McEnroe: "Nadal is the best volleyer in the top 100"

Rob_C

Hall of Fame
Looks like the two guys above never has seen Nadal play doubles.
I have, and he volleys better and more consistent than anyone in the top 10, including Fed.
He might not volley better than Edberg, Cash, Rafter, or Mac.
Cant be a 'good' volleyer with a semi western grip on the forehand volley.
 

The Green Mile

Bionic Poster
what about Novak ? he hit some amazing volleys today
I think that Novak is vastly underrated in the net game. He has improved a lot over the years, where his net game was a little shaky before 2009 or so... but when put next to someone like Fed, they can look average. Some with his drop shots, such good disguise and feel on them, in fact I think they have been the best for a while now....
 

Rob_C

Hall of Fame
The only volley Nadal consistently hits is the drop volley. He can't hit a good drive volley like Federer can. He sure as hell can't serve and volley on his first serves to win a grand slam title like Federer did at Wimbledon 2003. That right there is the ultimate trump card in this debate for anyone who wants to say that Nadal is in the same league as Federer when it comes to volleying. He simply isn't.
If you cant really 'stick' volleys, its good to hit 'clay court' volleys, meaning mostly drop volleys.

Until I learned to hit effective volleys, i would stick to mainly drop volleys because that way you didnt lose the point outright, and you also lessened the opportunity for you opponent to pass you on the second shot.

A good example of this is Roddick. He couldnt really hit down the line volleys, which is what you're supposed to do if you cant put the volley away. So he would mostly hit those crosscourt, and he would get passed.

His match against Hewitt at the Aussie Open is a perfect example.
 
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Rob_C

Hall of Fame
Man, if Rafa is so terrible at literally everything like some of you guys say, it's a wonder he ever wins a match.
No. That's precisely why he spends most of the time at the baseline pounding forehands. Because it's the best way for him to win. Recognizing your strengths and weaknesses is a good thing.
 

The Green Mile

Bionic Poster
Hahahahahaha seeing Roddick talk about good approach shots and bricking volleys made me laugh uncontrollably for some reason. :):twisted::grin:
You must have Roddick vs Murray Queens 2011, in your head for some random reason... SOOOO many passing shots from Murray that day....:shock:
 

Rob_C

Hall of Fame
The question is how often, or when, does Nadal approach the net? He only approaches the net to put away a ball. When he approaches the net the point is already in his favor and he is just trying to finish it. It is not like Nadal comes to the net when the rally is in an neutral situation. Nadal is not a net attacker. It doesn't make sense to compare his volley to any natural net attacker.
Great post.

Seeing that Wimby is on, can someone tell me the number of times Nadal has S & V'd?? Or even hit a backhand slice approach shot and come to the net??

That's something that 'great' volleyers do, especially on grass.

How many times did Feli S & V at Queens and Eastbourne??
 

The Green Mile

Bionic Poster
Great post.

Seeing that Wimby is on, can someone tell me the number of times Nadal has S & V'd?? Or even hit a backhand slice approach shot and come to the net??

That's something that 'great' volleyers do, especially on grass.

How many times did Feli S & V at Queens and Eastbourne??
 

Rob_C

Hall of Fame
alot of ppl here bashing mcenroe, cash, and gilbert claim nadal isnt the best volleyer but arent giving names who is. a couple ppl say federer or stepanek but thats it. llordra is not in the top 100 so hes excluded
Thats actually a sad commentary on the state of the modern game. With the prevalence of two handers, and poly, and the slow courts, and poor coaching, there are a lot less competent volleyers than in previous generations.

If Djokovic couldve made a sitter volley without jumping into the net like Peter Pan, he probably wouldve won the French last year.
 

fatichar

Rookie
Thats actually a sad commentary on the state of the modern game. With the prevalence of two handers, and poly, and the slow courts, and poor coaching, there are a lot less competent volleyers than in previous generations.





If Djokovic couldve made a sitter volley without jumping into the net like Peter Pan, he probably wouldve won the French last year.


Was that a volley? Or a smash!
 

