Which Serve & Volleyer of the 90's was most fun to watch?

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by eric draven, Sep 14, 2009.

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Who was the most fun Serve and Volleyer to watch in the 90's?

  1. Pat Rafter

    22.7%
  2. Tim Henman

    2.1%
  3. Stefan Edberg

    42.3%
  4. Boris Becker

    6.2%
  5. John McEnroe

    9.3%
  6. Pete Sampras

    17.5%
  1. darthpwner

    darthpwner Banned

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    Courier, Edberg, and Sampras all used that archaic Pro Staff 85 even though it was outdated technology and Wilson didnt offer them money to endorse those rackets since they werent the "modern technology". Heard this from a guy who knows Nate Ferguson. I also learned that Sampras would only use rackets made in St. Vincente in the Caribbean.
     
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  2. Datacipher

    Datacipher Banned

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    HOoo boy. No offense, but really, you should get a better source than a guy who heard it from a guy....even if the 2nd guy is Nate Ferguson....somebody got it wrong down the line.

    Edberg and Sampras certainly did get money from Wilson, though Wilson did desperately wish they would move to newer frames. Courier went without later, but did have a contract with Wilson early in his career.
     
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  3. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

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    Nope, he's right at least about Sampras. Wilson paid Sampras zero (0) dollars while he used the ProStaff 85. I'm not sure Courier got that much or any either until his brief stint with the Stars & Stripes model. That was a misfire which sent Courier away from Wilson for a number of years.

    From what I've been told from someone who worked at Wilson in the pro room during that time, after production was discontinued at St. Vincent, Sampras tried the new frames. He didn't like them. Sampras opted to stay with Wilson and Wilson rounded up the remaining inventory of St. Vincents. Sampras got first pick and Courier got what was left over. Neither got any $'s.

    Edberg certainly had a free racquet deal with Wilson courtesy of Tony Pickard who 'discovered' Edberg while recruitng juniors for Wilson. Edberg didn't receive that much money however as he jumped ship and played with an Adidas frame during the Masters one year. The Adidas frame gave Edberg a case of tennis elbow and he returned to the ProStaff....unstenciled. I remember he was even asked about his racquet contract. The reporter found it incredulous that, after ascending to the #1 spot, Edberg didn't have a racquet contract. Edberg's typical low key reply was "I guess nobody wants me".

    It was about 6 months after that Wilson made their first attempt at discontinuing the ProStaff. They came out with the ProStaff 6.1 and re-signed Edberg. He played with a ProStaff 85 with the 6.1 cosmetics and was stenciled. I'm not sure about how much money he received, but proportionally, I'm sure it wasn't anywhere near what Federer gets.

    I do think I read that Edberg now has a lifetime contract with Wilson. But it's probably just racquets and a small amount of money.


    He is, however, wrong in using the word archaic in reference to the ProStaff. The ProStaff basically lives on in the Federer line of racquets and the recently released KPS88. The ProStaff has won more majors than any other graphite frame on the mens' tour. When commentators say that Federer uses the same frame as Sampras, there's probably more truth to it than we know. I haven't hit the 6.0 side by side with a St. Vincent, but I'm pretty sure they are close. Point of this being that the ProStaff is as viable a frame today as it was in 1983 in the right hands. This whole notion of a modern game making some eqiupment obsolete is just crazy.
     
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2009
    #53
  4. pmerk34

    pmerk34 Legend

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    The Pro staff was released when 1983? the three players you mentioned probabaly started using it as juniors and then kept using it. That is no different than players today using older frames.
     
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  5. borg number one

    borg number one Legend

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    Interesting stuff about the Wilson Pro Staff. See wikipedia info if you are interested. Great frame, and I recall it passing up the much stiffer (but excellent) Wilson Ultra. Both frames were relatively expensive when they came out. For example, even back then, you could easily have to pay $150-$200 for one of them.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wilson_ProStaff_Original_6.0
     
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  6. Datacipher

    Datacipher Banned

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    I am open to new information, but I do not believe this true at all! Sampras WAS without contract for a few years, but he reached terms with them before and after that period and almost certainly got a few bucks! lol
     
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  7. tguru

    tguru Rookie

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    I enjoyed watching the latter half of Rafter's career but I don't remember him being a real S&V until Roche became his coach. I recall him getting schooled at Wimby by Bruguera playing baseline earlier in his rise.
     
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  8. obsessedtennisfandisorder

    obsessedtennisfandisorder Professional

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    yeah, I'll reiterate about cash too...

    cash I idolised around the late 80's awesome player.

    pity with the injuries....whether he could have taken slams off boris and stefan i don't know...but he deserved to be up there competing with them

    that 88 final with wilander is a treat to watch.

    I felt he had a better forehand than rafter but maybe not the killer serve on the deuce court that rfater had.
     
