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

kiki

Banned
my god you are absolutely intolerable. I have placed you on my ignore list. have a nice life you weird, weird dude. guys from the 50's...as if you saw a single player from that era.
azurri, you certainly don´t want to look as clueless and unmature as Fedrulz,TMF,abmk,Djokovictowin..do you?

I think you have a bit of knowledge of tennis inside...don´t throw it away
 

joe sch

Legend
I opted for Mac since he did it soo well in both singles and doubles. For a baseline singles SV game to copy, I would suggest Edberg.
 

abmk

Bionic Poster
azurri, you certainly don´t want to look as clueless and unmature as Fedrulz,TMF,abmk,Djokovictowin..do you?

I think you have a bit of knowledge of tennis inside...don´t throw it away
look, who's talking ......

the walking talking representation of cluelessness and hypocrisy : Kiki

someone who didn't know Graf won THE GS in 88

someone who says Kodes is in the same league as Vines

.......

Keep on going. You'll just get embarrassed everywhere by me , considering you are that clueless
 

abmk

Bionic Poster
Mac is definitely a S&V goat candidate. But, your observation of Mac doesn't really distinguish him from the vast majority of male players from about 1950-1990. They all sought to end points at the net. And some were, arguably, even better at it than Mac. What made Mac so great was his natural talent, athleticism and eye hand coordination. He was also a great and underrated backcourt player, BTW.
no, they weren't. I've heard arguments for Sedgeman having the finest FH volley and Roche the finest BH volley , but that's about it...

Overall no one was better at volleying from 1950-80 than Mac ..

and mac was an unusual player from the baseline .... decent yes ..... great from the baseline, hell no ....
 

pc1

G.O.A.T.
no, they weren't. I've heard arguments for Sedgeman having the finest FH volley and Roche the finest BH volley , but that's about it...

Overall no one was better at volleying from 1950-80 than Mac ..

and mac was an unusual player from the baseline .... decent yes ..... great from the baseline, hell no ....
It's hard to say. I've read a lot about Sedgman's unbelievable volleying in the 1950's. They said he was super quick at the net and according to Jack Kramer any volley Sedgman could put his racquet on was almost always a putaway. Kramer himself was also great at the net.

Obviously there were a lot of great volleyers in those days simply because net play was used more by far than it is today. I've seen Rosewall hit winning angle backhand volleys after the ball was slightly passed him a number of times. It seemed so easy and under control. I haven't see that since.

I have a question to ask all of you. The thread is a SERVE and volley thread. If you have a great serve it's certainly easily to hit a volley. I'd rather have a great serve and a good volley instead of a good serve and a great volley. So the question is "Who has the best serves among the great serve and volleyers?" In this case I would go with Gonzalez along with Sampras, Newcombe and Kramer. McEnroe is up there also.

Edberg and Sedgman, while they had good serves weren't of the level of the others. Lots of GREAT servers here. Kramer, Newcombe and Sampras were also famous for their great second serves. Segura I believe once said that Jack Kramer won more sets with one break than anyone he had ever seen. I don't know if that's true but it says a lot for Jack Kramer.
 
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GregHenley

New User
Great comparison

Boarders-

I saw both in person. The best comparison match might be their Wimbledon SF when Edberg was at his peak and McEnroe was far off his.

McEnroe was better. Much faster--miraculous even--reflexes, more well rounded game, more complete serve, better groundies. Plus....just more fun to watch.

The one thing he had was HARDER volleys. John's could get too soft at times. Edberg's, like Sampras' were always hammmered!

Greg
 

Limpinhitter

G.O.A.T.
no, they weren't. I've heard arguments for Sedgeman having the finest FH volley and Roche the finest BH volley , but that's about it...

