The best backhand ever?

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by theagassiman, Mar 17, 2009.

  1. Fedace

    Fedace Banned

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    Guequet blows away all these guys. only trouble with richard is that his mind betrays him too often,,weak minded. All of the above had mental toughness that average pros just didn't have.
     
  2. President

    President Legend

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    Guys I have great respect for Stefan Edberg..but I really question putting his BH over David Nalbandian's. I know players in this section have a particular respect for players in the past, but I truly think Nalbandian's backhand is quite a bit better than Edberg's. The things he can do with it when he is on are even more impressive than Agassi imo.
     
  3. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    Well then, obviously you haven't seen Safin's bakchand!
     
  4. struggle

    struggle Hall of Fame

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    for 2 - handers, mecir deserves an honorable mention.

    i don't recall ever seeing a player seem to "hold" the ball on his stick
    for so long, giving him so many choices it seemed. not to mention at his top form he was hitting a "wood" midsize while everyone else had moved onto
    the fancy stuff.

    best ever? no, but it was sweet.
     
  5. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    Mecir could do anything with that backhand. It was great on the return of serve and with his great reach he could get a lot of returns back offensively. I have a hunch if he didn't have the injury problems that Mecir would be much higher on this list. I can see that backhand of his as top five if he played longer.

    I think Mecir could do more with his backhand than Agassi for example. Every time I think about what a short career this genius had I am a little sad. :(
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2010
  6. powerslave

    powerslave Rookie

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    For 2handers I think Kafelnikov would definitely be a serious contender.
     
  7. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    Mecir is on the list, definitely.
     
  8. himynameisNIKE

    himynameisNIKE Professional

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  9. BTURNER

    BTURNER Hall of Fame

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    Going off-topic but he's one of those who denied you good choices. That forehand was a bit unorthodox, but just as deceptive. He could hit angle, pace or off-pace stuff and spin on that wing as well.
     
  10. okdude1992

    okdude1992 Hall of Fame

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    andrei pavel?
     
  11. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    He was fun to watch when he did that to his opponents. His opponents never seemed to be able to get set to hit a decent shot when Mecir was on his game.
     
  12. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    Sorry, never heard of Guequet.
     
  13. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    Better, maybe! Quite a bit better? No one's backhand is quite a bit better than Edberg's.
     
  14. The-Champ

    The-Champ Legend

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    I can't believe there are people who think Edberg's backhand is better than Nalbandian's. What's next? Chang has better serve than Krajicek?
     
  15. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    Very poor analogy!
     
  16. The-Champ

    The-Champ Legend

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    That was a perfect analogy. Stefan had a great backhand slice, but as a rally shot, it was baaaaaaaaaaad! Even Sampras had a better one.


    Nalbandian's backhand on the other hand is powerful, accurate and consistent and can sometimes even kill Nadal's fh.
     
  17. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    It was a very poor analogy, based on what I now know is your lack of knowledge about Edberg's backhand. You apparently haven't seen him play. He had one of the best topspin backhands in the history of tennis. He could hit blistering passing shots and serve returns with heavy topspin on the backhand side cross court and down the line. Apparently, you know nothing of this. No wonder you made such an inappropriate analogy. Sampras' backhand was very good. Edberg's backhand was an all time great. Nalbandian has a great backhand too. The difference is that Edberg's backhand is great in the finals of major championships against other major champions. Nalbandians is not, and, as much as I love his groundies, it probably never will be.

    Here's a small example of the kind of backhand Edberg had. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zpZnZlXWxQw
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2010
  18. The-Champ

    The-Champ Legend

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    ah...so you think Edberg won slams because of his blistering backhands. Next time you watch tennis matches...try opening your eyes!
     
  19. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    Non sequitur! You're an idiot!
     
  20. The-Champ

    The-Champ Legend

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    Throwing ad hominems when you can't produce counter arguments is idiotic. The irony of it all!
     
