Could a more talented player succeed S&V?

If a more talented all around player used S&V could they win?

  • Yes.

    Votes: 11 25.6%
  • Only if surface speeds up.

    Votes: 13 30.2%
  • No, it's dead because of poly strings, etc

    Votes: 19 44.2%

  • Total voters
    43
Little Tim Henman reached semi of French in 2004. Rafter and his trash 5.0-level groundies did too. Anyone saying serve-and-volley can't work on slower surfaces doesn't have a clue what he is talking about. We just haven't seen anyone even remotely good at it in more than a decade.
 

California

Rookie
Federer
Henman
Agassi who was from s-l&v era
Roddick
That one other guy
Well you and I both know the only S & V player on your list is Henman. Fed is a great all court player, and Roddick and Agassi couldn't volley a lick. So I am not sure you can credit Nadal with killing serve and volley play...
 

Pheasant

Hall of Fame
Not in person, but he was my tennis childhood/youth idol (in fact the only tennis idol other than Federer later) and I watched every match I was able to on TV. Surely I wasn’t one of those who thought he was “boring”. I liked his game very much, but realistically he couldn’t succeed with it in this era.

I believe Sampras was lucky to be born in the right era while Federer is the complete tennis genius who would have dominated everywhere in his prime.

In the Sampras era (and even more in the McEnroe era) the net player had the advantage, because the strings didn’t allow powerful passing shots from behind the baseline while the volley (especially drop volley) was not that much more difficult to hit.

It’s nothing against these players which did the right thing at the right time. But now their style would be as effective as staying back at every point in the 80s, no matter how good they are with their net-rushing.

A good approach shot in the right moment will always do the trick, and a player who can do that (like Federer) is superior to a one-dimensional player like Zverev, but something like chip-and-charge or generally approaching which a slice shot will be constantly eaten alive.

And by the way, I like 80s and 90s tennis very much and often re-weatch these matches. But I don’t like the unrealistic overrating of nostalgia. For example Edberg was nice to watch, but he would have no hope against today’s Big 3 and most likely against many others players.
I agree with this. But I also think that Pete could have adjusted to today’s game. I don’t think that he would win 14 slam titles today, however. As you said, he played in the right time. I also think that The Big 3 play in the tight time.

One guy that I think played in the wrong time was Ivan Lendl. I think that Lendl is grossly underrated. The conditions of the game and equipment gave him virtually no chance to beat a great player like Becker at Wimbledon.
 
I agree with this. But I also think that Pete could have adjusted to today’s game. I don’t think that he would win 14 slam titles today, however. As you said, he played in the right time. I also think that The Big 3 play in the tight time.

One guy that I think played in the wrong time was Ivan Lendl. I think that Lendl is grossly underrated. The conditions of the game and equipment gave him virtually no chance to beat a great player like Becker at Wimbledon.
Prime Lendl would have a field day giving ***-whoopings to today's 20-somethings.
 

Pheasant

Hall of Fame
Prime Lendl would have a field day giving ***-whoopings to today's 20-somethings.
I think so too. One thing that we know about Lendl is that he was easily the best of his era. Back then, there was a much bigger emphasis on being ranked #1 than slam titles(Wimbledon was the exception). Lendl was #1 for 270 weeks, despite playing in the wrong era as a baseline player. I remember reading a Sports Illustrated article about 30 years ago that mentioned why Lendl fell just short of breaking Connors’ then-record of 160 consecutive weeks at #1. The article listed all of Lendl’s injuries that year, including a severely damaged shoulder that was surgically repaired after that 1988 USO.

What’s funny is that I hated Lendl then and was a big McEnroe fan. I always rooted for Lenfl to lose. But later on, I learned to respect Lendl.
 

Purplemonster

Hall of Fame
As long Mammies & Daddies are taking the lead in the career of their kids, things will remain the same....from bad to worse!

Not just because of the lack in the ability of training, but also as what Sampras said, parents DON'T invest in developing the game, all what they're interested in is match results, they don't sacrifice some matches in the early years for development.
I understand what you are saying but if as a parent you are outlaying vast amounts of cash, wouldn’t you want your child to succeed and make money. Otherwise what’s the point ? I prefer serve and volley to the relentless and boring baseline game of today but since the introduction of poly strings and the slowing down of courts I highly doubt teaching children to serve and volley is going to help them when they are older.
 

