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cosmoose
Jul 10th, 2009, 11:18 AM
I've been watching Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez and was surprised by the fact that she seems to be pure serve and volleyer!

Even on clay, she serves and volleys. (she's spanish...who would have ever thought? Spanish serve and volleyer :D)
Its a refreshing change from base-liners game I see all the time.

So anyways, how many serve and volleyers are there in WTA?

adner
Jul 10th, 2009, 11:20 AM
Mauresmo?

SVK
Jul 10th, 2009, 11:22 AM
Mauresmo doesn´t serve and volley on clay so often...I think Vinci serving and volleying on clay too

nevetssllim
Jul 10th, 2009, 11:32 AM
Samantha Stosur.

Pen Expers
Jul 10th, 2009, 11:39 AM
Have been loving Martinez Sanchez consistent drop shot and volley play these past few days in Båstad. And it works, she's out-played some great clay court players.I only wish she'd have had a better career, maybe influence a few people to nick her style.

Ben.
Jul 10th, 2009, 11:47 AM
The only ones that I could think were some of the ones already mentioned :lol: I guess that's probably because they're aren't a lot of pure serve & volleyers in the women's game this day & age.

I think some of the best servers in the game could incorporate it, like Serena for example. She has the ability to vary her serve alongside Stosur. She can slice it, kick it, flatten it out, hence the opponent's return isn't as accurate & she could knock the volley off away for a winner.

But then again in a lot of player's heads, they think the returns are too good which is why serve & volley is so rare now. Yes the returns are good, but really I think really good servers could take advantage of their weapon & use it as step towards a successful serve & volley ploy.

Shvedbarilescu
Jul 10th, 2009, 11:54 AM
On clay at least, there is no one in the current game who attacks the net as much as Maria-Jose Sanchez Martinez. It really is quite a sight. :eek:

nevetssllim
Jul 10th, 2009, 11:55 AM
I think some of the best servers in the game could incorporate it, like Serena for example. She has the ability to vary her serve alongside Stosur. She can slice it, kick it, flatten it out, hence the opponent's return isn't as accurate & she could knock the volley off away for a winner.


I've seen Serena and Venus incorporate serve & volley into matches before and I remember Venus served and volleyed quite a lot in one of her early round matches at Wimbledon (against CSN, I think.) Also, Serena served & volleyed against Roberta Vinci but I don't actually remember Roberta doing the same.

Shvedbarilescu
Jul 10th, 2009, 12:00 PM
I've seen Serena and Venus incorporate serve & volley into matches before and I remember Venus served and volleyed quite a lot in one of her early round matches at Wimbledon (against CSN, I think.) Also, Serena served & volleyed against Roberta Vinci but I don't actually remember Roberta doing the same.

Yeah but serve and volleying on grass is one thing but serve and volleying and attacking the net like Maria-Jose does on clay is something far more unusual as clay is not a surface known for being suited to netrushers.

Slutiana
Jul 10th, 2009, 12:06 PM
Maria Kiri S+Vs a few times in each match. :shrug:

cosmoose
Jul 10th, 2009, 12:09 PM
I think you need to be very brave to be a serve and volleyer.
You have to expect that you'll be passed..a lot.
But eventually, the constant pressure at the net will break down the base-liners.


btw, serve and volleying 2 or 3 points in a match doesn't make you a serve and volleyer. :rolleyes:

Lunaris
Jul 10th, 2009, 01:43 PM
I was surprised we didn't have more threads about this player after her impressive run in Rome where she gave Safina one heck of a match. She isn't a serve and volleyer in the sense of Navratilova or Novotna, but she certainly uses it more frequently than most other players. Her extraordinaire game (S&V, dropshot&lob, some weird spins and angles) is very enjoyable to watch but lacks fundamental components that would make her more successful - powerful groundstrokes.

