where do sampras volleys rank historically?

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by dominikk1985, Jan 12, 2014.

  1. Azzurri

    Azzurri Legend

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    Try to stick to the subject. You were proven wrong in the other thread. Sparrow spanked you pretty hard as well. Let it go. We can't always win. This thread is about volleys and Sampras's place in history. Not about an important event such as the WCT.
     
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  2. shakes1975

    shakes1975 Semi-Pro

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    Correct. Think of it: Fed never S/V'ed outside Wim.
     
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  3. shakes1975

    shakes1975 Semi-Pro

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    Dude, this is an open forum. I only replied to your post because you made ridiculous claims about Fed (and his gen. of players).

    BTW, what is it about my question reg. Fed S/V'ing that you found offensive ?
     
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  4. BTURNER

    BTURNER Hall of Fame

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    Let this stuff go Bobby. Your posts are unusually sharp today on a couple of fronts. Sometimes the problem is the teacher, sometimes the pupil and sometimes it is just a a bad day for one or the other to try the role. The best of us show curiosity and a desire to grow beyond our knowledge 'comfort zones'. We should celebrate it even in its inherent frustrations. We all need an atmosphere of forbearance and humor and a bottle of chill pills as we type and read. Pick a different topic and this student can teach us a thing or two!
     
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    #54
  5. Kenshin

    Kenshin Semi-Pro

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    I would say his volleys was right up with the very best.
     
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  6. magnut

    magnut Hall of Fame

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    Good solid volleyer. I would not put him among the greats but it was his serve that did the damage. Sampras used the volley as more of a clean up whereas guys like Edberg, rafter, Mcenroe etc...it was all about getting that volley. Their entire game was about ending the point on a volley.

    Edberg is the best from a technical standpoint (perfect footwork ever time)
    Rafter was the best at improvising and handling raw power and heavy spin (not many of those out there)
    MCEnroe is the best feel

    other notable mentions

    Pat Cash (best shoelace volley the game has ever seen)
    Rod Laver
    Tony roche

    I dont put Pete near any of these guys. He does have the greatest serve of all time though. No question IMO.
     
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  7. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    BTURNER, Thanks. I cannot contradict.

    BUT: My postings may be strict sometimes but I try to avoid insultings unlike Azzurri and a few others do.
     
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  8. Azzurri

    Azzurri Legend

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    You don't do a very good job. You do realize you insulted me in this thread that had nothing to do with the Sampras/Borg thread? You sir are the worst kind...a hypocrite.
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2014
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  9. BTURNER

    BTURNER Hall of Fame

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    Day in/ day out, you are one of the best 'teachers' on the forum, I personally have learned a ton from your posts.
     
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  10. 2ndServe

    2ndServe Professional

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    you realize that agassi later just tore apart guys like becker, mcenroe and edberg, guys who are tier 1 - 4 volleyers. Becker pretty much gave up sv against agassi. That is how good agassi was with his early returns and passes were.

    Sampras ate him up in the big matches. You can't just discount how a guy gets to the net and with what shots, that's the main part of the net game. As some one who comes in all the time it's all about the first shot, the approach, the transition volley, the half volley, the nuances, of when to hit them short, when to go behind a guy when to hit a drop volley. when the other guy's shot is weighted towards a lob. But most important when to close, super close on a volley that can be hit for a winner.

    That's how you know a guy can play the net and if sampras isn't tier one then no one is. He's not as elegant as edberg nor is he as deft as mcenroe but he is every bit the net player and more. He is the only one that has a chance out of those guys (in his prime) that could have sv on today's players on these surfaces.
     
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  11. magnut

    magnut Hall of Fame

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    his serve was second to none. That was why he owned andre. That and he was just a better player mentally. boris was not a great volleyer. Rafter handled andre pretty well once he learned how to serve to andre. Early on it was ugly though as Rafter would over serve a bit. Sampras could just hit through him where as Rafter would give clinics on serve variation and changeups when playing andre late in his career. The 2001 aussie open semifinal was a classic match in this reguard until Rafters when into full body cramps.
     
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  12. BTURNER

    BTURNER Hall of Fame

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    Are you saying that Sampras hit better approaches than the earlier generation and that is why he was capable of sustaining the S/v style longer?
     