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  9. joe sch

    joe sch Hall of Fame

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    They were all great to watch.
    It was a shame to see Henman change his game later in his career.
    Too bad no more great SV players still around, would really be fun to watch them play against todays baseliners.
    Was fun to watch Dent in this years USO, he is a throwback more in the Becker style with booming serves.
    Loved the kickers that Edberg and Rafter would serve as they exploded to the net. Stephan was soo smooth in his approaches and vollies. Rafter was more explosive. McEnroe probably had the best hands and touch vollies ever. Sampras had such a great serve that he did not need a fantastic volley attack. Even more exciting was his leaping overhead, like a Jordan dunk.
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2009
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  10. abmk

    abmk G.O.A.T.

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    As far as watching them SnVing is concerned,

    Edberg
    Rafter/Henman
    Sampras
    Becker ( He was clearly more athletic in the 80s from whatever I've seen and seemed more fun to me then )

    BTW I don't get why there should be so many arguments regarding who was the better volleyer when the poll question asks which SnVer was the most fun to watch .
     
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  11. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

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    Sorry, but again, from what I was told, Sampras was so dedicated to the ProStaff from SV that he took free gear and no $'s. Apparently he decided he was making enough on his other deals and primary source of income, tournaments.
     
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  12. eric draven

    eric draven Rookie

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    Thanks for your feedback. I saw the point Andrew was making and I don't really agree but like you said people are entitled to their opinions. In the hopes of generating good discussion I try to see other posters' points. That said, you bring up a great point about the fact about how other great players hit aces and service winners as well. I think over time people tend to forget certain things about great players' games. It's why I like to go on youtube and watch posted videos of matches of older players. It helps put things in perspective about how good they were and how we often romanticize or overly-criticize their stengths and weaknesses.
     
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  13. Azzurri

    Azzurri Legend

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    huh? you just started watching tennis a few years ago (2-4). you never even saw tennis in the 90's.
     
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  14. Azzurri

    Azzurri Legend

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    LOL..where do I start. You never watched Pete play, you just like what AndrewD stated. I respectfully disagree with him and believe Pete to be on par w/Rafter and below Mac/Edberg. But for you to make these absurd statements show you are utterly clueless.
     
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  15. pmerk34

    pmerk34 Legend

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    Pete's volleys were some of the best in history. I don't know who these people were watching.
     
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  16. Azzurri

    Azzurri Legend

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    a while back (maybe a year or so prior) I had not watched a Sampras match in quite a while. I had some matches on DVD (have added to the stock). The same arguement was going about Pete and his volley skills. I had been in discussion with fellow (clueless) posters about Rafter, Cash and Becker. I decided to watch 2 matches (01 vs. Fed and 99 vs Agassi). I was thoroughly impressed and forgot how good he actually was. The man won 7 WIMBLEDON titles. It is obviosu a serve alone cannot get you 7 titles (see Goran, Krajicek). I was really impressed with his half-volley/low-volley skills. How he was able to get them back with precision/placement and not pop them up was incredible. I also watched his 92 loss to Edberg and noticed how little Stefan dealt with the lo half-volley, but Pete seemed to get them more often.

    I believe Pete to be a step (a slight one) below Mac/Edberg. The reason is plain and simple; Pete was more an all-court player than Mac/Edberg. Those 2 solely relied on their net game, while Pete had a greater arsenal of weapons..hence his winning 14 GS titles. The kiddies actually give Pete TOO much credit for his serve and not enough for his all-around game. It becomes painfully obvious which poster never saw Pete play, saw him very little or just flat out has no clue what they saw.

    #'s aren't everything (in some cases). I still believe Babe Ruth to be a greater HR slugger than Bonds/Aaron. Prime Sampras beats a Prime Federer at Centre Court (Wimbledon).
     
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  17. tennisdad65

    tennisdad65 Hall of Fame

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    The poll is NOT: who was the best S&V of the 90s..
    We all know Pete was the best, because of his dominating serve and better ground/overall game.

    The Poll is: which S&V was the most fun to watch..
    For this: Edberg gets my vote
     
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  18. Ano

    Ano Hall of Fame

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    Same with me.
     
    #68
  19. 35ft6

    35ft6 Legend

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    I really don't like watching serve and volley tennis. Never really did. But Edberg was fun to watch. Mac was a close second, but something about Edberg's technique was more watchable.

    I really liked Rafter and I liked watching his return games, but when he was serving and volleying, it was some of the most boring and painful tennis to watch. He was the closest you could ever get to being a counterpunching volleyer. Edberg was like an aikido master, redirecting energy, cutting off angles, just calmly getting his feet into the right place like he had ESP. Rafter always seemed to be playing catchup at net. At least that's the way I remember him, scrambling and sweating at the net, but somehow managing to get his racket on the ball.

    Actually, the one shot I really liked from Rafter was when he was stretched out wide on the forehand volley, he would hit like this little continental top spin forehand. That was kind of cool. I've hit it a couple of times but it's a pure reaction shot and I rarely think of it in time. And he could really rifle a high backhand volley. Come to think of it, so can Federer.
     
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