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View Full Version : Tennis Stratergies - Offensive/Defensive Baseliner, Serve & Volley, All-Court Player


ZeroSOFInfinity
Sep 13th, 2007, 05:26 PM
(Taken & modified from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tennis_strategy (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tennis_strategy) )

Based on their styles, players generally fit into one of these types:

TYPE A - Aggresive Baseliners
TYPE B - Defensive Baseliners
TYPE C - Volleyers
TYPE D - All-court players.

A baseliner plays from the back of the tennis court, around the baseline, preferring to trade groundstrokes rather than to come up to the net (except in certain situations).

A volleyer tries to approach the net and hit volleys, putting pressure on the opponent.

All-court players fall somewhere in between.

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TYPE A - Aggressive or offensive baseliner
An aggressive or offensive baseliner tries to win the point by hitting winners from the back of the court, attacking with fast balls that the opponent cannot reach or return properly. The player may not try to win the point outright with one shot, but instead may hit the ball from side to side until he spots an opening. Aggressive baseliners normally have at least one great groundstroke, often the forehand.

An aggressive baseliner can overpower and overwhelm most opposition. However, when going for winners, the player can also produce many errors.

List of all-time great aggressive baseliners:-
Monica Seles
Steffi Graf.

List of current players who are aggressive baseliners:-
Venus Williams
Serena Williams
Kim Clijsters
Maria Sharapova
Lindsay Davenport.

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TYPE B - Defensive baseliner
A defensive baseliner, or counterpuncher or retriever, returns every ball and relies on the opponent making mistakes. The player has consistent shots, makes few errors of his own while making it difficult for opponents to hit winners. A counterpuncher must have speed and agility to cover the court.

The player is a fighter, and has to have willingness to chase down every ball to frustrate opponents. Usually the player also has great passing shots to score points when the opponent is at the net.

Counterpunchers often excel on slow courts, such as clay courts. The court gives them extra time to chase down shots and it is harder for opponents to create winners. Counterpunchers are often particularly strong players at low-level play, where opponents can not make winners with regularity.

List of all-time great defensive baseliners:-
Arantxa Sánchez Vicario

List of current players who are defensive baseliners:-
Jelena Janković
Anastasia Myskina

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TYPE C - Serve and Volleyer
A serve and volleyer has a great net game, is quick around the net, and has fine touch for volleys. Serve and volleyers come up to the net at every opportunity when serving. They are almost always attackers and can hit many winners with varieties of volleys and drop volleys. When not serving, they often employ the "chip-and-charge", chipping back the serve without attempting to hit a winner and rushing the net. The serve and volleyers' strategy is to pressure the opponent to try to hit difficult passing shots.

Serve and volleyers benefit from playing on fast courts, such as grass or fast concrete. The quick bounce and faster pace of play give them an advantage because opponents have less time to set up for a passing shot. The number of serve and volley players is decreasing in today's professional tennis, however, because this strategy requires more experience to master and to defeat other playing styles (As well as changes in racquet technology that have improved players' passing shots). In addition to this, there has been a trend toward the slowing down of tennis surfaces over the past few years.

List of all-time great serve and volleyer:-
Jana Novotná
Martina Navratilova

List of current players who are serve and volleyer:-

Amelie Mauresmo

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TYPE D - All-court player
All-court players lie somewhere in between baseliners and volleyers. They usually have an attacking game, mixing some groundstrokes and volleys to keep the opponent guessing. They are very versatile; when an all-court player's baseline game is not working, he may switch to a net game, and vice versa.

List of great all-court players today:-
Justine Henin
Martina Hingis

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What do you think about the above? You can add other players to the lists above.... help to make it complete ;)

homogenius
Sep 13th, 2007, 05:34 PM
Mauresmo is an all-court player.She serve and volley consistently only on grass.In fact, I can't think of a woman player who is exclusively serve and volleyer these days.

Sam L
Sep 13th, 2007, 05:35 PM
I don't think Kim was an offensive baseliner, more a defensive one imo. Her game is more like Jankovic than the Williams sisters or Sharapova.

Donny
Sep 13th, 2007, 05:51 PM
There was a discussion like this on men's tennis forums.

Federer and Henin are considered "all court players". That, to me, is a testament to the lack of variety in tennis if anything.

If Federer and Henin, two offensive baseliners, are considered all court because they are skilled at net, then Sampras, the greatest serve and volleyer of all time, should be considered all court too, because he had good grounstrokes, and spent the majority of matches at the baseline.

When people say Henin "switches it up" by going to net, she's doing just that- deviating from her normal game plan. A true all court player serves and volleys whenever it benefits them to do so- on surfaces with unsteady, low bounces, for instances, or when the opponent is behind the baseline. From what I've seen of Henin this year, she'd much rather put a floating return away with a FH or BH winner.

