Best forehand of the last 25 years.

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by Cesc Fabregas, Jan 31, 2009.

  1. Cesc Fabregas

    Cesc Fabregas Legend

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2009
    Messages:
    8,318
    What do you think are the best forehands of the last 25 years are? for me.

    1.Federer
    2.Sampras
    3.Lendl
    4.Courier
    5.Nadal
     
    #1
  2. RoddickAce

    RoddickAce Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2007
    Messages:
    2,467
    In no particular order: Agassi, Federer, Nadal, Sampras
     
    #2
  3. cokebottle

    cokebottle Banned

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2007
    Messages:
    107
    1. Federer
    2. Nadal
    3. Lendl
    4. Courier
    5. Sampras

    In that exact order
     
    #3
  4. timnz

    timnz Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2008
    Messages:
    4,520
    Federer/Lendl a tie

    Hello,

    Its amazing when you don't see a player play for a few decades - you forget how good they were. I remember people saying how good Courier's forehand was in the early 90's - and thinking at the time "he can only hit an inside out forehand with any authority". Lendl, however, could hit winners off the forehand in any direction. People also go on about Sampras' running forehand. Again, Pete's forehand was a very good stroke, but not quite up to Lendl's running forehand. In comparison with Pete, Lendl could run wider and still get it back for a winner.

    Federer's forehand has more versatility on the forehand than Lendl. He hits the ball earlier and its difficult for the opponent to see which way it is going to go because of a last second flick of the wrist. However, I don't give him the outright ranking because, Federer has days when it appears almost all of the forehands go long. I think it is because of the timing needed to hit it. If it is slightly off, they can go flying. Lendl, however was very consistent on his forehand.

    So ranking

    1. Lendl/Federer
    3. Sampras
     
    #4
  5. halalula1234

    halalula1234 Professional

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2008
    Messages:
    1,390
    Location:
    U.S
    Steffi Graf
     
    #5
  6. crabgrass

    crabgrass Rookie

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2008
    Messages:
    222
    lendl & graf
     
    #6
  7. cokebottle

    cokebottle Banned

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2007
    Messages:
    107
    1. Serena Williams
    2. Federer
    3. Justine Henin
    4. Courier
    5. Lendl
     
    #7
  8. Kirko

    Kirko Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2004
    Messages:
    2,916
    yes. those two started the sonic boom forehand and I gotta include Aarn Krickstein. alot have followed, but I think they are the ones who broke ground in the last 25 yrs. before I'd say Jack Kramer.
     
    #8
  9. cokebottle

    cokebottle Banned

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2007
    Messages:
    107
    #9
  10. boredone3456

    boredone3456 Legend

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2007
    Messages:
    5,002
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    In 1999 neither Serena nor Graf were in their primes....Graf was 30, that is not a good example.
     
    #10
  11. orangettecoleman

    orangettecoleman Professional

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2007
    Messages:
    1,208
    Location:
    Mesa, AZ
    1. Federer
    2. Nadal
    3. Lendl
    4. Graf
    5. Sampras or Gonzo
     
    #11
  12. cokebottle

    cokebottle Banned

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2007
    Messages:
    107
    I think what you mean is it the new brigade of power hitters like Davenport, Venus, Serena and the crafy game of Hingis that made Graf not look like she was in her prime. I see no difference from in her prime, the field simply passed her by. Seles proved what Graf was vs real power, and Williams take the Seles level of power to another level. Graf was no different then then in her prime and Serena was a shadow of the player he would later become and was already kicking Graf's butt.

    If you insist on saying Graf wasnt in her prime because she was 30 then that looks bad on her though. Navratilova at age 30 was crushing Graf still, destroying her in the Wimbledon and U.S Open finals and barely losing to her in the French Open final. So does that mean according to you that even a past her prime Navratilova was dominating a prime Graf still.
     
    #12
  13. orangettecoleman

    orangettecoleman Professional

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2007
    Messages:
    1,208
    Location:
    Mesa, AZ
    Bruguera maybe? Kuerten had a really big forehand as well. Berasetegui was just a forehand, but what a forehand.
     
