Design the Ultimate Player

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by timnz, Dec 12, 2008.

  1. timnz

    timnz Hall of Fame

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    For all of these strokes & tennis abilities - who had the best ever?

    First Serve
    Second Serve
    Forehand
    Backhand Topspin & /or Drive
    Backhand Slice
    Overhead
    Forehand Volley
    Backhand Volley
    Tenacity/Fighting Spirit
    Tactical Brain
    Physical Strength & Endurance
     
    #1
  2. timnz

    timnz Hall of Fame

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    My go at it

    First Serve - Sampras
    Second Serve - Sampras
    Forehand - Lendl (I know a lot of people think that Sampras had a great running forehand, but some of the things that Lendl would pull off on the forehand were amazing)
    Backhand Topspin & /or Drive - Hard one - Federer?
    Backhand Slice - Rosewall
    Overhead - Sampras, Hoad, Connors
    Forehand Volley - Hoad
    Backhand Volley - Roche
    Tenacity/Fighting Spirit - Connors, Gonzales
    Tactical Brain - Rosewall?
    Physical Strength & Endurance - Lendl, Emerson

    Combine all that into one player would be pretty scary.
     
    #2
  3. wyutani

    wyutani Hall of Fame

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    First Serve Roddick
    Second Serve Davydenko
    Forehand Nadal
    Backhand Topspin & /or Drive Gasquet
    Backhand Slice Santoro
    Overhead Sampras
    Forehand Volley Mcenroe
    Backhand Volley Edberg
    Tenacity/Fighting Spirit Tsonga
    Tactical Brain Murray
    Physical Strength & Endurance Muster
     
    #3
  4. wyutani

    wyutani Hall of Fame

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    sorry, i think mine is better. :) j/k
     
    #4
  5. timnz

    timnz Hall of Fame

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    Concede some points only

    I think Muster is a good pick.
    Your pick for backhand topspin drive - well he's certainly up there.
    I like Edberg's backhand slice - apparently Roche's was rock solid.
    Have to say I am not moving on Lendl's forehand. He could hit is inside out, running, down the line - all with huge power.

    Fun though :)
     
    #5
  6. lendledbergfan

    lendledbergfan Rookie

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    First Serve - Sampras
    Second Serve - Sampras
    Forehand - Federer
    Backhand Topspin & /or Drive - Nadal / Edberg
    Backhand Slice - Maybe Sampras
    Overhead - well..... Sampras :)
    Forehand Volley - Edberg / Mac
    Backhand Volley - Edberg
    Tenacity/Fighting Spirit - Rafa / Connors
    Tactical Brain - Wilander
    Physical Strength & Endurance - Rafa / Lendl
     
    #6
  7. timnz

    timnz Hall of Fame

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    Wilander

    Wilander - yes he was a very clever player.
     
    #7
  8. GameSampras

    GameSampras Banned

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    Mental toughness Category?

    Pete and Rafa
     
    #8
  9. CEvertFan

    CEvertFan Hall of Fame

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    I'll do one for the women:

    First Serve - Serena Williams
    Second Serve - Serena Williams
    Forehand - Steffi Graf
    Backhand Topspin & /or Drive - Chris Evert
    Backhand Slice - Steffi Graf
    Overhead - Martina Navratilova
    Forehand Volley - Billie Jean King
    Backhand Volley - Martina Navratilova
    Tenacity/Fighting Spirit - Chris Evert
    Tactical Brain - Suzanne Lenglen
    Physical Strength & Endurance - Martina Navratilova

    I would add one more category though and that would be:

    Footspeed and footwork - Steffi Graf
     
    #9
  10. wyutani

    wyutani Hall of Fame

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    im surprised i see no henin. you still hurt that she retired?
     
