Greatest All Time Serve and Volleyer

Who is the greatest all time serve and volleyer?

  • Jack Kramer

    Votes: 3 1.4%
  • Pancho Gonzalez

    Votes: 9 4.2%
  • John Newcombe

    Votes: 1 0.5%
  • John McEnroe

    Votes: 58 27.1%
  • Stefan Edberg

    Votes: 78 36.4%
  • Frank Sedgman

    Votes: 1 0.5%
  • Pete Sampras

    Votes: 64 29.9%

  • Total voters
    214

TMF

Talk Tennis Guru
TMF, I know you love to defend this era but please, it's about the best serve and volleyers. Just try to discuss serve and volleyers who were great and discuss it here. Please don't argue your usual points because you can argue that in every thread here. It gets a bit tedious.

If I started a greatest two handed backhand thread I wouldn't be talking about the past as much. Probably a good percentage of the best two handed shots would be in recent times, not fifty years. So why are you arguing for greatest serve and volleyers for the recent times when players just don't serve and volley anymore? It doesn't make sense to me.
It's also pointless to discuss when you post something that has nothing to do with this this thread.
...compared to TMF and Fedrulz´s choice for best S&V ever, LLodra, it seems a big achievement...huhmmmm
No one mention Llordra is the greatest s/v. Please don't argue over something that no one made a claim.
 

Limpinhitter

G.O.A.T.
It's also pointless to discuss when you post something that has nothing to do with this this thread.


No one mention Llordra is the greatest s/v. Please don't argue over something that no one made a claim.
C'mon, PMS! Just say it! You think Federer is the all time greatest serve & volleyer. Just say it! You'll feel better! We will all continue to think you're a clueless fanboy. But, you'll feel better!
 

kiki

Banned
4 great S&V players: Laver, Roche, McEnroe, and Edberg.

Laver vs. Roche in the '69 AO SF

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wHaN2h21ANs

McEnroe vs, Edberg, '87 WCT SF

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vR34uNEEEEY
Yes, I guess so over the last 40 years or 45 years¡¡¡.Rafter was good but not at their level.as much as I liked Panatta,Gerulaitis,Ashe,Smith,Nasty,Newcombe,Curren,Kriek,Cash,Tanner,krajicek,Stich,Sampras,Pecci, and some others, the final response is this: I´ve seen them all and I have seen them live.And Roche,Mac,Edberg and Laver stand apart.Period.
 

kiki

Banned
C'mon, PMS! Just say it! You think Federer is the all time greatest serve & volleyer. Just say it! You'll feel better! We will all continue to think you're a clueless fanboy. But, you'll feel better!
Oh¡¡¡ don´t be so cruel on TMF.remember¡¡ he is the last member of the staining club¡¡¡ and, since he´s never seen anybody S&V under old conditions, I mean, under Connors´s returns, Borg´s Passing Shots and Lendl´s or Becker´s bankrupt shots...if Fed had to even imagine that, he´d be crying louder and louder than in his AO defeat¡¡¡
 

kiki

Banned
a post by TMF,Fedrulz,Apmerk or Abmk,5555 and Drakulie in this particular thread looks as strange a Santorum come back and win overwhelming over the Mormon Profet¡¡¡
 

kiki

Banned
Tony Roche playing s/v in this era he would be another journeyman and might not even be as good as LLodra. That should be a surprise because since the conditions is not suit for s/v.
Jajajajaja..did you ever see Roche life...I mean, LIFE¡¡¡ I CAN THINK OF VERY, VERY BAD THINGS ABOUT HIM...BUT , BELIEVE ME, JOURNEYMAN WOULD BE THE LAST, ABSOLUTELY THE LAST THING I WOULD SAY ABOUT ROCHE...AND COMPARED TO LLODRA...I JUST CAN´T, IT IS BEYOND MY HUMAN CAPABILITIES, TO EVEN THINK ABOUT ROCHE AND LLODRA BEING IN THE SAME HUMAN PLANET.
 

pc1

G.O.A.T.
It's also pointless to discuss when you post something that has nothing to do with this this thread.
Well I was just trying to discuss your post with you. Anyway post what you want. That's fine with me.

Anyway back to the topic. Subban mentioned that Patrick Rafter should be here and he definitely was a superb serve and volleyer. I enjoyed his game. He had pretty good groundies and he was always trying to approach the net if possible. I don't think he put away as many volleys as Edberg or McEnroe to name two great volleyers but he was excellent and he did cover the net superbly.
 

kiki

Banned
Well I was just trying to discuss your post with you. Anyway post what you want. That's fine with me.