Overall no one was better at volleying from 1950-80 than Mac ..

and mac was an unusual player from the baseline .... decent yes ..... great from the baseline, hell no ....
This from one who thinks that DelPotro, Soderling and Nalbandian are great clay court players. You have no idea what you're talking about. "Overall," you know nothing about tennis, now, or in the past. I've seen Mac play live up close. I've also seen Ken Rosewall, Rod Laver, Roy Emerson, Tony Roche, John Newcombe, Stan Smith, Ilie Nastase and many more great serve and volleyer's play live, up close. What have you seen?
 

abmk

Bionic Poster
This from one who thinks that DelPotro, Soderling and Nalbandian are great clay court players. You have no idea what you're talking about. "Overall," you know nothing about tennis, now, or in the past. I've seen Mac play live up close. I've also seen Ken Rosewall, Rod Laver, Roy Emerson, Tony Roche, John Newcombe, Stan Smith, Ilie Nastase and many more great serve and volleyer's play live, up close. What have you seen?
Firstly, stop mis-representing my statement. I only said delpo, soderling, nalbandian were capable of very high level of tennis on clay ......but then coming from a guy who says Rosewall hit a 80 mph slice, this is rich :lol:

I've seen quite a few full matches of these players - rosewall, laver, roche, newcombe, smith etc .......

all great volleyers, but who was considered to better than mac at the net ??
 

Limpinhitter

G.O.A.T.
Boarders-

I saw both in person. The best comparison match might be their Wimbledon SF when Edberg was at his peak and McEnroe was far off his.

McEnroe was better. Much faster--miraculous even--reflexes, more well rounded game, more complete serve, better groundies. Plus....just more fun to watch.

The one thing he had was HARDER volleys. John's could get too soft at times. Edberg's, like Sampras' were always hammmered!

Greg
I would give Mac quicker reflexes at the net and on return of serve. Edberg was a bigger, stronger, more explosive athlete, and he had a better backhand, although Mac had a great backhand, too.
 

Limpinhitter

G.O.A.T.
Firstly, stop mis-representing my statement. I only said delpo, soderling, nalbandian were capable of very high level of tennis on clay ......but then coming from a guy who says Rosewall hit a 80 mph slice, this is rich :lol:

I've seen quite a few full matches of these players - rosewall, laver, roche, newcombe, smith etc .......

all great volleyers, but who was considered to better than mac at the net ??
You're a fool. I've proven my arguments, all of them. You've seen full matches? When, where? I'm guessing you're about 17 years old. I've got ties older than you.
 

abmk

Bionic Poster
You're a fool. I've proven my arguments, all of them. You've seen full matches? When, where? I'm guessing you're about 17 years old. I've got ties older than you.
you can keep guessing. You do realise full matches are available on video ?????? or are you living in ancient age of no videos available in public ? :lol:

None of that answers my query btw ...... Who in that period was considered to be better than mac at the net ( I already mentioned roche was considered to have the finest BH volley and Sedgeman the finest FH volley ) , but I am asking overall ??????? Enlighten all of us :)

what exactly have you proven btw ??? in which la la land ? You didn't even answer as to who was better than mac at the net in that time-frame, let alone substantiating it with why or quotes from other players/commentators ........
 

Limpinhitter

G.O.A.T.
you can keep guessing. You do realise full matches are available on video ?????? or are you living in ancient age of no videos available in public ? :lol:

None of that answers my query btw ...... Who in that period was considered to be better than mac at the net ( I already mentioned roche was considered to have the finest BH volley and Sedgeman the finest FH volley ) , but I am asking overall ??????? Enlighten all of us :)
I don't need to enlighten everyone. There are some here who know more than I do and who enlighten me every day. But, I will endeavor to enlighten you. You've seen video tape of past greats? Fine, but, that hardly substitutes for seeing them live.

Having said that, my opinions are based, primarily on what I've seen and secondarily on what I've read. IMO, on balance, Tony Roche was the greatest overall net player I've ever seen, and he had a great, powerful, lefty kick serve to come in behind. IMO, he was the best pure volleyer (although it's arguable that Edberg or Ralston had a better forehand volley), and he had the best instincts at the net. He was also a explosive athlete at net although probably not so much as Gonzales, Edberg or Sampras. But, on balance, I have to give the nod to Roche. In addition to Roche, I would say that Emerson was arguably a better net player than Mac.
 

kiki

Banned
no, they weren't. I've heard arguments for Sedgeman having the finest FH volley and Roche the finest BH volley , but that's about it...

