The best backhand ever?

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

  1. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    Great?

    Not many at all.
     
  2. forzamilan90

    forzamilan90 Legend

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    so that makes the great forehand list mostly one handed forehands, that's why i mean easier to decide on, cause we are comparing mostly one handed forehands in that case. With the backhands, you got a lot of great one handed (Budge, Rosewall, Edberg, etc.), a lot of great two handed (Coonors, Agassi, Djokovic, etc.).
     
  3. Geology_Rocks!

    Geology_Rocks! Semi-Pro

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    He would hit a FH winner. He loves slices.
     
  4. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    I don't have my own lists so I don't know if I'd have those numbers, but the numbers look reasonable. And separation by surface is definitely a good idea.
     
  5. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Frew Mc Millan, Eugene Mayer, Hans Gildemeister
     
  6. Sweet-Spot

    Sweet-Spot Rookie

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    Having not had time to read through 98 pages on this topic, here's my personal picks:

    1. Henin
    2. Wawrinka
    3. Federer
    4. Guga
    5. Laver
    6. Stich
    7. Edberg
    8. Arazi
    9. Agassi
    10. Emilio Sanchez
     
  7. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    Yes, hoodjem, that almost irreal win happened a week or so before the AO where Vilas reached final and Rosewall reached SF...
     
  8. abmk

    abmk G.O.A.T.

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    those rankings seem reasonable .....
     
  9. abmk

    abmk G.O.A.T.

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    nadal rips apart slices, better than almost anyone ...... its one of the reasons why federer has had difficulties vs nadal .....even with an excellent slice BH ...
     
  10. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Nadal has never faced a sliced and angled like Rosewall' s
     
  11. NadalDramaQueen

    NadalDramaQueen Hall of Fame

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    Rosewall has never faced topspin like Nadal's. Remember, it is a product of all that terrible new technology. :)
     
  12. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    True.

    True again.
     
  13. jimbo333

    jimbo333 Hall of Fame

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    Great to see someone agrees about Henin, what a superb looking backhand she had:)
     
  14. Sweet-Spot

    Sweet-Spot Rookie

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    Yes jimbo. when you consider pound for pound how small she was and how much pace she generated, it really is a flyweight batting at heavyweight.
     
  15. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Martina Hingis, Evonne Cawley,Chris Evert,Monica Seles,Darlene Hard, Mo Connolly, Suzie Lenglen, Andrea Jaeger,Hanna Mandlikova and Justine Henin, and Jana Novotna may fit in.
     
  16. RoachTennis

    RoachTennis New User

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    Marcelo Rios! Most talented player to ever no give a crap! And only player to reach number 1 without winning a slam!
     
  17. abmk

    abmk G.O.A.T.

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    true, but rosewall hasn't faced topspin like nadal's or bruguera's ...( probably the only player who hit with quite a bit of topspin and whom rosewall faced significant no of times was laver )

    However federer has arguably the best slice BH in the past 20 years or so and nadal rips apart his slice BH and one cannot ignore that ...
     
  18. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    Federer might have the best slice BH in that time period but the things that make it strong don't happen to hurt Nadal -- at least, not on surfaces where the ball doesn't skid through underneath Nadal's racquet. Federer's slice sits up more than Rosewall's, which is what really makes it vulnerable to Nadal ripping it.

    Henman's slice was more similar to Rosewall's, but there's not much to go on there since Henman and Nadal only met twice, in '06 (I haven't seen either match), on clay and on the slow hardcourt at Dubai.

    http://alltennis.wordpress.com/2008/04/19/ken-rosewall-and-tim-henman-backhand-analysis/
     
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2013
  19. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    Very interesting point. Laver hated Rosewall's slice precisely because it did not come up off the bounce. He said that he had to hit it "off my shoelaces."

    Laver called it a "skidder." This might be a tough shot for a two-hander to get down to.
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2013
  20. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Yes, there is an expression to describe Rosewall´s side spin BH: he killed the ball, just absorbed all the spin and pace and droped it death.Laver´s expression summarizes it all.
     
  21. abmk

    abmk G.O.A.T.

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    yeah, agreed ....nadal would have more trouble with rosewall's slice than he does with federer's ... but my point was he was/is no slouch at handling slices, even very good ones like federer's ....
     
  22. borg number one

    borg number one Legend

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    It's very true that a truly great slice backhand borders on being a downright offensive shot. It can literally push an opponent around at the baseline and be very resistant to forward movement or any form of attacking tennis. Rosewall had perhaps the greatest slice backhand of all time from all accounts. On the topic of this thread though, I would contend that the Jimmy Connors backhand has to be way up there on any respectable list. He used that backhand like a battering ram and he could hit it with any sort of spin imaginable, though he wouldn't often put that much topspin on it (but he could use topspin as well). He could slice it, put sidespin on it, hit it extremely flat and hard as well of course. Let's not forget that great two handed backhand return either where he could just step into the court and clock his return with great timing. His backhand, with the signature grunt and his flying hair was such an iconic shot in tennis. From the Connors' era, Borg's backhand was rated as the second best on the Tour in about 1980 by fellow pros. Borg's backhand passing shot in particular was downright perplexing to net rushers.

