Have we forgotten how good Sampras was?

Discussion in 'General Pro Player Discussion' started by deucecourt, Feb 22, 2007.

  1. The tennis guy

    The tennis guy Hall of Fame

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    You and many had predicted Federer's reign would end early a year ago, but what Federer has done in the past? He has improved more than others, and he actually distances himself from the rest even more. It's incredible for someone like him when he had little challenge. If he gets more challenged, as competitive Federer is - doesn't want to lose any match, he is going to get even better.

    I'll bet Federer would have more success between 2007-2009 than Sampras' 1997-1999.
     
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  2. fastdunn

    fastdunn Legend

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    You're correct. It's only my only gut feeling. But I don't think there are many
    factors here logically analyzed here.

    But I did not mean next 3 year of Federer would be less successful
    than Sampras' last 3 years pf prime. My prediction is simply he would not
    last 3 more years as #1.
    He could win 5-8 more slams during his prime
    but I don't think he will last 3 more years as number #1.

    If Federer is challenged on hard courts, grass courts would NOT be as safe
    as Sampras' time. Federer is playing all or nothing kind of tennis.
    Federer's domination is very extreme but could end rather abruptly
    unlike Sampras' extended lower degree of domination.

    This does not necessarily mean Federer would be less successful than
    Sampras. TGV, I hope I made myself clearer here.
     
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  3. fastdunn

    fastdunn Legend

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    That's true that I made a prediction that Federer would not have
    successful 2006. Yep, I made a wrong prediction. What can I say, I was wrong.
    I really didn't think he could better his 2005.
    But I don't think I said Federer's domination would end in 2006.

    I still think The end of Federer's domination would be rather sudden one
    unlike Sampras' or Lendle's extended lower degree of domination.
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2007
    #53
  4. VGP

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    I think it has changed "that much." Just that much is reflected by comments that Sampras himself (and Jim Courier) recently made. It's not necessarily in the racket technology as it is in the string technology. Sampras has finally switched and Courier has too after getting beaten soundly by Sampras.

    Even Federer's commented that switching to a bigger headed racket and his gut/poly hybrid has improved his success rate. He made the change in '03 and subsequently won Wimbledon and became the world #1.

    The transition on tour as a whole came in the late 90's early 00's. It's part of the demise of the S&V game and has made pros more successful at taking huge cuts at the ball being able to impart more spin for control.

    In the 90's full gut jobs were the way to go. Pros got a lot of power and hit flatter. Now, everyone hits primarily from the baseline. For fear of coming to net on stuff that gets munched on.....

    As for Federer's reign, I too thought he'd burn out relatively quickly. Lots of success early and fizzle out. It seems that he's adjusted by taking the proper amounts of rest and training at the right times. Surrounding himself with the best "consultants" doesn't hurt either.

    My only question is his degree of fight when his back's against the wall (sub 0.500 five set record). His matches are getting closer and he's maintaning a mental edge over the other players on tour. Just like Sampras in the late 90's facing younger players that are a bit more naively fearless (i.e. Nadal), hit a big ball, can run all day, will Federer continue to fight or will he dip into his sour moods and start dropping crutial matches in the slams? We'll just have to wait and see......
     
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  5. ACE of Hearts

    ACE of Hearts G.O.A.T.

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    The problem with the burning out statement is that his game is not even taxing enough for it.I think only injuries might stop him 2 to 3 years from now.We will see.The guy has too many weapons in my mind to lose it 2 to 3 years from now.He might lose a step but that wont stop him from winning matches.He is a smart player and will probably choose events that benefit him in the future.

    The Nadal statement is pretty bogus, Nadal will be Hewitt 2.Also i think he will fall somewhat this year.
     
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  6. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    The problem with an argument like this one is that although Fed may have changed his strings>>> so has everyone else on tour. Of course, Sampras didn't have to face guys with these "new and improved" strings, but Fed does, and yet he is still dominating with a racquet extemely simialar to that of Sampras'.
     
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  7. fastdunn

    fastdunn Legend

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    Sampras had safe place called Wimbledon and indoor carpet.
    Grass court and indoor carpet tennis was so different from the rest
    of the world that he could just dominate there and stay #1.

    I don't think Federer has such a safe place IF he starts get challeges
    here and there (on hard courts). So it's rather obvious for me to
    make a prediction that his domination will end abruptly (in today's
    relatively homogenized ATP surfaces conditions...)
     