Overall no one was better at volleying from 1950-80 than Mac ..

and mac was an unusual player from the baseline .... decent yes ..... great from the baseline, hell no ....
look at who´s talking.The recent born baby giving history lessons to tennis historians...the reversed world¡¡¡
 

kiki

Banned
It's hard to say. I've read a lot about Sedgman's unbelievable volleying in the 1950's. They said he was super quick at the net and according to Jack Kramer any volley Sedgman could put his racquet on was almost always a putaway. Kramer himself was also great at the net.

Obviously there were a lot of great volleyers in those days simply because net play was used more by far than it is today. I've seen Rosewall hit winning angle backhand volleys after the ball was slightly passed him a number of times. It seemed so easy and under control. I haven't see that since.

I have a question to ask all of you. The thread is a SERVE and volley thread. If you have a great serve it's certainly easily to hit a volley. I'd rather have a great serve and a good volley instead of a good serve and a great volley. So the question is "Who has the best serves among the great serve and volleyers?" In this case I would go with Gonzalez along with Sampras, Newcombe and Kramer. McEnroe is up there also.

Edberg and Sedgman, while they had good serves weren't of the level of the others. Lots of GREAT servers here. Kramer, Newcombe and Sampras were also famous for their great second serves. Segura I believe once said that Jack Kramer won more sets with one break than anyone he had ever seen. I don't know if that's true but it says a lot for Jack Kramer.
I agree.Gottfried, Rafter and Cash would also be in the club of " good serve, great volley".Curren would be " great serve and good volley" but never at the level of those mentioned.

Roche and Stolle had also more than good serves and great net game, either
 

kiki

Banned
Roche could be a damn volley machine, winning like 20 consecutives points and the other guy would be just staring at.
 

Azzurri

Legend
The text you bolded? You mean this?

"Through 1990, I was slowly becoming a better mover and all-around athlete, and my serve--already vastly improved--just kept getting better."​

Sorry, but I have to use your favorite word here. This CLEARLY does not contain any statement by Sampras specifying a period beginning a few months before the 1990 USO. That is not anywhere in the two passages.

Nor do the passages contain any statement by Sampras that his serve was not booming until a few months before the 1990 USO.

Want to avoid putting words in his mouth? Distinguish between your statements and his.
this will be my last post to you because its plainly obvious you cannot understand anything above 3rd grade level:

SAMPRAS CLEARLY STATES IN 1990 (MONTHS!!! BEFORE THE 90 USO. Do you understand that January to August is months. Are you saying that my notation of months and Pete clearly saying the same thing cannot be understood by even a 3rd grader??) that his serve was improving. Did you see the Wilander match that was pasted? That serve was pretty much better than most servers in the game already, but it did not get SAMPRAS LIKE until 1990...MONTHS BEFORE THE 1990 USO. Again, what is it that I stated and Sampras himself stated any different. Did I say I quoted him EXACTLY? Did I lie, make it up, exaggerate?

Your small ability to understand basic information is stunning. Another poster noted Sampras came into the pro's with his awesome serve and was having issues with volleying. He was wrong. I noted his serve (the Sampras serve) did not evolve until months, MONTHS (PLURAL, meaning more than one) before the 90 USO. I never, ever said his serve sucked until 1990, that is was average, etc.

Again, you are either extremely dimwitted or just being a jerk. I will presume dimwitted because only a tool would continue this and as I said I will no longer post to you regarding this. If you can't understand my point, after I explained it to a 3rd grader, then its obvious...you are CLUELESS.
 

Azzurri

Legend
azurri, you certainly don´t want to look as clueless and unmature as Fedrulz,TMF,abmk,Djokovictowin..do you?

