Who has the best backhand right now?

Discussion in 'General Pro Player Discussion' started by Rickson, Dec 17, 2004.

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Who has the best backhand on tour right now?

  1. Roger Federer

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  2. Tommy Haas

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  3. Gaston Gaudio

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  4. Gustavo Kuerten

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  5. Justine Henin-Herdenne

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  6. Amelie Mauresmo

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  7. Tim Henman

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  1. Rickson

    Rickson G.O.A.T.

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    Who's backhand is best? Doesn't matter man or woman. If you don't see your choice, just post it.
     
    #1
  2. Vlad

    Vlad Professional

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    Two handed backhands - Marat Safin, Andre Agassi, Hewitt

    One Handed Backhand - Roger Federer, Guga, Haas

    all in that partucular order
     
    #2
  3. Vlad

    Vlad Professional

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    And Women would be Henin for one hander and
    Vera Zvonareva for two hander
     
    #3
  4. Rickson

    Rickson G.O.A.T.

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    Roger's variety and power give him the nod from me.
     
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  5. The tennis guy

    The tennis guy Hall of Fame

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    One shot only, Gaudio. Haas is a close second.

    People gave too much credit to Federer now. Yes, he is incredible, the most talented player I have ever seen. But he has the best backhand right now? Give me a break!
     
    #5
  6. Ronaldo

    Ronaldo G.O.A.T.

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    Shoulda added A-Rod Rickson
     
    #6
  7. PusherMan

    PusherMan Rookie

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    Rickson seems to be only concerned with looks. No two handers were listed. There's just no way Safin and Agassi should be missing from a short list of good backhands.
     
    #7
  8. Rickson

    Rickson G.O.A.T.

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    I'll add Andy Roddick when he adds a good backhand to his arsenal.
     
    #8
  9. K!ck5w3rvE

    K!ck5w3rvE Hall of Fame

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    Hear hear. If you were doing a poll of the best 2 handers, who would you include? I'd go for Safin, Agassi, Nalbandian, Serena, Sharapova and Zvonareva (until she loses it upstairs ^^^)
     
    #9
  10. VashTheStampede

    VashTheStampede Semi-Pro

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    Coria and Ferrero both have a decent backhand. Safin and Agassi win it though.
     
    #10
  11. tetsuo10

    tetsuo10 Rookie

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    Federer has absolutely the quickest preparation for 1HBH topspin.
     
    #11
  12. thatballwas_IN

    thatballwas_IN Rookie

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    poll is all kinds of lacking...
    already been mentioned why:
    agassi not in a backhand poll???? bizarre!
    safin's 2 hander and leg-lift is sweet too!
    calleri has a thing of beauty too when his 1 hander is on...
     
    #12
  13. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    Wow!! Really tough choice. They all have beautiful one-handers, but I gave the nod to Haas. That BH DTL approach shot is a thing of beauty to behold.
     
    #13
  14. JohnThomas1

    JohnThomas1 Professional

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    Out of that list Haas just ahead of Fed, with Kuerten having the best clay court backhand. Henin wins hands down for the women.
     
    #14
  15. dAgEnIuS

    dAgEnIuS Rookie

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    we are talking about 1 handers right????
    i'd say Roger Federer, even if it is his weak point, to other players, the same Federer's backhand would be their strong point.
    But overal the best backhand on tour is Marat Safin...
     
    #15
  16. beanieweenie

    beanieweenie New User

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    best one hander hands down was cedric pioline, even though he was probably the laziest guy on tour. current...i'll agree with the gaudio statement

    as far as two handers are concerned. i would have to say as far as smoothest stroke... safin. but my personal favorite, aside from lacking results, mardy fish. that thing is silk.
     
    #16
  17. ucd_ace

    ucd_ace Semi-Pro

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    By the end of this next year I think Haas will move up on everyone's list. Federer's backhand is extremely solid, but that's it. I think his success has garnished more credit for his backhand than seems fitting. Haas's backhand is just amazing; I would give it the nod on both topspin and slice over Fed. He hits both more aggressively and uses a greater variety of the amount of spin he uses. Haas can dominate matches with it and although Federer has a great backhand, I don't think he can raise it quite up to that level. The matches where I felt Federer's backhand helped him the most have been when he's been able to use the slice effectively to neutralize his opponents power and in those cases I've always thought that Haas could just as easily do the same if not better.

