Is Del Potro the biggest hitter of all time?

Discussion in 'General Pro Player Discussion' started by 35ft6, Sep 16, 2009.

  1. 35ft6

    35ft6 Legend

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    I'm not talking about "for his era" type of argument, like Agassi hit way harder than the rest of the tour when he arrived than Del Potro does now in comparison to HIS peers.

    I'm talking about adding up the miles per hour of a player's serve, forehand, and backhand, and averaging it out. And I'm talking about how hard they hit consistently, on a point by point, game by game basis, and not about being able to crank one every so often. Like Felipe Lopez, yeah, he can rip a forehand sometimes, and he's got a potent serve, but his slice backhand.... Or Roddick, for a while, I thought he had the biggest serve + forehand combination in the history of tennis, and his serve still takes the prize for MPH, but his forehand is loopier than before and his backhand was never a screamer.

    But Del Potro consistently hits the cover off the ball on all three strokes. In the finals of the US Open, not sure if I've ever seen somebody hit so hard for so long. That might have been the biggest display of power tennis I've ever seen. And Fed is no slouch either in the History of Power category. But Del Potro had an extra gear.

    I'm not saying power equals tennis greatness. Clearly, Fed is a better player, and I might still be inclined to say Andy Murray is still a better player than Del Potro as suggested in the title of another thread in this forum.

    So Del Potro. I think he might be the biggest hitter (and I explained what I mean by that) in the history of tennis.

    Thoughts?
     
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  2. dropshot winner

    dropshot winner Hall of Fame

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    Ever heard of Safin?
     
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  3. 35ft6

    35ft6 Legend

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    ^ Yeah, and I was going to mention him. I saw a match once where Safin was being outhit by Roddick. This was probably about 5 or 6 years ago. Roddick was consistently imposing his power on Safin and not the other way around.

    Del Potro hits bigger than Safin. I think a playing out of his mind Tsonga could be in the top 3 in this category at the moment.
     
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  4. dropshot winner

    dropshot winner Hall of Fame

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    I don't get your example.
    What does one thing has to do with the other? I've seen Del Potro losing to semi-retired Ljubicic this year, on clay...

    Del Potro definately doesn't hit bigger on average than a well playing Safin.
    Del Potro would not have beaten 2005 AO Federer, not in a million years. Safin did just that, not with consistency, but with power.
     
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  5. benasp

    benasp Semi-Pro

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    I don't know if it count when the ball is out, but Gulbis hit very very hard ;)
     
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  6. 35ft6

    35ft6 Legend

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    Uh. What I'm saying is that I think Del Potro has more power than Safin. And I cited a specific match as an example. As I've noticed you did. What's confusing you?
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2009
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  7. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    What about Fernando Gonzalez?
     
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  8. dropshot winner

    dropshot winner Hall of Fame

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    How should the fact that Roddick once overpowered Safin proof that Del Potro has more power?

    Del Potro's fastets forehand is probably faster than Safin's fastest, but Safin hit his average groundstroke harder and flatter.
     
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  9. dropshot winner

    dropshot winner Hall of Fame

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    Did you read the first post?
     
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  10. 35ft6

    35ft6 Legend

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    Okay, forget about Safin playing Roddick. How about this: based on every match I've ever seen Safin play, and Del Potro play, I think Del Potro is a bigger hitter. Happy? Strange you brought up Fed and Safin, but you act like you don't understand how one match proves anything.
    Disagree.
     
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  11. 35ft6

    35ft6 Legend

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    In his match against Tsonga, the commentators all agreed Gonzo would have to play really well to win because Tsonga had more firepower. Gonzo MIGHT consistently get more MPH on his forehand than Tsonga, but you add serve, forehand, and serve together, and Tsonga has Gonzo beat hands down.
     
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  12. joe sch

    joe sch Hall of Fame

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    I think Del Potro does have what it takes to be one of the biggest hitters of all time. What he has accomplished this year, especially the crushing of Nadal and this historic power display beating Federer in his 1st slam final (USO 2009), makes him a candidate for biggest hitter of 2009. With his size and if he keeps up this level of play or maybe even improves with this new confidence (2009 USO champion), this thread title maybe very appropriate in a decade.

    This USO 2009 really makes mens tennis even more exciting now. I hope Murray can win a slam next year so we have one more slam champion in the mix ...
     
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  13. dropshot winner

    dropshot winner Hall of Fame

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    Just watch Soderling against Nadal. He hit bigger shots on average than Del Potro did this US Open.

    How can Del Potro be the biggest hitter of all time when he isn't even the biggest hitter of this year?
     
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  14. 35ft6

    35ft6 Legend

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    Safin.

