Is Serve and Volleying tiring?

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by TacoBellBorderBowl1946, Aug 4, 2006.

  1. TacoBellBorderBowl1946

    TacoBellBorderBowl1946 Professional

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    I am mostly a baseliner with aggressive groundies, but when I get into long rallys most of the time I get tired. To counter this problem I am considering serve and volleying more often. I've heard it's not as tiring as playing the baseline, i'm wondering if its true.
     
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  2. Jonny S&V

    Jonny S&V Hall of Fame

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    Yes, it is less tiring. If your playing a pusher, then it is less tiring then trying to beat him from the baseline. If your playing a power baseliner, all points are going to go quickly, although it might not go your way:-| . All in all, its a less taxing way of going on your body if you're a counterpuncher.
     
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  3. vkartikv

    vkartikv Hall of Fame

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    I wouldn't say it is less tiring. Playing baseline you move from side to side. Playing s&v you move back and forth - if you are good, you move forward and forward only. Its hard on the heels, the back and shoulder. As an s&v player, you can't get away with a Dementieva or Nalbandian serve, you need to be precise with your placement, get enough kick to make it to the net on time and be ready to stretch. I don't see how s&v is easier than the baseline game.
     
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  4. TacoBellBorderBowl1946

    TacoBellBorderBowl1946 Professional

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    it's definitely not easier, but when practiced it is a really effective style of play. I was wondering if it's less tiring than baseline play.
    Thanks for the responses so far.
     
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  5. dmastous

    dmastous Professional

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    A little more sprinting and a lot of lunging. You have to really keep on your toes at the net.
    But less taxing over the course of the match due to shorter points.
     
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  6. wemic

    wemic New User

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    I've tried S&V before and oh my goodness it's tiring. I'm usually an aggressive baseliner but I find running from side to side is much easier. Last time I played S&V against a weaker opponent and I got tired out after the fourth game in the set so I went back to baselining. It could be that I'm doing it incorrectly but I find it much more tiring in that I found it hard to catch my breath cuz I was panting so heavily. Just my opinion...
     
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  7. tennis playa

    tennis playa Rookie

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    I play baseline and s/v based on my opponent and I can honestly say, the good returners will make life tuff s/vollyers then holding serve gets more difficult but overall I like to s/v. When it's humming, games, matches are shorter
     
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  8. Supernatural_Serve

    Supernatural_Serve Professional

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    It depends. In general, it is less tiring.

    Its less tiring because you run less and you probably aren't using your big swings as much, you are volleying more. Why do you run less? because in general points end quicker.

    Although you will do more explosive moves both getting to the net and covering passing shots, I feel like I use less energy on the average serve and volley point that gets played out versus the average baseline point.

    Plus, it has a way of slowing down your tempo a little having to walk back to the service line or retrieve a ball when the point ends and you are near the net. So, you get some "built in" recovery time.
     
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  9. MTChong

    MTChong Professional

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    I try serve and volley - sometimes it's less tiring and other times it's more tiring. It depends on who I am playing; during high school season, sometimes I would serve out wide, go to net, and he'd hit it right at my forehand or backhand which I would place crosscourt for a winner.
     
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  10. LuckyR

    LuckyR Legend

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    S&V is more anaerobic and baseline bashing more aerobic. So the varying advice depends on the endurance type of the poster giving the advice.
     
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  11. TacoBellBorderBowl1946

    TacoBellBorderBowl1946 Professional

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    if you play S&V, how do you cover the lobs? Whenever I play this style occasionally my opponents hits a lob near the baseline and I run all the way to the back of the court to cover it. I normally don't get to the ball, and I'm panting after all that running.
     
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  12. Supernatural_Serve

    Supernatural_Serve Professional

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    It depends on your level, but hiding a lob isn't easily accomplished by most lobbers.

    You probably are not getting a good read or jump on the ball.

    I tend to see it coming based on seeing that racquet face open up combined with the short or little backswing. Lobbers give themselves away if you are focused on watching them and when I see it, I break step immediately and either backpeddle (shorter lobs) or turn and run (deeper lobs).

    Its the top spin lobs that are deep that I don't always get to. The bounce away from you. The other kind, I tend to run down.
     
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  13. Amone

    Amone Hall of Fame

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    You're standing too close to the net. If you're being defensive enough he can place a lob, then you should only be a few steps inside the service line.
     