    #57
  8. ACE of Hearts

    ACE of Hearts G.O.A.T.

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    Fed has been just as dominant then Sampras on hardcourts.So that goes out the window.He beat all of Sampras's hardcourt records.
     
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  9. Golden Retriever

    Golden Retriever Hall of Fame

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    Sampras 's backhand was a real liability. His serve was the best back then but apparently not as fast as Roddick or any of the big guns nowadays (translation: no problem for Fed whatsoever.) His volley was very good though which complemented his serve perfectly.

    I think Federer could handle Sampras quite handily since he could easily hold his serve by picking on Sampras' backhand liability. Without the risk of being broken all Fed needs would be just one break per set which he is surely capable of against anyone especially the big servers. If Fed can handle Roddick's serve handily he should be able to handle Sampras' serve just as well. Sampras' volley could make him more difficult to break than Roddick but Fed should be able to squeeze out one break per set somehow.
     
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  10. VGP

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    I used Nadal as an example. He's not intimidated like a lot of other people on tour (i.e. Roddick).

    I think his game is taxing. Not like it was for Borg, Chang, Wilander, Hewitt et al., but as they say "effortlessness takes a lot of effort."

    I understand that, but Federer is much more of a spin player than Sampras ever was. As you know, Sampras played with a tightly strung natural gut heavy racket setup. Federer's taking full advantage of his lower tension gut-poly hybrid smaller gripsize setup.

    Only now is Sampras finding out what he was unwilling to try as a touring pro.
     
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  11. VGP

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    When are people going to get it in their heads.....IT'S NOT ALL ABOUT SPEED!

    Sampras' serve was quick and it had A LOT of work on it.

    Pace + Spin + Pinpoint Placement = tough serve.

    Only now is Roddick tapping into effectiveness of using the slice in the deuce court and kicker on the ad to great effect.
     
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  12. rwn

    rwn Semi-Pro

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    Federer is much more dominant. Sampras won 7 hardcourt majors (5 in his own country) in 12 years. Federer has won 6 hardcourt majors in 3 years. There is absolutely no comparison on hardcourts.
     
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  13. fastdunn

    fastdunn Legend

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    In mid-90's, Agassi complained his baseline game is more taxing
    than Sampras' quick game. Agassi even commented Sampras would last
    until the age of 35 with his low taxing style.

    It turns out that Sampras was playing on a narrower margin of error.
    It was harder to maintain it in a sharp form even though he
    looked effortless.
     
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  14. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    I agree with that. Not sure about the grip size though.
     
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  15. ACE of Hearts

    ACE of Hearts G.O.A.T.

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    Again, i will say it once more.Injuries slowed down Sampras's career.Lets not forget that the guy won a GS before retiring.
     
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  16. tricky

    tricky Hall of Fame

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    Yeah, serve and volley is inherently more taxing if it goes out to 4 deep, deep sets or 5 sets. Of course, Sampras also added an aggressive baseline game to that, and so his points were short on both defense and offensive sides. Again, aside from talent comparison, people shouldn't underestimate the resources and mental advantages of Sampras's style of play.

    Fed's game isn't taxing, per se. But as with most who aspire for a classical all-court style, well once his movement goes, so will his domination of the game. You can't really have exquisite point construction without the ability to dance around the court. Then again, in the classic style, you actually much less active running than in the clay court retriever approach. Because you dictate, you're already moving in a direction before the other guy hits back.
     
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  17. Golden Retriever

    Golden Retriever Hall of Fame

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    It is impossible for any human being to serve with pinpoint accuracy throughout the whole match. His serve would be hard to break and the window of opportunity would be small but Fed would be able to take advantage of that WOP however small it maybe.
     
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  18. Gundam

    Gundam Semi-Pro

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    I am sick of this kind of topic.

    I am glad we had players such as Sampras, Agassi, Guga, Rafter, Edberg and so on and I am glad because we have Federer and other great players.
     
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  19. The tennis guy

    The tennis guy Hall of Fame

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    That's true for Sampras. However, Federer is a different player, and he is good every where. For someone to surpass him, that person has to be good every where as well, which makes it extremely difficult.

    Federer is a great hardcourt player, but he is no where near as good as he is on grass.
     
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  20. 35ft6

    35ft6 Legend

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    Hewitt has a 3-1 winning record against Rafter. Nalbandian's the type of player who might potentially own Goran. Really bad match up in my opinion. And Roddick is a better player than Goran, straight up. Goran is way more talented, but Roddick is a better player. Nadal would destroy any of those three on clay. Look, today's players are better, even Sampras thinks so.
     
