Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by hoodjem, Jan 2, 2010.
Pam Shriver =)
Murray definately :lol:
Good list.Forget and Clerc may make a case for not getting into it, but I think it is pretty fair.I like Newc´s chances when we are talking of an attacking forehand, he could also be brilliant in passing shots.Since I´ve never watched Tilden or Vines or Johnston, i have no comments.
I've been watching some tennis from the 90s. I am trying to get a visual impression of court speeds relative to today by comparing baseliners from the 80s, 90s and 00s, which I may report at some point if I arrive at any conclusion.
Reading through this thread, I must say that I find Courier's forehand pretty underrated. It was an awesome and beautiful stroke, more economical than most, no floriture, at least as powerful as Sampras', but much more precise and consistent. Maybe the underrating I observe is due to his relatively short stay at the top. I am referring to his forehand especially when he was a top 3 player in 91-93.
Best forehand by the decades I am most familiar with:
1980s: Lendl, by far
1990s: Courier, by far
I would have a hard time choosing between those three, but I could very well choose Courier's today.
Wozniacki all the way!
Don't get me wrong, I'm one of those who believe Fed's forehand is better then Lendl's. Just wanted to point out that if Fed played with Lendl's old stick with gut strings it would not be as deadly (but still great) as it is in its present form.
Agassi's, Chang's and Sampras' forehands render any "by far" characterizations pretty ridiculous!
Yes, well, maybe "by far" is a bit too far. But I do see Courier's forehand as the best of the 90s - while it lasted.
I have to give you credit for recognizing what most, who never saw him play, don't, that Courier did have a great forehand. Now here's the acid test, what do you think about Courier's backhand?
Jim Courier did have a great forehand and it's not talked about as much as it should be perhaps. But what about longevity? Why did Courier's game decline so badly?
Similar thing happened to Roddick in terms of his forehand, it was considered a weapon in the early 2000s and for the last four years or so, everyone says his forehand has no sting, he's tried to put too much spin, he's way too behind the baseline etc.
Courier did an interesting interview in Tennis magazine in 2000 when he retired, I haven't seen it since then but I remember some of it well (including his reluctance to talk about his girlfriends but the media will probe anyway). The interviewer asked him about that and Courier said he heard the theories about it losing its sting because of those matches with Sampras. If you remember, Courier attacked Sampras' backhand constantly and relentlessly with inside out forehands over and over again but Sampras resisted and came out on top in 3 quarters of their matches. I suppose the theory was that Courier lost heart and his form after so many losses in big matches including Roland Garros.
This is an interesting example of what I'm talking about.
I think his backhand gets the job done pretty well and I’ve seen him hit great shots with it. I know it has been dismissed as very inferior but I don’t see that, and I don't think he would have become a top player for 3 years if it hadn’t worked well for him, as he had to use it a lot. Then again, having learned tennis relatively late with a one-handed bh from the start, I’ve never been able to understand how two-handed backhands are hit. Can't do it. It feels like trying to play tennis while handcuffed, so I can't comment much on the mechanics of that mysterious shot. The most incomprehensible to me, by far, is Nadal’s backhand. I like Nadal and his game allright, but his backhand looks impossibly cramped and uncomfortable to me.
Sometimes I think of two-handed backhands as a remnant from a childhood necessity. As if a child had never fully made the transition from crawling to walking. Some babies can half-crawl very fast at the age of 12-15 months, in a bouncy and complicated way that reminds me of chimps, and even after they learn how to walk, they sometimes resort back to that kind of crawling for a while if they really want to go fast and safe.
A 2hb is basically a left handed forehand (for a righty). If you let your left hand dominate and keep your right hand passive, you'll get the feel for it quickly. In addition, you can't swing from the shoulder with 2 hands on the racquet as you can with 1 hand on the racquet. Without bending your elbows, you can't move your hands more than a few inches from in front of your sternum. You have to swing with upper body rotation.
So, the 2 keys are: (1) left handed forehand, let the right arm be passive, and (2) swing with upper body rotation elbow bend.
Having said that, to me, Courier's backhand looks like a baseball swing with a truncated windup. And, it is very underrated on this forum.
I agree, Courier´s FH was one of the best and possibly, the most consistent of the 90´s on slow courts.It is underrated, just as Newcombe´s one in the 1970´s rankings.
