Back to the future as moribund tactic is revived

Fri Jun 26, 2015 4:19pm EDT
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By Ossian Shine

LONDON (Reuters) - The yellowing obituaries are looking premature as serve-and-volley tennis creeps, with a few tweaks, toward a renaissance of sorts.

A number of top men are leading the charge and, in a curious twist, the same blend of technology and lung-busting fitness blamed for all-but killing off this style of play is behind its resurgence.

As players hit harder shots, miss fewer balls and run for hour upon hour, competitors need a ploy to shorten points.

Introducing... the serve-and-volley.

It is an old-school move which, used selectively, might just become the newest potent weapon in the armory of modern players.

"At the moment you see the guys winning the slams from the baseline," former tour pro and leading coach and tennis analyst Darren Cahill told Reuters.

"But then you see the great players of today working on their net games because they know it saves them physically because they have to work so hard to win points.

"Over the course of a grand slam, seven matches, best of five, they are looking at ways to shorten points to save as much energy as they can.   Continued...

Roger Federer of Switzerland serves during his men's singles semi-final tennis match against Milos Raonic of Canada at the Wimbledon Tennis Championships, in London in this July 4, 2014 file photo.    REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth/Files