Best forehand in mens tennis?

Discussion in 'General Pro Player Discussion' started by JohnThomas1, May 16, 2004.

  1. JohnThomas1

    JohnThomas1 Professional

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2004
    Messages:
    977
    After seeing Federers' excellent performance against Hewitt i have to wonder if it might just be he.
     
    #1
  2. Aus Mosis

    Aus Mosis New User

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2004
    Messages:
    27
    Gonzales
     
    #2
  3. Roforot

    Roforot Professional

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2004
    Messages:
    1,196
    I think what makes Federer's groundstrokes so good is his footwork in that he sets himself up to always hit his best shot in the most comfortable strike zone. I know's he's out of sorts recently, but I've been really impressed by JC Ferrero's (sp?) FH. He's able to crush the ball and hit some unbelievealbe spin and angles.
     
    #3
  4. JohnThomas1

    JohnThomas1 Professional

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2004
    Messages:
    977
    For sure mate, his footwork (Federer)is sensational. Gets a fair whip of that racquet head too, and is very aggressive on almost every forehand. Ferrero certainly has an excellent forehand too. The topspin he gets is amazing at times. Gonzales, when it's on lookout for sure.
     
    #4
  5. Feña14

    Feña14 Legend

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2004
    Messages:
    5,310
    Location:
    England
    You guys know hat your talking about!!!!!

    Ferrero's FH is the best imo.

    But hey I might be a bit biast :wink:

    Liam
     
    #5
  6. cheezecake

    cheezecake New User

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2004
    Messages:
    95
    Safin and Federer.
     
    #6
  7. bcaz

    bcaz Professional

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2004
    Messages:
    986
    Younes, Mark P.
     
    #7
  8. Datacipher

    Datacipher Banned

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2004
    Messages:
    4,611
    I sort of agree with this...except Gonzales doesn't have a lot of variety in that I havent' seen him hit the short angles all that well....but in terms of power and spin he wins hands down...the caveat being, it's only consistent when he sets up properly and sometimes his footwork doesn't allow this. Also because of his huge swing and early acceleration...it's prone to mis-hits when he's off and makes it harder for him to take the ball early.

    And while I think it's kinda ugly, El Anouyi seems to exist on tour almost exlusively because of his scary forehand. You know many players are absolutely scared to hit anything to it....besides a good 1st serve...it's almost all Anouyi has got!
     
    #8
  9. Max G.

    Max G. Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2004
    Messages:
    4,355
    Younes A also has a wicked serve.

    ...lots of players on tour have wicked forehands, it's really hard to tell which is the best. That would depend on surface, on whether you include how often they can set it up, how often they run around, and lots of other factors. I don't think you can isolate someone and say "best forehand on tour, here."
     
    #9
  10. Phil

    Phil Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2004
    Messages:
    3,877
    Location:
    In a tent, along the Silk Road
    I would place Moya near the top, and don't discount Agassi, either.
     
    #10
  11. JohnThomas1

    JohnThomas1 Professional

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2004
    Messages:
    977
    Moya and Agassi belong in the guts of this discussion for sure. Agassi actually said two months ago that Federer has arguably the best forehand in the game. I thought someone would have mentioned Roddick too. Likable or not, i wouldn't mind having it hehehe. Two other names that might have their followers are Blake and Grosjean.
     
    #11
  12. Nosoupforyou

    Nosoupforyou Rookie

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2004
    Messages:
    246
    I think Roddick has a good forehand, but he puts a bit too much spin on it for my taste, and it seems he has trouble with it when he is facing people who hit harder and flatter
     
    #12
  13. James Brown

    James Brown Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2004
    Messages:
    478
    moya and federer. blake thinks so too :>
     
    #13
  14. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

    Joined:
    May 3, 2004
    Messages:
    24,464
    Location:
    FT. Lauderdale, Florida
    Federer!
     
    #14
  15. @wright

    @wright Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2004
    Messages:
    3,567
    Federer, I bet, hits more clean winner forehands, compared to unforced errors, than most of these other players being mentioned. Moya's FH is good, but I can't lead myself to believe it's on the same level as Fed's. Agassi has to be in the top 5, and Safin, when playing well, should be somewhere in the mix.
     