Russeljones

G.O.A.T.
alot of ppl here bashing mcenroe, cash, and gilbert claim nadal isnt the best volleyer but arent giving names who is. a couple ppl say federer or stepanek but thats it. llordra is not in the top 100 so hes excluded
Err Lopez, Karlovic, Raonic, Tsonga, Dimitrov, just to name a few.
 

gambitt

Banned
After witnessing McEnroe's disgustingly biased commentary in the Rosol v Nadal match yesterday, I have lost all respect for the guy (I'm sure he's really cut up about that). The loaded excrement spilling from his mouth was quite stunning:

When Rosol was ready to serve but Nadal was doing his OCD routine, he asked the umpire if Nadal is allowed more time. McEnroe replies:

"Yes he is. Now play."

followed by: "Nadal should be allowed more time to serve because he sells more tickets"

"The crowd want Nadal to win; they need him in this tournament"

When Nadal broke back in the 2nd set:

"Good, we're back in business!"

In conclusion, we cannot take anything this guy says seriously.
 

Scorch

Rookie
ESPN is in the entertainment business, Johnny Mac says a lot of outlandish, silly stuff. Controversy sells.
This. A thousand times this.

McEnroe will say anything controversial and contrary to get attention and fulfill his role of being entertaining and 'the enfant terrible' of commentators.

One second he's saying that players should call their own lines, the next that doubles should be scrapped, blah blah blah.

If an umpire calls a player out for a time violation he says that they were wrong, if an umpire does not overrule a call and instead waits for a player to challenge using hawkeye - guess what, they were wrong. Whatever someone in authority decides to do - they were wrong. It is clearly in his nature to be awkward and confrontational and it makes him an interesting guy to be around and certainly creates debate. This extends to opinions on players.

Rafa is an amazing volleyer within the context of his game. However, he is not a net-rusher and does not show true flare at the net. Most people intuitively expect people to be crowned 'the best volleyer' to, you know, maximise their time at the net so they can use their amazing volleys.
 

Steve0904

Talk Tennis Guru
After witnessing McEnroe's disgustingly biased commentary in the Rosol v Nadal match yesterday, I have lost all respect for the guy (I'm sure he's really cut up about that). The loaded excrement spilling from his mouth was quite stunning:

When Rosol was ready to serve but Nadal was doing his OCD routine, he asked the umpire if Nadal is allowed more time. McEnroe replies:

"Yes he is. Now play."

followed by: "Nadal should be allowed more time to serve because he sells more tickets"

"The crowd want Nadal to win; they need him in this tournament"

When Nadal broke back in the 2nd set:

"Good, we're back in business!"

In conclusion, we cannot take anything this guy says seriously.
I heard about that yesterday, but I never switched the channel. I watched Fowler and (I think) PMac do commentary. Was much more enjoyable. Some of that is hilarious.
 

Omega_7000

Legend
After witnessing McEnroe's disgustingly biased commentary in the Rosol v Nadal match yesterday, I have lost all respect for the guy (I'm sure he's really cut up about that). The loaded excrement spilling from his mouth was quite stunning:

When Rosol was ready to serve but Nadal was doing his OCD routine, he asked the umpire if Nadal is allowed more time. McEnroe replies:

"Yes he is. Now play."

followed by: "Nadal should be allowed more time to serve because he sells more tickets"

"The crowd want Nadal to win; they need him in this tournament"

When Nadal broke back in the 2nd set:

"Good, we're back in business!"

In conclusion, we cannot take anything this guy says seriously.
Wow! :shock:

I knew he was in the business of ratings but isn't that going a bit too far...Why not go take a bat and hit Rosol in the chin ...That will ensure your boy goes through to the next round.
 

kanamit

Hall of Fame
It has been widely understood that McEnroe lives vicariously through Nadal for some time. He is senile, and also thinks Federer is Borg. Nothing to see here.
 

Rob_C

Hall of Fame
Aren't too many posters here discussing volleys while thinking of smashes? Some even posting videos!
Just watched it again. He did play it as an overhead, but it was too low to take the traditional windup. Plus, he couldve definitely played it as a high backhand volley.

