Best slice backhand ever?

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

  1. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    I said above that the feat should not be called impossible, just as you have said here. But I was not implying that there was a reasonable chance that the feat occurred. As I said farther above, I still cannot see how this would be possible. We know, at minimum, that even the best returners are routinely forced into errors on the return. Saying so takes away nothing from the quality of the returners, because it has nothing to do with them: these are forced errors. It happens to the best returners and it happens often. So two weeks without making a return error -- it is so farfetched that I cannot see how it would occur.
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2011
  2. BeHappy

    BeHappy Hall of Fame

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    Except maybe it did. Like Sam Querray hitting 10 consecutive aces against one of the best returners in the game (Blake). Or Isner and Mahut playing around 140 games in a single set.
     
  3. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    Maybe Rosewall was on a two week vacation! :mrgreen:
     
  4. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    I wouldn't call Evert or Austin "non power baseliners." IMO, they had some of the biggest groundies of their era. Their power was limited only by the limitations of their racquets. When I saw Evert play a finals match against Navratilova in the early 80's, both were using graphite, and Evert hit harder than Navratilova from the gound. She also won the match in straight sets in front of her home town crowd snapping a long losing streak against Navratilova.
     
  5. Spring Pools

    Spring Pools New User

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    Graf had an excellent slice backhand. Fed's is great as well.
     
  6. 10sEmporer

    10sEmporer Banned

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    Federer's slice is flawed
     
  7. BTURNER

    BTURNER Hall of Fame

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    I agree, I am trying to think of anyone in that era that had more power balanced between the respective wings than Austin and Evert. Those with more on the forehand, had far less on the backhand, including Martina. Evert hit hard, relatively flat shots off both wings, close to the sidelines. If Evert and Austin were "non-power' with wood rackets, who was a power baseliner among the women?
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2011
  8. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    true, until AJaeger showed off, Austin and Evert were the best baseliners...and only would lose to all courters like King,Navratilova and Cawley ( and not very often)
     
  9. RF20Lennon

    RF20Lennon Legend

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    first off thats just your opinion federer works the ball so hard and has so much underspin plus he does it way more elegantly than Rosewall I hate comparing differnt era's because the situation, style and everything else is differnt but if i had to choose which one would help my game I would pick Fed any day.
     
  10. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    The universal opinion of everyone who has seen both of them play is that Rosewall's slice was a greater shot than anything Federer can do on the backhand side.
     
  11. piece

    piece Professional

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    I think Rosewall is more elegant in this regard actually.
     
  12. TMF

    TMF Talk Tennis Guru

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    Exactly. People don't know that when a player put more effort on hitting the ball, whether it's more spin and/or more pace, it's harder to control...thus more prone for error, and precision. Not to mention he's receiving the ball with a lot more action. Rosewall wasn't challenged enough back then.
     
  13. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    Fed's movement is definitely among the most graceful and elegant I've ever seen. But, I agree that Rosewall's backhand was a work of art.
     
  14. ultradr

    ultradr Hall of Fame

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    Federer's movement definitely the most graceful and elegant I have ever seen.

    However, he is not exactly cat-like smooth. Stout(?) and graceful but I
    have seem smoother cat like movers who glides very queitly.
    Somehow Federer reminds me of great atheletic horse moving very elegantly.

    Sorry if all these animal analogy offend someone. :)
     
  15. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    If you watch Rosewall he was able to hit with great power if needed with great control. Effort does not necessarily mean greatness.

    I frankly don't understand where you get the idea Rosewall wasn't challenged when he faced Gonzalez (arguably the greatest server and possible GOAT), Hoad (legendary power and talent), Laver (see Hoad and also potential GOAT), Ashe, Newcombe, Vilas, Nastase, Smith, Gimeno, Emerson, Gerulaitis, Borg, Connors, Kodes, Orantes, Trabert, Sedgman, Segura, Cooper, Tanner. And yes he actually faced Lendl in a practice match and from when I understand, did very well. Lendl I believe was about 20 and Ken was about 46. Most of these guys he faced when they were in their primes and at least three GOAT candidates there in Gonzalez, Laver and Borg.

