitt showed up or when Agassi was up for it that he struggled up at net.
     
    #76
  27. dennis10is

    dennis10is Banned

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2005
    Messages:
    2,033
    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    Rafa is the best volleyer ever, just ask Mac.
     
    #77
  28. kiki

    kiki Banned

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2010
    Messages:
    18,714
    You should know, by now, that Mac´s opinions pretend to save his legacy.By saying that Nadal is the best, he puts aside guys like Edberg,Laver,Roche,Sampras,Cash et al , the really great volleyers that can really challenge his position in that department.

    It is like Connors saying that Roddick has the rgeatest 2 HB .Then, he´d sweep aside his main rivals in that department, like Borg,Agassi or Djokovic ( I still think Jimmy´s is the best ever, but by a close margin).
     
    #78
  29. pc1

    pc1 Legend

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2008
    Messages:
    9,467

    I don't recall John McEnroe ever saying Nadal's the best volleyer ever. I think McEnroe just said something to the effect that Nadal's an excellent volleyer and one of the best in the game.

    I think Dennis was writing that as sort of a joke.
     
    #79
  30. kiki

    kiki Banned

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2010
    Messages:
    18,714
    :)
    Well, in that case I´ll smile to Dennis.To say that Nadal is one of the best volleyers in the current game...well, is actually like saying that Beasley is a great 3 point shooter since, he tried 4 times in his life and made it 3 of them.
     
    #80
  31. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2010
    Messages:
    9,277
    Sampras is in my top 5 all time GOAT list with Laver, Federer, Borg and Gonzales, even if his footwork and volleys aren't. He had the greatest serve of all time, top 5 forehand, top 5 athlete, probably the flat out fastest player ever, and once he found his confidence, he was one of the greatest competitors of all time.

    As for volley's, I distinguish them from his overall net game which includes his athleticism and his comfort and familiarity at the net. IMO, Sampras' net game was probably top 10.
     
    #81
  32. stecken71

    stecken71 New User

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2009
    Messages:
    16
    Man, that is some beautiful writing, ClairHarmony. Just saying, and I have to agree with you.
     
    #82
  33. pc1

    pc1 Legend

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2008
    Messages:
    9,467
    I don't recall people saying Sampras is bad at tennis but who knows what things people can write in the heat of the moment. Anyone who writes that and means it well to sort of paraphrase John McEnroe "They cannot be serious.!"

    I think Sampras is number one so far in the greatest serves thread by the way.

    Point is that there have a lot of great volleyers in tennis history and while Sampras has a superb volley some people don't think he's the best volleyer or among the top five volleyers all time. Most of the guys in front of Sampras in that thread are really great volleyers so it's not unreasonable.

    Sampras is clearly one of the top players ever but as I've wrote about Federer, just because he's an all time great doesn't put him in the top five in each strokes or tennis talent category. For example most would put Sampras ahead of Agassi as an all time great but would you write that Sampras has a better backhand than Agassi or a better return overall?
     
    #83
  34. ahuimanu

    ahuimanu Rookie

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2010
    Messages:
    212
    Recall watching "film" of an Aussie by the name of Frank Sedgeman. Think he's from the 50's era and was simply amazing how he controlled the mid court with his penetrating volleys. There must be a few old-timers out there who could elaborate ?

    In the modern era gotta go with Mac and Edberg...

    http://www.all-about-tennis.com/frank-sedgman.html
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2011
    #84
  35. Bobby Jr

    Bobby Jr Legend

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2010
    Messages:
    7,503
    I agree. If you look at Edberg a lot of the time he was volleying where anyone could anticipate - but it rarely mattered. He hit them well enough, crisply enough and moved in so well more often than not the fate was sealed. Edberg played on generally much bouncier courts than McEnroe did in his prime so the task was probably trickier too.

    Also - Edberg had amazing half-volleys - probably second only to McEnroe.

    Oddly, watching Federer at the French Open and Wimbledon this year made me think he'd been considering his volleys a fair bit. A number of times - including at the FO vs Djokovic and Nadal - he hit superb deep, wrong-footing volleys which were Edberg-esque. I wondered if he'd been brushing up on his tactics there.
     