    It's hard to bring two-handers into the discussion when you start thinking about who has the best backhand because there's such a descrepincy in the overall quality of their slice; the best one-handers, Haas and Federer, have such versatility it gives them the nod.

    Safin's two-hander is amazing; I think it has to top the list of two-handers.
     
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  18. mlee2

    mlee2 Rookie

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    Roddick
     
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  19. BLiND

    BLiND Hall of Fame

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    definitly safin
     
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  20. sliceroni

    sliceroni Professional

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    Fed's backhand is improving, and nobody can hit those half-volley bh passing shots on the run like he can. But if he was trading bh groundies from the back w/ Haas I'd give it to Haas. Fed I has the best slice, only person I can think of that uses it as an offensive weapon. Others just float or push the slice back but, like Steffi Graf, will use it to wrong-foot or push his opponent deep (as he does w/ Hewitt) then utilizes his amazing footwork to set up the forehand.
     
    #20
  21. davey25

    davey25 Banned

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    heheehhehe, you are a funny one. Anyway I think Henin-Hardenne. If you award per gender though Henin-Hardenne for the women, and Safin for the men.
     
    #21
  22. VictorS.

    VictorS. Professional

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    Tommy Haas to me, has the best one-handed topspin backhand. I think Federer has a little more variety though, which I would say gives him the edge.

    Best two-hander would have to go to Marat Safin.
     
    #22
  23. ClemsonTennis9

    ClemsonTennis9 Rookie

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    Fed has a great backhand, but not the best. The reason why it looks so good is because all of his other shots set him up for a great backhand stroke. I would love to have his backhand but i would rather take Gaudio's. His preperation, timing, and swing style are great.
     
    #23
  24. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

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    Pusherman has nailed this one. Safin and Agassi top the list of the two-handers in the world, my personal favorite player to watch hit backhands is Tommy Haas and Justine Henin. IMO, Haas has the picture perfect one hander, it is a double edged sword, it looks good and it's effective as hell.
     
    #24
  25. Rickson

    Rickson G.O.A.T.

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    I was wondering when someone would pick up on the fact that I didn't put down any 2 handers. To me, a great backhand is a 1 handed backhand.
     
    #25
  26. !Tym

    !Tym Hall of Fame

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    Before: Korda, Pioline, Muster, and Kuerten...and by the way, did I mention Korda, Pioline, Muster and Kuerten? Not necessarily in that order.

    To me, those four backhands are the pinnacle of one-handers in the modern-era.

    Muster = by FAR, the most topspin on his one-hander of anyone. As Leitgeb wrote about him, and how he got to the next level. He was the only guy who worked to add topspin, SERIOUS topspin to his one-hander. If you look at most one-handers on tour, they're struck relatively flat or with moderate topspin...including Haas. Muster's the only guy I've ever seen who actually put real WORK on the ball. He just ripped into the ball visciouly and put tour leading topspin levels on the ball off that wing.

    So to me, Muster's got the best one-handed, heavy, agressive, unbelieavbly consistent, topspin backhand I've seen. Most "viscious" ball striker.

    Korda's one-hander on the other hand was the exact opposite, but equally effective in its own way. Korda's backhand was more akin to a scalpel, when on, perhaps the finest one-handed scalpel ever devised. He just raped you...cut you, ripped you up and sliced you... with that shot...WHEN on. When on, he ended points in a flurry, leaving you stunned every which way. His balls skidded through the court like not just a speeding bullet, but rather a BB gun bullet...you know the little, itzy, bitzy tiny ones. Needless to stay, trying to return such shots was difficult. Flattest, "purest" ball striker.

