Originally Posted by ultradr
Federer is a good volleyer in today's standard but not really a true volleyer.
And he uses it on non-crucial points only. He glues himself to baseline
on critical points like break points. In that sense, he is not much better
than other 3.
When he debuted in 99, he baselined on carpet when lots of players
were still S&Ving.
I'm not sure if he could incorporate S&V successfully. He is a power baseliner
perfect fit for post-2003 tour condition.
I wouldn't disagree. He probably isn't on the level of past great net players simply because practice makes perfect and a guy who does it at every opportunity should be better.
However you want to word it, by today's standards, at the net, I think he's the best of the guys in contention. In a neutral position, Federer has the best chance at net to win the point. Nadal is great at volleying to suit his game, i.e., he comes in when he's got the clear advantage and rarely fails to put the volley away.
And, I agree, Federer uses it to mix things up and now I think he uses it a little more to try to shorten points, but when the chips are all in, he stays on the baseline typically.
Regardless, it's all hypothetical. The technology, style and conditions today do not encourage or reward it. You're not going to win playing S&V too much.
Take a guy like Llodra. He's capable of beating some good players and making some good runs, but they're almost always at the indoor tournaments. And, even then, it is a struggle.