With the grass courts getting slower and slower i don't know if its a very wise idea to teach serve and volley to a young budding player..because most of the players today are such good baseliners..sure it steals some variety and beauty in the game..but its effectiveness we are talking about...I think SNV is a technique that comes a bit naturally..like super quick reflexes..they can be taught to a certain extent...may be transition game can be taught but after that if you are at the net..it depends solely on how your reflexes are..a case in point..Lendl was a good baseliner (sampras calls him a top 5 material of all times) yet we see that he failed to do very well near the net..perhaps that's why he never won the wimby..when he reached the finals of the wmby in 86 against a very young and athletic Becker, Becker served and volleyed his way and went on to hold serve quite conveniently but brought Lendl close to the net on the return games and Lendl could not match up with Becker's superb net play. Though fresh from winning the french, Lendl lost in straight sets to the champion...Lendl thereafter tried to improve his net play on many occasions yet failed to do it on grass...that is I'm trying to say that Becker had excellent reflexes at the net as a 17 or an 18 year old...while Lendl 'knew' how to play at the net and yet could not put it to much effect perhaps because he 'learnt' how to play at teh net a bit late...That's where I'm talking about Jose's influence..we know that Fed has got the game at the net yet its the effectiveness we are talking about..Fed's anticipation is superb while Pete's reflexes were out of the world and that's where the two differ at their net play. SnV can be taught to kids only if the coach identifies his charge to be 'really' effective at the net..something what Pete's coach did..Pete used to play his backhand with both hands and had a talent near the net..so the coach made Pete to play the backhand with a single hand and this took his net game to a new level.[/color][/size]
Great post: I really agree on the points I have stressed..
But this is why I do not see Pete as being a (potential) great coach: His game was based mainly on some elements that you cannot easily explain and teach to someone other: So, I really do not believe it will be a great idea for Djoko to have Pete as a coach to prepare Wimbledon, IMO, the "aggression to the net" (more than the "simple" S&V because it implies as well the charge on respond games) is something that can be done if and only if you have a player with superior skills either in term of anticipations (FED) or reflexes (Pete)..
Djoko is good on both (might be more in anticipations that reflexes) but he is not exceptional..IMO: the real guy who will be able to do more out there to aggress from the net is Andy Murray: Yes this guy, I saw him in the first week at RG (against Eysseric-VERY TALENTED LEFTY PLAYER BTW), he has a superior anticipations skills and the reflexes are also at a very high level:
Unfortunately, Murray does not believe enough on his own skills and weapons. Against Eysseric he started to play aggressive at the net and short the rallies only after he was down 2 sets to 1.
BTW: Gilbert tried to push him to a more aggressive (at the net) Tennis..Conclusion: He decided to end the collaboration!! It is really a shame IMO. But, ok, there is still time in front of him and might be someone will at the end convince him that the right strategy is the one of being more aggressive at the net and short the rallies.
So as a conclusion, out there are certainly guys who will be able to implement a successfully a (sort) of Pete's aggressive strategy (once again Andy is at the top of my list at the moment, but there is Gublis / Gasquet and others) BUT they have to believe on it (difficult given the quality of today's passing shot) and it will become more and more difficult to implement given the high level of the defence game out there (more it is even imprioving with the time!!)