Purplemonster

Hall of Fame
I think so too. One thing that we know about Lendl is that he was easily the best of his era. Back then, there was a much bigger emphasis on being ranked #1 than slam titles(Wimbledon was the exception). Lendl was #1 for 270 weeks, despite playing in the wrong era as a baseline player. I remember reading a Sports Illustrated article about 30 years ago that mentioned why Lendl fell just short of breaking Connors’ then-record of 160 consecutive weeks at #1. The article listed all of Lendl’s injuries that year, including a severely damaged shoulder that was surgically repaired after that 1988 USO.

What’s funny is that I hated Lendl then and was a big McEnroe fan. I always rooted for Lenfl to lose. But later on, I learned to respect Lendl.
Lendl never had the talent of McEnroe but he was the ultimate professional who introduced the big baseline game and fitness into the game. He was like a machine.
 

Pistol10

Professional
I understand what you are saying but if as a parent you are outlaying vast amounts of cash, wouldn’t you want your child to succeed and make money. Otherwise what’s the point ? I prefer serve and volley to the relentless and boring baseline game of today but since the introduction of poly strings and the slowing down of courts I highly doubt teaching children to serve and volley is going to help them when they are older.
I don't have any problem with parents coaching their kids AS an early step in building their careers, my complain is with those many parents (and not because of the financial situation) who do blieve that it's easy to be done and it's not necessary to have a proper coach at all, what is tennis at the end, just serving and forehand and backhand like pro that could be learned from tennis lessons on YOUTUBE!


In my opinion this is how it should be done:
1) Early years (till 7yo), coaching by parents, mostly let them discover themselves & the game, expressing themselves NOT rushing to copy/paste the PRO!

2) 7_10yo, frequently, time for some tennis lessons by good coaches who will keep allowing them to express themselves, and coaching them based on that Not like those coaches: ALL THE KIDS (regardless of their natural abilities and personalities) LINEUP, HANDLE YOUR RACKETS IN THE SAME WAY, NOW BRUSH THE BALL!!! So the parents role become less, just mentoring.

3) 10_12yo, time to get serious, match results will show how far can they go, at the end, the world can't handle one million PRO tennis player.

Another issue, I disagree with the say it's not necessary to teach this or that, kids must learn & master everything, who knows what the future is hiding.... Maybe faster courts!
 

MeatTornado

Legend
Reality is the best volleyer in the last 10 years was like no.20 at best. This is all we know.
True.

But I think the big difference is that Pete's strength was his serve, which he used to create a lot of put away volleys. Mischa doesn't have half the serve that Pistol did, so no matter how good his volleys are, he won't be as successful playing S&V.
 

BGod

Legend
I don't have any problem with parents coaching their kids AS an early step in building their careers, my complain is with those many parents (and not because of the financial situation) who do blieve that it's easy to be done and it's not necessary to have a proper coach at all, what is tennis at the end, just serving and forehand and backhand like pro that could be learned from tennis lessons on YOUTUBE!


In my opinion this is how it should be done:
1) Early years (till 7yo), coaching by parents, mostly let them discover themselves & the game, expressing themselves NOT rushing to copy/paste the PRO!

2) 7_10yo, frequently, time for some tennis lessons by good coaches who will keep allowing them to express themselves, and coaching them based on that Not like those coaches: ALL THE KIDS (regardless of their natural abilities and personalities) LINEUP, HANDLE YOUR RACKETS IN THE SAME WAY, NOW BRUSH THE BALL!!! So the parents role become less, just mentoring.

3) 10_12yo, time to get serious, match results will show how far can they go, at the end, the world can't handle one million PRO tennis player.

Another issue, I disagree with the say it's not necessary to teach this or that, kids must learn & master everything, who knows what the future is hiding.... Maybe faster courts!
Depends on the parent's experience as a player and coach. I can coach up to a 3.5 unless the kid doesn't like the sport.

Then after that practice really helps to hone and playing up improves consistency.

A lot of parent coaches who themselves are 5-6 players have gotten their kids to a good level before getting coaching in their mid teens.

If you're talking Top 500 level it's largely God given talent or a heap of money.
 

bertrevert

Hall of Fame
The other thing to note about slowed down hardcourts is that by definition hardcourt offers a higher bouncing ball. So, in addition to more time to make a passing shot, is the ability to tee-off with topspin and get the ball down immediately over the net and onto the shoelaces of the approaching s&v player. This makes them have to volley up - which is a very diff volley from the more attacking one that comes from a horizontal-to-higher incoming ball.

Hardcourts grip a ball and slow it down, but they offer more rebound too.

Ignoring all this I have seen Sampras on grass (Queens, 2000) and he moved like a panther!

