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Jerry Seinfeld
03-09-2004, 07:52 AM
In your opinion which female and male players have/had the best looking, most fluid/effective backhands? Henin Hardine amazes me with hers, but my favorite of all-time has to be that of the Big Cat, Miloslav Mecir...it was a work of art in motion Others?

Peter Samprer
03-09-2004, 08:02 AM
men: federer, kuerten

women: henin-hardenne

Kirko
03-09-2004, 08:14 AM
Yeah Mecir fluid & I really liked Sabatini's .

ian mercier
03-09-2004, 08:14 AM
I've looked extensively through the video captures of backhands that are maintained by a tennis website so I could try to emulate them (technique, etc.) - to improve my stroke. The player with the smoothest stroke overall (in my opinion) is Roger Federer. It's smooth...the grip transition, position of feet, stillness of his head...everything is ideal. Kuerten has a great backhand, but appears to take more effort. Federer - hands down (now, this is only the 1-handed backhand that I'm referring to. Got to say Agassi for the two-hander with Safin a close second).

sseemiller
03-09-2004, 08:15 AM
Men: Tommy Haas

Women: Justine Henin-Hardenne

chad shaver
03-09-2004, 08:29 AM
Men: Calleri, Edberg, Agassi, Rios

Women: Henin-Hardenne, Sabatini...can't think of any 2 handers that look nice...maybe Davenport

joe sch
03-09-2004, 08:43 AM
Steffi Graf had the best slice bh ". "
It was really beautiful the way she would totally rip under the ball and it would clear the net by mm's and head consistently deep to the baselines. Even though she could hit topspin bh winners like her feared fh, she almost never did with the bh, just kept slicing it back to an opponent daring them to attempt to put in in on the fh side. Its too bad that most of todays players almost never hit slices, they make for beautiful bh's when done correctly and take soo little effort compared to topspins.

Feña14
03-09-2004, 08:47 AM
What about Ferrero, the ammount of racket head speed, spin and the way he uses his hips is amazing. the follow through also looks very nice, what a backhand!

I think he copied me!

anyone agree?

Liam

@wright
03-09-2004, 08:48 AM
2 hander: Rios,Safin
1 hander: Federer, Korda, Kuerten

Fat Boy
03-09-2004, 08:59 AM
Rusedski's drive backhand has to be the most feared stroke in pro tennis.

Just poetry in motion...

borisboris
03-09-2004, 09:06 AM
:wink: Becker was huge-just watched final of 1996 World Champ vs. Sampras
Lendl was lethal from the baseline and made good approach shots look juvenile
Edberg = obvious
Federer = spot on
Agassi = sweet spot

AAAA
03-09-2004, 09:56 AM
Korda, Stich, Krajicek, Guga, Becker, Pioline.

I'm not too sure about Federer's bh yet. At the Aus Open he was missing too many against Hewitt and Nalbandian.

I can't recall ever seeing Edberg rip the bh for clean winners?

Vanja Ljubibratic
03-09-2004, 12:03 PM
Definitely Kafelnikov, followed by Safin maybe. Enqvist's was very nice too. I liked Haas' and Guga's one handers. Thw women have no aesthitic beauty in their shots, although I guess I can say that I like Davenport's backhand. JHH always looks so off balance when she's hitting her backhand, that I find it really ugly. It's also too jerky; it doesn't have the flowing characteristics of a Federer or Guga. But the Y-man is definitely my pick for best looking and effective backhand.

edge
03-09-2004, 12:15 PM
Best one-hander: male: Edberg, Lendl, Korda, female: Hana Manlikova, she had probably the best strokes and technique of any female player, moved gracefully. She was so talented but her weakness was her mind. Go to the videotapes!

galain
03-09-2004, 12:42 PM
My God

Edge has seen the inside of my head!

Men's backhands - very hard to go past Edberg, Korda and Lendl's drive b/h (his slice wasn't that pretty).

In any consideration of aesthetics you'd have include Stich for all shots.

In the modern game I think Tommy Haas has the best one hander. I also love the flow of Arazi's backhand.

Two handers - for effectiveness it's hard to overlook Agassi. For pure visual appeal I really like to see Malisse hitting his two hander - seems very easy for him.

Women - indeedy - Hana Mandlikova - the most graceful ball striker in the modern era. Steffi's slice, naturally, and of the current crop I will always pick Mauresmo over JHH anyday and twice on Sundays.

Shaolin
03-09-2004, 12:51 PM
what @wright said.

Add on Ferrero for 2 and Calleri for 1. Ive always loved Ilie's 1 hander as well, rips the living crap out of the ball.

BreakPoint
03-09-2004, 12:54 PM
Men: Federer, Pioline, Edberg, Vilas, Srichaphan, Joachim Johansson, Corretja, Robredo, and Sampras, yes, Sampras.

Women: Henin-Hardenne, period.

