Jimmy Connors' Backhand

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by USS Tang, Dec 27, 2012.

  1. USS Tang

    USS Tang Rookie

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    One of the most devastating strokes in the history of tennis. Will someone break down JC's 2HBH from a technical point-of-view? I know that he hits it flat and on the rise. (We'll use present tense here.) But what about the rest of the stroke? Racket prep, backswing, follow-through, etc.? Are there any good videos, especially ones in slow motion, out there?
     
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  2. BTURNER

    BTURNER Hall of Fame

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    If you are not careful, you will define the greatness of the Connors two-hander right out of this thread. That infamous flat penetrating stroke we all talk about is the tip of the iceburg. Connors did EVERYTHING with both those hands on that racket and did things no one else could. The two handed slice was piercing, the topspin lob was second to none, the two handed volley, half-volley and angle overhead were as good as such shots get, he developed this soft topspin sharp angle pass late in his career I have never seen done so well. Hell, he actually had a two handed sidespin shot that slithered away. His touch on that wing was unparalleled. The bread & butter stroke was the equal of Borg, Wilander or Agassi . It traded their greater margin for error for a more offensive shot. It was the variety he had at the back and from the net, that made his two hander better than than anyones
     
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2012
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  3. slowfox

    slowfox Professional

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    I can't offer any technical insights. His backhand was unique to say the least. Never seen anything like it.
     
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  4. Mick

    Mick Legend

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    I thought the player who had a backhand most similar to Jimmy Connors was Chris Evert. Although it was less powerful, i think Chris Evert's backhand looks better.
     
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  5. jrepac

    jrepac Professional

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    Chris was like a metronome with that 2 handed; it was a thing of beauty. But, Jimmy had the more offensive shot, particularly on the return, I think. Still, if you approached to Chris's backhand, it had better be a winner or you were in deep doo-doo....I was always fascinated by the side-spin shots that both of them could hit...you don't see too much of it nowadays. Chris had a fantastic one on the forehand side. And, both of them, as well as Borg could totally conceal what they were going for off the backhand.
     
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  6. jrepac

    jrepac Professional

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    He had a superb lob, which is often overlooked, because his passing shots and returns were so much more dynamic and exciting to watch.
     
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  7. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    I agree.For some years, after Nastase and Orantes declined, I think Jimmy´s lob may have been the best of all.
     
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  8. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    I think Connors learned to lob from Pancho Segura. They say Segura's two handed forehand was quite similar to Jimmy Connors' two handed backhand. Many have called Segura's forehand the greatest single shot in tennis history.

    It's definitely up there with any backhand I've seen. The early preparation, the great power and depth, the great return of serve and a great well disguised lob.
     
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  9. robow7

    robow7 Professional

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    What says it all is this, everyone knows Jimbo's backhand was sensational in many regards, yet really no one was able to imitate it or for that matter even tried to, It Was That Difficult To Master.
     
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  10. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    It's funny but I never was that crazy about Connors when he played. I mean I enjoyed his play and his pure tennis stroking but sometimes his antics bothered me. I think I actually enjoy watching his play more on old videos than I ever that. I can watch it just from a fundamental point of view and just enjoy the rallies.
     
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  11. muddlehead

    muddlehead Rookie

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    agree pc1. the crotch grabbing, the racket between the legs, and all his other immature antics made him easy to root against back in the day.
     
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  12. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Connors was a player that hit anything flat, flat and flat.it never ceased to amaze me how loyal he kept to his roots.Unfortunately, too loyal when one thinks how great could have been with a rather good first serve.
     
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  13. robow7

    robow7 Professional

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    I always felt that if Connors had a first serve that would have allowed him to win a lot more free points, he may have been the GOAT, because his return game was as good as anybody that has played the game.
     
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  14. PrinceMoron

    PrinceMoron Hall of Fame

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    Saw him hit with S Glickstein, who was hitting crazy topspin for those days. Connors played as if the ball was on a string, never seen anything like it ever. Absolutely smooth hitting.

    Was there with some college buddies of Mayotte. So we got to stand courtside with the great man himself. 1981 saw McEnroe S Mayer in the afternoon so must have been after Glickstein lost to Connors the day before. Maybe he was in the doubles so stayed around and hit with Connors.
    Or it was 1983 and Glickstein was still in the doubles.

    Went back in 1984 and saw Connors lose to Lendl. The doubles was Lendl/Gomez v Becker/Sanchez. Almost empty house, quite late and Becker/Sanchez gave them a scare. That was a pretty good day, why can't I have that day over and over...?
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2013
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  15. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    I've written this before but a friend of mine had an old T2000 which he took to a Connors exhibition a few years ago. He waved at Connors that he had the T2000. Connors took it from him and starting hitting with it and apparently didn't miss a shot according to my friend. Amazing how he could control that T2000.
     
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  16. Tennis Dunce

    Tennis Dunce Semi-Pro

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    He put WEIGHT into the ball...he looked like the Leaning Tower of Pisa when he hit it...and that LOB...dont get me started!
     
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  17. roundiesee

    roundiesee Hall of Fame

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    I agree; I really have not seen anyone hit a backhand like Jimmy ever; I wonder why that is?
     
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