A volley in
tennis Tennis is a racket sport that can be played individually against a single opponent (Types of tennis match#Singles, singles) or between two teams of two players each (Types of tennis match#Doubles, doubles). Each player uses a tennis racket tha ...
is a shot in which the ball is struck before it bounces on the ground. Generally a player hits a volley while standing near the net, although it can be executed farther back, in the middle of the
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or even near the baseline. The word derives from M. French ''volée'' meaning flight. The primary objective of the volley is to go on the offensive and cut the amount of time for the opponent to react. Another advantage is that a player eliminates any possibility of a bad bounce from an uneven surface such as on some grass and clay courts. Also, if near the net, a volleyer has a wider choice of angles to hit into the opponent's court. However, quick reflexes and hand–eye coordination are required to execute this shot. The primary means of countering a volley are the passing shot and the lob. Generally, a player who advances to the net in the serve and volley type of game will make the initial volley fairly near the service line. The player will then move closer to the net in hopes of making a put-away volley for a winning point. It is difficult to hit an effective volley in the area between the baseline and the service line, and consequently this is often called "no man's land".

Hitting a volley and variants

A regular volley is hit with a short backswing and a punching stroke. While standing at the net, a player usually has no time to take a long backswing. When the ball comes at less pace, though, the volleyer can take a longer backswing to impart more force on the ball, which is called a ''swing volley''. A player can also touch the ball lightly, so that the ball will fall just after the net. This is known as a ''drop volley''. Another type of volley is the drive volley. This is hit with more backswing and followthrough than a normal volley. Effectively this is a volley groundstroke and a very aggressive shot, giving your opponent less time, and can be used as a way to approach the net (approach shot). To be effective and safe, a volley should be either (1) a drop volley that barely passes the net so the opposing player will not be able to get to it, or (2) a very sharply angled shot so that again the opponent will not be able to get to it, or (3) a hard shot that bounces very near both the opponent's baseline and the sideline and that serves as a set-up shot in anticipation of a weak return by the opponent. Any other volley will permit the opponent to get to the ball in plenty of time to make an aggressive return shot, either a lob or a passing shot.

Half volley

The lower the ball comes at the volleyer, the harder it is to hit an effective volley. In such cases, a player maybe better off to let the ball bounce and immediately hit the return on the rise rather than attempt to volley it. In this case the racquet contacts the ball almost at surface level. This tennis shot is named a half volley although it is actually no longer a volley, given that the ball has not been intercepted before it bounced. It is one of the more difficult shots in tennis as it requires both quick thinking and good reflexes; John McEnroe, Patrick Rafter and Leander Paes were considered masters of it.

Exceptional volleyers

serve-and-volleyer_well-known_around_the_tennis_community_for_his_excellent_"touch"..html" ;"title="serve_and_volley.html" ;"title="Tim Henman is a serve and volley">serve-and-volleyer well-known around the tennis community for his excellent "touch".">serve_and_volley.html" ;"title="Tim Henman is a serve and volley">serve-and-volleyer well-known around the tennis community for his excellent "touch". In his 1979 autobiography, Jack Kramer, who had a fine volley himself, devoted a page to the best tennis strokes he had ever seen. He wrote:
FOREHAND VOLLEY—Wilmer Allison of Texas, who won the 1935 US Open (tennis), Forest Hills, had the best I ever saw as a kid, and I've never seen anyone since hit one better. Budge Patty came closest, then John Newcombe, Newcombe. BACKHAND VOLLEY—Close among Don Budge, Budge, Frank Sedgman, Sedgman and Ken Rosewall, Rosewall, with Sedgman getting the edge probably because of his quickness. Ted Schroeder, Schroeder and Tony Trabert, Trabert were almost as outstanding.
Among open era (post 1968) male players, John McEnroe and Stefan Edberg and Leander Paes are generally regarded as being the finest and most natural volleyers, though some consider Patrick Rafter or Tim Henman to have been equally proficient. Pete Sampras is also regarded as having had the finest volleys in recent times. Among open era female players, Martina Navratilova is considered to be the outstanding volleyer. Jana Novotná was also noted for her superior volleying skills. Other male players known for their superior volleying skills include: * Vincent Richards, Vinnie Richards * Jack Kramer * Frank Sedgman * Lew Hoad * Rod Laver * Ken Rosewall * Tony Roche * John Newcombe * John McEnroe * Pat Cash * Stefan Edberg * Boris Becker * Michael Stich * Pete Sampras * Patrick Rafter * Leander Paes * Tim Henman * Roger Federer * Feliciano López Female players known for their superior volleying skills include: * Maria Esther Bueno * Martina Navratilova * Jana Novotná * Serena Williams * Martina Hingis * Amélie Mauresmo * Justine Henin * Venus Williams * Agnieszka Radwańska * Roberta Vinci


External links

Video: Tips for a good volley

Video: How to volley

Tennis Training Aids: Tip on Volley
{{DEFAULTSORT:Volley (Tennis) Tennis shots simple:Tennis#Shots