I can't think of any two-handed backhands that are "beautiful", with the possible exception of Borg.

Camilio Pascual
03-09-2004, 01:09 PM
Chris Evert's 2H BH was not only effective, it may be the single most important and influential stroke during the Open Era. As Jack Kramer was to the S&V game, so is Chris Evert to the power baseliner game.

python
03-09-2004, 01:52 PM
Chris Evert's 2H BH was not only effective, it may be the single most important and influential stroke during the Open Era. As Jack Kramer was to the S&V game, so is Chris Evert to the power baseliner game.

Ah, but was it beautiful, Camilio? I'd say no. Effective and important yes, aesthetically pleasing, no. Now, Ms. Evert herself, that's another story...

Sean Dugan
03-09-2004, 02:05 PM
Edberg, Korda, Haas, Federer, Gomez, Pioline, Muster, Corretja, Henman, Kuerten all had/have pretty one handers.

Agassi, Safin, Kafelnikov, Connors have/ had pretty two handers.

There are just so many at the touring pro level.

Nosoupforyou
03-09-2004, 03:34 PM
nalbandian, ferrero, and safin cuz he just crushes the ball

Alvaro Costa
03-09-2004, 06:29 PM
One handed: Kuerten, Federer, Edberg.

Two handed: Agassi, Safin.

Sean Dugan
03-09-2004, 06:48 PM
and Llodra!

Verbal_Kint
03-09-2004, 07:05 PM
Pioline, Stich OHB Topspin, Krajicek for Slice, Arazi for both.
Twohander: John van Lottum, I don't know wether anyone hads seen him play but he's a righthanded lefty ;)

Marnix

sliceroni
03-09-2004, 10:55 PM
Federer, Lendl, Edberg, Becker, Kuerten all have beautiful but most importantly effective backhands with variety and slice, especially on passing shots.
Graf: Epitome of slice as a weapon. Set your shots up with the slicer!!

andreh
03-10-2004, 03:30 AM
In the beautiful department no one comes close to Edberg, ever, IMO. It may not have been the most effective one, though.

Camilio Pascual
03-10-2004, 04:30 AM
Agreed, Python, it's not the most beautiful.

gofederer
03-10-2004, 05:38 AM
i happened to know andrei pavel (rom) also has a very fluid, well-balanced, easily-convertible-to-aggression 1hbh like fed's.
out of the fistful of women 1hbh'ers i'll pick mauresmo despite the huge improvement of henin's

sambapati
03-10-2004, 07:40 AM
Yeah, pavel does have a nice backhand. On the mens side I also like :
kuerten: I think he used to make a lot of winners with it
Pioline: looked nice but he used to frame too many balls.
For two handed backhands: kafelnikov and safin. Can you say effective.
On the womens side:
Sabatini: beautiful to look at, not that powerful.
seles: powerful but not that beautiful
Mauresmo: maybe both??
also add serena and anke huber(anyone remember her?)

@wright
03-10-2004, 07:47 AM
I think what's important is having variety in addition to aesthetics. Rios could hit his beautiful two hander with lots of spin and very tight angles, or he could flatten it out and really drive it down the line. He could also take it extremely early, or jump up and hit his signature kicking backhand. Someone like Safin has a great two hander, but not nearly as much variety IMO as Rios, while both strokes are easy on the eyes.

Greg
03-10-2004, 07:48 AM
Henin-Hardenne wins.

sambapati
03-10-2004, 07:53 AM
oops! I totally forgot about Mr. Rios. I should be ashamed because I have the nerve to call myself a Rios supporter. True he did have a lot of variety to his back hand. I guess I forgot because I haven`t seen him play in ages!

edge
03-10-2004, 09:06 AM
The problem with JHH and Mauresmo's BHs are that they both open up to much in the afterswing. This can throw them off balance. I think they would have more consistency and power if they stayed down like Edberg. However, Guga opens up also but he has good consitency and power.

Ronaldo
03-10-2004, 09:27 AM
Vilas and Nalbandian have wonderful BHs. Sabatini's was sweet.

tnkGod4tns
03-10-2004, 09:42 AM
men: federer, kuerten, pavel
women: sabatini, henin, davenport

Young Pete
03-11-2004, 01:02 AM
one word: SAMPRAS

Jack Romeo
03-11-2004, 01:07 AM
men - one-handers: fed, haas, guga, stich
men - two-handers: safin, agassi
women - one-handers: sabatini, henin-hardenne, novotna (slice)
women - two-handers: hingis, hantuchova

kreative
03-11-2004, 02:06 AM
men: edberg

women: henin-hardenne

@wright
03-11-2004, 06:41 AM
Forgot to mention Nalbandian and Coria

guernica1
03-11-2004, 03:19 PM
2 Handers: Rios, Safin/Kafelnikov, Escude, Spadea, Arazi, Kucera

1 Handers: Olivier Rochus, Federer, Edberg, Guga, Gasquet

Bertchel Banks
03-11-2004, 04:59 PM
Men - Agassi, Kafelnikov

Women - Lindsay, Conchita Martinez, Venus (when on)

Verbal_Kint
03-12-2004, 01:28 AM
2 Handers: Rios, Safin/Kafelnikov, Escude, Spadea, Arazi, Kucera



Since when does Arazi have a 2-hander? ;)

Marnix

chad shaver
03-12-2004, 06:38 AM
He did hit ONE against Rusedski on grass right before Wimby last year. It was a clean winner, too. Probably the last one he will ever hit....