  21. Zimbo

    Zimbo Semi-Pro

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    I think you are the only person here that thinks Sampras had a better backhand then Edberg. Jeez are you serious? Even Becker who had a great backhand himself said Edberg had the best one handed backhand he ever played against. Get a grip dude.
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2010
  22. Zimbo

    Zimbo Semi-Pro

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    I would agree that on ave fed's backhand was hit harder. But you have to bear in mind that shots today in general are hit harder more often then in the past. Cause of this Fed has more pace to work with when he hits his backhand, thus he on ave hits it back harder. However, when Edberg went for it, IMHO his backhand was hit harder the Fed. Plus, Edberg had a much more penetrating slice backhand. He had more bite and it skid alot lower then that of Fed's. Guys like Nadal kills Fed's slices but guys like Lendl, Agassi, and Sampras wasn't able to that against the Edberg slice. Fed's backhand breaks down all the time against Nadal's lefty topspin. This never happend to Edberg when he faced Muster. Granted Nadal hits with alittle more topspin the Muster.
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2010
  23. dave t

    dave t New User

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    zimbo
    keep in mind the surfaces played differently in the past. courts are slower now. comparing edberg's bh v. ?? to fed's bh v. nadal is not really fair. edberg never faced a player like nadal - add in slow courts, slow balls, poly strings, new racquets - not a good comparison.
     
  24. abmk

    abmk G.O.A.T.

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    sampras did NOT have a better BH or BH slice than edberg ... it was a better rally shot than sampras' BH anyday of the week ...

    it was not a bad BH as rally shot by any means , it was a pretty decent one ...

    on the other hand, there's no way edberg's BH is better than nalby's
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2010
  25. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    You don't know what an argument is. There is no argument. You declaimed that Edberg only hit slice backhands. In response, I proved that you don't know what you're talking about. In an attempt to salvage your self esteem, you tried to change the subject, the calling card of a b u l l s h i t t e r! There's no irony here at all. You're just wrong and you aren't man enough to admit it!
     
  26. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    But, Ralph never faced a player like Edberg either. I don't think Ralph has the passing shots needed to consistently succeed against Edberg on any kind of grass or fast hard court. Ralph's big looping groundstrokes that clear the net by 4-5 feet are very effective against other backcourt players. But, it would be a recipe for defeat against an athlete with the size, speed and net game skills that Edberg had. I also think Edberg had a better backhand than Ralph from everywhere on the court. JMHO, of course!
     
  27. Zimbo

    Zimbo Semi-Pro

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    Yes of course I factored this in. Edberg vs Muster and Fed vs Nadal comparison is difficult because of the poly strings that allows the spin that Nadal is able to create. Fair enough. But lets talk about Fed's slice vs Edberg's slice. Edberg's was much heavier and penetrating. Guys who played against him with big forehands (Lendl, Becker, Agassi, Courier, and Sampras) rarely were able to attack it compared to guys today (Nadal, Soderling, Joker, and even Murray) who are able to attack Fed's backhand slice. Nobody except Rosewall (I never seen it but I'll believe those who has) had a better slice backhand then Edberg.
     
  28. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    First, how much more spin do you think Ralph generates with his string than he could have with the string available in the 90's? 5%? 10%?

    Second, I agree with your assessment of Edberg's vs. Federer's bh. And, I think that this difference is a fairly universal distinction between most backhand slices today vs. pre-2000. It seems that, today, players are hitting more of what Tilden would distinguish as a "chop" rather than a slice. In the past, most player's hit mostly slice backhands. But, they were drive-slices with a much flatter swing path, a rolling backspin that resulted in a more powerful, penetrating shot. Today, it seems all backhand slices are executed with a much more drastic downward swing path, imparting a much more severe backspin than a pure slice would generate. I'm not sure why this change occurred, but, it's quite obvious to me.

    In any event, IMHO, Edberg's backhand was better than Federer's to the extent that it was much more reliable. Edberg's backhand was money in the bank. Federer's backhand can be spectacular, but also, can be erratic it terms of clean ball striking and consistent depth and accuracy, and has successfully been expoited. I don't ever recall Edberg's backhand letting him down the way Federer's has.

