Sampras or Djokovic Forehand

Discussion in 'General Pro Player Discussion' started by TennisBatman, Jul 28, 2012.

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Which player (in their prime) has the better forehand?

  1. Sampras

    45 vote(s)
    51.1%
  2. Djokovic

    43 vote(s)
    48.9%
  1. TennisBatman

    TennisBatman Semi-Pro

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    Sampras and Djokovic had good secondary weapons (the forehand) to complement their main weapon (the serve for Sampras and the backhand for Djokovic)

    Which player (in their prime) has the better forehand?
     
    #1
  2. 90's Clay

    90's Clay Legend

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    Two different kind of FH's. Its tough to compare because Nole has the benefit of modern racket technology, while Pete played with the old small wilson pro-staff. It was crazy with the ability of power and pace Pete could generate from the FH side with inferior racket technology and such a small racket.. Especially what he could do one the run with that FH..
     
    #2
  3. guitarplayer

    guitarplayer Guest

    Are you serious? Sampras forehand was average.
     
    #3
  4. MichaelNadal

    MichaelNadal Talk Tennis Guru

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    #4
  5. Lsmkenpo

    Lsmkenpo Hall of Fame

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    Last edited: Jul 28, 2012
    #5
  6. ZeroSkid

    ZeroSkid Banned

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    Djokovic's forehand is highly underrated
     
    #6
  7. YellowBall77

    YellowBall77 Banned

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    Djokovic. I like the Western Grip/across the body combination. Give him plenty of spin but a 'tight spin' which makes his ball appear flatter and go deeper. A very solid, reliable shot with tons of pace and depth. Probably better than Sampras'
     
    #7
  8. BevelDevil

    BevelDevil Hall of Fame

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    Pete's fh better on fast courts.
    Djoker's fh better on slow courts (i.e., most courts today).


    For the 90s era, I think Pete had one of the best forehands for non-clay.
     
    #8
  9. YellowBall77

    YellowBall77 Banned

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    Not a bad assessment.
     
    #9
  10. Russeljones

    Russeljones G.O.A.T.

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    Bwahahaha.
     
    #10
  11. Say Chi Sin Lo

    Say Chi Sin Lo Legend

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    Most people don't even know what Djokovic is using underneath his paintjob, and on top of that, explain to me how "Youtek" and "Innegra" are supposed to contribute to the tennis racquet. I'm not buying that marketing crap.

    How is a blend of graphite and kevlar "inferior" to current graphite racquets?

    Lastly, a lot of the pros are still using the frames from that era underneath their paintjobs.

    In today's tour, I would have to go with Djokovic. It's hard to compared as they have very different forehands, effective in their own rights. Djokovic's forehand has more spin, while Sampras had a flatter shot. Since points are won by errors not by out-right winners, I'll take Djokovic's forehand.
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2012
    #11
  12. Nathaniel_Near

    Nathaniel_Near G.O.A.T.

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    Relax folks, ...
    I would take Pete's if the tour was absolutely balanced between slow, medium, and fast paced courts.
     
    #12
  13. YellowBall77

    YellowBall77 Banned

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    I'm pretty sure Djoker uses some type of Liquidmetal Radical paint job. So yeah, the technology is not that new in his racquet. The western grip and open stance is definitely more modern as are the strings. Overall, Djoker's forehand is probably a notch above Sampras' in that it would outperform Sampras's head to head.
     
    #13
  14. Say Chi Sin Lo

    Say Chi Sin Lo Legend

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    Said it even better than I could have. But when everything is slow and each point lasts as long as a minute. Gotta play the %.

    When the point isn't over within 10 strokes, it's time to start roll them in unfortunately.
     
    #14
  15. Nathaniel_Near

    Nathaniel_Near G.O.A.T.

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    Relax folks, ...
    Here is what I would take from either player:

    Forehand - Pete
    Backhand - Nole
    Serve - Pete
    Volley - Pete
    Overhead - Pete
    Movement - Nole
    Mental Strength - Pete
    Shotmaking - Pete
    Slice - Pete
    Drop shot n lobs - Nole
    Passing Shots - tie
    Return - Nole
    Stamina - Nole
     
    #15
  16. abmk

    abmk G.O.A.T.

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    sampras on grass and indoors , djoker's on clay and slow HC , very close on medium-fast to fast HC ...
     
    #16
  17. abmk

    abmk G.O.A.T.