Stinkdyr
03-12-2004, 11:32 AM
guga, justine

alfa164164
03-12-2004, 12:45 PM
Men - Petr Korda
Women - Hana Mandlikova

guernica1
03-12-2004, 02:57 PM
My Bad, marnix...

Throw in Gaudio for 1 hander too... I think he has the sweetest looking 1 hander along with Rochus and Federer

JohnThomas1
04-13-2004, 03:30 AM
Ok i'll speak for the one handers. Amongst the women Hana Mandlikova had the most gorgeous backhand i've ever seen in female tennis, slice or top. I'm not saying it was the best tho of course. Catarina Lindquist's topspin backhand was also a ripper looks wise, and probably more stable and effective than Hana's. Steffi had the most effective slice i've ever seen. Today Henin has possibly the most effective backhand i've ever seen, male or female given the gender difference.

Of the men Stefan had possibly the most aesthetically pleasing in history, and it was very effective as well. Korda's was also very nice on the eye, and a great backhand to boot. Lendl's was as good as any but very stiff. Today Haas, Gasquet and Fedex have very nice backhands, and they are extremely effective to boot. Guga's is a top shot, but not quite as pleasing as the others mentioned, and his big windup hurts him on the faster courts.

galain
04-13-2004, 04:33 AM
Hey JohnThomas!

Another Aussie on the boards! Woohoo - I thought it was just me and some tumbleweeds from down here. Where are you?

drummerboy
04-13-2004, 04:48 AM
Men's: Nalbandian

Women's: Davenport

spinbalz
04-13-2004, 12:48 PM
Le vengeur masqué (the masked avenger) : Henri Leconte

spinbalz
04-13-2004, 12:50 PM
Le vengeur masqué (the masked avenger) : Henri Leconte - a pleasure to watch and to hear.

ucd_ace
04-13-2004, 01:18 PM
For men, by far Tommy Haas. I don't understand how everyone thinks that Federer's backhand is so beautiful. It's a great backhand, but I feel like he just hits it... nothing special about it; I think people get confused with results and this type of category. Anyway, I just don't see it even though I've studied it a lot via tennisone.

Women: Justine

Max G.
04-13-2004, 01:52 PM
Federer's backhand just looks like it takes no effort. For some this might translate to looking beautiful, for some it might not - that's my take on it. Malisse's two-hander also seems equally effortless.

Those would be my two picks though. Rios would probably be my pick for 2h if I had seen more of him.

Free_Martha
04-13-2004, 03:02 PM
I like how Roger Federer leans into his backhand with the upward sweep motion. Very nice.

But Justine Henin-Hardenne's backhand is sheer poetry in motion. :)

AndyC
04-13-2004, 03:49 PM
Edberg's has got to be the best of those I've been priviledged to see. Of those playing today I'd go with Federer's of course. Some of the shots he plays are simply ridiculous for mere mortals to even try and emulate.

Calleri too has a very beautiful effective stroke. See the recent Masters where he blew Agassi away; it was a devastating work of art.

yee
04-13-2004, 09:37 PM
Federer can do quite some variations with his backhand but I think it's still very inconsistent.

Calleri's backhand in that Andre's match really was very special and speculating to watch.

Hewittfan22
04-13-2004, 10:34 PM
im surpirsed no one has mentioned Hewitt and Shalken I know it looks ugly but man its so freaking solid, shalken barey makes any mistakes on his backhand, And hewitt has very very good backhand also, very simple take back and just beautiful

JohnThomas1
04-13-2004, 11:38 PM
Hi galain, i am in Rockhampton, Queensland :)

bcaz
04-13-2004, 11:55 PM
No one has a more effective two-hander than Davenport.

jmckinney
04-14-2004, 06:01 AM
women- jhh, sabatini

men- edberg, kuerten

ErwinFromParis
04-19-2004, 08:33 AM
One Hd: 1) Federer 2)Hedberg 3)Leconte Henri (almost he was lefter)
Two Hds : 1) Safin and Rios equal, 2) equal Agassi and Kafel (for the efficacity)

Tommy Haas
04-19-2004, 09:02 AM
* deleted *

Progressive10s
04-19-2004, 09:05 AM
I'm surprised that someone listed Steffi in this discussion. Amazingly, not many players could exploit her backhand. Like Martina, it was a great slice backhand, but I believe that you should be able to hit any shot off that side--topspin, slice or flat. In all the times I watched Steffi on the tube, I can count the number of topspin/flat drives on one hand. Steffi was amazing because she played at such a high level with one side that could be labeled a liability.

edge
04-19-2004, 09:34 AM
Steffi's backhand was not a liability. When her opponent came to net, she would rip the topspin BH. Look at the matches against Navratilova or Sabatini. The slice BH is a liability only against attackers, not baseliners. Seeing that 99.9% of the women were/ are baseliners, it was never a liablity.

