Robbie Koenig "I don't think i've seen a better S&V performance in 10 years"

TJfederer16

Hall of Fame
Roger's display of ultra aggressive S&V tennis today worked pretty much to perfection today against Novak and as Robbie said i don't think there's been a better demonstration of it in the last decade in terms of how effective it proved to be. I'm trying to think of other great S&V performances in the last decade, the last one i can think of of recent memory is Stakhovsky's win against Roger at Wimby last year. What others?
 

Carsomyr

Legend
Ten years is a long time, but S&V as a winning strategy in the upper echelon has been gone for a long time, too. I know Henman beat Fed in 2004 and made it deep into a few of the majors.
 

TJfederer16

Hall of Fame
Ten years is a long time, but S&V as a winning strategy in the upper echelon has been gone for a long time, too. I know Henman beat Fed in 2004 and made it deep into a few of the majors.
ah ye forgot about tim, im sure he pulled off a few great displays from 2004 until his retirement but he faced noone of Djokovic's caliber of returns
 

Carsomyr

Legend
True, but Federer back in his hey-day was one of the best returners on tour, in the mix with the likes of Agassi, Nadal, and Nalbandian for top 10 return stats. It's too bad there was only one match between Tim and Agassi from 2004-present, a 2006 grass victory for Henman - though obviously neither were at their best.
 

TJfederer16

Hall of Fame
True, but Federer back in his hey-day was one of the best returners on tour, in the mix with the likes of Agassi, Nadal, and Nalbandian for top 10 return stats. It's too bad there was only one match between Tim and Agassi from 2004-present, a 2006 grass victory for Henman - though obviously neither were at their best.
true i remember Tim beat him indoors i think in 2004 in straights at Rotterdam, the last time he beat Roger, but i didn't see any of the match but must have played really well considering Roger was super confident and had just turned number 1 and was reigning australian open champion.
 

fuzzfactory

Rookie
When I heard him say that I thought he was wrong, since Federer seemed to get passed almost every single time he rushed up to the net. I didn't know why he kept doing it too, as for the majority of the match Djokovic had no trouble with his s+v. Fed was also very predictable with it since he did it at almost every crucial point (namely the break points he had). At the end however, he did learn to counter Nole by covering the backhand crosscourt angles. Am I the only one that thought this though?
 

Aretium

Hall of Fame
When I heard him say that I thought he was wrong, since Federer seemed to get passed almost every single time he rushed up to the net. I didn't know why he kept doing it too, as for the majority of the match Djokovic had no trouble with his s+v. Fed was also very predictable with it since he did it at almost every crucial point (namely the break points he had). At the end however, he did learn to counter Nole by covering the backhand crosscourt angles. Am I the only one that thought this though?
I thought that too but he still won most points. It's like they say "get passed 50 times as long as you win 52" or something like that.
 

Maximagq

Banned
When I heard him say that I thought he was wrong, since Federer seemed to get passed almost every single time he rushed up to the net. I didn't know why he kept doing it too, as for the majority of the match Djokovic had no trouble with his s+v. Fed was also very predictable with it since he did it at almost every crucial point (namely the break points he had). At the end however, he did learn to counter Nole by covering the backhand crosscourt angles. Am I the only one that thought this though?
What a joke! Do you even know how to count? This shows us that you know nothing about tennis again!

Federer points won at the net:
Serve & Volley 1st Serves
11/15
73%
Serve & Volley 2nd Serves
1/2
50%
Return Approach
3/8
38%
Rally Approach
13/23
57%
TOTAL 28/48 58%
 

Zoid

Professional
If a player commits to S&V and gets disheartened after being passed a couple of times, that just makes your opponent more confident. You look like a bluff. Fed kept applying pressure with his attacking tennis up in the court. And it doesn't pay off every point but when you keep rushing your opponent pressure builds and like everything it cracks. Fed executed well enough to get the job done and it was really entertaining and refreshing to see that style of tennis again!
 

TJfederer16

Hall of Fame
When I heard him say that I thought he was wrong, since Federer seemed to get passed almost every single time he rushed up to the net. I didn't know why he kept doing it too, as for the majority of the match Djokovic had no trouble with his s+v. Fed was also very predictable with it since he did it at almost every crucial point (namely the break points he had). At the end however, he did learn to counter Nole by covering the backhand crosscourt angles. Am I the only one that thought this though?
we're not talking a Edberg, Sampras, Mcenroe S&V performance, but in terms of this last decade and in today's tennis, with the type of surfaces and type of defenders and returners about in the men'd game the performance was incredible.
 

