Which is better? Federer's backhand or Sampras' backhand ?

Discussion in 'General Pro Player Discussion' started by fastdunn, Jun 11, 2006.

  1. fastdunn

    fastdunn Legend

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2004
    Messages:
    6,294
    I'm wondering... I don't think I've ever seen Sampras's backhand
    failing consistantly against 1 player. Sampras's backhand did fail
    occasionally but could overpower lefties like Muster or Korda
    on important occasions...
     
    #1
  2. federerhoogenbandfan

    federerhoogenbandfan Banned

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2005
    Messages:
    2,702
    Federer's. Sampras's backhand on slow courts vs Nadal would look even worse.
     
    #2
  3. fastdunn

    fastdunn Legend

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2004
    Messages:
    6,294
    Federer's also failing on hard courts. Sampras played
    absolutely fine basleine game with lefties like Korda and
    Muster on hard courts. I still consider a few match with
    Korda on hard courts were best baseline game I've ever
    watch in last 20 years or so....
     
    #3
  4. federerhoogenbandfan

    federerhoogenbandfan Banned

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2005
    Messages:
    2,702
    Sampras had trouble with Korda in years like 97 when Korda was playing well, either losing or always going to 5 sets, and that was even with all the help of his serve, and winning so many points at the net, imagine what would have happened in those matches without those elemetns? Korda is not the same type of player as Nadal anyway, he hits flatter and harder, and with less spin and action. Muster is not as good on hard courts as Nadal.
     
    #4
  5. fastdunn

    fastdunn Legend

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2004
    Messages:
    6,294
    Well, he still had same complexity with lefties that Federer's having
    now but it was more of systematic issue, not like Federer's 1 specific
    problem of backhand. Very embarrassingly horrible oerformance of
    backhand especially a guy who people call G.O.A.T.
     
    #5
  6. federerhoogenbandfan

    federerhoogenbandfan Banned

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2005
    Messages:
    2,702
    The fact that he has so much trouble with one type of shot to his backhand, should not create a perception his backhand is that weak. There are many type of very good shots into the backhand he handles well, he simply cant handle the very high kicking topspin that Nadal has on it.
     
    #6
  7. Sadyv

    Sadyv Rookie

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2005
    Messages:
    120
    Sampras' backhand was a more dangerous weapon for him when he was 23-25 than Federer's is to his game. Sampras was capable of ripping winners of the backhand, Roger is more of a set up, although his talent is so good he gets his share of winners from there as well.
     
    #7
  8. federerhoogenbandfan

    federerhoogenbandfan Banned

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2005
    Messages:
    2,702
    I saw Sampras play alot when he was 23-25. He hit about 1-2 winners a match of the backhand when he played a baseliner. He hit all his winners off the forehand, volleys, overheads, and of course most of all serves.
     
    #8
  9. fastdunn

    fastdunn Legend

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2004
    Messages:
    6,294
    I wouldn't say just 1 -2 winners. People often tested Pete's backhand
    and on a better day Pete's backhand was firing hard.

    That's the right order anyway. The textbook says the priority should be
    1. Serve, 2. forehand, 3 volley and backhand. So that's an ideal distribution
    of winners anyway...
     
    #9
  10. federerhoogenbandfan

    federerhoogenbandfan Banned

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2005
    Messages:
    2,702
    I dont care what you say, I say I recall most of his matches with 1-2 winners off the backhand most maches. You remember otherwise, fine for you. You also say Nadal would beat Federer on grass, so what do you know. :mrgreen:
     
    #10
  11. AAAA

    AAAA Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2004
    Messages:
    3,389
    Fortunately for Sampras his backhand on clay was never tested by Nadal.
     
    #11
  12. federerhoogenbandfan

    federerhoogenbandfan Banned

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2005
    Messages:
    2,702
    Exactly, that would be the ugliest thing ever. Twice as bad as Federer's backhand looked today.
     
    #12
  13. fastdunn

    fastdunn Legend

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2004
    Messages:
    6,294
    Well, we never know...