Nevertheless, my point still remains. It was a sitter, and, because he doesnt have the same comfort at the net that he does from the baseline, he panicked and misplayed the ball.

Edit. And to throw out a couple of players that I think are better volleyers, in addition to some of the ones already mentioned, I'll go with Melzer and Stakhovsky.
 
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Mainad

Bionic Poster
Really John? So there are some better volleyers outside the top 100?

Oh and Radek and Feliciano both say hi.
After the Djokovic-Stepanek match, he commented on the BBC's 'Today at Wimbledon' programme that Stepanek was probably a close second to Nadal in the volleying dept!
 

Enga

Hall of Fame
I think that Novak is vastly underrated in the net game. He has improved a lot over the years, where his net game was a little shaky before 2009 or so... but when put next to someone like Fed, they can look average. Some with his drop shots, such good disguise and feel on them, in fact I think they have been the best for a while now....
Its true that Djokovic has great skill at the net. But for every amazing shot Ive seen him hit, hes also got a terrible blunder. He seems kinda tense at the net in my opinion. Possibly from having a bad history up there.

When hes at the net, he goes all out, tries to hit a winner often. He'll either make it, or miss, and I think its because he has no intention of trying to hit a followup volley. He wants to end he point ASAP. Guys like Fed and Nad arent afraid to hit safer volleys.

Very similar to guys like Radek and other SnVers. Radek can hit from the baseline, and often wins a point from there. But from there hes always tense, and wants to end the point right away or return to where hes comfortable, the net. Djokovic is like that, but opposite.
 

Mick

Legend
McEnroe complimented Nadal's volley skill again :)

John McEnroe on Rafael Nadal's opening win

"Rarely would you see Nadal this happy after a first-round match. Klizan was a dangerous first-round opponent. I have picked Djokovic to win this year but it is truly a pleasure to watch Nadal play. He has a tremendous volley but his movement is so key to him."
 

tipsa...don'tlikehim!

Talk Tennis Guru
Clearly better than Djokovic, and about on par (IMO a bit better) with Murray. You seem to have already made up your mind though.
I am wondering about Murray, i hardly see him hitting an impressive volley, for some reason Andy seems to be scared of the net.

As for comparing Federer and Nadal, i agree that on the whole Federer a bit superior at the net but they are different volleyers, Nadal is good at volleying because his footwork is amazing...Federer on the other hand can be slow nowadays but his touch is probably better.

Still I think even a guy like Gasquet can volley better than Nadal, simply because he's more of a natural volleyer, but Gasquet got head problems and thats a different topic :lol:
 

Vcore89

G.O.A.T.
Mac qualifying it with ''top 100'' means he is very far away from the top. Mac might say, Federer is in the ''top 20'' (and it is still not the top 10).;)
 

TennisMD

Professional
Wait a second...John McEnroe is clueless on this topic?
Tongue and cheek much appreciated. Yes John McEnroe possessing one of the best volleys of all time does not know a quality volley. Also unlike others here he has hit with Nadal. Lee D's comments well taken as well
 

Zoid

Professional
Federer is not a volleyer. He doesn't have IT.
Nadal is much better volleyer and he has the hand for it.
True volleyers should be able to tell it. There are some reasons why
McEnroe says it.

Carefully watch how Nadal volleys at crucial points like break points against him.
Then watch Federer. He hardly ventures to the net at break points against him or break chances.
Federer volleys on unimportant points and not very good at it.
Did you see fed against Novak at wimby? from memory he hit a redicluous half volley deep in the 5th to save break point
 

gambitt

Banned
Tongue and cheek much appreciated. Yes John McEnroe possessing one of the best volleys of all time does not know a quality volley. Also unlike others here he has hit with Nadal.
So why do we even bother to discuss tennis? McEnroe is a better player than everyone on this forum and he's hit with Nadal. Therefore his opinion on anything Nadal related is always right and anyone who disagrees with him is wrong?
 

smoledman

G.O.A.T.


^^^ McEnroe.

Remember this is a guy who took a year off at his peak so he could snort mountains of cocaine and bang hot women.
 

ultradr

Legend
Federer's recent play changes mind a bit about Federer's volley.
I still does not think Federer is a volleyer.