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  13. dominikk1985

    dominikk1985 Legend

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    didn't agassi once mention that he could read beckers serve? I think he said that he could read beckers serve but with pete there was absolutely nothing telling him where the ball would go.
     
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  14. magnut

    magnut Hall of Fame

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    impossible to read, perfect placement, and not prone being tired even when throwing up.

    just a great server
     
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  15. BrooklynNY

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    I agree here, people try to say Rafter and even Henman are better volleyers than Pete Sampras.

    Rafter - ok I can see the arguement, but Henman is borderline laughable to me, and I'm a fan of Tiger Tim
     
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  16. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    BTURNER, Thanks for your kind words. I rank you among the serious posters here, and this is not because you praised me...
     
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  17. Azzurri

    Azzurri Legend

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    Correct. Pete's toss was exactly the same in location for every serve. It was impossible to tell where it would go.
     
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  18. Azzurri

    Azzurri Legend

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    Exactly. The guy won 7 W titles...from the net. The guy would get the most difficult first volley because of his serve. I wasn't aware of it so much while he played...guess I was used to it. But watching some old matches on DVD...holy cow.

    I rate Rafter and Sampras almost equal. I don't agree with him being tier 3, that is nonsense. And Cash being better...no way.
     
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  19. Azzurri

    Azzurri Legend

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    He's losing his touch. The guy just indults people now for no reason.
     
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  20. Azzurri

    Azzurri Legend

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    Either it was in his book or he stated it (could have been Agassi too). But I have read/heard his toss location was the same for every serve.

    I have that match on video. I still watch it. I will never forget where I was that night. I even remember the kind of TV I watched it on. Great match.
     
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  21. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    Strange double-post.
     
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  22. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    I watched the Sampras-Courier 1993 Wimby final last night. (Just for fun; it had nothing to do with this thread.)

    If Sampras won it from any one place (doubtful), he won it from behind the line . . . with his serve.

    In the fourth set his movement was awful--lethargic and almost sickly, and he dumped a number of volleys. But his serve kept him in it (particularly the second serve aces).
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2014
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  23. 2ndServe

    2ndServe Professional

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    Yes, against sampras everything is done on his terms, he imposes powerful penetrating shots from the first strike, if that's not enough he imposes his net game, if that's not enough he imposes his athleticism. It's the sum of those parts that makes his net game most adaptable to any generation or surface.

    I'm not sure any of those guys could sv on the 2nd serve against the top 4 returners. Sampras can do that, he can also consistently approach on the forehand even on neutral shots, things I don't think mac, edberg, rafter, henman etc can do against the modern player effectively.
     
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  24. shakes1975

    shakes1975 Semi-Pro

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    How about the 2001 USO QF against Agassi or the 2002 USO F against Agassi ? He hit volleys/half-volleys from well behind the service line. If you have a big serve, be prepared for a lot of aces/service winners, and also be prepared to hit a lot of scorching half-volleys/volleys.
     
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  25. shakes1975

    shakes1975 Semi-Pro

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    Like I said, Sampras was different. I would still put Edberg a tad above Sampras. But Sampras is Tier 3 ? No way.

    From the players of the Open Era I have seen from a pure serve and volley perspective:

    1. McEnroe
    2. Edberg
    3. Sampras/Laver
    4. Becker/Newcombe
    5. Rafter/Cash

    Again, this is my opinion, so feel free to agree/disagree.
     
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  26. BTURNER

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    I agree with this from what I have seen. (not enough of Laver or Newc)

    but I will add how very highly I regard the Cash volley. I certainly see it as better than Beckers or Rafters and maybe Sampras, although they were all better overhead. Loved that low forehand volley and those backhand volleys. If only his brain stayed engaged!
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2014
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  27. Azzurri

    Azzurri Legend

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    Was he tired? I honestly haven't seen that match since 93. He did have that blood disease...
     
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  28. Azzurri

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    Right...lots of those. Surprising amount too. I never saw some of those traditional players, so I won't rank them. The game was too different in Pete's era. Edberg/Mac tier one and Sampras/rafter/cash tier two.
     
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  29. Azzurri

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    Cash...sweet BH volley.
     
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  30. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    I never had YOUR touch!
     
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  31. BobbyOne

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    shakes1975, I feel free to disagree as you did not mention Rosewall and Roche, the two all-time greatest backhand volleyers.
     