MrSiki99
04-24-2008, 08:51 PM
I saw Pavel play for the first time in the US Open against Agassi...and his backhand is just a thing of beauty. Very simple and effective. Of course Justine has the best for womens...nothing like it in the WTA.

spiritdragon
04-24-2008, 10:58 PM
pavel, safin, gasquet, henin, federer, kuerten all have beautiful backhands. one of the reasons safin is one of my fav players is cuz of that awesome backhand.

Leelord337
04-24-2008, 11:08 PM
ferrero's 2 hander looks just awesome!

richard gasquet's 1 hander is the best in the mens game

justine henin's one hander is the best in TENNIS

!Tym
04-24-2008, 11:22 PM
There have been too many beautiful one-handed backhands to mention, but Arazi, Edberg, Pioline, and Korda take the cake for most beautiful.

Two-handed backhands on the other hand are a different story, two handers are the Purina dog chowder of tennis. You gotta have them, but they stink.

Of all the two-handers, there have managed to be a few gems for appearance fortunately however.

1) Bruguera 2) Malivai Washington 3) Yevgeny Kafelnikov 4) Rios...but that's just for me.

I place Bruguera at number one, because his technique USED to be unique (on the seniors tour he hits it much more conventionally now). He used to take it back like a king framing the ball on his takeback with this regal box beam picture frame look. To me, that was a thing of beauty as it's the only truly original looking technique I've ever seen on the two-handed backhand.

Malivai Washington was just a beautiful athlete too watch, he was the Denzel Washignton, leading man, smooth, bold, confident, quiet is sexy look of backhands...btw, I'm not the g-word, nor God either for that matter.

I pick Kafelnikov third because he like Bruguera had a very unique look to his backhand. Rios and Mal had beautiful backhands, but more for the elan simplicity of their look, and not anything particularly unusual about their technique. Kafelnikov on the other hand seriously looked like a Russian tank going to war when he lined up his backhand. His down-the-line backhand was the very definition of frozen rope. Not many two-handers have ever been as good at ridirecting angles and pace STRAIGHT down the line with such rigity in his arms, demeanor, and composure as he. Great posture this guy, these days though all I notice about him is his flabbergasting gut.

FedForGOAT
04-25-2008, 01:16 AM
1HBH
Federer's backhand in 2004-06 was simply amazing. When I first watched him in 04', his backhand was actually the first thing I noticed. Kuerten's backhand was also beautiful.

2HBH
Safin's power in his prime was was amazing. Nalbo's angles are also incredible. And of course, Agassi.

basil J
04-25-2008, 06:26 AM
The pavel aggasi Us open match back in 04 I believe, was a thing of beauty to watch. Both players were stronger off of the BH wing and Pavel's BH would not break down. I also like Haas and kuerten for 1HBH, I like Safin hewitt and Agassi for 2hbh. Very solid .

Fedexeon
04-25-2008, 06:32 AM
Federer's backhand against Nalbandian today is very beautiful. =)

CEvertFan
04-25-2008, 07:43 AM
Ah, but was it beautiful, Camilio? I'd say no. Effective and important yes, aesthetically pleasing, no. Now, Ms. Evert herself, that's another story...



It was indeed a beautiful shot. She was always in position and perfectly balanced and could hit it beautifully on the run as well. A fluid, graceful shot for a two handed backhand as the one handers are usually the more flowing and graceful ala Henin.

TennisProdigy
04-25-2008, 07:51 AM
Bjorn Borg lol

jgreen06
04-25-2008, 09:13 AM
wow, this is an old thread...

men - fed, kuerten, nalbandian, gasquet, and roddick of course ;-)
women- henin

Verilious
04-25-2008, 11:48 AM
Murray has an awesome backhand as well. Very simple and efficient stroke.

Defcon
04-25-2008, 03:16 PM
Can we all agree that there is no prettier stroke in tennis than a fluid 1h-bh. Its also probably the hardest stroke to master.

kalic
04-25-2008, 03:27 PM
Can we all agree that there is no prettier stroke in tennis than a fluid 1h-bh. Its also probably the hardest stroke to master.

