which pro has the most textbook perfect or unorthodox form?

Discussion in 'General Pro Player Discussion' started by Rickson, Jul 10, 2004.

  1. Rickson

    Rickson G.O.A.T.

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    Serves:
    Agassi - textbook serve motion
    Federer - textbook motion
    Roddick - unorthdox but effective
    Paola Suarez - unorthodox and ineffective
    Dementieva - unorthodox and ineffective

    Backhand:
    Justine Henin-Herdenne - textbook
    Federer - textbook
    Coria - 2 hand textbook
    Roddick - 2 hand unorthodox
    Moya - 2 hand unorthodox

    forehand:
    Federer - textbook
    Agassi - textbook
    Paola Suarez - unorthodox and damn ugly
    Patty Schnyder - unorthodox and also ugly
     
    #1
  2. Nosoupforyou

    Nosoupforyou Rookie

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    Serve:
    Phillippousis-textbook
    Rusedski
    Goran
    Schalken-Damn Ugly

    Forehand
    Agassi-Textbook

    Backhand (2h)
    Not sure if Safin is textbook but its amazing
    Kafelnikov-Textbook
    Ferrero-Textbook
    Agassi-Textbook
     
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  3. Rickson

    Rickson G.O.A.T.

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    I agree, Scheng's serve is horrible.
     
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  4. Jack Romeo

    Jack Romeo Professional

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    When you say "unorthodox" do you actually mean flawed? For me there is a difference between unorthodox and flawed. For example, Steffi Graf's techniques on the serve and forehand were very unorthodox but they were the most effective shots of her time. So we can't really say that her strokes were flawed, although we know that if players like us tried to copy her, we'd have trouble even contacting the ball at all with our racquets. On the other hand, Gaston Gaudio has a technically perfect one-handed backhand. But it's actually the shot that lets him down when he's not at his best.
     
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  5. Rickson

    Rickson G.O.A.T.

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    No, not flawed, just unorthodox. I like Roddick's serve over Agassi's any day, but Agassi's circular motion is textbook and Roddick's quick hitch is not.
     
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  6. mlee2

    mlee2 Rookie

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    Henin's backhand isn't perfectly like the textbook though close to it.

    She uncoils her hips really fast and jerks a lot during her swing.

    She also finishes a bit high for a 1hbh.

    Other that that, I'd agree on that textbook assessment.
     
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  7. Kick Serve

    Kick Serve Rookie

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    Tim Henman has a very textbook/classic style to all his strokes.
     
    #7
  8. f98-jah

    f98-jah New User

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    I agree with "Kick serve".
    Everything Henman does is textbook. He is the most stylish player these days. No doubt....
     
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  9. Tim Tiger Henman

    Tim Tiger Henman Rookie

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    Looks like I have quite a fan club ... 8)

    Just remember text book isn't always good and unorthodox isn't always bad. Borg, Mcenroe, Agassi, Seles amongst others were all "unorthodox" in their time.
     
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  10. jun

    jun Semi-Pro

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    Todd Martin is another guy with very clean strokes.

    Henman's serve seems a bit complicated. But good motion to copy for any coordinated man
     
    #10
  11. JohnThomas1

    JohnThomas1 Professional

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    Henmans game to me is older more classical textbook. He has reasonably mild grips and moderate top. Maybe the last of the old style we have left actually. It seems here we are dealing with "modern" textbook form, which would to me envision Semi-Western style forehands and two handed or full to exaggerated Easterns for the backhand. You can also see the modern style coming thru here in that nobody specifically talks of volleys, there really aren't that many players that volley very often nowadays. I will make some choices, some will certainly strain the limits of textbook but i'll have fun nominating them :)


    Older style textbook (80's ish)

    Serve

    Yannick Noah (Best slice you will ever see)
    Michael Stich
    Mats Wilander (Not a weapon but technically sound)
    Martina Navratilova
    Helena Sukova

    Forehand

    Mats Wilander (SW style)
    Eliot Teltcher (Eastern style Lansdorp)
    Chris Evert (Perfect Eastern)
    Hana Mandlikova (Potent Eastern style)


    Backhand

    Eliot Teltcher (Awesome Eastern 1H, and unfortunately forgotten)
    Mats Wilander (Great example of a topspin 2H)
    Stefan Edberg (Amazing grace and power in a continental grip)
    Jimmy Connors (Perfect example of the flat 2h)
    Chris Evert (Technically perfect)
    Catarina Lindquist (A wonderful forgotten Eastern)

