Has ATP net play increased considerably?

bluetrain4

G.O.A.T.
I don't know when it started - maybe USO last year when I really started to notice it. I'm by no mean suggesting that the ATP tour is anywhere near past generations of actual serve and volleyers, chip and charging, etc.

But compared to 5 or 10 years ago, it just seems that there's so many more points that are ended at the net. More players seem to look to move in more often; and players seem to bring their opponent to the net more with drop shots. And, there's even some intermittent serve and volley.

Caveat - I do watch plenty of full matches, but a lot of my ATP intake is the daily tournament highlights on youtube from whatever tournaments are happening. Possibly the highlight editing favors points that end at the net. But like I said, I do watch full matches and see it there too.
 

McGradey

Professional
I think it’s going to be the guy who can play the Djoker game and incorporate a more aggressive mindset with a strong net game, that’s going to be the guy who next dominates in a serious way.

Djokovic himself has greatly strengthened this part of his game, along with his serve, and he basically looks unbeatable on his preferred surfaces as a result.

The net game is one aspect of the pro game where there’s a clear opportunity to do it better than everyone else. But it has to be complemented by a baseline game that is of at least equal standard or it’s still a losing strategy. A rare breed that can pull it off.
 

tenniscafe8

New User
In 2019 someone made this graph..it only shows 16.9 percent net play...seems very low as compared to a long time ago...still not sure what relative increase in net play you're asking about but as compared to a long time ago 16.9 percent seems really low

 

King No1e

G.O.A.T.
I don't know when it started - maybe USO last year when I really started to notice it. I'm by no mean suggesting that the ATP tour is anywhere near past generations of actual serve and volleyers, chip and charging, etc.

But compared to 5 or 10 years ago, it just seems that there's so many more points that are ended at the net. More players seem to look to move in more often; and players seem to bring their opponent to the net more with drop shots. And, there's even some intermittent serve and volley.

Caveat - I do watch plenty of full matches, but a lot of my ATP intake is the daily tournament highlights on youtube from whatever tournaments are happening. Possibly the highlight editing favors points that end at the net. But like I said, I do watch full matches and see it there too.
Tsitsipas and Shapovalov are quite impressive at net. Aside from them, there's really no one (in singles) under 30 with great net game.
 

-NN-

G.O.A.T.
I think it’s going to be the guy who can play the Djoker game and incorporate a more aggressive mindset with a strong net game, that’s going to be the guy who next dominates in a serious way.

Djokovic himself has greatly strengthened this part of his game, along with his serve, and he basically looks unbeatable on his preferred surfaces as a result.

The net game is one aspect of the pro game where there’s a clear opportunity to do it better than everyone else. But it has to be complemented by a baseline game that is of at least equal standard or it’s still a losing strategy. A rare breed that can pull it off.

1000%

The one area that can be a big differentiator where current proficiency at the top of the game is not close to 'max'.
 

Gary Duane

G.O.A.T.
It would only take one young dominant ATG with a good net game to change the balance. The moment someone starts winning, everyone else pays attention. But seeing that is at best in the future.

The young players copy what they think wins.
 

GhostOfNKDM

Hall of Fame
It would only take one young dominant ATG with a good net game to change the balance. The moment someone starts winning, everyone else pays attention. But seeing that is at best in the future.

The young players copy what they think wins.
Its too late by the time they arrive at the pro level so yeah it all depends on what’s happening on junior courts every where.

from the few coaches and insiders I follow on twitter, the prognosis isn’t good.
 

Gary Duane

G.O.A.T.
Its too late by the time they arrive at the pro level so yeah it all depends on what’s happening on junior courts every where.

from the few coaches and insiders I follow on twitter, the prognosis isn’t good.
That's because the younger players follow their coaches, and coaches teach what they believe will win. For that to change you need for things to change at the top. So it's a vicious circle. If one forward-looking coach gets hold of an incredible talent who can win multiple slams, that coach can change tennis. Then other coaches will follow suit.

Why do we hear so much grunting in the men's game? Because of Joker and Nadal. Nadal made a name for himself first taking down Fed, first on clay, but later on other surfaces. So he appeared to be the look of the future. Joker confirmed that. It's now locked in as the model for winning, along with slow play. Baseline, slow points, grunting, two handed backhand. That's what the public sees.
 
D

Deleted member 22147

Guest
I miss watching Rafter diving around at the net
damn you luxilon
Big Banger was out at the start of the 90's and Kuerten won RG in 1997 with Luxilon strings. Rafter won his two slams when many players were the beneficiaries of Luxilon
 

MadariKatu

Professional
I think it’s going to be the guy who can play the Djoker game and incorporate a more aggressive mindset with a strong net game, that’s going to be the guy who next dominates in a serious way.

Djokovic himself has greatly strengthened this part of his game, along with his serve, and he basically looks unbeatable on his preferred surfaces as a result.

The net game is one aspect of the pro game where there’s a clear opportunity to do it better than everyone else. But it has to be complemented by a baseline game that is of at least equal standard or it’s still a losing strategy. A rare breed that can pull it off.
Agreed on Djokovic improving some areas of his game, especially the serve. As for him looking unbeatable... if by preferred surfaces you mean hard and grass, I don't see it as you do: on grass he won the last 2 slams, but it was by the tiniest of margins. Props to him for pulling the wins, and let's see what happens this year, but last 2 editions it looked like he was gonna lose.
On hard he's more dominant, but wasn't he losing against PCB when "the incident" happened? He also went to 5 setters this AO as well as last one in the final with Thiem. He is very clutch, so he's winning most matches, but winning them tightly is not what I think of when I picture someone "looking unbeatable".
 

McGradey

Professional
Agreed on Djokovic improving some areas of his game, especially the serve. As for him looking unbeatable... if by preferred surfaces you mean hard and grass, I don't see it as you do: on grass he won the last 2 slams, but it was by the tiniest of margins. Props to him for pulling the wins, and let's see what happens this year, but last 2 editions it looked like he was gonna lose.
On hard he's more dominant, but wasn't he losing against PCB when "the incident" happened? He also went to 5 setters this AO as well as last one in the final with Thiem. He is very clutch, so he's winning most matches, but winning them tightly is not what I think of when I picture someone "looking unbeatable".
Fair points.
Djok was on an unbeaten run last year when he got DQ’d was he not? Sure he was losing but there’s no certainty PCB would’ve closed that match out.

You are right that Djokovic doesn’t look flawless all the time, his level tends to undulate more these days; but when he’s at his best on a hard court there’s really nobody that can hang with him at the moment. He has all the answers now with the improved serve and net game.
 

Milehigh5280

Professional
I kind of view play at the net in tennis like I do the mid-range and post game in the nba. They're still good skills to have, but the game has evolved to where if those are your strongest skills then you're not going to be as successful as you might have been back in the day
 

Lleytonstation

G.O.A.T.
Tsitsipas and Shapovalov are quite impressive at net. Aside from them, there's really no one (in singles) under 30 with great net game.
Woof. Shapo has laughable net game at times. He has dramatically improved in the last few years, but holy, he is not good at the net.
 

cortado

Professional
It seems that more frequently on youtube highlights, there will be points won where the winner hits a passing shot over/around the opponent who is at the net. So I'd say people are coming to the net more than they used to (which is still not much).
 
P

PETEhammer

Guest
Tsitsipas and Shapovalov are quite impressive at net. Aside from them, there's really no one (in singles) under 30 with great net game.
They're both good at put-away volleys when the point is essentially won, or at least Tsitsipas is. That's better than nothing and actually the best use of the net for most pros nowadays given their limited skillset up there.
 
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