Absolutely. And master of the masters is Kuerten (when he was young, of course)

Oricus
04-25-2008, 04:54 PM
Absolutely. And master of the masters is Kuerten (when he was young, of course)

Recently re-watched the Federer Kuerten third round match at the French open from 2004. I have to say Kuerten could still dictate very well off his Backhand, it was lethal in that match.

Defcon
04-25-2008, 05:09 PM
Pavel, Calleri, Gaudio - lethal drive backhands, can blast you off the court. Gasquet too but his motion is not classical.

Fed has by far the best backhand crossscourt passing shots -he hits them at ridiculous angles and insane levels of difficulty. No one else would even attempt the ones he hits for winners.

FedForGOAT
04-25-2008, 05:20 PM
Pavel, Calleri, Gaudio - lethal drive backhands, can blast you off the court. Gasquet too but his motion is not classical.

Fed has by far the best backhand crossscourt passing shots -he hits them at ridiculous angles and insane levels of difficulty. No one else would even attempt the ones he hits for winners.

It's true, but not only the CC ones. He has insane DTL backhand passing shots.

Ryoma Kun
04-25-2008, 05:23 PM
men - 1 handed - kuerton, gasquet, federer, safin

women - 1 hand - henin

I do not consider the 2 handed backhand a backhand unless it is safin

Leelord337
04-25-2008, 05:34 PM
men - 1 handed - kuerton, gasquet, federer, safin

women - 1 hand - henin

I do not consider the 2 handed backhand a backhand unless it is safin


what about Juan Carlos Ferrero, he has a very pretty 2 hander

JW10S
04-25-2008, 05:44 PM
The most beautiful backhands I've seen belong to Ken Rosewall, Billie Jean King, Evonne Goolagong, Bettina Bunge, Guillermo Vilas, Gustavo Kuerten, Richard Gasquet, Justine Henin...one handed backhands are far better looking than two handed backhands--no question.

fastdunn
04-25-2008, 05:44 PM
for some reasons, i don't find henin-hardan's 1 hander that beautiful. i think she often makes pretty jerky last split second adjustments. she is not tall. balls often jump on her. and she often muscles it pushing up.

federer has this beautiful 1 hander smoothly leaning into the ball. beautiful footworks (only time when it breaks down is against nadal's looper forehand).
federer's is much smoother and more natural looking.

and there used to be many beautiful looking 1 handers like edberg's and sampras' of early days. i remember late arthur ashe's comment on sampras' 1 handed backhand shot; something like "perfectly executed beautiful shot everybody dreams of hitting". (well, toward the end of sampras' career, he hit much less groundies and his 1 hander got kinda ugly...)

jmsx521
04-25-2008, 06:13 PM
one word: SAMPRASI always think the opposite: How good Sampras was to win those slams with amazing 1st & 2nd serve, great forehand and an average backhand.

2 Handers: Rios, Safin/Kafelnikov, Escude, Spadea, Arazi, Kucera

1 Handers: Olivier Rochus, Federer, Edberg, Guga, GasquetI had never thought... and never expected for Spadea to make it to the top of the ATP tour for certain part of his game!

Since when does Arazi have a 2-hander? ;)

MarnixI want to know too!

fastswingVD
04-25-2008, 06:15 PM
Pete Sampras

jmsx521
04-25-2008, 06:26 PM
2HBH: In terms of beauty, they are far off from the one-handers. But if I have to pick some: Agassi, Rios, Escude, Enqvist, Safin

1HBH: Stich (smooth!), Korda (massive!), Pioline, Delaitre, Furlan, Federer, Pescosolido, Pavel, Mansdorf, Forget, Wawrinka, Gasquet, Costa A., Gaudio, Kuerten, Calleri, Puerta, Arazi (not getting enough pace though! And, there was an Australian guy that played in the late 80s... I forgot his name (short guy with massive legs). Plus, there was another Australian that played in the early 90s... got to the top 20-30 I believe; I forgot his name too.

You know what, you can just add all the Colombians and Argentines to that list too.

!Tym
04-25-2008, 07:11 PM
Can we all agree that there is no prettier stroke in tennis than a fluid 1h-bh. Its also probably the hardest stroke to master.

I don't think so, after being a life long two-hander, I picked up a one-hander in two years of just very, VERY sporadic hitting while messing around against beginning intermediate level players (friends who wanted to hit with me).

It's now my go-to backhand, and I feel awkward using a two-hander even though it was once considered my best shot. To me, the one-hander once you get the feel down for it and stop being afraid to stroke it for fear it'll fly over the fence causing you great embarassment, in other words, once you learn to TRUST the motion and that yes it does indeed work, it's actually a FAR more natural feeling shot to me than the two-hander. But really it's just different strokes for different folks.