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  32. Phoenix1983

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    ...he didn't mention Rosewall because he knew that you would always mention him. ;)
     
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  33. PMChambers

    PMChambers Professional

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    Rafter & Cash could not hit a ground shot to save themselves to put them below Sampras is incorrect. Sampras only went up on awesome servers and bludgeoned ground strokes, his second serve was better than Rafters 1st serve and he only S&V on 2nd at Wimbledon.

    I put him in the top 5 volleyers at his time but in the history of tennis I would not put him in the top 50. I think Woodforde and Woodbridge where better volleyers but one had poor serve and the other played WTA style. Hewitt is a better volleyer but he has to work to get there. Le Conte was also decent.

    Have you even seen Laver, he was nearly faster than my sight and he volleyed on clay. Borg volleyed decent, but I'd need to review to see if better.
    Wayne Ferrereria was same period and he volleyed more sound, but he had to go up to net on average 1st servers and ground shots.

    Watch Edberg vs Sampras 93 AO final and see what happens when he's misfiring on his serve. His volleys were a finishing shot and used to pressure the opponent, he did not win with his volleys the points where over by then. On slower hard court like the AO he did even go to net that often only Wim where he had no choice.

    He was a sound volleyer, who volleyed well above the net, but he did not unlike some of mentioned opposition go to net on equal terms. He only attached off 220km servers and flat hard ground shots. If you check Nadal's volley record it would likely be better win average, but he rarely goes to net and only when in extremely dominate position, which does not make him an all time great volleyer either.

    To be honest even Willander volleyed OK but when your short your screwed. Mac can demonstrate that as he struggled once the came went to graphite racquets.

    Sampras was not truly natural up net, he relied on the biggest weapons in the sport being 220km/h 1st 180 km/h 2nd serve and flat hard forehand and backhand. Other than Wimbledon he never slice approached and only chipped and charge on returns as a surprise on grass. Even Goron went to net on crud like chip and charge but he also was fragile volleying bellow net height.

    PS: I'd put Edberg above Mac as he was more offensive volleyer and Mac really struggled once the large head racquet and faster game came to be. He tended to "dead" volley short a lot which is suicide in the game after mid 80's.
     
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  34. abmk

    abmk G.O.A.T.

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    rafter/cash above becker/newk easily.

    both above laver as well by a distinct margin as well IMO.

    both above sampras by even more distinct margin as well IMO.
     
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  35. TheRed

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    I agree with most of this. Sampras' S/V abilities somehow get overrated. During his early and middle dominant years, almost no one thought of him as a serve and volleyer. He was praised for his all-court game and great serve. As you say, I don't think he was a true natural at the net, though he was very fundamentally sound. To put him above rafter/cash is a miscarriage of justice. Rafter had a volley and that was it. The rest of his game was not top ten at all. Rafter could do what great volleyers do - suffocate you to the point where a baseliner felt there was no way to hit a shot past him, left, right or over him. Sampras was never like that. If you hit a good enough shot, you can rattle him a bit at the net. I do think Sampras is in the top 50 of volleyers. He had very good half court volleys. He was very solid at court positioning (something Federer totally lacks) and had great fundamentals at the net. He was just a little mechanical at the net and wasn't as good at blanketing the net like rafter or edberg.

    I also agree about Edberg. He's the greatest volleyer I've ever seen on a singles court. He turned solid returns/groundstrokes into volley winners for him. Mac was the greatest doubles volleyer ever, with great precision and touch but he could be overpowered, leaving a lot of volleys short. I grew up as a s/v guy and frankly, wished I could volley like Edberg but my style was more like Mac (not as good obviously).
     
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  36. shakes1975

    shakes1975 Semi-Pro

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    Yeah, I didn't see much of pre-OE and so missed the bulk of Rosewall and Roche.
     
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  37. shakes1975

    shakes1975 Semi-Pro

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    Disagree on a couple of fronts. First, people have this vague idea of Sampras strolling to the net on big bombs and volleying away lollipops. That is so not true. Sampras, surprisingly frequently, volleyed from well behind the service line - something those other traditional volleyers didn't have to do (and when they did, they didn't do as well as Sampras did). Further, Sampras had to hit a lot of low volleys, half-volleys, thanks to his big serve. Good returners frequently caught him half-way between the baseline and service line, and he had to volley off his shoe-tops.

