In the history of Men's tennis who had/has the best One Handed Backhand?

Discussion in 'General Pro Player Discussion' started by JRAJ1988, Aug 16, 2013.

  1. JRAJ1988

    JRAJ1988 Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2013
    Messages:
    4,025
    Location:
    Cornwall (UK)
    Best O-H backhand currently?

    Best O-H backhand ever?

    Wawrinka maybe up there on both counts? even Federer?
     
    #1
  2. Michael Essien

    Michael Essien Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2009
    Messages:
    720
    Location:
    England
    Dunno about ever, but currently I love Gasquet's backhand.
     
    #2
  3. yemenmocha

    yemenmocha Professional

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2006
    Messages:
    1,230
    Stefan Edberg and Ivan Lendl are up there
     
    #3
  4. M J

    M J Rookie

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2006
    Messages:
    141
    Gasquet by far on both counts. Crazy pace and crazy topspin. Federer's is not in the same league.
     
    #4
  5. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2004
    Messages:
    43,671
    During the Haas-Federer match this week, one of the commentators (I think it was Darren Cahill), said that Haas has the best one-handed backhand in the history of tennis. He said not just currently, but EVER! :shock:

    I tend to agree. :)
     
    #5
  6. jstr

    jstr Rookie

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2006
    Messages:
    135
    #6
  7. Netspirit

    Netspirit Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2009
    Messages:
    4,245
    Location:
    Snoqualmie, WA
    If angels came to me and told me that I could pick anyone's 1HBH for myself, I would take Wawrinka's.
     
    #7
  8. abmk

    abmk G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2008
    Messages:
    15,980
    Location:
    U.S
    all time : rosewall

    currently : wawrinka slightly over gasquet. (almagro not that far behind )
     
    #8
  9. objectivity

    objectivity Banned

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2013
    Messages:
    2,660
    Roger Federer.
     
    #9
  10. Praetorian

    Praetorian Professional

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2006
    Messages:
    1,202
    Stefan Edberg. He performed magic with that backhand.
     
    #10
  11. West Coast Ace

    West Coast Ace G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2005
    Messages:
    13,677
    Location:
    So Cal
    Glad you added him to the debate. His BH always gets overlooked.
     
    #11
  12. That backhand would get eaten for lunch these days. That thing is so old school it's painful to watch. There is a reason why nobody plays like Edberg anymore.

    (He used to be one of my favorites as a kid, but reality is reality)
     
    #12
  13. Tshooter

    Tshooter Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2007
    Messages:
    2,216
    That stroke stinks. Maybe if he didn't stand 10 feet behind the baseline when he hit it. Yeh, every 100 matches he can rip a winner. That doesn't make it an effective shot.

    I'd say pre-open era, Rosewall. Post I like Connors. And Nole's ain't too shabby.
     
    #13
  14. Tshooter

    Tshooter Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2007
    Messages:
    2,216
    They'll say almost anything to get people to keep watching.
     
    #14
  15. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2004
    Messages:
    43,671
    This thread is about one-handed backhands only.
     
    #15
  16. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2004
    Messages:
    43,671
    When have you known Darren Cahill to say anything flaky just to get attention? You must have confused him with Brad Gilbert.

    Cahill has the most credibility of any ESPN commentator.
     
    #16
  17. Tshooter

    Tshooter Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2007
    Messages:
    2,216
    Well just today I heard (second hand) that he said Haas had the best 1HBH of all time. So there you go.

    As for credibility, Cahill has so many conflicts of interest that everything he says on the air should be discounted. I happen to like BG. To each their own commentator.
     
    #17
  18. Tshooter

    Tshooter Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2007
    Messages:
    2,216

    Opps, Sorry. :(
     
    #18
  19. BevelDevil

    BevelDevil Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2010
    Messages:
    1,544
    What makes it bad, or old school?

    The continental grip? Haas uses something like a conti grip and Wawrinka uses a mild eastern.

    The no-loop takeback? Blake, Llodra, Montanes and others also don't loop their backhands.

    Edberg often openned up his chest on contact, which is a modern trait. He also had a huge takeback, which might also be considered modern. He could hit off his back foot from a semi-open or fully open stance. He put some body lift into bh.

    Seems pretty modern. He just needs a bigger racket head and some poly hybrid strings and his bh is good to go.


    There is a reason, and it has nothing to do with his backhand. It has to do with his continental-grip forehand, his reliance on kick serving, and his serve-and-volley and net rushing style.
     
    #19
  20. THE FIGHTER

    THE FIGHTER Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2013
    Messages:
    1,521
    if we were to compare strokes in a similar manner as to how people compare GOATs, how is edberg's bh any different than the one handed backhands of today aside from pace and spin which are differences derived from the evolution of the game?

    if we're comparing all time, naturally we'd have to compare in the context of the player's era, or else everyone from laver to mcenroe wouldn't hold a candle because they would get eaten up. and edbergs backhand certainly didnt get eaten up back then. it's not as old school as you might think.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zpZnZlXWxQw
     
    #20
  21. NatF

    NatF G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    May 10, 2012
    Messages:
    14,346
    Location:
    On the road from would of to would have
    Ken Rosewall has the all-time best one handed backhand.
     