    Anyway, Sampras never had this much trouble with his backhand
    conststently.

    He is having trouble solving this 1 particular shot with 1 player
    for over 2 year now ? So much for the greatest talent of
    all time.....
     
    #13
  14. federerhoogenbandfan

    federerhoogenbandfan Banned

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2005
    Messages:
    2,702
    correction.....over 1 year. The first match of Nadal-Federer was March of 2005, so that would not even come close to 2 full years. :cool:
     
    #14
  15. highsierra

    highsierra Rookie

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2005
    Messages:
    329

    Correction: Nadal beat Fed at the 2004 Nasdaq 100 Final for his first head to head win...So it's over two years now.
     
    #15
  16. travlerajm

    travlerajm Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2006
    Messages:
    4,409
    Federer's bh fails him when he faces heavy spin. Sampras had a lot heavier racquet and tighter strings, so his bh was relatively unaffected by his opponent's spin level.
     
    #16
  17. Rodical

    Rodical New User

    Joined:
    May 20, 2006
    Messages:
    24
    Location:
    I live in Guadeloupe France
    Sampras'backhand is better than Fed's. In today's match his backhand wasn't good and it's not in that match Federrer's backhand is off. Gaudio too could rivalise with Sampras ,no ??????
     
    #17
  18. federerhoogenbandfan

    federerhoogenbandfan Banned

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2005
    Messages:
    2,702
    Sorry your right I forgot that match. Federer was sick as a dog in that match thought wasnt he? It certainly seems believeable when Nadal has not matched that scoreline since, in fact has not beaten Roger in straight sets since, and was nowhere near the player he is now at the time of that match.
     
    #18
  19. Rodical

    Rodical New User

    Joined:
    May 20, 2006
    Messages:
    24
    Location:
    I live in Guadeloupe France
    Nadal plays effectively with a lot of spin and Fedderrer couldn't deal with it even though he practised with a lefty youngster to get accustomed with Nadal's game.
     
    #19
  20. LowProfile

    LowProfile Professional

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2006
    Messages:
    1,441
    Correction: Nadal beat Federer in the round of 32 (I guess this translates into a second round match for Federer and a third round match for Nadal if he wasn't seeded) at the 2004 Nasdaq 100.
     
    #20
  21. 35ft6

    35ft6 Legend

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2005
    Messages:
    6,557
    When the camera was court level, you could see how difficult it must have been to return Nadal's shots. His forehand to Federer's backhand was like a kick serve. Federer was way behind the baseline hitting backhands OVER HIS HEAD. Nasteeeeeeeeey.

    Federer's backhand is better than Sampras'. His backhand could be neutralized by a lot of guys on clay, but Federer's backhand is only a weakness on clay against Nadal.

    In the beginning it was kind of fun watching Federer trying to work Nadal's backhand, and then Nadal flipping the script and working Fed's backhand, and then vice versa, repeat.

    BTW, Nadal can hit some cannons off that backhand side. If he develops a bigger first serve, who's to say he can't win Wimbledon? Heavy top spin sure didn't hurt Borg.
     
    #21
  22. superman1

    superman1 Legend

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2006
    Messages:
    5,243
    Borg served and volleyed. He also hit the ball a lot differently than Nadal, he could do more with low bouncing balls than Nadal can. Nadal has a very slim chance at Wimbledon with his game. He'd have to change his game just like Borg did, although maybe not as drastically.
     
    #22
  23. fastdunn

    fastdunn Legend

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2004
    Messages:
    6,294
    The ball bounces higher and move slower on current type of grass
    Wimbledon is using compared to Borg's or Sampras' time.

    Wimbledon changed the type of grass to specifically attrack more
    of baseliners in 2001. Effect was immediate. Hewitt won it and
    Federer won it with baseliners style and everybody plays baseliner.

    I think Wimbledon will be won by clay courters in this generation.
    Wimbledon made a change for it and they will get it soon.
     
