Best slice backhand ever?

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

  1. Benhur

    Benhur Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2007
    Messages:
    2,562
    Was Wilander using slice BHs back then, or do you mean only Noah? I watched that final but I can't remember how Wilander was playing - Noah sort of stole the show.

    I know that Wilander was using a lot of slice around 1987-88, but my impression has always been this was a shot he developed around that time, and that he used mostly his regular two handed drive in the early years.
     
  2. BeHappy

    BeHappy Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2007
    Messages:
    4,789
  3. kiki

    kiki Banned

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2010
    Messages:
    18,714
    Do you know why Noah won??? Haven ´t you seen normal Noah and hiper hyped Noah???

    And the ******* even accused Pecci of taking drugs...well Pecci beat Borg and Noah never could.
     
  4. TCTEN

    TCTEN Rookie

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2011
    Messages:
    155
    Location:
    onthesweetspot
    Sorry, let me rephrase, best slice backhands ever regardless of my having seen them.
    Men: Becker
    Women: Graf

    Hows that?
     
  5. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2010
    Messages:
    9,277
    How do you post a link where the video starts at a chosen point?
     
  6. gavna

    gavna Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2010
    Messages:
    3,718
    Wilander was not a pusher....he hit a heavy solid ball, loved a target and could pass on a dime. He played brilliant clay court tennis and was fast and hit everything back. But he had lots of pace and his BH dipped like hell. His slice was a change of pace shot at the early part of his career and developed more into a setup for his volleys layer. Just revisit his classic 82 Davis Cup match v JMac in St Louis -
     
  7. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2010
    Messages:
    9,277
    For Graf, you can make a pretty good argument. For Becker, that's pretty clueless!
     
  8. BTURNER

    BTURNER Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2007
    Messages:
    3,608
    Location:
    OREGON
    Some other nominees on the ladies side. BJK was noted for her backhand. She used slice predominantly both as a rally shot and approach and only used top to go for a clean winner or a pass.

    But Court has to be up on this list for many of the same reasons Graf is. I have only seen one MAYBE topspin backhand in all the tennis matches I have seen, including passes! I kept watching and watching, wiating to see her hit topspin off that wing. It did not happen. If my matches are representative, than this woman dominated all surfaces and majors with nothing but slice lobs, slice approaches, slice passes, etc. TRust me, folks were not eager to hit to the Court forehand. You guys need to take a look and prove me wrong, or Graf did nothing new!
     
  9. BeHappy

    BeHappy Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2007
    Messages:
    4,789
    I've seen lots of his matches against Lendl. Just 6 hours of slice backhand pushes.
     
  10. gavna

    gavna Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2010
    Messages:
    3,718
    Wilander had a slice but it was used more for defense and when he needed to change the pace of the rally. Wilander was on a run and was favored even though Noah was hot that spring.
     
  11. BTURNER

    BTURNER Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2007
    Messages:
    3,608
    Location:
    OREGON
    I agree with you. Wilander let that slice become far too pervasive in his game in later years. It was a good shot, steady and accurate but it was not offensive, and it did not worry opponents much except to move them around a bit and keep a rally going.
     
  12. krosero

    krosero Legend

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2006
    Messages:
    5,644
    I don't think so. It helped him a lot against Lendl. Maybe against other players he used it too much -- and he did say himself that in '88 he wasn't hitting his topsin BH as well as he used to, because he was slicing so much. But that slice diminished Lendl's ability to attack him; Lendl could punish him far better when he got higher shots into his FH strike zone. I think Lendl like Wilander's topspin BH more than the slice.

    Wilander hit the slice so well in the '88 USO final that Bjorn Hellberg said it won him the match.
     
  13. krosero

    krosero Legend

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2006
    Messages:
    5,644
    When he came to net in that match Wilander hit topspin approaches -- can't remember if there was any slice approach in there. There were some reports in the media that observed that his topspin approaches were not as effective as Noah's slice approaches.

    I know in '82 Wilander only used the slice as a desperation shot, when he couldn't get two hands on the ball. By the '83 AO final his slice looks like the one we all remember him using so much in '87 and '88 (and it's true, in those years he probably used it more than ever).
     
  14. krosero

    krosero Legend

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2006
    Messages:
    5,644
    If you right-click on the video itself, at the point you want to link to, you should get an option to generate a link to the clip at the current point.
     
