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. fed_rulz

    fed_rulz Hall of Fame

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    LOL, way to deflate the Pete kool-aid balloon :)

    Also, those claiming that "Pete had the best running FH or all time" -- so what? that's a rare enough shot that you don't use that as an argument to claim he had a better FH.

    Novak's FH is not as aesthetically pleasing as Pete's but certainly more effective across all surfaces. I've never seen anyone track down short-angled cross-court shots to the FH as Novak has, and return them with interest.
     
    #51
  2. illkhiboy

    illkhiboy Hall of Fame

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    Tough to compare since their forehands are so different, and are built around their respective games. That said

    Explosiveness: Sampras
    Angles: Djokovic
    Margin for error: Djokovic
    Versatility: Djokovic
    Running forehand: Sampras
    Rally ball: Djokovic

    Sampras' forehand was a big shot, but it wasn't very versatile. If his forehands were not coming off, it's not like he could play it safe and hit penetrating rally balls. Technically he could but that wasn't going to win him a lot of points against the likes of the best baseliners.

    I don't think he was particularly good at handling high balls either with his eastern grip, which is probably why he struggled on clay.

    But it was such a huge shot that opponents were not comfortable hitting to it - observe how selectively Agassi would hit to that wing, especially on fast courts.

    Djokovic's on the other hand is not as forceful as Sampras's was, or for that matter, Federer's. But then he doesn't need to go for as much, because he has such a great backhand, plus superb defense.

    He can pretty much do anything with it when it's on, but he doesn't have Pete's sheer explosiveness. And Sampras' running forehand is legendary for a reason. There's no comparison there.
     
    #52
  3. Evan77

    Evan77 Banned

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    this, you summed it up very well. I was gonna post something very similar but you hit the nail for sure. I'm so happy, when I see smart guys/gals here :)
     
    #53
  4. papertank

    papertank Hall of Fame

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    Djokovic definitely.
     
    #54
  5. illkhiboy

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    Haha thanks. I'll be looking out for your posts.
     
    #55
  6. The-Champ

    The-Champ Legend

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    I would put Rafa's running forehand ahead of Pete's. Pistol missed a lot more.
     
    #56
  7. Russeljones

    Russeljones G.O.A.T.

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    Do I have to remind you of the surfaces those balls bounced off before Sampras missed/made them? ;)
     
    #57
  8. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    Yes, please remind us all of how much more he missed that running forehand vs made it.
     
    #58
  9. Devilito

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    back in the 90s they had more surfaces than just clay so hitting winners was actually a viable strategy as opposed to non-stop grinding until your opponent makes an error or dies on court due to massive coronary from exhaustion.

    Petros had one of the best forehands of all time and a very good backhand. There’s a reason he held his ground just fine against Andrei off the ground. Andrei got into trouble countless times the second he put a ball to Petros’ forehand. When you hit a ball to Petro’s forehand and give him enough time to set up you know the point is about to end. With Djokovic it’s not like hitting to his forehand means the point is over. I’d be much more worried about hitting to Petros’ forehand than Djokovic so with that it’s obvious Petros’ had a superior forehand. Djokovic and Nadal are just lucky that the only difference in today’s clay surfaces is color.
     
    #59
  10. BeHappy

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    This is ridiculous. Djokovic has a good forehand, but Federer, Nadal, Soderling, Berdych, Verdasco all have better forehands than him.

    Sampras had the best forehand of his generation. He destroyed Courier and Agassi in baseline forehand to forehand exchanges throughout their career. In his generation only Becker had a forehand to match his (only 2 years older).

    People say "Sampras only won because of his serve". Sampras's serve is overrated. Ivanisevic hit 50% more aces than Sampras, and Rusedski/ Philippoussis/Krajicek hit 15mph faster than him.

    Watch Federer v Agassi in their 2004 and 2005 AO and USO matches, then watch Sampras v Agassi Wimbledon/Cincinnati/TMC 1999. It's uncanny. There's a reason everyone instantly began comparing Federer to Sampras. Federer and Berdych are the only players with forehand weapons as good as Sampras's.
     