    #21
  22. BorgCash

    BorgCash Rookie

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2013
    Messages:
    101
    Edberg and Lendl.
     
    #22
  23. hawk eye

    hawk eye Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2010
    Messages:
    2,090
    #23
  24. chrischris

    chrischris Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2010
    Messages:
    2,929
    Guga Haas Edberg Lendl Gasquet Wawrinka/Federer
    in that order:)
     
    #24
  25. kiki

    kiki Banned

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2010
    Messages:
    18,714
    Rosewall,Budge,Lacoste,Laver,Kovacs,Vilas,Ashe,Edberg,Orantes are the ones that come inmediately to mind.
     
    #25
  26. ShiroRm

    ShiroRm Rookie

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2007
    Messages:
    289
    Location:
    Caput mundi
    Becker had a better (more consistent, surely) ohbh than both Lendl and Sampras
     
    #26
  27. basil J

    basil J Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2005
    Messages:
    2,472
    Location:
    boston area
    Fed looked great in this match. Both guys were thumping one handers.
    I have to go with:
    Haas
    Warwinka
    Andre Pavel
    Thomas Museter
    Kuerten
    Laver
    Young Fed
    Phillipousos
    All had good versatile one handers.

    No partucular order.
     
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2013
    #27
  28. TennisOcean

    TennisOcean Banned

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2013
    Messages:
    142
    Location:
    France
    Gasquet, hands down
     
    #28
  29. objectivity

    objectivity Banned

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2013
    Messages:
    2,660
    erm federer himself said that his backhand has improved over the years... so how could the young fed have a better backhand than the current one?
     
    #29
  30. basil J

    basil J Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2005
    Messages:
    2,472
    Location:
    boston area
    I know he has said that, but watching older matches, he seemed more eager to pull the trigger and go down the line with alot more authority than he does now. Just my opinion.
     
    #30
  31. ilovetennis212

    ilovetennis212 Professional

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2013
    Messages:
    1,146
    Location:
    Tennessee
    Because some people are looking for power only in Federer's backhand despite Federer's backhand got more stable over the years
     
    #31
  32. Bobby Jr

    Bobby Jr Legend

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2010
    Messages:
    7,488
    :lol: :lol: :lol:...

    Thanks for the laugh. Next you'll be saying Lendl had a better forehand than Federer.
     
    #32
  33. NatF

    NatF G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    May 10, 2012
    Messages:
    14,346
    Location:
    On the road from would of to would have
    Federer was saying how much his backhand has improved as early as 2004. His backhand peak was in 2006.
     
    #33
  34. Engelworks

    Engelworks Rookie

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2013
    Messages:
    273
    I would have posted on this thread sooner, but I was too busy watching highlight videos of Gasquet's backhand on youtube.
     
    #34
  35. Laurie

    Laurie Professional

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2011
    Messages:
    1,421
    Location:
    London
    Backhands are not just about trying to hit the ball as hard as possible, it is also about variety, the use of the slice / topspin combination to upset opponents (particularly two handers) and having a really good return of serve which a player can either coming over it with topspin or slice it to attack, chip and charge etc.

    My votes would go to Gustavo Kuerten, Ivan Lendl and Stefan Edberg.

    I also thought Pat Rafter did a great job with his backhand against Agassi in those two Wimbledon semifinals.

    Of today's players, I like Warwinka's, but the modern players' ego doesn't seem to allow them to hit slice then topspin, which actually goes against them when playing two handers on a consistent basis. They are just not taught to break up the rhythm of their opponents at all. One of the reasons why the likes of Haas and Gasquet were not able to take their career to another level, their backhands look nice but how effective is it at vital moments of big tennis matches?

    If Cahill made that comment about Haas, then that is very interesting because so often commentators fall into the trap of looking only at the now, and making big statements based on that and not all factors. It is media driven and it is their job to talk up the present, but at the same time he is an ex player so should have more knowledge than the average punter, I would be slightly surprised if he really believes that.

    One example being on hardcourts, Haas has always been vulnerable to attack because he stood to far back to return serve. That's a technical weakness so I don't see personally how that translates to having the best one hander in recent history.

    Just one other point, passing shots are part of the mix, and when Hass played attacking players more often in years gone by, I don't recall him hittting great passing shots or return winners. Someone like Sampras was considerably better than Haas on that score. Like I said at the beginning, its not just about looking good and having a technically fantastic grip only.

    Of the women? Well has to be Justine Henin. Great topspin drives, fantastic return of serve which she used to go for winners or to get the point on her terms. The great use of the backhand slice when defending, the use of slice to attack the net and hit good volleys off both wings.

    Then Amelie Mauresmo had a backhand almost as good, which she also translated into excellent volleys and passing shots. Mauresmo used her backhand slightly different, she took the Sampras approach, to hit with a lot of loop high over the net deep to her opponents backhand, then come over with it slice, trying to create short balls - she did that realy well against Kim Clijsters in many matches. Henin took the Federer approach, which was to drive the backhand a lot faster and flatter taking the ball earlier more often than not. Both ladies' had very effective backhands which are up there with the best women backhands of the last 20 years.

