For a deeper analysis of the massive impact the length of the rally has on winning a match, I highly recommend THE FIRST 4 SHOTS.
The First 4 Shots Video
Part 1. Click HERE
Serve & Volley. Dead & buried?
Roger Federer point-blank called out fellow players at Wimbledon last Monday during an interview that was all about celebrating his record eighth singles title at SW19. The interview covered a lot of angles, but Roger also spoke pointedly about the strategy, or lack thereof, of other players in the men’s draw – particularly the younger generation who have unsuccessfully knocked him off the top of the mountain.
“It’s frightening to see at this level,” Federer said of the lack of serve and volley at The Championships.
But is Roger right? Do younger players have a huge hole in their game by not employing serve and volley with any real conviction?
Roger is ABSOLUTELY CORRECT.
The following analysis focuses on all the younger players in the draw, aged between 18-23 years old.
2017 Wimbledon Men
Tournament Averages: Serve & Volley
- 7.2% (1894/26,375) Overall
- 2.2% (103/4638) Players Aged 18-23
Below is exactly what Roger was talking about…
Male Players: Age 18-23
|Age||Player||S&V Points Played||Total Serve Points|
|20.9||TOTAL / AVERAGE||103 (2.2%)||4638|
Here’s a powerful snapshot from the youth of our game (all players aged 18-23).
- SIX players combined for ZERO serve & volley points from 788 serve points.
- TWELVE players combined for just SIX serve & volley points from 2069 serve points. That’s one out of every 344 serve points.
- EIGHTEEN players did not serve & volley over 5 times for the tournament.
- Of the 25 players, only five served and volleyed in double digits.
We are clearly breeding a new global generation of players that literally shun the front of the court. Roger also said if you can’t volley, then you are far less likely to venture forward to the net. That’s definitely in play here. In fact, it’s a combination of three elements.
- There is no awareness of the outstanding win percentages at the front of the court.
- Therefore young players don’t bother to venture forward and develop that part of their game early on.
- Then when they reach the big stage, they revert to what they know best. Grinding at the baseline.
Roger’s Seven Matches
Roger played seven matches to win Wimbledon. Here’s the opponent’s by round, and how much they served and volleyed against him.
- Rd 1 def Alexandr Dolgopolov 6-3, 3-0 Ret. Dolgopolov served & volleyed 0/46 serves.
- Rd 2 def. Dusan Lajovic 7-6(0), 6-3, 6-2. Lajovic served & volleyed 0/84 serves.
- Rd 3 def. Misha Zverev 7-6(3), 6-4, 6-4. Zverev served & volleyed 89/98 serves.
- Rd 4 def. Grigor Dimitrov 6-4, 6-2, 6-4. Dimitrov served & volleyed 0/84 serves.
- Qtr def Milos Raonic 6-4, 6-2, 7-6(4). Raonic served & volleyed 23/96 serves.
- Semi def. Tomas Berdych 7-6(4), 7-6(4), 6-4. Berdych served & volleyed 9/101 serves.
- Final def. Marin Cilic 6-3, 6-1, 6-4. Cilic served & volleyed 15/90 serves.
In the 3rd round, Federer played a true serve and volleyer in Misha Zverev. Apart from that match, Roger faced 47 serve and volley points in 6 matches (18 sets). That’s just an average of 2.6 / set.
Where Players Win v Roger
Did opponents do better serving and volleying, approaching, or staying at the baseline against Roger at The Championships this year? Glad you asked…
Opponent Points WON vs. Roger Federer (excluding Dolgopolov retirement).
- 37% Baseline
- 59% Net
- 64% Serve & Volley
In SIX matches against Roger at Wimbledon, the highest winning percentage of the three strategies (baseline, net, serve & volley) was… SERVE & VOLLEY!!!!
In his post-match interview, Roger is literally telling the entire world the best way to beat him. That’s how nice of a guy he is! His interview is a candid assessment of the limitations young players have in their game, AND it’s also a free coaching lesson from one of the all-time greats of our sport.
We are going to take a look back at the history of serve and volley at The Championships.
Serve & Volley first started being recorded at Wimbledon in 1997. We are going to cover TWO topic points.
- The total number of serve & volley points each year. (massive decline since 1997).
- Win percentages (this is the secret sauce).
Tomorrow’s topic provides the opportunity to really validate Roger’s comments.
If Roger thinks players (especially younger players) should serve and volley more, then his opinion needs to be backed up with solid, irrefutable, undeniable win percentages. If serve and volley delivers a better bang for your buck than baseline play, then Roger’s opinion will be grounded in fact.
The world thinks serve and volley sucks. We will find out tomorrow if the world is right or not…