What is with the nostalgia over Serve and volley?

Discussion in 'General Pro Player Discussion' started by steenkash, Feb 13, 2013.

  1. Feather

    Feather Hall of Fame

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    Yours also is nice avatar :wink:
     
    #51
  2. ramos77

    ramos77 Semi-Pro

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    lets not forget passing shots, for me the most exciting shot in tennis. you rarely see them these days.

    it's not just about the volleys
     
    #52
  3. robbo1970

    robbo1970 Hall of Fame

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    I think to see a variety of play makes the game more interesting. The baseline bashing where players seem to wait for the opponent to make an error is boring as was the case a few years ago when sv was still being played whereby players were relying on big serves so much that got boring too.

    I always enjoyed watching Borg at Wimbledon....a nice mixture of baseline play, then coming to the net to attack or having to play a smart passing shot.
     
    #53
  4. zam88

    zam88 Professional

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    Yes, its what society has come to, sorry.

    i now have zero patience for lines, zero patience for waits, and i'm sick of waiting for Djokavic and Nadal to serve the damn ball.

    And I don't want to watch a 4 hour long match, a 6 hour long match has crossed long past entertainment into the zone of "frustrating"
     
    #54
  5. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

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    I would hardly characterize a 3-hour match as instant gratification. We don't really need marathon matches that last 4-5 hours or more. OTOH, we've seen some women's matches that have clocked in less than an hour and some men's best-of-five matches that have only gone 90 minutes. The disparity between short matches and marathon matches is just too great. We've seen the effect too many times in the later rounds of a 2-week tournament where one player has put in considerably more time on the court than the other.

    Instead of best-of-5-set lingering death matches, we could go with another format for grand slam events. Perhaps best-of-three with 8-game pro sets. Or each set could even be first to 9 or 10 games (with a 2-game margin or an extended tie-break). The women could play this same format for grand slam events. That would help to diffuse the cry of "foul" for equal pay for less work.
     
    #55
  6. Relinquis

    Relinquis Hall of Fame

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    it's more a nostalgia for an all court game or contrasting styles. today's game is a bit homogenised and one dimensional.
     
    #56
  7. slowfox

    slowfox Professional

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    Absolutely right. How many OMG moments have you seen when someone successfully threaded the needle...!
     
    #57
  8. egn

    egn Hall of Fame

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    Tsonga yes, Djokovic no. Djokovic rarely employs such a tactic. Djokovic only ever comes to the net for the easy putaways as of late. He fools around, but don't compare Djokovic's tactics of net play with Tsongas or the old days.

    The reason the 90s were prefered is you had such a huge contrast of styles, created by the wide variety of surfaces. You had some pure serve and volley guys like Becker, Edberg and Rafter. Guys who were constantly attacking the net no matter what. You had some powerful baseliners who hugged the baseline to turn huge winners like Courier, Agassi, Kodra, Norman. You had some beautiful all court games in Sampras, Goran, Guga and Rios, where they would play the whole court. Counterpunching was there as well with Chang, Gilbert. Amazing defensive baseliners in Muster, Brug, Moya. That's only highlight top players.

    There was tons of variations, and tennis was more like chess with variation between every match. You played matches different based on who you were playing and even what you were playing them on. Now there is no switch anymore. Every Fedal, Fedjok, Fedurray, Djokdal, Djokurray and Murdal match goes the same exact way, based on every surface.
     
    #58
  9. egn

    egn Hall of Fame

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    Passing shots are missed. I rewatched Agassi's 1992 wimbledon, and I was in awe on some of the amazing passes he came up with.
     
    #59
  10. Whitelight

    Whitelight New User

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    I dont understand you folks. If serve and volley game is so superior, who prevents current players to re-enforce S&V to achieve great victories today? Well nobody. Who prevents the top chess players to play old chess opening lines? Nobody again.
    Serve and volley tennis game and old chess opening lines are inferior in comparison with the modern game. And its all.
     
    #60
  11. Polaris

    Polaris Hall of Fame

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    1. Slower courts.
    2. Advances in racket and string technology.
    3. (Perhaps) better physical conditioning of players.

    Item 1 for your consideration. Since it was not obvious to you, it is bolded, italicised and underlined. :)

    To anyone with more than a passable understanding of tennis, that isn't all. Sorry, the game is not as simple as you think.
     
    #61
  12. always_crosscourt

    always_crosscourt Banned

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    The game is as simple as you want it to be. Nadal made a career out of hitting forehands always_crosscourt.