Roger perhaps paid Tsitsipas some kudos when at Hopman he said he brought something new to the match... do you reckon Tsitsipas could be that player offering some s&v mixed in?
 

droliver

Professional
Raonic has reached a Wimbledon final, his game is a pale imitation of Petes.

If Raonic can reach a Wimbledon final i'm sure a more talented serve and volleyer can go further. Like someone who can hit a proper backhand and move well.

They just don't learn serve and vollety at junior level these days.
Raonic is not really a S&V player, he's a serve-dominant power baseliner. He hits a 140+ mph 1st serve with a lot of service winners. There's a difference.
 

George Turner

Hall of Fame
Raonic is not really a S&V player, he's a serve-dominant power baseliner. He hits a 140+ mph 1st serve with a lot of service winners. There's a difference.
Raonic does try to come in sometimes, unfortunately he's not particularly skilled at that.

Considering Raonic has a high percentage of holds with his so-so game outside the serve, i imagine Sampras would have a high percentage of holds serve and volleying.
 

BGod

Legend
Pretty damn close 3 choice poll we have here.

I will ask what people think of a player who approaches on roughly 40-50% of 1st serves if they'd call them a S&V? People bringing up Raonic but I'd guess he does it maybe 20% of the time.
 

King No1e

Legend
Raonic has never served and volleyed in his life, beyond a few points. Edberg, Boris, Pete and Mac attacked on every single second serve and served and volleyed on every first serve, and most second serves.
Are you kidding me? That's all he did, especially in 2016. Just serve and rush. It was so hard to deal with because of his mental strength how reliable his serve-volley game was.

He's lost his touch since coming back from injury and become more of a boring servebot.
 

King No1e

Legend
Even 14-15 fed was enough for that crap field minus prime ATG nole...
What damage will sampras do to them!!!



Not everyone serves bombs like raomeme
I was so hyped for Raonic back in 2016, he was playing old school tennis, bold almost suicidal net rushing constantly, backed up by the infallible Missile serve, and a winners mentality. What really did it for me was the 5-set epic win over Federer at Wimbledon. I was so sure he would be a multi Slam winner and #1.
He's been a shadow of himself since he came back from the injury break.
 

Max G.

Legend
A more talented player could successfully S&V.

But why would they? If they have more talent, then they would be able to rally from the baseline and would have even more success that way. Right now the only players who play purely S&V are those who LACK the talent to hit consistent big topspin groundies.

I watched Federer make his way onto the tour. He could do anything - he could hit flat or crazy spin, S&V or baseline, topspin or slice. And as he refined his game, he figured out the best way to play modern tennis - dominate rallies with a big forehand. Sure, he did lots of other things for variety, against specific opponents. He pulls out all sorts of crazy shots when put into weird positions, when pressured, because he can do anything with the ball. But his A-game is to take control of rallies with his forehand, and that's what got him his 20 slams.

The most talented players will have a choice of how to play (since they have the talent to do whatever style they want), and they will almost all choose to play forehand-dominated baseline tennis because that's what wins the most.
 

Raindogs

Hall of Fame
I heard that Jack Sock is working on reinventing himself as a Taylor Dent style kamikaze S&V player as he's finally given up at developing a pro-caliber backhand.
 

ewiewp

Semi-Pro
I heard that Jack Sock is working on reinventing himself as a Taylor Dent style kamikaze S&V player as he's finally given up at developing a pro-caliber backhand.
That would be interesting.

I thought Jack Sock was the most gifted volleyer (maybe along with Nadal) among players at Laver Cup 2018.
 

2good4U

Professional
I heard that Jack Sock is working on reinventing himself as a Taylor Dent style kamikaze S&V player as he's finally given up at developing a pro-caliber backhand.

Can you imagine the tour full of Taylor Dents and Paul Annaclones?








Oh wait, there's already one.







It's called Doubles!:eek:
 
A more talented player could successfully S&V.

But why would they? If they have more talent, then they would be able to rally from the baseline and would have even more success that way. Right now the only players who play purely S&V are those who LACK the talent to hit consistent big topspin groundies.

I watched Federer make his way onto the tour. He could do anything - he could hit flat or crazy spin, S&V or baseline, topspin or slice. And as he refined his game, he figured out the best way to play modern tennis - dominate rallies with a big forehand. Sure, he did lots of other things for variety, against specific opponents. He pulls out all sorts of crazy shots when put into weird positions, when pressured, because he can do anything with the ball. But his A-game is to take control of rallies with his forehand, and that's what got him his 20 slams.