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  21. Golden Retriever

    Golden Retriever Hall of Fame

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    Somehow players in the 80s and even the 90s had more flare, characteristics, personalities or whatever you call it. That made them looked "better". It is like the songs of the 70s and the 80s, IMO, were "better" musically. However technically, the songs nowadays are no doubt more advanced than those in the 70s and 80s and the same applies to tennis.
     
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  22. The Gorilla

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    I think Courier would beat Federer.
     
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  23. 35ft6

    35ft6 Legend

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    What are you basing this on? Sampras was 16-4 against Courier. Anyway, even Courier's come around:
    Am I crazy to think that this last sentence is alluding to Sampras, who is one of many number one players he's seen, and then by him ending it with "I'm in awe of Federer" somehow means Roger is more impressive to him than all of the other number ones? Three years earlier, in a different interview:
    Quotes aside, I think Courier versus Federer is a bad matchup. Courier relied on fitness and was one of the second generation of Lendl type players, relying mostly on his inside our forehand to control points, but his serve was top 15 quality, and his backhand was top 75 quality. He did very well on sheer persistence, an incredibly work ethic, super fitness, and just will power, which aren't the kind of things that are going to rattle Federer. Nadal has these things but he also has the physical tools to back it up, and Courier didn't. I just can't even imagine how Courier would really even make much of an impression on an in form Federer.
     
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  24. The Gorilla

    The Gorilla Banned

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    his backhand was top 75 quality!?!?!
    What are you smoking!?!?!

    I think courier would beat Federer, I think he matches up well against him.Obviously you don't agree but how about Muster?
     
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  25. ACE of Hearts

    ACE of Hearts G.O.A.T.

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    Are u kidding me, Jim Courier?Dont think so.
     
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  26. 35ft6

    35ft6 Legend

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    Okay, I'm not being a smart *** when I say, maybe top 50 quality. Very limited backhand. Limited because of his technique. It just needed to be good enough to keep him in the point so he could unleash off his forehand, but for the most part it couldn't really create anything. Roddick's backhand is the same way.
    I'd like to hear why.
    I think Muster and Federer on clay would be very very interesting. Federer would have to be more of an all court player, I think, than against most other people. The Federer of three years ago, I would say Muster had the clear edge on clay. Today, not so sure but I would still cut off a person's finger, not mine though, to see this match. Drool.
     
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  27. Wimby

    Wimby New User

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    probably one time in 20 matches if Courier is lucky
     
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  28. DiabloTS

    DiabloTS Rookie

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    omg how many times has this been discussed?
     
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  29. Sampras

    Of course not. Nobody, NOBODY has been able to copy his service motion:

    http://iws.punahou.edu/user/lcouillard/GOAT_Serve.mov

    www.ipodtennispros.com
     
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  30. danb

    danb Professional

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    Boring

    Another boring thread. We will NEVER find out who would be better: Pete or Roger. These are players in different generations. That simple.
     
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  31. federerfanatic

    federerfanatic Banned

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    Remember you are trying to argue with a dimwit who rates Lendl as the best backhand of the greatest players of the last 25 years over Agassi, Federer, Connors, and Borg.

    Your rating Courier's backhand a top 50-top 75 is pretty accurate. His legs took a pounding hitting all those runaround forehands since he had to be hitting a forehand 80% of the time to stay near the top. His serve at top 15 is generous, I would rate it more top 30.

    Federer would murder Courier on anything but clay. Federer does everything much better then Courier-forehands, backhands, variety, net play, serve and return serve, moves better, much smarter player. Courier might be a smidge ahead in fitness and close to equal in tenacity in fight, but that is it.
    Federer would take him to pieces on hard courts, grass, or carpet.

    Federer would murder Muster even worse on anything but clay. Those heavy topspinners and playing so far behind the baseline would get him nowhere but a quick shower on hard courts.
     
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  32. federerfanatic

    federerfanatic Banned

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    You are right that Federer's dominance will end abruptly someday......... The day he retires that is. :p Whether he chooses that to be 6 years from now or 9 years, it will be all up to him. He wont let another player stop him from dominating while he chooses to play, he simply does not choose to do that.
     
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  33. The tennis guy

    The tennis guy Hall of Fame

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    You are the one who forgets his medication. Courier had average backhand even in his dominating days. Go back watch some old videos after you take your medication.
     