    #15
  16. Hewittfan22

    Hewittfan22 Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2004
    Messages:
    583
    hewitt all the way
     
    #16
  17. Hewittfan22

    Hewittfan22 Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2004
    Messages:
    583
    hewitts forehand is awesome, its very safe and looks great , i wanna hit like hewitt but i have a western grip so im trying to copy either roddick or ferrero
    or grosjean I DONT KNOW WHICH ONE
     
    #17
  18. JohnThomas1

    JohnThomas1 Professional

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2004
    Messages:
    977
    I really thought Hewitt did use a Western actually. I'm a big Hewitt fan, but i don't think his forehand quite matches up to some of these guys. You could see the difference between his and Federer's forehand just a couple of days ago. Hewitt is super consistent off that wing but lacks the punch of Federer and co. Good to see a Hewitt fan in the US too :)
     
    #18
  19. Hyperstate

    Hyperstate Rookie

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2004
    Messages:
    125
    FedEx all the way. Gonzo may be able to hit with more pace, but Fed, IMO, has the best combination of pace and spin, hence more FH winners. Second fav has to be Moya.
     
    #19
  20. D. Nalbandian

    D. Nalbandian Rookie

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2004
    Messages:
    137
    Fernando Gonzalez. There is so much power
     
    #20
  21. Datacipher

    Datacipher Banned

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2004
    Messages:
    4,611
    I don't nominate these for best forehand, although they were all very good. I just throw these out there for fun. Not current guys, not grand slam winners and maybe not guys you would think of immediately but fun forehands to watch in terms of spectacular powerful shots:

    Andrew Illie, Wayne Ferreira, Petr Korda, Alberto Berasetegui, Alberto Mancini, Guy Forget(and countrymen Delaitre, Raoux as well!)
     
    #21
  22. VamosRafa

    VamosRafa Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    May 3, 2004
    Messages:
    4,202
    It's in development. But in a year or so, you'll be talking about Nadal's forehand. :wink:
     
    #22
  23. Datacipher

    Datacipher Banned

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2004
    Messages:
    4,611
    That's what I meant by a good 1st serve. His flat first serve is simple and very effective when on. I don't know that his 2nd is anything particularly special. I think his backhand is at best average or maybe even slightly sub par these days as he tends to slice an awful lot. The fact that he has made more of an impact as he gets older, just makes me appreciate his forehand all the more.
     
    #23
  24. Hewittfan22

    Hewittfan22 Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2004
    Messages:
    583
    Yeah Hewitt might be using western but when I went to Us open two years ago and I got to meet with Jason Stoltenberg former Hewitt's coach and I asked him what does hewitt use for his forehand and he said he uses Semi-western. So i dont know it, It seems like he uses western when i watch him play especially When he hits the forehand on the run just flicking his wrist, but i might be wrong or Stoltenberg could be wrong as well. There are very few Hewitt's fan here but I dont understand why, he is great, his strokes are AWESOME just AWESOME and he is so fast, just like me hehe
    and he is very tough mentally, which i need to learn. He is a outstanding player, i am 100% sure he will be back in that number 1 position, federer is nothing when hewitt is on... !!!!
     
    #24
  25. Hewittfan22

    Hewittfan22 Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2004
    Messages:
    583
    Hewitt is the greatest
     
    #25
  26. Hewittfan22

    Hewittfan22 Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2004
    Messages:
    583
    there will be a day Hewitt beating Federer or fedex whatever his name is 6-0 6-0 6-0 in 2007 us open final.
     
    #26
  27. JohnThomas1

    JohnThomas1 Professional

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2004
    Messages:
    977
    Actually Nadal's forehand isn't out of place in here now VamosRafa. I watched his match with Hewitt out here in Australia and his forehand was absolutely electric. It was a super tough match, and a lesser competitor than Hewitt might well have folded.
     
    #27
  28. Datacipher

    Datacipher Banned

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2004
    Messages:
    4,611
    Interesting John. I haven't seen Nadal's forehand but now I will watch for it if I have the chance.
     
    #28
  29. JohnThomas1

    JohnThomas1 Professional

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2004
    Messages:
    977
    Hey champ, yeah it is really something, no kidding. He hit a winner against Hewitt clocked at over 100mph. From memory he hit more "off" forehand winners than the regular crosscourt. Tho sometimes erratic at present he really hits the daylights out of it when he decides it is winner time. I agree with the above that it is a project in work, but gosh it is an exciting shot. Give Yannick a forehand like that and lookout hehehe :)
     
    #29
  30. JohnThomas1

    JohnThomas1 Professional

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2004
    Messages:
    977
    I also agree 100% with your assessment of Younes. His two hander is not a confident shot for him when he does hit it either. His forehand has been wrapped by quit a few players as the best around, no wonder you are impressed. You also mention Ferreira, who at one time was considered to have close to the biggest forehand in the game.
     