BY FAR, the two most difficult style techniques to copy have been the old Bruguera forehand with the picture-frame take back and his wristy can-opener, hurricane, forehand motion...but that's just me. I'm a master mimic (really, I am), but these are just way too ideosyncratic for me to ever truly perfect on a CONSISTENT basis. I found that one day it'd be going great, then two or three days in a row it'd all just fall apart for me. Amazingly enough though, after years of fiddling around, I feel like I've got the Bruguera forehand motion down pretty good and relatively consistently now, but the Bruguera backhand motion I've NEVER been able to nail down on a consistent basis. It's just a VERY awkard feeling to frame it up like a picture-frame the way he did, and the ensuing wrist drop timing, etc. you need to make is incredibly difficult to time with any fluidity. Cliff Drysadale was one to make a point of how unique Bruguera's backhand preparation and takeback was, with the way he "cocked his wrist," etc, "it's a unique shot, Patrick, it's a unique shot."

Note, that when Bruguera came back from major shoulder surgery, he no longer was hitting his two-hander this way anymore except for only an odd point here or there. On the seniors tour today, this trend continues. His grip is now far more open, he hits his backhand with less variety of spin as a result and with a much more predictable trajectory. His take back now is fairly simple, straight back, slightly curved, and generic. It's a CRYING shame from an aesthetic standpoint for me personally as the primary reason I became crazy for watching Bruguera was because he was essentially the ONLY pro's groundstrokes I could not effectively immitate on a *consistent* basis, and it used to drive me NUTS, that I could never consistently nail down pro-BRUGUERA-form on the backhand and forehand from day to day, it was always either THERE for me...or NOT, with seemingly never in between. Believe me, I've hit with open players for the first-time and they'll ask me afterward, "Are you a one-hander or two-hander?" They honestly don't know, because I can switch between different motions and do so with "pro form". I am truly unique this way among higher level players, as virtually all higher level players are taught to hit one way from an early age, and stick with it, until it's drilled into their head. They think there's no other way for them when in reality it's simply not true. To me tennis was always more of an aesthetic pursuit than practical, and because of this my primary fascination was always with trying to "get" and perfectly emulate EVERY pro's various motions, ideosyncrasies, and techniques.

I guess you could say, I'm a jack-of-all-trades-master-of-none when it comes to having the entire lunch bag of different pro "styles" in my bag.

As for run-handers, my experience is that I can more or less effecitvely immitate several differnt one-handed backhand "looks" from Muster, to Pioline, to Correjta, to Lendl, etc. BUT, the one-technique I could never GET down pat was always Arazi's. It's the same reason that I list Arazi as my most beautiful one-handed backhand. What makes Arazi's backhand so befuddling to me is that he looks like he takes it back like a SLICE backhand with the racket face leaning open at an angle...YET, he is still able to hit all kinds of different spins and trajectories off this side as if he took it back with a more closed grip. It's truly a paradox to me how he does it and times it so that the ball doesn't hit the back fence every time. Every time, I try to copy Arazi's one-hander, this is what happens to me, my balls start ricocheting off the back-fence like it's batting practice at Fenway.

Again, for me, beauty (with the exception of Kaarsten Braasch's serve) is directly tied to how difficult it is for me to OWN whoever pro's unique style.

As such, for me, hands-down prettiest two-hander and one-hander belong to Bruguera (of old...currently his backhand looks like dog shiiii-c by comparison) and Arazi respectively. They've also been by far the most difficult strokes for me to copy (along with the Bruguera forehand from the DEUCE court...from the ad-court it's a piece of cake and a very natural feeling stroke). The good news though is that after years and years of it driving me crazy that I couldn't buy these guys styles if I wanted to, I've finally willingly let the dream go. I no longer even try. I'm happy with my current rainbow pallette and come to terms with the fact that if I haven't got it by now, son, you never will. :???: :mad: :evil: :twisted:...one day, I will get it, and they will be MINE!!!! (no icon, for slightly obsessive here)

orangettecoleman
04-25-2008, 07:32 PM
2 handers: Nalbandian is in the lead by a wide margin for me, also Agassi and Rios

1 handers: Gasquet, Kuerten, Fed. I really like Kohlschrieber's backhand too, really efficient technique with a full follow through. Don't forget Rosewall, and i particularly like him because he just had the driving slice backhand that was his weapon, he would pass with it, lob, you name it. Graf had a good slice but it was still her weaker side that she tried to protect.

BeHappy
04-25-2008, 07:39 PM
There have been too many beautiful one-handed backhands to mention, but Arazi, Edberg, Pioline, and Korda take the cake for most beautiful.

Two-handed backhands on the other hand are a different story, two handers are the Purina dog chowder of tennis. You gotta have them, but they stink.

Of all the two-handers, there have managed to be a few gems for appearance fortunately however.

1) Bruguera 2) Malivai Washington 3) Yevgeny Kafelnikov 4) Rios...but that's just for me.

I place Bruguera at number one, because his technique USED to be unique (on the seniors tour he hits it much more conventionally now). He used to take it back like a king framing the ball on his takeback with this regal box beam picture frame look. To me, that was a thing of beauty as it's the only truly original looking technique I've ever seen on the two-handed backhand.

