Gasquet's Backhand or Federer's Backhand?

Discussion in 'General Pro Player Discussion' started by JTJet, Sep 24, 2012.

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Who's backhand is better?

  1. Gasquet's Backhand

    55 vote(s)
    41.0%
  2. Federer's Backhand

    79 vote(s)
    59.0%
  1. movdqa

    movdqa Legend

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    I think that Federer is better with his backhand at hitting approach shots and drop shots. How deep has Gasquet been at Wimbledon?
     
    #51
  2. 0d1n

    0d1n Hall of Fame

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    #52
  3. dangalak

    dangalak Banned

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    What do you think about Roddick then? he certainly didn't move like greased lightning either.
     
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  4. Hawkeye7

    Hawkeye7 Professional

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    One shot doesn't make him the better player. People are making this very easy for themselves. Federer is the GOAT and therefore he must have a better BH than a player who has never even been to a slam final...

    Gasquet's BH is better. Federer's BH is the weakest part of his game. Well at least in his prime. These days the lack of speed might become the bigger issue. How early they hit the ball has nothing to do with the stroke itself.
     
    #54
  5. dangalak

    dangalak Banned

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    Who gives a damn if it is the wekest part of his game?

    "Federer's BH is the weakest part of his game. That means it is worse than any guy he is compared with."

    It still can be better than Gasquet's.
     
    #55
  6. movdqa

    movdqa Legend

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    I have seen the variety of Federer's backhand and how he uses it to exploit weaknesses and opportunities. I have seen Gasquet's backhand, his DTL winners, the high loop, cross-court passing shots, etc. Does Gasquet chip and charge? Hit drop shots off the backhand side like Federer?

    How has Gasquet done against Nadal? That's a good measure because Nadal likes to pound the opponent's backhand side and we know that Federer has had problems against this for a time in his career.
     
    #56
  7. 0d1n

    0d1n Hall of Fame

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    He didn't move like greased lightning, but he did have better speed than Andre A. Also...he had (has) different qualities. He knew he didn't have the technique to control the game from the baseline as well as Andre did, especially on the backhand side.

    To make it general, in my opinion the strokes are just one of the many reasons why people choose their court positioning the way they do, and it's far from being the most important one.
    The most important one is personality/style of play, how aggressive one's game is, and how he was taught the game from childhood. Whether or not they feel they can be the aggressor and control the points against a certain (specific) opponent is another factor. The surface one grew up on makes a big difference as well (people growing up on clay are more likely to stand a bit further back because of the high/unpredictable bounces).
    Another very important reason is speed/ability to cover the court, to cover longer distances.
    The court positioning is a calculated risk and all these factors go into this decision.
    Like previously said, this decision can be taken for different reasons by different players, and it can be slightly different when in offensive and defensive as well. The previous example of Davydenko who stands very close to the baseline when on the offensive but is willing to stand further back and scramble when put on the defensive, when compared to Andre A. who was generally unwilling to give up on his advanced position when in defense because he knew he lacked the speed for scrambling and getting that one more ball back into play...is an obvious one.
    Somebody like Djokovic can also take the ball just as early as Agassi when on the offensive but he can stand as far back as Murray or Nadal when put on the defensive. The reason for this is his movement. He knows his legs allow him to play defensively like that, and Andre knew his legs DID NOT allow him that kind of court position. In his case the risk/reward equation was better when standing closer and using his timing to half volley balls from the baseline, in the case of Djokovic that equation is better if he stands further back and lets his speed take care of things. The difference that changes that risk/reward equation is IMO not the difference in length of stroke or hand-eye coordination and timing, but it's the difference in movement.
    In the case of Gasquet versus Federer, the difference in court positioning is more of a combination than in the more extreme example of Agassi versus Djoko (where movement is the overwhelming factor)...but it's certainly not only defined by strokes.
    If anything the difference in strokes that provokes this choice is the fact that he can't dominate and push opponents around with his forehand the way Fed can...the backhand is a non issue. It's also the style of play/personality thing...and the movement and footwork thing. I'm not saying Gasquet doesn't have good footwork, but he's no Federer when it comes to it. Federer's ability to turn defense into offense with his strokes ... but also with his feet is (or at least was) probably the best in the world.
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2012
    #57
  8. dangalak

    dangalak Banned

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    Well, not THAT early, I reckon. :)

    But I understand.
     
