Greatest Forehands of All Time

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by hoodjem, Jan 2, 2010.

  1. Nathaniel_Near

    Nathaniel_Near G.O.A.T.

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    Relax folks, ...
    There can only be one winner here.

    :) ... :D
     
  2. pmerk34

    pmerk34 Legend

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    Why is Borg even in that list? Passing shots? Consistency? Was his FH a dominator in the 1970's?
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2010
  3. pmerk34

    pmerk34 Legend

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    Having seen Fed a ton and much of the players from the mid 80's onwards I can say honestly say from all the players I've seen my list is

    1)Federer

    2)everyone else and it isn't that close.
     
  4. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    Borg's forehand was considered by many to be the best of the 1970's and in his day perhaps the best of all time. There have been videos comparing Federer's and Borg's forehand showing the similarities.
     
  5. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    Doesn't Jennifer have a better forehand than Federer?:) I like her overall form when she hits a forehand much better than Federer. lol.

    Clearly Jennifer Anniston has the greatest forehand form of all time. Laver, Borg, Federer all pale in comparison to the awesome Anniston forehand form.
     
  6. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    Just one example off the top of my head is Arthur Ashe who mentioned in '76 that Borg was regarded as having the world's best forehand.
     
  7. Nathaniel_Near

    Nathaniel_Near G.O.A.T.

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    Relax folks, ...
    Hahaha, I laughed out loud; funny.

    It is definitely fair to say that had Jennifer Aniston not taken up acting that she would have become by far the greatest tennis player of all time, of this there can be no doubt.

    Aniston wins.

    The thread can now end. :p
     
  8. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    I'm glad we are all in agreement here. This is proof positive.:) Some uninformed people may disagree but they would be wrong.

    Back to topic. Ashe actually ups it a bit. He wrote in an instructional article a few years later that Borg's forehand was the best he had ever seen.
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2010
  9. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    There's not enough data on the Aniston forehand to say one way or another. I personally have never seen it, so I'm withholding judgment. :)
     
  10. Tennis_Crazed

    Tennis_Crazed Semi-Pro

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    Agreed! sweetest stroke of all time haha
     
  11. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    What was that thread (subsequently removed by the mods) about that Florida hacker who once "beat Vilas." Everyone jumped on it to prove he was the GOAT. (It was hilarious.)

    He had something like 35 years as the true world no. 1.
     
  12. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    I'm glad we are all resisting the urge to take this thread in a erotically suggestive direction.
     
  13. Rick_Bremer

    Rick_Bremer New User

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    this is really true. everything change, people's perception on the 50's is quite far from what the present generation have. :)
     
  14. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    8 posts. Welcome Mr Bremer.
     
  15. robow7

    robow7 Professional

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    I saw Lendl play while at courtside several times and he hit a very "heavy" forehand that was above and beyond any others of that era. Excellent variety and he was maybe the first to use the forehand topspin lob as a regular "passing shot", and I can only wonder what his could have been like with lux strings and today's racquets. It may be selective memory but I don't remember his forehand leaving him in big matches where as with Fed, although admittingly not often, has shown it can come apart.

    One last thing, after watching that excellent video of Lendl and the Fed, do you notice how Fed follows thru completely around his body while Lendl stopped his follow thru much sooner to prepare for ready position. Just interesting. Both great ones but different FH's for sure.
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2010
  16. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    Where's this video?
     
  17. Shaolin

    Shaolin Hall of Fame

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    I love the Verdasco FH. Add in Delpo, Gonzalez and Gulbis for biggest fhs on tour also.
     
  18. stanfordtennis alum

    stanfordtennis alum Hall of Fame

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    Moya, roddick are both up there
     
  19. Swagger

    Swagger New User

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    Roddick has that extreme forehand grip, which is risky for players with around 130 mph serves. It takes him longer for his strokes, while players like James Blake and Federer have a shorter swing to counter hard serves.