Anyway back to the topic. Subban mentioned that Patrick Rafter should be here and he definitely was a superb serve and volleyer. I enjoyed his game. He had pretty good groundies and he was always trying to approach the net if possible. I don't think he put away as many volleys as Edberg or McEnroe to name two great volleyers but he was excellent and he did cover the net superbly.
Rafter was not an artist of S&V like mac or Edberg.great player, but not on the same level.and never had to face hitters like Borg,Connors,Lendl,Wilander,Becker...just Agassi, but that´s it¡¡¡
 

robow7

Professional
Rafter may have been somewhat short lived but during his brief time, he was a helluva volley guy. He won two US Opens with not much else, no huge serve, no huge groundies and he had to compete with guys named Sampras and Agassi. I think he was an artist and just a damn nice guy with his head on straight. A throw back to the Aussie gentlemen of the earlier generation. Watch some of his tape during those two US open runs and he looks damn near unbeatable, and so quick that not many could blanket the net the way he could.
 

kiki

Banned
In terms of covering the net, I agree Rafter was as good as anybody else, and better than most.

I just think his volleys were not just at Mac´s , Roche´s or Stefan´s level, although he was an excellent volleyer, specially off the FH
 

gregor.b

Professional
I was reading the Edberg GOAT thread and a number of people compared John McEnroe's volley to Edberg's. I thought it might be fun to see who all of you think is the greatest serve and volleyer ever. It's a dying breed but it's often fun to see a great serve and volleyer at work.

Some choices may be Jack Kramer, Pancho Gonzalez, John Newcombe, Stefan Edberg, John McEnroe, Frank Sedgman and Pete Sampras.
Apparently there was this bloke named Pat Rafter. He wasn't a great server but could volley a bit.
 

gregor.b

Professional
In terms of covering the net, I agree Rafter was as good as anybody else, and better than most.

I just think his volleys were not just at Mac´s , Roche´s or Stefan´s level, although he was an excellent volleyer, specially off the FH
His coverage was probably as good if not better,but they invented these things called poly strings. Apparently, they changed the game a little bit. It is a little harder to volley the ball when there is up to 3000 rpm ( and sometimes more) of topspin on it.
 

TMF

Talk Tennis Guru
C'mon, PMS! Just say it! You think Federer is the all time greatest serve & volleyer. Just say it! You'll feel better! We will all continue to think you're a clueless fanboy. But, you'll feel better!
Sorry I don't reach your(and kiki) low level. I'm objective, that's the difference.
 

abmk

Bionic Poster
a post by TMF,Fedrulz,Apmerk or Abmk,5555 and Drakulie in this particular thread looks as strange a Santorum come back and win overwhelming over the Mormon Profet¡¡¡
And all of your points time and again showcase your cluelessness to the T .... But go ahead and continue to embarrass yourself ......
 

abmk

Bionic Poster
His coverage was probably as good if not better,but they invented these things called poly strings. Apparently, they changed the game a little bit. It is a little harder to volley the ball when there is up to 3000 rpm ( and sometimes more) of topspin on it.
nah, that and all doesn't matter to clueless kiki. Even a journeyman of Laver-Rosewall era is better at almost everything than any other player from any other era
 

Azzurri

Legend
Jajajajaja..did you ever see Roche life...I mean, LIFE¡¡¡ I CAN THINK OF VERY, VERY BAD THINGS ABOUT HIM...BUT , BELIEVE ME, JOURNEYMAN WOULD BE THE LAST, ABSOLUTELY THE LAST THING I WOULD SAY ABOUT ROCHE...AND COMPARED TO LLODRA...I JUST CAN´T, IT IS BEYOND MY HUMAN CAPABILITIES, TO EVEN THINK ABOUT ROCHE AND LLODRA BEING IN THE SAME HUMAN PLANET.
extremely unaware of anything related to Tennis more than 2-3 years ago. you just need to put him on your ignore list.
 

kiki

Banned
nah, that and all doesn't matter to clueless kiki. Even a journeyman of Laver-Rosewall era is better at almost everything than any other player from any other era
it depends on who you consider a journeyman¡¡¡
 

kiki

Banned
extremely unaware of anything related to Tennis more than 2-3 years ago. you just need to put him on your ignore list.

This thread should be restricted to, maximum 10-12 regular posters, who watched Golden Era tennis...the rest, is just BS
 

kiki

Banned
Sorry I don't reach your(and kiki) low level. I'm objective, that's the difference.
Yes, you are the most objective poster in this forum...because, the only OBJECT of your postings is the Switzerland´s beauty
 
Well I was just trying to discuss your post with you. Anyway post what you want. That's fine with me.

