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-   -   Who had the better backhand? (http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=303967)

Zimbo 12-28-2009 07:06 PM

Who had the better backhand?
 
With so much discussion going on about backhands I was wondering who you guys think had the better backhand between these three: Lendl, Edberg, and Becker?

Jonny S&V 12-28-2009 07:11 PM

Lendl, although Edberg's was kinda legendary. The most solid of the 3, plus he actually hit from the baseline a majority of the time, so he wins this one.

President of Serve/Volley 12-28-2009 09:04 PM

Tough one... Lendl can do it from the baseline and hold his own. Becker can handle Edberg's kicker, and Edberg, well, he can do anything with it...

I'd go with Lendl, but really... anyone would love to have any of these 3 backhands. All are better than Roger Federer's...

35ft6 12-29-2009 03:56 PM

^ I think Roger's is better than all 3's.

matchmaker 12-29-2009 04:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by 35ft6 (Post 4229742)
^ I think Roger's is better than all 3's.

Well, I respect you as a poster and I respect your opinion, but I respectfully have to disagree.

Fed's backhand is not in the GOAT backhand league. If not, why would it break down when people merciless pound on it?

Fed may have the best FH of all time, but for serve, volley and BH there are other candidates.

That does not mean that the overall package Federer possesses isn't fantastic, it just means that if you single out one particular stroke, you can find someone who was better at that particular stroke, but maybe overall worse.

Datacipher 12-29-2009 04:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by matchmaker (Post 4229770)
Well, I respect you as a poster and I respect your opinion, but I respectfully have to disagree.

.

I agree, Fed's backhand is NOT as good as Lendl's.

35ft6 12-29-2009 04:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by matchmaker (Post 4229770)
Fed's backhand is not in the GOAT backhand league. If not, why would it break down when people merciless pound on it?

Mostly it breaks down when the greatest clay courter I've ever seen pummels it mercilessly with the best left handed forehand ever, and certainly the heaviest one with the most action, on clay (somebody posted an article that put Nadal's forehand number 2 in the list of top tennis strokes of 2000's... I would probably place his forehand top 5 of all time). I would love to see how Becker, Lendl, and Edberg's backhand would deal with the Nadal forehand on clay.

Roger's weak backhand is so horribly overstated. It's ridiculous really. Even when he first came on the scene, I remember some commentators describing it as the best one hander in the game. Without Nadal around, nobody would ever question that shot.

All 4 of these guys have great one handers, and in some ways, Lendl's may have been steadier ("may" because he didn't have to contend with the same types of shots on a regular basis), but in terms of versatility and power, Fed is on a higher level IMO. He can do things with his backhand that none of those guys would never have dreamt of. Fed's slice is way better than Lendl's chip. He doesn't just use it to stay in the point but can actually shift the momentum of the point with that shot. I would put Guga's up there with Fed's. Driving the ball, Guga's is probably better, but factor in slice, Fed matches up favorably. I think both overall have better backhands than those three.
Quote:

Well, I respect you as a poster and I respect your opinion, but I respectfully have to disagree.
Well thanks, but seriously, the funnest discussions here are the ones that create mass disagreements. They're the only subjects worth discussing. I imagine threads everybody agreed on would have titles like "Is Karlovic taller than Santoro" and "Is Anna Kournikova sexier than Tauziat?" Why even bother posting in such threads?

yemenmocha 12-29-2009 05:38 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Datacipher (Post 4229800)
I agree, Fed's backhand is NOT as good as Lendl's.

+1 Federer's backhand not as good as Lendl.

I think the forums have a large percentage of kids who didn't really watch much tennis in the 80's, especially in person.

matchmaker 12-29-2009 06:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by 35ft6 (Post 4229870)
Mostly it breaks down when the greatest clay courter I've ever seen pummels it mercilessly with the best left handed forehand ever, and certainly the heaviest one with the most action, on clay (somebody posted an article that put Nadal's forehand number 2 in the list of top tennis strokes of 2000's... I would probably place his forehand top 5 of all time). I would love to see how Becker, Lendl, and Edberg's backhand would deal with the Nadal forehand on clay.

Roger's weak backhand is so horribly overstated. It's ridiculous really. Even when he first came on the scene, I remember some commentators describing it as the best one hander in the game. Without Nadal around, nobody would ever question that shot.