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  14. kevhen

    kevhen Hall of Fame

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    I think it's more demanding on the body since you are charging forward and also hitting aggressive shots and defending against aggressive returns. The points may be shorter but the exertion during those moments is much higher. Baseliners are seldom at 100% and have plenty of time to recover between shots wherease the net player has about half the recovery time and may have to run just as much if the opponent is a good lobber.

    I find serve and volleying more exhausting physically and mentally and only do it like 10-20% of the time in both singles and doubles.
     
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  15. simi

    simi Hall of Fame

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    I find it more exhausting, but also more fun. As stated, very little side-to-side running. Almost none. But, you do a lot of up and back running. And, a lot of lunging. You have less time between shots before you have to react. You can't play on your heels either and need to be on the balls of your feet all the time. After awhile, you get really good at split-stepping. Then again, one does have slightly more time between points due to having to go back to either serve yourself or get ready for the return of serve.
     
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  16. Pomeranian

    Pomeranian Semi-Pro

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    If you get into long rallies and you get tired maybe you ought to work on your endurance. Don't expect not to get tired but you should be able to last throughout the match without your focus being brought down because of your fitness.

    In my opinion, S&V is definately MORE tiring. It's more explosiveness and quick recovery. This coming from a guy who has more endurance than speed. The points will probably be much shorter but there's a lot of sprinting involved. The fortunate thing is you can take a little time during your serve to recover (as long you don't go over the time limit) and you can always choose to stay back on your serve if you don't feel confident.

    I think it might be less tiring if you are getting into higher levels of play where the rallies are long and fast. Most club players don't have the ability to hit with authority & placement very consistantly.
     
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  17. GuyClinch

    GuyClinch Hall of Fame

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    Hmm

    I find it ALOT more tiring. Because every time you miss a serve your still running into the net. It's like doing windsprints. If you stay back against a weak player you probably only have to move a few steps to the right or left - well at least against the players I play.

    I imagine it depends on your skill level. If your really good and playing a baseliner who can smack the ball from corner to corner as well as hit the short angle and is very consistent it would be more tiring. But at the 3.0 - 4.0 level I think S and V is more tiring.

    Pete
     
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  18. Slazenger

    Slazenger Professional

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    S&V is definitely more tiring for me than staying back.
    Forward/backward movements take more out of me than lateral movements.
     
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  19. fastdunn

    fastdunn Legend

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    S&V can be more tiring if you play same amount of time
    Forward movement certainly takes more of leg muscles for me too.

    But underlying idea of S&V is to end the point quickly.
    If it works in the way it's supposed to, you can conserve
    some energy. In some extreme cases, for example, I just
    let go some lobs and passing shots, of course, at some
    unimportant points...
     
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  20. chess9

    chess9 Hall of Fame

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    Right! I play some serve and volley most games and if the guy is a consistently good lobber there's plenty of anaerobic exercise to be had! Sprinting is definitely more calorie intensive than slower movements in the back court. Also, serve and volleyers tend to have bigger serves, which means they are putting more into serving. I would estimate someone like Roddick is putting 20% more effort into his game than someone who is super efficient like Federer. Which may explain their rating differential, in part. Federer is an excellent example of metabolic economy. Nothing wasted. Nadal is the other extreme of course, and that is why Nadal is so much more exciting to watch.

    -Robert
     
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  21. TacoBellBorderBowl1946

    TacoBellBorderBowl1946 Professional

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    thanks guys, I had my first tournament match yesterday. I won in 3, and played baseline mainly hitting approaches to finish at the net. I lost like 10 points on lobs alone but won many more on the net and smashes. I played some S&V and I liked it. I think i'll do it more often today, since I am playing a high ranked player. I'll keep you guys posted.
     
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  22. naturalgut

    naturalgut Rookie

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    I play serve and volley, but until five years ago i played an all court game. It really depends on your opponent's accuracy, power and consistency. Usually it is less tiring, especially if you hit an approach early in the point and run to the net.

    However, about one in every four matches I usually come up against an opponent who, while not particularly powerful is accurate and consistent. These matches can be extremely exhausting. The points frequently end up like this:

    1) Serve and run in to the net.

    The ball is returned as a lob

    2) Sprint back to retrieve the lob and play a deep return.

    This return is duly returned.