    Secondly, watch any of his matches post-1999. He served and volleyed on both 1st and 2nd served on every surface. Watch the 2000 AO SF, 2001 USO QF, 2002 USO F.

    We're talking about singles players, and players who played pure S/V at any point in their career. These guys don't qualify.

    If you have watched Sampras throughout his career, you will see that he changed his playing style as he evolved. The Sampras of 1999-2002 was a very different player from the Sampras of 1990-1997. So it doesn't make sense drawing conclusions from that match of 1993.

    Watch the matches I listed above and see for yourself.

    I think you have seriously not watched Sampras' latter half of his career. People focus so much on his big serve, it's surprising they don't notice the other requisite skills to play S/V off those bombs. I wonder why the other big servers weren't half as successful as Sampras was, playing S/V.
     
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  38. shakes1975

    shakes1975 Semi-Pro

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    Like I said, it was different. Sampras (and Becker, to a lesser extent) frequently played S/V from disadvantageous positions on the court. Something most posters here seem to miss. Any idea why none of the traditional S/V'ers from Mac and going forward went for bigger serves, and relied more on the kickers or the can-opener serves out wide ? Because they knew that being closer to the net is most important for the volleyer. Every step you take closer to the net makes the volley exponentially easier and gives you more angles/court to work with. That's why those guys dropped like a bomb once their foot-speed was shot. They were caught a step behind the net than they were used to, and they struggled.

    Sampras/Becker eschewed that advantage of position, and instead had to rely on picking up more low volleys/half-volleys, and off laser returns (hey, hard serves frequently result in hard returns) from further behind. Sampras was the only big server, and S/V'er during his era, to consistently do that and do that well.

    Here are a few clips:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cxcSRusVXK0&t=0m38s

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cxcSRusVXK0&t=3m55s
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2014
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  39. urban

    urban Hall of Fame

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    Sampras was a very good volleyer, but imo not a great one. He could move like a cat, especially gliding to the forecourt and had good touch at the net, imo his best volley was the forehand stop volley. He played the first volley always quite safe, not that deep, with a stable wrist, as Dr. Pete Fischer had taught him. There was a World Tennis or Tennis article around 1990, where Fischer stated, that Pete built his volley after Laver. But that was imo not true, because Laver played often very wristy swing volleys and had more depth and penetration on the first volley.
    The poster DMChambers here stated, that the real measure stick of a great volley is the use of the volley on clay, when the serve factor is not as big. I saw Sampras play volleys often in one of his RG matches with Philippoussis, a match that Flipper won in 5. But i saw other players around 1990-2000, who looked more secure and familiar with the volley on clay, including Leconte, Michael Stich, Edberg or Rafter, maybe Forget and Pioline too. To play volley on clay is not impossible, even Verkerk reached the final once by playing volleys on clay.
     
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  40. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    Phoenix, It's better two persons say the truth than only one does...
     
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  41. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    shakes1975, you seem open-minded but don't forget that both Aussies showed their backhand volley ability also in open era, Roche especially in OE. Please watch US Open final 1970.
     
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  42. PMChambers

    PMChambers Professional

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    Do they have to be in the top 10 to qualify both these player played singles with top 50 rankings. Both played pure S&V at Wimbledon, both got to 19 ranking. Few players in there careers played pure S&V even Goron stayed back. Does Borg classify as S&V he S&V at Wim and USO but he went up on clay a lot. Laver did not purely S&V he had an all court game and the fastest hands I've seen up net, and Becker definitely did not, only on fast surfaces such as Wim.

    I'm downloading the USO 02 QF and have a look, but, I watch a bit of Indian Wells 01 and is not looking good. I have not got too far but he's currently has not had to volley off a first serve, and the only 2nd serve volleys have been above the net, the one low volley went through him, and he started staying back on second serve by the his second service game.