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    how dare you insult djoker's epic smashing capabilities by putting pete ahead of him in that department ? :twisted:
     
    #17
  18. Nathaniel_Near

    Nathaniel_Near G.O.A.T.

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    Relax folks, ...
    Lol. That call was even easier than the serve call.
     
    #18
  19. abmk

    abmk G.O.A.T.

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    indeed .....the best way to close out a match vs djoker is an unreturnable ( if you are serving ) , otherwise, bring him to the net and lob him, its way better than trying to hit scorching forehands or backhands or trying to move him side to side :)

    Mental strength - overall sampras , but djoker 2011 seemed to be superior in that dept than sampras at any point in his career ......
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2012
    #19
  20. 2ndServe

    2ndServe Professional

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    dependant on your game style. If Novak had Pete's forehand it wouldn't work for him and if Pete had Novak's forehand it wouldn't do much for him. btw Pete moved forward and continuously through his forehand 10 times better than Novak. It's part of why he can volley so better. Except clay Pete's forehand is better, he moved through it so well if he didn't hit a winner on a short ball he'd be all over the net to smash the next ball. Way more variety on Pete's fh and it had tons more spin than most people realized.
     
    #20
  21. Nathaniel_Near

    Nathaniel_Near G.O.A.T.

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    Relax folks, ...
    Maybe, I dunno. The main problem I have is that I'm just too far removed from that era to remember exactly just how strong Sampras was mentally (in matches of at least moderate importance, we know how Sampras didn't pour his best efforts into all the tournaments). What I would say is, Sampras' style of play - I see it being the type that would drive Nole up the wall much like how Tommy Haas was able to do in the 2009 Wimbledon quarter-finals. I don't think Nole's passing shots are at an elite level, personally, and I think Sampras could have stripped him of enough time to notch those 2011 levels of mental strength down. Another example from recent times would be Isner against Nole at Indian Wells. In short, I think Nole's amazing mental strength was built around playing in a great rhythm and knowing he could out-rally anyone. Pete might have just taken any such rhythm away from him. Worth a short discussion.
     
    #21
  22. YellowBall77

    YellowBall77 Banned

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    What does 'shotmaking' mean? Offensive tennis? Then yeah, Pete is better. However, Djoker's groundstrokes I think are better overall.
     
    #22
  23. Nathaniel_Near

    Nathaniel_Near G.O.A.T.

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    Relax folks, ...
    The eternal question, and it's hard to hone down the answer. I see it as the ability to hit many different and effective shots from many positions on the court. The great shot-makers can produce impressive and shocking shots from just about anywhere, whether it be of an offensive or defensive nature (most attach it to offence more than defence). The special shot-makers won't just have a tremendous array of shots, but also the ability to improvise on the spot and conjure up plays from unlikely scenarios that save their previously disadvantageous position in the rally. Sampras and Nole, whilst having solid general rally strokes in general (especially Nole), were/are also both very good shot-makers.

    I agree that on the whole Nole's ground-strokes are superior to Pete's bu tthat all things considered, Pete is the superior shot-maker, though it isn't a landslide victory. Nole has many great things going for him, particularly impressive is his ability to change the angle of attack in the middle of a rally, as well as his outstretched backhands which still generate tremendous pace and danger through the ball.
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2012
    #23
  24. abmk

    abmk G.O.A.T.

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    yes, rhythm is an important part of djoker's play. I'd agree with your statement provided it is on a sufficiently fast enough surface.

    Otherwise djoker's return and baseline game would overwhelm sampras on slower surfaces IMO ....

    the other thing is a 3 setter vs 5 setter. It is not easy to keep up an elite level of attacking tennis vs djoker for an extended amount of time/sets ...
     
    #24
  25. Enigma_87

    Enigma_87 Professional

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    Sampras forehand was definitely better. One of the best in the game in fact.
     
    #25
  26. roberttennis54

    roberttennis54 Semi-Pro

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    Sampras's forehand is better than Novak's but his movement and the rest of his game are not. Sampras could forehand really penetrated the court and allowed him to approach the net.
     
    #26
  27. YellowBall77

    YellowBall77 Banned

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    I agree; Djoker's angles are incredible and he seems to geometrically bully his opponents. I somewhat prefer this style of beautiful point construction and defense to offense to Fed/Pete's gracefully potent offensive attack and definitely prefer it to ball bashers. I realize I am in the minority in this. I concede that an offensive 'shotmaking' style seems to appeal to a great many people and on some level I recognize its beauty and get why people would find it superior to a Nadal type style of play. But I find Djoker's groundstrokes magnificent to watch in a more real, visceral sense than Sampras' one two punch or booming forehand.

