Andy Roddick, Serve and Volley?

L

Lee

Guest
This post is inspired by Roddick's mediocre performance at the Olympics.

As atheletically gifted as Andy Roddick is, he needs to come in to the net more often. He has everything of a Serve-and-Volleyer's dream - impeccable serve, speed, height, audacity, hop. The only thing he lacks is that Roger Federersque volley that puts the point away.

We all know how Roddick wins his point (1-2 punch) by (1) serving into his opponent's body and (2) monsterous forhand to finish it off. But against a counter puncher/retriver, he needs to come into the net almost every time.

With his serve, he already got 70% of the job done. We all know how bad his volleys are.. but still, do you see how most of his opponents struggle to his serve back? If ARod perfects his volleys, I think he will be able to hold his serve 95% of the time.
 

VictorS.

Professional
Roddick is a pretty darn good athlete IMO. However to serve and volley, you really have to have super speed coming into the net after the serve. For whatever reason it seems roddick is tad slow coming into the net. Part of it is the fact that he serves so hard...in a sense it gives him less time to come to the net. Secondly, I wonder if his service motion does not lend itself to serving and volleying. His service motion really lacks the fluidity of Federer's or Sampras'. Lastly, as great of an athlete as Roddick is...I don't know if he's as quick as guys like rafter, mirnyi, and sampras. Those guys were so quick coming into the net.
 

AAAA

Hall of Fame
All the players who have successfully employed serve and volley at the highest level have in jargon speak 'good hands'. Roddick will practice very hard to develop his game and he will when appropriate use a number of different tactics to gain a victory.
 

coach

Semi-Pro
you know it's even possible to kick a serve out wide, especially to the backhand- ad court- and then come in to volley, the pace gives you more time to come in also-- but I rarely see it. Maybe this works works better in 4.5 land when I play.
 

Golden Retriever

Hall of Fame
If you have the power to finish point off with a forehand (like A Rod and J. Johanson) then you are better off serve and forehand instead of S&V. It is simply higher percentage.
 
L

Lee

Guest
In response to Victor's comment, I think ARod's unique serving motion does NOT affect his ability to rush to the net. He does not have the "fluidity" compared to the textbook serves of Sampras and Federer, but you see, he puts his whole body onto the court after each of his serves. I can definately see him getting ready to rush into the net as he does more S&V.

Also, his serves are so great that he does not require THAT much speed. He just needs to make sure that he ends the point instead of allowing a passing shot or lob.
 

@wright

Hall of Fame
If anyone stops blocking and slicing his serves back, he's toast. He'll have so little time to react to the return, he will be easily taken care of. I could see him using his monstrous kick serve to come in, but that flat bomb will hurt him as much as help him.
 

Defcon

Hall of Fame
The fast serve speed cutting down reaction time is true, but that never stopped Sampras. Actually, a serve thats fast enough (120+) has little chance of coming back aggressively against everyone but a handful of players, so that's not much of a factor.

The real reason is a SV game requires much more finesse and strategy than baseline bashing. You have to change your serve styles, spots, adapt to the returners style etc. You have to think about what kind of volley to hit, where to place it etc. Then you have to be extremely quick and have great reflexes and anticipation. The technical skills needed and 'soft hands' have been mentioned. To top it all off you need great mental strength because you will get passed.

A baseliner on the other hand just needs to keep hitting until he gets a chance to go for a winner or the point is over due to an error.

In short, SV requires a much higher caliber of tennis player. And not to bash Roddick, but he is none of these things. His court sense, movement and esp volleys are nothing special.
 

Aoya

Rookie
Serve and higher doesn't require a higher caliber player, just a different caliber player. Look at Tim Henman, he serves and volleys all day, but I wouldn't say he's better than Roddick.
 

arosen

Hall of Fame
Andy's serve rules

Give Henman Roddick's serve and you have No 1 for 5-6 years of total domination. That serve is so hard its scary, I mean, dude burried the tennis ball into clay, for real. Henman at the net is like Sampras, he can do unbelievable things. But his serve is pathetic and makes him work so hard for his volley yet the guy is up there with the best. Now, I have seen Roddick up close on court, sometimes it seems like he learned his volley yesterday by watching USTA welcome to tennis video. How in the name of our lord is he going to S and V? Dude cant even crosstep into his volleys, he slaps at it "mandy hits andy in the face" style.
 

Chanchai

Semi-Pro
Before twenty other people post to call on it... Umm... The powerade commercial was a commercial. It wasn't an actual occurance at the US Clay Court Championships. Roddick did not bury a ball into the clay. But the commercial was pretty cool I'll admit (as is the football one powerade did and others).

BTW, Henman would be pretty scary with a 130+ MPH serve ;) His instincts at net and those half-volleys are just too good.

-Chanchai
 

Golden Retriever

Hall of Fame
Talking about half-volley. I have never seen Roddick hit a half-volley that didn't 1. end up in the net or 2. get put away by his opponent. Maybe that's a bit exaggerated but you get the point.
 

Chanchai

Semi-Pro
Yeah, I wouldn't place bets on Roddick's half-volleying ability around the net. However, for the record, during one of the recent matchups with Federer (well, either Wimbledon final or Toronto final, or both) he did hit a couple miracle half-volleys. But they are far from the norm and point taken.

If I had a capture card, I'd be tempted to dish up various "shot highlight" videos though. And surprisingly enough, there would be a few with Roddick. A ton on Federer lol. And a good number on Haas as well. But every player on the tour has had their share of miracle moments :)

-Chanchai
 

NoBadMojo

G.O.A.T.
rommil is right...you need to really stay precise and controlled to play s.v...almost compact..especially on the volley..and serving at 140 doesnt get you close enough to the net for a 1st volley. roddick doesnt have any of this stuff to ever be a s.v player..instead of having to hit a volley, he crushes a serve which either produces an error, ace, or short ball which is put away by a flailing pure drive forehand...
 
Re: Andy's serve rules

arosen said:
Give Henman Roddick's serve and you have No 1 for 5-6 years of total domination. That serve is so hard its scary, I mean, dude burried the tennis ball into clay, for real. Henman at the net is like Sampras, he can do unbelievable things. But his serve is pathetic and makes him work so hard for his volley yet the guy is up there with the best. Now, I have seen Roddick up close on court, sometimes it seems like he learned his volley yesterday by watching USTA welcome to tennis video. How in the name of our lord is he going to S and V? Dude cant even crosstep into his volleys, he slaps at it "mandy hits andy in the face" style.

Give Roddick Henman's volleys and you'd have total domination too. :wink:

You can't just "give" another player abilities. Just like Roddick doesn't have Henman's volleys, Henman doesn't have Roddick's serves. Roddick has the serve that no other player on the tour has..and that is what makes Roddick a high caliber player in his own right. Each player has different specialities and what they excel at.
 
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