I still think he will be firmly at the baseline, in the important matches
(like slam quarter finals or higher), at important points (like break chances).
 

conway

Banned
If Nadal was really the best volleyer on tour he would already have over 20 slams, including atleast one Calendar Slam, and would be the hands down GOAT already. So obviously not.
 

Candide

Hall of Fame
Nadal probably joint best volleyer ever along with Edberg.

JMac probably had the best joint ever before he said this.

Boom tish.
 

clayqueen

G.O.A.T.
Did you see fed against Novak at wimby? from memory he hit a redicluous half volley deep in the 5th to save break point
Hitting ONE good volley doesn't make you the best volleyer. Commentators have always commented on how bad Fe'd volleying is and that's one of the reasons he hired Edberg. Fed is always stranded at the net when he tries to volley against Nadal because of Nadal's excellent passing shots..
 

clayqueen

G.O.A.T.
If Nadal was really the best volleyer on tour he would already have over 20 slams, including atleast one Calendar Slam, and would be the hands down GOAT already. So obviously not.
Edberg is the King of the volley close to McEnroe and neither of them even made 10 slams titles.
 

henryshli

Semi-Pro
Hitting ONE good volley doesn't make you the best volleyer. Commentators have always commented on how bad Fe'd volleying is and that's one of the reasons he hired Edberg. Fed is always stranded at the net when he tries to volley against Nadal because of Nadal's excellent passing shots..
You post is so confusing. You use Nadal's excellent passing shots as an examples of Fed's bad volleying?
 

clayqueen

G.O.A.T.
You post is so confusing. You use Nadal's excellent passing shots as an examples of Fed's bad volleying?
Nadal's passing shots just highlight Fed's shortcomings at the net even more. If he was such a great volleyer, he should be able to cope with anyone. The reason players avoid going to the net is because they know they'll be passed.
 

Russeljones

G.O.A.T.
Nadal's passing shots just highlight Fed's shortcomings at the net even more. If he was such a great volleyer, he should be able to cope with anyone. The reason players avoid going to the net is because they know they'll be passed.
Nadal's passing shots highlight the degree of benefit he's reaped from the surface homogenization. Approach shots sit up and volleys lack penetration. Federer's shortcomings at the net are not related to Nadal in any way. Only someone with maniacal obsessiveness makes such conjecture.

Federer gave up on relying on his net game when he saw how easy it was to outplay people from the baseline. When he lost a step - ~2010 - it had already been a long time since his stupendous volleying was the norm. What he is doing now is returning to that with the added benefit of having more time to approach the net behind serves, which is probably something Edberg instructed (along with tweaks to his overall net tactics).

I don't expect you to have any rational or intelligent observation regarding Federer, but at least spare us the ridiculous cheerleading with regard to something alien to Nadal.
 

clayqueen

G.O.A.T.
Nadal's passing shots highlight the degree of benefit he's reaped from the surface homogenization. Approach shots sit up and volleys lack penetration. Federer's shortcomings at the net are not related to Nadal in any way. Only someone with maniacal obsessiveness makes such conjecture.

Federer gave up on relying on his net game when he saw how easy it was to outplay people from the baseline. When he lost a step - ~2010 - it had already been a long time since his stupendous volleying was the norm. What he is doing now is returning to that with the added benefit of having more time to approach the net behind serves, which is probably something Edberg instructed (along with tweaks to his overall net tactics).

I don't expect you to have any rational or intelligent observation regarding Federer, but at least spare us the ridiculous cheerleading with regard to something alien to Nadal.
In other words no one is allowed to make a case for Nadal. He should just be subject to endless bashing and innuendos.
 

NatF

Bionic Poster
Nadal's passing shots just highlight Fed's shortcomings at the net even more. If he was such a great volleyer, he should be able to cope with anyone. The reason players avoid going to the net is because they know they'll be passed.
You do realize that Federer has approached the net more and won a higher percentage of those than Nadal has in most of their matches right? Despite Nadal being a better passer.
 
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