Steffi Graf at RG

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by jamumafa, May 24, 2007.

  1. jamumafa

    jamumafa Semi-Pro

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    Eurosport are showing "Past RG champs" and showing classic matches.

    Watched Hingis vs Graf in the final.

    I have a question : In her career did Graf ever come over her BH? In the match I think she hit all of one topspin backhand.

    Obviously her careeer was not hampered by this (20 something Slams? Foook me) but I was just wondering.

    Also, how much of a idiot was Hingis?
     
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  2. Moose Malloy

    Moose Malloy Legend

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    '

    when she played S&V players, like martina n
     
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  3. CEvertFan

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    When playing someone like Navratilova she had no choice but to come over the backhand or suffer the consequences. She did hit a good topspin backhand when she wanted to, but she much preferred that biting slice as it always seemed a much more natural shot for her.

    As for Hingis she had that match in the palm of her hand and let the crowd and Graf and her own temperment get in her way. After watching the 1st set and half, I seriously thought she had it in the bag, but at least Steffi got to go out on a high note which was cool.
     
    Last edited: May 24, 2007
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  4. EZRA

    EZRA Rookie

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    I love that match.. it was after Hingis made that stupid comment - talking smack about Steffi's game... then Steffi made Hingis eat her words. NICE!
     
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  5. rommil

    rommil Legend

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    Condi is probably turning in the grave reading this and not being able to respond. Anyways, Graf most probably hit slice backhands 99.8% of her career. She hit occasional topspin backhand usually against somebody rushing to the net and Steffi was quite predictable, almost always trying to pass down the line. Whe she tries to hit the topspin backhand, it looks very unnatural on her. Also, she was scouted in practice trying a 2 handed backhand during the French Open in 1990(Sports Illustrated June 1990).
     
    Last edited: May 24, 2007
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  6. CEvertFan

    CEvertFan Hall of Fame

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    LOLOLOLOL Too true! :lol: :lol:
     
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  7. jamumafa

    jamumafa Semi-Pro

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    Ah ok thanks for the replies.

    Martina.N must have really scared her then, with all the beasty SandV.

    Is hingis still known for that Match Point underarm serve? I mean, It was pretty major, I'm surprised she doesnt get shiat for it
     
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  8. LDVTennis

    LDVTennis Professional

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    No, not always trying to pass down the line. Look at the '87 French Final. Tennis commentators in the US got it wrong. So, everyone seems to think she preferred to hit her topspin backhand down the line. If she had any preference, it was crosscourt.

    From 1987 to 1989, Steffi had an exceptional topspin backhand. The thing about it that I most admire is how she set up the shot with her forearm and then supinated her wrist through point of contact. It is sort of how you would expect her to hit her topspin backhand given her form on the slice backhand.

    After 1989, she sort of lost her form, choosing to sweep the head of the racquet through the ball with her entire arm, instead of setting up the head of the racquet with her forearm. A real shame she didn't continue to explore the potential of the shot in its first incarnation. It could have been a great shot.
     
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  9. TheNatural

    TheNatural Legend

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    I saw her hitting backhand drives once againt some volleyer once, it may have been in a semi against someone like Navotna or Navratilova. I forget who it was against now, but i remember her hitting them versus a voller throughout one match. She did well, she also hit a few Juuussstt out then reverter back to the slice. She could hit a good knife-like slice to pass people at the net.

    I saw her at the beginning of 1999. During her practice session she was hitting a 2 handed backhand exclusively and doing 2 handed backhand rally drills. This surprised me greatly as I had no idea she could even hit 2 handers. Then later she was practicing her regular slice and HUGE HUGE forehand. She never used the 2 hander in the matches. Perhaps she was just developing it so she could use it once it became a weapon and if she planned playing for many more years. But she retired that year after winning the French and being runner up at Wimbledon, so she never got the chance to try her 2 hander.
     
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  10. rommil

    rommil Legend

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    Condi, you on parole?
     