    Pioline was the Leconte of the one-handers. Amazing flair. When "on," he could put on a clinic off this side with amazing shotmaking, improvisation, and flair...making you look flat-footed, silly, and rather ordinary in a Rainer Schuettler sort of way. Perhaps, the most stylish one-hander of all time, a bit mesmerizing if you will. When he hit it just right, people gushed. To quote, John McEnroe, "GOD, he has a beautiful one-hander." Pioline could strike it flat as a pancake and down the line, rip it with heavy topspin, whip it with angle, slice and dice it like a Ronco juicer...man could do it all off this side. Incredibly comfortable in every aspect, on every surface, from anywhere on the court with this shot which is why the tour players themselves voted him as having the best one-handed backhand. No weaknesses, and one of the few strokes that was truly adaptable to any surface and any situation. Take Haas, for example. Great one-hander on any surface, but I'd say it's most effective on hard courts. Take Muster, great one-hander, but best suited for clay. Take Korda, great one-hander, but best suited for grass, indoors, or fast hard courts...in other words, anything FAST. Take Pioline...equally effective on clay, grass, hard, or indoors. Doesn't matter where in the world Pioline was, he was equally effective with his backhand. Now, THAT is versatile.

    Gustavo Kuerten, definitely last but not least. When on, his backhand was a hybrid between Korda and Muster's backhand. It was the Korda one-hander of clay. Viscious topspin, but not overly so. The point wasn't so much to force you into errors or deep behind the baseline as Muster's was, it was to hit outright winners. Kuerten did this with his sweeping wing span, and elongated strokes...talk about leverage. Because Kuerten had such great wing span, it seemed impossible to ever get anything out of reach and out of his strike zone on this side. It seemed like all he needed was one step, and he was there. High topspin balls didn't bother him either like other handers, because he used an extreme backhand grip and was so tall. On clay, Kuerten was impossible to attack on the backhand for these reasons. He also used his leverage and spin generation for the most incredible POWER angled one-handers ever. "Lashed out" is how I would describe his execution of these shots.

    Overall, I would say that there are some excellent one-handers out there today, but to me there are no BRILLIANT one-handers out there today. If just judging by one stroke alone, I really do believe that Muster developed the best topspin one-hander for clay (to hit that DEGREE of topspin as visciously as he did with a one-hander is NOT easy to time, so don't give me that *insulting* stereotype about how topspin doesn't require any talent), Pioline the most versatile and breathtaking one-hander, Korda the most leaves you kind of flat-footed don't it one-hander, and Kuerten the most viscious clay one-hander.

    However, in today's game, I would agree that among current pros, Haas has the best one-hander for hard courts and faster surfaces, as it's more solid and reliably substantial to me than Federer's. Federer has the most versatile one-hander, to me a less natural version of Pioline's and with less ability to loop heavy topspin from deep behind the baseline if needed. Gaudio has the most technically sound clay-court one-hander, but to me without the same degree of visciousness, relentless consistency, and ESPECIALLY topspin of Muster's.

    Kuerten is the wild card in all this. He's still playing, but now with a bruised psyche and a more than just bruised hip...call it bum. On that rare day, it's still the best...without question in my mind, but on every other day, he's become a shadow of his old self. However, he may be back next year, since allegedly he is FINALLY pain free.

    It could be like the Korda situation. Korda was a top player even before his late career resurgence. People forget that the reason he went away during those middle years of his career was because he was playing in pain and living off pain killers due to his groin problem. When he shocked the world, and said I'm BACK at the U.S. Open, he said it's really no surprise. He said it's because he was finally able to play pain free.

    Legitimate elite talent is legitimate elite talent. Add some undue pain to the mix (i.e. injury and/or motivation...see Medvedev) and elite talent and players become rather ordinary, just another face in the draw players, quite suddenly...like OVERnight.

    Healthy again? Wa la, you have Grant Hill. Sure, he's not quite as elite as he used to be when he had all his athleticism in tact, but still, he is still playing like a top player again IN SPITE of losing much of his athleticism. It's because through all the surgeries, he never lost his talent. What's changed this year, in THIS comeback is that for the first time in years, he says that he's completely pain free.

    That makes all the difference in the world. Imagine playing on a bed of blisters...your foot...it may not seem like much, and you still may be able to play and compete...but that sure as heck don't mean you'll be at your best...far from it. The term, "in spirit only" comes to mind.
     
