Greatest Volleyers of All Time

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by hoodjem, Dec 19, 2009.

  1. pc1

    pc1 Legend

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2008
    Messages:
    9,395
    He had enough spin and enough game to win the French in my opinion but the stamina was definitely a major factor because of his illness.

    The man did win the Italian Open and he was 4-0 on clay in the Davis Cup defeating top players like Chesnokov, Kafelnikov among others. In the Davis Cup Sampras wouldn't have to worry about the long clay rallies followed by many matches over a short period of time. The most singles he would have to play is two singles matches. Not really a major strain on his body.

    I was thinking of natural serve and volleyers who have won the French. Edberg came close in 1989 but lost to Chang. Laver of course won it and Emerson did but that was in the amateurs and Tony Roche won it also in the amateurs. Roche and Emerson were about as natural as you can get as serve and volleyers.

    Rosewall could serve and volley but he was a super duper baseliner.

    I'm not sure if you can say Panatta was a natural serve and volleyer but he seemed to win it in 1976 that way.

    Noah in 1983 served and volleyed his way to the title over Wilander but I really don't think of him as a great nor a natural serve and volleyer.

    I would think that Sampras could have played it like Panatta.
     
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2009
    #51
  2. Azzurri

    Azzurri Legend

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2006
    Messages:
    7,884
    Location:
    Next door to Elisha Cuthbert.
    LOL. Pete never won a FO, never played a racquet above 85 si and never played lead guitar for Pearl Jam in concert. there are no "if's" in this case, only facts. Pete lost for much more reason than "spin"...
     
    #52
  3. K Factor

    K Factor Banned

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2009
    Messages:
    96
    stop making up excuses. i know a lot about pete and citing him for illness is rediculous and insulting to me pete should have won the french but he did not. pete should have taken advantage of emerging technologies and should have developed a higher stroke that resulted in maximum topspin capabilites. pete did not adjust. he had the resources and the talent to do so but did not want to hit a high heavy ball. remember that pete also had a lot of good competition on clay. sampras to me for being how dominant as he was underachieved in his career. i still think pete should have had at least 20 slam wins.
     
    #53
  4. K Factor

    K Factor Banned

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2009
    Messages:
    96
    i didnt think that was funny. the facts are this--pete underachived in his career with his talent. looking back pete could have came into the federer era and could have won more than federer. sampras had tougher competition and look at how much he won. spin was a big issue for pete as youll remember that one of petes biggest regrets was that he didnt use a bigger racquet. so stop with the b.s. and recognize that pete had the opportunity to adjust his style of play.
     
    #54
  5. THESEXPISTOL

    THESEXPISTOL Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    May 5, 2009
    Messages:
    3,008
    Location:
    Europe
    Pete was the best serve ever and a good (compared to the other names listed in the first tier) volley.
     
    #55
  6. Azzurri

    Azzurri Legend

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2006
    Messages:
    7,884
    Location:
    Next door to Elisha Cuthbert.
    seems like you know everything. good for you.
     
    #56
  7. K Factor

    K Factor Banned

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2009
    Messages:
    96
    you forgot the fact that petes biggest regret was not using a bigger square inch racquet in his career.
     
    #57
  8. pc1

    pc1 Legend

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2008
    Messages:
    9,395
    First of all this is an opinion. My opinion is that Sampras had enough game to win the French. For goodness sake, he won the Italian. However I thought his blood disease problem hurt him in the French.

    I am not a Sampras fan so it is not an excuse. I do think he was a great player. It is an opinion that I state.

    The fact is that he didn't win the French. It was also a fact he won a top clay title in the Italian. I also think one of the reasons he won the Italian was that it was a best of three until the final and it allowed him less wear and tear on his body.
     
    #58
  9. Azzurri

    Azzurri Legend

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2006
    Messages:
    7,884
    Location:
    Next door to Elisha Cuthbert.
    ahh, no his biggest regret was Delana Mulcahy.
     
