Johan Kriek on serve-and-volleying at Wimbledon:


“During Wimbledon last year I did a lengthy interview with a fellow South-African commentator, Robbie Koenig. Afterwards we went for lunch at the press center. It is an amazingly diverse area…. very cool. Robbie and I discussed the lack of serve-and-volley being employed at Wimbledon in modern times and in tennis in general. We had a very interesting discussion that brought us both to the following conclusions:

1. The serve-and-volley game has been impacted by big men now hitting much harder.

2. The new graphite rackets have made it easier to hit much harder due to them being lighter, the sweet-spot is bigger but the most impact is actually from strings, especially the Luxillon brand that imparts more spin on the ball. (Kids! Stay away from these hard strings!)

3. Because balls dip quicker, players feel that hitting volleys consistently deep and effectively is diminished…

4. The new, younger, “modern technique” coaches are teaching big hitting with bigger swings etc. etc. with almost zero volleying…

I agree on the points above but look what happened today…shall I call it ” weird, wacky, wonderful, whodat Wednesday”??…;)
Federer lost to a guy with a great serve-and-volley game! Brown beat Layton Hewitt with a very aggressive style of serve, volley and quick hands.
What cracked me up was that the commentators are acting like this “type” of play is so alien, they are surprised somebody would actually go back and find it in the dusty crevices of and old Wimbledon manuscript at the museum and use it!! Well done to SOMEBODY finally having the “balls” and try what is very obvious, that on grass, the slice, the slice approach and serve and volley CAN be used effectively…..hooray !!!”

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Meet the Author

Johan Kriek has won two Australian Opens, was a semi-finalist at the US Open, reached the semi-finals at the French Open and the quarterfinals of Wimbledon. He has won 14 professional singles and 8 doubles titles, reaching an all-time high ranking of Number 7 in the world. Kriek’s most memorable wins include victories over Andre Agassi, Jimmy Connors, John McEnroe and Bjorn Borg.

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