    And for serve/volleyers, they're never thinking much deeper than: "Must serve big. Must put away easy volley. Must serve big. Must serve big. Repeat. Repeat. Hulk. Smash."
     
    #62
  13. North

    North Professional

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    I don't know about brutal but you definitely need unbelievable hands and reflexes up there, as well as anaerobic conditioning.

    People who did not grow up on S&V just think of Sampras and maybe Isner - big serve and winning volley. That was really the exception & not even Sampras could do that all the time. Classic S&V meant 1st, 2nd, or even 3rd volleys to win the point. If the S&Ver had to hit a 2nd serve & didn't come in on it, he/she would be looking to approach as soon as possible and then need to hit one or more volleys.

    It was unpredictable for the player on the other side of the net and made for much more variety and players having to think on their feet VERY quickly. A quality opponent could also surprise the S&Ver so you'd see Rafter, Becker, et al diving for low volleys off passing shots.

    So, no the points weren't usually 2 shot rallies, they were more like 5-8 shots and very exciting. I love watching Edberg, JMac, Navratilova, Rafter, Laver, and anyone today who tries to play that way, like Llodra. Imho, infintiely more exciting than 20-30 ball rally snoozefests where the same combination of 3-4 shots is repeated ad nauseum within each point. Yawn.
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2013
    #63
  14. heftylefty

    heftylefty Hall of Fame

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    Call me strange, but that chit is funny...thinking about using this for my quote. I will give you credit.
     
    #64
  15. mattennis

    mattennis Hall of Fame

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    Yes. I love tennis in all its incarnations, but the most beautiful, entertaining and exciting tennis I remember may have been the end of the 60s and first half of the 70s. I always remember how many great players there were then and how beautiful most of their matches were.

    For example, this is beautiful: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lJubuKDN7Fk
     
    #65
  16. North

    North Professional

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    Thanks, that is great! I could watch that for six hours.
     
    #66
  17. ultradr

    ultradr Hall of Fame

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    1. Slower and "bouncier". A lot.
    We saw players going thru mid-career transformation of their game between
    2001-2004. This happened in parallel with court changes.

    I would also add:

    4. A bit heavier and bigger balls. Subtle but possibly potent influence, IMHO.
    5. Junior developments. Now corporate manages juniors. They need safest way to
    get the returns from their investment: baseline game with forehand.


    Bring back some Johny Mac and Edberg.
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2013
    #67
  18. tipsytennis

    tipsytennis New User

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    There's more variation in WTA tennis and in Challenger level tennis. ATP top 100 tennis is very much the same, hitting shots from side to side etc; etc; and not alot of imagination. I love ATP tennis but watching Challenger matches can be refreshing sometimes.
     
    #68
  19. Polaris

    Polaris Hall of Fame

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    He does that only against Federer, and some one-handers. Have you watched him play anyone else, especially right handers with strong two-handed backhands?

    Clearly, you haven't heard of McEnroe and Edberg. If you give a counter example of Rafa, I can give you several. Two can play that game. The point about serve and volley is not about big serves, it's about accurate and unpredictable ones, and that is a whole different ball game.
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2013
    #69
  20. pjonesy

    pjonesy Professional

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    Honestly, I started out watching Becker, Edberg and Lendl. I think the variety of that era was phenomenal. That was certainly not the era with the most talent, but the match ups were more interesting. To me.

    I do think serve and volley will creep back into pro tennis. This generation has perfected the power pattern baseline game. The game has evolved and players have adjusted. I think you will see that more risk will have to be taken in order to break through. You've got 4 of the best athletes in tennis history at the top. 6'1" to 6'3", lean and powerful, with the efficient movement of a smaller athlete, supreme stamina, perfect stroke production, virtually no weaknesses and the ultimate tennis skill level(within context).

    I wonder if the 1st volley will once again become the most important shot in tennis. Laver was before my time, but based on the clips I've seen, he seems to have (arguably) the best 1st volley in history. Seems to have the timing, coordination, commitment, quickness, balance and strength to control the 1st volley while under fire.
     
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  21. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    Huh?

    What variation in the modern game?
     
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  22. slowfox

    slowfox Professional

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    Perhaps the variety in clothing - so many colors and styles? Back in the day all they did was wear white.
     
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  23. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

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    And tennis balls were white as well.
     
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  24. Federer20042006

    Federer20042006 Banned

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    I like balance. I enjoy offensive baseline tennis with some S&V mixed in.

    I don't like watching serve-fests, though, and I sure as hell don't like watching 30 shot rally after 30 shot rally with the winner being the guy who doesn't make the first UE.