I think you have a bit of knowledge of tennis inside...don´t throw it away
the guy is just too pushy. everything I read from limpy is so ridiculous like FEDACE and he has been on my ignore for years.
 

Azzurri

Legend
Boarders-

I saw both in person. The best comparison match might be their Wimbledon SF when Edberg was at his peak and McEnroe was far off his.

McEnroe was better. Much faster--miraculous even--reflexes, more well rounded game, more complete serve, better groundies. Plus....just more fun to watch.

The one thing he had was HARDER volleys. John's could get too soft at times. Edberg's, like Sampras' were always hammmered!

Greg
oh that is one of my favorite all time W matches. I truly believe Mac could have won W if he just had a few breaks here and there. I agree, Mac was more versatile at the net than Edberg and that is what made Mac special. The game was so different by then that its very difficult to compare Mac's/Edberg's volley game with those racquets to 50-60's wood era. Must have been amazing to watch them.

as for Mac's speed. I have noted this a few times and you are aware how quick Mac was in 1989. In the early 80's he had this other "gear" he would just move so quickly from his 2nd or 3rd step towards the net..it is hard to explain but if you watch some video clips from that time frame (especially sideway angles) you can see those spurts.
 

Azzurri

Legend
if you guys all put abmk and limpy in your ignore (its easy) the thread would be much more interesting...I can confirm this.
 

pc1

G.O.A.T.
oh that is one of my favorite all time W matches. I truly believe Mac could have won W if he just had a few breaks here and there. I agree, Mac was more versatile at the net than Edberg and that is what made Mac special. The game was so different by then that its very difficult to compare Mac's/Edberg's volley game with those racquets to 50-60's wood era. Must have been amazing to watch them.

as for Mac's speed. I have noted this a few times and you are aware how quick Mac was in 1989. In the early 80's he had this other "gear" he would just move so quickly from his 2nd or 3rd step towards the net..it is hard to explain but if you watch some video clips from that time frame (especially sideway angles) you can see those spurts.
I've seen the match but I haven't seen it in many years so my memory of it isn't that good. Thanks for discussing it. McEnroe I believe has written that he developed some back problems in the late 1980's or so that lowered his speed somewhat. So if he was fast at that point it's amazing how quick he used to be.

John McEnroe was always one of the most enjoyable players to watch. Such great touch, variety and angles.
 

pmerk34

Legend
I've seen the match but I haven't seen it in many years so my memory of it isn't that good. Thanks for discussing it. McEnroe I believe has written that he developed some back problems in the late 1980's or so that lowered his speed somewhat. So if he was fast at that point it's amazing how quick he used to be.

John McEnroe was always one of the most enjoyable players to watch. Such great touch, variety and angles.
He pulled a hamstring in the fall of 1984 and it never quite healed properly (not uncommon) and he lost that 1/2 a step that made him a legend.
 

Limpinhitter

G.O.A.T.
this will be my last post to you because its plainly obvious you cannot understand anything above 3rd grade level:

SAMPRAS CLEARLY STATES IN 1990 (MONTHS!!! BEFORE THE 90 USO. Do you understand that January to August is months. Are you saying that my notation of months and Pete clearly saying the same thing cannot be understood by even a 3rd grader??) that his serve was improving. Did you see the Wilander match that was pasted? That serve was pretty much better than most servers in the game already, but it did not get SAMPRAS LIKE until 1990...MONTHS BEFORE THE 1990 USO. Again, what is it that I stated and Sampras himself stated any different. Did I say I quoted him EXACTLY? Did I lie, make it up, exaggerate?

Your small ability to understand basic information is stunning. Another poster noted Sampras came into the pro's with his awesome serve and was having issues with volleying. He was wrong. I noted his serve (the Sampras serve) did not evolve until months, MONTHS (PLURAL, meaning more than one) before the 90 USO. I never, ever said his serve sucked until 1990, that is was average, etc.