  15. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2010
    Messages:
    9,277
    Thanks!

    How's this for a backhand slice weapon: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lJubuKDN7Fk&feature=player_detailpage#t=161s

    Or this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lJubuKDN7Fk&feature=player_detailpage#t=376s

    Or this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wHaN2h21ANs&feature=player_detailpage#t=193s

    Or this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=43csIDKmkMk&feature=player_detailpage#t=453s
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2011
  16. TCTEN

    TCTEN Rookie

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2011
    Messages:
    155
    Location:
    onthesweetspot
    Apparently my opinion that Boris Becker had a superior or perhaps the best ever slice bh makes me "clueless". :confused:

    The slice is not a shot off of which winners are hit, it is used to set up the opportunity to hit a winner. My contention is that BB hit the backhand slice approach with unequaled ferocity and when he utilized this shot on his way to net the result was usually a volley hit for winner. Based on what I've witnessed and the opinion of a very respected tennis acquaintance of mine Becker could put more RPMs and bite on that shot than anyone.

    If somebody disagrees with my opinion that's fine but it doesn't give one just cause to throw insults at me.
     
  17. FedExpress 333

    FedExpress 333 Professional

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2011
    Messages:
    1,182
    Location:
    New York
    1. Rosewall
    2. Federer
    3. Laver

    Women:
    1. Graf
     
  18. Ramon

    Ramon Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2011
    Messages:
    3,575
    Location:
    Florida
    IMO...hitting a backhand approach shot is no comparison to hitting a drive during a rally or to pass someone at the net. Guys like Rosewall and Laver were hitting winners with slice backhands. They were taking their opponents' deep offensive shots and returning slice backhand winners, so I give the nod to guys like them.

    Becker was a great player too. If he needed offense his topspin backhand was a great shot, and honestly, if you have a great topspin backhand there's no reason to hit slice if you need offense and the situation gives you that choice.

    Since this is about slice backhands, for me, it's Rosewall and Laver in that order.
     
  19. cjj14u

    cjj14u New User

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2011
    Messages:
    62
    +1 for Graf.....
     
  20. Ramon

    Ramon Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2011
    Messages:
    3,575
    Location:
    Florida
    I'm kind of surprised to see Graf's name so much. If you had to pick the weakest part of her game, it was definitely her backhand. If there was one shot of her's you could exploit, it was her backhand. When experts commented that she would be unbelievable if she could consistently add a topspin backhand to her game, it was a backhanded compliment (excuse the pun); another way of saying her slice backhand was not enough on its own if she faced a real contender like Monica Seles. Her opponents would all hit to the backhand side, and she would run around it so much, it was common to see her on the left hand side of the left sideline during a rally.

    Steffi Graf was one of my favorite women players of all-time, but I won't let that bias my opinion of her backhand. If her opponent was on the offense she used it to keep herself in the point until she had a chance to hit a winner with her forehand. At best she used it to set up a sitter for her forehand if she was in a position to do that. I'm guessing that her name is brought up just because we've all seen it so much, it was good enough to keep her at the top of women's tennis, and it's tough to think of other top women besides Martina, Billie Jean, and Evonne Goolagong who relied on slice as much.

    I really don't know of a woman whose slice backhand would compare to a Rosewall or Laver. Rosewall's slice was widely known as one of the best shots in tennis. You can't say that about Steffi's backhand. The best backhands on the women's side are all topspin backhands. Justine Henin, for instance, had an incredible one-handed topspin backhand that Steffi Graf could only dream of having.
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2011
  21. gavna

    gavna Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2010
    Messages:
    3,718
    Federer doesn't belong anywhere near this list - Roche, Edberg, Rafter, Nastase, Vitas....just to name a few had stronger slices than Fed.
     
  22. gavna

    gavna Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2010
    Messages:
    3,718
    As for the women Goolagong, Wade and Betty Stove all had fierce slice BH. Back then with so many learning to play on grass a strong slice was a given so I have no doubt the stronger slices will come from the players that dominated before the 80s.
     