    #58
  9. tennisdj

    tennisdj New User

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    To me RF is 10x better than RG (we all know that)...but talking about OHB have to say that Richard's is a rifle... check this out Rome 2011
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?nomobile=1&v=RTyJHz9W_3w
    Not to happy about the outcome..lol but it was a very good match..
     
    #59
  10. NadalAgassi

    NadalAgassi Guest

    If Gasquet had an inferior backhand he probably would have never beaten Roger, let alone done it twice and won sets on other occasions, as he is signifcantly inferior in every other aspect of the game (maybe only slightly inferior in volleys).
     
    #60
  11. dangalak

    dangalak Banned

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    He probably has a better PEAK BH than Federer. :) On an average day though, his BH requires too much timing to take on the rise. Federer doesn't even need to play that well to do it consistently.

    Also, you underestimate the difference form can make. If Federer plays subpar and Gasquet plays well, you have Federer being unable to break Gasquet's serve and Gasquet hitting not only BH but also FH winners for fun.
     
    #61
  12. Prisoner of Birth

    Prisoner of Birth Banned

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    Federer is the only player I've seen who can beat some of the best players in the world even when he's playing terrible Tennis (by professional standards, not just his). He seems to have the power to make his opponents play even worse than he does. I can't explain it.
     
    #62
  13. dangalak

    dangalak Banned

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    He is a pretty good match player.

    Nadal is even more brilliant in that area.
     
    #63
  14. Polvorin

    Polvorin Professional

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    Can I take Federer's slice and Gasquet's topspin? Or is that cheating?
     
    #64
  15. Polvorin

    Polvorin Professional

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    Hard to argue with that statement 'cuz it's true.
     
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2012
    #65
  16. Federer20042006

    Federer20042006 Banned

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    Both of Gasquet's victories over Federer were on clay, though. That's Gasquet's strongest surface...where he has time behind the baseline to slug it out.

    As I said before, I'd rather have Gasquet's backhand on clay, but give me Federer's everywhere else.
     
    #66
  17. paulorenzo

    paulorenzo Hall of Fame

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    one can't tell as of late, but that's a good observation. i read somewhere that fed would get pushed around in his junior years by yves allegro, or another swiss, during practice but fed would end up winning in match play.
     
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  18. sunof tennis

    sunof tennis Professional

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    I like to cheat too :) and agree with this idea
     
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  19. dangalak

    dangalak Banned

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    I think it was Chiudinelli.

    Also, this year he has been a great match player IMO.
     
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  20. World Beater

    World Beater Hall of Fame

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    gasquet uses a more extremem grip than federer, and thus needs more of a loop to generate the additional topspin that his grip will allow him to generate.

    Because of this his stroke is longer and he needs more time. Its not just the footwork.

    Gasquet cant take bhs as consistently early as federer. Federer has a very moderate eastern grip, and he generates his spin through his wrist snap.

    Different mechanism.
     
    #70
  21. roberttennis54

    roberttennis54 Semi-Pro

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    I take it we are comparing their backhands at their peak right? If that is the case then Gasquet's was better on clay and on slower hardcourts. However, Federer's is better overall. Federer took his backhand earlier, giving him better court position and the opponent less time to relax. Federer passed significantly better of this side, Federer had a better slice and on anything low bouncing Federer would beat Gasquet in backhand rallies.
     
    #71
  22. paulorenzo

    paulorenzo Hall of Fame

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    certainly better than the 2-3 years prior, i guess.
     
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  23. ace10is

    ace10is New User

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    0d1n, you have great insight. I've talking about this for years. I can tell you're very wise. I'll get to Agassi after my opinion on topic.