P.S. This isn't to criticize Henin in anyway, it's just my honest assessment of things.

Juju4ever
Sep 13th, 2007, 05:55 PM
That's great, very nice work. :)

Mauresmo is great Serve&volley player, the best on tour. But, that's not the only thing she does, so I'll put her in the "all-court player" category.

justine schnyder
Sep 13th, 2007, 06:38 PM
Nice job!

sammy01
Sep 13th, 2007, 06:41 PM
i agree with donnydarko! in 2005 mary pierce was very willing to come to the net off a short ball but to me this does not make her an all court player! henin is an agressive baseliner who if pushed can defend and come to the net, but for me to be a true all courter you have to do all these things all the time not just because a certain point demands it! mauresmo is the only all court player for me as she deliberately plays a defensive point then will slice and come in on the next! she constantly looks to change up her game and never give the oponent the same shot twice in a row this to me is an all court player! she constantly tries to make the oposition play an awkward shot wether it be by big topspin, slice, coming to the net or defensive chip! also i think theres no such thing as a defensive player in the top 20 anymore, players like jj and kim are counter punchers they have weapons but only choose to use them when forced to! a defensive player (pin) dosen't look to counter punch just hope for an error!

cellophane
Sep 13th, 2007, 06:45 PM
Hingis has become a defensive baseliner. :o

sammy01
Sep 13th, 2007, 06:48 PM
Hingis has become a defensive baseliner. :o

and how long will she be in the top 20 playing like that?

AnnaK_4ever
Sep 13th, 2007, 06:59 PM
TYPE B - Defensive baseliner
A defensive baseliner, or counterpuncher or retriever, returns every ball and relies on the opponent making mistakes. The player has consistent shots, makes few errors of his own while making it difficult for opponents to hit winners. A counterpuncher must have speed and agility to cover the court.

The player is a fighter, and has to have willingness to chase down every ball to frustrate opponents. Usually the player also has great passing shots to score points when the opponent is at the net.

Counterpunchers often excel on slow courts, such as clay courts. The court gives them extra time to chase down shots and it is harder for opponents to create winners. Counterpunchers are often particularly strong players at low-level play, where opponents can not make winners with regularity.

List of all-time great defensive baseliners:-
Arantxa Sánchez Vicario

List of current players who are defensive baseliners:-
Jelena Janković
Anastasia Myskina



The Self-Appointed Official Keeper of Anastasia Myskina's Legacy© speaks: the statements in red bold have nothing to do with Myskina.
She always made tons of errors and clay courts are her worst surface while carpet and grass courts suit her game the most.
The only tournament in her career where Myskina made herself play more or leass "clean" tennis was Roland Garros 2004.

© Corswandt

Lachrymarum
Sep 13th, 2007, 07:00 PM
Although she never won a Grand Slam or became the #1 ranked player but Amanda Coetzer should be (in my opinion) listed as a great defensive baseliner :)

jujufreak
Sep 13th, 2007, 07:10 PM
I don't think Kim was an offensive baseliner, more a defensive one imo. Her game is more like Jankovic than the Williams sisters or Sharapova.

yup, I think so too

ThreeDT
Sep 13th, 2007, 07:15 PM
I like the blue list of players, for baseline play in general as a fan, and previously as a player too. Seles and Graf were great, the Williams sisters certainly have been up there for years, and Sharapova’s forehand… its plain dangerous!

Mauresmo was more aggressive baseliner early in her career, now not hitting so flat, I think she’s a defensive baseliner and a great one at that. Does this make her an all-court player or has the evolution of her game been more dramatic where now she’s considered a serve and volleyer? Anyway, very interesting and debatable.


PS. I had to change the title as it was too long. There's a saying in boxing - "styles make fights" and it's probably the same in tennis to an extent.

Mightymirza
Sep 13th, 2007, 10:51 PM
I don't think Kim was an offensive baseliner, more a defensive one imo. Her game is more like Jankovic than the Williams sisters or Sharapova.

kim was offensive :shrug: she just had a solid defence but would be dictating most points aginst most players..(who wernt named juju or WSs)

wally1
Sep 13th, 2007, 10:53 PM
Mauresmo is an all-court player.She serve and volley consistently only on grass.In fact, I can't think of a woman player who is exclusively serve and volleyer these days.Sad but true. Even in the men's game you can now probably count the number of real serve and volleyer's on one hand.

