Tennis Shots: The Volley
If you want to make a real success of your grass court game, you are going to have to come to the net at times or risk being beaten by someone with greater killer instinct. The approach to the net is all important in grass court tennis – and to a lesser extent on other services – because if you can hit a good volley, you will win a lot of free points if you get to the net.
A volley is any shot that is played before the ball bounces on your side of the net. Serve-volley tennis, a major component in most successful grass court games, entails hitting your serve and then approaching the net to volley away any return. It is particularly deadly on grass because any well-judged volley will bounce so low as to be impossible for the opponent to reach.
Many people feel that a volley is only as good as the player’s approach to the net to make it. If you can volley well, but come to the net at the wrong time – because for example your opponent hits returns well and has the measure of your serve – then you will be passed by your opponent. If on the other hand you judge the approach right, you will have easier volley opportunities.
Among the best volleyers in the history of the men’s game, John McEnroe was considered to have the best pure volley while Sweden’s Stefan Edberg was believed to have the best combination of approach and volley.