    #13
  14. thalivest

    thalivest Banned

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2007
    Messages:
    4,486
    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario
    I love how you refer to Serena Williams as a "he". That is the one and only accurate thing you have said. Indeed Serena Williams has quite a few male hormones, I could not agree more. :)
     
    #14
  15. boredone3456

    boredone3456 Legend

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2007
    Messages:
    5,002
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    First of all by 1999 Grafs body was pretty beaten up by a variety of injuries and other things that happened to her throughout her career, as well as the constant pressure to remain at the top and the work she had put into herself. At that Age Grafs body had suffered all the trials and tribulations of the tour and a long career on it and her shots were bond to decline with time.

    As to your statement of Seles proving what Graf was against real power...Graf never had at any point in her career had a losing head to head vs Seles so what exactly do you mean by that? Also, overall Graf had winning head to heads against Davenport (8-6) Venus (3-2) Hingis (7-2) and both of her matches with serena went to 7-5 in the third...so how exactly was the field passing her by, even at her age and having been through what she had she still more then held her own. Grafs shots and reflexes were diminished by that time and yet she still had winning head to heads against the next generation. But even though she was still able to win against them it was obvious by 98 and 99 that she was past her best years.

    Also, Navratilova is different from Graf, and you pointing to her proves nothing. Navratilova had a career and personal life very different from Graf and Graf arguably had more injuries. Steffi in 1987, which are the matches you are referring to was coming into her own and after that year for the most part turned the tides on martina as she would go on to win the the calender slam, avenging both of those losses to Martina. Grafs true prime did not start until 1988.

    Navratilova in her 30's was still a force to be reckoned with as her continued ability to beat/challenge Graf, Seles, Vicario, and Sabatini among others well into the 1990's proves, that is the reason many view Navratilova as the greatest of all time, because even in her 30's she was still able to take it to other current champions much younger than herself.
     
    #15
  16. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

    Joined:
    May 3, 2004
    Messages:
    24,465
    Location:
    FT. Lauderdale, Florida
    LOL.


    1. federer
    2. Lendl
    3. Agassi
    4. Courier
    5. Nadal
     
    #16
  17. anointedone

    anointedone Banned

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2006
    Messages:
    4,655
    Location:
    Ottawa, Ontario
    Your list is essentialy the same as that poster except replacing Sampras with Agassi. In their matches though Sampras usually go the better of Agassi in the forehand to forehand rallies.
     
    #17
  18. BounceHitBounceHit

    BounceHitBounceHit Legend

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2005
    Messages:
    5,946
    Location:
    In the moment.
    If by 'best' we specifically mean:

    1. Technically sound and therefore unlikely to 'go off' for EXTENDED periods of time.
    2. A TRUE weapon, capable of generating outright winners and/or forcing errors.
    3. Consistently reliable under PRESSURE.
    4. FEARED, even by other top pros.

    If we apply these criteria, I would say:

    Federer. In a class by himself.

    :)

    CC
     
    #18
  19. crabgrass

    crabgrass Rookie

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2008
    Messages:
    222
    graf's peak was 88-89 so essentially she was 10 years past her very best,
    she retired in '99 after battling years of injury.
    That she was still good enough to win majors after all those injuries says something about her talent,mental toughness and physical conditioning.
    when i look at graf i see a magnificent athlete, when i look at serena i get visions of a hippopotamus in a tutu.
    when serena wins 22 slams,wins a calender slam,tops the rankings for a record 377 weeks, wins over 100 career titles and achieves this in an era with players of the calibre of navratilova,evert,seles etc. then and only then would any comparison be justified.
     
    #19
  20. mg.dc

    mg.dc New User

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2008
    Messages:
    81
    1. Agassi
    2. Rios
    3. Federer
    4. Seles
    5. Nadal
     
    #20
  21. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

    Joined:
    May 3, 2004
    Messages:
    24,465
    Location:
    FT. Lauderdale, Florida
    LMAO!

    It's the other way around. Sampras' forehand was riddled with errors. Although it was an amazing and powerful shot, he typically missed it more than he hit it, which is why he has no business being on this list.
     
    #21
  22. joshburger

    joshburger Guest

    agassi federer nadal lendl and serena. in no particular order
     
    #22
  23. Kirko

    Kirko Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2004
    Messages:
    2,916
    you are right sampras had a fine forehand, but in the "stratosphere" of the BEST its not there. what no Krickstein advocates :) I thought he was awesome! I really did!
     