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  34. TheNatural

    TheNatural Legend

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    Now thats lame.

    The racket and strings make a huge difference. Experts are saying ithat he strings are the biggest breakthrough in tennis in 15 years. So obviously the strings and Feds custom racket to complement these strings all make a big difference in control etc. If it wasnt the all the players and commentators wouldn't rave about the technology, and Sampras would stick with his old racket and old strings now if there was 'hardly any difference'. Check the internet and you will find quotes all over the place from players and commentators talking about the string technology etc. Or are you saying that everyone benefits except Fed, and that Fed would be dominating everyone now with his 85 square inch racket and gut only strings(or mabe even wood), but he just happens to choose different equipment than he used to just for the hell of it?

    The players now are using better rackets but they're not playing any smarter than in past eras. Too many players are a bit carried away with their western grips and 1 dimensionsl baseline bashing. Mabe soon players will start playing a little smarter like in past eras and guys like Murray can start beating Fed more regularly. I want to see the other players raise their game, and develop more versatile games.

    Anyways i think its time to put this issue to rest. I just want to see some good tennis.

    cheers.


     
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  35. 35ft6

    35ft6 Legend

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    Some people benefit more from Big Banger type string than others. Like a guy like Gonzalez benefits big time. In general, I think big hitting baseliners who hit with a lot of top spin benefit the most. The people who would benefit least are serve and volleyers. Sampras was really anal about his racket specs, and he used very tightly strung 17 gauge natural gut I'm pretty sure. Serve and volleyers need more feel, and Big Banger is terrible for that even when you're using a combo. Who knows if Sampras would have truly benefited. Is he even using it now on the senior tour?
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2007
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  36. dave333

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  37. federerfanatic

    federerfanatic Banned

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    No chance in hell Murray will start beating Federer regularly ever. If he starts beating him sometimes that will already be amazing for him, and I doubt he even does that. The best he will ever do is beat him occasionaly. If he is beating him sometimes he will already gauranteed to be Federer's biggest rival. If he beats him occasionaly he still might be his biggest rival.
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2007
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  38. ckthegreek

    ckthegreek Rookie

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    Great to see once again the best points from this great match. Shame these two are not playing in the same era. There would be some very, very close matches providing great entertainment.

    I think Sampras would still prevail at Wimbledon but Federer would have the edge on most other surfaces.
     
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  39. tennis_nerd22

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    sampras? who's that?
     
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  40. ckthegreek

    ckthegreek Rookie

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    He's a legend. He did really exist.
     
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  41. jktennis59

    jktennis59 New User

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    I consider myself one of the greates Pete's fan. But we never saw Sampras at his best playing against Federer, so we can't compare these great players. In this match in Wimbledon Sampras was in decadence and Federer was raising his game. In any case, it was a great match for both players but I'm wondering how would be a match between Sampras of '90s and the Federer of today?
    Seems to me that the only strokes in which Sampras edges Federer are serve and volley. Sounds simple but in my opinion this is enough to beat the great Fed.
    Federer will break all Pete's records but we'll NEVER know who was better.
     
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  42. 35ft6

    35ft6 Legend

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    ^ Some of us already know, and others will never be convinced.
     
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  43. BounceHitBounceHit

    BounceHitBounceHit Legend

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    Pete is a LEGEND. Fed certainly seems to be well on his way to eclipsing Pete's records, but that will not diminish Sampras' accomplishments in my mind. ;) And BTW, I absolutely LOVE both of their games. CC
     
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  44. The Gorilla

    The Gorilla Banned

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    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4rKeY6jseSs



    go fullscreen
     
    #94
  45. 35ft6

    35ft6 Legend

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    ^ Lendl had a great backhand, but the best of whatever? No. I think Lendl is the most under-appreciated player of at least the open era, but there are a number of players who had better backhands. Forehand is probably top 5 of all time, but his backhand is maybe top 15 or 20 of all time. Off the top of my head, I would put Connors, Agassi, Guga, Federer, Safin, Kafelnikov, and even Corretja and Hewitt ahead of him. His backhand is more than just a non-weakness -- as with guys like Moya, Roddick, Courier, and Blake of three years ago -- I mean, he could actually create offense with it, but his game was built around his forehand.
     
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  46. aznspongehead

    aznspongehead Rookie

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    Stop starting these useless threads. You know as well as I that as seen in the hundreds of other threads like this that these threads never go anywhere, and usually develops into some kind of never-ending debate.

