Across the game of tennis, no single player plays the same way as another. However, there are many players who share game styles. A player’s game style denotes their tactical goals, their decision making and their ability and want to play a certain way. The five game styles that make up tennis are aggressive baseliner, serve-and-volleyer, counter puncher, big server and all court players. Let’s take a look at the most successful player in each of these categories.

Aggressive baseliner

You can’t look past Novak Djokovic to find the most successful aggressive baseliner in recent times. Aggressive baseliners are defined by their great lateral movement, big ground strokes and their tenacity when holding the baseline. When it comes to Djokovic, he is most renowned for his movement and athleticism, his ability to retrieve balls at end range with extremely high quality. Different to other aggressive baseliners, Djokovic does not need to constantly play end range ground strokes to win matches. Due to his incredible movement, he can afford to hang in points and draw errors from his opponent if he has not already found a way through them.

Serve-and-volleyer

You can’t look past Novak Djokovic to find the most successful aggressive baseliner in recent times. Aggressive baseliners are defined by their great lateral movement, big ground strokes and their tenacity when holding the baseline. When it comes to Djokovic, he is most renowned for his movement and athleticism, his ability to retrieve balls at end range with extremely high quality. Different to other aggressive baseliners, Djokovic does not need to constantly play end range ground strokes to win matches. Due to his incredible movement, he can afford to hang in points and draw errors from his opponent if he has not already found a way through them.

Counter puncher

In any other era, David Ferrer would most likely been a Grand slam champion. It just happened that his playing career coincided with arguably the 3 best players to ever pick up a racquet. When looking back on Ferrer’s career, his fitness and ability chase balls down was second to none. When looking at Ferrer’s game, he didn’t possess any major weapons that many other players at his level do. There wasn’t a bomb of a serve to get him out of jail nor a lights out forehand. What Ferrer relied on was his ability to chase balls down and make something out of nothing. More often than not, the winners he did hit were shots he played on the run.

All courter

Perhaps the most common game style nowadays, all courters are exactly what the name says; they can play in all parts of the court. A mixture between an aggressive baseliners big strokes matched with a counter punchers ability to dig themselves out of trouble, all court players also feel comfortable around the net. When observing the current young guns of the ATP tour, the all court game style is the most prominent. Still on my mind from the recent US open is the young Spaniard Carlos Alcaraz. With Arguably some of the biggest ground strokes going around on tour and silky-smooth net game, Alcaraz has quickly become known as one of the best up and coming all court players to watch.

Big server

For many casual observers, this is their least game style to watch. Characterised by CANNON serves, players that identify with this play style are often incredibly tall with limited lateral movement. Interestingly at the 2021 US Open, term ‘serve bot’ was used to describe big servers that people perceived not to have much more game outside their serve. Notable big servers include John Isner, Reilly Opelka, Milos Raonic and Nick Kyrgios.

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