    As for great slice backhands that were as good as Edberg's, in addition to Rosewall I would include Laver, Roche and Emerson. 5 of the best 1hb's of all time. Among these, only Rosewall didn't have an equally great topspin backhand. But, Rosewall proved conclusively that he didn't need one.
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2010
  29. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    Emerson's backhand was easily top 10! There isn't much video of Emerson available online, but, here's a small example. There's another one between Emerson and Roche I'll try to find.

    http://www.britishpathe.com/record.php?id=70015

    PS: I can't find the Emmo/Roche clip (did I say roche clip? bahahaha!). But, here's another short clip of Emerson beating Laver at the U.S. Nationals. No bh groundies, unfortunately.

    http://www.britishpathe.com/record.php?id=68130
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2010
  30. Zimbo

    Zimbo Semi-Pro

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    Yeah I agree with you. I'm guessing maybe 10-15% more spin. I only agreed with Dave cause I didn't want to argue over something so small that could become an endless debate.

    For the Laver's and other greats of the game before my time, I wish I got to see them play. I will take your word that they had great slice backhands also.
     
  31. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    I was fortunate to have seen most of the greats of the past 40+ years play live. But, there is some very good video available, even though it hardly does "live" justice. Check out this video clip of a 38 y.o. Laver against a 20 y.o. Borg. In addition to Laver's backhand, notice his speed and athleticism. Did I mention he's 38 in this clip.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7-VeBIal8TU

    PS: That's Pancho Gonzelez and Chris Schenkel commentating. Most impressive is Laver's power AND touch.

    PPS: You've probably seen this, but, there's some spectacular bh's (and other shots) by Laver and Roche in this one: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wHaN2h21ANs
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2010
  32. Zimbo

    Zimbo Semi-Pro

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    Thanks for the link even though I've seen them already. I've seen most of the past greats via you tube but like you said its not the same as if it were "live" Because of this I'm hesitant to post my opinion on the past greats cause I would be no worst then many posters today saying how the greats in the past would have no chance if they played against today players just by seeing a few you tube clips. BTW, Laver looked great at 38 yrs old.
     
  33. borg number one

    borg number one Legend

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    Here's another look at that Laver-Borg match from TW Poster Krosero. Different points are shown here. Borg is only 20, well before he got better as a clay courter, but yes Laver at 38 is also very impressive, for any age really.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XMfBpkUJeKE
     
  34. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    Did you see this short video of Emerson beating up on Chuck McKinnley in a Davis Cup match I posted earlier: http://www.britishpathe.com/record.php?id=70015

    Here's another short clip of Emmo beating Roche at the French Open: http://www.britishpathe.com/record.php?id=70015

    Obviously, these aren't highlight clips, just some short random video footage of one who I think had one of the greatest 1hb's and bh volley of all time. And his fh and fh volley were damn close.

    Here's a clip of Rosewall vs. Roche, the other two all time great 1hb's at RG: http://www.ina.fr/sport/tennis/vide...garros-3eme-set-rosewall-contre-roche.fr.html

    This ina.fr site seems to have a lot of great footage, like the British Pathe site.
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2010
  35. borg number one

    borg number one Legend

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    Those are two great sites LH. For other posters, here are links below. You can use the search engines below to search for different players/events, etc.

    http://www.britishpathe.com/results.php?search=laver

    http://www.ina.fr/recherche/recherche?search=bjorn+borg&vue=Video
     
  36. Leelord337

    Leelord337 Hall of Fame

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  37. Datacipher

    Datacipher Banned

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    Those are nice slices, but they are heavily knifed...reminiscent of Graf. Actually, even the ad lib one at 1:26 is faster. Quite a bit faster than most pros hit the slice today, though nowhere near as fast as Rosewall could go, in the right setup. That kind of slice, just isn't used anymore.
     
  38. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    Like the bh Rosewall cranks at about 4:20 in this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v7jkeZ0kNq8

    I wonder why this shot isn't used anymore! A hard drive slice is such an easy shot to master, and a great shot to have when you're on the run. It was everyone's bread and butter backhand once upon a time.
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2010
  39. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    Yup. The technology of today just ain't good enough. The pros of yester-year had it much easier with the advanced technology. Another example would be Tilden and his 163 mph serve. I wish they wouldn't have outlawed small headed wood frames.
     
