Are Federer's slice and volleys in the Top 3 Slice and Volleys in the Open Era?

Are Federer's slice and volleys in the Top 3 Slice and Volleys in the Open Era?

  • Yes

    Votes: 23 45.1%
  • No

    Votes: 28 54.9%

  • Total voters
    51

zill

Hall of Fame
Rank the combined shots of slice and volleys of all (male) players in the Open Era. Are Federer's in the Top 3?

Some may be exceptional volleys or exceptional slices. Let's group them together and average them out and rank them as a single group for each player.
 
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Giorgilli

Semi-Pro
his backhand slice is GOAT level. for the modern era his volley's are great, especially compared to players coming up now, however back in the day there were way more players with better volleys, mainly due to the playstyle and court speed back then.
 

MeatTornado

G.O.A.T.
I voted yes but tbh I'm not that well versed on how good the slices of Mac/Edberg/Rafter/etc were. It's not really a shot I think about with any of them.
 

Kralingen

Legend
Federer’s playing style looks beautiful even when he is shanking the ball left, right and center...

except his BH slice which is a downright ugly chop shot that belongs at the same aesthetic level as the neighborhood hacker at your local club.
 

droliver

Professional
Definitely not first for slices though, I think we can all agree that Kenny Rosewall’s 100mph beauties take the top spot there.
have you ever watched a video of vintage Ken Rosewall? He most certainly wasn't hitting anywhere near that hard. His stroke were more in the 60-70 mph off the backhand. It was a steady and tricky to handle shot, but he wasn't hitting people off the court with it.
 

BeatlesFan

Bionic Poster
Why are you combining both slice and volleys, two totally different strokes in tennis?

Murray had a great slice and a below average volley. Ditto with Lendl. Ditto with 100 other great players.
 

ChrisRF

Hall of Fame
Why are you combining both slice and volleys, two totally different strokes in tennis?

Murray had a great slice and a below average volley. Ditto with Lendl. Ditto with 100 other great players.
That’s very true. Who would be your best example for the opposite though, good volley and much worse slice?
 

flanker2000fr

Hall of Fame
Why are you combining both slice and volleys, two totally different strokes in tennis?

Murray had a great slice and a below average volley. Ditto with Lendl. Ditto with 100 other great players.
Because they are generally associated with attacking players.
 

skaj

Legend
No, there are too many players who were as good or better(Rosewall, Laver, Edberg, Sampras, Goolagong, Okker).
 

NicoMK

Professional
His slice is good but not exceptional. His volleys are OK but not even close to some specialists between mid 60s to mid 90s. Having said that, his game at the net is probably a victim of surface homogenisation and polys. As far as I can remember, young Federer was better at the net that prime Federer.
 

T007

Professional
Watch Mac

Well, it's forgetting Mac or Sampras, amongst other famous volleyers.
Nope they won't I would pick Becker or edberg infront of them. Sampras had a big serve with made his time in the net easier while serve and volleying. But during Neutral rallies Edberg and becker were great volleyers
 
He is a great volleyer for todays baseline standards, but top 3 in the Open Era? Not even close. Sampras has better volleys pretty easily, and I don't think he is even top 3 in the Open Era.

Slice? Not really sure, but very possible.
 

Frankc

Professional
Biting and exact slices and precise flatter volleys are not possible with the "new" racket and string set ups. Just watch - so many of the "top" talents struggle in the forecourt and can merely push away a sitter volley. Powerful poly giveth and taketh away.
Np doubt, in the previous era Fed's volleys and slices would evolve into top stuff. Just check out the Sampras / Fed Wimbledon match - precise volleys and slices are there - but that was different racquet tech and fine gut.
Bottom line, not his fault that his are only so good... the price of today's unidimensional game...

( It is almost embarrassing to watch today's "elite" players in the forecourt..)
 

Turing

Rookie
You never watched his volleys in prime.

No one from any era comes close to hitting half volley winners better than him
Half volleys are only one aspect, and even then Sampras and Mac were arguably better or in the same tier with the half volley. Overall, I don't think Fed's complete package makes the cut, but like I said that's mostly due to era.
 
Definitely not first for slices though, I think we can all agree that Kenny Rosewall’s 100mph beauties take the top spot there.
Do you even realize how difficult it would be to consistently hit 100mph slice shots?

BTW, to answer the original question, Fed's slice BH is definitely goat status. His volleys are obviously great but not top 3. Plenty of guys with better volleys in the open era.
 
Is it physically possible to hit a slice 100 mph?
It is but you'd need to make contact with the ball when it was very high up, and based on the angle of the shot, it wouldn't be as effective as a slower but very low slice. Fed's slice BH has as much, if not more backspin than Nadal's forehand. No way you're going to hit a low slice with that much backspin at 100mph. Most players don't even hit flat or topspin backhands at 100mph.
 

T007

Professional
Half volleys are only one aspect, and even then Sampras and Mac were arguably better or in the same tier with the half volley. Overall, I don't think Fed's complete package makes the cut, but like I said that's mostly due to era.
Today most players hit much harder from the baseline while attempting a pass so it is difficult to volley. Sampras was overpowered by guys like hewitt safin and rodfick in the end because they were big hitters.

So Federers volleying skills in this era is different than what Becker or any 90s legend used to do.

I mean The way Nadal,Djokovic,Murray rip the ball in to the net its very difficult compared to what player used to in 90s.

Federer has better hand skills than sampras that is the reason he survived the onslaught of baseline beasts in different generations where courts were slowed down and game became more physical.
 

NedStark

Semi-Pro
You never watched his volleys in prime.

No one from any era comes close to hitting half volley winners better than him
Thing is, his volleys were better pre-prime (reaching high point in 2003), and post-prime after working with Edberg.

Sampras and past top S&V players also had better volley techniques as well as general net coverage.
 

Spencer Gore

Hall of Fame
Ignorance at top level

Todays volleys are far much harder due to the heavier balls and more spin and better returns.
The fact that boreampras and others where volleying 100% of the points does not make them better.
Sampras' volleys we're better than Federer's. It's not even a debate.
 

what_army

Semi-Pro
If the question is slices and volleys together (ie. not individually) I think Federer holds a decent claim to a top3 spot, if not higher.
 

Third Serve

G.O.A.T.
I don’t think I’ve posted a serious answer yet, but I’d say yes for the slice, no for the volleys. His slice is genuinely a deadly shot and it’s even tripped up Djokovic in the past (as does his forehand). However, his volleys can’t really compete with those of previous greats. It’s not his fault because the game has moved away from a net-based style of play, but it is what it is: while his net game is very solid and it’s certainly leaps and bounds ahead of many of his contemporaries, it doesn’t really hold a candle to that of Sampras, let alone Edberg and McEnroe.

I do wonder how he’d have adapted his game had he grown up in earlier eras. He was certainly capable of the serve and volley tactic as Wimbledon 2003 (his best Wimbledon imo) showed, but that was when that playing style was in the middle of being phased out, and he rarely brought it into action after 2004. Perhaps he’d spend more time on that aspect of the game?
 

skaj

Legend
Today most players hit much harder from the baseline while attempting a pass so it is difficult to volley. Sampras was overpowered by guys like hewitt safin and rodfick in the end because they were big hitters.

So Federers volleying skills in this era is different than what Becker or any 90s legend used to do.

I mean The way Nadal,Djokovic,Murray rip the ball in to the net its very difficult compared to what player used to in 90s.

Federer has better hand skills than sampras that is the reason he survived the onslaught of baseline beasts in different generations where courts were slowed down and game became more physical.
Agassi was a bigger hitter from the baseline than Hewitt and Roddick.
 
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