    #10
  11. zagor

    zagor Talk Tennis Guru

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    Weak era
    First Serve-Goran
    Second Serve-Sampras
    Forehand-Federer
    Backhand Topspin & /or Drive-Guga
    Backhand Slice-Edberg
    Overhead-Sampras
    Forehand Volley-Mcenroe
    Backhand Volley-Edberg
    Tenacity/Fighting Spirit-Chang
    Tactical Brain-Gilbert
    Physical Strength & Endurance-Muster
     
    #11
  12. srinrajesh

    srinrajesh Guest

    First Serve - Boris Becker
    Second Serve - Sampras / Federer
    Forehand - Nadal
    Backhand Topspin & /or Drive - Nadal / Kuerten
    Backhand Slice - Federer
    Overhead - Sampras
    Forehand Volley - Becker
    Backhand Volley - Edberg
    Tenacity/Fighting Spirit - Rafa / Connors
    Tactical Brain - Nastase
    Physical Strength & Endurance - Rafa
     
    #12
  13. robertg06

    robertg06 Semi-Pro

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    First Serve: Sampras
    Second Serve: Federer
    Forehand: Gonzales :)
    Backhand Topspin & /or Drive: Gasquet
    Backhand Slice: Nadal
    Overhead: Roddick
    Forehand Volley: Tsonga
    Backhand Volley: Federer
    Tenacity/Fighting Spirit: Nadal
    Tactical Brain: Federer
    Physical Strength & Endurance: Nadal the ox :)
     
    #13
  14. lendledbergfan

    lendledbergfan Rookie

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    just realized, one important thing is missing in the category

    Return of Serve - Agassi
     
    #14
  15. 380pistol

    380pistol Banned

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    First Serve Pete Sampras
    Second Serve Pete Sampras
    Forehand Roger Federer
    Backhand Topspin & /or Drive Gustavo Kuerten
    Backhand Slice Stefan Edberg
    Overhead Pete Sampras
    Forehand Volley Stefan Edberg
    Backhand Volley Patrick Rafter
    Tenacity/Fighting Spirit Jimmy Connors (or Nadal)
    Tactical Brain John McEnroe
    Physical Strength & Endurance Bjorn Borg (maybe Nadal)
     
    #15
  16. SirBlend12

    SirBlend12 Semi-Pro

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    1 serve: Pace and spin of Sampras, variety of Fed
    2 Serve: Sampras with some Edberg qualities..
    Forehand: Fed and Gulbis' lovechild
    Backhand: Guga
    Slice BH: can't decide... Edberg probably
    Overhead: Sampras
    Both volleys: Edberg
    Spirit: Santoro (see USO 2005)
    Tactics: Mac and Borg
    Physical: Borg
     
    #16
  17. Michael Bluth

    Michael Bluth Semi-Pro

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    First Serve: Speed of Roddick, placement of Fed
    Second Serve: Sampras
    Forehand: Federer
    Backhand: Gasquet for the one hander, Safin for the two hander.
    Slice: Edberg
    Overhead: Sampras
    Both Volleys: Edberg
    Returns: Agassi
    Fighting Spirit: Nadal/Connors
    Tactical Brain: Federer/Gilbert(the guy wouldn't have even cracked the top 100 without that).
    Phsyical Strength/Endurace: Nadal.
     
    #17
  18. CEvertFan

    CEvertFan Hall of Fame

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    Whatever gave you the impression I was such a big fan of Henin's? I liked her but she was never one of my favorites.
     
    #18
  19. freelancer

    freelancer Rookie

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    Guys:

    First Serve - Sampras
    Second Serve - Sampras
    Forehand - Federer
    Backhand Topspin &/or Drive- Safin/Gasquet
    Backhand Slice - McEnroe
    Overhead - Sampras
    Forehand Volley - McEnroe
    Backhand Volley - Edberg
    Tenacity/Fighting Spirit - Hewitt/Chang
    Tactical Brain - Borg/Conners
    Physical Strength & Endurance-Borg/Nadal
    Return of Serve -Agassi

    Ladies:
    First Serve - Davenport
    Second Serve - Serena
    Forehand - Graf
    Backhand Topspin & /or Drive - Henin/Evert
    Backhand Slice - Henin/Graf
    Overhead - Navratilova/Hingis
    Forehand Volley - Navratilova
    Backhand Volley - Navratilova
    Tenacity/Fighting Spirit - Seles/Evert
    Tactical Brain- Hingis
    Physical Strength & Endurance - Clijsters/Jankovic
    Return of Serve - Davenport
     
    #19
  20. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    great list, but this would be valid just for the 1980-2010 period.For the 30 years before, here is mine