    #59
  10. Datacipher

    Datacipher Banned

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2004
    Messages:
    4,611
    Delaina was her actual name.
     
    #60
  11. pc1

    pc1 Legend

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2008
    Messages:
    9,395
    It could have Kimberly Williams also. lol.

    Frankly guys, I would tend to think he's happy with Bridgette Wilson.:)
     
    #61
  12. Azzurri

    Azzurri Legend

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2006
    Messages:
    7,884
    Location:
    Next door to Elisha Cuthbert.
    are you saying I misspelled her name or did I not get her name correctly? again, you are a tool. you're so ignorant you don't even know the difference between a misspell and an actual name.
     
    #62
  13. Azzurri

    Azzurri Legend

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2006
    Messages:
    7,884
    Location:
    Next door to Elisha Cuthbert.
    but Kim did not sue him for money.
     
    #63
  14. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2007
    Messages:
    12,738
    Location:
    Bierlandt
    This is good. (I don't think even Sampras himself would believe this.)
     
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2009
    #64
  15. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2007
    Messages:
    12,738
    Location:
    Bierlandt
    Tier-one: McEnroe, Edberg, Rosewall, Laver, Sedgman, Newcombe, Roche, Kramer, Cash.


    Tier-two: Borotra, Gonzales, Hoad, Emerson, Henman, Nastase, Panatta, Rafter, Sampras.


    Tier-three: Segura, Ashe, Perry, Krajicek, Stich, Becker, Gerulaitis.
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2011
    #65
  16. darthpwner

    darthpwner Banned

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2008
    Messages:
    2,039
    Sampras generated plenty of spin, even on his backhand! More so than his forehand.
    http://wings.avkids.com/Tennis/Project/usspin-05.html
     
    #66
  17. pc1

    pc1 Legend

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2008
    Messages:
    9,395
    Great list. Segura was also known as a great volleyer. Ellsworth Vines said that he was only slightly below Rosewall as a volleyer among the smaller players.
     
    #67
  18. timnz

    timnz Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2008
    Messages:
    4,525
    Pat Cash - Tier 1 volleyer

    Definitely one of the best volleyers ever. In fact that by far was the strongest part of his game (the rest of his game was solid but not spectacular). The other main thing he had going for him (before his archilles injury was foot speed), one of the fastest guys out there.

    Definitely in tier 1. Great technique, placement, power - the whole package off both sides.
     
    #68
  19. ClubHoUno

    ClubHoUno Banned

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2008
    Messages:
    3,150
    Location:
    Scandinavia, Europe
    I would say that Pat Rafter was as good a volleyer as EDBERG and Laver :D
     
    #69
  20. Smartbucks

    Smartbucks Banned

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2009
    Messages:
    33
    From that era too , Brian Gottfried.. super volleyer. His dubs partner Raul Ramirez was also at home at the net.
     
    #70
  21. timnz

    timnz Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2008
    Messages:
    4,525
    Hoad and Roche

    Newcombe himself rated Hoad's forehand volley the best ever. I also believe that general wisdom has Roche's backhand volley as being one of the best (if not the best) ever.
     
    #71
  22. borg number one

    borg number one Legend

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2007
    Messages:
    7,639
    Location:
    Houston, Texas
    Yes, Timnz, I've never seen it live or on TV live that much (only You tube footage), but I do remember always reading about Roche's volley and especially his backhand volley being among the VERY BEST in history.

    Here is an example. Folks, use it as an example of a great backhand volley.

    http://www.expert-tennis-tips.com/backhand-volley.html

    Thank you Borgforever for this video upload and work as to the 1969 US Open final!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3y2CpBpV5pg

    Then, watch Laver-Roche at the Australian Open:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wHaN2h21ANs.

    What quick action given all the net charging and offense! Talk about some rapid fire action..
     