    #60
  11. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    Total falsehood. Both courier and Agassi dominated Sampras from the baseline, even in fh to fh exchanges.
     
    #61
  12. BeHappy

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    No they didn't. In the 1999 Wimbledon final Sampras broke Agassi's serve for fun. Think about this, every baseline rally in the match began with a serve to Sampras's backhand, and Agassi still couldn't hold his serve with baseline rallies. That goes for every Grand slam final they played bar the AO.

    And Courier???? How many majors did Sampras knock Courier out of? Courier says himself the key to that match up was Sampras getting im out wide on the backhand then slamming the ball to Courier's forehand - Courier's extreme grip meant he was terrible at hitting the ball late. He'd pop up a short ball and Sampras would slam home a forehand winner. Very like the Blake - Nadal match up come to think of it.
     
    #62
  13. sportsfan1

    sportsfan1 Hall of Fame

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    This is a good list. However on the passing shots, while I haven't seen Sampras's (youtbe videos show s&v, some BH DTL passing), isn't Djok better in this area - he seems to know exactly how much spin to apply and how much to go through the stroke, even when he's completely out of position (which is only when most opponents approach these days)?

     
    #63
  14. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    In the 1999 wimbledon final, of rallies that went at leat 4 shots (all of which coincidentally were on AA's serve), Agassi won 57% of those points.

    Courier also dominated Sampras from the baseline. For example, the 1995 AO, using the same guielines as above, Courier won 65% of the points from the baseline.

    In fact, under this scenario, Sampras had 2 bh winners/27 errors, and 4 fh winners/ 17 errors. Courier had 7 bh winners/15 errors and 15 fh winners/15 errors.

    Both above matches in which sampras won.

    Like I said, you are dead wrong.


    "errors" defined as "didn't get ball back into play whether forced or unforced.
     
    #64
  15. BeHappy

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    Consider that every SINGLE baseline point was on Agassi's serve and began with a serve to Sampras's backhand and Sampras STILL won JUST under 50%!!!!!!!!! That is insane!

    And that's just on Agassi's serve! Imagine if Sampras had served and stayed back??? He'd have won 95% of baseline rallies on his own serve and would have an overall baseline win % of around 80%! He DOMINATED Agassi from the baseline. He broke Agassi to love more than once. Then he did it again in Cincinnati, Los Angelos and the TMC!
     
    #65
  16. Devilito

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    …on slow surfaces only. At Wimbledon or the US Open forget about it. There is a reason Andre and Jim were most successful at the Australian Open. Once Wimbledon, US Open and the indoor season hit, in comparison to Petros, they were better off staying at home. And that includes baseline rallies. Watch Petros dominate both Andre and Jim at the US Open from the baseline. It’s was rather disheartening because I was a big Agassi and Courier fan and found Petros boring to watch (mainly because of his lack of personality). But when I saw Andre or Jim come up against Petros in the US Open draw I knew it was going to be lights out barring a miracle.
     
    #66
  17. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    I suppose you didn't read the above stats (one of them is from Wimbledon). But since you mentioned it, here are the following:

    • US Open in 1995, Agassi won 64% of the basleine exchanges,
    • US Open in 2001, Agassi won 65%.
    • Year end finals 1999, Agassi won 67%
    • etc

    PS: If you want to be taken seriously, stop calling Sampras "Petros". It sounds stupid.
     
    #67
  18. roberttennis54

    roberttennis54 Semi-Pro

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    This is partly true. Agassi definitely won most of the baseline points even at the US, but this was because of Pete. All of sudden when it was a big point Pete would concentrate harder, put more effort in and win. Back then I was a big Agassi fan. I used to be annoyed and shocked how Sampras would suddenly even start hitting great backhands on important points. The 95 US Open final probably changed tennis history.
     
    #68
  19. BeHappy

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    Every single baseline rally in 2001 began with a serve to Sampras's backhand and Sampras STILL won BARELY under 50%!! Imagine what that % of baseline exchanges would have looked like if Sampras had stayed back????