Malivai Washington was just a beautiful athlete too watch, he was the Denzel Washignton, leading man, smooth, bold, confident, quiet is sexy look of backhands...btw, I'm not the g-word, nor God either for that matter.

I pick Kafelnikov third because he like Bruguera had a very unique look to his backhand. Rios and Mal had beautiful backhands, but more for the elan simplicity of their look, and not anything particularly unusual about their technique. Kafelnikov on the other hand seriously looked like a Russian tank going to war when he lined up his backhand. His down-the-line backhand was the very definition of frozen rope. Not many two-handers have ever been as good at ridirecting angles and pace STRAIGHT down the line with such rigity in his arms, demeanor, and composure as he. Great posture this guy, these days though all I notice about him is his flabbergasting gut.

your posts suck tym

BeHappy
04-25-2008, 07:41 PM
I don't think so, after being a life long two-hander, I picked up a one-hander in two years of just very, VERY sporadic hitting while messing around against beginning intermediate level players (friends who wanted to hit with me).

It's now my go-to backhand, and I feel awkward using a two-hander even though it was once considered my best shot. To me, the one-hander once you get the feel down for it and stop being afraid to stroke it for fear it'll fly over the fence causing you great embarassment, in other words, once you learn to TRUST the motion and that yes it does indeed work, it's actually a FAR more natural feeling shot to me than the two-hander. But really it's just different strokes for different folks.

BY FAR, the two most difficult style techniques to copy have been the old Bruguera forehand with the picture-frame take back and his wristy can-opener, hurricane, forehand motion...but that's just me. I'm a master mimic (really, I am), but these are just way too ideosyncratic for me to ever truly perfect on a CONSISTENT basis. I found that one day it'd be going great, then two or three days in a row it'd all just fall apart for me. Amazingly enough though, after years of fiddling around, I feel like I've got the Bruguera forehand motion down pretty good and relatively consistently now, but the Bruguera backhand motion I've NEVER been able to nail down on a consistent basis. It's just a VERY awkard feeling to frame it up like a picture-frame the way he did, and the ensuing wrist drop timing, etc. you need to make is incredibly difficult to time with any fluidity. Cliff Drysadale was one to make a point of how unique Bruguera's backhand preparation and takeback was, with the way he "cocked his wrist," etc, "it's a unique shot, Patrick, it's a unique shot."

Note, that when Bruguera came back from major shoulder surgery, he no longer was hitting his two-hander this way anymore except for only an odd point here or there. On the seniors tour today, this trend continues. His grip is now far more open, he hits his backhand with less variety of spin as a result and with a much more predictable trajectory. His take back now is fairly simple, straight back, slightly curved, and generic. It's a CRYING shame from an aesthetic standpoint for me personally as the primary reason I became crazy for watching Bruguera was because he was essentially the ONLY pro's groundstrokes I could not effectively immitate on a *consistent* basis, and it used to drive me NUTS, that I could never consistently nail down pro-BRUGUERA-form on the backhand and forehand from day to day, it was always either THERE for me...or NOT, with seemingly never in between. Believe me, I've hit with open players for the first-time and they'll ask me afterward, "Are you a one-hander or two-hander?" They honestly don't know, because I can switch between different motions and do so with "pro form". I am truly unique this way among higher level players, as virtually all higher level players are taught to hit one way from an early age, and stick with it, until it's drilled into their head. They think there's no other way for them when in reality it's simply not true. To me tennis was always more of an aesthetic pursuit than practical, and because of this my primary fascination was always with trying to "get" and perfectly emulate EVERY pro's various motions, ideosyncrasies, and techniques.

I guess you could say, I'm a jack-of-all-trades-master-of-none when it comes to having the entire lunch bag of different pro "styles" in my bag.

As for run-handers, my experience is that I can more or less effecitvely immitate several differnt one-handed backhand "looks" from Muster, to Pioline, to Correjta, to Lendl, etc. BUT, the one-technique I could never GET down pat was always Arazi's. It's the same reason that I list Arazi as my most beautiful one-handed backhand. What makes Arazi's backhand so befuddling to me is that he looks like he takes it back like a SLICE backhand with the racket face leaning open at an angle...YET, he is still able to hit all kinds of different spins and trajectories off this side as if he took it back with a more closed grip. It's truly a paradox to me how he does it and times it so that the ball doesn't hit the back fence every time. Every time, I try to copy Arazi's one-hander, this is what happens to me, my balls start ricocheting off the back-fence like it's batting practice at Fenway.

Again, for me, beauty (with the exception of Kaarsten Braasch's serve) is directly tied to how difficult it is for me to OWN whoever pro's unique style.

