Approach shot vs the actual volley: which does the most work for you?

Which one?

  • Substandard but opportunistic approaches backed by goalkeeper-like coverage

  • Trash tier volleying but backed by clinical approaches


Results are only viewable after voting.

d-quik

Professional
Do you hit amazing groundstrokes and approach shots but can't deal with the opponents reply unless it's a floater (which if your approach was truly amazing, should float)

Or do you just hit marginally above average approach shots but find any excuse (or slight weakness in the opponents shotmaking or positioning) to come in where you have amazing net coverage and savage volleying
 

Cashman

Hall of Fame
I’m old fashioned, I try and hit the earlier shots best

Good serves and returns make for easy approaches
Good approaches make for easy volleys

But I never underestimate the value of front court pressure - simply coming to the net off any old approach is enough to degrade the quality of most opponents’ shots
 
But I never underestimate the value of front court pressure - simply coming to the net off any old approach is enough to degrade the quality of most opponents’ shots
Unfortunately, I've found my ceiling for my game around mid-4.5; upper-level 4.5s and beyond have passers that I just can't beat consistently enough [of course, neither can I beat them from the BL so I still attack the net because it's fun].
 

Cashman

Hall of Fame
Unfortunately, I've found my ceiling for my game around mid-4.5; upper-level 4.5s and beyond have passers that I just can't beat consistently enough [of course, neither can I beat them from the BL so I still attack the net because it's fun].
Yeah, once you start to play guys who are comfortable with a target, you really need the ability to bully their returns a bit

You said you're working on your serve - I reckon with a bit more pepper you'll start to find those passing shots become a lot less reliable
 

heninfan99

Talk Tennis Guru
If you shadow your approach well 65% of the time you win the point without even having to hit a volley.
That fact comes from Fabrice Sbarro from his Tennis Summit presentation.
 

Fintft

Legend
Do you hit amazing groundstrokes and approach shots but can't deal with the opponents reply unless it's a floater (which if your approach was truly amazing, should float)

Or do you just hit marginally above average approach shots but find any excuse (or slight weakness in the opponents shotmaking or positioning) to come in where you have amazing net coverage and savage volleying
The former, but practicing volleys to be also able to do the latter.
 

Fintft

Legend
Big brain strat right there

Using outright winners as approaches!

+1
Yeah and it works even against a coach 2/3 if she gives me a baloon on the T ( not a moonball, nor heavy ts, though)...Even if she expects me hit an IO to her BH corner.
 

Fintft

Legend
I’m old fashioned, I try and hit the earlier shots best

Good serves and returns make for easy approaches
Good approaches make for easy volleys

But I never underestimate the value of front court pressure - simply coming to the net off any old approach is enough to degrade the quality of most opponents’ shots
One should also come to the net at 30-0, 0-30 etc just not to give the returner a rhytm.
 

cha cha

Semi-Pro
When I hit a superb groundstroke I make absolutely sure to stay admiring it a metre behind the baseline. Approach shots, on the other hand usually end up being so soft that they leave me an absolute sitting duck at the net.
One more thing I noticed are my oponents. They cannot hit anything hard or accurate straight until I decide to approach. Then they magically turn into sir Andy Murray for one shot.
 

Fintft

Legend
When I hit a superb groundstroke I make absolutely sure to stay admiring it a metre behind the baseline. Approach shots, on the other hand usually end up being so soft that they leave me an absolute sitting duck at the net.
One more thing I noticed are my oponents. They cannot hit anything hard or accurate straight until I decide to approach. Then they magically turn into sir Andy Murray for one shot.
For the former: my coach would tell you to come to the net tin order to finish the point. Don't come in on soft, nor placed approach shot!

For the latter: It's even more frustratring when we practice BL rallies (such as the ones coach @Jake Speeed reccomended). It's called having a competitive spirit :)
 

golden chicken

Hall of Fame
Like a soccer goal, the court is far too big to cover it all, so I found I'd better have a good approach shot or it'll be a tough day for me.

Also, I can still accidentally hit volley winners even if it's not the shot I intended. If my approach execution is not as I intended, it becomes a bit of a kamikaze charge to the net hoping to pressure the opponent into a mistake, rather than already having the advantage in the point.
 