    Serve:Gonzales and Newcombe
    Backhand:Rosewall and Laver
    Forehand: Kramer and Gimeno
    Volley:Hoad and Sedgman
    Dropshot:Santana and Nastase
    Overhead:Hoad
    Lob: Rosewall and Santana
    Fighting spirit: Laver and Gonzales
    Endurance/Strength:Emerson
    Tactics: Laver and Gonzales

    It would be the ultimate match your list vs mine
     
    #20
  21. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    As for 1950-80 ladies ( your list is for 1980-2010):

    Serve:Bueno and Court
    Forehand:Wills and Bueno
    BH: Connolly and Goolagong
    Volley:King and Court
    Overhead:Court and Gibson
    Volley:Gibson and KIng
    Tactics:King
    Menthal Strength:Court and Connolly
    Endurance/Physical strength:Court and Richey
     
    #21
  22. Devilito

    Devilito Hall of Fame

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    First Serve Petros
    Second Serve Petros
    Forehand Petros
    Backhand Topspin & /or Drive Petros
    Backhand Slice Petros
    Overhead Petros
    Forehand Volley Petros
    Backhand Volley Petros
    Tenacity/Fighting Spirit Petros
    Tactical Brain Petros
    Physical Strength & Endurance Jim "The Rock" Courier
     
    #22
  23. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Do you mean Drazen Petrosvic? or Petrossian?
     
    #23
  24. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    I added a few catagories that I thought were important at the bottom:

    Sampras - First Serve
    Sampras - Second Serve
    Federer - Forehand
    Agassi - Backhand Topspin & /or Drive
    Rosewall - Backhand Slice
    Gonzales - Overhead
    Edberg - Forehand Volley
    Roche - Backhand Volley
    Borg - Tenacity/Fighting Spirit (Focus)
    Newcombe/Rosewall - Tactical Brain
    Borg/Nadal - Physical Strength & Endurance
    Sampras/Borg - Speed
    Federer - Footwork
     
    #24
  25. BTURNER

    BTURNER Hall of Fame

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    I am adding the women to the right, changing a name here or there to the men with an asterix , and including a return of serve. and using the open era as my cut off.

    Connors - Return of serve- Evert

    Just added the last one.

    Sampras - First Serve - Court
    Sampras - Second Serve - gotta think on this one
    * Lendl - Forehand - Graf
    *Connors - Backhand Topspin & /or Drive - Evert
    Rosewall - Backhand Slice - Navratilova
    *Sampras - Overhead - Navratilova
    *MacEnroe - Forehand Volley - King
    * Edberg - Backhand Volley - King
    Borg - Tenacity/Fighting Spirit (Focus) - Evert
    Newcombe/Rosewall - Tactical Brain - King
    Borg/Nadal - Physical Strength & Endurance - Serena/ Navratilova
    Sampras/Borg - Speed - Graf
    Federer - Footwork - - Graf
     
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2011
    #25
  26. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    That is a good post.I´d add

    ALL ROUND GAME

    Laver for men and Mandlikova for women
     
    #26
  27. RoddickAce

    RoddickAce Hall of Fame

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    First Serve - Karlovic
    Second Serve - Isner
    Forehand - Del Potro
    Backhand Topspin & /or Drive - Safin
    Backhand Slice - Petzschner
    Overhead - Sampras
    Forehand Volley - McEnroe
    Backhand Volley - Edberg
    Tenacity/Fighting Spirit - Connors
    Tactical Brain - Federer
    Physical Strength & Endurance - Nadal
     
    #27
  28. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Drops: orantes and Evert
     
    #28
  29. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    By decade

    1970

    Serve: Tanner
    2º serve:Newcombe
    Overhead:Newcombe
    FH: Borg and Nastase
    BH: Connors and Rosewall
    FH Volley:Newcombe
    BH Volley: Ashe/Roche
    Drop:Orantes
    Lob:Orantes and Newcombe
    Overhead:Newcombe
    Return: Connors
    All round:Laver and Nastase
    Menthal:Borg
    Physical:Borg
    Strategy:Ashe/Nastase