  40. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    ^^^ Borg has nothing on Drakulie. Borg only had a career winning percentage of 82.7%. Drakulie has a TT trolling percentage of 99.9%.
     
  41. Datacipher

    Datacipher Banned

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    I'm not to sure. Along the way, it just fell out of fashion, to the point where most pros today (and as witnessed to by this thread many novice players) don't even know it exists. I recall Sampras actually talking about having improved his slice, and wanting to improve it more, and mentioning Rosewall specifically....Yannick Noah, in the final years of his career, worked on a new firmer slice, and his coach said his eyes "lit up" the first time he actually hit one!

    I am sure the rise of the 2 hander (Connors aside...as he actually did use a hard/flat slice sometimes, somewhat awkwardly) , and the topspin influence of Borg did not help. I think the general teaching notion that "flat" is no good, also plays a part. While there is some truth to this, it's not the end all be all....and in fact, we still see top players flatten out the forehand at times. Having said that, the really hard, flat/slice backhand is a relatively tough shot to pull off percentage wise...

    Nevetheless, it is a bit sad and astonishing that the slice has become an offpace, defensive shot only....
     
  42. Datacipher

    Datacipher Banned

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    I guess you dispute that the slice I specifically mentioned was faster than the ones most pros hit today. The evidence is right on youtube, so others can decide. The rest: racquet tech, 163mph serve...is just your usual juvenile, misleading troll stuff.
     
  43. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    As well as disputing your claim that a friend of yours hits slice backhands 100+ mph,,,,, YES, I also dispute your claim here.


    It's a FACT, that historians, much like your BS, claim that Tilden hit 163 mph serves.
     
  44. TMF

    TMF Talk Tennis Guru

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    Does anyone has a racquet that can get me to serve 163mph and slice 80mph? I would love to buy one.:rolleyes:
     
  45. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    Marrily we troll along, troll along, troll along . . . .
     
  46. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    Historians certainly record the fact that Tilden's serve was once recorded at 163 mph, with the speed-measuring techniques then in use. It's a historical fact that there was once a 163 mph reading -- or at least, that such a reading was once attributed to Tilden's serve. You don't dispute that; nor do we. But since you're saying that there are historians who currently claim that Tilden hit serves that really traveled at 163 mph, well then let's have some names. Who are they?
     
  47. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    Ooos! Drakulie caught in another lie!
     
  48. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    I would postulate that that the example of Borg's topspin allowing for more margin for error giving rise to an urge for more power has been the death of the slice-drive backhand.

    The slice-drive backhand has a notoriously low margin for error. JMHO
     
  49. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    I agree that the slice drive has a lower margin for error than a topspin, on either side. However, IMHO, the slice-drive is also easier to hit with precision than a topspin, especially a heavy topspin. I think Connors was the epitome of pinpoint accuracy when it came to hitting slice drives off of both sides. His shots typically cleared the net by a foot, and he consistently had the deepest, most penetrating groundies in the game for most of his career.

    IMHO, the reason that no one hits slice drives anymore is because they start with a 2hb from the beginning and just never acquire the skill to do it. It's a shame in my mind because it's probably the easiest shot in tennis to master. It was for me, anyway.
     
  50. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    You just stated that you "dont dispute that", and also state "historians certainly record the fact that Tiden's serve was once recorder at 163 mph",,,,,,,,then at the same time want names of the historians who claim it? Do you dipute it or not???:roll:


    How about I give you one name: Bud Collins. Oh, I'll give you another, Peter Bodo. But, how about we go on and talk about some of the past greats who also repeat this nonsense, Pancho Gonzalez, Smith, Newcombe, Kramer, etc, etc,. etc, etc, etc, etc, etc,

    Now, how about you provide me with evidence of Rosewall hitting 80+ mph slice backhands, and evidence of dataciphers friend who hits them at 100+...
     

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