    Federer has a good backhand and it looks good generally speaking. I don't want to get into comparisons between Federer's backhand and others because it's been done too often here.

    I believe that Rosewall's backhand was greatly tested and passed with honors.
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2011
  16. TCTEN

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    Meant to post this sooner but thanks for showing some class TMF.
     
  17. Backhanded Compliment

    Backhanded Compliment Hall of Fame

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    Rosewall, Graf and Edberg are all scary but Rosewall's is the gold standard.
     
  18. Manus Domini

    Manus Domini Hall of Fame

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    Fed's slice over one that has been proclaimed by every pro--without any exception that I know of--to be the greatest in history?

    Maybe it might suit your style better, but which would you rather base your game around?
     
  19. BTURNER

    BTURNER Hall of Fame

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    I have not see very much of Rosewall, but I gotta say, there is so little bling or flash to any part of his game. Exactly the opposite of Fed. Everything Roger does has such obvious beauty and flare. He plays glorious tennis. I was remarkably underwhelmed when first watching Ken. But it is all so deceptive. He made errors, but never at a bad time. His serve was unimpressive, but it did just enough. Not many dramatic gets, but he was usually where he ought to be. Even the backhand, that was clearly the better wing, was not producing stunning winners, so much as consistently inducing forced errors on volley. He was sort of a droll self-effacing character but the tennis was more efficient than openly inspiring. It takes a real affienado to see what he is actually accomplishing behind his subtle greatness. the more I saw the more I appreciated. You gotta look under the hood of the car to see the beauty of the Rosewall engine.
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2011
  20. Seth

    Seth Hall of Fame

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    Henman? He sure struck a beautiful slice.
     
  21. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    Yes he did! I wouldn't call it a GOAT slice, though.
     
  22. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    IMO, Rosewall had one of the most classic, beautiful games of tennis ever played. His technique was flawless and graceful. His footwork and movement were amazing. He was a champion who expected to win every time he stepped on to a tennis court, and, most importantly, he was equally graceful, gracious and sportsmanlike winning and losing.
     
  23. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    Rosewall has been compared to Bach as far of the purity of his tennis is concerned. There is no wasted movement, everything is efficient with very little wasted effort.

    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1086052/2/index.htm

    You are right. Rosewall is not flashy like some but you appreciate how he does things so easily. There was a famous chessplayer named Jose Capablanca, arguably the greatest player ever. They said something like this about Capablanca "Very apparent move." "Obvious." And afterwards after Capablanca won again, they would say "How does he do it!" Capablanca was like Rosewall, nothing wasted, very little flash.

    I think in watching Rosewall I am sure many of Rosewall's opponents and people who watched him over the years would ask "How does it do it?!"
     
  24. BTURNER

    BTURNER Hall of Fame

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    A few things are clear in what I have seen so far, he gives his all to every point. He does not 'go for the gold' in shot selection when silver or bronze will do. his volley is always hit in front in good position, and every stroke is struck on balance. And he gets back for some amazing overheads he had no business reaching (those have some glory to them!).

    As for that drive slice backhand so often discussed here, the casual inattentive eye would not realize it is actually sliced rather than a routine flattish drive with the all the pace normal for such a stroke with a wood racket. It does not look like he missed out on any pace or control by not having a topspin drive.
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2011
  25. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    Rosewall also had an excellent backhand offensive and defensive lob.
     
  26. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    ...and, so much as I agree with you 100%, I´d add...who has seen, off those posters, a Rosewall return off a Newc,Smith,Roche,Tanner or Ashe´s serve...and not once, rather 4-5 times in a game?.I´ve seen that BH in action, and it is one of the most beautiful and state of art shots that one can imagine...
     
  27. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Yes, it is a machine close to perfection, the subtle foot work, the non forced backswing, the recovery, the ability to just enforcen his shot with just a bit more of power than his last...this is as much close to art as tennis can be.

    As much as I regard Laver the greatest tennis player we have ever seen, I also must say that no shot comes closer to perfection as Ken´s...wonder.
     
  28. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    Incidentally guys, I have it on good authority from someone that Ralston meant it when he wrote Rosewall didn't miss a backhand return in two weeks. Whether it really happened, well who knows? All I know is that Ralston believes it was so.
     
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2011

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