    [​IMG]

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    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2013
  23. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    True.And Orantes had ( as well as Ashe) the best sliced one since Ken.Both demolished Connors in 75 with that...
     
  24. Nostradamus

    Nostradamus G.O.A.T.

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    How do they hit it so that they don't get late on the shot coming at them at 80-90 mph.? when I have to handle shots coming super hard, I get late on the shot
     
  25. borg number one

    borg number one Legend

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    Agreed Kiki. Manuel Orantes had a great slice backhand too, as did Arthur Ashe. Ashe had a particularly great, hard flat backhand in particular. See it in action here versus Rod Laver in the 1969 Wimbledon SF.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=43csIDKmkMk
     
  26. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    Great anticipation, perfect reflexes, and early preparation, I guess.

    Here's Laver versus Ashe: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=43csIDKmkMk
    Here's Edberg's backhand. Notice the first one is a full swing on Lendl's serve:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zpZnZlXWxQw

    Some nice backhands here.
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2013
  27. 5555

    5555 Hall of Fame

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    Tennis historian and author Steve Flink throws out his thoughts on the debate ranking the top five men’s backhands of all time in his new book THE GREATEST TENNIS MATCHES OF ALL TIME:

    "1. DON BUDGE When he captured the Grand Slam in 1938—the first player ever to realize that feat—Budge had it all, but the single biggest strength in his game was his majestic backhand. Most of those players who preceded Budge at the top of tennis were better off the forehand, but his backhand was the first of its kind. His aggressiveness off that side was ground breaking in many ways. He drove the backhand essentially flat and all students of the game marveled at its magical simplicity.

    2. KEN ROSEWALL The diminutive Australian’s backhand was legendary. He prepared early, turned his shoulders unfailingly, kept his eyes glued to the ball, but, most significantly, Rosewall’s backhand was a slice. Across the history of tennis, many slice backhands have been used primarily for defensive purposes, but not Rosewall’s. His slice backhand worked in every way: as a rally shot, as a passing shot, for the lob, and on the return of serve. It was multi-faceted. It was incredibly versatile. And above all else, it was unmistakably elegant.

    3. JIMMY CONNORS Watching Connors launch into one of his two-handed backhand drives was one of the great joys for all erudite observers from the early seventies until the outset of the 1990’s. Connors retained the old fashioned flavor of a flat, one-handed backhand, producing flat and penetrating two-handers of unrelenting depth and immense power, yet gaining stability with his right hand. His backhand was the picture of purity. It was his signature shot.

    4. NOVAK DJOKOVIC A mesmerizing athlete, Djokovic can be forced well off the court by wide balls to his two-handed backhand and still recover in time to play the shot with assertiveness and astounding control. He returns with unswerving authority off that side, and in long rallies from the baseline, his two-hander is rock solid. Djokovic finds just the right blend of flat and topspin shots with his two-handed backhand. This shot made him the great champion he became.

    5. LEW HOAD and GUSTAVO KUERTEN One match away from winning the Grand Slam in 1956, Hoad at the height of his powers was impenetrable. The gifted Australian had every shot in the book, could perform brilliantly on any surface and was universally admired for his immense talent. Off the ground, his one-handed backhand was widely appreciated. He drove through the ball with an essentially flat stroke and was lethal off that side. To be sure, he was a streaky player, but when he was on, there was nothing he could not do on a tennis court, including cracking the backhand mightily. Kuerten’s one-handed backhand was the cornerstone of his game—a majestic, sweepingly beautiful, fluid, one handed stroke that carried him to three French Open crowns. Kuerten sparkled off that side, hitting winners at will, driving the ball both crosscourt and down the line with extraordinary pace and minimal topspin. His backhand was singularly inspiring in its time.
    "
     
  28. Dan Lobb

    Dan Lobb Hall of Fame

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    Hoad himself considered Trabert to have the greatest backhand, greater than Rosewall's.
     
  29. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    1.Rosewall
    2.Laver
    3.Connors
    4.Edberg
    5.Agassi
    6.Budge
    7.Borg
    8.Kuerten
    9.Djokovic
    10.Lacoste
    11.Safin
    12.Nalbandian
    13.Ashe
    14.Trabert
    15.Lendl
    16.Vilas
    17.Kovacs
    18.Hoad
    19.Rios
    20.Mancini
    21.Mecir
    22.Orantes
    23.Murray
    24.Tilden
    25.Kodes
    26.Stich
    27.Kafelnikov
    28.Costa
    29.Korda
    30.Davydenko
    31.Wilander
    32.Wawrinka
    33.Almagro
    34.Gasquet
    35.Becker
    36.Federer
    37.Nüsslein
    38.Haas
     
  30. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    hoodjem, I find your consensus list very good (not only because you have Rosewall first) but I would plead to improve Nüsslein who had a very strong backhand which allowed him to win 11 pro majors and who was a top 3 or 4 player from 1933 to 1939. He seldom made an error with his bh. When he yet failed he said astonished:" Was ist das?" (What is that?)...
     