Again, you are either extremely dimwitted or just being a jerk. I will presume dimwitted because only a tool would continue this and as I said I will no longer post to you regarding this. If you can't understand my point, after I explained it to a 3rd grader, then its obvious...you are CLUELESS.
I haven't read too many, if any, posts more jerky than this one.
 

abmk

Bionic Poster
look at who´s talking.The recent born baby giving history lessons to tennis historians...the reversed world¡¡¡
you call yourself and Limpin as historians ? ha ha ha ha ....... Now that's funny !
 

abmk

Bionic Poster
I don't need to enlighten everyone. There are some here who know more than I do and who enlighten me every day. But, I will endeavor to enlighten you. You've seen video tape of past greats? Fine, but, that hardly substitutes for seeing them live.

Having said that, my opinions are based, primarily on what I've seen and secondarily on what I've read. IMO, on balance, Tony Roche was the greatest overall net player I've ever seen, and he had a great, powerful, lefty kick serve to come in behind. IMO, he was the best pure volleyer (although it's arguable that Edberg or Ralston had a better forehand volley), and he had the best instincts at the net. He was also a explosive athlete at net although probably not so much as Gonzales, Edberg or Sampras. But, on balance, I have to give the nod to Roche. In addition to Roche, I would say that Emerson was arguably a better net player than Mac.
good,a step forward : finally a name, Tony Roche. Fine, fine volleyer, no doubt.

Now how many among the respected historians, players considered him as the best even after JMac hit his peak ?
 

pc1

G.O.A.T.
good,a step forward : finally a name, Tony Roche. Fine, fine volleyer, no doubt.

Now how many among the respected historians, players considered him as the best even after JMac hit his peak ?
I don't know about historian but before McEnroe I thought John Newcombe was the best I've seen. Great heavy first serve. He could serve aces. Many thought his second serve was the best in history. Maybe the best forehand volley in tennis with an excellent backhand volley. Arthur Ashe thought Newcombe had the best first volley in the game. I also thought before John McEnroe that Newcombe closed in to the net closer than anyone I've seen.

To me the most important ingredient of serve and volley is the serve and Newcombe had the best serve in tennis. His volley was superb overall also. Edberg for example had a better volley than Newcombe I believe but his serve was weaker so guys like Agassi could attack it. I didn't think Sampras was quite as good a volleyer but he was clearly in my mind a better server so he was perhaps more effective at serving and volleying. Didn't Sampras hold serve at Wimbledon over 100 times in a row?

Probably Pancho Gonzalez was better than Newcombe, at least on the serve but I only saw Gonzalez toward the latter part of his career.
 
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kiki

Banned
good,a step forward : finally a name, Tony Roche. Fine, fine volleyer, no doubt.

Now how many among the respected historians, players considered him as the best even after JMac hit his peak ?
Didn´t have the marketing support Mac had ( deservedly IMO), but was every bit as good.
 

kiki

Banned
Perhaps as good a volleyer. Roche was fantastic at the net. Lightning reflexes.
and better than mac technically talking.Watch at Roche´s feet moving like dancer between 1 and 2 volley ( he didn´t need more).Mac, however, was abit faster to get there, since he had an explosive first step.
 

Limpinhitter

G.O.A.T.
and better than mac technically talking.Watch at Roche´s feet moving like dancer between 1 and 2 volley ( he didn´t need more).Mac, however, was abit faster to get there, since he had an explosive first step.
I'm sure you've seen this, but, it's a good reminder of what a spectacular net player Tony Roche was against the best ground game, passing shots and serve return, in tennis at the time.

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

krosero

Legend
this will be my last post to you because its plainly obvious you cannot understand anything above 3rd grade level:

SAMPRAS CLEARLY STATES IN 1990 (MONTHS!!! BEFORE THE 90 USO. Do you understand that January to August is months. Are you saying that my notation of months and Pete clearly saying the same thing cannot be understood by even a 3rd grader??) that his serve was improving. Did you see the Wilander match that was pasted? That serve was pretty much better than most servers in the game already, but it did not get SAMPRAS LIKE until 1990...MONTHS BEFORE THE 1990 USO. Again, what is it that I stated and Sampras himself stated any different. Did I say I quoted him EXACTLY? Did I lie, make it up, exaggerate?

