Do you charge the net after serving? Remember the “good old days” of tennis when players used to come to the net regularly and hit volleys? Well, “the times they are a changing.”
The Old Days
Aussie legend and multiple Wimbledon winner, Roy Emerson said, he doesn’t recall ever serving and not coming forward to the net on either his first or second serve. But if you watch most all pro matches and observe your friends playing singles OR doubles, you will see most players staying on the baseline.
Why is it disappearing?
It used to be that most of the top pros hit a one handed backhand; but now, the vast majority hit with two hands. That change in stroke has generally taken away “the weaker side” and allows the players to come over the top of the ball with two hands and hit much stronger passing shots.
Also, the changes in equipment have aided in the demise of the volley. Lighter and livelier racquets, equipped with new string technology that imparts much more topspin, have made the passing shot much more difficult to catch up to.
Good or Bad?
Former pro Hank Irvine once told me (after beating me in a singles tournament match!), “You have to serve and volley at least enough times to make your opponent not know when you will be coming and when you will be staying back.”
For me, I like to watch baseline rallies better than serve/volley tennis; but baselining moon ballers can take that to the non-entertaining extreme. So, has changing the game from serve-and-volley to more baseline rallies made it more or less interesting for the tennis fan? And in playing our own games, I try to follow Hank’s advice in both singles and doubles and come to the net enough so not to give my opponents a regular pattern.
What’s your opinion… charge the net or stay back?
To read a detailed article on this subject by noted writer Joel Drucker, just click HERE
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