Decent baseline exchange vs. serve/voley - what is your prefference?

Decent baseline exchange vs. serve/voley - what is your prefference?


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Tennisgods

Hall of Fame
I keep hearing how the game Djokovic and to a point Nadal have is boring/grinding... etc. Having watched tennis since the early 80s and having witnessed several tennis eras, I have to say that I by far prefer a decent baseline exchange (mixed up with occasional serve/volley as both mentioned players are not just baseliners), than just a serve/volley style of play. To me, serve/volley breaks up a match too much, with more time spent by players walking back from the net to the line to serve than actually playing. After a while, this becomes quite boring, to be honest. But, that is just my preference. What is yours and why?
Great question, was watching some late 80’s tennis the other day and loved the passing shots and volleys. Probably my preference overall, but actually watching either style all the time would definitely get a bit monotonous.

A bit more variety on courts around the world would be nice, surely they can speed a few up (I mean by a lot!) to encourage S&V.
 

King No1e

G.O.A.T.
I wouldn't say Tsonga was at the net more than Safin.
Depends on the surface and the period of his career, but Tsonga was very strong coming forward and he did it a lot in his prime. More than Safin (who, like you mention, was no slouch either.)
 

skaj

Legend
Depends on the surface and the period of his career, but Tsonga was very strong coming forward and he did it a lot in his prime. More than Safin (who, like you mention, was no slouch either.)
I don't know, I think they were up there about equally often.
 

King No1e

G.O.A.T.
I don't know, I think they were up there about equally often.
I don't recall seeing Safin up at net that often (although i do recall him being very skilled when he did).
Well, any excuse to rewatch Safin matches is a good excuse!
 

mental midget

Hall of Fame
depends on the players. those edberg/becker wimby finals were a lot of fun--almost all s&v but the game was athletic, still plenty of variety, and every point just felt important. but i also get a kick out of a 5 hr 5 set baseline slugfest just for the spectacle of it. i guess i'd say, no real preference as long as the level is high.
 

Daniel Andrade

Hall of Fame
Old Fed and modern era players made the mistake of slowing down serve speed when attempting S&V, but without Rafter/Edberg huge kick. To be fair, Fed serrve declined a lot compared to even 2019.

Sampras/Becker... and 2003 Fed hit fast/big serves to S&V.
When I serve big for S&V I feel like the ball comes back faster than usual and I end up having to volley in the middle of the court. So I serve a bit slower so I can havê enough time to volley in the service box.
 
When I serve big for S&V I feel like the ball comes back faster than usual and I end up having to volley in the middle of the court.
In Singles play, S&V does not always mean a big serve followed by a +1 Put away volley.

S&V usually means, big serve, followed by a +1 mid court volley deep into a corner, then close in on the net and angle the +2 volley away from the receiver for a winner.

Guys like Edberg and Rafter utilised huge kick serves to nail +1 volley winners.

McEnroe had his huge lefty can opener and cat like reflexes (along with really soft tennis hands) to nail +1 volley winners.

But most of us mere mortals should be going after our 1st Serve, moving towards the net and hitting the +1 volley from mid court (service line area) with the intention of pressuring the opponent so that we can put away the +2 volley.
 

skaj

Legend
I disagree. I think decent makes him justice.
I don't see how. His net approach is poorly planned too often, movement around the net rather clumsy, he looks like he doesn’t know what he is doing most of the time. His hands are stiff when volleying and the technique is mediocre at best. I don’t think I need to comment on his overheads.
 

skaj

Legend
Decent baseline exchange.
Clijsters Capriati RG 2001 final style. For some reason, those exchanges stick around in my mind.
Graf - Seles exchanges come to mind too - Steffi pounding hard off her forehand, Monica both off her forehand and backhand, then the German running down powerful and accurate balls coming from the other side of the net, and hitting her mean slice, while her opponent is super focus and goes for her every shot as if it is her last.
 

Devtennis01

G.O.A.T.
Graf - Seles exchanges come to mind too - Steffi pounding hard off her forehand, Monica both off her forehand and backhand, then the German running down powerful and accurate balls coming from the other side of the net, and hitting her mean slice, while her opponent is super focus and goes for her every shot as if it is her last.
Yes, those rallies always come back to me, too. I like putting on the RG 92 final and just enjoying those rallies.
 

ibbi

Legend
A mix is best. The late 70s through the 80s, in other words. You don't want too much of one or the other in an ideal world. If forced simply to watch one again and again and again then I'd absolutely take baseline tennis exclusively over serve and volley.

Your title specifies a 'decent baseline exchange', and I don't know what you mean by that, but two baseliners head to head leaves a lot more room for variety of play. Not that I have a problem with two S&V guys going at it. It has its own shootout sort of charm, and it certainly goes quicker :-D but if it gets like it got in the 90s then it can be pretty dull after a while.
 

Bubcay

Professional
A mix is best. The late 70s through the 80s, in other words. You don't want too much of one or the other in an ideal world. If forced simply to watch one again and again and again then I'd absolutely take baseline tennis exclusively over serve and volley.

Your title specifies a 'decent baseline exchange', and I don't know what you mean by that, but two baseliners head to head leaves a lot more room for variety of play. Not that I have a problem with two S&V guys going at it. It has its own shootout sort of charm, and it certainly goes quicker :-D but if it gets like it got in the 90s then it can be pretty dull after a while.
By 'decent' I meant 'mixed up', the way Rafa and Novak play most of the time. Exciting ball hitting, good serve, aggression on most points, not passive ball bashing, overall good cross court coverage, if you know what I mean.
 

skaj

Legend
Yes, those rallies always come back to me, too. I like putting on the RG 92 final and just enjoying those rallies.
Baseline exchanges can be fun to watch actually, if the players are smart and skillful ball-strikers.
For example:
Rios - Agassi
Davenport - Clijsters
Safin - Nalbandian
Myskina - Henin
Mecir - Lendl
 
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