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Tennis Anyone
January 2000 Article

Contact John Mills

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Why Play Serve And Volley?

John Mills Photo
John Mills, USPTA

  1. It forces you to improve your serve. No one wants to follow a weak serve to the net to get them or their partner killed.

  2. It forces you to throw your toss more out in front in order to get to the net sooner.

  3. If you hit a great serve, you will be in a great position to hit a winner off a weak return.

  4. You will have a 70% chance of winning the point once you get your serve and first volley in play.

  5. The pressure placed on your opponent by your constant movement can force many errors.

  6. The player or team that controls the net will usually win the match.

  7. You control the length of the point. You will not lose any match because of physical conditioning. Points tend to be quick and exciting.

  8. Your exertion is great early in a point, but points are much shorter than when you hover around the baseline.

  9. It forces you to form a "wall" with your partner. This can cause errors by your opponents, possibly taking away their "bread and butter" shots.

  10. It places more pressure on your opponent, forcing them to try to keep the serve return low or execute the perfect lob.

Watch any professional match on TV and observe that the men and women are playing serve and volley a majority of the time. Role models for serve and volley in singles are John McEnroe, Patrick Rafter, Jana Novotna and Martina Navratilova. Serve and volley is more difficult to master than staying back, but the benefits far outweigh the initial difficulty.

Good luck on the Court!

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This column is copyrighted by John Mills, all rights reserved.

John Mills currently teaches tennis at the University of Houston, Clear Lake campus. John Mills' experience includes four years as head pro at the Windemere Racquet & Swim Club, where he was responsible for organization of all tennis activities at the club. John also played college tennis at the University of Houston and has spent 20 years teaching tennis at the Memorial Park Tennis Center, the Pasadena Racquet Club, and as the head pro at the Bay Area Racquet Club.


 

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