Best slice backhand ever?

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by matchmaker, Dec 7, 2008.

  1. matchmaker

    matchmaker Hall of Fame

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    As title says.
     
    #1
  2. Mick

    Mick Legend

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    steffi graf . slice backhand was her specialty.
     
    #2
  3. morten

    morten Hall of Fame

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    Graf yes, Edbergs was good, Mac, Stich.. actually Rusedskis slice was good and Rafters. Probably a lot of players from the wood era were even better, like Laver, Rosewall, atleast the clips i`ve seen they look great.
     
    #3
  4. wyutani

    wyutani Hall of Fame

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    ivan lendl...the BEST in the world.
     
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  5. morten

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    hm.......?
     
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  6. Cenc

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    sampras by far
     
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  7. morten

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    Sampras was good, but to me not brilliant, too much a stab shot in a way, not as elegant or versatile as the very best IMO.
     
    #7
  8. OrangeOne

    OrangeOne Legend

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    Graf, when a FH and a slice backhand = 20+ GS's, then that says something.

    In person, and watching from court level, hers was sublime.
     
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  9. FiveO

    FiveO Hall of Fame

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    Ken Rosewall.

    5
     
    #9
  10. TennisExpert

    TennisExpert New User

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    Same to me.
     
    #10
  11. purple-n-gold

    purple-n-gold Professional

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    3 votes for Kenny.
     
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  12. helloworld

    helloworld Hall of Fame

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    Sampras's approach slice is amazing, but his normal slice ain't that great.
     
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  13. robertg06

    robertg06 Semi-Pro

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    What about Nadal? He really bites into the ball.
     
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  14. urban

    urban Hall of Fame

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    Rosewall. His slice wasn't a real sharp spinning underspin slice, but more a solidly hit, very hard underspin drive - with deadly precision.
     
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  15. Borgforever

    Borgforever Hall of Fame

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    Yes! Well put. My vote would also go to Kenny -- with a clear No. 2 to Laver, who also hit a hard, precision BH slice similar to Rosewall's...
     
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  16. heninfan99

    heninfan99 Legend

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    And the answer is...

    Graf's was amazing but the greatest slice of all time was owned by Hicham Arazi.
     
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  17. Warriorroger

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    Steffi Graf, she could do anything with that shot, the shot got better when she changed coaches in 1992. Gunthard taught her to hit the slice wide, so opponents would get out of position. Such an underrated and underestimated shot by so many, except the ones who played against her. I remember a Masters match against Sabatini (Sabatini won), Steffi twice hit a slice which went out the court and landed back in. I think it was the year when Gaby won the open and was approaching a lot. (Then Steffi still had her old coach)
     
    #17
  18. 380pistol

    380pistol Banned

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    I'd go with Graf obviously. Rafter had a very good one so did Edberg. Sampras' was vastly underrated, but also very good.

    Rosewall, as how can you be one of the greatest ever when it's said he never came over his backhand???
     
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  19. tennisdad65

    tennisdad65 Hall of Fame

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    ~6 votes for rosewall :)

    graf on the ladies side.. no dispute on this I guess
     
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  20. matchmaker

    matchmaker Hall of Fame

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    Thanks for the reaction guys,

    Graf would also be my first option. I gues because it was the only shot she played on the backhand side, she reached an incredible point of perfection with it.

    I have never seen Rosewall paly, does anyone have a link with footage?
     
    #20
  21. beckham

    beckham Semi-Pro

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    i really like andy murrays, but i wouldn't say its the best of all time
     
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  22. tenis

    tenis Professional

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    1. Graff
    2. Edberg
    3. Sampras
    4. Lendl
    5. Rafter
    6-100 all SV
     
    #22
  23. halalula1234

    halalula1234 Professional

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    GRAF! she can used it just like a top spin shot. She can hit it in any direction and its really deep and seems to skid really low. I wonder how she does it soo good all the time!
     
    #23
  24. lendledbergfan

    lendledbergfan Rookie

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    Mats Wilander? Does he come into picture?
     