    #23
  24. saram

    saram Legend

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2007
    Messages:
    5,371
    hmmm....Verdasco...
     
    #24
  25. samprasvsfederer123

    samprasvsfederer123 Banned

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Messages:
    714
    Location:
    Inside Federer's Mind
    federer
    sampras
    nadal
    hewitt
    agassi
     
    #25
  26. Tshooter

    Tshooter Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2007
    Messages:
    2,146
    Agassi? I can still see him dumping his forehand weakly into the net on match point at the USO quarters against Fed in 2001.

    The best are Lendl and Federer off the clay. Nadal and Borg when you switch to clay.

    Sampras was pretty great when on the run but could break down more than the robot Lendl and Feds.
     
    #26
  27. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2007
    Messages:
    12,738
    Location:
    Bierlandt
    Where is that GfhOAT list?
     
    #27
  28. NatF

    NatF G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    May 10, 2012
    Messages:
    13,661
    Location:
    On the road from would of to would have
    Start a thread, I thought about making one but my lack of knowledge for past greats put me off.
     
    #28
  29. Benhur

    Benhur Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2007
    Messages:
    2,562
    Federer
    And then, in chronological order:
    Lendl, Courier, Agassi, Nadal, Del Potro

    I probably enjoyed watching the Courier forehand the most when it was on.
    Agassi had a monstruous, scary forehand in his first year on tour when he was still a kid. Except he missed lots of them so he had to tame it. But it was unbelievable.
     
    #29
  30. shakes1975

    shakes1975 Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2006
    Messages:
    741
    What does the FH need to cover ? For me:

    Killer power, penetration (which means relatively flatter shot)
    Very good (not necessarily great) consistency
    Forcing DTL shots
    Inside-out and CC
    Great approach shots
    Great running FH

    Going by that:

    Sampras
    Federer
    Lendl
    Nadal
    Courier
     
    #30
  31. abmk

    abmk G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2008
    Messages:
    15,916
    Location:
    U.S
    I think delpo still has to show/prove his FH for more time to overtake sampras ...

    until then I'd go :

    federer
    lendl
    nadal
    courier
    agassi
    sampras
     
    #31
  32. The-Champ

    The-Champ Legend

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2007
    Messages:
    6,541
    Location:
    Sweden
    IMO, only Federer has a better fh than Nadal.
     
    #32
  33. forzamilan90

    forzamilan90 Legend

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2010
    Messages:
    5,516
    I have to admit, Nadal's FH and the fact he plays lefty is all kinds of trouble with spin, very devastating forehand
     
    #33
  34. President

    President Legend

    Joined:
    May 18, 2009
    Messages:
    6,988
    Location:
    Philadelphia
    Nadal is getting underrated in this thread, only Federer should be above him IMO. Nadal's forehand is his bread and butter, none of his other shots are truly great. Sampras OTOH is way overrated by some of you, that serve covered some pretty shaky groundstrokes.
     
    #34
  35. Bobby Jr

    Bobby Jr Legend

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2010
    Messages:
    7,391
    Don't forget also:

    - Ability to change direction
    - Ability to hit on the rise
    - Variety of spin
    - Variety of pace

    Add these into the considerations and Federer's forehand is pretty clearly superior to Sampras's.
     
    #35
  36. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2007
    Messages:
    12,738
    Location:
    Bierlandt
    This list looks right on.
     
    #36
  37. kiki

    kiki Banned

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2010
    Messages:
    18,714
    Yes, Sergi and Gomez would be top ten as well as Becker
     
    #37
  38. hawk eye

    hawk eye Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2010
    Messages:
    2,090
    1 Del Potro
    2 Berdych
    3 Nadal
    4 Borg
    5 Lendl
     
    #38
  39. forzamilan90

    forzamilan90 Legend

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2010
    Messages:
    5,516
    Fernando Gonzalez I think hit it harder than either Tsonga or Berdych
     
    #39
  40. rainingaces

    rainingaces Legend

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2009
    Messages:
    6,394
    Location:
    UK
    Maybe but Berdych has a reliability that gonzo didn't, I loved gonzos bh when he was on it was scary.

    Soderlings forehand was faster and more consistent (in the right conditions) then all of them you mention.
     