    1980

    Serve: Becker
    2º serve:Mac
    Overhead:Becker/Edberg
    FH: Lendl
    BH: Edberg
    FH Volley:Mac
    BH Volley: Edberg
    Drop:Mayer
    Lob:Lendl and Wilander
    Return:Wilander
    All round:Mac
    Menthal:Wilander and Becker
    Physical:Lendl
    Strategy:Wilander
     
    #29
  30. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    1990

    Serve: Ivanisevic
    2º serve:Sampras
    Overhead:Sampras/Krajicek
    FH: Sampras and Courier
    BH: Agassi-Kuetren
    FH Volley:Rafter
    BH Volley: Stich
    Drop:Rios
    Lob:Bruguera
    Return:Agassi
    All round:Sampras and Stich
    Menthal:Sampras
    Physical:Rafter/Muster
    Strategy:Chang

    CURRENT ERA

    Serve: Roddick
    2º serve:Federer
    Overhead:Federer and Roddick
    FH: Federer-Safin
    BH: Nadal/Djokovic
    FH Volley:?????? -Rafter-
    BH Volley: ????? - Henman-
    Drop:Federer
    Lob:Nadal
    Return:Hewitt
    All round:None, closest one is Federer
    Menthal:Nadal
    Physical:Nadal and Federer
    Strategy:nadal and Davidenkho
     
    #30
  31. Shaolin

    Shaolin Hall of Fame

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    Federer with Sampras serve and Nalbandian backhand.
     
    #31
  32. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Best movers

    1970´s: Borg and Vitas
    1980´s: Wilander and Kriek
    1990´s: Chang and Rios
    current; Nadal and Hewitt
     
    #32
  33. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    BEST SHOTS BEFORE OPENE RA ( not included players that still played in 1970´s)

    Serve: Gonzales
    2º serve:Kramer
    FH:Tilden,Cochet and Perry
    BH: Budge,Lacoste and Emerson
    Return:Quist,Lacoste
    Overhead:Gonzales
    FH volley: Kramer and Sedgman
    BH volley:Hoad and Bromwich
    Tactics:Kramer
    Menthal:Tilden and Gonzales
    Strength/Speed:Hoad - when not injuried -, Emmo
    Lob:Santana
    Drop:Santana,Drobny and Pietrangeli
     
    #33
  34. boredone3456

    boredone3456 Legend

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    Men

    First Serve: Roddick
    2nd Serve: Sampras
    Forehand: Federer
    Backhand: Connors
    Return: Agassi
    Overhead: Sampras or Connors...close call
    FH Volley: McEnroe
    BH Volley: Edberg
    Tactics: Wilander
    Mental: tough one...Borg?
    Tenacity: Rafa
    Endurance: Rafa
    Speed: Borg
    Footwork: Borg

    Women

    First Serve: Serena
    2nd Serve: Serena
    Forehand: Graf or Davenport
    Backhand: Evert or Henin, depending on if you prefer a 1 or 2 hander
    Return: Dementieva...some will laugh...her return game is the reason she was in the top 10 for so long...one season she won 49% of her return games..
    Overhead: Navratilova after much work tocounter the Evert Lob
    FH Volley: King
    BH Volley: Navratilova
    Tactics: Hingis or King
    Mental: Evert
    Tenacity: Evert
    Endurance: Navratilova
    Speed: Graf
    Footwork: Graf
     
    #34
  35. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    Dementieva I believe led the WTA in percentage of breaking serve. With her serve she had to break serve well. It's a great choice and one I probably would have forgotten because we tend to focus on the greats.
     
    #35
  36. boredone3456

    boredone3456 Legend

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    I'd have to check on that. I know in her final season on the tour she won 49%of her return games, and in several other years she had numbers right up there with that. Like you said, with that terrible serve she had to make up the difference and that return was arguably the best part of her game. If her serve and mental strength in the clutch were as good, she wouldn't have retired a slamless wonder.
     
    #36
  37. Nathaniel_Near

    Nathaniel_Near G.O.A.T.

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    Relax folks, ...
    Not that I mean to pick on you recently, but Nadal's BH... are you kidding??? I mean, seriously? Really? And then to select Safin for forehand when Nadal's is more revered and yet Safin would have been a legitimate and sensible call on the backhand wing, as would have Agassi...? No?
     