  23. 6-2/6-4/6-0

    6-2/6-4/6-0 Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2011
    Messages:
    697
    Location:
    about 5000 feet up...
    I'll nominate this for most insane thread ever. There is no question that Rosewall had the best slice backhand in the game. He could drill that thing and skim right above the net with a regularity that no one has ever come close to. Laver, Graf, etc. all had nice slice BHs, Conners had a great slice 2HBH, and Edberg could knife a slice approach with the best of them. But they all look like a bunch of high-schoolers (very good high-schoolers for sure) next to "KR the slice ninja." I'd be amazed if anyone ever came close to him...
     
  24. TCTEN

    TCTEN Rookie

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2011
    Messages:
    155
    Location:
    onthesweetspot
    You make a valid point Ramon but I feel the reason why so many people are picking Graf in this thread is because she struck this shot as well or better than others. I agree though that in the overall context of her game the slice bh was a defensive stroke that kept her in a point until she could unleash a forehand. Also I believe she had a comfort level hitting her bh with slice that she didn't have when hitting it with topspin. However she was capable of hitting a very lethal topspin bh as evidenced in this video clip.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=pPU8MyBQhk8#t=64s

    Hitting a topspin bh like that is something I can only dream about.
    Just my 2 cents, thanks
     
  25. TMF

    TMF Talk Tennis Guru

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2009
    Messages:
    21,373
    Have you forgotten? This is a former player talk forum, which means it's a Laverion/Rosewallion forum. And some of the old-timers haven't seen enough(if any) of Federer to begin with.

    Just for the Fed's fans, here's a few of Fed's amazing slice.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B01nhqJizTc
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=igicoafWhT0

    Don't worry about Fed's slice not making the top list of all time in here. We know how good he is.:)
     
  26. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2010
    Messages:
    9,277
    "Clueless" isn't that much of an insult here on TT. In fact, by comparison to some, it's almost a term of endearment.

    Anyway, your post doesn't help you get out of the "clueless" box. First, it's obvious that you don't know much about the history of tennis, and further, that you haven't even read through this thread. Second, but as I clearly demonstrated from the links in my recent post (which you apparently didn't look at either), the slice IS a shot off of which winners can and have been hit for the past 90 years, if you know how to do it. There are many who hit better slices than BB in every respect: defensively, offensively, transition game, etc., etc.. BB slice was a good shot, nothing more. Certainly not a weapon as many slices were. BB's topspin backhand was much better than his slice, IMO.

    Yes, you're entitled to state your opinions. But, as I've learned and relearned here on TT, you should expect others to exercise their right to criticize your opinions, even when you're objectively correct, which you aren't in this case.
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2011
  27. gavna

    gavna Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2010
    Messages:
    3,718
    No some of us have seen live guys like Laver or Rosewall and current players and are able to compare. Were not little fanboys blinded by what we have seen only the last 7 or 8 years.
    I personally think Roger is the 2nd or 3rd greatest player - but not his backhand.....
     
  28. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2010
    Messages:
    9,277
    Rosewall had the best, most versatile slice ever. But, I wouldn't go so far as to say that Emerson, Laver, Ashe and Roche's slices looked like high schoolers by comparison.
     
  29. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2010
    Messages:
    9,277
    Thank you!
     
  30. TMF

    TMF Talk Tennis Guru

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2009
    Messages:
    21,373
    Show me the video where Laver/Rosewall have hit those amazing(and difficult) slices like Fed have done.

    So what if you ranked Fed 2nd or 3rd greatest player, that doesn't prove to me that you are not biased.
     
  31. 6-2/6-4/6-0

    6-2/6-4/6-0 Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2011
    Messages:
    697
    Location:
    about 5000 feet up...
    Yes, it's certainly a bit of hyperbole, but I think the 'slice ninja' bit was pretty solid...
     
  32. TMF

    TMF Talk Tennis Guru

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2009
    Messages:
    21,373
    Welome aboard TCTEN. Just let you know if you stick around on this forum you are going to get insulted by some of the bad apples in here. Last time a poster MotherMarjorie was attack by one of the member in here, who hardly visit this forum. But don't let them deter you....just stand up your own right and post what you believe whether if they like it or not.
     
  33. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2010
    Messages:
    9,277
    Rosewall was also a bit of a forehand, net game and footwork ninja as well. Further, IMO, Rosewall had some of the most beautiful looking groundstrokes and volleys I've ever seen. His timing and tempo were artistic in their beauty.

