Is serve and volley really dead?

World No.23 Michael Llodra is the only prominent player that uses the serve-and-volley tactic as a main part of his game. This style of play was made popular by the likes of Rod Laver  in the 1960-70s and Pete Sampras in the 1990-00s, which led them to Grand Slam success. In the 21st century, tennis has gradually turned into a power game with players controlling opponents mainly from the baseline. Why aren’t more players using the serve-and-volley as a main part of their repertoire?

Here are two videos, with one depicting the art of serve and volley in full flight and the other demonstrating the physicality of tennis today.

This is the 1969 Australian Open semi-final between serve-and-volley maestros Rod Laver and Tony Roche. Laver is the one wearing the white hat.

This the 2009 ATP World Tour finals round robin match between Nikolay Davydenko and Novak Djokovic, who both use the baseline to control their opponents.

Which style of play would you like to see the game of tennis having today? Feel free to post your thoughts by leaving a comment.


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