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  27. newbie123

    newbie123 Rookie

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    What about Thomas Johannson's two handed backhand? It may not be the best but it seems very underrated. I saw a match with him and he was banging a lot of winners with his backhand. And also a very beautiful stroke
     
    #27
  28. Vlad

    Vlad Professional

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    Thomas's backhand is very underrated but certainly not the best. The saddest part of that post is that Guga has 0 votes. Although, I don;t think he has a better one hander than Roger, it certainly is the most lethal shot on clay right now. On faster surfaces he doesn't have enough time to rip it as I noticed watching him during this year's Open in practice on Grand stand from the first row vs. Nalbandian. He still hits it very well (better than Davis from either side) but i fell that sometimes he is rushed from that side. I can not say the same thing about Roger though. He takes it very early (best timing) and if he has target, he is lethal. So, my vote goes to Fed overall, but clearly Guga on a slow red clay.
     
    #28
  29. prince

    prince Semi-Pro

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    safin
    hewitt


    federer
    gaudio


    henin
     
    #29
  30. AndrewD

    AndrewD Legend

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    Someone said best backhand in the Open era, so how about Stefan Edberg?

    I'd put that way above any of the other players mentioned and not just for the absolute beauty of the shot but for its power and versatility and reliability. Slice, top (enough,not too much), angles whatever you want he could do off that shot and do literally 99% of the time. His serve might have been erratic at times, especially when the back complaint came along, but I never saw him play a match when his backhand let him down. Lucky enough to have called lines at the Oz Open during his prime and that shot really was the best.

    Of the two handers, Agassi and Safin stand out but if you can discount their slice I'd take Agassi's for preference.
     
    #30
  31. Rickson

    Rickson G.O.A.T.

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    Roger's backhand has become almost as lethal as his forehand. Roger can pass better with his backhand than any other player on tour right now. Roger has tremendous versatility using slice, topspin, even lobs at times. Roger's backhand is currently the best backhand in the business.
     
    #31
  32. Shaolin

    Shaolin Hall of Fame

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    1 hand: Federer
    2 hand: Safin or Mathieu
     
    #32
  33. Ryoma Kun

    Ryoma Kun Semi-Pro

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    tim henman might be my favorite player, but i still dont see him having a good backhang, muresmo has a better backhand in my opinion =P
    my choice is haas, federer/safin, kuerton
     
    #33
  34. PusherMan

    PusherMan Rookie

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    And all this time I thought the RESULT of the backhand was most important. Now I know it's all about the execution. Thanks for clearing that one up, Rickson. :roll:
     
    #34
  35. Rickson

    Rickson G.O.A.T.

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    Anytime.
     
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  36. davey25

    davey25 Banned

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    Rogers backhand is versatile but I dont see how it can be considered as lethal as his forehand. He rarely hits a winner, or even forces an error off of it baseline rallies. He now passes very well off it though, that is where his winners of the side come from.
    In baseline rallies though he uses it to build the point and uses its variety to probe either errors or shots he wants to hit his forehand or come in to net on.
     
    #36
  37. VashTheStampede

    VashTheStampede Semi-Pro

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    So Feliciano Lopez's backhand is better than Andre's? :?
     
    #37
  38. alan-n

    alan-n Professional

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    Anyone who is questioning Roger's ability to hit winners off his backhand needs to watch his matches in the Houston masters. His backhand is at a way higher level than it was previously. The ability to take Safins best 2 handed shot right back down the line for a winner was repeatly on display....

    He was turning the one handed backhand into a clinic during the tournament.

    Yes his backhand is the weaker wing, but that is still good enough to beat anyone best shot off of it.
     
    #38
  39. slack hack

    slack hack Rookie

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    Olivier Rochus
     
    #39
  40. Rickson

    Rickson G.O.A.T.

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    Lopez uses slice almost exclusively. Only driving 1 hand backhanders need apply.
     
    #40
  41. Max G.

    Max G. Hall of Fame

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    Wayne Arthurs?
     
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