    Volley

    Pat Cash
    Stefan Edberg
    Robert Seguso (Perfect technique on the forehand volley, quite uncommon)
    Hana Mandlikova
    Martina Navratilova


    Modern Texbook

    Serve

    Roger Federer (His most underrated shot)
    Max Mirnyi (Check it out)
    Greg Rusedski
    Goran (Soooo simple)
    Serena maybe


    Forehand

    Andre Agassi (It must be so close to perfect)
    Pete Sampras (A bit of a blend between Eastern and SW)
    James Blake (Beautiful SW)
    Lindsay Davenport (Lansdorp style again)
    Justine Henin (Excellent SW, overshadowed by the supreme backhand but it is this shot that gets the job done)


    Backhand

    Andre Agassi (Textbook groundies)
    David Nalbandian (Close to text for mine)
    Tommy Haas (Close to perfect surely)
    Lindsay Davenport (Excellent)
    Justine Henin (New wave textbook maybe, she leans back a lot due to her extremish grip i think but so many perfect elements too.

    Volley

    Henin
    Henin
    Henin


    i'll think of some fuglies later and return. Datacipher would be awesome in this thread.
     
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  12. Kobble

    Kobble Hall of Fame

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    Serve:

    So many great serves to list, so I will give you my top four, IMO.
    1) Tanner (I cannot critique his motion. It is amazing.)
    2) Krajicek (Another sweet motion with great timing and rhythym. Also, he has the most beautiful toss I have ever seen.)
    3) Sampras (Smooth accelaration and power, and not a weak serve in his arsenal.)
    4) Ivanisevic ( Very simple and effortless from head to toe in his prime.)

    Forehand:
    1) Agassi (It is just nice to watch from beginning to end with no wasted motion.)
    2) Federer (He has one of the best moves towards the ball I have ever seen.)

    Backhand:
    1) Federer ( I love beautiful one handers. Especially, effective ones.)
    2) Agassi ( The best two hander I can remember witnessing. Body and arms seem to work perfectly.)
     
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  13. JohnThomas1

    JohnThomas1 Professional

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    What great choices.
     
    #13
  14. Datacipher

    Datacipher Banned

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    Thanks for the plug John!! But you're doing just fine from what I can see....

    The problem for me here is (just as you noted) that the textbook is always changing. That the textbook changes is a good thing. The inspiration and mechanism for change (let's imitate whoever is doing it well right now) is not so good. As both positive and negative things are added to the model without proper thought/research going into it.

    There are so many great models of the modern forehand and backhand out there it's hard to pick one. Many of the picks here are great, let me throw out a couple I didn't see mentioned.

    One guy who pops to mind as a favorite for me on the forehand is Rios. So smooth, simple and compact. He can flatten it out or loop it and because of his short, simple swing he can take the ball very early(his great feet didn't hurt either).

    Another personal favorite that might seem odd is Petr Korda. I always felt that although he himself was erratic, his strokes were lovely. Particularly for his consistent, smooth preparation. He could hit with moderate topspin or flatten them out for cold winners. I think his strokes would be great models for somebody who might not have the racquet head speed for violent topspin but who still wants to hit agressively with a modern style. If you happen to generate huge swing speed (as Korda could), opponents will live in fear not knowing when out of the same prepartion you will uncork one....as long as you don't try to do this to much on an "off' day(as Korda also sometimes did ;-)

    But anyways, there are so many to pick from...and again...it depends on which textbook....but for me a textbook model should be smooth, simple(unflourished), fundamentally sound and effective.

    But I'm not a big fan of strict copying....you need to find your own unique swing...
     
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  15. JohnThomas1

    JohnThomas1 Professional

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    Excellent examples as usual mate. Haven't seen much of Rios unfortunately but i love Korda's backhand. What a shot, Sampras said it was the best backhand he had played against at one point!


    Some quick thoughts on a few unorthodox shots, more later.

