Under the sun

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Serve And Volley

I don't watch much of Tennis these days. I manage to catch the action sometimes in Grand Slam finals. I wish to follow tennis more regularly going forward. With my touch with tennis (watching!) being almost non-existent over the last few years, i was shocked when i first found that the art of serve and volley was dead. No one did that even at Wimbledon! Navratilova, McEnroe, Edberg, Becker, Sampras - the best of tennis that i've seen were from these server-and-volley-ers.

Nirmal Shekar writes:

The great left-handed conjurer is still around, in these
parts, keeping us entertained from the commentary box. But the stroke that he
played with such breathtaking virtuosity — the volley — is on its way to
extinction. When the odd player now chooses to serve and volley on every point,
it almost seems like a vestigial trait


Even Roger Federer, who can masterfully play every stroke in
the book — and some that are not there because the ones who wrote the game’s
manual could not have even dreamed of his brand of shotmaking genius — has won
at least three of his four titles (barring the first, in 2003, when he served
and volleyed for the most part against Mark Philippoussis


Update: I'm glad that Federer won last night but i have a question (guess its obvious to regular tennis watchers). Federer is way behind Nadal on clay while Nadal is relatively closer to Federer on grass. Does it in anyway raise a question mark on the claim that Federer is the greatest ever? Yesterday, it was Federer who was made to run around. The rare trips he made to the net resulted in him missing the simplest of volleys (atleast twice, and in crucial situations). I missed the most important part of the match when Federer saved four breakpoints in the final set and i rejoined the action to see Nadal serving at 2-5. That must have been something. All said and done, it was immensely satisfying to see a clay court specialist - having said that, like Vijay Amritraj said, there doesn't seem to be much of a difference between Nadal on clay and Nadal on grass - losing.

26 Comments:

  • I lost interest when Rafter stopped playing. I would rather watch the old archive videos again and again :)

    -TPSK

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Thu Jul 05, 11:24:00 AM  

  • i am also playing tennis for the past one week here. volleying is damn tough.. the ground strokes are much easier to pick up

    By Blogger karthikeyan, at Thu Jul 05, 12:30:00 PM  

  • TPSK, ennamma, Federer suvathoda aadina kooda pakalame :-).
    Avan thalaiyezhuthu Pete retire aayittan. Illaina oru kaattu kattiyrippomula. Afterall, in 2001 didnt Roger dethrone Pete? It is not Rogers fault that others are crappy today.

    By Anonymous raj, at Thu Jul 05, 01:49:00 PM  

  • Raj annE,

    "Federer suvathoda aadina kooda pakalame"
    idellam three much.

    General statements:

    Roger federer would break all records
    Roger federer can beat all his opponents
    Roger federer can play *some* exciting shots.

    irukkatume..

    - But, he has "no chance" in hell to beat Pete(with both of them in form). Period.

    As for my 'subjective' view (and liking), I hate both Fed and Pete.

    Yenoda 'preference:
    McEnroe, Lendl, Connors, Edberg, Becker. (aana match yellathayum 'ESPN classic' archive videos-la pathadu thaan - they were entertaining, exciting, electric, sometimes eccentric..etc..etc..).

    Even the best baseliners like Borg, and Agassi were OKAY. In recent times, Hewitt 'pannade'-ya paathalaey pidikaadu..his 'sloppy' uninspiring shots doesn't 'interest' me.

    Ahaa.ippo yenoda taste-a paathu yenna solvingalO!

    -TPSK

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Thu Jul 05, 02:14:00 PM  

  • Bala,
    I want to damn honest and yes, I want to say this :

    I watch tennis just to ogle at the breath-taking movements of GOD's wonderful creations ! :) Right from Martina, it continues. :) and I am happy to see many EXPERIMENTATION carried out in *that* area by the newbies :) Long live tennis !

    By Anonymous selvakumar, at Thu Jul 05, 02:18:00 PM  

  • pete sampras international level-la vilaiyadra varaikum follow pannen...ippo uhum

    By Blogger vigneshwaran shanmugam, at Thu Jul 05, 03:42:00 PM  

  • Edberg Becker matches were the best ever man...It would be like Pakistan vs Windies....yaar win pannuvanganu last varaikum theriyathu.....
    i stopped watching tennis after Becker retired...

    By Blogger mutRupuLLi, at Thu Jul 05, 04:53:00 PM  

  • TPSK,
    Except for Lendl, I think I have the same list of Tennis idols - order may be different:-)
    Part of my dislike for Pete comes from his demolition of Becker, who I think after THAT volley in 1985 captured every tennis watching teenager at that time!
    So, part of my Roger Federer bootlicking is due to "ARR dethroned IR who dethroned MSV so lets promote ARR" logic ;-).
    I am not as passionate about Federer as I was about Becker but definitely, the man has an amazing game. Adhu oputukittu dhaan theeranum. And Pete can go to hell because he demolished Becker, yeah adhanaale en karpanaila he will never beat Roger (logic kettale tahla suthudulla );-)

    By Anonymous raj, at Thu Jul 05, 07:01:00 PM  

  • selvakumar, MARTINAvaa? Hingis illai Navaratilova-vaa? (N)Ava homo dhaane?

