Greatest Baseliner with One-Handed Backhand

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by Satsuma Illini, Jun 19, 2012.

  1. Satsuma Illini

    Satsuma Illini Semi-Pro

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    Was discussing this with a friend the other day. For the Open Era, Ivan Lendl seemed to be the best I could think of. All the other single-backhand players seem to be serve-and-volleyers. For all-time, who would be in the top ten for best baseliner with a one-handed backhand?
     
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  2. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    I'd pick Ken Rosewall for number one. Other possibilities would be Bill Tilden, Don Budge, Rene Lacoste, Nusslein, Trabert, Segura, Vilas, Nastase, Gimeno, Bobby Riggs. I understand Jack Kramer, although he was known for his great serve and volley was a fabulous baseliner.
     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2012
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  3. President

    President Legend

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    No love for Roger Federer?
     
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  4. jean pierre

    jean pierre Semi-Pro

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    Vilas, Lendl, Kuerten, Moya, Muster.
     
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  5. zcarzach

    zcarzach Professional

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    Lendl and Federer. Borg had like a 1 1/2 hand backhand, so I give him half credit.
     
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  6. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    Didn't notice you mentioned Open Era :( so along with Rosewall I would pick Vilas, Federer, Nastase, Kuerten, Okker, Orantes, Clerc, Kodes (yes Kiki, be happy :) ), Gomez, Muster, Korda.
     
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  7. morten

    morten Hall of Fame

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    Kuerten IMO, even handled the high bounce really well, and could blast winners from that side all the time.
     
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  8. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    That's why a lot of experts think Kuerten would have a decent chance to defeat Nadal on red clay.
     
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  9. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    In my own thread, I picked Roger Federer as having the "greatest ground game" of all time, with any kind of backhand. There are greater backhands than his, 1h and 2h. But, not greater forehands, and not greater footwork or shot preparation. After Federer, I would have to go with Rod Laver. IMO, he had the greatest 1hb of all time, one of the greatest fh's, and was the greatest athlete to ever play tennis. After that, Ken Rosewall. He had so much power for a little guy with a tiny racquet, and yet, he was so consistent and precise. And, he was almost Borg like in his focus and competitiveness.
     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2012
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  10. The-Champ

    The-Champ Legend

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    It seems as if everyone has forgotten Korda's great backhand. Poor Korda :(
     
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  11. zcarzach

    zcarzach Professional

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    Who?

    /totally kidding.
     
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  12. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    We don't know how much Kuerten's hip impaired his game before surgery. We know he beat Federer in straight sets at the FO after he had reached maximum recovery after surgery. IMO, it's not far fetched to think he may have been as great or greater on clay than Nadal, had he been completely healthy throughout his career. He had a better serve and a better backhand. He didn't move as well, but, being a balanced player, he didn't need to.
     
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  13. Devilito

    Devilito Hall of Fame

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    you can change the thread title to "Roger Federer" and remove all further discussion. I’m a total nostaligiatard but this is cut and dry
     
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  14. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    I did mention him. He may have had the most dangerous backhand when he was on his game. And he was something when he was on.
     
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  15. jokinla

    jokinla Hall of Fame

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    Since this is the "former pro" section, I don't think he qualifies.
     
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  16. jokinla

    jokinla Hall of Fame

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    Uhm, he had an awesome, two handed, one handed backhand, is that what you meant.
     
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  17. zcarzach

    zcarzach Professional

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    I think you mean he was on something when he was on. Nandrolone, I beleive...
     
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  18. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    On a slightly different note, Korda's daughter is now a professional golfer.
     
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  19. Rock Strongo

    Rock Strongo Legend

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    We're talking pure baseliner here?
     
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  20. DolgoSantoro

    DolgoSantoro Professional

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    Well the OP was talking about the open era, which federer is certainly a part of, and I'd answer him with regards to the question but I'll say Lendl if Federer is arbitrarily disqualified
     
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  21. Backhanded Compliment

    Backhanded Compliment Hall of Fame

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    Guga... Rosewall if you want to include slice but Guga's BH simply destroyed people (like Fed, even Sampras on slow hardcourt a few times)... so much so I think it was the tactical model for Rafa's FH. I can just see Uncle Tony watching Guga with the Luxilon strings pulling people wide off the court then nailing DTL's with a FH or BH. Kinda sad his hip was such a liability.
     