    #85
  36. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2010
    Messages:
    9,277
    I think the title of this thread has caused quite a bit of confusion. There is a distinction between the greatest volleyer and the greatest net player, just as there is a distinction between the greatest forehand, backhand and the greatest ground player. I don't think I would put Mats Wilander's forehand or backhand on a top 20 list, but, I would put him in the top 20, maybe top 15 of the greatest ground players of all time. IMO, BJK was a better volleyer than Martina Navratilova. But, she wasn't quite as great a net player.

    Similarly, there were at least 10 maybe 15 players who were better volleyers than Sampras. But, not more than 5-6 who were more effective at the net than Sampras because of his athleticism and his comfort and familiarity with, and knowledge of how to play, the net.
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2011
    #86
  37. pc1

    pc1 Legend

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2008
    Messages:
    9,467
    Some consider Sedgman the greatest volleyer ever.
     
    #87
  38. pc1

    pc1 Legend

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2008
    Messages:
    9,467
    I think of this thread as the person who is the most effective volleyer or volleyers and that includes range. A person with the longest arms is not necessarily the best volleyer and he or she may not necessarily have the most range at the net. Sharapova for example has very long arms but I think she is a poor volleyer with limited range at the net. Players in the Women's game who are much smaller than her like Navratilova or Hingis would be able to intercept shots at the net better than Sharapova.

    A Tony Roche who is under six feet tall to me is a far superior volleyer in range and effectiveness than many players taller than him. The same can be said for Ken Rosewall.

    So I guess we have to look at range at the net, ability not to make volleying errors and the ability to put away volleys. I don't think we are looking at approach shots and I include serves in this area. If we include serves, players like Sampras or Pancho Gonzalez would move near or at the top.

    It's an opinion thread so I suppose others can look at it any way they want to.
     
    #88
  39. 6-2/6-4/6-0

    6-2/6-4/6-0 Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2011
    Messages:
    697
    Location:
    about 5000 feet up...
    In my way of thinking it is hard to separate greatest volleys from greatest net game. To me at least half of volleying is footwork and positioning. In this regard, I think that Edberg is in a class of his own. But then again, I am unabashedly an enormous Edberg fan.

    I grew up as a player who watched and analyzed tennis matches like crime tech going over surveillance videos. I would watch matches over and over trying to get inside what players were doing, how they were doing it, what the variation on technique was that made them great and me average. As a budding serve and volleyer I watched Mac, Edberg, Becker and Sampras like I was watching great sculptors chipping away at stone to reveal what was spectacularly hidden within. I watched pretenders like Lendl trying to make their way to net each June and sought to understand what the inherent difference was between one supremely talented tennis player coming to the net and another while having entirely opposite results.

    In all my years of watching, studying, analyzing I have a hard time thinking that there are many players that can give Mac or Edberg a run as better volleyers or net players. Certainly, watching film of players like Newcombe, Rosewall, Laver, Emerson, Hoad, etc. shows a history of brilliant volleyers competing against similarly well-rounded players and crafting scintillating points where offense and defense were fluid positions which could change on a single stroke. But in all the hours that I have poured over, I have never seen two players who could own the net like Edberg and Mac.

    From there, I see the designation of Greatest as very much a matter of style.

    Mac undeniably had a brilliance about him. He covered the net with the passion of a teen-age boy in the back seat of his dad's car for the first time with his girlfriend. The movements were not necessarily smooth or practiced, but nothing was going to get by him if he could help it - he was was going to make the most of any situation regardless of how prepared or well-positioned he was. He had inspiration and relentlessness, everything else flowed from there.

    In great part Mac's brilliance was the entirely unorthodox, almost in-duplicable way that he volleyed: the angles that he created; the way he could drop a ball over the net and make it die; the lunging/flailing volleys that seemed to land in the most perfect and unexpected spot. The volleys that he created are like scientific anomalies, the results unable to replicated in any other setting.

    McEnroe was nothing if not thrilling to watch.

    Edberg was almost entirely the opposite. He floated on the court. His instincts and ability to always be in position bordered on super-natural. As Tony Trabert once said, "He doesn't take any more steps than anyone else, he just gets there quicker."

    If there is a knock against Edberg it would have to be that he made it look too easy. His volleys were not some sort of magical shot that even the gods could not have seen coming, they were a surgical response based on exacting preparation and the sort of precognition that you see in movies like 'The Last Samurai' where a fighter sees an entire battle sequence play out choreographically before the first punch is thrown. There is a sense when watching him play that he is almost like an instrument of destiny and that in the natural world his volley - no matter how difficult or routine - could land no where other than where it did.