Your small ability to understand basic information is stunning. Another poster noted Sampras came into the pro's with his awesome serve and was having issues with volleying. He was wrong. I noted his serve (the Sampras serve) did not evolve until months, MONTHS (PLURAL, meaning more than one) before the 90 USO. I never, ever said his serve sucked until 1990, that is was average, etc.

Again, you are either extremely dimwitted or just being a jerk. I will presume dimwitted because only a tool would continue this and as I said I will no longer post to you regarding this. If you can't understand my point, after I explained it to a 3rd grader, then its obvious...you are CLUELESS.
Azzurri, I asked you to distinguish between your statements and Pete's. Instead of doing that you keep conflating them. Moreover you've changed your own original words. You originally specified a time period just a few months before the 1990 USO. You said his serve did not start booming until then, which anyone would interpret to mean that his serve did not start booming until about mid-1990. That's what "a few months" means by any definition: 2 or 3 or 4 months.

His serve began to boom just a few months before the US Open.
Of course now you keep saying that all you said was "months." This is more in keeping with the general statements in Pete's book -- he says very generally that he started serving aces in 1989 and that his serve kept improving in 1990. He says nothing like your original statement about how his serve only starting booming a few months before the 1990 USO. That was your statement -- and by the way the necessary meaning of your statement is that his serve was not booming before then (before mid-1990). Of course then you said that what you really meant with this whole "booming" business was "the Sampras serve," or the "Sampras serve that we all knew him for" -- which of course is not a fact but a concept, which someone has to define. Somehow you've defined "the Sampras serve" as finally making its appearance just a few months before the 1990 USO. Those are obviously your statements, not his -- but you insisted that Pete clearly was talking about "the Sampras serve".

did you read his book? he clearly states his serve, the Sampras serve just showed up months (I don't recall specifics) before the 90 USO.
This is a blatant example of conflating your statements with his. Sampras does clearly state some things: that he started serving aces in '89, and that his serve kept improving in '90. He does NOT make statements about when "the Sampras serve" showed up. "The Sampras serve" is your concept, something you've defined.

Ironically the closest Pete comes to echoing your statement about "the Sampras serve" suddenly showing up is his statement that in 1989 -- not 1990! -- he was missing much of his game but he did suddenly have a big serve. Even that is not getting into your statements about "the Sampras serve that we all knew him for", however you like to define that. Apparently you've decided that "the Sampras serve we all knew him for" showed up in mid-1990. Which is fine as an argument if you want to put that forth. But Pete makes no such specific arguments.

It's amazing to me that you can't distinguish between your own statements and the text in front of you. But then again this is an all-too common mistake. People have their strong opinions about a subject, and when they come across a text, they read their specific opinions into even the most general texts. The difference with you is that you seem to have no ability -- or willingness -- to even distinguish between your statements and the text. You will insist to your dying breath that Pete clearly says "the Sampras serve" (as you have defined it) showed up around mid-1990, and that his serve was not booming until then.

Fact is, those statements are not there. They are your statements, which you've read into his very general statements.

"When Mats and I met in the second round [89 USO], it was my first appearance on the Louis Armstrong Stadium court at the original USTA National Tennis Center....I was a little apprehensive and still green--emotionally, mentally, and even technically. My forehand--my best shot-- was a little shaky, and in the big picture I had no backhand worth the name. But the one thing I suddenly did have was a serve. In 1989, I suddenly started serving up aces. Don't ask how, because I can't give you a good answer."

