by Mauro Cappiello
Yesterday's issue of L'Équipe dedicated a focus to the disappearing of serve and volley in today's game.
"Volleyeur solitaire" (Lonely volley player) was the headline of page 14, with a huge picture of Roger Federer, the only man on the Tour still leaving a space for volley in his game, especially since the start of his partnership with Stefan Edberg.
"His ball touch and control are extraordinary. He can win the point from impossible positions. His backhand volley is super clean. Like all his shots, that deserve a 9.5/10," said former world number 4 from France Guy Forget to reporter Vincent Cognet.
Nothing comparable to Edberg's, though, in Forget's opinion. "Sometimes he is too frontal when he plays his forehand volley, opening his shoulder line. For me, Stefan has the most beautiful volley in the history of the game. On the forehand volley, Roger should imitate his coach a little more!"
In a personal Open Era top-5 rank based on volley skills, Mats Wilander voted Stefan Edberg as the best performer. "The grace in its purest form, he hit the volley like having a china cup in his hand. A remarkable coverage of the net and absolute perfection on the backhand volley."
Surprisingly, Pat Rafter precedes John McEnroe at the second place, with Australian Pat Cash and Todd Woodbridge taking the remaining spots of the top-5.
None of today's top players is eligible among the elite volleyers, according to Mats.
Pat Cash wrote down his own rank considering only the active players and voted Roger Federer at the top, as confirmed by an online poll on lequipe.fr in which an amazing 100% of surfers mentioned Roger Federer among the best 5 volley players on the Tour.
"He is the most effective and the most athletic at the volley. His quick look has no equal and his experience helps him adjust his position. Working with Stefan Edberg gave him back his confidence," thinks Cash. The other members of his top-5 list are Lleyton Hewitt, Feliciano Lopez, Grigor Dimitrov and Rafael Nadal.
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- Stefan Edberg & Tony Pickard Mr Class and his teacher
- "Federer should skip the claycourt season," says former coach Edberg
- "Federer is exceptional, but tennis needs a new name too"
- "I am a happy person"
- Federer Reflects On Sampras, Edberg Influence
- Edberg: "Being Federer's idol speaks for his taste"
- Edberg bets: Federer can do it!
- Team Fedberg already at work at Wimbledon
- Edberg: "Federer not helped by Lenglen Court"
- SVT Sports meets Federer and Edberg
- Federer eases through first round
- Federer: I need Stefan's input from time to time
- French Open, good draw for Federer
- Edberg and Federer reunited at Roland Garros