One stroke from any player in history

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by scaino, Feb 15, 2007.

  1. scaino

    scaino New User

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    An interesting question posed by SI to Pete Sampras in an interview which appeared online today (already referenced earlier on this forum). Here was Sampras's response:

    SI: The one stroke from any player in history you would like to borrow for one match?

    Sampras: How about Goran Ivanisevic's serve? On grass. That was pretty rough.


    How about you? Would you too go for Goran's serve, or would you like to try out the first serve of Elly Vines or Pancho Gonzales? Or perhaps the second serve of Jack Kramer or Sampras? The overhead of Ted Schroeder, John Newcombe or Sampras? How about the forehand of Fred Perry, Pancho Segura or Roger Federer? The backhand of Don Budge or Ken Rosewall? The forehand volley of Kramer or John McEnroe? The backhand volley of Tony Roche or Stefan Edberg? The service return of Jimmy Connors or Andre Agassi? Choose a couple if you must, and specify the surface if you like.
     
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  2. Moose Malloy

    Moose Malloy Legend

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    Pretty amazing that the greatest server of alltime wishes he had another players serve. Wimbledon had a pretty tough field in the 90s.
     
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  3. Ronnie92

    Ronnie92 Banned

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    Pete Sampras' on the run forehand. Jimmy Connors' dtl backhand. Roger's normal forehand. Roddick's serve.
     
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  4. scaino

    scaino New User

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    To Moose Malloy:

    True. I would agree that Goran's first serve was more lethal even than Pete's, when it was on, and I'm guessing a presupposition of the question is that you get to experience the stroke on a good day. Regardless, I imagine many would rather have the Sampras second serve, as it is a better foundation from which to be more aggressive with the first. In an interview with Tennis Magazine several years ago, Sampras named Pancho Gonzales as one of the players from the past he would most like to have faced, asking if he really had the best serve ever. It would be interesting to see a serving contest for some of the all-time servers, Sampras, Ivanisevic, Gonzales, Patterson, Vines, et al, all at their best on grass. Even toss in some trickier serves, like those of Norman Brookes and John McEnroe, to see how they stack up against the more powerful services. Though I've not seen either, I myself am most amazed by accounts of Gonzales, who it is said never missed on break point down, and Vines, who served 30 aces in his 64 62 60 win over Bunny Austin in the 1932 Wimbledon F. The famous quote by Austin, which I pull from Bud Collins's encyclopedia: "I saw him swing his racket and I heard the ball hit the back canvas. The umpire called game, set and match, I knew it was all over, but I never saw the ball."
     
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  5. Achilles

    Achilles New User

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    Roddick's Serve, Roger's backhand, Roger's forehand, His slices are pretty good too, and Pete's running forhand as well as his jumping smash
     
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  6. The Gorilla

    The Gorilla Banned

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    lendl's groundstrokes,
    goran's first serve,
    pete's second,
    edberg's volleys,
    mcenore's movement around the net and anticipation,
    agassi's ability to see the ball and take it early,
    connor's returns,
    Borg's fitness and speed.
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2007
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  7. ShcMad

    ShcMad Hall of Fame

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    I would like to borrow for the rest of my life:

    -Sampras's serve.
    -Federer's forehand.
    -Safin's backhand (during baseline rallies).
    -Gasquet's backhand (for hitting on the run).
    -Agassi's return of serve.
    -Rafter's volleys.

    That's all.
     
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  8. rasajadad

    rasajadad Hall of Fame

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    Sampras' serve (& OH)
    McEnroe's volley
    Federer's FH
    Rosewall's BH
    Agassi's return
    Lendl's fitness
    Nadal's speed
     
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  9. chaognosis

    chaognosis Semi-Pro

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    The Budge backhand.
     
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  10. dima

    dima Banned

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    agassis return isnt a stroke lol
     
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  11. jaggy

    jaggy G.O.A.T.

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    Gene Mayers dropshot
     
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  12. travlerajm

    travlerajm Hall of Fame

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    It's arguable that Goran's serve was better than Pete's. The problem was that Goran was wasn't the best volleyer. He serve-and-volleyed a lot because with a serve like his, it would be stupid not to.
     