    I love Federer!!! I don't love his topspin BH. Federer's topspin backhand in a BH to BH exchange with say Gasquet or Djokovic or Haas or even Nadal DTL, Federer will lose. IMO, it has something to do with technique and his strategy/stubbornness. Technique wise I feel Federer brings his right elbow too low on the take back, with a continental/eastern grip. He begins with the forward swing with the racquet too low and brushes up on it too much causing numerous miss hits (one of the smallest racquet head's on the market doesn't help). It also creates incredible angles:).

    Federer is versatile because that's his strategy. It's a double edge sword. He escalates the BH to BH exchange for no apparent reason. The worst and greatest is the DTL topspin that fades towards the sideline with a little sidespin. It is AMAZING and TERRIBLE! I use numerous video clips of him with my students on why not to fade your shots. As a huge fan, it is incredibly frustrating to watch him do this over and over into defeat. :confused:

    I also see Federer hitting at the peak, not really on the rise all that much (when he does the miss hits go up), which is weaker for a topsin backhand. Since he has so much versatility he should flatten it out from this area.

    Off topic, Agassi did have incredible timing, but he was given way too much credit for hitting on the rise. After numerous discussions with "high performance" coaches, who encourage hitting on the rise, I proved that Agassi didn't hit on the rise 1/2 the time. He would stand near or on the BL, but over 1/2 the balls were dropping to him. I've only watched 3 or 4 Agassi matches to prove my theory. I think it's a good strategy for mobility issues or playing against moon ballers, but for developing juniors or "high performance" players this should be used as an exception not as a rule.

    After all this, I say Gasquet has a better topsin backhand, but Federer has more strategy.
     
    #73
  24. Federer20042006

    Federer20042006 Banned

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    Nope. Federer wins the majority of backhand battles with those guys. His backhand was stronger than Djokovic's in the WTF final, for example.

    Haas doesn't even deserve mention in any discussion of backhands. It's a solid stroke at best.
     
    #74
  25. ace10is

    ace10is New User

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    :confused: Did you watch the final? That last match is a prime example of why he loses the majority of the BH to BH exchanges. It's also the latest video examples I give my students on the DTL, side spin, fade BH that was so key to him giving the match away. Yeah it worked for a couple of points, but let's be honest, it was extremely frustrating to watch him miss those over and over.
     
    #75
  26. Federer20042006

    Federer20042006 Banned

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    Did you?

    Federer was overpowering Djokovic in the backhand exchanges. He lost the first set by 2 points and then blew a break lead serving for the 2nd set. Federer's weakness in that match was moving to his forehand, not his backhand.

    Federer's backhand was terrible in that matches LEADING UP TO the Djokovic match, but it came alive against Djokovic.

    Sometimes, I think people just talk in general terms based on what announcers say rather than actually watching how matches play out. "Oh, the announcer just talked about how Federer can't afford to get into too many cross court backhand rallies with Djokovic. Never mind that Federer is winning most of them and looks stronger off that wing than Djokovic today."
     
    #76
  27. Candide

    Candide Professional

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    It's not who wins or loses - it's who's the prettiest. Fed's is the prettiest.
     
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  28. ace10is

    ace10is New User

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    Argh, you're right. Federer's backhand was overpowering Djokivic's. Federer actaully won 4 more points than Djokivic in the first set. I agree Federer's main problem was when Djokovic would hit a DTL BH during the BH to BH exchange and then Federer was on the run hitting a FH. Both players would do this but Djokovic had an easier time executing this play. Why do you think that is?
     
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  29. ace10is

    ace10is New User

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    +1

    Federer does have beautiful strokes. He's an artist.
     
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  30. Steve0904

    Steve0904 G.O.A.T.

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    I said Gasquet's BH. He needs more time, but it's a better stroke IMO. If we include slice, Federer wins wins by a mile, but for a strictly topspin BH I'd say Gasquet.
     
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  31. Federer20042006

    Federer20042006 Banned

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    As I recall, Federer had more trouble getting to Djokovic's CC forehands than DTL backhands. Even when Federer did get to his forehand in time, he wasn't able to do enough with it. His running FH has really nose-dived since his peak years, and that's the main difference with him today. Like most players, he leaves his forehand side more exposed, but he can't make up the ground anymore.

    That's also why he has problems with the big hitters these days when he used to have no such problems.
     
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