    #40
  41. droliver

    droliver Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2008
    Messages:
    688
    Location:
    Birmingham, AL U.S.A.
    Sampras absolutely does not belong on this list.
    Serve - Yes.
    Athleticism - Yes
    Competitiveness - Yes
    Groundstrokes - No. No. No.

    Best Forehand of last 25 years:
    Federer, and it's not even really close.

    The rest:
    Lendl, Agassi, Moya, Gonzo, Courier, Nadal, Djokovic, Arias, Muster
     
    #41
  42. shakes1975

    shakes1975 Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2006
    Messages:
    741
    Sampras absolutely does. Sampras had a great FH, near the top for his era. It was a flat, powerful laser with the right amount of consistency. He could go inside-out, DTL, CC. He could hit outright winners, hit great approach shots (the FH approach shot - esp. from mid-court - is a shot that Sampras hit better than anybody I've seen, including Fed). And he had the best running FH in history.

    Groundstrokes - yes, yes, yes for the FH. And this "groundstrokes" is a really dubious category. Do BH chip-charges count as ground strokes ? How about approach shots ?

    Actually, it is.
     
    #42
  43. comeback

    comeback Professional

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2010
    Messages:
    1,184
    Am i the only one who thinks Nadal has the greatest forehand of all time? Ridiculous documented spin and sick angles, dipping, curving..No player in history can bend a sidespin forehand down the line like Nadal..The only player to singlehandidly dismantle the arguably GOAT Federer with one shot. Literally bringing him to tears, making him give up etc,..
    For me everyone else is a distant second...ps. And I'm a Fed Fan
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2013
    #43
  44. droliver

    droliver Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2008
    Messages:
    688
    Location:
    Birmingham, AL U.S.A.
    Ridiculous. It was a shot that worked well in the context of his serve-dominated game, but as a stand-alone shot for all seasons it is not in the same league as the best of recent years.
     
    #44
  45. BeHappy

    BeHappy Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2007
    Messages:
    4,789
    Wrong.

    People are starting to say the same about Federer now. Ridiculous.
     
    #45
  46. abmk

    abmk G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2008
    Messages:
    15,916
    Location:
    U.S
    sampras does belong to the list of best forehands in the past 25 years , but he so did not have the best forehand , not even close .....
     
    #46
  47. spinovic

    spinovic Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2013
    Messages:
    4,667
    Not sure where I'd rank them all, but I agree Nadal is getting underrated here. Nadal's forehand is more versatile than he gets credit for...he can flatten it out some with pace and penetration to put points away. It isn't all heavy topspin.
     
    #47
  48. spot

    spot Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2005
    Messages:
    2,438
    Location:
    Atlanta
    I'm with you. Nadal's forehand is a truly dominating shot. I can't understand how people have him so far down the list other than they have a thing for flat hitters.
     
    #48
  49. spinovic

    spinovic Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2013
    Messages:
    4,667
    My two cents...

    I would rate Federer's as the best. His forehand is/was well-rounded and versatile. I have no problem with Sampras on the list, but I don't think his was the best.

    In the modern game, the forehand has become such a dominant shot. A lot of guys today just bludgeon the ball from that wing.

    Delpo - When he flattens it out and goes big, there aren't many guys who can stay in a point with him when he's dialed in.

    Nadal - The topspin serves many purposes...few errors result when you're clearing the net by 5 feet, the high bounce is hard to deal with, he can create crazy angles, and it makes it hard to approach and volley against him. But, he can also flatten it out some and go big for penetration and finishing power. That part gets overlooked and underappreciated sometimes, IMO. And, it is enhanced by the heavy spin on all the other shots before it. You're used to the standard Nadal FH and then boom, you see the all go flying by.

    Soderling - I thought he had a great FH. He used it to become the first, and only person to date, to beat Rafa at Roland Garros. I'm surprised he hasn't been mentioned yet, although I could have overlooked his name.

    Ferrero - I also though he had a pretty good FH.

    Gulbis - The flying forehand? Sorry, I had to.
     
    #49
  50. NadalAgassi

    NadalAgassi Guest

    Del Potro and Berdych do not have the two best forehands, or even close. All they can do well is hit it very hard, nothing else. Borg would no way be ahead of people like Lendl or Federer either.
     
    #50

Share This Page