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  11. BTURNER

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    Per Evert in commentary , her slice was predictable as well. Almost always cross court.
     
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  12. CEvertFan

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    Graf's slice BH was both a strength and a weakness. Power players like Seles were able to pick on that side which made it a weakness but it was more of a weapon for her on faster surfaces like a fast indoor carpet or grass as it stayed sooooo low and had a lot of bite to it. I've also seen her hit slice BH passing shots against net rushers, but against the very best net players she usually tried to pass with the topspin BH.
     
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  13. CEvertFan

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    Evert was no fool. I remember watching their last match at Wimbledon '89 in the semis, Evert wisely hit most of her shots to Graf's BH, because she knew what would happen if she tried to go toe to toe with the forehand. Evert, who was clearly past her prime by this time, just didn't have enough power to bother Graf and Steffi was sooooo fast that she was able to get to all Chris' sharply angled crosscourt shots with ease until she could run around the BH and blast a forehand. Evert tried her best to stay with Graf from the baseline and extend the rallies, hoping for errors and there were a lot of duece games even on Steffi's serve, but there was no way she was beating Graf on grass that day.
     
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  14. Warriorroger

    Warriorroger Hall of Fame

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    Monica herself never thought of the Graf backhand as weak, which it wasn't. Did you ever see Monica hit a slice? No, it was not her game, just like the rolled backhand wasn't Steffi's. Do you mock Evert for not hitting 100 miles per hour serves or blasting winners with her forehand? Why does everyone feel the need to critcize Graf always relentlessly. I you can win a Golden Slam with a slice, you must be doing something good.


    Q. What is it about Steffi's slice backhand that makes it such a tough shot?
    MONICA SELES: I think it is -- you hardly have players on the Tour that hit the slice backhand; especially as much as she has. And it is on a fast court it stays very low and it is very difficult to dig up and dictate the point.
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2007
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  15. suwanee4712

    suwanee4712 Professional

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    I don't understand where people get the idea that Steffi's backhand was weak. It was the weakER side, but not weak. I bet Monica wishes that Steffi had hit more topspin against her, because she would've been able to hit a shoulder height ball that she excelled at hitting with two hands. She struggled much more with Steffi's slice, which was much lower and made Monica have to hit up on the ball. That's hardly the position in which to take control of a point from.

    When Monica beat Steffi, I don't think it was ever because she overpowered Steffi's backhand. I think it was her great use of angles that could draw Steffi off the court on either side with those wristy shots and two handed grips.

    As big as her forehand was, I bet no one in the history of the game has ever had to hit as many backhands as Steffi did. So it was more than tested. If it was as bad as people make it out to be, she would've never accomplished all that she did.
     
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  16. suwanee4712

    suwanee4712 Professional

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    Oh lord, I hope Chris didn't really say that. Because EVERYBODY has a tendency to hit cross court. I don't know of any players that hit more shots down the line than cross court where the net is lower.

    Besides, Steffi's bread-and-butter play was to slice crosscourt to a righty's backhand (most likely a two-handed backhand) until she could get it low enough and angled enough to get a short response to setup her forehand.
     
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  17. Warriorroger

    Warriorroger Hall of Fame

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    Dear Suwanee, no use explaining here, bye downplaying everything Graf's done, they problably feel more secure about the results of their own players. And so what she has tendency to hit crosscourt; then the other players were rather stupid by not figuring that out. Thanks for trying though.
     
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  18. Borat72

    Borat72 Banned

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    Same with her forehand.
    Almost always close to the line and damn fast.
     
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  19. Borat72

    Borat72 Banned

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    Actually her slice BH was a weapon on clay too.
     