    #37
  38. BTURNER

    BTURNER Hall of Fame

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    Just a few comments/thoughts.

    1. women's return, I have traditionally handed this one to Evert because she was so effective vs both baseliners and S/Vers over so long and so many threats from Court through Graf, but I honestly had not given thought to measuring via break of serve stats vs return winner/forced error stats. Dementieva is hard to argue against.

    2. Women's backhand slice. I twist and turn over Martina or Graf. Martina's was so versatile and deadly on grass while Graf's was steadier and more potent on clay.

    3. Who are some other nominees for women's second serve besides Serena?
     
    #38
  39. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    For fun I'll try to pick a few non greats or at least non super top all time greats.

    First Serve-Karolovic, Isner, Neal Fraser, Tanner
    Second Serve-Tanner (I recall it being good but it's been a long time.)
    Forehand-Ken Fletcher, Tom Okker (loved his forehand), Pancho Segura (Perhaps the greatest shot in the history of tennis according to those who saw it)
    Backhand-Arthur Ashe, Frank Kovacs, Guillermo Vilas
    Overhead-Yannick Noah-I sincerely think this may be the best overhead of all time. Noah had great leaping ability and his overheads usually went into the stands. Think of Sampras but with greater leaping ability. Another choice is Dick Stockton.
    Return-Frank Kovacs, John Bromwich
    Forehand Volley-Vijay Amritraj, Budge Patty
    Backhand Volley-Tony Roche
    Tactics-??? Maybe Orantes?
    Mental-Harold Solomon
    Tenacity-Harold Solomon
    Endurance-Vilas
    Speed-Gerulaitis, Kriek, Okker
    Footwork-Bobby Riggs
     
    #39
  40. NLBwell

    NLBwell Legend

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    For all of these strokes & tennis abilities - who had the best ever?

    First Serve Stich
    Second Serve Sampras
    Forehand Nadal or Lendl depending upon surface
    Backhand Topspin & /or Drive Laver
    Backhand Slice Rosewall
    Overhead Sampras
    Forehand Volley Edberg or Lots of Aussies
    Backhand Volley Roche
    Return of Serve Agassi
    Tenacity/Fighting Spirit Nadal at his best
    Tactical Brain Federer
    Physical Strength & Endurance Borg
     
    #40
  41. piece

    piece Professional

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    First Serve - Karlovic
    Second Serve - Sampras
    Forehand - Federer
    Topspin Backhand - Agassi or Nalbandian
    Slice Backhand - Rosewall
    Forehand Volley - McEnroe
    Backhand Volley - Edberg
    Fighting Spirit - Hewitt
    Endurance - Borg
    Speed - Phau
    Footwork - Federer
    Movement - Borg or Federer
     
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2011
    #41
  42. boredone3456

    boredone3456 Legend

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    I had a tough time in deciding best return for the women. Evert's was amazing, she had a knack for being able to throw her opponents off balance and put herself in a good position to pass S&V players. I also thought for a second about choosing Seles...but as her return was sort of weaker on faster surfaces and especially on grass I chose not to name her. In the end Dementieva's return game wins stats was just to impressive to argue against....especially when you consider the fact that she was a contemporary of some amazing servers and was able to stay in the top 10 for so long really on the basis of her return...ok and maybe her forehand which wasn't all that bad of a shot.

    Womens backhand slice...well. I kind of skirted over topspin and slice breakdown in my backhand choices...going in favor of overall mechanics on the shot. But if I had to choose a pure slice backhand...I guess maybe I'd have to say Graf? although yes Martina's was good.

    Womens 2nd serve..other then Serena...well...I really can't think of anyone else. Her ability to hit clutch 2nd serves...and be able to pull out 2nd serve aces, is really just spectacular. I can't really think of a 2nd serve that on any player that is as effective offensively as Serena's. I guess another name would maybe be Navratilova, although hers was definitely more defensive, she usually had good placement and was quick to react off the return of it. But well...with Serena...you never assumed the 2nd serve is a "safe" shot...she was always capable of going for it and making you suffer.
     
    #42
  43. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    Lots of great female returns. Evert was great. I thought Seles had a great offensive return. I like Dementieva and I like the return of Clijsters too.

