The best backhand ever?

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

  1. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    ^^^ Thanks for the genuine feedback, Kros! But, I will say that I don't think I've been insulting to the average poster. The pimple faced, mouth breathing, 18yo, characterization (someone actually asked: "aren't you supposed to breath through your mouth." Ever heard of a spit-take?), was just something I came up with in response to some of the pejorative uses of the terms "historian" and "nostalgiatard" that just happened to be getting hurled around in abundance at about the time I joined up. It wasn't something I employed frivolously, although I did express that it applied to a majority of the members of TT in a sarcastic moment, didn't I. As for abmk, I'm glad you have a good raport with him. He may actually have something interesting to talk about. But, from my perspective, he was so obnoxious to me that I made a decision that I couldn't have a genuine discussion about tennis with him. That's fine. I come here because I love tennis, I love to talk about tennis, I think I have a lot of first hand knowledge to share, there are plenty here who I do have a good raport with, and I enjoy learning new things from those here, like you, who have plenty of knowledge to share that I didn't know.

    Keep up the good work, Kros! BTW, when's the next Laver video going up on YouTube?
     
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2010
  2. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    I come here too, obviously, because I love tennis, though I think the level of discussion here is too filled with insults – which is where I was coming from with my post. It’s not the worst board I’ve seen, but it’s very, very far from the best. And it’s always been my hope that at least we older folks in the Former Pro subforum could refrain from insults. That’s where I was coming from, though I know not all will agree (perhaps my hope is too naïve, but there it is).

    In any case I believe trolling is far worse than ordinary fighting and insults.

    I didn’t mean to stir up a past dispute between you and any other poster and I hope it won’t go that way. I just wanted to stick up for both of you. That’s all!

    As for videos, since the birth of my son I’ve put all major projects aside; and I’ve even stopped myself from entering most threads here. I have some work to post that I did last summer – but no videos.

    Amritraj-Borg is a highlight video I’d love to do sometime.

    I hope you keep posting, and that you stay out of as many fights as you can; your input from experience from so long ago is appreciated.
     
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2010
  3. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Good thing you brought the names of Rusedski and Denton in.Glen was at the late 90´s the best server in terms of speed, though missed quite a few first serves.Same as Denton, I remember seeing him and he made the returner´s racket jump off his hand quite a few times in the same tournament.

    I also enjoyed Tanner´s serve because of the easy motion he had.Do not forget he played with old wood racket and still, blasted away mance aces no matther whom he played.
     
  4. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Orantes sliced, deep BH was one of the best ever seen.Could climb up to the net or just pull it few inches away his opponent.Could break into pieces a player like Connors (Indianapolis 77,Forest Hills 75).Vilas backhand is, IMHO, quite better than AsheNalbandian and Lendl.
     
  5. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    Kiki,

    While I was a big Orantes fan I have to disagree with you. A great backhand is effective on all surfaces and while Orantes backhand was effective on all surfaces, it was clearly much weaker on faster surfaces than clay surfaces. It was amazing versatile but Ashe's backhand for example is about as versatile but also had the awesome power. Ashe could hit a one handed backhand about as powerfully as anyone.

    On clay however, with the fraction of a second more time, Orantes could do virtually anything with the backhand. Slices, topspin, topspin lobs, sharp angle passing shots and it was very consistent. I've seen times in which he would drive a great clay court player like Vilas nuts with his variety on the backhand and forehand. And as you also mentioned Orantes was capable on clay to even handle groundies the level of the Jimmy Connors also.

    Orantes was beautiful to watch when his whole game was flowing.
     
  6. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    Let's set the record straight. Limpinhitter has not been on this board since last summer. He said it this summer, and when he did say it, I simply pointed out (not to him) how outrageous some of the claims posters on these boards make. Limpinhitter took offense, and immediately started the attack (not me). So, NO,,,, he didn'tignore it. In fact, he started the personal attacking almost immediately.

    But that what I like about all of you "historians". Your attention to detail. :roll:

    and this has already been pointed out to you here, where you could see my original reply, and his.

    http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showpost.php?p=5135018&postcount=63
     
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2010
  7. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    ^^^Alright, alright. I see your point.