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  20. CEvertFan

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    I disagree. Watch some of her matches on clay against power hitters and you will see that she was forced into a lot of errors off that side and on clay her slice didn't stay as low as on other surfaces and therefore didn't trouble players as much as it would if it were anywhere but on clay. I watched Graf for almost her whole career and her insistence on ALWAYS going to the slice backhand was not only predictable, it could become a liability, depending on who she was playing. Also against someone who was able to hit a great shot down the line to her forehand had an advantage because she was always moving to her backhand side, looking to run around it and blast a forehand. I am not picking on Steffi's greatness because that is without question. Many experts thought she should try to develop a more consistent topspin backhand and not always rely on her slice backhand.
     
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  21. Warriorroger

    Warriorroger Hall of Fame

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    How many GS have those experts won. Such useless posts. Be glad she didn't develop a topspinbackhand, she would have had even more GS according to your logic and your experts.
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2007
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  22. suwanee4712

    suwanee4712 Professional

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    I like CEvertFan a lot and other posters that aren't aggreeing with us here. We're just not all going to agree on everything. To be fair I have my disagreements with a lot of Graf fans too on different issues.

    But I guess I'm a good player (or an idiot :p )of "devil's advocate." Because the conventional wisdom during Steffi's time was to move to a two handed backhand for most players. Therefore meaning that the one handed backhand itself was a weakness. But I, personally, believe that I saw Steffi *exploit* the big weakness of the two handed backhand (reach) more than they exploited her backhand.

    I do like Martina's and Monica's left angle hooks into Steffi's backhand though that tail away from Steffi though. But they were the only two signficant lefties of her era.

    I think it's interesting to also point out that all 3 of Steffi's favorite shots went to a righty's (most likely two handed) backhand: serve, run around forehand, and the slice backhand.
     
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  23. Borat72

    Borat72 Banned

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    That would have meant always changing the grip between forehand and backhand. Would have put her off balance considering what a technically difficult stroke her forehand was.
    The "experts" were wrong.

    A topspin backhand is only for players who neither have the world's best forehand nor the world's best slice backhand.
     
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  24. bluetrain4

    bluetrain4 Legend

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    There may have been a few matches, primarily losses to Seles or Sanchez vicario (or even those Coetzer losses) where a topspin backhand could have helped her in theory, or even just the variety (even if she only hit a few), but it's easy to see that "in theory"

    I think a lot of people project the fact that for a lot of players (including all most all rec players, as well as very good college players and more than a few pros), the slice backhand is primarily a defenseive shot used when reach is limited or they can't get their grip around, or the ball being hit is too low.

    But, I always thought Graf's slice was a true weapon, so "knifed" and so deep. I think because most of her untouchable winners came from the forehand side, people dismiss her slice as a weapon.

    Someone said that against power players, her backhand could give her trouble. Join the club. Many players have trouble when they are being hit at hard into the backhand, slice or topspin. I mean, if you're making some errors off of your backhand side when Seles is painting lines at sick angles, I wouldn't necessarily say that's a defect in your backhand.
     
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  25. Warriorroger

    Warriorroger Hall of Fame

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    Graf could have been more effective not with a topspin backhand, but with a better strategical game. There have been so many times when she hit deep and hard and stayed back. Her instincts were poor at the net, but if she had worked on that aspect, she would have been like a female Federer.
     
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  26. rommil

    rommil Legend

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    WR we get it. You like Graf and Federer but please stop talking about those two in parallel since Roger has a much more rounded game than Steffi. I respect Steffi's achievements but she was not an all rounded player. Don't get too carried away.
     
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  27. FedSampras

    FedSampras Semi-Pro

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    I completely agree. There is simply no comparison. Federer is a complete player and way more talented. WarriorParche is just riding on the Fed Bandwagon.

    Graf was a one dimentional player who benefitted immensely after the best player in women's tennis during those years was forcibly removed from the game. Graf is so overrated.
     
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  28. Warriorroger

    Warriorroger Hall of Fame

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    Stop talking?? We are not in old Germany anymore, I can talk whatever I want to. Where did I say Graf is an all round player? She was a one dimensional player, but with a great game.
     