    #23
  24. federerhoogenbandfan

    federerhoogenbandfan Banned

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2005
    Messages:
    2,702
    If Nadal wins Wimbledon in the next 6 years I will eat my computer, LOL!
     
    #24
  25. fastdunn

    fastdunn Legend

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2004
    Messages:
    6,294
    Are you in with the bet I told you with $100 or not ?

    About 1 or 2 years ago at TW board, I argued Federer was
    lucky because he did not have many good 1) lefties,
    2) power players(with serve-and volleyers) at that time.

    I think now it's proved pretty good about 1) lefty by now
    since we finally have 1 good lefty.

    I think claycourters will do better in Wimbledon.
    Wimbledon is NOT SAME wimbledon as of 2001 or later.
     
    #25
  26. federerhoogenbandfan

    federerhoogenbandfan Banned

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2005
    Messages:
    2,702
    I dont remember what our bet was, please enlighten me. If it is about Nadal winning Wimbledon at any point then yes of course. I am about as worried about losing any bet that revolved around Nadal ever winning Wimbledon, as I would be worried about being murdered by the tooth fairy in my sleep.
     
    #26
  27. Ztalin

    Ztalin Guest

    How is federerhoogenband ever going to win the bet though? He'll have to wait for Nadal to retire in order to get his money. And yes, he WILL win the bet.
     
    #27
  28. David L

    David L Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2006
    Messages:
    2,581
    Location:
    London
    Federer's backhand is the better backhand obviously. Sampras even acknowledged this himself during the build up to his match with Ginepri this year or it may have been slightly after.
     
    #28
  29. brolycjw

    brolycjw New User

    Joined:
    May 30, 2006
    Messages:
    97
    Nadal will only win wimbledon only if Federer wins French. If Federer wins french, it doesn't mean Nadal would win wimbledon.

    Federer's backhand is better than Sampra's backhand.
     
    #29
  30. federerhoogenbandfan

    federerhoogenbandfan Banned

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2005
    Messages:
    2,702
    I think the details fastdunn and I had were he had to win Wimbledon in the next 5 years(end of 2011)or I would win the bet. I could be mistaken though, maybe fastdunn can remind me of the details of the bet so I can write them down this time. :p
     
    #30
  31. fastdunn

    fastdunn Legend

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2004
    Messages:
    6,294
    As I recall, 5 years was my proposal and you didn't exactly take it.

    My original bet was Nadal's winning any grass court tournament in 5 years
    but I'm willing to limit it to Wimbledon only.

    My bet is Nadal's winning Wimbledon in 5 years. Do you want to take it ?
     
    #31
  32. federerhoogenbandfan

    federerhoogenbandfan Banned

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2005
    Messages:
    2,702
    Ok fine, that is a good bet. If he hasnt won it after 2011 Wimbledon then you have to pay me $100, if he does do it I have to pay you directly after his win. I will print it out just so I have a reminder and I wont have to ask again. :p
     
    #32
  33. fastdunn

    fastdunn Legend

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2004
    Messages:
    6,294
    Ok. good. Now that you took it, I'd like to remind you that Nadal
    made it to 3rd round in his debut at Wimbledon at the age of 17
    beating Ancic who was semi-finalist one time... :)
     
    #33
  34. LowProfile

    LowProfile Professional

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2006
    Messages:
    1,441
    The chances of Federer winning the French are far greater than those of Nadal winning Wimbledon. Nadal ain't appearing in any semifinals or finals at Wimbledon anytime soon.

    And Borg's heavy topspin game was effective on the grass during his time precisely because it was so weird at the time. He used a grip similar to what Federer uses now and everyone thought he would break his wrist with the topspin that he hit. Now western grips are not uncommon and the topspin game is pretty common. Nadal's heavy topspin is reduced to spin that takes his shots to about shoulder level at best on the grass. They also land relatively short because of the spin. The result? A perfect kill shot for most pros.
     
    #34
  35. LowProfile

    LowProfile Professional

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2006
    Messages:
    1,441
    Yes, yes, but Federer still exists.
     