Anyway back to the topic. Subban mentioned that Patrick Rafter should be here and he definitely was a superb serve and volleyer. I enjoyed his game. He had pretty good groundies and he was always trying to approach the net if possible. I don't think he put away as many volleys as Edberg or McEnroe to name two great volleyers but he was excellent and he did cover the net superbly.
How can you not add Patrick Rafter on this survey? The last true serve and volleyer in the modern era of Power Tennis. Even though is gs are low with only 2, he is still an all time great and tremendous serve and volleyer.
agreed ! pat definitely deserves to be in the poll despite having won "only" 2 slams... him and edberg have been my favorite "true S&V players". :)
 

pc1

G.O.A.T.
agreed ! pat definitely deserves to be in the poll despite having won "only" 2 slams... him and edberg have been my favorite "true S&V players". :)
Since I started the poll, the problem is that often you don't have room in the poll or simply forget about some players. I tend not to have polls put in now because of that. In this case I either forgot about Rafter or just didn't have room for him. In any rate, while I respect Rafter as an excellent serve and volleyer I don't believe there is any way he can be the greatest serve and volleyer of all time. Still given the choice I would probably put Rafter down as one of the picks for people in the forums for this topic.
 
Since I started the poll, the problem is that often you don't have room in the poll or simply forget about some players. I tend not to have polls put in now because of that. In this case I either forgot about Rafter or just didn't have room for him. In any rate, while I respect Rafter as an excellent serve and volleyer I don't believe there is any way he can be the greatest serve and volleyer of all time. Still given the choice I would probably put Rafter down as one of the picks for people in the forums for this topic.
no problem, your thread is a great topic... i just wanted to add another tribute to one of my all time favs. ;)
 

pc1

G.O.A.T.
no problem, your thread is a great topic... i just wanted to add another tribute to one of my all time favs. ;)
No problem. Rafter was not only an excellent serve and volleyer but he wasn't that bad on the baseline either when he was at his peak. He was fun to watch and I loved his matches with Agassi. I was very disappointed when he retired so early.
 

Xavier G

Professional
I don't go as far back as Gonzales and Kramer, or Laver either. I'm sure they were great. Mac is the best I've seen.
 

kiki

Banned
PRIOR TO 1968

FirstTier:Kramer,Sedgman,Gonzales,Borotra

SecondTier:Hoad,Fraser,Schroeder,Mc Gregor

Third Tier: Savitt,Olmedo,Trabert,Fraser/Emmo

FROM 1968

First Tier:Roche,Mc Enroe,Edberg,Laver

SecondTier:Cash,Sampras,Newcombe,Rafter

Third Tier:panatta,Stich,Becker,Gottfried

FourthTier:Krajicek,Gerulaitis,Pecci,Alexander/Tanner

I saw all players from 1968 on and also Emerson and Fraser before 1968.The others, I based on some clips and opinions by the great jounralists like Tingay,Danzig, Bellamy,Tinling,Amdur et al.
 

ultradr

Legend
Sampras wasn't really pure S&Ver. His volley was a bit of weakness during
1st half of career when he played baseline a lot and won many points with
his forehand. He relied more on volleys for the 2nd half of his career.

He was initially a baseliner with huge serve in terms of 1990's tennis.
He was a pure baseliner during junior days and by the time he debut as pro
his serve grew big and started to volley but he showed he lacked experiences in volleying.
Young Safin exactly reminded people of young Sampras, for example.


It's his phenomenal success at Wimbledon on classic, ball skidding, true grass courts that
often paints him as a serve and volleyer for general public. But some people
dubbed it as a great acting job, he pretended he was a great S&Ver. His volley
was more of simple blocking, though very atheletic, placement volley. He didn't
volley agressively like McEnroe, Edberg who make actual damage with their volleys.

He was the only true all courter, that I know, who really spanned both baseline game and S&V throughout his career.
 
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kiki

Banned
Those that have seen Roche live in a good day have few doubts he belongs to the Mc Enroe and Edberg league.I put Laver a bit behind those 3 and Sampras,Becker,Newcombe,Stich,Cash and Rafter a bit behind the Rocket.

Of course, refeered to Open Tennis.there are guys like Kramer,Sedgman,Hoad,Fraser,maybe Emmo that could rivalize with the great S&V players of open era.
 

kiki

Banned
:cry:
Those that have seen Roche live in a good day have few doubts he belongs to the Mc Enroe and Edberg league.I put Laver a bit behind those 3 and Sampras,Becker,Newcombe,Stich,Cash and Rafter a bit behind the Rocket.