I don't know if I provided the link already for this but I figured this would be interesting to look at. This is Allen Fox on Pancho Segura and his description of the Segura forehand in the early 1960's.
Finally found a bit clip of Segura's forehand.
Where´s Bruguera ? and Forget? and Mancini? quite better FH´s than Arias or Krcikstein, IMO.
I am certainly not a fanboy, but Federer's forehand is ranked way too low (as is Segura's).
Pitty nobody has seen Tilden,Cochet,Perry and Jack Kramer because they could be in the upper echelon
I found it, finally.
Federer's forehand not in the top 10...seriously?
Here's the latest list.
If Federer is #1 I think Nadal should be #2. I find it hard to pick between them.
At no. 5, it's pretty high.
No Clerc and no Mancini?
When on, Mecir had a fantastic FH
Why is Sampras above Agassi and Courier?
No way is Borg that high, and definitely not above Nadal.
23. del Potro
You can please some of the people all the time, and you can please all the people some of the time, but . . . .
del potro (seeing this in person is humbling)
el aynaoui - was so efficient
gonzo - was ridiculous (worthy or ridicule)
moya - was a carrying force
I think that early years Roddick definitely deserves more of a nod than he is getting. Dude could hit.
For me personally...
this is my top in open era...
Honestly Nadal may have the best forehand ever but at the same time Federer and Lendl both have forehands that it would be near impossible to have at the top of the list...
Del Potro though has the biggest forehand I've ever seen as far as sheer power...
at the end of his career, safin complained about never having learned to hit a proper forehand. perhaps he shouldn't be in the top 25 of all time...
In 1980-1981, Borg's forehand was the best on Tour, and was easily the most consistent shot on Tour. He also hit a lot of winners with it. It was also a deadly passing shot. His backhand was rated as second best on Tour, just behind the Connors backhand. It's easily in the top 5, along with the excellent forehands of Nadal, Federer, and Lendl. Segura and Laver should be in the top 10 as well.
Good point: is there more to a great forehand than sheer power?
24-minute highlight reel of the Nadal-Del Potro IW final. Appropiate to this thread because these are two of the best forehands in the game right now, and they were both striking the ball well.
Consistency, dictating play, setting up shots, etc. In terms of power though yeah I think 09 Del Potro was something outrageous.
Why the confusion? Give Sampras Courier's serve and see who is the better player between them from the baseline. Sampras' forehand was much more erratic than Courier's.
Yes, two of the present best.
Nadal wins "Forehand Festival"
What about Gimeno?
He had a great, deep and dominating shot
Martin Jaite in the 80's
Interesting analysis. Forehand festival indeed.
100 points [or rather 99] out of a total of 177 ending in forehand winner or error
Nadal 22 forehand winners, 30 forehand errors
Del Potro 18 forehand winners, 29 forehand errors
But those seem to be forced + unforced errors lumped together, because he also says: “Both Nadal and Del Potro will take those numbers all day long as what also must be considered is how many errors their forehands force on the other side of the net”
Pity he doesn’t tell us how many of those errors were forced.
Well it is always nice to construct lists, and it is all subjective and not based on stuff other than opinions, which is fine, it's what it is all about.
So with that in mind, it seems bizarre to argue for Courier to be considered to have a better forehand than Sampras. Sampras was hitting incredible forehands in the 2002 US Open final, Courier was a non factor by late 1996, that's a whole 6 year difference and hundreds of matches. There is no longevity there at the top level for Courier who's moment was between 1991 and 1995 as a contender.
By the way, has anyone mentioned Fernando Gonzalez? By far the biggest forehand I have ever seen live from a player, and I've seen almost every top player in the last 18 years.
23. del Potro
We try . . . .
Yeah F. Gonzalez really used to unload it back in the day. Against Tommy Haas in the AO 2007 he had like 50+ winners, many of them forehands, and only a few errors. Very fast and powerful forehands. Can't decide if he or Del Potro hit it hardest. Then there's also the Soderlings and Berdyches.
Berdych seems to have a great forehand . . . sometimes. But as often as I have witnessed his hitting amazing winners with it, at other times it is too flat and goes beyond the baseline.
True, Soderling needs to return to tour. He was such an x-factor. Great forehand.
Separate names with a comma.