    Graf was exellent but I didn't like her backhand return as much as a number of others.

    For second serve I like Stosur's as well as Serena's. Stosur has one of the best second serves I've seen. It was key in her winning a major this year.
     
    #43
  44. joe sch

    joe sch Hall of Fame

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    One important aspect of this exercise is the equipment and courts that the player is to compete on ?

    For instance, is it fast old grass using wood rackets or slower modern hard courts and the latest powerful stiff graphite rackets ?
     
    #44
  45. zcarzach

    zcarzach Professional

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    FTW. Add Hewitt's foot speed and tenacity.
     
    #45
  46. TennisLovaLova

    TennisLovaLova Hall of Fame

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    First Serve - Federer
    Second Serve - Federer
    Forehand - Federer
    Backhand Topspin & /or Drive - Federer
    Backhand Slice - Federer
    Overhead - Federer
    Forehand Volley - Federer
    Backhand Volley - Federer
    Tenacity/Fighting Spirit - Federer
    Tactical Brain - Federer
    Physical Strength & Endurance - Federer

    [​IMG]
     
    #46
  47. heftylefty

    heftylefty Hall of Fame

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    First Serve: Roddick
    Second Serve: Sampras
    Forehand: JMdP
    Backhand Topspin & /or Drive: Prime Federer
    Backhand Slice: Ashe
    Overhead: Noah
    Forehand Volley: Rafter
    Backhand Volley: Edberg
    Tenacity/Fighting Spirit: 1st win @ W Becker
    Tactical Brain: Gilbert or Wilander
    Physical Strength & Endurance: Kriek & Chang
     
    #47
  48. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Federer´s BH? you spoilt your some reasonable choices in some dept.
     
    #48
  49. BTURNER

    BTURNER Hall of Fame

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    I think Evert returned better vs the first serves, S/vers and bad bounce surfaces , but Seles made mincemeat out of second, and on hard/ indoor courts.
     
    #49
  50. Crazy man

    Crazy man Banned

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    1st serve - Goran
    2nd serve - Sampras
    Mental tougheness/clutch serving - Sampras



    I'm going to give a few reasons for what I have stated. Goran possesed the most unreadable first serve I have ever seen. Absolutely no doubt about it. Sampras possesed a phenominal serve too (slightly behind Goran). However Sampras will be knows as the greatest server ever (and so he should be) because of his mental fortitude and his clutch serving, along with having sheer guts to pull off the greatest second serves ever hit. To boot he rarely made any double faults when doing so. Goran if his brain and nerves were replaced with a microchip which didn't explode, get crazy or choke would have been as good a server, if not better. I'll pick Goran's 1st serve technically, Pete's second and the mental strength of Sampras. Great serving when it matters requires a great mentality - something Sampras definately had. Overall Sampras.



    Backhand: Marat Safin.



    Ok, maybe my Safin bias comes through here (like many people's favourites crop up many times). But his BH is in a league of its own. Efficient, Effortless mechanics which created brute force power, along with a pin point accuracy. Sort of like a sniper rifle. Also, it wasn't always the power which beat his opponents; His BH had unreadable patterns, you didn't know which way he would go. Obviously combine this with the accuracy and depth the shot has, your laughing!




    FH - Federer. Does anyone want me to explain why?


    Aggressive return: Agassi 0 such great hand & eye coordination
    Defensive return - Murray
    If I had to pick - probably Connors.



    Footwork (coordination, balance) - I think Laver wins in this department. Honestly. I'm not a Laver guru, but from things I've read on footwork and patterns and videos I've watched, his footwork was great, obviously. Although Federer & Hewitt can be argued.


    Foot speed - Nadal or maybe Monfils.


    Court coverage: Federer. Federer's anticipation and his ability to read the game is as big a weapon as his FH.



    Fitness: Borg



    Volleys: Edberg. No one volleys like Edberg.


    Overhead: Dunno, probably chose Roddick.


    Drop shot - Coria


    Ability to play crap and beat an on-fire player - Federer. This is what sets him appart from everyone else IMO. Of cours I expect 20 old age pensioners come into this thread and laugh at this point of view and my suggestions overall now.
     
    #50

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