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Like a soccer goal, the court is far too big to cover it all, so I found I'd better have a good approach shot or it'll be a tough day for me.
I think this is key: a lot of people avoid coming to the net because there's no guarantee they'll be able to reach the passer. I think those tend to be the same people who guard the alley in doubles.

I accept that I can't cover everything and play the percentages. If my opponent can beat me by consistently hitting low percentage passing shots, so be it. He's probably going to beat me no matter what I do.
 

HuusHould

Professional
I would say sometimes option A and sometimes B, for me. Obviously, ideally you would do both well, although of course if the approach shot is good, you aren't normally forced into the "goalkeeper like court coverage". I think the subsequent coverage of the net after the approach, is related to how smoothly you move through the shot. I've had to work on movement through the approach shot, as I'm naturally a pretty static ball striker.
 
Do you hit amazing groundstrokes and approach shots but can't deal with the opponents reply unless it's a floater (which if your approach was truly amazing, should float)

Or do you just hit marginally above average approach shots but find any excuse (or slight weakness in the opponents shotmaking or positioning) to come in where you have amazing net coverage and savage volleying
B: "The threat is stronger than the execution."
 

d-quik

Professional
I accept that I can't cover everything and play the percentages. If my opponent can beat me by consistently hitting low percentage passing shots, so be it. He's probably going to beat me no matter what I do.
Yes yes. This attitude is both very humbling yet audacious AT THE SAME TIME. It is as if you "made a deal" with existence and came to those terms. Lotsa people nowadays (including pros) become so discouraged after being passed just once.

Its not as if 90s players NEVER got passed yet still kept charging. You know? (Blah blah i kNow, polyester and widebodies, i know)

Long live your username
 

golden chicken

Hall of Fame
At lower rec levels of tennis I found that my approach shots don't even have to be well-placed if I use a variety of spins (like, varying amounts of slice vs sidespin). As the quality of my opponents increased, my margins for error became smaller and smaller. I could predict the way the point would end by knowing if my approach shot was good enough. And then I met a couple of guys who were so good I couldn't even hold a neutral rally with them, never mind them giving up a shot I could attempt an approach on. And if I kamikaze'd it, they picked a target and passed me at will.
 
Yes yes. This attitude is both very humbling yet audacious AT THE SAME TIME. It is as if you "made a deal" with existence and came to those terms. Lotsa people nowadays (including pros) become so discouraged after being passed just once.
It is liberating because it frees you of self-doubt and recrimination. I rarely have to worry about "should I have approached?". I play the percentages and "que sera, sera".

I think a lot of people drawn to tennis want to believe they have more control over the situation than they really do.

I seem to recall a comment about either Rafter or Edberg that went something like "If he S&Vs 50 times and you pass him every time, he will S&V the 51st time."

I'm not that stubborn; 42 is my limit.

Its not as if 90s players NEVER got passed yet still kept charging. You know? (Blah blah i kNow, polyester and widebodies, i know)

Long live your username
@LeastExhaustingPlayer said I could keep it for another year.
 

golden chicken

Hall of Fame
It is liberating because it frees you of self-doubt and recrimination. I rarely have to worry about "should I have approached?". I play the percentages and "que sera, sera".

I think a lot of people drawn to tennis want to believe they have more control over the situation than they really do.
“The great mistake is to anticipate the outcome of the engagement; you ought not to be thinking of whether it ends in victory or defeat. Let nature take its course, and your tools will strike at the right moment.” -- Bruce Lee
 

Shroud

G.O.A.T.
It is liberating because it frees you of self-doubt and recrimination. I rarely have to worry about "should I have approached?". I play the percentages and "que sera, sera".

I think a lot of people drawn to tennis want to believe they have more control over the situation than they really do.

I seem to recall a comment about either Rafter or Edberg that went something like "If he S&Vs 50 times and you pass him every time, he will S&V the 51st time."

I'm not that stubborn; 42 is my limit.



@LeastExhaustingPlayer said I could keep it for another year.
Its funny because its true about S&V 51st time. Personally I like to just keep coming even when getting passed. Its just easy to keep at it and relish the delusion...
 
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