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  22. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Good list.I think Laver must be included as well as Lendl, of course.

    Good to know you appreciate Clerc and, particularly Gomez.I have seen Gomez at his peak, and he could beat anybody when inspired.He lacked a bit of self confidence and arrogance, though.

    Costa, IMO, is very underrated, but his one handed BH is one of the best of the last 15 yers or so...
     
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  23. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    Well I didn't mention Lendl because he was mentioned by the person who started the thread. Laver was a great baseliner but the thread mentioned they wanted people to not mention serve and volleyers which Laver obviously was.

    Clerc was a superb player for a while. I thought he would accomplish more.
     
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2012
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  24. jokinla

    jokinla Hall of Fame

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    A former pro player, in the open era, fairly simple isn't it.
     
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  25. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    It doesn't have to be a former pro player. The OP's criteria are (1) best baseliner, (2) 1hb, (2) open era.
     
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  26. jokinla

    jokinla Hall of Fame

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    Yes I know the criteria, which are a part of a thread in the "Former Pro Player Talk" forum. You do realize this is the "Former Pro Player Talk" forum, where, surprise, "former pros" are discussed, if they aren't "former pros", then they should be discussed in the "General Pro Player Discussion" forum. I know people here can't discuss Fed enough, and that's fine, head on over to the other forum and discuss away, and probably in the next few years, he'll become a "former pro", and then we can have endless threads of him here too.
     
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  27. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    Does this mean--once and for all--that Fed is a baseliner? Okay.

    But then let's put to rest any discussion of Fed being a really great volleyer.
     
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  28. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    But Federer is great in everything, isn't he? :confused:
     
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  29. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    Of course. He is the greatest at everything.
     
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  30. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    Yes, I also realize that the criteria for this poll include both former and current pros. If the OP had intended that only former pros should be considered, he would have said so, as is the custom here in the former pro section. If you want to discuss former pros exclusively, then I suggest that you start your own thread rather than trying to arbitrarily impose your personal criteria on someone else's thread.

    PS: In the mean time, my vote remains for Federer, who, despite the protestations of those who don't know better, is not an all court player.
     
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2012
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  31. jokinla

    jokinla Hall of Fame

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    It's not my personal criteria, I didn't name the forum "former pro player talk", but it's good to know that Federer is included in this forum, I thought Fed just owned the "General Pro Player" forum, now I know he also owns this forum, cool.
     
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  32. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    Haha! I'm sensing a touch of OCD here.
     
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  33. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    We would also have to say Laver and Rosewall are not great volleyers, since they have both received votes in this thread.
     
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  34. Netspirit

    Netspirit Hall of Fame

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    His retirement is at hand. Nobody thinks he can redefine his game, change the ways he plays, win much more than he has already won (even a single slam is now very questionable), so for all intents and purposes he is part of the history and the talk about former pro players.
     
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  35. jaggy

    jaggy G.O.A.T.

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    Muster is first name I thought of
     
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  36. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    It's almost as if baseliner and net player are mutually exclusive. But, the truth is that Laver and Rosewall were equally skilled at both and Federer is not. Should that disqualify Laver and Rosewall from consideration, even though they may have been 2 of the 3 greatest "from the baseline" with a 1hb? I don't think so.
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2012
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  37. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    It shouldn't but that's what the person who started the thread wrote.

    I do have reservations with naming Kuerten even though he's one of my all time favorites because he really wasn't great as a baseliner on all surfaces. Some guys like Rosewall are great baseliners on every surface, grass, clay, hard court, wood, indoor.
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2012
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  38. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    Another problem is that some guys, like Segura or Federer, while having fine backhands use their great forehands as often as they can as they should of course.
     