    Let's please discuss tennis--not each other
     
  8. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Very well said, PC1, you perfectly described Orantes backhand, which was the foundation of his CC attacking game.When not injuried and confident, he could beat anybody with grace and tactics that would drive you unfold.He did it to Vilas and Connors, and for 2 sets, also to Borg in the FO final that he finally lost.

    One of the more interesting players to watch in the 70´s and a great sportsact.He and Panatta were considered the heritiers of the rgat CC artists like Nastase,Pietrangeli,Santana.Injuries and other problems stopped him from a better record, even if he won the US open and the Masters, and reached the finals at Roland Garros ( he uncredibly lost to Borg, after a 2 sets lead)
     
  9. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    I certainly did not mean 2009 when I said “last summer”. That’s a language issue (different people refer to last summer, or this past summer, or last weekend, or this past weekend, etc). If all you want to do is make it clear to others that all this took place in summer 2010, fine. But you know perfectly well what year I meant, because I recently found, and linked to, Limpin’s very first post on the subject of the 80mph backhand, which of course is dated June 2010: http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?p=5135001#post5135001.

    About Limpin ignoring you: I am perfectly happy leaving it up to others to judge what I said. It would be pointless, now, maybe impossible, to go back through posts and try to prove something like that. At this point people are sick of this dispute, and picking through past posts to try to prove something like that, is not something I’m going to inflict on the board. I will only repeat what I said above: I thought last summer (this past summer, if you prefer) that he went silent for a little while and tried not to say anything to you; Limpin told me recently on this board that he had tried to ignore you. I believed him because it corresponded with my own impressions of the dispute, which I was watching carefully (I read all posts in Former Pro, except maybe when Seles-Graf “debates” go insipid). And I believed him because though I have had serious problems with him (disagreeing with him openly about the language he uses toward younger fans), I have no reason to believe he's lying.

    And I don’t see anything in your first exchange with Limpinhitter that comes out in your favor. I didn’t when it first occurred; I didn’t when you linked to it recently; I don’t now. Your very first comment was to troll about Tilden’s 163 mph serve, which you use in entirely inflammatory ways as I said earlier in this thread. It’s an attempt to pin a ridiculous claim on an entire board (Former Pro). You never acknowledge that the individuals you’re actually debating don’t believe that Tilden served that fast, even when they tell you directly. That’s pure disrespect. Limpinhitter gave you pushback on that, telling you it was a strawman (his actual word, and the correct one). He didn’t do it politely, but your business about Tilden’s serve is anything but polite.

    When someone gives you pushback on Tilden, you actually come back, as you have now, pretending that you were merely being rational and that you were attacked unfairly. You want to talk about fairness? How about fairly acknowledging when people tell you that they don’t believe Tilden served that fast?

    Talking about fair and rational: soon after Limpin made his claim about Rosewall's backhand, you were ridiculing it everywhere, introducing it into threads at the drop of a hat (http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?p=4901158#post4901158), sometimes even when Limpin was not present (as someone just pointed out in another thread), and even when the subject was not about backhands! You took it to the General Pro and told people there that there a ridiculous 80 mph slice BH claim being made in Former Pro and that it was worth a few laughs. Someone even asked you to cool it on the 80 mph business because you had introduced it into several threads (and this was not even someone I recognized as a regular member of Former Pro).

    What was that business all about? Just a pure concern with fairness and rationality, right?

    You have ridiculed the claim far, far more times than Limpin has made it. Your post above merely says, to paraphrase: “He started it.” Forgive me if I find that your post hardly sets the record straight.
     
  10. Datacipher

    Datacipher Banned

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    Kros....not having time recently to post about this, but having been there at the time of the original Drakulie attack, I can absolutely confirm that Limpin did try ignoring him for a while. I don't believe it lasted long...for obvious reasons....Drakulie began following him into any and every thread dredging this up while simultaneously making his lies about Limpin's statements more and more over-the-top. All of which you are obviously well aware of. I predicted early on exactly what Drak would do, and he has, if anything, exceeded expectations, for here we are, months later, still bogged down in this, much to Drak's delight undoubtedly.

    It didn't suprise me, as it's a typical Drak tactic he has been doing for some years now....but, clearly Limpin...who had originally been operating in good faith in my opinion, was shocked and taken aback.