    Sure, he was able to hit brilliant shots when they were necessary. But he was so fluid, so graceful, so correct in knowing what was going to happen next that those brilliant shots weren't necessary as often.

    In the end I see it like this:

    John McEnroe fought everything, lines-people, umpires, opponents, and most often physics and probability. At the net he was often victorious in these disputes. There is no one who has played the game that can match him as "The Most Brilliant Volleyer of All Time."

    Stefan Edberg was like the Tao on the court, seeming to have the greatest effect while doing the least. His precision and ability to repeatedly make perfect, elegant volleys made the kamikaze act of rushing the net look positively serene. In terms of Greatness, to me Stefan Edberg takes the title with the same aplomb with which he dispatched Lendl/Courier/etc. on the way to the 91 US Open title.
     
    #89
  40. pc1

    pc1 Legend

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2008
    Messages:
    9,467
    ^^^

    All I can say that you could be right.
     
    #90
  41. kiki

    kiki Banned

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2010
    Messages:
    18,714
    This is a good way to sort of deconstructing mac and Edberg; I also think they are the best volleyers & net game players over the last 40 years.But, I have had the privilege of seeing Rosewall and Laver and Roche volley and I can tell you they were exactly as much birlliant, deadly, flashy and fluid, like there was no effort for them to make in termos of postioning, timing, moving side to side or north to south, stretching, killing the pace off the volley, opening amazing angles...and all that makes the net game a true art in itself.
     
    #91
  42. 6-2/6-4/6-0

    6-2/6-4/6-0 Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2011
    Messages:
    697
    Location:
    about 5000 feet up...
    Does all this talk of great volleying make anyone else want to go back to wooden rackets and gut string?
     
    #92
  43. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2007
    Messages:
    12,769
    Location:
    Bierlandt
    Interesting point(s). I shall have to ponder.
     
    #93
  44. Monsieur_DeLarge

    Monsieur_DeLarge Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    May 31, 2009
    Messages:
    492
    I'd agree with this. Just as in a previous thread I was differentiating between pure footwork and legwork/speed, volleys are only part of net play. I actually consider Henman the best volleyer of the '90s, and though I'm not 100%, I believe I heard Federer say the same. However, factor in that Pistol Pete was coming in behind his monstrous serve, and also his terrific athleticism and overhead technique, and there's no dispute who was the most dominant player overall in the forecourt.

    To answer the OP, I suspect a lot of the '60s greats were every bit as good as those who followed them, since S&V was a much more practised technique then. However, I'm too young to have witnessed them first-hand. In my lifetime I'd place Edberg #1, just barely ahead of McEnroe. The second tier would be Henman, Rafter, Sampras, and Becker.


    regards,
    MDL
     
    #94
  45. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2010
    Messages:
    9,277
    Agreed! I'd add Newcombe in there too! Also, to what you've said about net play skills, I would add knowing how to cover the net and cut off passing angles. This set of net play skills is what I meant by distinguishing a great volleyer from a great net player.
     
    #95
  46. kiki

    kiki Banned

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2010
    Messages:
    18,714
    Maybe he should hire Stefan as his volleying coach, to add a new dimension to his game.
     
    #96
  47. kiki

    kiki Banned

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2010
    Messages:
    18,714
    It´s not just witches being burnt, but also those committing an " heresy", and that one is a deadly one...
     
    #97
  48. TMF

    TMF Talk Tennis Guru

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2009
    Messages:
    21,371
    Join the club. That's how I feel about the way they rated Federer in this forum.

    It should be name as www.old-schoolTennis.com
     
    #98
  49. kiki

    kiki Banned

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2010
    Messages:
    18,714
    In chrono order:

    Mc Loughlin,Borotra,Cochet,Perry,Budge,Kramer,Sedgman,Rose,Patty,Gonzales,Hoad,Rosewall,Emerson,Fraser,Laver,Roche,Newcombe,Ashe,Nastase ( net game and moves), Amritraj,Gerulaitis,Panatta,Pecci,Gottfried,Lutz,Kriek,Curren,Becker,Cash,Rafter,Sampras,Stich,Krajicek..and of course, Mac and Edberg and probably 4 or 5 more guys I forgot.
     
    #99
  50. kiki

    kiki Banned

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2010
    Messages:
    18,714
    true, but 75% or 80% of the great net game players would also rank as great volleyers, one thing comes with the other, I guess.
     

Share This Page