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  25. MAX PLY

    MAX PLY Hall of Fame

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    Rosewall's slice simply did not bounce--it resulted in a penatrating power skid which was tough to counter. And he was effortless--I will take that shot any day. Graf's was nice but occasionally floated. Edberg's was effective to get him to the net but was not as effective as a pure backcourt shot.
     
    #25
  26. embot

    embot New User

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    Another vote for Rosewall.

    Also, Evonne Goolagong's slice was graceful and very effective. One of the biggest backhand during that era until Chris Evert came along.
     
    #26
  27. vandre

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    its gotta be roddick!!!!!!!






    oh you said best!!!! oh , nevermind!
     
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  28. joe sch

    joe sch Hall of Fame

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    Kenny Rosewall ! The fans and players that have seen tennis played for atleast 4 decades will usually mention Rosewall, Laver, and many of the other great allcourt S/V players. Todays players just use slice as a defensive stroke, not to hit flat blast winners that almost slide when hitting, rather than float and stop. For all those tennis fans and players who dont believe or just have not seen, the below links shows some very good footage from Laver v Rosewall - Roland Garros 1969 ...

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WO6bDVBiMJ8&feature=PlayList&p=642DF70DBC12917F&playnext=1&index=16
     
    #28
  29. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    Another vote for Rosewall's backhand. It was an offensive shot: fast, hard, and skidding. It just didn't come back up.

    Laver once said you needed a shovel to counter it.
     
    #29
  30. Zimbo

    Zimbo Semi-Pro

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    For players I saw only, it has to be Steffi for the ladies and Edberg for the guys
     
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  31. edmondsm

    edmondsm Legend

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    Nobody thinks Federer?
     
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  32. RoddickAce

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    Rosewall, he had a crazy offensive slice.
     
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  33. morten

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    I was not too impressed by Rosewall in this clip... Federer yes, great!!
     
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  34. robby c

    robby c Semi-Pro

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    Rosewall. No question. He was deadly with the down-the-line pass.
     
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  35. boredone3456

    boredone3456 Legend

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    In terms of slice backhands I have actually seen, Federer is best of the men, his is truly sublime. But by far Graf is above all the rest that I have seen. It was elegant, and even though when you hit to the backhand and you knew it was coming, it could still devastate you because depending on the winds, you had no way of knowing where exactly she was going have it land. Graf's slice backhand is right up there with Chris Evert's lob shot in terms of how deadly it could be if she was zoned in. She is by far the best
     
    #35
  36. alfa164164

    alfa164164 Professional

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    In more recent times, on the Men's side, Henman had an excellent slice, as well as the Italian Gianlucca Pozzi. Personally, I really like the versatility of Youzhny's slice, he can vary the amount of spin and pace making it either offensive or defensive. Obviously Santoro can slice and dice with the best of them. Wilander's slice backhand was underrated IMO.
     
    #36
  37. urban

    urban Hall of Fame

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    The difference between the Federer slice and the Rosewall/ Laver slice, is that the older players slices were real strokes, not only low staying chips, but hard, full blooded strokes, which skidded through and could pass people on sheer pace. Laver could play a slice cross from behind his leg, which went parallel to the net and landed right on the sideline.
     
    #37
  38. skiracer55

    skiracer55 Hall of Fame

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    Right on...

    ...you could almost say "Every Aussie whoever played the game, with Ken Rosewall at the top of the list." And if you look at old video and their strokes look wimpy, check what they're using for rackets. My guess is that it'll be a wood Dunlop, and that ain't no match for a slice using today's technology...
     
    #38
  39. wjt_tennis

    wjt_tennis New User

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    Of the players I have seen I would say Graf and Edberg. Tim Henman has a nice slice as well.
     
    #39
  40. bluetrain4

    bluetrain4 Legend

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    I agree with Rosewall for the men. For that era of players, slice was something completely different than what we think of today. You saw more of the offensive drive/slice that so many in this thread have spoken of.

    Graf is a great choice. It did float sometimes, but not that much. It was low and biting and hard to pick up, and it could move very fast. She used it (superbly) to position herself for her forehand and to keep her opponents off balance. She didn't hit a lot of winners with it, though she did every once in a while.