    Serve

    Johnny Mac (SUPER efective but a difficult stance to copy)
    Jay Berger (You have to see it trust me)
    Stefan Edberg (Very effective but it damaged his back at one point and he had to ease up on the back arch)
    Gabriela Sabatini (Arms going in all directions and definitely not effective)
    Chris Evert (It improved a bit over the years but i really thought her biomechanics were ordinary)

    Forehand

    Jimmy Arias (One of the best shots of his time, but definitely longer than the norm)
    Ivan Lendl (Lendl was THEN considered very unorthodox with his big loop and leading elbow, but is now considered groundbreaking for mine)
    Stefan Edberg (Continental, flying elbow. He had the most graceful flowing game one could see, until he hit that forehand)
    Johnny Mac (Not pretty either, continental grip etc but not a bad shot)
    Pam Shriver (YUCK, a real shovel. Not super effective either)

    Backhand

    Jimmy Arias (Often hit off balance and rising, not real effective)
     
    #15
  16. SC in MA

    SC in MA Semi-Pro

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    For you old timers out there:

    Circa mid to late '70's:
    Textbook everything - Stan Smith
    Unorthodox everything - Harold Solomon

    The reason I bring these two up is that I once saw them hitting/practicing with each other on a practice court during the Japan Open, which was played on clay back in the late seventies when I saw them. What an extreme contrast in styles.

    All the spectators were crowded around Stan Smith's side of the court - loudly oohing and aahing his every stoke, which were considered textbook perfect (at that time). On the other hand, Harold Solomon looked like some hacker off the public courts. Remember his twohand backhand hit off this backfoot as he was leaning backwards with his front foot off the ground. And his western forehand was fairly rare back then and looked pretty strange.

    The irony is that a few days later, they played each other in the tournament and Solomon won easily.

    By far, the highest world ranking most unorthodox player I've ever seen was Francoise Durr of France. I think she used one grip with her index finger layed out along the grip. I believe she used this grip for everything, including her pattycake serve. I've never seen a worse first and second serve by any decent player, let alone a world class player. It's unbelievable that she was able to be a top ten player in the world with her very unorthodox grip and strokes.
     
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  17. Camilio Pascual

    Camilio Pascual Hall of Fame

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    Hingis - Almost every stroke, her serve is textbook, but ineffective.
    Seles - Her short flat, angled groundstrokes are textbook and the most effective I've ever seen in tennis, men or women's.
     
    #17
  18. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    Unorthodox: John McEnroe!!! Unorthodox serves, forehands, backhands, volleys....just about everything! It always amazed me that he could hit the ball consistently over the net with those strokes!! Especially his signature dropped wrist, no knee bend volleys and dropped wrist, push backhands. :shock: :?
     
    #18
  19. rommil

    rommil Legend

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    Unorthodox? Definitely Seles...She doesn't switch her hands (or so I hear) when hitting her two-handed ground strokes.
     
    #19
  20. borisboris

    borisboris Semi-Pro

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    Most Pathetic motion
    Roddick - only he will ever have that serve & forehand motion = can't be taught
    Demetieva serve at her height it's an absolutely mind boggling sight = should fire coach!!!!!!!

    Best
    Becker is perfection in all strokes = very smooth - long - powerfull motion - just not quick enough w/ feet. His rocking serve and groundies are very easy to teach.
    Safin He is amazing on both sides for his groundies = he just hits the sweet spot 95% of the time and his serve is very simple motion
    McEnroe the best ground strokes to teach a beginner = keep racquet open and sweep thru the ball. His Out service is also great to teach a righty = keep even w/ the baseline w/ an open face.
    Easiest fore hand = Lendl
     
    #20
  21. max8176

    max8176 Rookie

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    Yes, she does not switch hands from bh to fh.....
     
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  22. Russell Finch

    Russell Finch Rookie

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    Chris Evert's forehand textbook? She dragged across it nearly as much as Connors. From the film of her I've seen the only reason the ball didn't always float long was because she didn't hit it hard enough.
     
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  23. tetsuo10

    tetsuo10 Rookie

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    Not really.
    He used a forehand grip on his serve. His knee bends were very extreme. And he crosses his legs and lands on his right foot on the follow through. That's pretty unorthodox to me.

    Also, because he was so strong, he hit his backhand off his back leg lending backwards quite a bit. Not something most people can do with success.
     
    #23
  24. NoBadMojo

    NoBadMojo G.O.A.T.

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    best=fed
    worst=tie between fabric santoro and jan michael oswaldo gambil ..both too ugly to watch for any length of time without vodka.
    ;)
    ed
     
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