    Kros, your posts about this have been some of the most level-headed, candid, honest, and rational posts about this deep-seated problem with the forum, I have ever read. It is nice that a well-respected, long time contributor has weighed in....don't think your efforts, (though completely wasted on trolls) have gone unnoticed. Unfortunately, I don't see the problem changing....if there is any moderation going on, it has been ineffective....

    My only advice to those informed posters who are here to talk about actual tennis...or even newbs who wish to learn...is to take the trolls for what they are.
     
  11. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Amritraj played some of the best Wimbledon single matches of the last 40 years¡¡ vs Borg and also a sensational match vs Connors in 81
     
  12. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Heard a lot about Kovac´s.Is there any place to see it? looks like one of the misterys of tennis history, doesn´t him ? I think he played somewhere between the 30´s and 40´s but I could be completely mistaken.
     
  13. borg number one

    borg number one Legend

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    I don't know a lot about him either Kiki, but his name comes up so much. Here's some interesting information on him.


    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frank_Kovacs

    See this great Time article from 1940:

    http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,764220,00.html

     
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2010
  14. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    thank you, Borg Nº1, it is hard to get literature from this glorious days of the old pro era.I heard there was a lot of betting, and the players themshelves kept betting on a kind of private business among them

    I think it would be great to see a full packed MSG in a play off with Burge,Riggs,Kovacs,kramer,Sedgman and Gonzalez.Playing conditions, even playing on wood, were so much different, still those guys had the courage to go ahead with no crying about that.In a way, like old gladiators did
     
  15. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    Kiki,

    Frank Kovacs is considered to be one of the great talents in tennis history. Some think that when he was on his game that he may have been as good as anyone. He was known for his great backhand, especially a sharp crosscourt backhand and he was one of the few players who could keep a great serve and volley like Jack Kramer back on his serve.
     
  16. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    now, talking about Kramer, he certainly lacks a bit of the charisma of Gonzales or Budge but he was, as well, a revolutionary in his days with his percentage tennis.

    In his time it meant S&V, but many oncoming players have used the same concept.Look at Borg, he played top spin baseline tennis as the best percentage tennis in his time.

    Thanks about those remarks on Kovacs.Probably his pale record as an amateur dammaged his stature as one of the best players of his generation.
     
  17. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    Kramer's high percentage approach to singles is the standard of the sport. It's an approach I didn't even learn about until I was in my late 20's. No information superhighway in the olden days. But, I would suggest that it's an approach that is equally apropos today where the game is played almost exclusively from the baseline as it was in Kramer's day, the genisis of the "big game."
     
  18. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    To me, the problem is, nowadays, use S&V as a percentage tennis opposed to the exces of baseline tennis - there is no other style right now-.If court conditions, racket conditions or ball conditions would come to what they were, then you could find a very talented player use percentage S&V.But with the current conditions, I am not sure how could this happen
     
  19. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    Ken Rosewall's backhand at 1970 US Open

    I've seen a lot of arguments on Ken Rosewall's backhand so I thought I'd provide this link to an excellent video from Krosero on youtube. It shows how well Rosewall hit his backhand, how it seemed to be able to return even the toughest serves, how hard he could hit it plus the lobs and touch. Some have argued about the speed of the backhands but it doesn't matter as long as the ball is hit pass the opponent.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lJubuKDN7Fk
     
  20. borg number one

    borg number one Legend

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    ^^Thanks PC1 for the post and video link, and thanks to Krosero for another really nice video upload. This is great footage and nicely illustrates how Rosewall could carve players up with that backhand especially. Roche is hitting some great one handed backhands too! Also, there's something about that Roche service delivery which really reminds me of the beginning of the Nadal service motion. This is very interesting footage from 40 years ago, on the grass courts of Forest Hills. This is tennis treasure.
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2010
  21. H2O

    H2O Banned

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    I second the motion. PC is a great helper and he is "brillant".:)
     
  22. The-Champ

    The-Champ Legend

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    I agree, PC1, Borg Number One and Hoodjem are the great posters. The best thing about them is that they actually act their age. In this forum section, only their posts are worth reading.
     