    As a young 5.5 player who was never good enough to fulfill my dream of going pro, I watch pro tennis to see the game being played as perfectly as it can...to me Djoker's groundstrokes minus the slice are about as clean and perfect as one can hit them.
     
    #27
  28. Nathaniel_Near

    Nathaniel_Near G.O.A.T.

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    Relax folks, ...
    Yes. I definitely prefer Nole on slower surfaces and Pete on faster surfaces. I think 5 setters between the 2 on any surface would have been mentally uncomfortable for both, because even if Nole were to be slowly grinding him down on a slower surface, he still would just refuse to offer him any real rhythm, and Nole would probably get throught he match without ever feeling that he was truly allowed to play the type of game he wanted to. I think he lacks the instinctive flair of a Nadal to truly make elite attacking players look a little bit muggy. I think Nadal's passing shots are on another level to Nole's and that he would have done better overall than Nole in a h2h series with Pete.
     
    #28
  29. Nathaniel_Near

    Nathaniel_Near G.O.A.T.

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    Relax folks, ...
    While I admire Nole's often pristine timing, his forehand often looks awkward when rushed, and can become very loopy and be accompanied with an awkward and seemingly inefficient body shape. His backhand is a work of art, quite frankly. His slice is improving slowly, and his dropshots and lobs are both excellent and he strokes them with splendid touch and skill, no doubt.
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2012
    #29
  30. abmk

    abmk G.O.A.T.

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    well , I think the return is an even more important aspect than passing shots and djoker very clearly edges out nadal there .....nadal struggles far more vs big serving ....

    on any HC, definitely nole over nadal vs sampras ....

    grass and clay, obviously nadal ....

    problem with nole right now is that he used to be able to play first strike tennis back in 2007-08, but seems to have almost completely lost it now .....
     
    #30
  31. Nathaniel_Near

    Nathaniel_Near G.O.A.T.

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    Relax folks, ...
    Indeed, necessity via coercion, he has adapted for the current incarnation of the game, led by courts, a mutually exclusive accepted tennis playing ethos ushered by the newer generation of top players, and/or both.

    Yes, the counter argument is that the return can give Nole more important edges in the match-up than Nadal's passing shots. But I think there is a misconception currently about the quality of Nadal's first serve return, in that it is considerably better than people realise, and yet it is not talked about. He gets back an unusual amount of serves with his block returns, it actually becomes almost irritating to observe, due to how uncanny it is. I believe that so far this year, Nadal has won 38% of points returning the first serve, which IIRC, places him first in that category on tour.
     
    #31
  32. YellowBall77

    YellowBall77 Banned

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    I did notice in AO 2012 what you said about his forehand. In the 5th, I thought it might be over when his ball started getting real jumpy off the forehand side. Probably his only relative weakness on the ground aside from mediocre slice.
     
    #32
  33. Nathaniel_Near

    Nathaniel_Near G.O.A.T.

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    Relax folks, ...
    Yeh, He can't make the same impressive almost half volley strokes on the FH side that he can on the BH side. Fortunately, he's still young and fresh enough to somewhat fix aspects of his game. It's clear for example that he has superior skills at the net now compared to 2009/2010. His slice reminds me of Nadal's from a few years back; rarely threatening but accurate enough. It allows him to reset his positioning in a rally.
     
    #33
  34. The-Champ

    The-Champ Legend

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    neither Nadal nor Nole have experience of playing great net rushers, we can't asses how they would do against them. Speaking of big serves Karlovic has beaten Novak, Hewitt (his pigeon) but still remains winless against Nadal.

    on the topic at hand.

    I'm a huge Sampras' fan and while his fh could be brutal when on, it was less consistent than Novak's.

    Power-wise: Sampras
    Consistency: Novak

    Both Pete and Novak have very good fh, but not even among the 5 best fh of their eras.
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2012
    #34
  35. ThoughtCrime

    ThoughtCrime Rookie

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    I feel that Djokovic's forehand has already become much more fluent and potent than say 2009/2010. If you look at matches from that time, his forehand looks very awkward and unnatural, a lot more than it does now. It still has the tendency to break down, but much less than it did a few years ago.

