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The Serve and Swinging Volley: Next Revolution?

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  • johnyandell
    replied
    Tim,
    Agreed and agreed. But on the serve and swinging volley--see the animations--Fed can hit with authority between the service line and the baseline--this solves one of the big probs of s and v in modern game--staying ahead on the first volley.

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  • brielmaier
    replied
    Also to add to the slice backhand of Donald Budge. The big difference as I see it is that the players of that generation would also hit a flat backhand or slice backhand as an offensive shot, because the grips were more toward the continental back then. Hence the follow through being similar to the topspin backhand, with hands going the opposite way. Current pros are hitting the slice higher up the back of the ball, and going down straighter to counter balance spin as you said. where as the older pros hit it a bit lower on the ball extending the racket out toward the target more.

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  • brielmaier
    replied
    HI John. I've seen Federer do it a number of times. If I remember correctly it was inside the service line, which would make sense. Federer's topspin backhand closing shot on the bounce is second to none, so it follows that he would have confidence in the swinging volley as well. In my mind, especially in 2017, he has the best all around one handed backhand in the game. As well as forehand, volley, overhead, serve etc. ha, ha

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  • jimlosaltos
    replied
    John, I've seen a handful of one-handed ATP players hit swinging backhands. The one that I can put a name to is Richard Gasquet. That one stuck in my memory because of the racket-head speed. Gasquet took the ball below his knees and near the net, but clocked in, and somehow had enough spin to get the ball over the net and well in. Amazing.

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  • johnyandell
    replied
    Very interesting! No reason why it shouldn't work!

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  • stotty
    replied
    John Lloyd had a very good swing volley, off both wings. Yes he hit them off his one-handed backhand side too! He was famous for it over here. I doubt anyone on the forum would know him for that, or know him at all, but I do because he lived a few blocks from me and played at my club. I started coaching as an apprentice under his father's wing.

    John hit the shot as Federer would, off the right ball with the intention of seizing the moment to win a point there and then...boom. John did it off the backhand more than the forehand. His backhand was by far the stronger wing. It was shot unique to him and only he could do it that way. Some players can stand alone like that.

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  • klacr
    replied
    I've purposely laid off this thread to see some of the initial comments and the direction it would go. As those of you whom have gotten to know me through this forum understand that I'm a big fan and supporter of the serve and volley. I was very intrigued when I saw the title of this article and could not wait to read it.

    I personally am a fan of the standard drive volley but I can see where the swinging volley comes into play for many players. We can get into the history of it, the technique required to execute it or the tactical advantages, if any, that it can provide.

    But I think we are missing the real point and joy of this article. The swinging volley, heresy or not, should be welcomed. Why??

    Because Anything that will empower a player to finally get to the net is never a bad thing.

    Kyle LaCroix USPTA
    Boca Raton


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  • curiosity
    replied
    Originally posted by stotty View Post
    ............................edit.................. .

    Federer has it right. He uses the swing volley now and again where it is applicable....where opportunities arise to seize the moment.
    I agree with your comment start to finish. I do think the equipment has a lot to do with the frequency in the women's game, and the ability of Fed to do it so well if opportunistically, but these are self evident. I heavily empathize with those like Don_Budge who miss the game that allowed such soft hands as McEnroe's to work their magic, but those days are gone. I'd like to see a separate set of low-power-racquet tournaments set up, all ATP players having to enter two per year. A pipe dream.

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  • stotty
    replied
    I see the logic of seizing the opportunity to use a swing volley in given scenarios, where the conventional volley doesn't offer enough pace but the swing volley will. But it's a spur of the moment thing where a player sees a point can be won there and then by doing it. I get that. But I find it tough to visualise it becoming a tactic used consistently...in a pre planned way.

    The swing volley is more prevalent in the women's game than the men's. Women have used it more because they struggle more than men to volley conventionally from deep in the court. Women also use the swing volley on gimmes.

    I never saw McEnroe use the swing volley much, very seldom actually. McEnroe's volleying was in a different hemisphere to volleyers you see today. He was all about absorbing and deflecting pace. He had an incredible steering quality. He always seemed to be feeling the ball rather than punching it.

    It's a different game today, of course, and I am not sure we can compare today's tennis from yesterday's. But what I do hate to see is a swing volley being used where conventional volley will do the job, which is most of the time.

    Federer has it right. He uses the swing volley now and again where it is applicable....where opportunities arise to seize the moment.

    Leave a comment:


  • curiosity
    replied
    DB: It occurs to me that the first time I noticed a big resurgence in the swinging volley was among female partners in mixed doubles: As Wilson "Hammer" style stiff head-heavy racquets became popular among them, they more frequently chose to hit a SV rather than get pushed behind the baseline. It became a tactic to move it.

    As for MacEnroe, I thought more of his half-volleys than his occasional swinging volleys. So did he......

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  • curiosity
    replied
    Originally posted by don_budge View Post
    You Cannot...




    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G8qAiB2IxuI


    ...be serious.