    3) Rally for a few strokes before hitting an approach off a short ball and coming at the opponent again.
    4) Stretch out and lunge to retrieve a low ball to the backhand.
    5) Recover.
    6) Stretch out to hit a forehand.
    7) Get out of the way as the ball is drilled at your face and play a desperate backhand block.
    8) Run back to retrieve a lob (again)
    9) Repeat steps (2) to (9)
     
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  23. Triple S

    Triple S New User

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    I would think serve and volleying is less tiring since it's purpose is to end the point more quickly. Don't know I never s&v.. Baseliner
     
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  24. Amone

    Amone Hall of Fame

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    Yeah, Triple, I discovered my ability to sweat when I really decided to start serve and volleying... which I then stopped becaue I kept losing. :p But I digress. It's very tiring indeed, as nobody who's never done it can quite understand..
     
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  25. tennispr()

    tennispr() Rookie

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    serve and volleying is less tiring
     
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  26. Amone

    Amone Hall of Fame

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    Could you back that up? Many people here have supported the exact opposite opinion with good reasons, and while I can't just say you're wrong, I'd like to hear what makes you say that. Do you serve and volley? Do you play the baseline? What level do you play?
     
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  27. Supernatural_Serve

    Supernatural_Serve Professional

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    I noticed a lot of people saying they "sprint" to the net. Which is probably why they get "tired" serving and volleying.

    When I serve and volley if I sprint to the net I would get to the net before the ball reaches the returner on many occasions. Yes, I have good forward speed, especially for a big guy, but more importantly:

    A. I hit very high top spin kick serves at least 50% of the time I serve and volley that bounce less than 1 foot from the opponents service line. They are always deep in the box and wide. They spin like mad but have very little forward velocity (they are paceless in this regard).

    B. The rest of my serve and volley serves are wide soft slicey serves where I give away the far side of the court and cheat to the side I served to. I am looking to volley that ball to the other side of the court ending the point with just about any decent volley while the returner is hopelessly pulled wide into the doubles alley or further wide than that.

    The better returners realize that their only hope is to aggressively take several steps into the court and take those serves I described on the rise. Surprisingly, a lot of players don't do it. They choose to suffer instead mesmerized by this ball falling from the sky or pulling them way out of position.

    When I serve and volley, sometimes I sprint to that net and camp at it waiting for a weak backhand on a very high bouncing serve (especially if they've shown no ability or confidence trying to lob a guy 6' 5")

    Yet, usually I simply move foreward just at or inside the service line (a good 4 to 5 step run, but not a sprint), split step, and really watch the returners preparation before making an aggressive move to the ball. Now that's where I explode and use some energy.

    I don't want to give them pace on my serve, so that they can use that pace to pass me, I want them to generate pace against a ball that is not in their strike zone, is spinning, and makes them crazy.

    Again, I use less energy because I end points quickly.

    One of the reasons I get away with all of this is:

    Average Speed of Heavy Serves Down the Tee: 98 mph
    Average Speed of Heavy Wide "Kickers": 92 mph (my biggest weapon, especially to ad - it really is a nasty thing for my level and a level or two above me)

    Average Speed of High Top Spin Kick Serves: 54 mph

    Average Speed of Wide Spin Serves: 62 mph

    And I am good at hiding all of them. Most returners have no idea what is coming for I basically have 1 service motion and 1 toss with mild variants.

    This is the type of serve and volleyer you want to be. There is no point blasting serves at your opponent and trying to get to the service line. Its not going to happen unless you've got Michael Vick's speed.

    You'll exhaust yourself.

    You won't have time to split step appropriately

    Your opponent will thank you for all the pace

    Your opponent will steal time from you

    and you'll walk back to the service line saying "why do I try to serve and volley?"
     
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  28. AngeloDS

    AngeloDS Hall of Fame

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    If you're doing it wrong it can become very tiring. You should be taking pace off the ball or go for high kicking; but very well placed & into their weakness. You shouldn't be sprinting to the net if you do it right, it should be a nice steady stride with a quick split step.

    I see too many people go for a flat bomb serve and try to sprint super fast to the net and tire themselves out and overrun balls and do a lot to make themselves very tired and miss a lot. After each point, you should take your time walking back and not rushing it.

    Serve & Volleying is pretty basic. Serve to where you know where they're going to return the serve and be there. From there it's racquet out in front pushing it to the open court.

    I'm already at the net by the time the person is just returning. That's the way I like it; if I'm there too early I miss the split step if I'm there too late I miss the return. Timing is essential.

    The only time I do sprint at the net is maybe an early point to force them to make the error. A lot of people tend to panick when you get up there fast. And when you get there that fast people tend to try to hit harder or do something and end up missing more heh.
     
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  29. NamRanger

    NamRanger G.O.A.T.

