Sampras vs Edberg - the battle for net-superiority and athleticism!!

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by The-Champ, Jul 10, 2012.

  1. The-Champ

    The-Champ Legend

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    Here's something to cheer you guys up. Powerful serving, quick points, excellent net plays, great passing shots off both wings on a super fast court. A very close match, unfortunately, one had to lose.

    The highlight of their 1994 ATP finals match, round robin stage.

    Part 1

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OxBRB26GqBA&feature=related

    Part 2

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Su8jYv9zF1U&feature=relmfu

    Part 3

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h-tnNutBrSI&feature=relmfu

    I've forgotten how quick Stefan was even at this stage of his career. He retired 2 years later.

    Enjoy!!
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2012
    #1
  2. FrisbeeFool

    FrisbeeFool Rookie

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    Great clips. I wish people still played this style today.
     
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  3. I get cramps

    I get cramps New User

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    First of all i'll admit that i know very little from the technical aspects of tennis, so in no way i am trying to pontificate here.

    So please, bear in mind the aforementioned when i ask the pundits (Limpin, Moose, benhur, kiki, Pc1, Bobby Jr. et alii), why are Sampras and specifically these two idols of mine (from an aesthetic standpoint nobody's net playing thrills me more than theirs): Cashy and Rafter, inferior as volleyers to Edberg and Mac. I'd be very much obliged in someone could be as kind as to give me the lowdown on this question?

    Thanks in advance, and excuse my english.
     
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  4. McLovin

    McLovin Hall of Fame

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    Edberg was my favorite player growing up, then Rafter took over when Edberg retired.

    However, I enjoyed the Edberg-Agassi or Edberg-Chang battles more, with the contrasting styles. There were more points "played", as opposed to Sampras matches where many points were "ace-unreturned serve-ace".

    As to the question about other's volleys being "inferior" to Edberg's, I would say that is too strong a word. I honestly don't think it had anything to do with the mechanics of the shot. Edberg anticipated better than most anyone, and that allowed him to be in better position for the 1st volley. His footwork getting to and at the net is what made him the better volleyer.
     
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  5. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    IMO, Edberg, Mac, Cash and Rafter were better volleyers, and better overall net players, than Sampras. Sampras was a great volleyer, and an explosive athlete. But, I think the other 4 had the edge in volleying skills and overall net play. Of those 4, Mac had the best touch and was able to play more variety and angles than any of them. Edberg was a little bigger and quicker, covered the net better, and hit the most penetrating volleys. Rafter was a touch more athletic than Cash, and covered the net a bit better, both had great volleying skills, especially low volley skill. But, IMO, Cash's volleys were a shade better than Rafter's. As I recall, he got down to the low volleys as well as anyone every has, and he still managed to hit great penetrating, deep volleys.

    Having said that, Tony Roche may have been a better volleyer and net player than any of those 5. And, Pancho Gonzales was probably the greatest athlete at the net of all time.
     
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  6. BTURNER

    BTURNER Hall of Fame

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    LOl I remember everything BJK used to say about hitting a low volley. Cash did it all technically perfect. McEnroe almost never did. One instruction she used to say about tennis in general. "Its so important to believe the ball is going to go in." Not sure I understand exactly what she meant, but that McEnroe did no matter where his body or hands were when the ball arrived. There is a valuable point there somewhere. John was sure the ball was doing to do what he told it to! He never asked it, he ordered it in! If I were a tennis ball, I might screw over Cash or Rafter on a big point. Never McEnroe. To a lesser degree, I got the same feeling from Edberg.
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2012
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  7. Tshooter

    Tshooter Hall of Fame

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    I once fell asleep watching Edberg. Now I had a had a beer and it was a hot day but still. Let me guess. Kick serve to the guys backhand and run to the net.
     
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  8. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    BJK was the best low volleyer in the history of tennis, man or woman.
     
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  9. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    Champ,

    Thanks for the video. Nice to see some serve and volley tennis.
     
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  10. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    Sampras was an excellent player at the net but I believe most think that Edberg and McEnroe were overall more effective at the net on the same type of volleys. Now if we break it to SERVE and volley you may be able to argue that Sampras could have won as many points by percentage at the net as the other two or more because of the greatness of the Sampras serve although McEnroe at his best had a fantastic serve. I don't know how McEnroe did it. His hands were incredible and he never seemed to bend his knees but he could place it anywhere.

    There have been a lot of great serve and volleyers in the history of tennis. Probably the most well known and maybe the most efficient were Jack Kramer and Pancho Gonzalez. These were two players with awesome serves and very strong volleys. Gonzalez was actually more of a touch volleyer than Kramer and covered the net like a blanket.

    In the Open Era one of the most effective serve and volleyers aside from the already mentioned Sampras, McEnroe and Edberg was the great John Newcombe. Newcombe was known in his prime for having the best overall serve in tennis. Before Edberg they said that Newcombe hit his first volley off the return closer to the net than almost anyone. He was especially known for his great forehand volley.

    Rosewall was also know for his great volley as was Laver.

    Limpin already mentioned Tony Roche who some have said had the fastest hands they have ever seen.
     
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  11. Def

    Def Semi-Pro

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    God, It hurts my head to see the courts without the the doubles area, so used to it being there. Though there are still ATP courts like that, Newport for example
     
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  12. BTURNER

    BTURNER Hall of Fame

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    that was fun watchings. Sampras and Edberg definitely had a good time playing each other. Good sportsmanship.
     
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  13. The-Champ

    The-Champ Legend

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    you're welcome.

    What amazes me is that a way past his prime Edberg can still move like that. I didn't see Edberg in the 80s, I was too young. His movement must have been incredible in his younger days. That indoor court is so quick :shock:

    Limpin, pc1 et al, how would you guys assess Edbergs footwork, footspeed in relation to other great movers when he was at his absolute best?
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2012
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  14. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    I don't think Edberg was way past his prime in 94'. He won Wimbledon in 90' and the USO in 91' and 92'. I think Sampras, Agassi, Courier and Chang just caught up with him.
     
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  15. The-Champ

    The-Champ Legend

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    I love watch watching Nadal, Djokovic, Murray and Federer slug it out from the baseline but every now and then, I miss the contrasting styles of the 90s. A great s&v vs a great baseliner was a treat to watch.
     
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  16. The-Champ

    The-Champ Legend

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    You're right, Stefan was just 28 in that highlight. Federer is 31 and still moves incredibly well.
     
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  17. Feather

    Feather Hall of Fame

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    Lovely video, thanks for the link
     
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  18. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Edberg was, not just perfectt echnically talking, but his big kick off serve and extremely potent legs gave him a lot of time to settle up his volleys att he net.Plus he had terrific lateral moves at the net - although not very good when at the baseline-.Touch wise, however, Mac and Roche were better.
     
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