    Name a big server and we'll explain. First of all no-one was as big as Sampras at serving. There where other big 1st servers but no-one had his 2nd serve. Second he was in the top 5 off the ground so he did not have to S&V which he really only did at USO & Wim. So during his era his main competition for big server was,
    Becker - He was effective on first serve only his second was a kicker.
    Stick - He did well S&V but again his second serve was not as strong, also he'd go through entire sets not getting a return in play. You can't win lots of GS having to win on tie breakers.
    Edberg - Better S&V but can't compete at the back of the court with his FH.
    Goron - He did do well S&V but erratic on serve and return.
    Cash - Can't play behind base line.
    Rafter - Can't return or play behind the baseline.
    Mac - Could not compete with power of graphite racquet, also different era.
    Rosset - Erratic, could not return enough.

    Sampras had one of the best all round games ever. Not only was he hitting the best serves in the game but his returns and baseline play was also top 5 for the day. But he was not a great volleyer, he was a very sound volleyer, anything below the net was problematic. Your'e underestimating his second serve and ability off the ground. I'll refresh my memory but other than USO & Wim be did not S&V off second serves against top 10.

    Watching years of Sampras he worked on,
    60% First serve winning 70% out right. Winning 50% of returns off easy volleys. Getting him 85% win on first serve. On a good serving day when he was 65+% first serve he could win off first serve alone.
    His 2nd sever was as good as 50% top 100 1st serve and he could beat all but a few off the ground on faster surfaces. Clay was an issue for him as his ground shots where flat and he played groundies to win in 1-2 shots with lower percentage. Which historically does not work, look at Nadal, Muster, Borg, Bruegera & Kerten.

    I think Sampras was one of the all time greats and dominated his era but it was due to his whole game and not his volleys. His main weapon was his 2nd serve and his 2nd weapon his ability at being Top 5 on "every" shot.
     
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  43. PMChambers

    PMChambers Professional

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    I can never find any match pre-85 were the video quality is worth watching, I bought the 80 & 81 US & Wim final on DVD and the quality is questionable, the ball tends to disappear at speed and reappear once it bounces and slows down. I've got a few decent clips of Laver in his latter years but not full matches, anything 70's is ghost white. The wooden racquet days where interesting, I personally only played a few years with a wooden racquet before mother thought an Aluminium thing would survive longer. It was a poor racquet but then I was a poor player so we combined together well, I did not understand consistency then. The bonus was the Al thing was a multi purpose tool and not just a racquet.
     
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  44. BTURNER

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    If you aren't secure in your movement and balance on clay, you won't hit solid secure and confident volleys. I don't think the volley itself was the problem. The other European and aussie names you mentioned were definitely comfortable moving on clay. None raised in the States except Sampras. I just don't think you are really measuring the volley even when the point appears determined by net play
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2014
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  45. shakes1975

    shakes1975 Semi-Pro

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    Mac, Edberg, Rafter, and latter day Sampras qualify as players who played mostly S & V.

    Hmm, there are many other matches - 1999 Los Angeles, 1999 Cincinnati (both against Agassi), 2000 AO SF (against Agassi), 2002 AO 4th rd (against Safin) etc.


    Could nit pick a bit on Edberg's FH or Rafter from the baseline (watch 2000 and 2001 Wim SF vs. Agassi), but agree mostly.

    See 2000 AO SF and 2001 AO 4th rd.

    Also disagree on the "below the net" part. See just two clips off the top of my head - both from the 2001 USO QF against Agassi.


    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cxcSRusVXK0&t=0m38s

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cxcSRusVXK0&t=3m55s

    See not just how low he had to take the volleys from, also see how far behind he had to take them from. I am all for Edberg's volleys, but, frankly, Edberg never had to play volleys from so far behind and at such pace (and when he did have to do that, he didn't fare well).

    And Sampras had to hit a ton of these.

    Not much to disagree except that Sampras doesn't get much credit for hitting a ton of difficult volleys. Sure, he served big. But the thing about big serves is that returns come back bigger too. That's the primary reason why Rafter, Edberg etc. went for kick serves. They needed time to get to the net (see Roddick's struggles). Sampras didn't just get lollipop returns all the time. Agassi, for one, hit tons and tons of great, hard returns, and forced Sampras to play tough volleys time and again. On HC, you would find other S/V'ers struggle to make an impact on Agassi. Watch the 2001 USO QF and the 2002 USO F, and you will see Sampras play S & V on EVERY serve and still win.
     
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  46. helloworld

    helloworld Hall of Fame

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    Sampras' main weapon was his second serve. It was extremely powerful and reliable. Nobody could attack his serve because there was no chance to attack, first or second serve. His volleys, while great, is not close to the best ever.
     