The most talented players will have a choice of how to play (since they have the talent to do whatever style they want), and they will almost all choose to play forehand-dominated baseline tennis because that's what wins the most.
Yup. As I mentioned in another discussion, Fed S&Ved back when his forehand wasn't yet big enough. People should maybe watch his 2000 USO match against JCF. JCF was overpowering him on the forehand side. This is the Fed who S&Ved a lot. In 2004, he made a clean break and promptly commenced his most productive phase. He used net play in general much more again in 2014/15. Why, because he was getting used to the new racquet and knew he was still searching for oomph on the groundies and besides playing Djokovic purely from the baseline was proving to be a losing proposition. It's not that S&V doesn't work. It's that it's become redundant. A lot of risk not worth taking unless you hit old style flat forehands and don't want to rally.
 
I was so hyped for Raonic back in 2016, he was playing old school tennis, bold almost suicidal net rushing constantly, backed up by the infallible Missile serve, and a winners mentality. What really did it for me was the 5-set epic win over Federer at Wimbledon. I was so sure he would be a multi Slam winner and #1.
He's been a shadow of himself since he came back from the injury break.
The epic win came ovet 1 legged fed anyways...
And servebots almost never dominate the tour as no.1
Pete had a very strong ground game, even if not fedalovic level...
 

King No1e

Legend
Any specific reasons why he got injured??
I mean servebots are generally not that much injury prone
I have no idea, my predictions before his comeback were dead wrong. I thought it would pan out like Federer's comeback since his game is really light on his body and sustainable, he just wasn't the player to burn out like Wilander or Murray who flamed out after their peaks; he was so calm and mentally solid, and didn't grind much like Nadal. It's really a mystery why he didn't recover his old level after the injury.

Raonic was more of a netrusher than classic servebot in 2015-17, he relied on more than just aces. Of course his serve would bail him out and he could be a servebot when all else failed, but for the most part he hurt opponents the most with his aggression and quick finishes at the net.
 

PMChambers

Hall of Fame
Not happening. Can be used at opportune times and the net push from mid court is still the best responce but not chip n charge regularly.
 

Sudacafan

G.O.A.T.
If peak Sampras suddenly was 21 years old, with new racket strings/frame, he would still be HUGELY successful even with these slow-as-molasses court speeds of today. No player today (except Fed pre-2003) has ever played against a relentlessly attacking player who chipped and charged on every second serve and smothered their opponents with raw aggression.
Maybe. Can’t agree or disagree here.
 
I have no idea, my predictions before his comeback were dead wrong. I thought it would pan out like Federer's comeback since his game is really light on his body and sustainable, he just wasn't the player to burn out like Wilander or Murray who flamed out after their peaks; he was so calm and mentally solid, and didn't grind much like Nadal. It's really a mystery why he didn't recover his old level after the injury.

Raonic was more of a netrusher than classic servebot in 2015-17, he relied on more than just aces. Of course his serve would bail him out and he could be a servebot when all else failed, but for the most part he hurt opponents the most with his aggression and quick finishes at the net.
Yes..
That's what kept him top10 for a long long time..... Aggressive game backed by great serve
Its still mysterious how he got injured
 

MLRoy

Hall of Fame
Sports today is all about the percentage or analytics if you prefer. As a former sport writer I was heavy on the stats and they made for good articles but it's not realistic. You cannot accurately predict nor account for a litany of variables every time. You're just hedging.

Now with regards to the energy required. Running up to the net and finishing the point off a volley is about the same as 3 maybe 4 points hit from the baseline as despite some perceptions out there you do have to move around and you have to put in more energy to hit the ball as oppose to volleying being about angles. So no, I don't think it's more tiring than a baseline game at all and Federer proved just that with his more aggressive play. Playing from the baseline typically means less breaks, if you're aggressive a double break can end a set quite quickly. Yes S&V becomes more tiring with marathon matches but if you look at the games you'll find a lot of those 5 setters back in the day were under 3 hours. Now a 5 setter is typical to hit the 4 hour mark.

Also, most S&V is done on 1st serves and depends on if you got the angle. Yeah if you got a great 2nd serve you can go in on that but that wasn't possible for a lot of players. Hitting a serve down the middle is approached less than a serve out wide.
As you wrote, 'God, stats are misleading. I KNOW serving and volleying is more tiring than playing at the baseline because I've done it.

Yes, the 5 setters were shorter in duration, "in the day", because the courts were faster/players still had a net game, so the points were shorter. I can tell you were/are a sports writer because your technical details are very clear & understandable. Peter Bodo should be unemployed (and tarred/feathered), and YOU should be getting his gigs/assignments.

