Originally Posted by Tammo
Of (sic) there was a tourney of 90% s and v everyone would get tired of it and complain. That's just the way TTW is
this. i remember how boring wimbledon matches got to be on the "fast grass". it only changed slightly depending on who was playing. if edberg or jmac were playing, it when serve>return>volley, same for becker except for becker had more aces. during agassi's 92 run, it was serve>return. if it was ivanisevic or krajicek, it was serve. good gravy if you blinked four times you could have missed an entire game.
there were alot of us complaining about it then because it that was all there was. guys like edberg and jmac were amazing to watch when they were on because they could hit some incredible shots, but lately there's this federer guy that seems to do alright with that.
it also seems to be rather fashionable amongst serve and volley aficionados to blame polyester string. in all fairness, it's quite possible that poly on the pro tour was the final nail in the true serve and volley coffin, but i don't think its accurate to say that poly is the asteroid that killed off the s&v dinosaurs. i think there were plenty of other factors in the late 80s through the 90s that had just as much of a negative impact on the predominence of s&v tennis. that was the era of the "big tennis factories" (bollitierri's, rick macci, saddlebrook and prolly a bunch of others i'm forgetting). the successful formula at the time was "take a kid, teach them how to kill every shot and turn them loose on the pro tour at 16 or 17 (or younger, wasn't capriati 14 or something when she played her first pro event? i forgot)." to be a world-beater at 17 or 18, you didn't have time to teach the kid the subtleties of the s&v game. then @ the late 80s/ the early 90s widebody racquets came along. now it wouldn't have much of an immediate impact, but as the newer generations of players came us the ranks, they'd be bringing these sticks that they grew up with just like the previous generations stuck with racquets they were comfortable with. now, you can argue that the racquet doesn't make that much of a difference. if that's your position, hit for 30 minutes with a 85 in wilson pro staff and then switch to a babolat pure drive (heck string 'em both with synth gut just to make it even) and see which one gives you more pop on your groundies. this is a roundabout point perhaps but i'm trying to make the point that once the sticks became more powerful, it made it easier for players to end points from the baseline so finishing points at the net became less important. in fact, from a certain viewpoint, this shift in racquet tech made the poly revolution more necessary. just as detrimental to the future of s&v tennis were perhaps the s&v-ers themselves. you had players like edberg, macenroe and navratalova who tennis fans always felt had this mythical quality about them. edberg seemed to hover effortlessly to the net and was ruthlessly efficient. macenroe had hands and touch that no other human could possibly replicate. navratalova was crafty and had some great touch herself. and maybe it was these very qualities that made aspiring pros think "i'll never be able to do that" so they never tried.
yes, i speculated lots but i just think that to put the demise of serve and volley tennis solely on poly string is a bit of an oversimplification.