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2010
    #72
  23. 35ft6

    35ft6 Legend

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2005
    Messages:
    6,557
    No way. I bet Pat himself would chuckle if you said that. But man, Rafter could really murder the toughest shot in tennis, the high backhand overhead/volley.
     
    #73
  24. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2007
    Messages:
    12,738
    Location:
    Bierlandt
    Bumped for currency.
     
    #74
  25. SirSweetSpot

    SirSweetSpot Banned

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2009
    Messages:
    539
    Anybody other than Edberg is laughable.
     
    #75
  26. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2008
    Messages:
    36,321
    Location:
    East side of San Francisco Bay
    Edberg took his game seriously.
    Nastase would PLAY tennis.
    Cash and Rafter were OK.
     
    #76
  27. amorco

    amorco New User

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2009
    Messages:
    87
    Location:
    Bay area
    Did you guys forget about John McEnroe? The greatest volleyers hands of all time...:)
     
    #77
  28. big bang

    big bang Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2009
    Messages:
    1,885
    Location:
    behind your curtain
    mac is the most skilled volleyer ever, his feel and touch is just insane.
    but Edberg had the most effective net-game ever, so quick and very elegant.
    if you could combine these skills that would be SCARY:shock:
     
    #78
  29. pc1

    pc1 Legend

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2008
    Messages:
    9,395
    Both are tremendous volleyers. I am never sure who to pick on who is the better volleyer between the two.
     
    #79
  30. swordtennis

    swordtennis Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2010
    Messages:
    4,174
    Well I watched the utube videos of Laver vs Roche and Rosewell and for petes sake they were volleying back and forth! No groundstrokes in many rallies just volleys. Crazy like pong on speed.
    Laver, Mcenroe and Edberg have to be up there at the top.
    Sampras 2.
    I would like to see Fed become more S&V oriented. I think it might help him win more majors.
     
    #80
  31. amorco

    amorco New User

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2009
    Messages:
    87
    Location:
    Bay area

    McEnroe was the best doubles player and very gifted at the net. Reaction wise he is much faster than Edberg and shot penetration is more effective. Edberg is a very technical volleyier and relied heavily on movement, where Mac is all natural instinct. That is why hardly anyone volleys like McEnroe, he looks like he's tinkering and buffering with the balls...:)
     
    #81
  32. 1970CRBase

    1970CRBase Guest

    #82
  33. MethodTennis

    MethodTennis Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2008
    Messages:
    3,617
    m+b bryan up there hand speed at the net reaction vollies
     
    #83
  34. genius24

    genius24 Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2010
    Messages:
    741
    Location:
    chicago
    Hands down Edberg
     
    #84
  35. gpt

    gpt Professional

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2009
    Messages:
    880
    Agree. It was not as versatile as your tier 1 list of player's
     
    #85
  36. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2007
    Messages:
    12,738
    Location:
    Bierlandt
    GVOAT

    Tier-one: McEnroe, Edberg, Rosewall, Sedgman, Newcombe, Laver, Roche, Kramer.

    Tier-two: Borotra, Gonzales, Segura, Hoad, Emerson, Henman, Nastase, Panatta, Rafter, Sampras, Cash.

    Tier-three: Ashe, Perry, Gottfried, Krajicek, Stich, Becker, Gerulaitis.
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2010
    #86
  37. pc1

    pc1 Legend

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2008
    Messages:
    9,395
    Great list. One question, I know the Bryan brothers are excellent volleyers but how would their range in covering the net translate to singles?
     
    #87
  38. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2007
    Messages:
    12,738
    Location:
    Bierlandt
    Good question. Here's one back: do we evaluate net coverage in toto, or only the stroke, that is the pure volley?






    (P.S. I love Vitas's volleys: incredible touch. Hard to keep him in tier three.)
     
    #88
  39. pc1

    pc1 Legend

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2008
    Messages:
    9,395
    I think Vitas had excellent volleys too.