    Djokovic/Murray matches are unbearable...just the pits. The worst kind of tennis there is.
     
    #74
  25. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    Djokovic serves and volleys about once a year and I don't think I've ever seen him chip and charge.
     
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  26. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    Exactly!!!!
     
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  27. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    Serving and volleying is NOT about putting in a big serve. Neither Edberg nor Rafter had big serves yet they served and volleyed on just about every point. In fact, I serve and volley a lot more on my slower 2nd serve than I do on my much bigger 1st serve.
     
    #77
  28. Lambo

    Lambo Banned

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    Pretty simple actually. Plethora of baseline no talent bangers today. No variety at all.

    For a change would be nice to see someone approach the net without seeing the ball fly by at 90 miles an hour.
     
    #78
  29. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    Oooops!!!

    I forgot the deep variety of a forehand baseline shot versus a backhand baseline shot.:wink:
     
    #79
  30. North

    North Professional

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    Lol. Don't forget the variety of "lots of topspin" groundstrokes vs "even more topspin" groundstrokes. :wink:
     
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  31. wanda

    wanda New User

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    Do people here think the serve volley tactic is more difficult in terms of learning than a baseline game?

    I do.
     
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  32. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    You have to be more athletic to be successful at the serve and volley game. It also takes more precision, feel, and timing.
     
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  33. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    But you realize that is offset by the even moremoremore topspin variety.
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2013
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  34. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    True enough. Here's a little clip of a Laver/Rosewall point with both approaching the net on one point.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rSXETXKi7OI
     
    #84
  35. dominikk1985

    dominikk1985 Legend

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    the great Thing is not serve and volley but a contrast of styles. I did not enjoy becker vs Krajicek ace fests and I also do not enjoy a baseline bashing between Delpo and Tsonga or a grind fest between murray and nole.

    What I do enjoy is when contrasting styles meet. fed vs nadal or pete vs andre were fascinating the fans so much because they use totally opposite styles.

    A serve and volley Player vs a good returner is often a nice match so I would prefer having both. two Players of the same style is often boring and sometimes one sided.
     
    #85
  36. North

    North Professional

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    Thanks! I remember that match. I also get a Classic Sports channel that shows tennis occasionally; they've aired this match several times. Great stuff. Rosewall (and others) used to say they tried to keep Laver at the baseline cos once he got to net, he usually won the point.
     
    #86
  37. Laurie

    Laurie Professional

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    Nice point Dominik. Let me give some of my favourite rivalries:

    Sampras v Rafter - two serve volleyers but with a difference for a couple of reasons: 1. Rafter had a great kicker and mixed his serve up well and was very athletic with his chip and charge manouvres. 2. Sampras returned Rafter's serve as well as anyone and came up with phenomenal passing shots especially on the run, that was a very entertaining rivalry with a bit of needle as well.

    Agassi v Rafter - probably one of the best rivalries of the last 25 years, those matches at Wimbledon were something else, some of the best tennis ever played between two men. I uploaded this to youtube last year http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8-MExu-72i0

    Sampras v Becker - most of their matches were played on hardcourts and indoors during a period where both men liked to play from the baseline as well as coming to net, I think these two guys produced some of the best all court tennis ever played between two guys.

    Federer v Djokovic - I think there is enough of a contrast in styles here, by far my favourite rivalry out of the current crop of players, especially at the US Open in recent times.

    Mauresmo v Clijsters - I loved how Mauresmo was often able to neutralise Clisjters by kicking the topspin backhand high to Clijsters two hander then keeping it low with slice plus coming to net, Clijsters did not like that variety; they played some truly excellent matches, unfortunately not enough in the majors.

    Hingis v Serena - Serena was still figuring out how to deal with Hingis' variety and starting to get the upper hand, unfortunately cut short due to Hingis giving in mentally and blaming it on injuries.

    Then there are other rivalries I enjoyed immensely because of the contrast:
    Sampras v Courier
    Sampras v Agassi
    Hingis v Davenport
    Serena v Capriati - forget contrast, they just went for eachother!
    Sampras v Kuerten would have been somethng else if they played eachother more.

    I sincerely did not enjoy Sampras v Ivanisevic - Sampras' words "bad matchup".

    But still there is a severe lack of contrast in styles of play currently in tennis. Especially in the womens game. I thought Kvitova v Azarenka might be one but they haven't played since 2011 due to Kvitova's fall from grace. Barthel has the opportunity to get some rivalries going with her aggressive game but of course she needs to start getting to latter round of big tournaments on a regular basis.
     