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    S&V should not be tiring like many have said in this thread, you should be running at about maybe 50-70% of your max speed to get to the net, never 100%. If you are running 100% then either you are hitting some really hard flat serves, or you aren't spinning the ball enough to create enough time for you to get to the net.
     
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  30. southpaw

    southpaw Rookie

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    I disagree with this. I think there is less time from serve to return than you guys are saying. Even a moderately paced serve with an average speed of 50mph covers the length of the court in one second. That's not very much time, and at best, you'll be at the service line when the return is struck.

    For S&V to be effective over the course of match, the returns need to be consistently defensive, either blocked or chipped back. That requires a serve with good pace, placement and spin. It doesn't have to be a 140mph rocket, but just looping it in will give the returner too much time to crank the return pass you or at your feet.
     
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  31. NamRanger

    NamRanger G.O.A.T.

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    Unless the returner is a 6.0+ player, then they will have alot of trouble playing against a S&V player. Most 4.0-5.0 players that I've talked to have alot of trouble against S&V players just because there's alot of pressure on them to hit good returns. As long as they kick it high, unless the returner can take it on the rise consistently with authority, the returner is going to HAVE to play a defensive shot.


    Yes I agree you need some pace for S&V to be effective, but you just need maybe moderate pace with alot of spin to be effectively S&V, and some decent volleys.
     
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  32. Supernatural_Serve

    Supernatural_Serve Professional

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    You are assuming the ball is travelling relatively flat. My soft kick serves follow a serious parabola. They are hit up into the air like a high top spin lob, peak high in the air and then begin their spinning descent back toward the service court.

    You aren't familiar with the curvature of heavy top spin kick serve hit by a guy 6' 5" who puts massive spin but very little drive on the ball. All the drive is taken out of it by the force of gravity as it ascends upward

    That's how I keep them in the service box.

    Try this sometime, (if you can't hit massive top spin or hit a big kick serve). Underhand serve your ball high into the air and run to the net. You'll get my drift.

    Lots of time to advance to the net while the ball ascends

    Lots of time to advance while it descends

    Lots of time to bounce and ascend again (especially if its not taken early on the rise)

    Lots of time (if the returner chooses to step back) while it peaks a 2nd time after the bounce.

    Its not unusual for a returner who doesn't step in, who is standing just behind the baseline to attempt to return one of these serves that's literally above his head.
     
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  33. Slazenger

    Slazenger Professional

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    LOL, I know this serve. A friend of mine used to hit his second serves that way.

    While the return can be a little bit tricky to time, these serves are recipes for service return winners.
    I played a guy yesterday morning who hit this serve and while I didn't read the serve early, I still had enough time to run around the BH, step in and cream it down the line. It doesn't have enough pace for you to S&V with.
     
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  34. Supernatural_Serve

    Supernatural_Serve Professional

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    So, you agree, its the kind of serve that a server can get right up to the net before the returner hits the ball. I wanted to counter the false statement previously put forth.

    Its very effective in doubles and it works fine in singles too, especially when the returner is looking for something else.

    I hit a lot of different kinds of strange serves, this is just one of them (and one of my skills, is that I hide them very well), and the variety of my serves enhances the effectiveness of them all.

    I even hit a very effective reverse spinning ball that curves like its hit by a lefty instead of a righty, with the reverse side of the racquet. Not very pacey, but serving to Deuce, it spins a lot heading toward the T and suddenly curves the opposite of what the returner expects, since he never sees it coming. Easy ace (If I use it once or twice a set).

    hence my User Name.

    People say that the kinds of things that Fabrice Santoro does, can't be done effectively, yet he's been on the tour for a long time.

    I wouldn't be too quick to draw too many conclusions about what others with different skills can and can't do.

    You might get surprised by a guy like me who has a lot of different serves.

    You sound like a baseball player that says a 60 mph "knuckle ball" is too slow to be effective and is going to be hit out of the park. Hmm hmm hmm...and the knuckle ballers laugh all the way to the dugout, while hitters strike out, hit weak ground balls while swinging for the fence, throw their bats with frustration, etc.

    Unfortunately, I haven't figured out how to serve a tennis ball like a "knucle" ball in baseball. If I ever do, watch out, because if it can be done, I'll own it soon enough. LOL
     
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  35. Slazenger

    Slazenger Professional

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    Ugh junkballers :mad: . I There's a guy I play, who I met through a mutual friend and his nickname is Santoro.
    Anticipation is key when I play him. I simply can't read his serve.
    On his serves and groundstrokes it's all about weird spins. Never gives you the same look.
    The funny thing is he has a really big flat serve but he rarely uses it (which makes it more effective when he does. It's almost always an ace).

