For those of you who would enjoy: excerpts from Chapter XI of Bill Tilden's book "The Art of Lawn Tennis". Big Bill's words on serve-and-volley and baseliner styles of play. It helps getting a better view on early tennis development. I bolded the sections I believe to be the most relevant. "The old saying, 'Three generations from shirt sleeves to shirt sleeves,' may well be parodied to 'Three decades from ground strokes to ground strokes.' The game of tennis is one great circle that never quite closes. Progress will not allow a complete return to the old style. Yet the style, without the method of thirty years ago, is coming back in vogue. It is a polished, decorated version of the old type game. It is expanded and developed. History tells us that the civilization of the old Greeks and Romans held many so-called modern luxuries, but not the methods of acquiring them we have to-day. Just so with tennis; for the ground stroke game was the style of the past, just as it will be the style of the future; but the modern method of making ground strokes is a very different thing from the one used by the old-time stars. [...] The true type of English tennis, from which American tennis has sprung, was the baseline driving game. It is still the same. Well-executed drives, hit leisurely and gracefully from the base-line, appealed to the temperament of the English people. They developed this style to a perfection well-nigh invincible to cope with from the same position. The English gave the tennis world its traditions, its Dohertys, and its Smiths. [...] Naturally new countries, with different customs, would not develop along the same lines as England. America, Australia, and South Africa took the English style, and began their tennis career on the baseline game. Each of these has since had a distinct yet similar growth--a variance to the original style. American tennis followed the English baseline style through a period that developed Dr. Dwight, R. D. Sears, Henry Slocum, and other stars. Tennis, during this time, was gaining a firm hold among the boys and young men who found the deep-driving game devoid of the excitement they desired. Americans always enjoy experiments, so the rising players tried coming to the net at any reasonable opening. Gradually this plan became popular, until Dwight Davis and Holcombe Ward surprised the tennis world with their new service, now the American twist, and used it as an opening gun in a net attack. M'Loughlin was the turning-point in American tennis. He made a lasting impression on the game that can never be erased. His personality gained him a following and fame, both in America and England, that have seldom been equalled in the sporting world. M'Loughlin was the disciple of speed. Cyclonic, dynamic energy, embodied in a fiery-headed boy, transformed tennis to a game of brawn as well as brains. [...] M'Loughlin was a unique tennis player. His whole game was built up on service and overhead. His ground strokes were very faulty. By his personal popularity M'Loughlin dwarfed the importance of ground strokes, and unduly emphasized the importance of service. M'Loughlin gave us speed, dash, and verve in our tennis. It remained for R. N. Williams and W. M. Johnston to restore the balance of the modern game by solving the riddle of the Californian's service. Brookes and Wilding led the way by first meeting the ball as it came off the ground. [...] To-day we are still in the period of service and net attack, with the cycle closing toward the ground-stroke game. Yet the circle will never close, for the net game is the final word in attack, and only attack will succeed. The evolution means that the ground stroke is again established as the only modern defence against the net player. Modern tennis should be an attacking service, not necessarily epoch-making, as was M'Loughlin's, but powerfully offensive, with the main portion of the play from the baseline in sparring for openings to advance to the net. Once the opening is made the advance should follow quickly, and the point ended by a decisive kill. That is the modern American game."