    #87
  38. ultradr

    ultradr Hall of Fame

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    How come I never thought about this strategy, all these years, especially
    in doubles ?
     
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  39. mattennis

    mattennis Hall of Fame

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    This was beautiful, entertaining (something we will never see again) tennis:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K8IJ0F01IiU

    This is spectacular, big tennis (something we will never see again either) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fVSy4UQ_Evk

    Of course we also had this (power top-spin baseline game) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ITyor6KSxI

    We had variation of styles and conditions.

    Today everybody plays more or less like the third clip (Mantilla vs Costa) but not only on clay, but on any surface.
     
    #89
  40. cork_screw

    cork_screw Hall of Fame

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    What's the nostalgia with Transformers? Or Goonies? Or 8 bit gaming systems?
     
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  41. mattennis

    mattennis Hall of Fame

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    Seriously, for me it is a disaster what has happened in tennis.

    In less than 15 years, one successful game style that had so many representative players in the top-10 during the 90s, the big attacking game (Rusedski, Krajicek, Rafter, Ivanisevic, Forget, Edberg,...) and even others more all-courters (Sampras, Stich, Becker, Pioline, Ferreira...) have gone forever.

    Now we only have the typical Spanish style (Costa, Mantilla, Corretja, Bruguera....) we had in the 90s that was very successful on clay, but now that style (heavy top-spin baseline shots) is played with success not only on clay, but everywhere (including on grass).

    Will we ever have another Krajicek or Rusedski type of player in the top-ten? And don't tell me Isner or Raonic, because neither Isner nor Raonic know how to approach and volley to the level of Krajicek or Rusedski (or many others from previous eras).
     
    #91
  42. slowfox

    slowfox Professional

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    "Chess played with racquets.." Nice!

    Very interested in seeing how Barthel develops. At the upper realms of the WTA these days I find Radwanska to be the one with a different style of play, and hence some contrast.
     
    #92
  43. mattennis

    mattennis Hall of Fame

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    And this is the same tournament, year and round ( 1997 US OPEN QF, as the Krajicek-Rusedski of my other post) and as you can see, this Chang vs Rios is much more similar to current tennis http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Keh6tw2XCYI

    Korda, RĂ­os, Chang, Krajicek, Rusedski, Rafter, Bjorkman, Larsson....many different styles were competitive back then.
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2013
    #93
  44. Tennusdude

    Tennusdude Rookie

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    The speed of recreational tennis players game is alot closer to players of the good old days and not anywhere near the speed of present day pros. Therefore you can learn more from the old guys
     
    #94
  45. Say Chi Sin Lo

    Say Chi Sin Lo Legend

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    Let's just say people are going to hate on what they:

    1) Can't do
    2) Can't appreciate
    3) Can't understand
     
    #95
  46. Indio

    Indio Rookie

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    Serve and volley probably won't be coming back because of what happened in 1974, 1975, and 1988.
    1. 1974 Beginning of the modern era of very successful baseliners, with Connors and Borg breaking through with wins at majors.
    2. 1975 US Open no longer a grass-court tournament.
    3. 1988 Australian Open no longer a grass-court tournament.

    In my opinion, serve and volley survived as long as it did (on hard courts) because most of those who used it with a reasonable degree of success during the 90s were tall players with overpowering serves: Becker, Ivanisevic, Krajicek, Stich, Philippoussis and Rusedski (Todd Martin?). And, of course, there were Edberg, Sampras, Rafter and Henman. Now, look at the baseline competition they faced: Up-and-down Agassi, declining-after-93 Courier, fast-but-underpowered Chang, Kafelnikov (Korda?). These baseliners sometimes removed each other from the path of a serve-and-volleyer (1996-Chang defeated Agassi in both the Australian and the US). Serve and volley seems to have died out entirely in the 2000s because there would be little sense in specializing one's skills for only a handful of tournaments during the year.
     
    #96
  47. oragne lovre

    oragne lovre New User

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    This is so far the best comments in this thread; it holds true for BOTH camps.
     
    #97
  48. Tennusdude

    Tennusdude Rookie

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    If this is true the whole world is chuck full of haters.
     
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  49. oragne lovre

    oragne lovre New User

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    Fortunately, many of us do not idolize either camp. So, the world is not that hopeless :)
     
    #99
  50. mattennis

    mattennis Hall of Fame

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    I know the official statement is that Wimbledon's grass change was from 2001 to 2002 (so that 2002 was the first with different grass), but already in 2001 most players were playing from the baseline as you can see here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Ry7ZCCh5uI
     

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