Christian Garin, Botic van de Zandschulp, and Holger Rune lead the 2023 Miami Open field in volleys through the early rounds, clearly defining how they play the sport of tennis beyond the baseline.
Garin tops the Miami Open men’s side with 25 volleys through two matches, while Van de Zandschulp has 23. Rune has employed the volley 20 times, according to data from Infosys.
By contrast, Andrey Rublev has tallied only one lone volley in two matches.
Raw numbers are slightly skewed by the fact that some matches go 3 sets and some only two. However, this metric clearly shows a line of demarcation in terms of who uses the front court and who does not.
Even Daniil Medvedev, who has been criticized for not volleying more because of his height and wingspan, has used the stroke 9 times. All of those came in his Miami Open match against Roberto Carballes Baena. Meddy reportedly had his coach feed him dead-ball volleys in practice– a drill typically used for beginner players. Perhaps the Russian has decided he will be forced to open up his game to new dimensions.
Miami Open defending champion Carlos Alcaraz, known for his all-court game, has volleyed a total of 9 times, likely because his matches have been short and the rally lengths within those matches has been low.
Net rushing is becoming more of a skill that players either possess and use or do not. Some simply prefer to go all-in on their baseline games and hope for the best.