Volley lessons for Advanced Players

Perhaps the biggest difference between an intermediate player and an advanced player is, advanced players are able to use the basics and foundations of tennis strategically on the court. When it comes to the volley, and advanced player doesn’t have to think about doing a split step correctly, they just naturally do it during the flow of a point. Should you use a feel or punch volley in response to your opponents shot? There’s no hesitation for an advanced player. If you don’t know what a split step is, or have never heard of a feel volley before, I recommend checking out our beginner and intermediate volley articles. For those players looking to use the volley strategically during a point, this article will focus on the most powerful one-two punch in all of tennis, the serve and volley. Let’s dive into some volley lessons for advanced players.

The Serve and Volley

One of the most important volley lessons for advanced players is how to serve and volley. While the strategy itself has become less popular in recent years, when used correctly, it can be a great change of pace that can win you a point easily. The serve and volley is easy in principle, hit your serve and immediately move as fast as you can towards the net so that your next shot is a volley. Simple, right? Try it a few times and you’ll quickly discover it’s far more difficult than it seems. Arguably (I say arguably because Stefan Edberg is on this list of the best) the best serve and volley player ever and winner of 14 grand slam titles, Pete Sampras, said it best. “You have to be a good athlete, have great hands and great feet. The shot itself is pretty easy, but you need good touch and an intuition as to where the ball is going to go. You need to know when to run slow, run fast. All that stuff has to be learned.” Even in its difficulty, once mastered, the serve and volley is one of the most effective strategies in all of tennis.

Volley lessons for Advanced Players


Serve and Volley Strategy

The serve and volley starts with, you guessed it, the serve. By now, as an advanced player, you should no longer be focusing on technique and how to hit spin; but instead, you should be focusing on location and where you want to hit your serve in the box. For the serve and volley, you should always hit your serve out wide. A serve out wide accomplishes a multitude of things, with the most important being it opens up the court for your second shot, the volley. After you hit your serve out wide, immediately begin following the ball and moving forward towards the net. Most of the time, you’ll have reached the center T by about the time your opponent is set to return. Perform your split step and continue moving forward in the direction of your opponents return. If your opponent hits their return down the line, you’ll hit your volley cross-court into the open court, and vice versa for a cross-court return. Either way, it makes it very difficult for your opponent to recover and win the point.

Check out Roger Federer performing the serve and volley against Djokovic. Notice the serve out wide, followed by a split step, and then a perfectly executed feel volley down the line.

Check out Roger Federer performing the serve and volley against Djokovic.

Federer wins a point against Novak with serve and volley

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