"I started my quest at Flushing Meadows [1990] as a dark horse, although I was definitely on the radar of my rivals, the pundits, and knowledgeable fans. Through 1990, I was slowly becoming a better mover and all-around athlete, and my serve--already vastly improved--just kept getting better. There was no magic bullet, coaching or techniquewise. Suddenly the big serve was just there, and getting bigger as the months passed."​

Azzurri, you think that the text in Sampras' book does not contradict what you're saying (which is why you keep asking me to point out where Sampras contradicts you). Actually Sampras does contradict your claim that his serve only started booming in mid-1990. But set that aside. Let me just say this generally. Even if a text does not contradict your opinion, that NEVER means that the text actually states your opinion. It does not even mean that the author of the text even agrees with your opinion.

Heck a historian could say that the United States is a great country. I could then state that the U.S. only became a great country recently. The historian has not contradicted my opinion; but that hardly means that he necessarily agrees with me.

It would be entirely missing the point if I objected the way you're doing: "Show me where the text says any differently from my statement, show me!"
 

Limpinhitter

G.O.A.T.
I saw him live and he did all those amazing volleys with absolute ease.Laver himself was also a top notch volleyer, but used the whole ground more and came in the most unexpected approach shots.
IMO, Laver probably hit too hard at net to be as consistent as he could have been, especially low volleys. As he aged, he began to be a bit more discriminating with his power. But, I've never seen anyone, with any kind of racquet, crush volleys taken above net height the way Laver did.
 

kiki

Banned
IMO, Laver probably hit too hard at net to be as consistent as he could have been, especially low volleys. As he aged, he began to be a bit more discriminating with his power. But, I've never seen anyone, with any kind of racquet, crush volleys taken above net height the way Laver did.
He overhit sometimes.A bit like two handed volleys of Connors.He was, however, great at underspin low volleys.

Hoad also loved to volley at net size,just top of that.
 

Azzurri

Legend
I've seen the match but I haven't seen it in many years so my memory of it isn't that good. Thanks for discussing it. McEnroe I believe has written that he developed some back problems in the late 1980's or so that lowered his speed somewhat. So if he was fast at that point it's amazing how quick he used to be.

John McEnroe was always one of the most enjoyable players to watch. Such great touch, variety and angles.
loved him, just loved him. I have never been a fan of any other player since his time (to that level). I watched MAC every chance I got.
 

Azzurri

Legend
He pulled a hamstring in the fall of 1984 and it never quite healed properly (not uncommon) and he lost that 1/2 a step that made him a legend.
I know he had some issues with his back (got worse in the late 80's) and I guess I forgot about his hamstring. I just can't recall it. But he also lost some desire by 85...lots contributed to his decline. But a hamstring injury would certainly slow him down. we all know he was not a "gym rat".
 

pmerk34

Legend
I know he had some issues with his back (got worse in the late 80's) and I guess I forgot about his hamstring. I just can't recall it. But he also lost some desire by 85...lots contributed to his decline. But a hamstring injury would certainly slow him down. we all know he was not a "gym rat".
Pulled or torn "Hammy's" can be horrendous injuries that don't heal right even if you follow the rehab perfectly. McEnroe's body broke down on him. If you look at tapes of his 1985 US Open final vs Lendl vs the 1984 final you can see he can't cut off the passing shots in the same fashion in the '85 final. McEnroe himself talks about this in his autobiography in that he was among the fastest/quickest players on tour and then one day he simply wasn't. He was burnt out at the end of 1985 and indeed part of the burnout was a loss of desire. Let us not forget though, that after his 1986 layoff he did regain his desire and spent the next 5 years playing and trying to win slams and be number 1 again. Once he lost that 1/2 step he lost that explosiveness in his game and he could not regain it.
 

pc1

G.O.A.T.
Pulled or torn "Hammy's" can be horrendous injuries that don't heal right even if you follow the rehab perfectly. McEnroe's body broke down on him. If you look at tapes of his 1985 US Open final vs Lendl vs the 1984 final you can see he can't cut off the passing shots in the same fashion in the '85 final. McEnroe himself talks about this in his autobiography in that he was among the fastest/quickest players on tour and then one day he simply wasn't. He was burnt out at the end of 1985 and indeed part of the burnout was a loss of desire. Let us not forget though, that after his 1986 layoff he did regain his desire and spent the next 5 years playing and trying to win slams and be number 1 again. Once he lost that 1/2 step he lost that explosiveness in his game and he could not regain it.
I have to check his bio but I know for a fact John McEnroe did play a five setter against Mats Wilander the day before so that may have more to do with it in the 1985 final. He may have been too worn out from the previous day's long match.
 
