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Team WTAworld, Senior Member
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No....I plan to single-handedly revive it. *cough* Right.
 

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Momo? Heard a really interesting story about her from a commentator!!! She said she had spoken to momo when she was 14 and asked her why she was not playing junior wimbledon, momo said it was because the French tennis association wanted them to practice on clay more. They thought the points were over to quickly in grass and this would not be good for their game in the long term.

But me thinks she could have been such a natural serve and volley player.
 

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I grew up idolizing Martina Navratilova and Stefan Edberg for their classic, serve-and-volley styles of play. They were aggressive and fearless charging the net, and attacking every point. Oh those were the days of tennis... Funny thing is, Navratilova and Edberg didn't have --- what'd I'd consider --- the prototypical physiques for serve-and-volleying. By that, I mean: tall, lean and athletic; quick and agile for their size; powerful and accurate serve; soft hands and touch; aggressive and fearless demeanor. Thing is, many of today's players fit that profile perfectly, but they're playing the wrong style in my opinion (baselining). ;)

I agree that Amelie Mauresmo --- who possesses many of those traits --- would be a perfect candidate for serve-and-volleying. I wish she would make the full transition to that style of play. And I personally believe, that Maria Sharapova could have been a dominating serve-and-volleyer, had she been led down that path from an early age. I'm hoping that Nicole Vaidisova --- who is very reminiscent of Maria, physically --- can someday become a true serve-and-volleyer; she has a lot of potential for that type of game. :)

In the meantime, I guess we'll all have to put up with the endless baselining for quite some time... :rolleyes:
 

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Why is serve volleying supposed to be superior to baseline tennis? Every second statement out of the commentators mouths is a comment on how the back of the courts are much more worn out than the middle like it used to be in the 'old days'. Obviously like in all things in life things change but then again change back. It is all cyclic. With more information on health and technology athletes can get stronger faster. Their shoes and rackets are designed to give the best advantage. Players will play whatever works for them. I listen to some commentators glorifying the past and I wonder how much is real and how much is exagerrated. People do have selective memories.
Pete sampras was amazing as a S&V, His nemesis Andre is renowned for his baseline game. Today the serve volleyers are quite as successsful. Players like wayne arthurs with their booming serves and volleying haven't made inroads yet but scrambles like hewitt have had alot more success. Federer rules the pack now yet he doesn't serve volley alot, he can do it but it isn't integral to his game, he can win from the baseline.
Els callens and Raymond are the S&V , amelei can but it isn't what she does alot of.
Serve volleying is dying but it is dying for a reason, it isn't superior to baseline tennis. It is just a glorified myth.Otherwise more players would be adapting to it. If more S&V get successful then more players will start playing that way.
Look at the trend in women's tennis. When power tennis went on the increase, more players started to do that, but right now the power players are adding to their game to remain competitive. Amelie totally changed her game, henin is mixing it up, venus is going to the net alot more(hasn't made her more successful), Kim has worked the drop shot/lob to perfection etc. Players adapt to what seems to work. For now serve volleying isn't winning slams for the women, power and variety is.
 

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Raymond really doesn't even serve and volley full time. She'll do it to change tactics and mix up the pace, but she doesn't do it every point. The only player I've seen do it full time is Els Callens, and obviously Navratilova.

While one style of tennis isn't superior to another, I will propose this: Why do you think Navratilova has had her best scoreline in the first set of almost every match she has played in her comeback? People aren't used to dealing with a serve and volley player. On the womens tour, it takes players a set (sometimes the match) to deal with the notion that a player is going to be coming into the net every single time, and that it's crucial to be hitting well from the very first stroke of the rally.

Being a serve and volleyer myself, I will say this: There is no better feeling than being in the zone when you're playing that style of tennis. Everything just flows effortlessly and as a spectator, it's a treat to watch.

I will say the myth about S&V being the best style is bogus. It all depends on the surface. It's not ideal for clay, but it sure is for grass and fast indoor courts.

More women on tour should try and incorporate that into their game, or at the very least try coming to net more. I can guarantee you Monica Seles would have had at least a couple more slams after the stabbing if she learned to take balls out of the air, rather than hit two or three extra groundstokes (at Wimby, the flaws in this tactic were particularly noticeable).
 

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if alicia molik committed herself to be a full time serve vollyer, she could be very successful
 

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At my poor level, I mostly play serve and volley, and yes it's great feeling when it works. S & V is what I would call "pressure play" : you put pressure on your opponent by giving him very few time but there's pressure on yourself too because it takes a lot of concentration to put the volleys in and at the right place. If your opponent has a good return of serve it's very tough, plus you need to have a good serve. Generally, good serve and volleyers are rather tall guys (in order to have a good coverage at the net).

For girls, it's kind of very difficult : generally they don't serve missiles, they don't really like that permanent status of pressure and most of the girls are not that tall. Players like Venus, Maria Sharapova or Daniela could be good at S & V but they don't have the natural "instinct" to go for it, unfortunately. Amelie tries it from time to time and it works when the opponent is not a baseline hard-hitter, but she lost to Daniela in eastbourne because Daniela hits very hard from the baseline.