  23. H2O

    H2O Banned

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    That's very strong statement, friend. It's all about personality differences here in the forum. Honestly, I like being friends with anyone who is humble, caring, and sincere (Importantly, honesty:)). Pretty much so I've already figure it out who can be trusted and can not be trusted here though. Take cares. -H2O
     
  24. NadalAgassi

    NadalAgassi Guest

    That is Agassi of course.
     
  25. kevo82

    kevo82 Rookie

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  26. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    I have to agree. Overall, Agassi's backhand was the best ever.
     
  27. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    Agassi had a great backhand but there were some with backhands more consistent and with a lot more variety than Agassi.

    Actually a guy you know of Don Budge was for many years considered to have the best backhand ever.

    I would think Laver's backhand had infinitely more variety than Agassi and Rosewall's backhand was super consistent and strong.
     
  28. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    More consistent? I don't see that. I can't think of anyone who hit with the power and consistency than Agassi hit with, on either side. No one hit with the kind of disguise that Agassi had on his backhand with the exception, perhaps, of Segura's forehand. Even taking in to account Agassi's relative lack of mobility and inability to hit effectively on the dead run, on balance, given his power, consistency, accuracy and disguise, I think his backhand was the best ever. And I think his forehand was the second best ever behind only Federer's forehand. JMHO!
     
  29. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Connors,Agassi,Vilas,Orantes....
     
  30. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    For an easy analogy, think of Laver's backhand as the equivalent to Federer's forehand: almost infinite variety, huge spin, supreme speed, impossible angles, and pinpoint accuracy.

    When on, it was head-scratchingly, jaw-droppingly, opponent-deflatingly effective.
     
  31. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    Some of the most devastating shots I've ever seen were Laver's backhand with a Dunlop Fort. All the rest of his shots were almost as devastating. But, IMHO, Federer's forehand, in his prime, was the greatest shot ever seen in tennis. Laver's, Agassi's, Connor's, Rosewall's, Kuerten's and Budge's backhands, Ralph's, Agassi's, Kramer's, Sampras' and Lendl's forehands, Sampras', Becker's and Gonzales' serves, Roche's backhand volley, all brilliant shots. But, Fed's forehand was the best of the best, IMHO.
     
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2010
  32. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    Possibly. It's always hard to compare.

    One of the most interesting matches as far as battle of strengths are concerned was the 1982 US Open final between Connors and Lendl. Connors was hitting his great two handed backhand crosscourt right into Lendl's strength, his great forehand. John Newcombe was one of the announcers for the match and Newcombe thought between the two shots, that he would take Connors' backhand. At least he said words to that effect. It worked I suppose since Connors won the match in four sets.

    I suppose the best way to answer what is the best single shot in history would be to ask yourself, if you were a world class player and you had totally average strokes in every way and you could trade one of your strokes for any player's stroke in history, which one would you take?

    It's tough because the serve for example is the most important shot, would you take the best serve in history over the best forehand? It is tough.
     
  33. Datacipher

    Datacipher Banned

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    Serve may well be the thing to take, but I will say this...I might well be tempted to take the Connors Backhand. There are hordes of players with medicocre backhands and great forehands....but a mediocre forehand can still get the job done, and having a truly great backhand takes away the side, that even today, is still the one that players grow up learning to pick on. Having an unbelievable strength where the majority have their relative weakness...the one others try to take advantage of, can really be money in the bank.

    At the club level, I'd say this is a no-brainer. To have a magnificent BH, and an OK forehand, will make you stand out unbelievably...and amazingly, the same is still true at the pro level to some degree....it's part of the advantage lefties enjoy....the "normal" patterns that pros spent 20 years playing by default aren't the same anymore.

    Of course....Connors ironically was a lefty...so....then again, maybe you do play him just like a righty with a great forehand....LOL
     
  34. Cuculain

    Cuculain New User

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    Agassi's return is impressive , but Connors was better, and did very well against the ultimate serve vollier McEnroe, if you watch eg USOpen 84 semi, when both where at their best, in fact McEnroe was playing above his best and was amazing, Connors broke him something like 8 times, passing him down the line and landing lots of first serve returns at Mac's feet, and it was Mac's genius and speed that enabled him to handle them.

    also as mentioned in another post, the USopen final of 82 is a great example of the strength of Connors backhand, he played to Lendls strength, his forehand, something John Newcombe said McEroe was not able to do in the semi with Lendl and and overcame Lendls strongest weapon..and also as commented again by Newcombe stunned Lendl with the way he was returning Lendls serve.. and then did it again in 83.
    these are just a couple of examples , but to me it shows Connors as the greatest ever returner of the serve and at the very least in the top 3 of the best backhand in the game..
     