DimaDinosaur
Sep 13th, 2007, 10:55 PM
I'm proud to be TYPE D - All-court player


ALLEZ Justine and Hingis!!!!! :worship:

Ntour
Sep 14th, 2007, 02:52 AM
as if justine isn't an all court player :rolleyes:

have you ever seen her play she comes to net as much as mauresmo

did you watch the Wimby final last year?
YEC final?

cellophane
Sep 14th, 2007, 03:20 AM
I don't think Kim was an offensive baseliner, more a defensive one imo. Her game is more like Jankovic than the Williams sisters or Sharapova.


Surprise, surprise. :o

shap_half
Sep 14th, 2007, 03:39 AM
There was a discussion like this on men's tennis forums.

Federer and Henin are considered "all court players". That, to me, is a testament to the lack of variety in tennis if anything.

If Federer and Henin, two offensive baseliners, are considered all court because they are skilled at net, then Sampras, the greatest serve and volleyer of all time, should be considered all court too, because he had good grounstrokes, and spent the majority of matches at the baseline.

When people say Henin "switches it up" by going to net, she's doing just that- deviating from her normal game plan. A true all court player serves and volleys whenever it benefits them to do so- on surfaces with unsteady, low bounces, for instances, or when the opponent is behind the baseline. From what I've seen of Henin this year, she'd much rather put a floating return away with a FH or BH winner.

P.S. This isn't to criticize Henin in anyway, it's just my honest assessment of things.


watch Wimbledon '06 Final, watch YEC '06 - all of Justine's matches, watch the Dubai '07 final, watch the Eastbourne '06 (Anastasia's last great match - amazing tennis from both)and '07 matches, watch the last 3 matches of the '07 Open.

supergrunt
Sep 14th, 2007, 03:55 AM
Venus is an all-court player.

supergrunt
Sep 14th, 2007, 03:59 AM
There was a discussion like this on men's tennis forums.

Federer and Henin are considered "all court players". That, to me, is a testament to the lack of variety in tennis if anything.

If Federer and Henin, two offensive baseliners, are considered all court because they are skilled at net, then Sampras, the greatest serve and volleyer of all time, should be considered all court too, because he had good grounstrokes, and spent the majority of matches at the baseline.

When people say Henin "switches it up" by going to net, she's doing just that- deviating from her normal game plan. A true all court player serves and volleys whenever it benefits them to do so- on surfaces with unsteady, low bounces, for instances, or when the opponent is behind the baseline. From what I've seen of Henin this year, she'd much rather put a floating return away with a FH or BH winner.

P.S. This isn't to criticize Henin in anyway, it's just my honest assessment of things.

I agree.

LDVTennis
Sep 14th, 2007, 06:33 AM
An aggressive or offensive baseliner tries to win the point by hitting winners from the back of the court, attacking with fast balls that the opponent cannot reach or return properly. The player may not try to win the point outright with one shot, but instead may hit the ball from side to side until he spots an opening. Aggressive baseliners normally have at least one great groundstroke, often the forehand.

List of all-time great aggressive baseliners:-
Monica Seles
Steffi Graf.

List of current players who are aggressive baseliners:-
Venus Williams
Serena Williams
Kim Clijsters
Maria Sharapova
Lindsay Davenport.

=================================================


Of these players, only Steffi had a truly great forehand. All the others had better backhands.

Moreover, on grass, particularly in her early years and some in her later years, Steffi was more of an all court player.

ZeroSOFInfinity
Sep 14th, 2007, 07:12 AM
Venus is an all-court player.

:weirdo:

Josh.
Sep 14th, 2007, 07:39 AM
thanks.

Tennisstar86
Sep 14th, 2007, 09:03 AM
Venus is an all-court player.

hrmm i actually sort of agree with you for once super troll.... Venus is indeed becoming more "all" court.. I.E. shes always trying to get into net now AND like at wimbledon she went more for placement than power.... I dont know if i consider her all court yet though....

I also agree that i would consider kim more defensive baseliner than offensive.....

ALSO Slim skinny in shape Serena was more all court than fat slow doesnt want to move serena IMO...... so does skinny Serena go into the Great all courters, and Fat/ possibly pregnant Serena go into the agressive baseliner?

cypher_88
Sep 14th, 2007, 09:18 AM
hrmm i actually sort of agree with you for once super troll.... Venus is indeed becoming more "all" court.. I.E. shes always trying to get into net now AND like at wimbledon she went more for placement than power.... I dont know if i consider her all court yet though....

I also agree that i would consider kim more defensive baseliner than offensive.....

ALSO Slim skinny in shape Serena was more all court than fat slow doesnt want to move serena IMO...... so does skinny Serena go into the Great all courters, and Fat/ possibly pregnant Serena go into the agressive baseliner?
i don't think "skinny" Serena was an all-court player, she didn't use serve and volley enough IMO to be considered all-court.