All 4 of these guys have great one handers, and in some ways, Lendl's may have been steadier ("may" because he didn't have to contend with the same types of shots on a regular basis), but in terms of versatility and power, Fed is on a higher level IMO. He can do things with his backhand that none of those guys would never have dreamt of. Fed's slice is way better than Lendl's chip. He doesn't just use it to stay in the point but can actually shift the momentum of the point with that shot. I would put Guga's up there with Fed's. Driving the ball, Guga's is probably better, but factor in slice, Fed matches up favorably. I think both overall have better backhands than those three.
Well thanks, but seriously, the funnest discussions here are the ones that create mass disagreements. They're the only subjects worth discussing. I imagine threads everybody agreed on would have titles like "Is Karlovic taller than Santoro" and "Is Anna Kournikova sexier than Tauziat?" Why even bother posting in such threads?

Well, he can, because he "wrists" his backhand. That is why at times he can find ridiculous angles, but at other times he can net a simple rally backhand.

I find there are fundamental flaws in his BH technique. I am talking about his topspin BH, his slice is exceptional.

He often hits with a bent arm, he uses too much wrist flick.It is a little like a table tennis backhand.

Basically it boils down to this: no two Federer backhands are alike. This is why he can produce stunning winners at times, but will be inconsistent at other times.

I think Tommy Haas and Wawrinka have a much better backhand action, but off course, the rest of their game lags far behind, not in the least the mental aspect.

abmk 12-29-2009 06:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by 35ft6 (Post 4229870)
Mostly it breaks down when the greatest clay courter I've ever seen pummels it mercilessly with the best left handed forehand ever, and certainly the heaviest one with the most action, on clay (somebody posted an article that put Nadal's forehand number 2 in the list of top tennis strokes of 2000's... I would probably place his forehand top 5 of all time). I would love to see how Becker, Lendl, and Edberg's backhand would deal with the Nadal forehand on clay.

Roger's weak backhand is so horribly overstated. It's ridiculous really. Even when he first came on the scene, I remember some commentators describing it as the best one hander in the game. Without Nadal around, nobody would ever question that shot.

All 4 of these guys have great one handers, and in some ways, Lendl's may have been steadier ("may" because he didn't have to contend with the same types of shots on a regular basis), but in terms of versatility and power, Fed is on a higher level IMO. He can do things with his backhand that none of those guys would never have dreamt of. Fed's slice is way better than Lendl's chip. He doesn't just use it to stay in the point but can actually shift the momentum of the point with that shot. I would put Guga's up there with Fed's. Driving the ball, Guga's is probably better, but factor in slice, Fed matches up favorably. I think both overall have better backhands than those three.

I agree with your views on the federer BH being under-rated and the so called weakness being over-stated. The bold part is so true.

Lendl's BH held up better on clay, for sure, but he didn't have to deal with a nadal . His BH was better than fed's on clay, but on the other surfaces, fed's better. overall fed by a slim margin

As far as guga is concerned, I'd put his BH ahead of fed by some margin. His BH on clay was great and could be spectacular on other surfaces when he was on

madhavan 12-29-2009 09:42 PM

Edberg for me had the best backhand among those 3. He was a master of everything with it - baseline, passing shots, return, slice, approach, angles, touch, you name it. His topspin was somewhat inconsistent at the start of his career (until about '88), but he tightened up his technique considerably and became very very solid off that side.

Lendl's BH was great from the baseline and passing shots, but his topspin return was very streaky. His slice, touch and angles were good, but not at Edberg's level.

Becker had a very explosive topspin BH (for eg. he handled Edberg's serve the best I've seen from a single-hander and whacked zillions of winners). But when you watched Edberg and Becker get into a backhand to backhand rally, it was pretty clear who was better off that side - Edberg's impeccable footwork and smooth, but explosive stroke would usually give him control and put Becker on the defensive.

Datacipher 12-29-2009 09:52 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by yemenmocha (Post 4229955)
+1 Federer's backhand not as good as Lendl.

I think the forums have a large percentage of kids who didn't really watch much tennis in the 80's, especially in person.

That is certainly true, what is particularly odd to me is that the forum has plenty of 15 yr olds who have admitted to watching tennis for about 3 years, will spout off on topics like this and make definitive declarations....then argue them for days. I love how "Federer" is the answer to EVERYTHING...and when we list the greatest _____, it reads like the current top 10 + "laver" and "sampras" (thrown somewhere in around Davydenko ;-)

But TW forums is hardly a place to go for knowledgable tennis experts and/or insightful analysis, so it is my own fault for reading this garbage! ;-)

madhavan 12-29-2009 10:29 PM

Meant to say in my last post that Edberg's BH was inconsistent till about 1988, looks like my 8) got converted into a smiley!

hoodjem 01-01-2010 06:37 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by 35ft6 (Post 4229742)
^ I think Roger's is better than all 3's.