    I think he might very well might be number 2. But like I said, I'm talking on a shot by shot, game by game, even match by match basis. Not talking about a guy who can hit the hardest when he's having a once a year or even once a month kind of match. I would argue that Safin could be taken out of his game, even in his prime, he could lose inexplicably any week. Maybe when he was having a great day, he came very very close to Del Potro. From what I've seen, Del Potro is much more mentally stable and is consistently a cleaner, more powerful hitter.
     
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  15. 35ft6

    35ft6 Legend

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    I've seen a lot of Soderling matches, and I think Del Potro is a bigger hitter all around. Okay, now that you've stopped asking me why I cite matches, how about Fed versus Soderling compared to Fed versus Del Potro. No comparison. Again, I'm talking on a consistent basis. But even aside from that, if we're just talking about sheer once a match heater, I take Potro over Soderling.
     
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  16. bolo

    bolo G.O.A.T.

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    good question. I think it depends a little bit as the other poster said on how you count outballs. The fair way to count them is as zeros in the mph calculation and then it's possible that this will not be the biggest as you defined it. I do think he missed quite a bit off balls over the 5 sets but there is no good way to know how this affects the final calculation without crunching the numbers imo.

    Imo the place you will find the biggest hitting performance of all time is the AO. The slowness of the AO allows guys more time to go big on their shots, but they still get rewarded for hitting flat unlike on clay. It's possible that AO 2005 for safin was the biggest single hitting performance of all time. How about the Sampras/courier Ao 95 match? I also remember lots of big hitting from sampras in that match even if you discount his weaker backhand relative to jmdp and safin. How about a very clean joachim johanssen match?

    If you abstract from single best performances where great one off performances are possible and look at entire careers I would say that jmdp will be definitely be a candidate for the biggest hitter of all time. :)
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2009
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  17. dropshot winner

    dropshot winner Hall of Fame

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    Del Potro's strength is consistent power, that's where he's the best.
    Soderling and Safin have less controlled agression.

    Looking at the title this thread is about the biggest hitter, not the most consistent big hitter.

    And I don't understand how the Soderling match was no comparison to the final. Federer played much better against Soderling that he did against Del Potro.
     
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  18. brad1730

    brad1730 Rookie

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    Soderling is close. He can really pound a high ball, but I would take Del Potro over Soderling too. He's got the serve, and the inside out forehand.
     
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  19. pmerk34

    pmerk34 Legend

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    Gulbis has freakish power.
     
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  20. 35ft6

    35ft6 Legend

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    That final against Fed was ridiculous. Especially in the 5th set, he was just hitting screamers one after the other. Even if Fed barely had to move to get his racket on the ball, he was having problems getting it back. Del Potro has a big serve, but it's really his groundstrokes, especially his forehand, that puts him over the top. It's a monster.
     
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  21. pmerk34

    pmerk34 Legend

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    Stop whining. Del Potro overpowered him.
     
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  22. pmerk34

    pmerk34 Legend

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    based on the US Open final it looked to me that Del Potro has the biggest FH of all time which as always the case with Fed.
     
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  23. bolo

    bolo G.O.A.T.

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    The soderling match calculation would have to be done. He was going big on almost every shot and a lot of them fell in.
     
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  24. 35ft6

    35ft6 Legend

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    As you pointed out to Suresh, I described what I meant. The consistency part is the whole point. Believe me, I should know, I started the thread. And even if you're not talking about consistency, I might argue for Del Potro. If you want to change the definition, go for it. We can talk about the biggest hitter on certain surfaces on the perfect day when they're wearing their favorite socks and playing the opponent they just instinctively can read, who hits it over and over right into their wheel house. That will be interesting, too.
     
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  25. Andres

    Andres G.O.A.T.

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    Berdych and Tursunov has freakish power off both wings, too.
     
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  26. Gimmick

    Gimmick Semi-Pro

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    So, in addition to the title of the thread we have added;

    Without respect to his peers.
    In average games not just great ones.
    On average shots not just his best ones.
    On on backhand, forehand, and serve combined.
    Maybe in balls maybe not depending on whether this supports the title.

    Seriously, quit adding qualifiers just to support your position. Stand by your original premise and let the chips fall where they may.
     
    #26
  27. Benhur

    Benhur Hall of Fame

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    I agree with the OP. There are other power hitters who can hit as hard or even harder than him on a given day (Gonzalez comes to mind, even Blake on his good days a few years ago) but no one that I can think of shows anywhere near the consistency Del Potro shows from one match to the next. And his court coverage and sense of anticipation are also superb. He knows where to be. Also his movement is surprisingly nimble for a seemingly lumbering giant like him, as well as his ability to handle low balls. With the huge wingspan he has, if he improves his volleying skills I see him as more complete player than any of the top 5 except maybe Federer.
     