    BTW, does anybody remember a DD News Reader called Nijandhan , who once in his typical rapid delivery style,shortened Martina Navaratilova to Maltova :-)

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Thu Jul 05, 07:07:00 PM  

  • correction above "he has "no chance" in hell to beat Pete(with both of them in form). ",

    I meant 'grass' and 'hard court', and hence the overall titles. Clay - It's safe to assume that Sampras would fail 'miserably'. :)

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Thu Jul 05, 07:34:00 PM  

  • Karthi,
    naanga ellam tennis vilayaadinadhu shuttle bat and "Joy ice cream" balla- vechu dhaan :)

    Raj/Thilak/Sridhar,
    I like both Sampras and Federer but like Raj/Sridhar said, Becker ponadhukku apparam, perusa oru interest illa. Irony enna na, initially i used to root for Lendl when it came to Lendl vs Becker!
    Agassi was one player i loved to hate. - to the extent of supporting Ivanisevic! :)

    Sampras vs Federer ? No idea. andha alavukku follow pannala.

    Selva,
    Amaam amaam! Steffi Graph, Sabatini, Hingis - vechakanna vaangaama paathukutte irukkanum pola irukkum... iyarkai thAyin iNayillA pdaippu.

    Anon,
    I assume Selva meant Hingis.
    As for Martina "Navratnamala" madam - she is the best woman to have ever played tennis.
    LOL @ that "beerangi meesai" Nijandan's comment.

    By Blogger Bala (Karthik), at Fri Jul 06, 11:15:00 AM  

  • Mutrupulli,
    Ada, nan 'Pakistan-West Indies' pakradu illa :)

    Raj, that's one of the reason. Other being, Pete's 'boring' 'typical' atheletic movements and shots. Nothing 'poetic' or 'graceful' about it :)

    Boris becker being a thala unanimously, brings tears to my eyes :-)

    About Woman's tennis, Selva is bang on (about the current gen). But, there were 'decent' players before, who had close games.

    And Selva wouldn't have meant 'kannadi' paati for sure :))

    By Blogger Thilak pratap selva kumar, at Fri Jul 06, 11:28:00 AM  

  • Forgot to add, the current generation 'laediss' players look like body builders on steroids. Manushiya illa machine-a nu vidhyasame theriyadhu. Total turn-offs...
    Sharapova, pomatta nu ennamo solraanga.. edhuvume velaikkavala maamu...:(

    By Blogger Bala (Karthik), at Fri Jul 06, 11:35:00 AM  

  • LOL Bala, you're referring to likes of Mauresmo,etc. I guess. As I stopped watching women's tennis for sometime now, Selva would be the right person to reply :)

    BTW Sharapova-ku yenna korachal? :-)

    -TPSK

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Fri Jul 06, 11:57:00 AM  

  • One more Boom boom Becker fan here. Thalaivar adikkara dive super. As someone said Becker vs Edberg matches were too good. And baseline lottu lottu is so boring.

    And high time Venus/Serena/Henin etc retire. Vaidisova, Ivanovic, Sharapova(Hope she stops screaming), Jelena Dokic, Karolina Sprem(Yes Sprem) ivanga ellam aadina dhaan paaka nalla irukku.

    By Anonymous F e r r a r i, at Fri Jul 06, 12:19:00 PM  

  • // Selva,
    Amaam amaam! Steffi Graph, Sabatini, Hingis - vechakanna vaangaama paathukutte irukkanum pola irukkum... iyarkai thAyin iNayillA pdaippu.

    Anon,
    I assume Selva meant Hingis.
    As for Martina "Navratnamala" madam - she is the best woman to have ever played tennis.
    LOL @ that "beerangi meesai" Nijandan's //

    oohh ! Anon, couldn't believe how you can imagine martina for Navaratilova in that context ! :( :shivering:

    Bala - thanks ! yup ! It is Hingis only :mouth watering: :)
    though not restricted to Hingis alone ! :P


    // About Woman's tennis, Selva is bang on (about the current gen). But, there were 'decent' players before, who had close games.

    And Selva wouldn't have meant 'kannadi' paati for sure :)) //

    Exactly ! Inimael Hingis solliyae post pannuraen ! :(


    // As I stopped watching women's tennis for sometime now, Selva would be the right person to reply :) //

    You have stoppped watching women tennis. Come on ! I still believe that WOMEN CRICKET is not getting popular simply coz they are not getting inspired from their TENNIS COUSINS ! :) Imagine women cricket in that angle and there are 6 balls / over ! :) Hope u will continue to give ur support to TENNIS like me / us

    By Anonymous selvakumar, at Fri Jul 06, 02:22:00 PM  

  • Bala, I join thee in Agassi hating goshti....Just loved the Wimbeldon semifinal when Becker came back from 1 set and 4 games behind to send Aggasi packing...:)
    But then that mokkai pete send boris packing in final :(