    Definitely serious. You can look back at the velocity and swing angle of John's SV's, then look at those hit recently by Fed and others. The equipment has changed. It (lighter stiffer racquets with larger heads and more spin-conducive string) has allowed technique that makes the SV a more viable shot in what is, today, a faster game than 45 years ago. I have no opinion about how frequently the shot is used, or used well. But then the average touring pro doesn't use a number of the interesting shots the top ten or twenty players do.

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  • don_budge
    replied
    You Cannot...

    Originally posted by curiosity View Post
    Your article on the rise of the swinging volley on the second shot seems spot on to me. It isn't really a surprising evolution, I suppose. The SV of MacEnroe is not the SV of today. His SV had less velocity given the equipment and its technique. Loose gut strings on a wood frame mean his SV had to be hit with a low-to-high rising swing: if the incoming ball had much velocity then the timing to make good contact had to be exquisite, and forbade a maximum swing speed, no?

    An intermediate phase seems to have been reached as stiffer larger racquets came into play. This seems, in my memory, to be exemplified by the stronger bigger players of the WTA, Serena, Sharapova, et al. Timing challenge was not increased because the players could produce some power, topspin, and a square hit without swinging much faster.

    The current technique seems to me (me alone?) as somewhat a result of the evolved topspin forehand technique. The polyester or hybrid stringing and larger racquet head have encouraged, allowed, a faster swing speed on a somewhat flatter arc. This alone would not suffice, because topspin is still required. Faster swing speed can increase topspin, other things being equal...but would not be welcome at the cost of mishits. Clearly, though, recent decades have seen the wide adoption of ISR as a component of the forehand drive....and this carries over nicely to the SV. Producing more of the topspin at the last instant into contact via internal shoulder rotation, which produces power, a sudden acceleration in the plane of the stringbed, and a controlled forward tilt of the racquet face gives players the safety of a flatter swing arc joined to sufficient topspin and velocity. Or so it seems to me. One step at a time the equipment and technique have led to the popularity of the SV second shot.

    Add: Though even Budge included the gentle subtle rhythm of ESR, then ISR, aggressive muscular use of ISR into contact required, it would seem, the advent of larger racquet heads and stringbeds more prolific of topspin.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G8qAiB2IxuI


    ...be serious.

    Leave a comment:


  • johnyandell
    replied
    Good questions. I guess when I saw Murray Djok and Roger all serve and swing volley at Wimbledon I thought I was on to something. Remember the "experts" told Bjorn Borg he hit with too much topspin...and that was after he had won Wimbledon...

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  • stotty
    replied
    Where's the concrete evidence that swing volleys are being used more than ever before? Are there any stats on that? To me it's just something that happens now and again over the course of a match.

    The risk factors in playing the shot seem too great to me. It's shot that requires incredibly good execution to pull off over and over again. It's not an easy shot by any stretch of the imagination. Accuracy, even at pro level, seems to be the difficult factor. You can guide a classic volley to within an inch, but such accuracy is way more difficult with a swing volley. Accuracy is way easier to come by when you are hitting underneath the ball than hitting over it. That's the bottom line.

    Last edited by stotty; 05-03-2017, 01:52 PM.

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  • curiosity
    replied
    Your article on the rise of the swinging volley on the second shot seems spot on to me. It isn't really a surprising evolution, I suppose. The SV of MacEnroe is not the SV of today. His SV had less velocity given the equipment and its technique. Loose gut strings on a wood frame mean his SV had to be hit with a low-to-high rising swing: if the incoming ball had much velocity then the timing to make good contact had to be exquisite, and forbade a maximum swing speed, no?

    An intermediate phase seems to have been reached as stiffer larger racquets came into play. This seems, in my memory, to be exemplified by the stronger bigger players of the WTA, Serena, Sharapova, et al. Timing challenge was not increased because the players could produce some power, topspin, and a square hit without swinging much faster.

    The current technique seems to me (me alone?) as somewhat a result of the evolved topspin forehand technique. The polyester or hybrid stringing and larger racquet head have encouraged, allowed, a faster swing speed on a somewhat flatter arc. This alone would not suffice, because topspin is still required. Faster swing speed can increase topspin, other things being equal...but would not be welcome at the cost of mishits. Clearly, though, recent decades have seen the wide adoption of ISR as a component of the forehand drive....and this carries over nicely to the SV. Producing more of the topspin at the last instant into contact via internal shoulder rotation, which produces power, a sudden acceleration in the plane of the stringbed, and a controlled forward tilt of the racquet face gives players the safety of a flatter swing arc joined to sufficient topspin and velocity. Or so it seems to me. One step at a time the equipment and technique have led to the popularity of the SV second shot.

    Add: Though even Budge included the gentle subtle rhythm of ESR, then ISR, aggressive muscular use of ISR into contact required, it would seem, the advent of larger racquet heads and stringbeds more prolific of topspin.
    Last edited by curiosity; 05-03-2017, 11:23 AM.

    Leave a comment:

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