As such, for me, hands-down prettiest two-hander and one-hander belong to Bruguera (of old...currently his backhand looks like dog shiiii-c by comparison) and Arazi respectively. They've also been by far the most difficult strokes for me to copy (along with the Bruguera forehand from the DEUCE court...from the ad-court it's a piece of cake and a very natural feeling stroke). The good news though is that after years and years of it driving me crazy that I couldn't buy these guys styles if I wanted to, I've finally willingly let the dream go. I no longer even try. I'm happy with my current rainbow pallette and come to terms with the fact that if I haven't got it by now, son, you never will. :???: :mad: :evil: :twisted:...one day, I will get it, and they will be MINE!!!! (no icon, for slightly obsessive here)

seriously .

soyizgood
04-25-2008, 08:00 PM
Men's: Agassi (nuff' said), Rios, Kafelnikov, Nalbandian, Gasquet, Kuerten, Haas, Federer (when it's on), Davydenko, Djokovic, Lendl (I still think his was a bit over-rated)
Women's: Evert, Austin, Conchita, Hingis, Henin, Ivanovic, Navratilova (she didn't really kill anyone form the baseline though), Sanchez-Vicario, Hantuchova

MariaS
04-25-2008, 08:00 PM
Evonne Goolagong had the most beautifully executed one handed backhand. The clay Aussie would slide into position and hit her backhand ever so gracefully. Looked like a ballerina.

Hot Sauce
04-25-2008, 08:25 PM
Gasquet has a pretty backhand, and Henin is a given.

Mick
04-25-2008, 08:28 PM
I like Henin's backhand but during the 2006 Wimbledon final, Mary Carillo said Mauresmo's backhand was superior (looks and performs better).

Photoshop
04-25-2008, 09:07 PM
I love Nadal's backhand. It's very manly.

tennisdude083
04-25-2008, 09:56 PM
lol i was reading the first couple pages and i was like "wtf why hasnt anyone mentioned gasquet??" then i realized the thread was from 2004. i think he has one of the best 1 handers. nalbandian and safin have good 2 hand.

Hot Sauce
04-25-2008, 10:42 PM
lol i was reading the first couple pages and i was like "wtf why hasnt anyone mentioned gasquet??"

I was definitely wondering that too. He's one of the first people that comes to mind.

psYcon
04-25-2008, 10:53 PM
Ugliest 1HB has to belong to one Fernando Gonzales. Surprisingly it is very effective.

Leelord337
04-25-2008, 11:13 PM
Ugliest 1HB has to belong to one Fernando Gonzalez. Surprisingly it is very effective.

Ivo Karlovic's backhand is Awful and looks just as bad.

!Tym
04-25-2008, 11:21 PM
your posts suck tym

YAY ME!!!! Like I give a flying FRUIT, it's just tennis, seriously, it's all tongue-in-cheek with me these days. If you ACTUALLY think I care about this all that much you're 110% wrong, when I post on here it's just rote auto pilot to kill time when I need to kill time or am stressed out, nothing more, nothing less. In reality, I don't care about tennis practically AT ALL anymore.

...but I will say this, you are one noble-spirited guy for feeling it so necessary to put me in my place. I at least don't get my kicks from putting others in theirs.

stormholloway
04-25-2008, 11:24 PM
Ugliest 1HB has to belong to one Fernando Gonzales. Surprisingly it is very effective.

Agree, except for the effective part.

fastdunn
04-25-2008, 11:29 PM
I always think the opposite: How good Sampras was to win those slams with amazing 1st & 2nd serve, great forehand and an average backhand.

I had never thought... and never expected for Spadea to make it to the top of the ATP tour for certain part of his game!

I want to know too!

I thought we are talking about how beautiful ones backhand look...... not how good they are....

fastdunn
04-25-2008, 11:40 PM
I don't think so, after being a life long two-hander, I picked up a one-hander in two years of just very, VERY sporadic hitting while messing around against beginning intermediate level players (friends who wanted to hit with me).

It's now my go-to backhand, and I feel awkward using a two-hander even though it was once considered my best shot. To me, the one-hander once you get the feel down for it and stop being afraid to stroke it for fear it'll fly over the fence causing you great embarassment, in other words, once you learn to TRUST the motion and that yes it does indeed work, it's actually a FAR more natural feeling shot to me than the two-hander. But really it's just different strokes for different folks.


but sometimes i wonder why lots of people takes pretty long time to "trust" their 1 handed backhand. could it be because it's "harder" to execute ?

well, my 1 handed backhand is best in my town(among my peers of course). i think i developed it nicely because i simply love to hit it. my forehand is average among my peers. i don't enjoy hitting my forehand as much as backhand.

but i think 1 handed backhand is pretty complex motion to coordinate. especially when you start out playing. forehand is simpler motion but large degree of freedom. 1 handed backhand is complex but less degree of freedom. i think it takes pretty athletic person to truely master top spin 1handed backhand in all situations like returning various serves or hitting it on the run etc..., IMHO.