Of course, refeered to Open Tennis.there are guys like Kramer,Sedgman,Hoad,Fraser,maybe Emmo that could rivalize with the great S&V players of open era.
Did I forget mentioning Borotra and Gonzales??? I am getting old
 

slowfox

Professional
Although Edberg is my favorite player, I voted for McEnroe. I just think Mac was able to create some insanely good volleys from anywhere on the court. The improvisation was incredible.

Edberg was totally awesome with a Terminator-like tenacity, just charging the net over and over. I vaguely recall an Edberg-Becker match in Cincinnati (?) late 80s. Edberg was near perfect with his serve & volley game that day. Becker had no answer.
 

madhavan

New User
Rosewall needs to be in these lists as an absolutely top class volleyer (without a dominant serve also). In the late 60s/early 70s, his volleying was considered second only to Roche and at least the equal of Laver.
 

madhavan

New User
Should have been more precise - Rosewall's peak was in the early 60s (maybe late 50s too), but he was still deadly early into the 70s.
 

pc1

G.O.A.T.
By the way guys, it's the all time greatest serve and volleyers so if a player like a Newcombe has a great serve (and he was considered by many to have the best serve in his day) plus a excellent volley it may surpass a player with merely a good serve and a superb volley.

Sampras may not have the volley of some players that were mentioned but he is had a serve comparable to anyone's so it would allow him to perhaps have some easier volleys than for example an Edberg with whom I believe had a better volley but an inferior serve to Sampras.
 

kiki

Banned
Rosewall needs to be in these lists as an absolutely top class volleyer (without a dominant serve also). In the late 60s/early 70s, his volleying was considered second only to Roche and at least the equal of Laver.

Rosewall´s volley was of rare control, precision and his backswing was terrific.Short and straight.This thread is about S&V and not just volley.Compared to a great era of S&V´ers, he´d be mean, but if somebody today watched Rosewall S&V, would have a faint
 

Limpinhitter

G.O.A.T.
Rosewall needs to be in these lists as an absolutely top class volleyer (without a dominant serve also). In the late 60s/early 70s, his volleying was considered second only to Roche and at least the equal of Laver.
It's not a "volleyer" poll. It's a "serve & volley" poll. That should explain why Rosewall isn't in it. Further, as great as Rosewall was overall, his volleying was never greater than Gonzales' or Emerson's volleying either.
 

Limpinhitter

G.O.A.T.
By the way guys, it's the all time greatest serve and volleyers so if a player like a Newcombe has a great serve (and he was considered by many to have the best serve in his day) plus a excellent volley it may surpass a player with merely a good serve and a superb volley.

Sampras may not have the volley of some players that were mentioned but he is had a serve comparable to anyone's so it would allow him to perhaps have some easier volleys than for example an Edberg with whom I believe had a better volley but an inferior serve to Sampras.
Sampras was a pretty great volleyer, if not an all time great. But, yes, his serve made net play a whole lot easier, and he was one of the all time quickest most explosive athletes of all time as well.
 

pc1

G.O.A.T.
As for pure S & V it's Kramer, he invented the Big Game and if not for going pro at the peak of his powers in 47 would have won a bunch more slams.....go watch some of the old vids of the pro tour back then playing on indoor wood floors or pure cement - freaking lighting fast - Kramer is considered still to have one of the biggest serves, forehand and forehand volley ever. Guy would come in on everything, every point every time. Amazing.
People forget that Kramer was considered to have one of the greatest, if not the greatest serving game of all time. His second serve was legendary and he was considered a great volleyer.
 

kiki

Banned
People forget that Kramer was considered to have one of the greatest, if not the greatest serving game of all time. His second serve was legendary and he was considered a great volleyer.
The father of % tennis and the father of big game.big forehand, too.The real first pro ever..and a man whose legacy remains unequalled.He was, like Tilden, an ideologue of the game.he was like tyhe Marx or Smith of tennis to use some political examples.He even had the time to found the ATP¡¡¡ As they say, if Kramer hadn´t existed, you should have invented him.
 

pc1

G.O.A.T.
The father of % tennis and the father of big game.big forehand, too.The real first pro ever..and a man whose legacy remains unequalled.He was, like Tilden, an ideologue of the game.he was like tyhe Marx or Smith of tennis to use some political examples.He even had the time to found the ATP¡¡¡ As they say, if Kramer hadn´t existed, you should have invented him.
It's a shame people have forgotten about Kramer. He is considered by some to be the best ever. He was known, like Pancho Gonzalez for his unbreakable serve. Some have said that he won more matches on one break than anyone. Obviously that can't be proved but it does show that observers thought highly of his ability to hold serve.
 