  35. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    The Connors backhand would definitely be on the short list of any shot in history that I could choose.
     
  36. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    I would take the best forehand over any other shot because you'll have the most opportunity to use it. A forehand is at least potentially in play on every point. Serve's are only in play every other game.
     
  37. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    That's the general logic over the years. Jack Kramer used to write that and today's tennis of course emphasizes hitting the forehand whenever you can.

    I was always impressed by the description of Pancho Segura's two handed forehand in that they said he had unerring control, great power, angles, lobs and disguise on that shot. Anything a little pass midcourt and in would be put away by the Segura forehand. Those who had seen it and Jimmy Connors' two handed lefty backhand said Segura's forehand was clearly the better shot.

    People like Kramer and Vines in the past called it the best single stroke in history. Of course this was before Federer was a player.

    I haven't seen enough of the Segura forehand to make a judgment but if it's clearly better than the Connors' backhand then it has to be a great shot and at least in the running with the great strokes ever.
     
  38. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Others had equally excelent BH but none had the mixture of pace, quickness, variety and deepth of Jimmy´s.As a matter of fact, he downplayed Ivan, not only playing at his strenght (FH), but doing that and making Lendl half volley FROM THE VERY BASELINE.This is something very difficult to do with a high percentage of shots in, but he managed to achieve it.

    I´d pick Sampras serve, Edberg or Mac´s volley,Connors backhand,Lendl or Borg FH, but still, the guy with the best mixture,excelling at all those shots keeps being Rod Laver.
    IMO
     
  39. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    I´d pick my best shot knowing which would be my second or third best shot so to combine it.F.I, If I had a superb serve but a weak volley I´d pick FH or BH.On the other hand, if I had a grgeat Bh but just when hitting crosscourt but a weak down the line shot, then I´d pick serve, for instance.
     
  40. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Very true.kramer himself had a sensational FH, taking the ball quite on the rise.He almost always beat Gonzales, till Pancho became a very complete player.
     
  41. gino

    gino Hall of Fame

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    Bruce Bresha according to John MacEnroe
     
  42. Game-Set-MATCH!!!

    Game-Set-MATCH!!! Rookie

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    yeah i agree. its just plain out meanz
     
  43. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    Best backhands among current male players:
    3rd edition--

    1. Nalbandian
    2. Gasquet
    3. Murray
    4. Djokovic
    5. Federer
    6. Davydenko
    7. Nadal
    8. Haas
    9. Wawrinka
    10. del Potro
    11. Almagro
    12. Kohlschreiber
    13. Youzhny
     
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2010
  44. abmk

    abmk G.O.A.T.

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    I wouldn't take borg's FH over courier's/agassi's/nadal's/sampras' ( off clay ), let alone federer's !
     
  45. abmk

    abmk G.O.A.T.

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    nadal has a better BH than fed overall - in the conditions they play in today's era
     
  46. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    Fed has a good backhand, but, IMHO, it belongs at or near the bottom of that list. Maybe it's better than Kohlschreiber's and Youzhny's, maybe not. Close call.
     
  47. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    Best backhands among current male players:
    4th edition--

    1. Nalbandian
    2. Gasquet
    3. Murray
    4. Djokovic
    5. Davydenko
    6. Nadal
    7. Haas
    8. Wawrinka
    9. del Potro
    10. Almagro
    11. Federer
    12. Kohlschreiber
    13. Youzhny
     
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2010
  48. borg number one

    borg number one Legend

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    I'd agree with you ABMK. It's more consistent, but Federer did have it going yesterday.
     
  49. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    Agree with you and Borg Number One. Not only more consistent but he can hit more winners with it too.
     
  50. stormholloway

    stormholloway Legend

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2005
    Messages:
    6,834
    Location:
    New York City
    If you saw Federer last night you wouldn't put Youzhny's, or a lot of those guys' backhands above his. He played right into what is one of the best forehands of all time in Nadal's and was victorious. Factor in his tremendous slice and it's at least top 8.
     

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