    #30
  31. Feña14

    Feña14 Legend

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2004
    Messages:
    5,310
    Location:
    England
    I think lefty strokes such as Nadal's and Verdasco's are very good strokes and produce excellent results, but they look so damn awful!!!

    Give me a beautiful Ferrero FH anyday!!!

    Liam
     
    #31
  32. sorkang724

    sorkang724 New User

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2004
    Messages:
    86
    The best forehand is gotta be MOYA !
     
    #32
  33. Datacipher

    Datacipher Banned

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2004
    Messages:
    4,611
    Yes Sir. The only knock I can think of is that it was a huge swing...a bit like Gonzales now that I think of it...and partly because of that he didn't take on the rise quite as well as an Agassi(of course who does)....or on the run. But when he had time to set up and plant...whooo boy....look out. I have saved some of his matches on tape, the one I wish i had, but only have highlights was against Korda in the 1st round(?) of USO. Jaw dropping shotmaking at points as you might imagine.....of course you wanted to close your eyes at the ugliness of the errors at other points ;-)
     
    #33
  34. touchytennis

    touchytennis Rookie

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2004
    Messages:
    126
    gotta be fabrice santoro :D
     
    #34
  35. serveboy

    serveboy Rookie

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2004
    Messages:
    179
    Sampras forehand > *

    Since he's retired, I'll pick Federer.
     
    #35
  36. touchytennis

    touchytennis Rookie

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2004
    Messages:
    126
    ive never seen sampras forehand cuz.. i was to young to watchi him when he played his best...
    can anyone tell me about it?
     
    #36
  37. JohnThomas1

    JohnThomas1 Professional

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2004
    Messages:
    977
    It was quite different to what you see today actually. Many claim it was an Eastern. He hit it pretty flat and very hard, often from an open stance. He was very aggressive with the shot and hit it unbelievable well on the run, often going for winners even if the opponent was in the backcourt.
     
    #37
  38. finchy

    finchy Professional

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2004
    Messages:
    1,437
    Ferrero. it is his biggest weapon. and i think its bigger than many of the top players of today.

    his whole body is just so fluid and his stroke is just really clean and awesome!
     
    #38
  39. Datacipher

    Datacipher Banned

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2004
    Messages:
    4,611
    I believe it was an Eastern. One telltale sign that you could see clearly in Sampras was that his elbow was a bit higher both on the backswing(not ALWAYS a sign of eastern of course) and on the contact point(definitely an eastern sign). His elbow at contact tended to be "up" and further out from his body. Necessary to close the racquet face when going for big tospin. He often hit heavy spin, but like you mentioned, the eastern meant he could also go very flat if he was so inclined.

    One other unusual characteristic of his eastern was that he could wait a split second longer and contact the ball farther back...closer to his body. He would then just fling his arm upward without using a lot of body rotation....similar to his awesome running forehand. When he did this(often on approach shots or easy sitters) it looked a bit awkward but was very effective as it is extremely hard to read and still can be hit very very hard.
     
    #39
  40. VamosRafa

    VamosRafa Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    May 3, 2004
    Messages:
    4,202
    For those of you who have seen Nadal's forehand, do you think it's an awful-looking forehand? I think it's nearly as beautiful as Moya's, only it comes off the opposite side. Perhaps that is what throws folks off. But it is one smooth, effective shot, and is likely to improve as he gets older.

    Here's what Brad Falkner of Tennis Week wrote about it last year:

    "[Nadal] looked impressive even in defeat [third round at Wimbledon]. Nadal pounded his forehand with all of the pace of a Roddick, yet strikes the shot with the smoothness of a Moya. His two-handed backhand is also a dangerous shot and he has a beautiful follow through on both strokes. He certainly has the talent to fulfill his mentor Moya’s prediction that he will be a future top 10 player."

    I know most of you haven't really seen him play, so it's hard to judge. But if you have seen him play a match or two, I'd appreciate your comments. Thanks. :mrgreen:
     
    #40
  41. bcaz

    bcaz Professional

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2004
    Messages:
    986
    I saw him play at the Open in New York last year -- up close, Grandstand court. Second round, against Younes El Aynaoui. Tense three-setter, two tiebreaks. The kid looked tough in defeat. Younes outserved him, and compared to the veteran, who has one of the best forehands on tour, Rafael's forehand looked weak -- loopy, spinny, toppy. Even so, he was just a boy, playing among men, and he played well, battled fiercely, and looked pretty strong. I'm a lefty, and I'm thrilled to see a player of his talent on the rise, this spring's injury notwithstanding ... Let's hope he's around for a long time and that forehand grows into a wicked weapon.
     