    #35
  36. federerhoogenbandfan

    federerhoogenbandfan Banned

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2005
    Messages:
    2,702
    Id like you to remind you that fluke matches like that happen, fluke tournaments are another matter, that you greatly overestimate Nadal in some ways, greatly underestimate Federer's abilities, greatly overestimate the sameness of the surfaces these days, and greatly overlook the sameness of being a "baseliner" as one goes from surfaces to surface. :mrgreen:
     
    #36
  37. prostaff18

    prostaff18 Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    May 13, 2006
    Messages:
    567
    Location:
    USA
    After the French Open I would say that almost anyone's backhand is better than Fed's. Fed's backhand can be sweet, but it can also put some ink in the UE stats to.
     
    #37
  38. fastdunn

    fastdunn Legend

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2004
    Messages:
    6,294
    I didn't say Nadal will HAVE TO beat Federer at Wimbledon.
    Winning Wimbledon does not necessarily mean he has to beat Federer.
    I think you're reading too much of between the lines.
    (perhaps you're overly sensitive because you're huge Federer fan??)

    How can I over-estimate the similarity by saying "the difference is
    reduced" ? Where is overestimation in that ?

    I did say "it's all played from SAME baseliner style".

    There's still big difference in how to move on grass and other surfaces
    like clay and hard courts. But the differences in ball speed and bounces
    are greatly reduced.

    You somehow mis-understood my postings by mixing two of my seperate
    opinions together, I think. These are two separate issue and please
    don't read too much of between the lines...
     
    #38
  39. federerhoogenbandfan

    federerhoogenbandfan Banned

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2005
    Messages:
    2,702
    First of all I do fully expect to win win Wimbledon Nadal would have to beat Federer. If I gave you impression I assumed you had that same viewpoint I apoligize. However I do expect to ever win Wimbledon Nadal would not only have to go through 7 matches, but go through Federer in the semis or finals at the end too. For starters I expect the year Nadal turns 25 to be his last year as having a realistic chance of winning a Grand Slam. His game style is far too taxing to be a contender past his mid-20 period. Of course since our bet only went to that same year, whether he won it after that age is a moot point anyway. Federer would be 29, going on 30, and I would expect him to be a strong favorite at Wimbledon still at that point, although I know we have different views on how long Federer will last so already we are thinking different probably. Also in those years he is a strong favorite at Wimbledon, I just dont see Federer losing before the finals, so that is why I expect Nadal would have to take down Federer in the finals to ever win Wimbledon.


    Secondly if you take away the 1 of my 5 points relating to Federer, my other 4 points would still stand. I believe there to be far more differences between surfaces then you seem to, I dont believe they have become that much more similar then they used to be, only slightly. I dont believe players being baseliners makes their game styles, and suitability to surfaces that similar at all. I do believe you inflate some things about Nadal. I also believe one huge win(beating Ancic at 17 on grass would be a huge win for him)is a good indication of his overall ability or potential on grass, particularly when two years and a French Open title later, in his two grass events of the year, he loses to a total anonymous(Waske), and a dangerous and talented player who was ranked outside the top 50 and did not play an exceptional match anything like his U.S Open upset of Roddick(Mueller)in order to take Nadal out, just an ordinary match for him.
     
    #39
  40. BaseLineBash

    BaseLineBash Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2005
    Messages:
    1,543
    Regardless of which backhand was better, they were always a liability compared to the rest of their game.
     
    #40
  41. DoubleHanded&LovinIt

    DoubleHanded&LovinIt Professional

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2005
    Messages:
    1,007
    I had an old post in which Robert Lansdorp--who coached Tracy Austin, Pete Sampras, Lindsey Davenport, Jeff Tarango, Justin Gimelstob, Maria Sharapova, and a couple other tour players--talked about this issue. Unfortunately, Robert's home page, where he made the quotation was taken down, but here's what he thinks:

    From www.Lansdorp.com:

    I agree with Robert. Federer comes off a lot of balls on the backhand side when he uses all of that supination. He needs to stay with the ball more--especially when Nadal's ball is coming at him with so much action.
     