    So Rosewall's slice stroke is maybe better than Graf's in isolation, but as part of an overall gameplan and in terms of being effective for what was intended, I'd put Graf right up there.
     
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  41. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

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    Rosewallapalooza!

    Ken Rosewall without a doubt had the deadliest, bestest, sliced backhand of all time. While other players, like Laver, had other options, Muscles lived and died by his (with living being the usual result). His backhand, we can just call it his backhand because he didn't vary it much, was so on and so accurate that he didn't need a ton of pace. But, he could hit it with as much pace as he needed to get it past a guy at net or put him in trouble.

    I also think Evonne Goolagong was an outstanding selection on the women's side. Her slice, she was in possession of a topspinner too, was elegant and never appeared rushed. Graf's, by contrast, was always so close in to her body and taken late that it had no aesthetic value. Mind you it was a great shot, but nowhere near as beautiful to behold as Goolagong's.
     
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  42. World Beater

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    LOL.


    ha.
     
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  43. Lendl and Federer Fan

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    Lendl has the best slice backhand! :)
     
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  44. lacoster

    lacoster Professional

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    Navratilova had a great slice, but she used it more to chip and charge than Graf, who was content to stay on the baseline with it.
     
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  45. schwuller

    schwuller Rookie

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    easy. ken rosewall and steffi graff.

    ken rosewall had a driven hard slice backhand that was dead accurate. any pro today would want it. better than any today. how many shots can you say that about, that a man from another tennis era executed better than any modern pro?

    his was the only slice that was a flat out weapon on its own. graff used hers to set up her forehand generally, and keep people on the defensive. same with navratilova and federer. rosewall used his as an offensive groundstroke, and it was much harder struck than all but graff. lendl even used his as a tactical weapon. in other words, he didnt use it as a passing shot. but rosewall did. it was that hard.
     
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2008
    #45
  46. slice bh compliment

    slice bh compliment G.O.A.T.

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    Is this the thread with the slice backhand compliments?

     
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  47. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Ken Rosewall´s sliced backhand is not ONLY the best sliced backhand ever.Many experts, then and later, consider it to be the greatest shot any time.
     
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  48. BTURNER

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    Okay guys, let's make this harder. Who has the best two handed slice. First lets get a list of the contenders. Well there is Drysdale, Connors and Borg and Santoro, all of whom kept both hands on among the men, Of course Evert, Austin, and Seles among the ladies. Note Wilander, Agassi, and Sanchez, Hingis, and the Williams sisters had one handed slices.

    Can we add some more Did Vivian Mcgrath of Australia or Frew McMillan have a one handed or two handed slice?
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2011
    #48
  49. Jack Romeo

    Jack Romeo Professional

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    two handed slices are just weird to watch. i saw wozniacki hit these shots in some of her matches. evert, austin and seles have two-handed backhand drop shots which were seen more commonly than their two-handed slices. evert and austin rarely sliced because their flat or topspin backhands were their real weapons. it's like graf slicing a forehand - she hardly ever did it because, obviously, the flat forehand was her signature shot. seles' two-handed bh slice is also seldom used. sometimes, she hit it to junk up the pace, but that was obviously not her basic game. also, she usually hit one-handed slices off the backhand when she was stretched out.

    i actually thought that anna kournikova had a good two-handed slice backhand. she also seldom used it, but when she was playing smartly (which was very seldom, to say the least), she used this shot effectively to change the pace, create sharp angles and set up her powerful flat drives or approach shots.
     
    #49
  50. borg number one

    borg number one Legend

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    One handed backhand slice:

    1. Ken Rosewall
    2. Rod Laver

    Rosewall had the best slice shot ever.

    Two handed backhand slice:

    1. Jimmy Connors
    2. Bjorn Borg (although Borg did also hit a lot of one handed backhand slice shots as well).

    I think Connors had a very nice looking two handed slice. I liked Borg's one hander more, but his two handed shot could be very effective. See their shots on display at the 1981 W SF, from 2-2 in the 5th set:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ND6BqlTwZbU
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2011
    #50

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