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pmerk34

Legend
I have to check his bio but I know for a fact John McEnroe did play a five setter against Mats Wilander the day before so that may have more to do with it in the 1985 final. He may have been too worn out from the previous day's long match.
Yes he did and it was a very hot and very humid day. He stated in the book that "it was match that would change my life". It certainly didn't help him the next day. Although in 1984 he did have a late match vs Connors although under much more bearable conditions and only got about 3 hours sleep for the final.

It also didn't help him that in 1985 Lendl destroyed Connors in the semi's where in 1984 he played a long 5 setter vs. Pat Cash.
 
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pc1

G.O.A.T.
Yes he did and it was a very hot and very humid day. He stated in the book that "it was match that would change my life". It certainly didn't help him the next day. Although in 1984 he did have a late match vs Connors although under much more bearable conditions and only got about 3 hours sleep for the final.

It also didn't help him that in 1985 Lendl destroyed Connors in the semi's where in 1984 he played a long 5 setter vs. Pat Cash.
True so in 1984 McEnroe and Lendl were about even as far as exhaustion was concerned. In 1985 Lendl had it much easier and was more well rested.

I admit I used to love the US Open Men's semifinal and Women's final taking place all in one session. It was the best ticket in tennis I thought. But it's a big problem with older players like Sampras or Agassi in the late 1990's and 2000's because it was tougher for their bodies to recovery from the previous days match.
 

robow7

Professional
pc1, I too love Super Saturday but really wonder how Sampras would have done against Safin and Hewitt after a days rest, because it was obvious that on both occasions, he was out of gas and moving slow from the beginning.
 
My first thoughts were Edberg and McEnroe, not sure why Sampras is on this list although he did use his serve in combination with volleying at effective times...I wouldn't categorize him in the same S&V league as these others.
 

kiki

Banned
back to topic.many will say the 50´s were the best era for S&V guys like Sedgman,Gonzales,Kramer,Hoad,Patty,Trabert,Rose,Cooper,Olmedo,Savitt,Nielsen...
 

pc1

G.O.A.T.
pc1, I too love Super Saturday but really wonder how Sampras would have done against Safin and Hewitt after a days rest, because it was obvious that on both occasions, he was out of gas and moving slow from the beginning.
Who knows what would have happened with an extra day of rest? But you have a good point.
 

pmerk34

Legend
My first thoughts were Edberg and McEnroe, not sure why Sampras is on this list although he did use his serve in combination with volleying at effective times...I wouldn't categorize him in the same S&V league as these others.
Sampras is on this list because he was great serve and volleyer in an era when it was much tougher to serve and volley than the the 1960's. Why on earth wouldn't Pete be on this list?
 

pmerk34

Legend
Who knows what would have happened with an extra day of rest? But you have a good point.
Well for on thing Pete wouldn't have looked like he was moving in mud out there had he had an extra day off. Super Saturday was better when the women's final was between the two men's Semi's, but it it is clear it has hurt the quality of the men's final.
 

pc1

G.O.A.T.
Well for on thing Pete wouldn't have looked like he was moving in mud out there had he had an extra day off. Super Saturday was better when the women's final was between the two men's Semi's, but it it is clear it has hurt the quality of the men's final.
Have to agree with you on all points. I really loved having tickets to the old Super Saturday. I guess quality of tennis is the most important thing so I suppose it is better now but emotionally I loved the way they used to do it.
 

pc1

G.O.A.T.
Sampras is on this list because he was great serve and volleyer in an era when it was much tougher to serve and volley than the the 1960's. Why on earth wouldn't Pete be on this list?
He also had a bigger serve than Edberg for example so Sampras would have easier volleys.
 
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