OddJack

G.O.A.T.
What a joke! Do you even know how to count? This shows us that you know nothing about tennis again!

Federer points won at the net:
Serve & Volley 1st Serves
11/15
73%
Serve & Volley 2nd Serves
1/2
50%
Return Approach
3/8
38%
Rally Approach
13/23
57%
TOTAL 28/48 58%
Fuzzymath owend :D
 

estigma2001

Hall of Fame
yes it was spectacular and almost peRFect! Nole tried but he could not neutralize Roger going to the net if Roger continues at this level this Master 1000 is on his pocket!!!!
 

MTF07

Semi-Pro
What a joke! Do you even know how to count? This shows us that you know nothing about tennis again!

Federer points won at the net:
Serve & Volley 1st Serves
11/15
73%
Serve & Volley 2nd Serves
1/2
50%
Return Approach
3/8
38%
Rally Approach
13/23
57%
TOTAL 28/48 58%
Where did you get these net stats? They differ from the ones I saw on TV, as far as total goes (they didn't break it down by s/v, return, etc), 20/35 was the total I saw.
 

ARKustom93

Professional
I thought that too but he still won most points. It's like they say "get passed 50 times as long as you win 52" or something like that.
Right on!! In a nutshell, S&V is all about the confidence to say "OK, I'm gonna get hit, it's gonna hurt, but in the end, I'll win those two points in a row to take the game ..."
 

Le Master

Professional
Tennis commentators and fans have horrible memories and are also extremely myopic. Whatever happens in the present is "the best," and they expect what happens in the present to continue as a trend far into the future.
 

snowpuppy

Semi-Pro
Right on!! In a nutshell, S&V is all about the confidence to say "OK, I'm gonna get hit, it's gonna hurt, but in the end, I'll win those two points in a row to take the game ..."
I remember McEnroe something something along the same line that "it is not like S&V isn't a viable strategy, it is just a much more riskier prospect in today's game. If you come to the net you have to let go of the fact that you are going to get passed a lot. While you might be at a winning percentage, most of the guys rather have more percentages staying back"

That being said while its was nice to see him find success at the net, this was more like a B+ djokovic.
 

Candide

Hall of Fame
What a joke! Do you even know how to count? This shows us that you know nothing about tennis again!

Federer points won at the net:
Serve & Volley 1st Serves
11/15
73%
Serve & Volley 2nd Serves
1/2
50%
Return Approach
3/8
38%
Rally Approach
13/23
57%
TOTAL 28/48 58%
This is interesting but isn't the full story even better? There were quite a few times that Federer approached and rushed Djokovic into making a blunder -slamming the ball wide or into the net. I wonder if these these moments are captured in the stats? If he rushes and doesn't have to make a play on the ball wouldn't it just go down as an unforced error from Djokovic? If that is the case then surely his positive results from net approaches would be well above 60%.

I don't know if this is the case, I'm just seeing if anyone else can clear up the point for me.
 

rossi46

Professional
Federer served and volleyed more today than Nadal has probably in the past 3 years.
Against Nadal Federer doesn't dare approach the net. Nadal has won 13 majors without hardly ever approaching the net, I guess he feels he doesn't have to.

Had today's match been in a slam Federer would not have adopted such a tactic as he gets burned against the top players almost every time in slams that is.
 

Bobby Jr

G.O.A.T.
......for the majority of the match Djokovic had no trouble with his s+v.
Are you sure about that? The stats overwhelmingly say otherwise.

S&V on 1st Serves 11/15 - 73% win rate
S&V on 2nd Serves 1/2 - 50% win rate
S&V total = 70% win rate.

Fed was also very predictable with it since he did it at almost every crucial point (namely the break points he had).
Ditto, are you sure? Federer saved his change-ups for pretty atp moments. When he chipped and charges those times off Djokovic 2nd serve in the deuce court he lost most of them not by being predictable but by not getting them low and/or close enough to the side-line. But, the net effect of this tactic was it made Djokovic change his serving. In the second set he served more centrally or to Federer's forehand a few times which Federer took advantage of.

Am I the only one that thought this though?
Not at all. Lots of people watch tennis matches without actually seeing the broader picture of what's going on - especially what (even failed) strategies can do to disrupt an opponent's favourite patterns and which often pay dividends at key moments.
 