    #96
  47. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    I agree with the kick or sliced serve a sopposed to the cannon serve for S&V purposes.Most of the great S&V past or very past did not rellied on the thundering first serve.Gonzales maybe the only one, Tanner and Smith were good but not top volleyers.

    Kramer,Roche,Fraser,Sedgman,Hoad,Rosewall,Laver,Edberg,Mc Enroe,Cash,Rafter for instance.

    When Pecci and Noah were playing well, they relied more on the twist than on mere power even for such tall guys.

    Adriano Panatta , like Newcombe, had a big and heavy first serve.He had great volleys becasue of touch and feel but, unlike Newcombe, he was not fast afoot so he got cought relatively far from the net.He was clever enough to use a deep sliced first volley to gain those two extrasteps and finish off in the second or third volley.
    Now, Newcombe had a big serve but it was deep and heavy more than fast.The guy had one of the quickest feet to come to the net and volleyed very close to the net.

    Ashe, when he better volleyed was after a deep sliced first ball more than the fast serve he was renowkn for.

    Becker and Sampras were good volleyers but not top tier ones.I would include Stich in that cathegory.Great first serve and good enough first volley, but not quite first tier.Not like Edberg or Roche.

    If we used the ladies, Navratilova used to have a wicked sliced of heavy kick first serve to take advantage of the net.Same for Court,Goolagong,Bueno,King,Hana when she was playing well.basiclaly, the greatest S&V players of the open era in the women´s ranks.

    while big servers such as Shriver,Wade,Gibson had a lesser quality volley but their serves did more than half of the jobs.
     
    #97
  48. PMChambers

    PMChambers Professional

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    I've watches some more Sampras and standing by my statement he was a sound volley only. I agree with Kikki assessment on this, he really not it the top tier or 2nd tier volleyers.

    This is to rank Sampras volleys, not his serve and volley game.

    Sampras used serve and volley as a mechanism to increase his serve potential. He effectively went to net to force his opponent to hit his serve, preferably with top spin. This stopped then chipping and slicing weak returns back to start a point. He's second serve was only a touch worse then Cash and Edberg's 1st server and again he went to net to force a strong return. However, he did not serve and volley on 2nd servers all the time mainly at Wim. If the return tarted to groove the 2nd serve he stayed back.

    As a returner with the exemption of Wim, he did not try to get to net. He played the returning game from the back of the court. Top volleys such as Edberg, Cash, mac, etc would try to get to net within 1-3 hits. Chipping and charging or opening the court on 2nd shot and going up on the third.

    Even Boris who was not a great volleyer but rather an all court player, went to net when returning more than Sampras. With the except of Agassi,most returners ended up so far behind the service time that he rarely had to handle low volleys and when he did they where not very sound.

    His S&V style was interesting in that he hit the serve took only 2-3 steps forward before split stepping just behind the service line, then choose the direction to move taking 2 more steps and basically volleying "if he had to" about 1m -1.5m inside the service line. Most other S&V would take another 3-4 step and be another 1m closer to net. He liked to conserve steps.

    PS: Sampras is an all time great because he has an all court game.
     
    #98
  49. PMChambers

    PMChambers Professional

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    If we used the ladies, Martina would not be my first choice. There are much more effeminate choices.

    Sorry could not resist, it's the dark ale.

    PS: I miss Martina's all court game, I'm always a bit surprise Chrissy (A better choice to use) beat her as often. Chrissy was like watching sexy paint dry. I was also bit surprise when a young Graff beat her even though she was mid 30's as she had a better all court game, IE: A volley and a BH.
     
    #99
  50. mental midget

    mental midget Professional

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    wow, long thread. i'll agree with the people who voted for 'very good.' i remember his first uso victory against agassi. of course his serve was a revelation to everyone, putting down 110-115mph second serves was something you just didn't see much at the time.

    however what thoroughly blew my mind were his insane digs off the shoelaces, half volley pickups, etc. it really was an unbelievable performance. i remember going to tennis lessons a day or two afterward and everybody was just kind of in shock at how insanely good he played. it was only when federer started to zone for like half a decade did i get that same feeling of, 'ok, that's just waaaay better than everybody else.'
     

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