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  29. Borat72

    Borat72 Banned

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    But Graf's forehand and footwork was EXTREMELY superior to other female players. The same can't be said about Federer among the male players.

    That's the reason why Graf has 22 slams and Federer only 11.
     
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  30. Borat72

    Borat72 Banned

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    Meaning that almost all fans and experts rate her very, very high?
    You maybe right here .... :D
     
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  31. Borat72

    Borat72 Banned

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    If Graf was "one-dimensional" what can be said about today's players?
    Graf was the greatest base-liner ever with a decent net game. Her wins on all different surfaces are ample proof.
     
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  32. Warriorroger

    Warriorroger Hall of Fame

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    Also one dimensional. Graf had a great volley, but a louzy net game.
     
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  33. ATPballkid

    ATPballkid Professional

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    How many players would have to be stabbed for Graf to rank within the top 4 of women's tennis today?

    Graf just needs to thank her lucky stars that she was able to have an inflated record without having anything to give up for it.
     
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  34. Warriorroger

    Warriorroger Hall of Fame

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    LOL What took you so long, they banned one weirdo, yet you guys are free to post. Must be good friends with the moderators on this board. Can't wait to read your comments again. Bring them on.
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2007
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  35. rommil

    rommil Legend

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    By all means go ahead. And yeah keep perpetrating your belief that Graf should coach Federer.
     
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  36. rommil

    rommil Legend

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    Ok I guess Condi's lovechild has surfaced. You can spit out any numbers you want but please don't compare the two. Funny how you pointed out forehand and footwork like those are the only two important necessities of a good tennis game.
     
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  37. Warriorroger

    Warriorroger Hall of Fame

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    You really think I should do so. Good, I really thought you were making fun of it and mocking the whole idea. What areas do you think she could help him improve and do you think she ought to do it full time. Maybe hard to do with her being a mother. She could get Mirka into shape as well. Can't wait for it to happen.

    Bye Rommil:-D
     
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  38. rommil

    rommil Legend

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    Good to see you are finally getting up to speed.And oh yeah, I was mocking the idea lol....still am.
     
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  39. Borat72

    Borat72 Banned

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    She often didn't have the perfect timing for when to go to the net.
    But compared to most of today's top players she was a very decent player at the net.
     
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  40. Borat72

    Borat72 Banned

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    I don't see any of today's players being out for more than 2 (!) years due to a minor stab wound. Today's players are no sissies!
     
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  41. Borat72

    Borat72 Banned

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    No, a good serve, a great slice backhand, stamina, mental strength, tactical skills and work ethic help a lot, too. Taken everything together it can propel you to GOAT status.
     
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  42. Warriorroger

    Warriorroger Hall of Fame

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    You are? I thought you weren't, now I am sad.:-(
     
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  43. ATPballkid

    ATPballkid Professional

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    How much did the Gunther part of that singles team earn? He was the MVP of that singles team.
     
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  44. BTURNER

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    To graf's defense

    This is ridiculous. we don't decide which titles of Graf we can disparage because Seles wasn't in the tournament. We don't get to take titles away from Lenglen because Wills did not enter or Wills because Lenglen went pro. Or titles from Evert because Austin was too injured to enter or deprive Court of Australian's because King and Bueno didn't fly down under very often. We cannot give Evert French titles because she played team tennis in the mid seventies. We cannot give US open's to King or Goolagong because the surface changed to clay before their final days. I have a novel idea. Let's not alter or minimize anyone's accomplishments.
     
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  45. BTURNER

    BTURNER Hall of Fame

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    i submit that Graf's claim to GOAT rests on the number of slams and how they were disperse equally on any and all surfaces. We knew what surface Nav was best on and weakest. The same for Evert, King, and Court. Only Graf was equally deadly on any surface against any style. That slice was steady enough to beat the best on clay and potent enough to pass or force errors on grass. The serve was a weapon on hard or indoors and the forehand was deadly anywhere.
     
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