    Lleyton Hewitt, Blake, and Federer have the best forehands currently, not so sure about all time

    cool video on Blake's forehand
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kluhYnSlGZU
     
  20. President

    President Legend

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    I feel modern players are a little bit underrated on this list. I have noticed many people here have lamented the decline in netplay in the current game. When there is a discussion for greatest volleys in this forum, no modern players are even considered, which is probably reasonable. But shouldn't the decline in net play have lead to an increase in baseline prowess? After all, players are hitting more groundstrokes than ever before. I think it is reasonable to assume that players on average have better groundstrokes now, just as players in the past were better volleyers.
     
  21. Shaolin

    Shaolin Hall of Fame

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    Lleyton Hewitt has nowhere near one of the best forehands on tour right now. There are at least 15 guys with much better forehands. Blake's is much too erratic to be one of the best. Zero net clearance, he just goes for broke as flat as possible.
     
  22. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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  23. pmerk34

    pmerk34 Legend

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    Correct on Blake, his lack of topspin kills him.
     
  24. President

    President Legend

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    Hewitt? Even in his prime, he had nowhere near the best FH. Blake's is too eratic; current players like Verdasco, Soderling, and Del Potro all generate similar power with much greater consistency.
     
  25. Bossy

    Bossy New User

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    Here's a short clip of Ashe who beats Okker, Rotterdam indoor final 1975:

    http://www.surfmedia.nl/medialibrary/item.html?id=128353
     
  26. Bossy

    Bossy New User

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    Okker lacked some power on his serve I once heard and skipping all those French Opens and Australian Opens doesn't help either.
    This vid is before I was born though.
     
  27. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    Bossy,

    Thanks for the video of Okker. I appreciate it.
     
  28. robow7

    robow7 Professional

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    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Iyw8uROv3s

    Oh and watch how Fed's head and eyes stay down and is so stable all the way thru the stroke so it doesn't pull his upper body up on contact, that's absolutely perfect to teach by
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2010
  29. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    On average, yes.

    (I had Gasquet on my greatest backhands list, and people complained. Oh well. )
     
  30. kalic

    kalic Professional

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    JCFerrero should be on that list.
     
  31. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    Excellent points President. However in looking at the list I'm not sure if the modern player (from what year would we called modern, I'm not sure) is underrepresented. Hoodjem has Federer number one and he's clearly modern, Sampras and Lendl are there plus Nadal, Agassi and Courier in the top ten. So six of the top ten can be called modern in my mind. If we talk about just the players playing today we have Federer and Nadal. That's two out the top ten for one era. Considering that tennis has been around a long time, two out of ten is pretty good. And Agassi and Sampras have only retired within the last seven plus years. Agassi less than that. Moya is even at number twenty five and he's definitely modern and played some this year with bad results in general. However Moya is a former number one on the computer. And the list includes Safin at twenty-two, del Potro at twenty-three, Blake at number 24 and Becker at twenty-one. I think eleven out of twenty-five can be considered modern. That's not too bad.
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2010
  32. President

    President Legend

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    I agree that the list contains many modern players, but I feel that there should be even more (and they should be higher ranked). The level of groundstrokes has really gone way up (just as volleying skill has gone way down in singles). To use a more modern example, I don't think one can justify putting Jim Courier above JMDP. Courier has obviously had a more succesful career, but I found it hard for anyone who has watched both of them (particularly after Del Potro has come into his own) to say Courier has the better forehand. I think there is some bias here towards Courier's (for now) greater achievements and status as a great of the game.
     
  33. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    Perhaps there is a good chance del Potro may surpassed some on the list in the future but time is needed to see if he really belongs. It doesn't hurt to err on the side of caution.

    You also have to consider that everything is stacked for the player today to hit better groundies than ever. Heck I hit the ball harder, with more topspin and more accurately than I ever did and I know it's because of the rackets today. That being written I love the awesome power of the del Potro forehand and I would think there is a great chance his forehand could be considered one of the all time great forehands in the future if he keeps it up.

