The serve-volley used to be dominant styles of play until 2001. Players like Boris Becker, Pete Sampras, Tim Henmen, Goran Ivansevic, and Patrick Rafter are the masters of the art. The play requires athletes to have extremely fast reflexes and hand-eye coordination to volley. The ball travels at more than 110 mph and has a spin in excess of 2500 rpm, making it harder to volley .With the advent of slower courts and big and precise rackets, base liners like Djokovic, Nadal and Murray are countering the serve-volley play with accurate ground strokes. This makes life hard for conventional players.
As a result, we are seeing players choosing to stay behind and abandoning the art. However, it will be interesting to see how these modern-base liners would have fared in the serve-volley era dating back to the 1970s, assuming much faster courts than present times.
1) Novak Djokovic
Djokovic is undoubtedly A modern day legend. He can be a nightmare for any serve-volley player with his accurate and powerful passing shots and the ability to retrieve the ball from almost any corner of the court.
Djokovic is regarded as one of the best serve returners of all time. He unleashes his offensive returns even on booming serves and poses a serious challenge for serve-volley players who rely on weak returns of serve from opponents to volley their way to victory.
He will be a force to reckon with even on fast courts and chief opponents of serve-volley. One of the few ways to beat him using serve-volley is to serve extremely well throughout the match and hope that his return doesn’t have the required offense.