Serve & volley

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by anubis, Feb 20, 2014.

  1. anubis

    anubis Hall of Fame

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    Let's assume that my first serve % is around 55 to 60%. Let's also assume that it's a fairly decent serve -- not winning many free points or aces, but no one is "killing" the return, either.

    would it be a good idea -- for a little while anyway -- to decide to serve & volley every time my first serve goes in? just to mix things up?
     
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  2. Alexrb

    Alexrb Rookie

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    Why don't you try it and find out? Not sure I would do it every time, but how much would probably depend on how your net game is.
     
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  3. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    The decision MUST be made before you start your serve.
    There is no time to look to see if your serve lands IN, then decide to come in.
    You can come in on any return you expect to be higher than your knees, and not too fast or solidly returned. That is good volleying height for a forcing or clean winner volley in singles. You must get to the service line, for that first volley, or your percentages go below 55%.
    Fast returns of serve often don't allow you to get to the service line to first volley, so you are farther back on contact, and your percentage of winning that point start to drop.
    On a high, floaty return, you can get 3' inside your service line, and if it's waist high or higher, hit a clean winner most times.
     
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  4. anubis

    anubis Hall of Fame

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    thanks LeeD!
     
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  5. Lukhas

    Lukhas Legend

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    Might want to watch this video. Covers the basics, nothing fancy. EDIT: Moreover, work on your spin serves a lot, more than your flat serves. Spin serves forces your opponent to take a swing at the ball because it comes slower instead of blocking it back like it is possible with a flat serve. The spin can jam them, especially with a slice on the body. A kick/topspin serve to the backhand which is not necessarily hit very out wide, but just bounces high to the FH/BH is very useful; Rafter and Edberg loved these. Plus, since it's slower it also gives you more time to go to the net.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mL7U4Pr74l8
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2014
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  6. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Depending on the effectiveness of your flat serve, a flat serve can work just fine, because the returner cannot fully stroke a hard topspin groundstroke against an effective flat serve.
    So, most returners use a slice blocking motion to return good flat serves, that goes slow, and gives you time to move into service line position.
    Most modern topspinning groundstrokes CAN hit hard topspin returns off shoulder high balls, so your positioning is no further forewards than you flat serve positioning.
    So, serve to the slice backhand side, come to net, ge inside the service line by 2', put away the volley.
     
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  7. Velvet Ga el

    Velvet Ga el Rookie

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    If people at your difficulty have issues returning your first serve, you can hit a solid first volley, and they don't pass you, then the answer is yes. I would assume because you told me you're a 3.5 that the answers to the questions about your opponents are that they can't return and can't pass, so it really comes down to whether you can hit a solid first volley.

    Personally, I S&V'ed a ton as a 3.5 because (a) I had a good serve that rarely was returned with anything other than a floater (b) 99% of 3.5s can't hit consistent passing shots and (c) I had lazy feet and preparation in baseline rallies which led to a lot of unforced errors. To prevent my laziness, I S&V'ed solely to get my feet moving.

    Even today, when I'm feeling lethargic, I'll tend to serve and volley exclusively for a few games to see if my feet start moving. If they do, I'll go back to playing more of an all court game; if not, it's trying to be the rec level version of Pat Rafter.
     
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  8. 10sGrinder

    10sGrinder New User

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    In progressing through a tennis career, I think it's imperative to learn to serve and volley, and I was once instructed by my "coach" (a very high level player), to make myself serve and volley, and chip and charge, over the course of an entire season.

    Didn't start off all that well, but by the end of the year, I was feeling pretty comfortable up there and putting a whole lot of pressure on my opponents. Ended up winning more and more that way. The key is to keep doing it. And make adjustments (as in your serve placement or approach shot) to make your volleys easier - as in maybe not getting passed. But you have to stick with it!

    Now, I still like to serve and volley, but not on every single point. And not just on a good serve, but a lot of times when my opponent is just not expecting it. It sure makes it more intertesting!
     
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  9. anubis

    anubis Hall of Fame

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    Thanks again. One of the reasons why I think it's so important for me, is in my doubles game: I tend to stay at the baseline too often when I serve. I don't mind going to the net in singles, but for some reason in doubles I have a mental block. So, if I serve and rush the net in doubles, that will get me thinking about it more, and getting comfortable... so that when singles season starts, I'll be ready.
     
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  10. Fintft

    Fintft Hall of Fame

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    It's always a good idea. i.e.:

    a) Boletierri reccomends do it always at 30-0 40-15 (and reverse), in order mainly not to get the returner get into a rhythm.

    b)I've tried it myself last night (against a better opponent rated in our top level on the ladder, me being in third), after losing the first set at love. In the second set, serving & volleying, couple with chipping (the return) and charging (+ playing more inside the baseline to cut down his angles since he was getting tired and wasn't able to pass me long anymore and finally placing the return, instead of trying to kill it and better serving) got me into a close set. And although I did miss a couple of volleys long by bit (that just reinforced the point of needing to practice more S&V), it worked (especially as an element of surprise/changer and intimidation factor- he netted many passing shots).
     
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  11. GoudX

    GoudX Professional

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    In spite of the constant attacks on LeeD, he clearly knows a thing or two about serving, volleying and the obvious intersection of the two skills (serve and volleying).

    Personally I'm pretty appauling at volleying for my level, so I don't tend to serve and volley very often. However I still win occasional points through surprise attacks. This means hitting a serve they are not used to seeing and coming in behind it. I rely on the fact that they will tend to pay so much attention to the net rush that they will not notice that you have hit a different type of serve and shank the return - giving you either a missed return or an easy volley.

    Unfortunately I miss a lot of the easy volleys :oops:...
     
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