    So you look at a Tilden who perhaps hit a forehand as well as anyone with a wood racket and compare to the current rackets and it's apples and oranges in some ways. So we have to compare the equipment also. If the players today hit with the swings they take now with the small heavier wood rackets, there would be a lot of mishits and control would be lost. They would have to hit with flatter swings. It's hard to compare.
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2010
  34. robow7

    robow7 Professional

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    Yea, Courier has to be up there at the top, hell, he made it to no. 1 with nothing more than a great inside out forehand. Backhand decent, serve fair, no volley and yet he was able to pummel that inside out forehand and any short ball in the court to the top. I think he is just ahead of Agassi because Agassi's results were also due to the fact that he had a much more dominating backhand weapon . I'm not sure anyone went farther with less, but that might be another interesting thread.
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2010
  35. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    ^^^Was Courier thus the first one-dimensional player, with little more than a forehand?
     
  36. Carsomyr

    Carsomyr Hall of Fame

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    Wait, is that Pancho Gonzales or Fernando Gonzalez?
     
  37. abmk

    abmk G.O.A.T.

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    you mean all the players before ( from 1900 to 1990 ) were multi-dimensional players who could play any style and from anywhere in the court ? :roll:
     
  38. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    Actually the Pancho Gonzalez family likes it with a "z" from what I've heard.
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2010
  39. KAndersonFan

    KAndersonFan Semi-Pro

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    Federer has a pretty good one. :)
     
  40. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    That's why he's placed at spot number one.
     
  41. sunnyIce

    sunnyIce Semi-Pro

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    no berdych?

    and to be fair...you should go

    1. Federer
    .
    .
    .
    2. Segura
    3
    4
     
  42. sunnyIce

    sunnyIce Semi-Pro

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    and why not murray? hahahaha j/k
     
  43. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    Funny. Good one.
     
  44. Bilbo

    Bilbo Semi-Pro

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    Both Jimmy Arias and Alberto Berasategui have to be top 10 on ANY list..
     
  45. Leelord337

    Leelord337 Hall of Fame

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    pancho or fernando ? :confused:

    ^^oh wait *revised* pancho...
     
  46. pmerk34

    pmerk34 Legend

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    Then you had better start making some lists.
     
  47. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    I was reading a Pancho Segura instructional book over the weekend and he said his righty two handed forehand was almost hit exactly like Jimmy Connors lefty two handed backhand. Many are of the belief that Segura's forehand was clearly superior to Jimmy Connors' backhand and we all know what an awesome shot Connors' backhand was.

    My question to some of you is this, "For pure effectiveness, if you could put the Connors backhand on this list, where would it rank?" The reason I ask this is because if you assume (and assumptions are often wrong) the Segura forehand is superior, then we have a better gauge on how great the Segura forehand is.

    For me, clearly the Connors backhand would be more effective than most of the forehands here and would rank in the top ten. We have Lendl's forehand here and in the 1982 US Open, Connors was hitting crosscourt with his backhand to the Lendl forehand and winning (if I remember correct) a good percentage of the rallies. Newcombe mentioned in the commentary that he preferred the Connors' backhand in a situation like that.
     
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2010
  48. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    Where is Connors backhand on the GOAT BH list? Isn't it second or third?

    There's a good indicator of how good was Segura's forehand.
     
  49. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    We've seen the great Connors backhand and many have seen it on video and yet it seems that those who have seen both consider Segura's forehand to be superior and quite easily. If I had to guess, I would tend to think the Segura forehand is up there with any forehand ever. I don't think there is a huge gap between the Federer forehand and some in the top ten of the list as some have indicated.
     
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2010
  50. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    Neither do I. I do believe that Fed has more variety in his forehand. That's why I place it at no. 1.

    But I also believe that Segura's forehand was a killer shot: so accurate, so deadly, so deceptive, so well-placed, so hard and fast.

    It reminds me of Laver's backhand versus Rosewall's--I give the edge to the player with more variety.

    As far as the the gap, between no. 1 and no. 2, IMO they are not that far apart. Segura's was a great shot. (All this mindless Fed worship get old after a while.)
     
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2010

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