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  13. p0w3r

    p0w3r Semi-Pro

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    If it was only one thing, it would be Roddick's Serve...why? because my own sucks so much:p :-(

    If i were to put everything together:

    Roddick First Serve
    Sampras 2nd Serve
    Fernando Gonzales' Forehand from the AU open (the pace is just tooo much)
    Gasquet Backhand
    Edberg Volleys
     
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  14. Solat

    Solat Professional

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    santoro's drops shots, man i would have a fun day

    on clay
     
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  15. Trinity TC

    Trinity TC Semi-Pro

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    1960 Wimbledon and US Open winner, Neale Fraser's serve.

    [​IMG]
     
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  16. dima

    dima Banned

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    then you'd have a 4.5 backhand, which is not much, when you could have a 7.0 backhand if you wanted to.
     
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  17. Nick Irons

    Nick Irons Semi-Pro

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    Sampras and his leaping overhead smash.
     
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  18. Hewitt Aussie

    Hewitt Aussie Professional

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    hewitt's return of the serve. Or even just his normal forehand when he was number 1.
     
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  19. stormholloway

    stormholloway Legend

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    Borg's legs or Federer's backhand.

    After watching Federer-Roddick at the AO this year, I feel okay in saying it's one of the best backhands in history.

    Also take into account what your strengths and weaknesses are. No point in replacing a stroke that is already pretty good.
     
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  20. chaognosis

    chaognosis Semi-Pro

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    It's very, very sad that you believe that. Have you actually seen clips of this stroke? Do you know that many experts who witnessed Budge's backhand firsthand STILL call it the best ever developed? Pancho Gonzales thought so before his death in 1995; Jack Kramer still thinks so today. These are guys who know tennis inside out, whose opinion is actually WORTH something. Your saying that they're wrong, and calling Budge's stroke the equivalent of a 4.5 player's today, is the equivalent of a kindergartener criticizing Vladimir Nabokov's prose. You really need to learn your place.
     
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  21. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    ^^^ I agree with your post. However, I take what the "old greats" say with a grain of salt. They also state that the greats form the past routinely hit forehands over 100 mph. LMAO.



    On another note;

    I would take Sampras' serve. first or second. :)
     
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  22. FH2FH

    FH2FH Professional

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    I would take the mental toughness of any "great" over a particular stroke. That is the reason they were greats, not because of one stroke.
     
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  23. N23

    N23 Rookie

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    Boris Becker's backhand. Very pretty. Because of him I switched to a one-hander.
     
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  24. Nuke

    Nuke Hall of Fame

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    Lendl forehand.
     
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  25. stormholloway

    stormholloway Legend

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    I guess the serve is the one stroke that most influences success over the others, so picking a serve is the smart choice.
     
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  26. stormholloway

    stormholloway Legend

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    You think it'd be harder to acquire Federer's forehand than his mental toughness?
     
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  27. Trinity TC

    Trinity TC Semi-Pro

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    That's why I picked Neale Fraser over Goran. Mentally tough with his serve...kind of a Goran with brains. Could have picked Pete but the idea of having a lefty first serve was too irresistible.:cool:
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2007
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  28. The Gorilla

    The Gorilla Banned

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    tiger woods stroke lol
     
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  29. 4brotherdrive

    4brotherdrive Rookie

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    Anyone with the prettiest flat, one handed backhand drive. Something that i lack and need because i play on hard courts. From what I've heard Edbergs was one of the best. Anyone care to tell me about someone I should emulate on this stroke?
     
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  30. stormholloway

    stormholloway Legend

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    Edberg's was beautiful, but I consider Federer's to be the natural evolution of his stroke in terms of effectiveness.
     
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  31. 4brotherdrive

    4brotherdrive Rookie

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    That sux, cause now Fed only uses his topspin bh >.<. I'd like to have McEnroes serve, since he's lefty like meh and I love that wicked slice and placement.
     
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  32. The Gorilla

    The Gorilla Banned

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    lendl had the best one handed baclhand ever, although fed's catching up lately.Interesting that they both had weak slice backhands ad both of them were transformed by Tony Roche.
     