Slutiana
Jul 10th, 2009, 01:45 PM
I think you need to be very brave to be a serve and volleyer.
You have to expect that you'll be passed..a lot.
But eventually, the constant pressure at the net will break down the base-liners.


btw, serve and volleying 2 or 3 points in a match doesn't make you a serve and volleyer. :rolleyes:
Nahh, really? :rolleyes:

adner
Jul 10th, 2009, 01:51 PM
but lacks fundamental components that would make her more successful - powerful groundstrokes.
Actually I think that's a good thing or she'd become just another ballbasher.

Lunaris
Jul 10th, 2009, 02:00 PM
Actually I think that's a good thing or she'd become just another ballbasher.From perspective of tennis fans who enjoy diversity it is definitely a good thing, but from perspective of Martinez-Sanchez's who wants to be successful and have a good career it's not.

Shvedbarilescu
Jul 10th, 2009, 02:43 PM
From perspective of tennis fans who enjoy diversity it is definitely a good thing, but from perspective of Martinez-Sanchez's who wants to be successful and have a good career it's not.

And what exactly would you consider a good career?

After many years struggling for various reasons to develop her game Maria-Jose seems to be on the verge of becoming quite a successful late bloomer from what I can see. With a win tomorrow she will be comfortably in the top 30 in the race this year. Certainly for Maria-Jose to finish this year in the top 30 would not seem to me to be at all unrealistic. And as she is still developing her craft it appears her best tennis is still ahead of her. I wouldn't be at all surprised to see her within the top 20 at some point in the future.

I think if you had asked Maria-Jose 2 or 3 years ago how she would feel about the possibility of being in the top 30 I imagine her response would be something along the lines of "yes please". Not everyone can be top 10. But I'd say she looks like she is heading for a very productive next couple of years.

Additionally I would also take issue with you on your suggestion that Maria-Jose lacks power. Yes there are players on the tour with more power. But there are even more who have less power. Although she does use good touch at the net I wouldn't call her a finesse player by any means. Normally she comes into the net not on slices but on very aggressive hard hit shots.

Perhaps when you use the word "successful" you should clarify your criteria for what you regard as being successful. Because right now she seems to me to be doing pretty well in her chosen profession.

cosmoose
Jul 10th, 2009, 04:27 PM
^ I think it takes much longer for serve and volleyer to learn the craft and become a good player.

S&V requires more thinking, strategy and athleticism than the typical base-liners.

Anyways, its a joy to watch MJMS!

Sonf@
Jul 10th, 2009, 05:18 PM
MJMS's backhand is quite powerful indeed. I don't think she'll become a ballbasher since she was already one in her early years. She's developed this kind of game in the last seasons of her career ;)

Lunaris
Jul 10th, 2009, 07:33 PM
Chris, I wanted to say that MJMS's groundstrokes prevent her from being more successful/having a better career. Next time I will write "who wants to be as successful as possible", sorry. Still I can answer your question as well.

Successful imo means to earn enough money during your tennis career to ensure that you are not short of it when you retire or even when you are about to become a pensioner. Of course you could take another job after quitting tennis, but for some players it might be difficult (chronic injuries, lack of education or something else).
MJMS is almost 27 y.o. and yet to reach 4R at a Slam or top 20 in the ranks, she's won 1 WTA title and has earned slightly more than $800k since 1998 when she turned pro. Is it enough for rest of her life? She has a few years left in her to earn more money, so perhaps it is. But you can't expect any massive improvements from someone 27 years old.
Anyway, speaking in general, reaching top 100 is a good achievement and one could argue (I remember that you sometimes do) that it makes your career good, but it won't make you rich, which at the end of the day is why you play. At least that's my opinion.

Additionally I would also take issue with you on your suggestion that Maria-Jose lacks power. Yes there are players on the tour with more power. But there are even more who have less power. Although she does use good touch at the net I wouldn't call her a finesse player by any means. Normally she comes into the net not on slices but on very aggressive hard hit shots.Forehand is easily attackable and will fold under pressure, way too much spin and not enough power on it. Backhand is better, but not a kill shot. :shrug:
^ I think it takes much longer for serve and volleyer to learn the craft and become a good player.