    To answer the question in the thread, It's difficult to decide as they are different types of forehands. I guess Pete's is better as I remember it being very powerful and able to produce great shots. However, they are different eras and tennis has changed, so it's really hard to say.
     
    #35
  36. gennosuke

    gennosuke Banned

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    Seriously, the fact that he swung against Federer's serve and hoped it goes in shows his mental WEAKNESS more than his strength. :lol:
     
    #36
  37. abmk

    abmk G.O.A.T.

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    not really ......its not just that one point alone...its that he capitalized on it and completed the job ....

    even vs nadal this year at the AO, he was down a break in the final set ...

    had to save BPs vs murray at 5 all in the final set ......

    even vs JWT this year at the FO ....where he saved 4 MPs

    there was the close match vs murray at MC as well in 2011

    then he outlasted nadal in miami 2011 ( 3rd set breaker )

    .........
     
    #37
  38. namui

    namui Rookie

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    Sampras's running forehand is the best shot of all his groundstrokes. Those who didn't really watch Sampras in the 90's are misguided by the simplified abstract of how good he is (only serve and volley). It was the shot most young kids at the time tried to copy. Running at full speed and reaching the ball that was about to drop to the second bounce, people thought he would just be able to get the ball back over the net. Then, boom! another outright winner. He did this over and over.
     
    #38
  39. ZeroSkid

    ZeroSkid Banned

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    very accurate
     
    #39
  40. ZeroSkid

    ZeroSkid Banned

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    such a fail comment, he saved match points 2 years in a row, that is amazing mental strength
     
    #40
  41. BauerAlmeida

    BauerAlmeida Semi-Pro

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    No!, He is right. It's luck. Like here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V5Y9oaHlNC8. He was just lucky that ball went in...

    And here also: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hhjGrQgej78

    The ball just went in.

    And against Tsonga in RG this year too. And against Murray when he was facing a BP for serving for the match at 5-5. That shows his mental weakness too (?).
     
    #41
  42. YellowBall77

    YellowBall77 Banned

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    Djokovic 2011 and on, and maybe even USO 2010 and on is the most mentally strong player I have ever seen. If all players were equally skilled for one match on a neutral surface for my life, I'd pick Djoker every time.

    Imagine Fed playing for your life and you shuddering every time he hits a backhand in the net.
     
    #42
  43. TheF1Bob

    TheF1Bob Banned

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    Djokovic forehand > Sampras forehand regardless of form.

    More consistent of the two. :cool:
     
    #43
  44. droliver

    droliver Semi-Pro

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    I think that's true particularly about Sampras (more so then Novak).

    Sampras' running FH is the one you see on the highlight reels, but there were a bunch of his contemporaries that had better or more solid FH. He had a good forehand, he did not have a GREAT forehand. If you have arguably the best serve of any GOAT candidate and such a great FH shot, then you don't have such a drop off in your clay court results.
     
    #44
  45. USOpenfan

    USOpenfan New User

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    As much as I love Sampras I will have to say that Djokovic has a better forehand. Djokovic has a pure stroke that is dangerous for any player to handle.
     
    #45
  46. MTF07

    MTF07 Semi-Pro

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    :lol:

    Yes, of course, because that ties in perfectly with your "Nadal 2010 US Open is the greatest fast court player ever" line of thinking.
     
    #46
  47. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    This.


    Sampras's FH, as great as it was, wasn't even the best while he was playing. His running FH has reached mythical proportion. people don't realize he didn't hit that shot every time he was on the run,,,,,, fact is, he missed it more than he hit it.
     
    #47
  48. TennisBatman

    TennisBatman Semi-Pro

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    Wow...the poll is near dead even (25 for Sampras, 23 for Djokovic).

    Looks like there are good arguments for both sides.
     
    #48
  49. mental midget

    mental midget Professional

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    it's hard to compare shots that were built to do different things. pete's mechanics compliment a faster, lower-bouncing surface, and his forehand was not designed for wars of attrition, because attrition wasn't his game.

    novak's forehand is more consistent, can handle high balls much better, and allows him to hit inside out from an open stance, which is a big part of today's ground game. on the slicker courts of the not-too-distant past, though, pete's was a bigger weapon on a shot-to-shot basis.
     
    #49
  50. YellowBall77

    YellowBall77 Banned

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    Yeah, I think Pete's= bigger weapon. Djoker's = better overall.
     
    #50

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