Art reference

Let’s hope the art of serve and volley stays in tennis, says Vijay Amritraj

One of India’s greatest tennis players, Vijay Amritraj says it is incredibly disappointing to see that the serve and volley style of tennis is dying as most tournaments in the world are played on hard and clay courts.

Amritraj, 68, who has five career wins over one of the grass court’s greats, American Jimmy Connors, added that the ‘touch’ is gone, the serve and volley are gone and the craft which we have seen from many of the old Indian players are dying now which is sad.

However, he thinks playing more tournaments on grass courts could force a change in mindset among baseliners.

“It’s a dying art. For me, it’s incredibly disappointing because I loved playing with Bjorn Borg, Jimmy Connors and John McEnroe and those guys were the best on serve and volley,” Amritraj said.

Amritraj, who was part of the Indian Davis Cup team that reached the finals in 1974 and 1987, said many coaches prefer strong, athletic and powerful machines that can smash anything and return the ball with power. extreme.

“For me serve and volley was the predominant way to play on grass and the problem is that we made the courts slower, the balls heavier because as you can see the average height of the player I’m more like me now and the fact remains that racquets have become so aero-dynamic. So they’ve slowed down the courts, slowed down the balls, that’s why more than 100 Spaniards are doing so well,” Amritraj said. at IANS on the sidelines of the Davis Cup World Group I qualifiers here in Delhi.

“It’s nice to keep him alive. This is another facet of the game that needs to stay alive. One of the biggest disappointments of my career was not playing America here in India in the Davis Cup with Connors and McEnroe because I would have done only 50% of the work and the crowd would have done the rest.” he declared.

Earlier, legendary tennis player Jaidip Mukerjea said he was sad to see that the serve and volley style of tennis is dying despite the fact that many championships including the prestigious Wimbledon are played on grass courts.

Mukerjea, who reached the fourth round at Wimbledon four times (1963, 1964, 1966, 1973) had cited the example of Indian hockey which lost its glory days when the game was moved to synthetic turf in the years 1970.

“When hockey was played on the field, we were the boss. Now what we are seeing is that the matches are being played on synthetic turf. How much artificial grass does India have, very little? Like Hockey, the art of tennis also goes in the same direction. Tennis is becoming more and more expensive on all surfaces. Maintaining a grass pitch is quite difficult,” he said.

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