Too funny. Fed is worse than all three.

hoodjem 01-01-2010 06:42 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by 35ft6 (Post 4229870)
Roger's weak backhand is so horribly overstated. It's ridiculous really. Even when he first came on the scene, I remember some commentators describing it as the best one hander in the game. Without Nadal around, nobody would ever question that shot.

The "horrible-ness" of Fed's backhand is overstated. True.

But be aware that he has one of the few one-handed backhands among the current top players, so saying that it is "the best one hander in the game" may be damning it with faint praise.

(In other words, being a one-eyed man in the land of the blind doesn't make you a genius.)

Zimbo 01-01-2010 07:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by madhavan (Post 4230399)
Edberg for me had the best backhand among those 3. He was a master of everything with it - baseline, passing shots, return, slice, approach, angles, touch, you name it. His topspin was somewhat inconsistent at the start of his career (until about '88), but he tightened up his technique considerably and became very very solid off that side.

Lendl's BH was great from the baseline and passing shots, but his topspin return was very streaky. His slice, touch and angles were good, but not at Edberg's level.

Becker had a very explosive topspin BH (for eg. he handled Edberg's serve the best I've seen from a single-hander and whacked zillions of winners). But when you watched Edberg and Becker get into a backhand to backhand rally, it was pretty clear who was better off that side - Edberg's impeccable footwork and smooth, but explosive stroke would usually give him control and put Becker on the defensive.

Thanks everyone for your post. Out of the three I would chose Edberg's for the reason above.

35ft6 01-02-2010 12:37 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by hoodjem (Post 4237481)
The "horrible-ness" of Fed's backhand is overstated. True.

But be aware that he has one of the few one-handed backhands among the current top players, so saying that it is "the best one hander in the game" may be damning it with faint praise.

Having a one handed backhand in today's ATP world is a risky proposition period. Just look at the decline of one handers in the top 10 and it's not simply because people stopped teaching it... another subject. Fed is the only guy in the top 10 with a one hander right now. Give him some props for that. And think about what that might mean. I picked a ranking date from random knowing that 1985 was one of Lendl's best years... 6 players in the top 10 with one handers. Lendl, Mac, Edberg, Noah, Curren, and Becker.

Fine, you can take that to mean that coaches met in Bahamas one year and decided to give all their best players two hander, whatever. Or pick another date. Go through the top 20 of the day there were 6 one handers in the top 10 and you have 12 in the top 20, perhaps 13 because I'm not sure what kind of backhand Scott Davis had. 5 in the top 20 today.

You tell me what that means. :)

35ft6 01-02-2010 12:39 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by hoodjem (Post 4237481)
But be aware that he has one of the few one-handed backhands among the current top players, so saying that it is "the best one hander in the game" may be damning it with faint praise.

Or see my post above and take it to mean only the best survive today. Unlike serve and volley, which is a style of play, a one hander is merely a stroke. You can't say Fed is successful with it because it's rare, that other people don't see a lot of one handers. For it to reign supreme in a world where other one handed players aren't "doing so well" must mean it's exceptional? Explain your interpretation of it if you don't like mine.

hoodjem 01-02-2010 08:26 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by 35ft6 (Post 4238165)
For it to reign supreme in a world where other one handed players aren't "doing so well" must mean it's exceptional? Explain your interpretation of it if you don't like mine.

I don't think Fed is a great player because he has a 1Hbh, and I don't think Fed is a great player despite having a 1Hbh.

I think his 1Hbh is pretty good, but his serve and forehand and speed win him most of his matches. I believe that his volleys are pretty good and his backhand is pretty good.

I think Fed wins what he wins (15 slams and more to come) because he is a more complete player than any of his competitors, a more talented player, and a player who is smart enough to maximize his potential. Those, and his "completeness" is amplified when compared to the shallowness of his competitors' games.

(For the record, I have a 1Hbh, and all my favorite players do also. I believe that, as a stroke, it is inherently more versatile and less limiting.)

darthpwner 01-02-2010 09:11 AM

Lendl had the best backhand of the three.


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