    #41
  42. JohnThomas1

    JohnThomas1 Professional

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2004
    Messages:
    977
    I would say Nadal's forehand is just a bit different to most. You could almost call it slightly unorthodox i guess. Certainly in the follow though. VamosRafa's site has some excellent piccies of it actually.

    Great calls on the Sampras forehand Dat. You describe it far better than i. Your point about late contact etc almost condures up slight comparisons in style to Graf. Graf had a weaker grip tho of course. Pete's forehand was never going to be near as steady as say, Lendl's or Agassi's, but his intent was far more aggressive.
     
    #42
  43. jings

    jings Professional

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2004
    Messages:
    863
    Best forehand in men's tennis and we've got Nadal in the thread? Nothing against the guy and he may become the GOAT but I don't follow how a work in progress begins to get considered, sorry.

    For sheer show stopping, get out of your seat and shout " I don't believe he made that", turn a point around, go get'em forehand it would have to be Pete. He carved points open with it and on the run was about as beautiful a moment as you'll get in tennis. It was the finished article.
     
    #43
  44. VamosRafa

    VamosRafa Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    May 3, 2004
    Messages:
    4,202
    Nadal came up because I said, above, that I thought that someday his forehand would be mentioned among the best. And someone else said it is pretty good even now. Which it is.

    But I agree that he has a way to go before we consider it the best ever. And a few more people have to see it as well. Guess we just got a bit OT there. :wink:

    But here's what Goran said about Rafa's forehand after their last match:

    "He's going to be very, very dangerous," said Ivanisevic.

    "He has an unbelievably heavy forehand.

    "As we are both left-handers, it's okay for me because it goes to my forehand, but against a right-hander, he will kill them with his forehand.

    "They're going to jump out of the stadium. He's going to be very, very dangerous."

    So, we shall see how the work-in-progress does. He seems to be off to a good start at age 17.

    And thanks for the plug, JT. Yes, we have plenty of photos, and even some videos, of the Rafa FH.
     
    #44
  45. JohnThomas1

    JohnThomas1 Professional

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2004
    Messages:
    977
    If Nadal's forehand didn't come up this thread would have died days ago. It's all fun.
     
    #45
  46. VamosRafa

    VamosRafa Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    May 3, 2004
    Messages:
    4,202
    JT, you are right on both counts. But the second is the most important. It was all in fun. And nothing got personal. Very interesting discussion all around. :mrgreen:
     
    #46
  47. JohnThomas1

    JohnThomas1 Professional

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2004
    Messages:
    977
    My fave forehand ever is still Lendl's, he could do what he wanted. In his later career he rallied steadily until he got the ball he wanted then hammered it. He could rally with a Wilander all day or outhit a Becker or Agassi. It was voted best forehand ever in a recent Tennis magazine. His running pass off that wing is an historic shot, the absolute epitome of it's genre. As Tennis said, he provided the blueprint for the modern forehand.
     
    #47
  48. JohnThomas1

    JohnThomas1 Professional

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2004
    Messages:
    977
    Oops just saw your post. Yeah nothing personal for sure :)
     
    #48
  49. Datacipher

    Datacipher Banned

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2004
    Messages:
    4,611
    John, a great comparison with Graf in regards to the late contact. I wasn't sure anyone would follow me, you obviously know exactly what I'm talking about as Graf made that type of forehand her regular shot!

    Can't argue with Lendl. Father of the modern power forehand. His overwhelming record vs Agassi, Courier etc. shows that he stacked up well against even the next generation. Yes, his running passing shots off both wings were breathtaking and I always liked how he could blast bullets or loop it with great safety. Many say he was mechanical and I agree his footwork was relatively but I thought the forehand stroke itself was fluid and beautiful.

    I have received some coaching from Vic Braden who used to say that Lendl's strokes were as close to perfect models that he would like to teach as you could find. Brad Gilbert says in his book that Lendl his "harder and with more accuracy than anyone on the planet." He really did make a young Agassi look like a kid when they played. Classic. Lendl's grip as I recall was also not as extreme as often reported. Closer to Eastern than Semi Western!
     
    #49
  50. K!ck5w3rvE

    K!ck5w3rvE Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2004
    Messages:
    1,621
    Gonzalez is a tanker....he runs around every backhand he can and tanks it as hard as he can
     
    #50

Share This Page