A dying art it seems but done well, it will win you Grand Slams. There is an elegance and grace to players who serve volley or craft a point to finish at net. No Federer on this list, since he can’t really be classified as an out and out serve volleyer, but if he did it more, he might creep onto the list.
1. Pete Sampras
Pete was a net rusher and no one had a better first volley and put away. His 2nd serve was so good, that he could even come in behind that for the easy put away.
Famous for: Pistol Pete Slam Dunk
2. Stefan Edberg
Glorious is the word. That backhand volley was like a knife through butter and if a ball came even close to it, forget about it.
Famous for: Greatest Backhand Volley in History
3. John McEnroe
Placement, reach, unbelievable gets, soft hands. Mac was born to volley.
Famous for: Half Volley pick up
4. Boris Becker
Seeing Becker rushing at you behind a booming serve was one of the most intimidating sites in tennis. His wingspan and athleticism for a big man was unsurpassed.
Famous for: Inventing the Dive Volley
5. Pat Rafter
Pat’s natural habitat was at net and when he was on, he seemed harder to pass than Ayrton Senna at the Monaco Grand Prix.
Famous for: Suffocating Net Coverage
6. Goran Ivanisevic
Considering how quick his serve was, he didn’t need to come into the net much, but I’ve never seen a better pick up volleyer at the feet, than Goran.
Famous for: Backhand at the Feet Pick-Up Volleys
7. Richard Krajicek
A prototypical big man serve-volleyer. Krajicek is 6’5″ and getting the ball passed or over him was futile in most cases.
Famous for: A huge wingspan that won him a Wimbledon Title
8. Michael Stich
A gorgeous 1-2 punch was Stich’s bread and butter. Equally strong on his forehand and backhand volley, it won him a Wimbledon crown in style.
Famous for: The most elegant 1-2 punch in the game
9. Pat Cash
Cash laid the template for Pat Rafter. Solid serve, solid volleys and a good dose of athleticism, took Cash to the 1987 Wimbledon title.
Famous for: Volleying his way to a Wimbledon Title
10. Tim Henman
Old school technique and a nice kick serve got Henman plenty of easy put aways. His backhand volley was almost as good as Edberg’s.
Famous for: The 2nd best Backhand Volley of all Time