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Maximagq

Banned
Seriously!

Rob Koenig is one of those quiet commentators who does hard work and doesn't get enough credit.

He was in the top 50 for two or three years and cracked the top 30 a few weeks. I don't know about you, but if I was around 30 or better in the world, I'd be very proud of myself.

I've been watching tennis since the 60s. A lot of people here never played the game. It's sort of like the racket change. Anyone who has played knows that changing rackets is a huge thing. For instance, suddenly you have X percent more power, which feels great, but that means some of your shots are 6 inches over the line that used to be 6 inches in. So just take some pace off and add more spin? That's not an easy thing. So what Fed has done with his game in the last year is amazing.

I think Joker's ground strokes are about as good as those of anyone I've ever seen. But that doesn't mean that HE can't change some things.

Same with Nadal, and Murray, and others.

What do you think?
Yep, I definitely agree. Federer has added to his arsenal by shortening up the points and incorporating more chip and charge and serve and volley. This has helped him maintain an edge even at 33.
 

coloskier

Legend
Every time Fed rushes the net on Nadal he gets passed. Fed must like tennis balls whizzing by him.
Not on the Shanghai court..... Even Nadal hates taking balls off of his shoe tops. I would love to see the same type of court in London. Of course, Nadal has to actually get to Federer nowadays. I see that as a recurring theme in the future. I predict that Nadal will have to retire before Fed does.
 

Blitzball

Professional
Not on the Shanghai court..... Even Nadal hates taking balls off of his shoe tops. I would love to see the same type of court in London. Of course, Nadal has to actually get to Federer nowadays. I see that as a recurring theme in the future. I predict that Nadal will have to retire before Fed does.
This has been a miserable year for Nadal's standards. Injuries. Apendicitis. Early-round upsets. The trend continues in which Nadal plays phenomenal, winning at least 2 majors in the year, and then his body fails him the following year, in which he wins only the French and can't play for several months.

Given his play style will always stay the same and has thus far proven to be a grinding, damaging style, I wouldn't be surprised if he had to retire before the more resilient Federer.
 

Netspirit

Hall of Fame
I wonder if you guys noticed an interesting tweak in Federer's net game.

He now hits reflex backhand volleys when the ball is close to him with 2 (two) hands. He did it a few times today against Djokovic when he intercepted his cross-court passing shots.
 

Bobby Jr

G.O.A.T.
I wonder if you guys noticed an interesting tweak in Federer's net game.

He now hits reflex backhand volleys when the ball is close to him with 2 (two) hands. He did it a few times today against Djokovic when he intercepted his cross-court passing shots.
Almost everyone does that when they're that close and short on time - even Edberg. It's nothing new.
 

Netspirit

Hall of Fame
Almost everyone does that when they're that close and short on time - even Edberg. It's nothing new.
I have watched countless Federer matches since about 2008-2009, and this was the first time I saw this in his game though.

(granted, he did not used to rush the net as much between 2003 and 2013 so I may have missed it)
 
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Mac33

Hall of Fame
I watched 15-20 minutes of the match.

It did look like every time Federer got the ball on on his forehand,he would tee off. The depth,pace and accuracy of his forehand was the biggest difference for me.

Perhaps his new racquet has added a bit of extra power to his game.

At 33 he was moving like a cat last night.
 

Mac33

Hall of Fame
I watched 15-20 minutes of the match.

It did look like every time Federer got the ball on on his forehand,he would tee off. The depth,pace and accuracy of his forehand was the biggest difference for me.

Perhaps his new racquet has added a bit of extra power to his game.

At 33 he was moving like a cat last night.
 

Russeljones

G.O.A.T.
When I heard him say that I thought he was wrong, since Federer seemed to get passed almost every single time he rushed up to the net. I didn't know why he kept doing it too, as for the majority of the match Djokovic had no trouble with his s+v. Fed was also very predictable with it since he did it at almost every crucial point (namely the break points he had). At the end however, he did learn to counter Nole by covering the backhand crosscourt angles. Am I the only one that thought this though?
No, you aren't. There are many here who don't understand serve and volley.
 