    In 1995 every single baseline exchange began with a second serve from Sampras or a serve from Agassi to SAmpras's backhand! Imagine what that % of baseline exchanges would have looked like if Sampras had stayed back???


    Sampras comprehensively dominated Agassi from the baseline on fast surfaces.
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2012
    #69
  20. fed_rulz

    fed_rulz Hall of Fame

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    you make sampras look like an idiot for venturing the net more often as opposed to staying back. because, according to you, Sampras would've had more success than what he actually did if Sampras stayed back more, and you sure must know more than what he did on how to play Agassi. In other words, you claim Sampras had no clue as to what he was doing, but it somehow worked??

    wtf dude.. you start with the assumption that Sampras had a better ground game (FH, for instance) than Agassi, and you're making adjustments to stats to fit your assumption. Do you have a valid explanation for Drakulie's stats? if not, please stop making stuff up to suit your agenda.
     
    #70
  21. BeHappy

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    Sampras won about 90-95% of points on his first serve on grass in about 3 shots thanks to serve and volleying. He had bad stamina and would have been an idiot to stay back and only win 75%-80% from the baseline and play long exhausting points.

    But look what he was doing on Agassi's serve. You can't tell me with him winning 46% of points on Agassi's serve he would have had a problem winning from the baseline behind his own serve?
     
    #71
  22. fed_rulz

    fed_rulz Hall of Fame

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    I can, and I will. Drak's stats are from rallies that lasted 3 shots or more, so you can make a fair assumption that who was serving was a non-issue.
     
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  23. BeHappy

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    Even though the serve determines who has the upper hand in a rally? Nadal and Djoker mostly hold serve when they play and their rallies are insanely long so your interpretation of that statistic doesn't work.
     
    #73
  24. fed_rulz

    fed_rulz Hall of Fame

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    but we're not talking about Djokovic or Nadal, are we? stick to the point. And in the 1999 wimbledon final, Agassi got only 46% of his first serves in, so more than half the time he served, he was starting the point in a neutral position!
     
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  25. BeHappy

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    Watch the match. Sampras started hitting insane returns and Agassi had to try and red line his serve and nothing worked for him. In the former pro player section there is a stat showing it was Agassi's highest ever average mph on first serve in a final.

    Remember, Sampras was used to facing Becker and Ivanisevic in the final. Agassi's 115mph serves must have looked hilariously slow to him.

    Djokovic-Nadal and countless other matches establish the principle that your interpretation of that stat is wrong.
     
    #75
  26. fed_rulz

    fed_rulz Hall of Fame

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    dude, you're all over the place. FOCUS.

    So you do agree that Agassi won most of the rallies that started from a neutral position (Sampras hitting insane returns, nothing working for Agassi, living on 2nd serves, 115mph weak serves etc.)?
     
    #76
  27. BeHappy

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    No, he was either hitting 115mph serves to Sampras's backhand or kicking the ball up high to Sampras's backhand on his second serve, which Sampras was never really able to get around and hit a forehand on in that match. So you have to admit that either Sampras's forehand or backhand was far better than you say it is.

    Anyway, I'm finished posting here for today, back tomorrow. See you then.
     
    #77
  28. gennosuke

    gennosuke Banned

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    :lol: You're so full of ****. :lol: Agassi's serve wasn't particularly hard to return.
     
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  29. Russeljones

    Russeljones G.O.A.T.

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    If you want to be taken seriously you'd use more than 3 matches to support your theory about a player's stroke.
     
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  30. Devilito

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    The majority of baseline exchanges were on Andre’s serve. Basically showing his service game holds. The fact that they were that close is amazing to see how into every one of Andre’s game Pistol was. If Pistol stayed back on his serve the stats would be completely different and in Pistol’s favor
     
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  31. fed_rulz

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    that's 3 more than the "Pete has the better FH" group has managed to offer..
     