    This one is going way off topic anyways.
     
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  47. The Gorilla

    The Gorilla Banned

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    I disagree, his backhand was as powerful as any of those players you mentioned, as consistant as hewitt;s, not to mention he could return very powerfully and with wide angles with it.

    Federer's isn't as consistant, can't handle high balls and isn't quite as powerful.

    Safin's is as powerful but sometimes is terrible and he doesn't have the variety from it that lendl had.

    Connor's two handed backhand couldn't create any pace of it's own, Brad Gilbert stated in his book that he beat Connors by feeding him slow junky balls that he couldn't hit winners off.

    Guga: Different type of backhand, not as powerful but very very very good in it's own way.Guga's backhand is to lendl's as Nadal's forehand is to Federer's.

    Agassi hit with similar pace off that wing, but had no variety whatsoever, and the fact that it was a two hander coupled with his relative slowness made him hugely vulnerable toshort angles off that wing throughout his career.Couldn't really carve open the court with sharp angles either, which is why sampras beat him when at the net imo.

    Kefelnikov: Didn't have the pin point accuracy or the variety off that wing, not to mention the incredible power.
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2007
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  48. 35ft6

    35ft6 Legend

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    If Lendl got a high ball, he floated it back deep, which is a very smart play, but isn't necessarily a demonstration of an incredible backhand. Federer's backhand is better by quite a bit IMO.
    Safin's backhand is more powerful, but you have a point that he's streaky not just with his backhand but in general.
    Was he talking about his backhand?
    More powerful than Lendl's. People go on and on about how mechanical Lendl was but I think his forehand was a very flamboyant, flowing shot. His backhand on the other hand was very mechanical, hit very deliberately. He got good results but it's not a genius shot like Guga's backhand, which was just as consistent but he could put it in more places with more power than Lendl and with way less effort. No knock against Lendl, IMO Guga has quite possibly the best one handed top spin backhand ever.
    Huh? For one thing, Agassi didn't need to be that fast because he hit the ball so early. He cut off angles, which meant he didn't cover as much court. It was a rite of passage for guys to play Agassi, other players would warn them that they would run more than they ever have in their lives. Agassi's backhand was his better shot. His forehand was money, too, but his backhand was automatic. As economical as any stroke in tennis, I don't think Lendl would have to even think for a second if you asked him if he had a better backhand than Agassi. And variety in and of itself doesn't equal "better." Feliciano Lopez and Rusedski have more variety on their backhand than, say, Mardy Fish or Davydenko, but is there any doubt as to who has the better backhand?
    Pin point accuracy? Haha. His backhand is one of the most accurate ever.

    To me, being able to change directions on the backhand, the ability to take a crosscourt shot and rip it down the line is synonymous with "great backhand." That's basically how a great backhand is defined when you really get down to it, the ability to hit it down the line off a cross court rally ball. In general, every pro can hit cross court backhands all day long. Roddick can, Rusedski can, everybody can. But what makes a backhand a weapon is being able to consistently rip it suddenly down the line. As far as that goes, Kafelnikov is in the top 5 of the open era. His backhand was money.
     
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  49. The Gorilla

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    You didn't address the fact that Lendl's backhand was more consistant than Federer's, and more powerful.
    It'sa testament to Roche that he turned two players who basically sliced all day into players wielding two of the best one handers in the history of the game.

    Variety is an embellishment to a powerful shot, if you have a vicious slice like Lendl had then, assuming two backhands are roughly as powerful, I'd choose Lendl.
    Also you seem to have interpreted variety as slice, rusedski and lopez have no variety either, they only slice.And inconsistantly at that.

    Lendl ripped it suddenly down the line from post Roche onwards.and in that clip.

    I disagree with you about agassi, his backhand was incredibly powerful and consistant, but when you got him on the run on that wing he was in serious trouble.He didn't have a good slice to get himself out of trouble and give himself time to cover the court.And against Sampras that weakness was exposed.Lendl took the ball early too btw, but had the speed and variety to recover the situation when oushed out wide.He could slice it (1)to a great length.(2) at a very wide angle.Or he could drill it(1)at length.(2)at a very wide angle.He returned just as powerfully with it as agassi too.

    I'll give you Guga though.
     
    #99
  50. TheNatural

    TheNatural Legend

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2005
    Messages:
    7,854
    Lendl had a reasonable mechanical backhand, but Edbergs backhand was in a whole different class.

     

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