    #41
  42. Fischer76

    Fischer76 New User

    Joined:
    May 10, 2006
    Messages:
    95

    I also agree with Robert on his analysis of Feds backhand. BUT... there is also a plus with a wristy backhand such as Feds. Although he cannot be as effective on the drive, he can create amazing angles such as we've so far seen from Fed
     
    #42
  43. DoubleHanded&LovinIt

    DoubleHanded&LovinIt Professional

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2005
    Messages:
    1,007
    I think you really have to drive the backhand hard to play well against Nadal. Blake takes Nadal's short balls to his backhand, drives it, and comes in. Matthieu was doing this as well. Baghdatis, at the PLO, did this well the first set.
     
    #43
  44. fastdunn

    fastdunn Legend

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2004
    Messages:
    6,294

    Yeah, what a simple analysis that explains what happened last sunday.
    It actually was a prediction, I guess.

    He is actually only the 2nd famous expert who put Sampras above Federer.
    Only other tv person I know is Pam Shriver. She thinks Sampras is
    a level above Federer.

    All the other famous tennis legends and tv persons made a comment that
    Federer might be better than Sampras.

    Mary Carillo is very neutral. She thinks Federer is the most talented
    and Sampras is the greatest. No comments I heard about who would win.
     
    #44
  45. federerhoogenbandfan

    federerhoogenbandfan Banned

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2005
    Messages:
    2,702
    Robert Lansdorp also predicted Sharapova to dominate tennis the next 3-4 years at the start of 2005.
     
    #45
  46. Fischer76

    Fischer76 New User

    Joined:
    May 10, 2006
    Messages:
    95
    Could have been true. Except Lansdorp did not forsee that Maria would be distracted by a very lucrative modelling career and the attendant effects that entails. But I also believe that Sampras is the greatest. Federer is flashier
     
    #46
  47. federerhoogenbandfan

    federerhoogenbandfan Banned

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2005
    Messages:
    2,702
    Well what I hear about Maria is that she works her butt off in practice, and is very commited to the game, maybe I am wrong, but that is what I hear about her still today. I never felt she had the potential to dominante on all surfaces, not for one second personally. I did think it was possable she would have won 1 or 2 slams in the interim, and been a threat for the #1 ranking, but am also not stunned that she didnt win another and is not close to #1 right now either.
     
    #47
  48. fastdunn

    fastdunn Legend

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2004
    Messages:
    6,294
    That is not Robert Lansdorp's web site any more.
    Where did you get that article ?
     
    #48
  49. DoubleHanded&LovinIt

    DoubleHanded&LovinIt Professional

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2005
    Messages:
    1,007
    Read what I wrote right before I posted the URL. The site www.lansdorp.com has since been taken down. But I posted this quotation a while ago on another website--that was before Lansdorp's website closed down.
     
    #49
  50. avmoghe

    avmoghe Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2005
    Messages:
    584
    Sampras is my favorite player of all time, but I must admit that Federer's backhand is superior to Sampras' by far. In fact, aside from the serve, volley, and overhead, I would claim that Federer is superior in every way. Yes, the forehand would be a close contest, but I still give it to Federer.

    Sampras' backhand was mediocre at best - only ripping off a brilliant winner every once in a long while. I recall Richard Krajicek (1996 Wimbledon), in particular, absolutely destroying Sampras' backhand with his kick serve out wide. Sampras had no answer, and Krajicek knew exactly what to do.

    In all fairness, however, Sampras didn't need a good backhand.

    Sampras game entirely revolved around his serve (first and second). To be blunt, Sampras did two things over and over again - hold serve and try to get 1 break to get the set. What makes him one of the greatest players of all time is the fact that he did these two things VERY well. (Even if things went to a tiebreak, his serve gave him an advantage)

    Sampras often said that when he serves well, his game is "on". That's quite literally true, since the serve made up a large percentage of his game.
     
    #50

Share This Page