S&V requires more thinking, strategy and athleticism than the typical base-liners.First sentence I agree with, not sure about the second though. Karlovic doesn't look like some sort of strategic genius. He just hits a big serve, runs toward the net and hits a volley. :shrug: Perhaps you could be more specific. As for athleticism, what do you mean by that?

adner
Jul 10th, 2009, 08:23 PM
Karlovic doesnt generally play tennis, he plays lottery - "Will I get 1st serve in?" :p

Shvedbarilescu
Jul 10th, 2009, 10:22 PM
Chris, I wanted to say that MJMS's groundstrokes prevent her from being more successful/having a better career. Next time I will write "who wants to be as successful as possible", sorry. Still I can answer your question as well.

Successful imo means to earn enough money during your tennis career to ensure that you are not short of it when you retire or even when you are about to become a pensioner. Of course you could take another job after quitting tennis, but for some players it might be difficult (chronic injuries, lack of education or something else).
MJMS is almost 27 y.o. and yet to reach 4R at a Slam or top 20 in the ranks, she's won 1 WTA title and has earned slightly more than $800k since 1998 when she turned pro. Is it enough for rest of her life? She has a few years left in her to earn more money, so perhaps it is. But you can't expect any massive improvements from someone 27 years old.
Anyway, speaking in general, reaching top 100 is a good achievement and one could argue (I remember that you sometimes do) that it makes your career good, but it won't make you rich, which at the end of the day is why you play. At least that's my opinion.

Forehand is easily attackable and will fold under pressure, way too much spin and not enough power on it. Backhand is better, but not a kill shot. :shrug:


Yeah, I would agree with you on most of that. From the sounds of that we have a pretty similar criteria of what one would call a successful career. I would also say if you finish your career having earned enough money to be reasonable comfortable financially post career then you have had a pretty successful career. Maria-Jose Sanchez Martinez having earned close to 1 million dollars thus far isn't quite there when one considers the costs of being a tennis player. I think really one is probably looking more for career around say 2, maybe 2 and a half million.

But looking at the way Maria-Jose's career is going, even though she is 27 this actually looks very attainable. Prior to this week her career earnings according to the WTA website are actually $953,400. But what is most significant about about this figure is that of that $357,598 was made this year. In other words at the start of this year MJMS had earned less than $600,000 in her entire career. This year she has already earned over $350 grand and being in the final of both the singles and doubles in Sweden this week she can look forward to another very nice paycheck this week. Infact the way this year has developed it is not all unrealistic to expect that she will finish 2009 having earning something like 6 to 7 100 grand for the year, perhaps even a little more as she can look forword to lucrative end of the year events in Bali and perhaps even Doha in Doubles, as Martinez Sanchez and Llagostera Vives are now 5th in the race to the YEC, 1st 4 teams qualifying. That means she will have easily earned more this year than in the whole of her career prior to the year. A couple more years of similar success and she is sitting pretty.

Regarding your comment that if she had better groundstrokes she would be a more successful player, well I can't really disagree with that. But in fairness the same could be said for every single player on the tour. If she was faster she would win more matches too for that matter. Every player has their strengths and weaknesses, but even their strengths can always be better than they are. No she doesn't hit her groundies as hard as Sharapova or the Williams sisters or Kuznetsova or Ivanovic. Oh well, a lot of other players don't either. Yeah she doesn't have a monster killshot with either of her groundies, but both are forehand and backhand provide her with good oportunities to come to the net and she is able to "kill" the ball there.

I don't think anyone is expecting Maria-Jose to get into the top 10. Not ever player has that potential, infact most don't, I think you'd agree. But what I've seen of her it seems likely to me that she will spend some time in the top 30 and might even at some point in the next three years make a short visit to the top 20, so I don't think her groundies are limiting her anymore than they are limiting most of the players ranked outside the top 20.