    I beat him the last time we played though :mrgreen:
     
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  36. Supernatural_Serve

    Supernatural_Serve Professional

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    Sometimes friends will say to me, why not just use your big serve (relatively flat, I don't hit anything truly flat since I hit up on the ball, avg speed 98 mph), or your big heavy kick serve (like the one I use that bounces way wide off the Ad court, avg. speed 92 mph).

    Why use all the other spinny serves that average between 55 to 65 mph.?

    My answer: "Because using all those other serves makes all my serves more effective, especially the big heavy ones"

    - returner has no idea what is coming
    - returner can't zero in on my big ones since I'm not always hitting them
    - saves my arm for a long match, or long weekend of tennis in a tournament
    - makes returners nuts - especially guys that are all keyed up to attack a serve, I give them no pace and they hit them off the court, or they step way into the court to take my paceless topspin kick serve, and forget they are 6 to 9 feet into the court and knock it off the court.
    - easy points
    - let's me get into the net better when I serve and volley
    - allows me to move the returner out of position, so that if he doesn't hit a great return, he's toast as I effortlessly direct the ball to the opposite court

    tennis isn't all about power, especially when playing people who like pace, its about angles, spins, court position, and touch too.
     
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  37. southpaw

    southpaw Rookie

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    Ok, I get your drift. I was referring to standard serves, not trick shots or anything supernatural.

    This thread got me thinking, so I went to the dvds for some numbers. I wanted to see how much more time the kicker or slower second serve gave the server to get into the net. I looked at a number of different players from the last 40 years. These are random samples taken from Wimbledon matches.

    Federer: 1st serve (.65sec), 2nd serve (.75sec)
    Sampras: 1st serve (.6sec), 2nd serve (.7sec)
    Laver: 1st serve (.8sec), 2nd serve (.95sec)

    That's how much time elapsed racquet to racquet, just enough time to take one landing step or two and then a split. The extra milliseconds gained from the slower second serve didn't get any of these guys significantly closer into the net. True, those are pros and most of us can't hit 100mph kickers, but we also don't move as fast either. Step, step, split for everbody.
     
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  38. jasonbourne

    jasonbourne Professional

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    There is less energy spent in S&V than baseliner style iff you have variety of spins and placement on your serve and/or are naturally athletic. The receiver will always feel off balanced and under pressure to do something with the incoming ball. Very difficult to manage that over the course of a match. I suggest the baseliners to throw in some S&V plays during their matches to give their opponents different looks. However, begin to increase the variety of spins and placements on your serves too.

    Once you increase the spins and variety of your serves you will enjoy winning your games more because you can S&V. It may also feel like cheating compared to what you used to do from the baseline to win.
     
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  39. Supernatural_Serve

    Supernatural_Serve Professional

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    That's interesting 10 to 20% more time from 1st to 2nd serves. Were those numbers for only serve and volley points or all 1st and 2nd serves regardless of whether the server played serve and volley?

    The latter would be a little more interesting number.
     
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  40. Gost

    Gost Rookie

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    Answer to intial question - it depends per case. How good is your S&V abilities and your opponent returns quality.

    If able to serve a way you often get an easy return to finish at the net is best case scenario. Another thing getting back low, down to the legs returns mid court or passing shot down the the line - even points will be much shorter comparing to the baseline rallies, you don't want this to happen, right.

    At the same time long rallies on baseline, then you manage to stay on the center of the court and pressure you opponent placing nice hits into courners, that's not tyring at all, but it is for other side, I like such an approach to exoast my opponents :)
     
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  41. southpaw

    southpaw Rookie

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    Those are all serve and volley for both first and second. The Laver numbers are from the 1969 Wimbledon final. I gave up trying to find serves where he stayed back, both him and Newcombe s&v'd pretty much every point. The Fed, Sampras numbers are from 2001, and I didn't find much difference in the times regardless of whether they came in or not.
     
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  42. stormholloway

    stormholloway Legend

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    Serve and volleying is explosive so it's a different kind of of tired. Baseline play is stamina based and serve and volley is explosive power.

    It depends in what way you're stronger. I can tell you since I play both styles that S&V can be tiring. S&V cannot be defensive whereas you can slow play down as a baseliner.

    Overall, why ask if it's tiring? Just go see for yourself. If you get tired, then train harder.

    As for kick serves, watch Stefan Edberg. All he hit were kicks. He lived and died by them. He was wonderful to watch.
     
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