  31. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    Warum nicht.
     
  32. forzamilan90

    forzamilan90 Legend

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    is Bierlandt in Deutschland?
     
  33. monfed

    monfed Guest


    LOL might as well not put Fed in the list. :lol:
     
  34. NLBwell

    NLBwell Legend

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    I didn't evaluate the whole list, but I'd put Haas' backhand ahead of Fed's.
     
  35. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    Good point.

    1.Rosewall
    2.Laver
    3.Connors
    4.Edberg
    5.Agassi
    6.Budge
    7.Borg
    8.Kuerten
    9.Djokovic
    10.Lacoste
    11.Safin
    12.Nalbandian
    13.Ashe
    14.Trabert
    15.Lendl
    16.Vilas
    17.Kovacs
    18.Hoad
    19.Rios
    20.Mancini
    21.Mecir
    22.Orantes
    23.Murray
    24.Tilden
    25.Kodes
    26.Stich
    27.Kafelnikov
    28.Costa
    29.Korda
    30.Davydenko
    31.Nüsslein
    32.Wilander
    33.Wawrinka
    34.Almagro
    35.Gasquet
    36.Becker
    37.Haas
    38.Federer

    Are you kidding? "You don't win 17 majors without having a great backhand."
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2013
  36. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    Nein, es ist im Land von dem eisigen Norden.
     
  37. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    hoodjem, Thanks for improving Nüsslein
     
  38. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    Is that what I intended?

    Wow! An amazing mind-reader: reading intentions I didn't even know I had.

    Incroyable!
     
  39. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    hoodjem, Please note: Every poster who does not praise 20 times a day Federer as the undisputed GOAT has an agenda against Roger.

    For instance BobbyOne...
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2013
  40. Feather

    Feather Hall of Fame

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    Let us stop pretending.

    I know you know very well what would have happened if Rosewall played Nadal on clay in today's condition. But you wont admit that.

    It's like this you guys give credit for Rosewall for not having won Wimbledon and say that he missed it only because of the ban. You won't accept that Roger didn't win many FO because Nadal was against.

    And when someone points out your hypocrisy, you guys say that anyone who doesn't praise Federer 20 times a day is a hater
     
  41. Feather

    Feather Hall of Fame

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    delete post
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2013
  42. Feather

    Feather Hall of Fame

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    Take it as a compliment..

    I have never seen a person with a biased mentality like you here. May God help you..

    I really wish you have a balanced life outside of the forum
     
  43. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    Your words are insulting. I am not pretending. I pretend nothing.

    You can stop pretending, if you are pretending. I cannot stop because I am not pretending. You are confusing me with someone else.

    As far as I can recall, I have never uttered or written a word about Rosewall not winning Wimbledon because of anything except that he did not beat his opponents. I have not given the Nadal-Muscles on clay matchup much thought. But I would rank and have ranked Nadal as the no. 1 player on clay, and Rosewall as the no. 3 player. So I might predict that Nadal would beat Rosewall on clay in today's conditions

    Please stop writing that you know what I know. You do not. You do not know what I know, how I know, or how I think.

    In truth you do not know anything about me or the way I think--just as I do not know anything about you. I certainly do not know how you think.
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2013
  44. Feather

    Feather Hall of Fame

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    I apologize for that. I am sorry if that felt like an insult for you

    I would like to add that I am not confused about you. I have been reading your posts for almost an year.
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2013
  45. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    Thank you. I accept.
     
  46. Feather

    Feather Hall of Fame

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    It's a miracle how Roger won all those majors in a grinders era with a backhand as pathetic as that. I am very much impressed with this. The historians have a deep knowledge about the game and I can imagine how much it hurts them that Roger won seventeen majors
     
  47. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    I actually believe that Fed's backhand is very good, except when he starts shanking. Then it really lets him down. In the 2010 AO finals it was on, and thus a major weapon against Murray.

    Also, I believe that I have the unfortunate habit of comparing Fed's backhand to his forehand, and I keep wondering why his backhand is not that great of a weapon. Occasionally, he does get some winners with it--but it does not seem as reliable a weapon as his forehand.

    Maybe Tommy Haas's backhand is not better than Federer's, but in general I think we do not compare Haas's backhand to Federer's forehand.
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2013
  48. TMF

    TMF Talk Tennis Guru

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    Yes, I know. He can try to convince everyone that the Earth is flat if he wanted too. Or the Earth is the center of the Universe.
     
  49. NatF

    NatF G.O.A.T.

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    Federer's backhand is abit on and off. When he's playing well it's usually a pretty good weapon and has a lot of variety. But he's subpar usually his backhand can start to make lots of mistakes. I think based on peak ability his backhand should be really high.
     
  50. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Nadal has one of the best backhands ever
     

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