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  32. BauerAlmeida

    BauerAlmeida Semi-Pro

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    And you're comparing Agassi's worst surfaces against Sampras's best. And Agassi still has the edge (on baseline rallies). What about on clay? Agassi won almost baseline rally there probably.
     
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  33. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    Actually, what is "hilarious" is the fact that not counting aces, Agassi hit more unreturned serves than Sampras (30 to 25).

    Again, you are wrong.

    fact is, Sampras played quick strike tennis, and was never able to dominate baseline exchanges (even when he won the match).
     
    #83
  34. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    Here is a thread where this same discussion took place 6 years ago.

    I completed 9 matches (8 of which Sampras won), and he was never able to dominate from the baseline in any of them.

    http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=100334&page=9

    Sampras and Agassi played 34 times with a 20-14 edge to Sampras. These stats show 8 of his wins (nearly half). Imagine if I did all the matches Agassi won. The numbers would be worse.
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2012
    #84
  35. BeHappy

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    In stats not compiled by you, Sampras dominated the baseline against Agassi. Every rally starting with a serve to his backhand and he still wins nearly 50% of them and breaks him multiple times, often to love. The 1999 Wimbledon final and the USO QF posted by you are great examples.
     
    #85
  36. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    ^^Yes, inclduding every serve started with a ball toss. :roll:
     
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  37. Start da Game

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    sampras's forehand could not be attacked.......djokovic's forehand can be attacked and broken down.......
     
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  38. Start da Game

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    he could hang with the best of the best baseliners between 1990 and 1997.......
     
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  39. fed_rulz

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    From Drak's stats, it was clear that Sampras had way more errors than he had winners on his FH, so yes, his FH cannot be attacked :confused:
     
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  40. fed_rulz

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    not the same as being among the best baseliners from 2007 onwards.
     
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  41. Start da Game

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    federer is not a predominant serve and volley-er, but sampras was.......so hanging with the best baseliners wasn't difficult for federer who was a baseliner himself......
     
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  42. Evan77

    Evan77 Banned

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    not true at all ... Novak's FH is a much more consistent/reliable shot. Pet's FH was great but he used to mishit very often.
     
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  43. Start da Game

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    stats don't say everything......the impact of no. of errors back then doesn't equal the impact of no. of errors today.......the game has shifted totally towards defense and consistency whereas it was more about aggression back then.......

    sampras's forehand was a weapon.......a lethal one.......he could pretty much shut the point with one sledgehammer forehand by following it to the net......it could not be attacked in the sense the more you tried to drag him out wide the faster he used to hammer it back.......that leads to a few more errors as well but that's what explains what i said above about how the game was played back then.......
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2012
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  44. The-Champ

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    Nobody attacked it actually, because everyone attacked his backhand :D
     
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  45. Devilito

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    how well did that work out for them?
     
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  46. droliver

    droliver Semi-Pro

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    drakulie's 2006 breakdown of the result of points (with balls in play for more then two shots) was pretty clear and compelling showing that Sampras' effectiveness dropped waaaay off if he had to work points from the baselines and that his FH errors shot up. Now with it being Agassi on the other side of the net, you'd see similar results with most others I'd wager, but it should put things a little more in perspective. This is consistent with my feelings that people forget how dependent Sampras was on his serve to make his game work.

    Novak's FH better for all seasons IMO
     
    #96
  47. Devilito

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    What seasons would those be? Red Clay Season, Green Clay Season and Blue Clay Season?
     
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  48. fed_rulz

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    i was talking about Djokovic.
     
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  49. The-Champ

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    NOT good. you're asking a huge Pete fan here :D Pete sliced his backhand really low and rushed the net faster than the speed of light and knocked a volley winner to the open court. That's what he often did when a baseliner attacked his backhand.
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2012
    #99
  50. Start da Game

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    pete's backhand had no problems on grass.......he dominated rallies at wimbledon.......used to bend his right knee and rip it down the line and cross court.......even indoors it was a very good shot for him as he could measure the stroke and deliver under controlled playing conditions (under the roof).......

    his backhand had some problems on clay and high bouncing hardcourts.......
     

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