Tennis is one of the most popular sport in the world and many players from different countries play the sport. Therefore, there are different playing styles in tennis. But the most famous of them all is the volley and serve playing style.
The players who utilize serve and volley in their playing style are known as net players. You should witness a match between two net players, because it is so beautiful that you can’t move your eyes from this magical moment.
There are many players in the history of tennis who played this style. However, only few got the global recognition as a net player. Therefore, in today’s article we will talk about the top 10 best tennis net players of all time.
#10. Pete Sampras
The best server to ever walk on a tennis court is none other than Pete Sampras. However, this American legend is not only known for his excellent and powerful serves, but also his phenomenal volleys.
Pistol Pete was not only blessed with power, but also with great athleticism. As he could cover. Most of the court and he could return serves, which seemed impossible to many players. There is no doubt he dominated the tennis field during his time and went on winning 14 Grand Slam singles title.
#9. Boris Becker
The German legend is not only a well-known coach, but was also a phenomenal player of time. Boris Becker was majorly known for his volley and serve style.
Deformed retired world number one earned the nickname ‘Boom Boom’ because of his powerful serves, whereas he also had great volleys to accompany his serves. Further, Becker’s playing style mostly relied on his on his serve and volley. Meanwhile, he had great great athleticism, which even helped him to perform diving volleys that was his signature move.
#8. John McEnroe
John McEnroe was known for his dominance over the court and he mainly relied on his serve and volley. The retired American world number one might have one of the best hands to hold a racquet on a tennis court.
McEnroe had strong first serves, but nothing was special about them. However, what made him special was his volleying. As the American legend once got near the net, it was impossible to stop him from dominating the court.
John McEnroe was so good at as a net player that he not only dictated the singles but also the doubles format of tennis. He has the highest men’s combined total in Open era, lifting 77 singles and 78 double titles throughout his career, which still remains an unbroken record.
#7. Andy Murray
Andy Murray, the former world number one, has played some phenomenal tennis during his prime days. Usually we have seen the Brit playing a baseline kind of game, but that was not all to the legend.
Apart from the baseline playing style, and the Briton was also an expert as a net player. Under the guidance of Ivan Lendl, Murray was exceptionally good at volleying and serving. However, he occasionally used this technique to surprise his opponents. Murray might not be a regular net player, but whenever he played in that style, he dominated the court.
There’s no doubt Murray’s net playing entertained the fans, but now we could not see that from Andy. Because of his hip injury Murray has lost his agility and thus it’s hard for him to get near the court.
#6. Serena Williams and Venus Williams
You all might be wondering why the Williams Sisters are in the table of top 10 best net players of all time. Then I suggest that you should check their doubles matches clips.
Williams sisters might not get near the net during the singles matches. However, if you have witnessed that double match, then you should know that they used to get near the nets and played some phenomenal volleying and serves. Serena and Venus Williams usually play a baseline game and their expert in it, but we can’t ignore the fact that both of them are also phenomenal net players.
We should not forget about their accomplishment in doubles, as both the sisters have won 14 Grand Slam double titles together. Further, Serena and Williams have been number one in singles and also doubles category. So if the Williams sisters get near the net then they are going to dominate the court.
#5. Roberta Vinci
In fifth place we got Roberta Vinci who is even considered as one of the best tennis net players of all time in the history of women’s tennis. The retired Italian player has mostly relied on his serving and falling throughout her career.
When she made it as far as top seven in the singles, however, she dominated the doubles, even conquering the top spot. Because of the increment in baseline players in singles tennis, it is hard to utilize the net playing style. However, it is still one of the most reliable style to play during doubles. The Italian great is also the only oldest player in women’s history to appear in the WTA top 10 ranking.
When she used to get near the net, it was impossible to face her. As she had an amazing sense of the court, even during the 2015 US Open, she defeated Serena Williams in the semifinals and shattering William’s dreams to grab her calendar Grand Slam.
#4. Radek Stepanek
The Czech player even continued to play the serve and volley style, even when the baseline players started dominating the sport. Many tennis experts considered Radek one of the best net player during a tour.
Like every other net player, Stepanek was also blessed with powerful source serves. However, his second serves were not powerful but had an exceptional topspin which allowed him to get near the net. As soon as he reaches the net, Radek used his reflexes and anticipations, which made him a great threat. But what made this Czech player different from other net players was the return. Instead of a charge and chip shots, he used to play like a baseline player with consistent and accurate shots at the wings.
#3. Roger Federer
Roger Federer is one of the best tennis player to ever exist. The Swiss maestro is known for his versatile and fluid playing style, which means he can incorporate any style depending on the situation. Therefore, there is no doubt that Roger Federer can also play as a net player.
On multiple occasion, Roger Federer has shown us that he can not only play as phenomenal baseline player but also as an extremely good net player. If you have seen Roger Federer playing a game, then you know that the Swiss usually uses a blend of both baseline and net style.
King Federer is the best net player of modern times in a single tournament, as he comes near to the net most often than any other player of modern time. The unique net playing style made Roger Federer one of the greatest players and this is the reason for him dominating the sport for over a decade.
#2. Leander Paes
The player who finished at the second place on this top 10 list is none other than Leander Paes. The Indian legend is often regarded as one of the best tennis net players of all time to dominate the doubles tournament. As he lifted 18 Grand Slam titles, which include eight doubles and ten mixed doubles. Therefore, making him the man with most major doubles titles.
Paes became professional when serve and volley was the common style in tennis. However, over the time the baseline players took over the sport. And only a very few places to incorporate the serve and volley in their playing style. However, the Indian legend still plays as a net player and after seeing him play, no one can say this legend is 40-year-old, as his movement are still so agile.
#1. Michael Llodra
The player who took the first spot of “The Top 10 Best Tennis Net Players of All Time” is none other than Michael Llodra. The former French player is recognized as the best net player of all time.
Many top tier players like Novak Djokovic and Jonas Net has lost to this net player. And many experts and former players also claimed the Frenchman is blessed with unbelievable serves and One of the best volleys in tennis history.
However, Llodra retired in 2014 and he was considered as the best net player of all time. So we can say that with him retiring there is no more great net players of the same potential as Llodra.
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