Former tennis player and now renowned coach, Wayne Ferreira, has weighed in on the potential of Frances Tiafoe, who he currently coaches.
Ferreira recently discussed Tiafoe's playing style, his strengths, and the areas in which he could improve on the ATP Tennis Podcast. His insights are a fascinating look into the mind of a professional coach and provide valuable lessons for aspiring tennis players worldwide.
He emphasized the value of taking the ball early and coming to the net, asserting that this strategy could give Tiafoe a competitive edge on the court. However, Ferreira also identified a key area where Tiafoe could improve – his volley technique.
"I do think that there is something to be said about maybe a little bit of a chip in charge, but also a drive charge. You know, taking the ball early, coming to the net. The problem that a lot of the players have, and Frances as an example of, one of that is that he grew up not really learning how to volley properly, properly."
According to Ferreira, Tiafoe grew up without learning proper volley technique, which now hampers his performance at the net. While Tiafoe enjoys coming to the net, he doesn't volley as well as he could, had he learned to serve and volley earlier in his career. Ferreira believes that to develop this skill, Tiafoe would need to spend significantly more time practicing at the net.
"So even like, you know, he likes to come to the net, he doesn't volley as well as maybe some, as he would've been if he had learned to serve and volley. So even though he comes to net, he doesn't volley as well as I would or he would like to. So if you are gonna start playing that, you're gonna have to spend a lot more time at the net practicing coming forward."
One way to improve volleying skills, Ferreira suggested, is by playing doubles. However, he noted that many singles players, including Tiafoe, don't often play doubles. And when they do, they tend to stay back, rather than come forward to the net. This reluctance to engage in doubles play and move forward could be limiting Tiafoe's growth as a player.
"Doubles was always a way to do that, but a lot of the singles players don't play doubles. And when they do play doubles, now they stay back. So, you know, coming forward is good. It can be done, but you can learn, have to learn how to volley."