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  39. zagor

    zagor Talk Tennis Guru

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    Yes, he mostly is a baseliner with some all-court abilities but that is based on the fact that he stays back so often not on whether he's considered one of the greatest baseliners with a 1HBH or not.

    So Fed is limited to being great only in one facet of the game? Mind you, I'm not saying Fed's a great volleyer (he's adept at the net but that's about it).

    Just like Laver and Rosewall, right?
     
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  40. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    It's a joke. Of course Laver and Rosewall aren't good in everything. :)
    Incidentally I admired many of the great players from the past including Gonzalez, Nastase, Lendl, Mecir, Borg, Connors, McEnroe, Agassi, Sampras, Kramer, Vines, Sedgman, Segura and a million others. I don't know why you mention Laver and Rosewall.

    Remember the thread that Federer won against a famous basketball player on who played basketball better. It's a joke. By the way I think the best basketball player of anyone who played World Class tennis is John Lucas. lol.

    You're taking it too seriously.
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2012
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  41. dominikk1985

    dominikk1985 Legend

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    I'd say lendl and federer although both had "asymmetric" games with a lot stronger FH than BH.
     
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  42. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    Not true at all. Lendl was very balanced. His backhand was rock solid and he could hit big winners when needed. Check out some of his extended rallies here with Borg when he was very young:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yyuiEzBb7hk
     
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  43. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    Agreed, Laver and Rosewall were equally skilled at baseline and net play, while Federer is not. But I couldn't vote for Laver in this thread, because the OP asked for baseliners. Of course Laver had a great ground game. But he was no baseliner, in the sense of someone who spends most of his time at the baseline, and does not usually attack the net as often as the great serve-and-volleyers did (I have to qualify with "usually" because every once a while a baseliner, like Wilander, will post over 100 approaches in a single match, as in the '88 USO final -- but that is an exception to Wilander's general tendency; he's still accurately called a baseliner).

    If the term "baseliner" is conflated with anyone who has a great ground game (like Laver), then what term will we use for a player whose general tendency is to hang back at the baseline?

    To me it seems clear that the term "baseliner" has to be reserved for that kind of player. Otherwise it just points to ground strokes, whether the groundstrokes of Harold Solomon or Stefan Edberg -- that is, irrespective of how much the player hangs back and depends on his ground strokes.
     
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  44. gavna

    gavna Hall of Fame

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    Lendl was killer off the backhand side - Vilas as well and both won from the baseline on ALL surfaces. Eliot Teltscher also had a huge backhand and it was his strength and could put the ball away on anyone. Boris Becker also was very solid and again did well on multiple surfaces.

    Nastase was not a baseline player and attacked the net - Same for someone like Panatta. Muster and Guga had great backhands but didnt do as much away from the clay.
     
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  45. jean pierre

    jean pierre Semi-Pro

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    On grass, Vilas didn't win from the base line. In Australia, he served and volleyed on every points.
     
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  46. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    Agreed.

    Not in keeping with the thread but I thought of another top player who in his prime could be considered a top baseliner although he was thought of as mainly a serve and volleyer, that play is Tony Roche. Roche had excellent groundies and won the French Championship. But Roche cannot be included in this thread because he was a great serve and volleyer.
     
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  47. gavna

    gavna Hall of Fame

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    Lets not get crazy here - he came in ALOT more - same as Wimbledon but he came to OZ like 2 months early to practice and prepare.
     
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  48. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    Gavna, just noticed your avatar. If the political symbolism I'm inferring from it is what is intended, then all I can say is, LOVE IT!
     
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  49. gavna

    gavna Hall of Fame

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    Thank you it does:) Plus the Ruc is such a noble, smart, stubborn, workhorse and the bull??? a big dumb cow:)
     
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  50. Moose Malloy

    Moose Malloy Legend

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    Lendl S&Ved on 1st & 2nd serve like 95% of the time at Wimbledon(I have a lot of his matches on DVD, did stats for some of them. some are on youtube, if you want to revisit them)

    Vilas did the same at the Australian Open, he followed pretty much all serves directly to net in the 2 AO finals I saw (haven't seen any of his Wimbledon matches)
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2012
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