kiki

Banned
It's a shame people have forgotten about Kramer. He is considered by some to be the best ever. He was known, like Pancho Gonzalez for his unbreakable serve. Some have said that he won more matches on one break than anyone. Obviously that can't be proved but it does show that observers thought highly of his ability to hold serve.
Even if he is an all time great, I think he´ll go to history as a true precursor and an innovator, that left his mark on many aspects of the modern game.He also had a big ego, which is the main reason he was the best player in the inmediate post war and well into the middle 50´s ( in the pros )
 

Azzurri

Legend
Sampras wasn't really pure S&Ver. His volley was a bit of weakness during
1st half of career when he played baseline a lot and won many points with
his forehand. He relied more on volleys for the 2nd half of his career.

He was initially a baseliner with huge serve in terms of 1990's tennis.
He was a pure baseliner during junior days and by the time he debut as pro
his serve grew big and started to volley but he showed he lacked experiences in volleying.
Young Safin exactly reminded people of young Sampras, for example.


It's his phenomenal success at Wimbledon on classic, ball skidding, true grass courts that
often paints him as a serve and volleyer for general public. But some people
dubbed it as a great acting job, he pretended he was a great S&Ver. His volley
was more of simple blocking, though very atheletic, placement volley. He didn't
volley agressively like McEnroe, Edberg who make actual damage with their volleys.

He was the only true all courter, that I know, who really spanned both baseline game and S&V throughout his career.
1. Sampras was never a weak volleyr during his pro career. any chance you watched a single match from 1990 US Open??

2. He relied on his volleys towards end of his career to save his body...not because he somehow got "better" at volleying..absurd. He clearly stated that many times. It was simply better style for him to play during the last 4 years or so of his career.

3. He was never, ever a baseliner. He was an all-court players. PERIOD.

4. You are so incorrect about his serve it's comical. He DID NOT have a big serve when he came into tennis as a pro. His serve began to boom just a few months before the US Open. The serve many Pete know him for was not there when he joined the pro tour.

5. Safin...seriously? You cannot be serious. Only thing that reminded people was young and powerful. Their games were completely different.

6. His volleys were often much further back into the court than Edberg/Mac...just different that's all. Mac and Edberg basically relied on S&V while as you noted Sampras was an all-courter. His strength was he was terrific all over the court and that is why he won so many majors.
 

pc1

G.O.A.T.
1. Sampras was never a weak volleyr during his pro career. any chance you watched a single match from 1990 US Open??

2. He relied on his volleys towards end of his career to save his body...not because he somehow got "better" at volleying..absurd. He clearly stated that many times. It was simply better style for him to play during the last 4 years or so of his career.

3. He was never, ever a baseliner. He was an all-court players. PERIOD.

4. You are so incorrect about his serve it's comical. He DID NOT have a big serve when he came into tennis as a pro. His serve began to boom just a few months before the US Open. The serve many Pete know him for was not there when he joined the pro tour.

5. Safin...seriously? You cannot be serious. Only thing that reminded people was young and powerful. Their games were completely different.

6. His volleys were often much further back into the court than Edberg/Mac...just different that's all. Mac and Edberg basically relied on S&V while as you noted Sampras was an all-courter. His strength was he was terrific all over the court and that is why he won so many majors.
Have to agree with every point.
 

Merger5

New User
Sampras is most athletic player I have ever seen and volleying requires an extreme amount of athleticism. It also require superb reflexes and great technique; perhaps Edberg, maybe Mac, Cash (for how low he used to get by bending his knees), and few others have more 'textbook' volleying technique but Sampras still has great technique. In addition he has greater athleticism than all of them (even Edberg or Laver).
 
You are so incorrect about his serve it's comical. He DID NOT have a big serve when he came into tennis as a pro. His serve began to boom just a few months before the US Open. The serve many Pete know him for was not there when he joined the pro tour.
It was certainly there when he beat Wilander at the '89 USO, he got a lot of aces & service winners that day. And he served & volleyed on every serve(came in 161 times)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gA60Bko0Fjw

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-amqDjoO2eA
 

pmerk34

Legend
Should have been more precise - Rosewall's peak was in the early 60s (maybe late 50s too), but he was still deadly early into the 70s.
Except when Connors beat him (even though Ken made the finals). then it's of course Connors beat Rosewall like a drum. Rosewall was 39!
 
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