    Check out this short video showing Rosewall and Roche warming up and see how fluid and flawless his timing, tempo and technique were warming up from the baseline with Roche at net:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=txaztRVQC94
     
  34. gavna

    gavna Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2010
    Messages:
    3,718
    Really, what are you like 12? he had such a strong slice he was passing some of the all-time great net players (Newk, Laver, Ashe, Smith.......etc etc) with it and he did it for 25 years at the pro level......now who are the amazing net players today? Where are the guys who were taught from the start to chip and charge and use angles......who are the amazing net players Roger has had to pass using a slice, on grass, with pace?
     
  35. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2010
    Messages:
    9,277
    Hahahaha! YOU are biased! I've already shown you better slices, many times. You know what they are, you've seen them. Now, you're being dishonest by making the same request of yet another knowledgable TT'er while pretending not to know about them.
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2011
  36. Datacipher

    Datacipher Banned

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2004
    Messages:
    4,611
    WONDERFUL!! LOL! The fact that he thinks those slices are unique to Federer is so ridiculous...well it's a perfect example of TMF's tennis ignorance. :)
     
  37. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2008
    Messages:
    37,358
    Location:
    East side of San Francisco Bay
    Actually, I have watched from courtside, both Laver and Rosewall play in the early '70's.
    I would never rate a pro's 40 year old style against today's pros.
    Today, you would need BOTH the defensive slice and the offensive topspin backhands to reach a high level.
     
  38. rdis10093

    rdis10093 Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2011
    Messages:
    3,879
    Location:
    states
    women goes to henin
     
  39. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2008
    Messages:
    37,358
    Location:
    East side of San Francisco Bay
    Henin does have an effective slice, but it's backed up with the best women's 1hbh topspin in the game.
    Graf did it all with just a slice, so she's the best at running around her slice, and must have an arguably top 3 slice.
     
  40. rdis10093

    rdis10093 Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2011
    Messages:
    3,879
    Location:
    states
    i am to old for graf's game
     
  41. 6-2/6-4/6-0

    6-2/6-4/6-0 Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2011
    Messages:
    697
    Location:
    about 5000 feet up...
    If there were a poll for most elegant player ever, I would give the title to Rosewall for sure - taking it from Edberg by half a length.
     
  42. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2008
    Messages:
    37,358
    Location:
    East side of San Francisco Bay
    Elegant.
    Evonne.
    Adriano.
    Henri
     
  43. krosero

    krosero Legend

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2006
    Messages:
    5,644
    Cochet, right?
    ;-)
     
  44. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2008
    Messages:
    37,358
    Location:
    East side of San Francisco Bay
    Being a fellow lefty and a perenial get close but never make it kind of guy, LeConte.
     
  45. Datacipher

    Datacipher Banned

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2004
    Messages:
    4,611
    Uh.. Too young?
     
  46. pc1

    pc1 Legend

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2008
    Messages:
    9,468
    Aren't you a little judgemental here? You know people here respect Federer but some don't think his slice backhand is the best ever. So would you expect everything about Federer to be the best ever?

    His forehand could be the best ever. His footwork is superb. His serve is superb and he has a good volley. I think most here if not virtually everyone would agree. So if some here who may have seen more slice backhands than most think Federer doesn't have the best slice backhand, why indict everyone who posts here?
     
  47. TMF

    TMF Talk Tennis Guru

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2009
    Messages:
    21,373
    Wow! Cannot describe how clueless you are. I never said it was unique but I simply ask if Laver/Rosewall can hit those ridiculous slice shots. But I don't expect you to think it's a ridiculous shot when Drakulie caught your foolishness by saying your friend(not a pro player) hit a 100mph SLICE bh.:oops:
     
  48. BTURNER

    BTURNER Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2007
    Messages:
    3,608
    Location:
    OREGON
    Again, has anyone seen Margaret Court hit any backhand without slice or underspin? Can anyone show me any? I can show you Graf's topspin backhand
     
  49. TMF

    TMF Talk Tennis Guru

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2009
    Messages:
    21,373
    Nope. I just don't believe so many players are put ahead of Federer, which in this case, the slice shot.
     
  50. Carsomyr

    Carsomyr Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2009
    Messages:
    4,267
    Location:
    Winesburg, Ohio
    Federer has an excellent slice, and I think it might be getting underrated here a little bit. But is it in the caliber of Rosewall, who made a living off the shot? Absolutely not.
     

Share This Page