    By Blogger mutRupuLLi, at Fri Jul 06, 02:42:00 PM  

  • http://nil-padi-sel.blogspot.com/2007/07/vintage-sachin-what-it-really-means-to.html

    bala..post it in hub sports section

    By Blogger vigneshwaran shanmugam, at Fri Jul 06, 04:35:00 PM  

  • well.well...im also in that hingis jollu gropu

    adada....enna oru beauty...what a face cut!..hmmm

    paal vadiyura mugam

    By Blogger vigneshwaran shanmugam, at Fri Jul 06, 04:52:00 PM  

  • Enakku Henin Pudikkum. For the game:-) Oru level-la pombalai Federer-ne sollalam - nalla artistry. Avalum retire aayitta, indha long-legged fashion models dhaan minjuvanga. Not that its bad but there must be a semblance of sport kooda illaiya - otehrwise, we might as well go and watch Fashion TV, illaiya?

    By Anonymous raj, at Sat Jul 07, 12:07:00 PM  

  • BTW, I think Lendl was the most boring Tennis Player ever. EVER. Sampras-e mokkaina avanlam mokkai deivam. I cant believer he has admirers. Avanukku Wilander thevalai.
    Looks like most people commenting here are the mid-80's-Boris-induced tennis-fans. I think fans of the generation previous to that would associate boredom with 'borg'dom. Thank heavens for McEnroe illaina Tennis would have died before I watched my first wimbledon

    By Anonymous raj, at Sat Jul 07, 12:09:00 PM  

  • Raj annE,

    Part of the reason why I like Borg and Lendl, is the fact that they are terrific baseliners who had good authority unlike the likes of hewitt these days. When they face the likes of Mcenroe, becker, edberg or Sampras - you just have to see the 'fight'. The very fact that people acknowledge hewitt is a good baseline speaks about the quality of players(let alone baseliners) these days.

    On Lendl, anda backhand paathu mirandu poitten :)
    Sampras oda sloppy-backhand and frog-smash paathu vandi thaan varum :) Infact, Sampras' forehand is my favorite. Aana anda serve vechu yengayo poittan payapulla.

    Did you guys watch 'Fed vs Gasquet' match? Gasquet fans yellam remba sound vitanga..ippo yenna solvaingalo!

    TPSK.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sat Jul 07, 08:42:00 PM  

  • Thilak,
    ennammo kalai kannodu paakkumbodhu avalavu eerpu illai, merkooriya veeranganaigalaippol :P :)

    Ferrari,
    And baseline lottu lottu is so boring.
    Yes, oru variety-e illa...

    Selva,
    :)

    Sridhar,
    modhalla double-handed backhand-a ban pannanum!!!

    Raj,
    @FTV comment - adhaane?
    Thavira, munna irundha madhiri "baniyan"-um, kutta paavadayum podama ennennamo dress ellam podraanga. Worse than Sania's nose ring.

    @Lendl/Borg comment- Lendl wasn't the most entertaining (i can hear you scream 'understatement'!) but ennamo therila, first ellam Lendl na romba pudikkum. Eppadiyavadhu oru Wimbledon jeikka maattana nu irukkum.

    Vikki,
    Feddy (Stanley) beat me to it in the hub :)

    By Blogger Bala (Karthik), at Mon Jul 09, 02:00:00 PM  

  • Bala, Ippollam Wimbledon Grass is slower than before - after the Sampras-Ivanisevic SlugFests, Wimbledon decided to slow down the courts to enable longer matches and more interest. Unfortunately, it has opened up the opportunitie for Nadal. Nadal struggles in Fast courts - proof: Between Wimbledon 2006 and Frech 2007, he barely raised dust anywhere. Nadal ellaam Pete at his best face pannina 6-0, 6-0 dhaan on Grass.
    Whole of Tennis tour is biased towards Clay Court Specialists.
    On the stupid assumptions that long rallies =beter quality. Give me a booming serve and an occasional volley any day.

    If anything, Fed asserted his greatness last Sunday by scrapping out a victory thereby exhibhiting the mental strength that he has not hitherto ever needed.

    By Anonymous raj, at Wed Jul 11, 08:46:00 AM  

  • ROTFL@Navaratnamala and Kannaadi Paati!! :-))

    Becker was great but if you watch the mid to late 80s videos, you willl get the feeling he was a little ahead for his time: poleer, poleer-nu his shots were just too powerful. That was the secret. Definitely a terrible player on clay.

    By Blogger The Talkative Man, at Thu Jul 12, 10:48:00 AM  

  • Raj,
    "Bala, Ippollam Wimbledon Grass is slower than before - after the Sampras-Ivanisevic SlugFests, Wimbledon decided to slow down the courts to enable longer matches and more interest."
    - Oh...

    "Whole of Tennis tour is biased towards Clay Court Specialists.
    On the stupid assumptions that long rallies =beter quality. Give me a booming serve and an occasional volley any day.
    "
    - Adhe adhe...

    TTM,
    unga favorite yaaru?

    By Blogger Bala (Karthik), at Wed Jul 18, 12:57:00 PM  

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