The harder the opponent hits from the baseline, the tougher it will be for the serve and volleyer to make the difference. Real S & V players like Sampras, Krajicek, Ivanisevic or Rafter (or Henman, Ancic) go for it on EVERY service point whatever happens, it takes a mindset in which you are ready to accept that your opponent will make returns or passings winners and don't lose the courage to go for it anyway, systematically. For the girls that means a completely different philosophy of the game and that's really, really difficult for them. But sure it would be very pleasant and "spicy" to see some girls adopt that style of play.
 

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tennnisfannn said:
Why is serve volleying supposed to be superior to baseline tennis? Every second statement out of the commentators mouths is a comment on how the back of the courts are much more worn out than the middle like it used to be in the 'old days'. Obviously like in all things in life things change but then again change back. It is all cyclic. With more information on health and technology athletes can get stronger faster. Their shoes and rackets are designed to give the best advantage. Players will play whatever works for them. I listen to some commentators glorifying the past and I wonder how much is real and how much is exagerrated. People do have selective memories.
Pete sampras was amazing as a S&V, His nemesis Andre is renowned for his baseline game. Today the serve volleyers are quite as successsful. Players like wayne arthurs with their booming serves and volleying haven't made inroads yet but scrambles like hewitt have had alot more success. Federer rules the pack now yet he doesn't serve volley alot, he can do it but it isn't integral to his game, he can win from the baseline.
Els callens and Raymond are the S&V , amelei can but it isn't what she does alot of.
Serve volleying is dying but it is dying for a reason, it isn't superior to baseline tennis. It is just a glorified myth.Otherwise more players would be adapting to it. If more S&V get successful then more players will start playing that way.
Look at the trend in women's tennis. When power tennis went on the increase, more players started to do that, but right now the power players are adding to their game to remain competitive. Amelie totally changed her game, henin is mixing it up, venus is going to the net alot more(hasn't made her more successful), Kim has worked the drop shot/lob to perfection etc. Players adapt to what seems to work. For now serve volleying isn't winning slams for the women, power and variety is.
Isn't it because it's so much more difficult to have good results at the beginning? It takes a while to be a good player when you play S&V. Pete Sampras did not S&V at the beginning of his career I believe. Nowadays Players want to have results as soon as possible. So they do baseline game all the time...and then it's all the more difficult to play S&V.
What I mean is that I don't think it would not be competitive. It's just that top players do not use it consistently.
 

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The move away from grass and indoor tournaments has hurt the status of serve & volley tennis and the fact that players are being trained at an ever younger age, because the serve and the volley are not fully developed until players are much older, taller and stronger. Consequently, youngsters form a playing style which is based around groundstrokes and baselining; double-handed strokes further inhibit the development of a S&V game).

The changes in racquet technology have also had a slight impact. Not only are players able to generate more power but also more speed and that makes it harder for youngsters to develop an effective serve-volley game. On the other hand, Edberg, Sampras, Rafter, Mirnyi (yum yum), Henman, et al have shown that it is possible to play serve-volley tennis with the modern equipment.

I think Venus Williams has everything necessary (speed, athleticism, reach, strength) to become a truly great serve and volleyer. She's severely hampered by a backhand that doesn't give her a natural approach to the net and a lack of confidence which comes from having "relied" on a baseline game for so long.
 

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It sure is fun, however. Pure aggression. You hit a big kicker out wide to the backhand, move in, see the high weak floating reply, then punch a forehand volley into the open court. Point over.

No muss, no fuss.

:wavey:
 

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quasimodo said:
At my poor level, I mostly play serve and volley, and yes it's great feeling when it works. S & V is what I would call "pressure play" : you put pressure on your opponent by giving him very few time but there's pressure on yourself too because it takes a lot of concentration to put the volleys in and at the right place. If your opponent has a good return of serve it's very tough, plus you need to have a good serve. Generally, good serve and volleyers are rather tall guys (in order to have a good coverage at the net).

For girls, it's kind of very difficult : generally they don't serve missiles, they don't really like that permanent status of pressure and most of the girls are not that tall. Players like Venus, Maria Sharapova or Daniela could be good at S & V but they don't have the natural "instinct" to go for it, unfortunately. Amelie tries it from time to time and it works when the opponent is not a baseline hard-hitter, but she lost to Daniela in eastbourne because Daniela hits very hard from the baseline.

The harder the opponent hits from the baseline, the tougher it will be for the serve and volleyer to make the difference. Real S & V players like Sampras, Krajicek, Ivanisevic or Rafter (or Henman, Ancic) go for it on EVERY service point whatever happens, it takes a mindset in which you are ready to accept that your opponent will make returns or passings winners and don't lose the courage to go for it anyway, systematically. For the girls that means a completely different philosophy of the game and that's really, really difficult for them. But sure it would be very pleasant and "spicy" to see some girls adopt that style of play.
Great post! :bowdown:

It really would ne nice to see the game becoming more diverced. The truth is, I prefer baseliners, and I myself prefer to stay on the baseline, but it would be more interesting to see players with different strategy and tactics. Lately it has become pretty much all the same.
 
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