Greatest ever womens forehand

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by davey25, Jun 25, 2010.

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Greatest ever womens forehand

  1. Graf

    81.6%
  2. Evert

    1.0%
  3. Seles

    3.1%
  4. Connolly

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  5. Serena

    6.1%
  6. Wills Moody

    1.0%
  7. Henin

    2.0%
  8. Davenport

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  9. Sharapova

    1.0%
  10. other

    4.1%
  1. pmerk34

    pmerk34 Legend

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    Why don't you just award every grand slam while you were at it. The fact is her forehand was the most powerful 20 years ago. Things have changed.
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2014
    #51
  2. Willi62

    Willi62 Banned

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    Yeah sure, kid ...

    :):)
     
    #52
  3. Willi62

    Willi62 Banned

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    Yes, now even slam winners are beaten by 40-year-old former journeywomen of the Graf era ...
    :)
     
    #53
  4. BTURNER

    BTURNER Hall of Fame

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    Its not so much that modern players necessarily don't hit the shot as hard as Graf, its that they don't hit it like that from virtually every part of the court. And that is because they don't have as much need to hit them from the backhand wing. they can do more damage from the backhand wing, so it isn't worth the risk to run around them as often. Graf knew when she hit backhands she was forced into a less aggressive approach to the rally than was her ideal. For them, the disparity between the forehand and backhand as forcing shot, just wasn't as extreme.

    Willi, I agree with most of your opinions but in your posts relating to Graf and her 'competition', I am sensing the troll thing going. You'll be forced to post like a caricature instead of a person well past the time it stops being fun to argue. Its gets old and boring being typecast, and staying that way for any length of time, playing down one's maturity day after day.
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2014
    #54
  5. poofytail

    poofytail Banned

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    If you think Azarenka has a really big forehand it is just proof you hardly watch any of todays WTA you profess to know so much about. More likely you probably just look at her ranking, have already decided today is this superhuman power age, so conclude she must have this overwhelming forehand without even bothering to watch her play.

    Just since I can always use a great laugh though, are you outright saying Azarenka has a better forehand than Steffi Graf.
     
    #55
  6. pmerk34

    pmerk34 Legend

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    I never said Azerenka has a "better" Forehand than Graf. What I did was use her as an example of just a number of players who hit the ball hard and yes even harder than Steffi ever did. I'm specifically talking about he power of the shot not her other abilities. When Steffi was making her move in the rankings (which BTW I was old enough to see happen) she was overwhelming players with the power on her forehand) No other high ranked player of that time in 1985,86,87,88, hit a Fh anywhere near as hard as she did. Not Evert, Not Navratilova, not Mandlikova or anyone else. On today's tour her exact same forehand would be just another hard forehand and not the hardest either.

    I have no idea how much tennis you actually saw in the 1980's but if you saw any you would know that a player like Li Na consistently hits harder, much harder off both wings than any WTA player did during that decade.
     
    #56
  7. pmerk34

    pmerk34 Legend

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    The pace on Graf's forehand was enough to beat most of her competition especially before the power surge of the 1990's. She even shocked Martina with the pace of her FH passing shots. That was then. The fact is I've seen any number of players now who whack forehands harder than Steffi ever did.

    The game gets better not worse. The physicality and aggressive backcourt hitting in WTA matches now make 1980's matches looks like relic's.
     
    #57
  8. BTURNER

    BTURNER Hall of Fame

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    I understood your point prior, but I am not sure you understand mine even yet. What makes Graf's forehand so different even from women's bashing forehands of today, isn't about velocity alone. It was about dependency on a single stroke for so much more total velocity than the other wing, that it completely alters the tactics of both players. Never before or since has one player worked so hard and successfully to hit with one stroke in 2/3ds or more of the area of the rectangle with opponents more desperate to keep the ball in small slice of that area. Beginning with Seles and Pierce, and Davenport 'big babe' bashing was the two wing affair we see in the game now that returned much of the equity back players like Evert and Austin introduced with their backhands.
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2014
    #58
  9. pmerk34

    pmerk34 Legend

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    Certainly true. No one has ever run around her backhand more successfully.
     
    #59
  10. poofytail

    poofytail Banned

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    So in other words your tennis knowledge is so limited you dont even know the difference between a forehand and a backhand (the only shot Azarenka hits harder than Graf did in her entire game). OK thanks for clearing that up.

    And yes there are probably some players today with the advancement in technology and equipment and training techniques who can hit the forehand even harder than Graf did in her day, but if you had a clue on tennis you would know Azarenka is not one of those.
     