What did you think of yesterday's AO matches? I enjoyed a lot of what I saw: Rafa going for his serve, finally. WHY did he need Moya to tell him?! Chris Evert saying she thought Sugarpova would retire by the end of the year; next minute Maria's serving a double-bagel, like an experienced "deliteusse"...! My biggest shock: Murray can still run down balls but can't hit winners. Wouldn't hip probs necessitate the need to go for it? Well, happy new year.
 
Yes, if someone happens to have a top serve and a top volley, and a strong ground game at the same time.

Raomug lacks the latter, that's why he lost against Pouille.
Worse, he did not maximize his serves, even when Pouille was zoning. I never saw Sampras, Krajicek, Becker or Ivanisevic slowed down their serves, they still hit bombs and aimed for aces while following them to the net.
Raonic used Edberg's approach (slowing down serves) but did not have Edberg-tier volleys, that's why he lost. His serves slowed down, and thus were not enough for a zoning Pouille who used 2hbh (unlike Waw) and returned close to the baseline (unlike Z). Had he still hit bombs like Sampras, he could have had a chance.

Sad fact: the only guy you can bet on is Tsitsipas, and only on grass, if he fixes his serves to maximize his serve potential.
 
You'd bash up the next-gen players and servebots on the tour, but you'd lose handily to Murray (assuming he was in the picture), Djokovic and Nadal.
 

BGod

Legend
As you wrote, 'God, stats are misleading. I KNOW serving and volleying is more tiring than playing at the baseline because I've done it.

Yes, the 5 setters were shorter in duration, "in the day", because the courts were faster/players still had a net game, so the points were shorter. I can tell you were/are a sports writer because your technical details are very clear & understandable. Peter Bodo should be unemployed (and tarred/feathered), and YOU should be getting his gigs/assignments.

What did you think of yesterday's AO matches? I enjoyed a lot of what I saw: Rafa going for his serve, finally. WHY did he need Moya to tell him?! Chris Evert saying she thought Sugarpova would retire by the end of the year; next minute Maria's serving a double-bagel, like an experienced "deliteusse"...! My biggest shock: Murray can still run down balls but can't hit winners. Wouldn't hip probs necessitate the need to go for it? Well, happy new year.
I think this whole AO has been pretty amazing for matches up until these last 2 rounds which is sad. Thanks for kind words btw.

Yes, if someone happens to have a top serve and a top volley, and a strong ground game at the same time.

Raomug lacks the latter, that's why he lost against Pouille.
Worse, he did not maximize his serves, even when Pouille was zoning. I never saw Sampras, Krajicek, Becker or Ivanisevic slowed down their serves, they still hit bombs and aimed for aces while following them to the net.
Raonic used Edberg's approach (slowing down serves) but did not have Edberg-tier volleys, that's why he lost. His serves slowed down, and thus were not enough for a zoning Pouille who used 2hbh (unlike Waw) and returned close to the baseline (unlike Z). Had he still hit bombs like Sampras, he could have had a chance.

Sad fact: the only guy you can bet on is Tsitsipas, and only on grass, if he fixes his serves to maximize his serve potential.
Most S&V guys were prone to upsets though, so Raonic being off a tad he just collapsed. Sampras was a massive anomaly for how consistent he was really. I mean, Edberg never won more than 1 Slam in a season and lost 5 matches in the first 2 rounds during his contending years. Becker was a bit more consistent but still got upset here and there.

I agree Raonic needs to be more like Goran and go for more aces. Players these days are too afraid to get DFs. I mean, you should be comfortable going for a massive 2nd serve at least twice in a service game.
 
Becker was a bit more consistent but still got upset here and there.
Becker was sufficiently consistent in Wimbledon (and on grass generally), only got upset once. On indoor he was also sufficiently consistent. On hard court, I agree, but also because he had motivation and personal issues for much of the early 1990s.
Probably the reason was that he and Sampras also had strong ground game.

Edberg never won more than 1 Slam in a season and lost 5 matches in the first 2 rounds during his contending years.
And even then until 1993, Edberg was consistent by 1990s standard (although not by late 1980s standard)

Most S&V guys were prone to upsets though, so Raonic being off a tad he just collapsed.
They need sufficiently high 1st serve percentage, at the minimum.
 

daddy

Legend
It's a neverending thread and the answer is always the same. You do know that the medical definition of insanity is doing the same thing and expecting different outcome ? So asking the same question and expecting a different answer is right up there imo.
 
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