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  33. 10sfreak

    10sfreak Semi-Pro

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    I know what you mean, Storm. If I had Fed's forehand, I'd be mentally tough too! LOL!
     
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  34. 35ft6

    35ft6 Legend

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    Sampras' serve. No doubt. Most important shot in tennis and one that people don't practice enough. I would be top 20 in So Cal men's open with a serve like his.
     
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  35. BeckerFan

    BeckerFan Rookie

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    It has to be the serve. As others have said, it's the most important shot in the game ... the one shot that's on your own terms alone. But whose to choose? Like so many, I grew up admiring Sampras's serve. More for curiosity's sake I'd like to try out the serve of one of the 'old timers.' Either Pancho Gonzales or Ellsworth Vines would be as fine a choice as any. I guess I'd pick Vines, for the clips I've seen of his motion were truly incredible.
     
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  36. JZImmer123

    JZImmer123 Rookie

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    I'll take Guga's backhand. That was a thing of beauty!
     
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  37. Andres

    Andres G.O.A.T.

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    Ivanisevic's first serve with my left hand, and Sampras' second with my right hand :D
     
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  38. Zets147

    Zets147 Banned

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    Srichaphan's split. is that a stroke?
     
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  39. Borat

    Borat Professional

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    -Sampras Serve
    -Feds forehand
    -Rafa's speed
    -Safin's BH
     
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  40. FEDERER89

    FEDERER89 Rookie

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    KARlovich HUGE BOMB
     
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  41. Mick

    Mick Legend

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    McEnroe for everything because it's hard to get injured from hitting the ball like he does than hitting the ball like the other pros do/did.

    I want to play tennis for a long time like McEnroe :)
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2007
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  42. sypl

    sypl Rookie

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    Wow, a lot of people in here have trouble with counting.

    I used to think that the serve is the most important shot in tennis, but I'm not so sure any more. Players who've got huge serves but can't really back it up can get flayed, like Roddick. I think I'd go with Federer's forehand. Lot more versatile a weapon.
     
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  43. jelle v

    jelle v Hall of Fame

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    I'd love to be able to:

    - Hit Federer's forehand for a day
    - Hit Ivanisevic his backhand dropshots for a day, I think he hit the best dropshots ever, the effect he could generate, I've never seen that before or again.
     
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  44. pennc94

    pennc94 Semi-Pro

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    You hit it dead center
     
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  45. tursafinov

    tursafinov Rookie

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    Federer Forehand.

    I would feel more relaxed when serving if i knew i could handle any return with one stroke. My footwork is great. my second serve is great.
    I only wish my forehand was as stable not so random and likely to spray.
    Not to mention that He hits it in a really graceful way.

    If I could have it for even a few hours I bet I could improve just getting to feel what happens when he makes contact.

    ~Tursa
     
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  46. vive le beau jeu !

    vive le beau jeu ! G.O.A.T.

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    too hard to choose only one !!!

    well, anything from roger would be nice ! ;)
    i'd take also some aces from goran !
    pete's serve too... but most importantly his jumping smash (overhead)... so delightful to hit !!! :D
    so serve me this with some rafter's and edberg's volleys.
    ummm i also want noah's between the legs shot and srichaphan's split, just for fun...
    as FH : gonzalez or baghdatis would be cool.
    and as BH : gasquet... or arazi !

    oh... and i admit i'm hesitating between marat's or goran's racquet smashing...... which one would you advise me ?! :rolleyes:
     
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  47. Andres

    Andres G.O.A.T.

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    Are you nuts, VLJB!!!???

    GORAN'S !!!!!!! :D
     
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  48. vive le beau jeu !

    vive le beau jeu ! G.O.A.T.

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    eheh... i just wanted to check if you were paying attention to me !!! ;)

    only goran can make a "brighton", right ?! :D
     
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  49. Shaolin

    Shaolin Hall of Fame

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    Sampras with Federer's FH and Safin's BH.
     
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  50. Dot

    Dot New User

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    fabrice santoro!

    fabrice santoro I'd love anything off the ground just feel what that weirdness is like!
     
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