    For singles we clearly have to include net coverage. A player can be an excellent volleyer in doubles but very poor in singles because obviously he has less area to cover. From my own experience I used to play doubles with a woman who was a very good player on her college doubles team. She was clearly a superior volleyer to me and incidentally used to amuse me because she had almost an evil grin just before she was about to put away an easy volley.

    However when I played singles against her I found her range wasn't that great at the net and I often was able to pass her with a crosscourt backhand that frankly I thought I would be able to cover myself. In singles we were much closer in effectiveness at the net.
     
    #89
  40. The-Champ

    The-Champ Legend

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2007
    Messages:
    6,541
    Location:
    Sweden
    Finally, a thread with no mention of Federer.


    I'd put Edberg on the very top of the volleying elites. Stefan's athleticism and reflex surpass johnny mac's supreme touch.

    Edberg is a 10, Mac is a 9.9
     
    #90
  41. abmk

    abmk G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2008
    Messages:
    15,916
    Location:
    U.S
    I'd put stefan ahead by a slight margin too.

    Just been watching some edberg highlights, too good ! :)
     
    #91
  42. gpt

    gpt Professional

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2009
    Messages:
    880
    I dont think anyone hit better low forehand volleys than Cash
     
    #92
  43. NLBwell

    NLBwell Legend

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2004
    Messages:
    7,112
    Yes, first thing I thought of was doubles guys (ie. Hewitt and McMillan)
     
    #93
  44. pc1

    pc1 Legend

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2008
    Messages:
    9,395
    Yes they had super volleys but are we talking about singles or doubles? In single I didn't think their range was quite as good.
     
    #94
  45. NLBwell

    NLBwell Legend

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2004
    Messages:
    7,112
    They were both pretty good singles players, but I don't know enough to say whether there was a limitation on their volleys (McMillan two-handed) or other parts of their game that kept them from the very top of the singles game.

    (McMillan 2 singles titles and Hewitt 7 according to wikipedia)
     
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2010
    #95
  46. Ultra2HolyGrail

    Ultra2HolyGrail Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2004
    Messages:
    2,519
    Best Serve AND Volleyer= Hands down Sampras.

    Best volleyer= It does not matter.
     
    #96
  47. pc1

    pc1 Legend

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2008
    Messages:
    9,395
    According to Vainquers, McMillan won ten singles titles and Bob Hewitt 59. Hewitt, according to Arthur Ashe was one of the slowest men to play tennis but had beautiful strokes.

    According to some sources Hewitt and McMillan won 165 doubles tournaments. They were a brilliant team. They looked like they couldn't beat two 80 year old men in wheelchairs but when they got on the court they were great. It was funny.
     
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2010
    #97
  48. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2007
    Messages:
    12,738
    Location:
    Bierlandt
    I might rank them as the second best doubles team of all, with the Woodies first.
     
    #98
  49. pjonesy

    pjonesy Professional

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2010
    Messages:
    1,098
    I am pushing 40, so by some standards I am young and obviously did not get to see the greats of the 1960s in their primes. Of the players I grew up with, McEnroe, Edberg, Becker, Cash, Sampras, Rafter and Federer are the ones that come to mind. Of those guys I would favor Sampras and McEnroe as the best pure volleyers, and Sampras, Edberg, McEnroe and Rafter as the best serve and volleyers. Rafter and Edberg had killer kick serves, but now I am getting off the subject. When I watch old clips of Laver, Newcombe, Ashe etc., they seem to be much more consistent and are serve and volleying on every serve. Those guys seem to be much more proficient at net than the following generations. I am aware that racquet and string technology has given the returner more of an advantage, along with improving passing shots. But, I will go with Laver. He seemed to be committed to the serve and volley, having no reservations whatsoever. His volleys seem so crisp, solid and perfectly placed, and I cannot see how you could volley any better than he did.
     
    #99
  50. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2007
    Messages:
    12,738
    Location:
    Bierlandt
    Some discussion on other threads about who was the best volleyer of all-time.

    So I thought I resurrect this thread.
     

Share This Page