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  28. Spider

    Spider Hall of Fame

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    Another thread on Del Potro, he is way overrated since winning that US open title.
     
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  29. Gorecki

    Gorecki G.O.A.T.

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    well... if you have to take acount of BH too, then Gonzales is out...

    all things considered, i would say Juan, Marat, Andre and Jojo are top "all shot" hitters...

    and also Berdych and Torsunov like Andres mentioned..

    not that it represents that big of an advantage...

    my 10 cents fwiw
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2009
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  30. NamRanger

    NamRanger G.O.A.T.

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    Better than Andy Murray. 1 slam > #2 ranking.
     
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  31. dropshot winner

    dropshot winner Hall of Fame

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    The matches were similiar, except for one thing, Federer won the big points against Soderling and lost them against Del Potro.

    Federer was two points from a 4-set victory against Del Potro and twice just a point away from going 5 with Soderling.
     
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  32. dropshot

    dropshot New User

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    Inside-out forehand --> Tsonga
    Forehand in general (especially Cross-court) ---> Del Potro
    Backhand --> Safin and Del Potro.
    Chest height balls --> Soderling
    Running forehand --> Del Potro and Pistol Pete.

    Gulbis is up there but he doesn't have consistent results to back him up.

    If biggest means fastest, the OP is right on the mark. In reality, if combined with pace, it is harder to return a fast and heavily spin balls like Nadal's than just a purely fast flat ball.
     
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  33. bolo

    bolo G.O.A.T.

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    I have been very impressed with delpo's running forehand. I am not ready to say it's as good pistol pete's but it's the best power I have seen since sampras.
     
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  34. Kobble

    Kobble Hall of Fame

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    If we are talking about a single forehand, I think I have it on tape. I have Tursunov on tape wacking a ball around shoulder getting his whole body going foreward. That was the hardest hit I ever saw in person, and I've seen Safin, Gulbis, Del Potro, Gonzalez, Verdasco, Federer and on and on.
     
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  35. dropshot winner

    dropshot winner Hall of Fame

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    Tursunov is a good call, Korolev too. Too bad those guys miss most of the time. :D
     
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  36. ArrowSmith

    ArrowSmith Banned

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    The "Beast of Tandil", that what we call him.
     
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  37. jjermann

    jjermann Hall of Fame

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    Time to watch his matches more, his serve is very good...it was his plan to take pace off his serve against Federer, dont make conclusions it you have only seen him play one match.
     
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  38. Breaker

    Breaker Legend

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    Berdych and Almagro from both wings.
     
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  39. Shaolin

    Shaolin Hall of Fame

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    Gulbis has more all around power than anyone right now IMO, FH, BH & serve combined.

    BTW, Does anyone know the speed of those Delpo returns vs Fed? There was one crosscourt that had to be about 110.
     
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  40. TENNISSLAVE

    TENNISSLAVE Banned

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    True , Soderling and Gulbis are up there with Del P.
    IMO DP has a better trajectory and therefore gains much more outright but most often more gradually than other big hitters do.
     
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  41. zagor

    zagor Talk Tennis Guru

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    In the matter of consistently hitting big off both sides and keeping it in court yes I think Delpo may likely be the biggest hitter of all time.
     
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  42. GRANITECHIEF

    GRANITECHIEF Hall of Fame

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    110 was the FH speed i heard mentioned by the commentators. There were numerous FH's that topped 100, incredible!
     
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  43. roddickfan1000

    roddickfan1000 Banned

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    safin and roddick in there primes hit harder than anyone else. Delpotro doesn't rival either of these players for power.
     
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  44. jjermann

    jjermann Hall of Fame

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    roddick? :lol:
     
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  45. roddickfan1000

    roddickfan1000 Banned

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    yes, you know the guy who can hit serves at 155mph. Power, yes, i think so.

    watch videos of 2003/04 if you think i'm wrong
     
    #45
  46. Gorecki

    Gorecki G.O.A.T.

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    both wings.. both.... :confused:
     
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  47. ASL

    ASL Banned

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    Serves arn't forehand...
     
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  48. roddickfan1000

    roddickfan1000 Banned

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    roddick's forehand was more powerful in 2003/04 than delpo's at the moment. Backhand no, but roddick's serve,overhead and forehand are more powerful.
     
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  49. ASL

    ASL Banned

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    That's about it.
     
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  50. Gorecki

    Gorecki G.O.A.T.

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    ok. i get your idea. but his BH is, was and will always be a liability in both precision and pace...

    forehand is dabatable

    overhead and serve i agree...
     
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