BreakPoint

Bionic Poster
Every time Fed rushes the net on Nadal he gets passed. Fed must like tennis balls whizzing by him.
That's why Federer needs to serve and volley more against Nadal. Coming into the net against Nadal on an approach shot is suicide. And for Federer, saying back on the baseline is not a good option for him, either.
 

octobrina10

G.O.A.T.
Robbie Koenig "I don't think i've seen a better S&V performance in 10 years"
...from the players who hold South African citizenship.
(R.Koenig is also a South African)
 
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Marius_Hancu

Talk Tennis Guru
Finally Federer showing again the potential he displayed at age 19, when he beat Sampras at W with the same S-V strategy and tools.

Too bad is kind of late, after depriving us of the sublime spectacle for so long.
 

ARKustom93

Professional
Seriously!

Rob Koenig is one of those quiet commentators who does hard work and doesn't get enough credit.

He was in the top 50 for two or three years and cracked the top 30 a few weeks. I don't know about you, but if I was around 30 or better in the world, I'd be very proud of myself.

I've been watching tennis since the 60s. A lot of people here never played the game. It's sort of like the racket change. Anyone who has played knows that changing rackets is a huge thing. For instance, suddenly you have X percent more power, which feels great, but that means some of your shots are 6 inches over the line that used to be 6 inches in. So just take some pace off and add more spin? That's not an easy thing. So what Fed has done with his game in the last year is amazing.

I think Joker's ground strokes are about as good as those of anyone I've ever seen. But that doesn't mean that HE can't change some things.

Same with Nadal, and Murray, and others.

What do you think?
Good points, all around ... I happen to like Koenig as well, and the comment in question, if taken specifically in re to Fed's S&V performance, didn't strike me as 'over the top' at all.

Re the 'new' stick, looking at developments in the course of this year, first time(IMO) Fed appeared to be totally comfortable with, and confident about his shots, particularly the FH.

As I've said before, Fed ain't done, not by a long shot ... Hell, we might just see him challenging Jimmy Connor's record;)
 

Wilander Fan

Hall of Fame
One of the best S&V in a long time...also due to the quality of the returner. Although Fed did S&V quite a lot in the past, he has been much more intelligent about it since Edberg joined. He seems to be better with the angles and cutting off the court for half volleys. Also, all the old S&V players will tell you the real benefit of this tactic comes later in the match when players start overhitting and playing the wrong angles because they are worried about you rushing the net. You could see Djokovich starting to overhit in the second set. You could also see he started taking something off his first serve to raise his percentage. Both were a direct result of Federer relentless aggressiveness early on.

I think the best S&V I have seen in the past 10 years is still probably Llodra on fast Paris indoor 2010. He truly S&V almost every point against to take down an in form Davydenko and Djokovich. Especially on his left wide serve to the ad court. Everyone knew it was going there and were camping on it but because the angle was so sharp Llodra only had to cover a small area for the volley. Interestingly, it was Soderling who took Llodra out in the finals. IIRC, Soderling just had too much power on that fast court and an underrated returner. If not for his mono, he would probably have taken Murray's spot in the big 4.
 

MTF07

Semi-Pro
Against Nadal Federer doesn't dare approach the net. Nadal has won 13 majors without hardly ever approaching the net, I guess he feels he doesn't have to.

Had today's match been in a slam Federer would not have adopted such a tactic as he gets burned against the top players almost every time in slams that is.
Federer has had some of his highest net approach totals come against Nadal, actually.
 

sportsfan1

Hall of Fame
Great to see Fed hitting so freely on his topspin BH. Two thoughts from watching just the highlights:

  1. Should Fed have gotten more bite or skid on the BH volley DTL (his 2nd volley in the video below).-
    https://vine.co/v/OAp7tIZKQ06

  2. Why is Fed's slice lacking bite? I saw several instances, here's one example which is a classic slice approach and should have kept low?
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b19mIfI-HG0#t=12m44s

    Here's one off the return of serve:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b19mIfI-HG0#t=3m32s

    Compare to Lopez's slice here which skidded through causing the return to have to be hit really up without clean contact:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aPvib6AbC7s#t=6m30s
 

moonballs

Hall of Fame
I watched 15-20 minutes of the match.

It did look like every time Federer got the ball on on his forehand,he would tee off. The depth,pace and accuracy of his forehand was the biggest difference for me.

Perhaps his new racquet has added a bit of extra power to his game.

At 33 he was moving like a cat last night.
When he was pushed around at the base line he is often a step slower to retrieve the ball. But his trick is to move up diagonally to cut off the ball. It could take literally just one shot then he was at the T. From that point he only needs to run one step in either direction while his opponent needs to cover at least 3/4 of the base line to beat him. It is a very viable play for a 33 years old.
 
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