    A honourable mention for Tim Henman and Michael Stich.
     
    #35
  36. Laurie

    Laurie Professional

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2011
    Messages:
    1,421
    Location:
    London
    Just want to expand a bit further on the plight of the modern one hander. In February I went to Paris indoor and one of the matches I saw was Errani against Suarez Navarro. What a great backhand Suarez has, hit winners, amazing form and technique and wowed the crowds over and over again in a 3 set thriller which went to 7:5 if I remember correctly.

    BUT, I was observing her and so often she was standing so far back to return serve, giving her opponent the initiative too often, even on 2nd serve when you would want her to stand in and take it earlier to get the issue on her terms in the rally. Also, she gets into a rhythm of just repeating the motion and didn't sense too much strategy going on. Going to net? forget it, because she is so far back it is diffcult to create short balls to attack on any sort of consistent basis, especially when break point down, its what a player needs to do to take the initiative.

    And that's what I see so often when watching the one hander men play today as well.

    Whereas, Schiavone was older and "old school", she won the French Open in 2010 and made another French final a year later because she has great variety, continually using slice then topspin to break up her opponents rhythm, then the use of the slice to attack short balls and having excellent technique on the volleys with the use of slice, not pushing the ball out like so many modern players do.
     
    #36
  37. tennis_hack

    tennis_hack Banned

    Joined:
    May 14, 2013
    Messages:
    1,826
    Do you think backhand loop, then backhand slice has a place against Nadal to break up his forehand rhythm? Federer has a great slice, and Nadal would just whip that shot into the corners no matter how low it bounced. Yet, he seemed to make some errors when trying that against Dimitrov's slice...
     
    #37
  38. Laurie

    Laurie Professional

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2011
    Messages:
    1,421
    Location:
    London
    Reply will be short as typing on smartphone. Its not Federer's style of play consequently he hasnt made this tactic as part of his overall strategy. Other players might do it better because they do it often naturally. I can only think trading pace with pace is an ego thing as well.

    My thinking is slice then topspin then slice, not hitting slice for no reason which could drop short but as a legitmate tactic and strategy.
     
    #38
  39. Laurie

    Laurie Professional

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2011
    Messages:
    1,421
    Location:
    London
    By the way, one handers are easy targets but people forget / overlook a lot of two handers do not like high balls to their backhand either. Backhands loaded with topspin has been a good tatic in the past against two handees who want to play aggressive from the baseline.
     
    #39
  40. Russeljones

    Russeljones G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2011
    Messages:
    12,918
    I loved Edberg's, at times Sampras alaso rocked people with his backhand but not as often as I would have liked.
     
    #40
  41. ShiroRm

    ShiroRm Rookie

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2007
    Messages:
    289
    Location:
    Caput mundi
    you're welcome
    next I say that both Lendl and Sampras had a better fh than Becker, but Becker had a more natural, fluid and consistent bh than both of them

    I don't care much about Fed and Nadal. It seems to me Fed has a too cold attitude on court, while Nadal produces horrible gestures and noises during play.
    I only hope Dimitrov will grow up as a champion, having a more classic style of game, very similar to Fed's, but even a warmer attitude on court than him
     
    #41
  42. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2004
    Messages:
    43,671
    Because Federer is wrong about himself. Watch his match at Wimbledon in 2001 against Sampras when he was using the PS 6.0 85 and you'll see that his backhand was better than it is now.

    Here he is in the next round vs. Henman: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rAze6rSmVFI
     
    #42
  43. tennisjedi

    tennisjedi Rookie

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2009
    Messages:
    244
    How does Almagro's backhand compare to other one handers?
     
    #43
  44. NikeWilson

    NikeWilson Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2008
    Messages:
    683
    I still think Federer in his prime had the greatest 1-handed backhand of all time.
    He won 17 Slams with it.

    Ironically, as great as Fed's backhand is... Nadal makes Federer's backhand look like the worst 1-handed backhand of all time.
     
    #44
  45. dominikk1985

    dominikk1985 Legend

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2011
    Messages:
    6,436
    lendl was known more for his FH. didn't he mostly slice his BH?
     
    #45
  46. jaggy

    jaggy G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2006
    Messages:
    12,721
    Location:
    Carrboro, NC
    I loved Edbergs
     
    #46
  47. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2012
    Messages:
    7,773
    objectivity, A fine joke...
     
    #47
  48. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2012
    Messages:
    7,773
    Rosewall won 23 majors with his backhand.
     
    #48
  49. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2012
    Messages:
    7,773
    NatF, I respect your respect for Muscles.
     
    #49
  50. Blitzball

    Blitzball Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2012
    Messages:
    723
    Location:
    Arizona
    Federer's one-handed backhand was the greatest of all time. The shots he came up with it were simply incredible. Like that down-the line passing shot in Wimbledon final 2008 against Nadal that saved a match point. And if you wanna see what he can do when it's "on," watch the final of the London (WTF) in 2010 where he beat Nadal-- that was way past his prime, yet he hit backhands I couldn't believe.
     
    #50

Share This Page