    #60
  11. pmerk34

    pmerk34 Legend

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    You are just a delusional Graf fan. Don't worry you have company here. Take out Azerenka then. Li, Sharapova and Serena don't all "probably" hit harder forehands than Graf, they all do hit harder forehands than Graf. So did Clijsters. Deal with it.
     
    #61
  12. President

    President Legend

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    Is harder better though? There are many players who hit a forehand harder than Federer, even in his prime. How many of these have better forehands than him? I'm talking about guys like Berdych, Soderling, Gonzales, Tsonga, Roddick, Del Potro, and even Sampras. Federer has a much better forehand than any of those guys, power isn't everything.
     
    #62
  13. pmerk34

    pmerk34 Legend

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    In Graf's specific case the main reason was power, especially from 85-89. Where there was no one who hit the forehand anywhere near as hard. She simply overwhelmed most players. As players (tried) to adjust, her timing and placement became more important to the stroke along with the massive power advantage she enjoyed. Graf played a long time and as the 90's progressed there were other players who could hit the forehand nearly as hard if not harder but Graf still had the best FH no question.

    IMO if Graf played in 2014 and still had the best FH it would be very close to a lot of other Forehands and would not be as effective a weapon as it was back then.
     
    #63
  14. dominikk1985

    dominikk1985 Legend

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    serena, maria and li all have better BHs than FHs. on a good day they hit a lot of winners with it but they will also make their fair share of errors with it.

    henin also had a fantastic FH (best technique on tour) but due to her heavy spin she sometimes had days where the ball landed short. the same is true for stosur who has a great technical FH but mediocre footwork and sometimes lands short.

    those are all great FHs but grafs FH was one of those "always on" strokes similar to federers FH, karlovics or roddicks serve or edbergs volleys.

    there are plenty of players with big games or even huge games but there are only a handfull of strokes in tennis history that are big weapons and never have an off day. for those players everything in their game can break down but their "go to" stroke will always work. you could wake them up midnight and they would still execute their stroke. that is a rare quality.
     
    #64
  15. Willi62

    Willi62 Banned

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    If you want to read a troll here just have a look at pmerk34's posts in this thread.
     
    #65
  16. Willi62

    Willi62 Banned

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    Even with her old Dunlop racket of 1988 Graf hit a harder forehand than most of today's top players. Give her a modern racket and she would have the fastest forehand today, too.
     
    #66
  17. AtomicForehand

    AtomicForehand Hall of Fame

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    Why am I not included in this poll?
     
    #67
  18. pmerk34

    pmerk34 Legend

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    She didn't use a 200G her whole career. Stop the Steffi worship
     
    #68
  19. Willi62

    Willi62 Banned

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    Yes, that's why a 40-year-old Kimiko Date had a better record against top 15 players in 2010 than in 1994-96 (when she was in her prime) ... :):):)
     
    #69
  20. Willi62

    Willi62 Banned

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    LOL!
    Just have a look at the Wimbledon Roof Exhibition matches of 2009 when Graf played Clijsters. Even an almost 40-year-old Steffi hit clearly harder than Kimmie.
     
    #70
  21. Willi62

    Willi62 Banned

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    What about the words "even with" didn't reach your pea brain?
     
    #71
  22. BTURNER

    BTURNER Hall of Fame

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    This poster has decided. If you kick at a yapping chihuahua, all he does is yap even more. Best to walk by.
     
    #72
  23. poofytail

    poofytail Banned

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    Yeah whatever, you a major ditz who knows NOTHING about tennis. First off I am not even a Graf fan, and in fact I hated her when she played as she always beat my favorites (Sabatini, Martinez, Pierce). The only one I cheered for her was against Seles, who I truly couldnt stand. My only point was if you think Azarenka has this superpower forehand you clearly dont watch tennis.

    Li and Sharapova types probably hit harder forehands than Graf but that is only due to advancements in technology and training techniques. For their time they certainly dont hit harder forehands, and if all three were born at the same time and trained in the same environment they wouldnt. And beyond that their forehands are more erratic, less versatile, and still overall far less effective in everyway.

    Serena has a great forehand for sure, but it isnt the best ever when someone like Ivanovic can hit 10 times the forehand winners of her in a match.
     
    #73
  24. Willi62

    Willi62 Banned

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    What advancements in training techniques do have in mind?

    If we were to give Graf (44 years old), Li and Sharapova the same racket and count only forehands which are within the lines I have no doubt that old Steffi still hits the fastest forehand of them all.
     
    #74

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