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Old 12-29-2009, 10:56 AM   #50
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 9,008

Originally Posted by hoodjem View Post
1. Laver
2. Budge
3. Rosewall
4. Edberg
5. Connors
6. Agassi
7. Kuerten
8. Vilas
9. Gasquet
10. Rios
11. Becker
12. Lacoste
13. Ashe
14. Borg
15. Kovacs
16. Safin
17. Nalbandian
18. Nadal
19. Mancini
20. Lendl

No doubt Budge had a great backhand but I've read he was often aced on the service return which means to me that while he hit a lot of winners on the return, he paid for it. The other thing was that I heard he couldn't chip the ball well on the backhand at all and the means to me a lack of touch. That's a couple of negatives to me that I don't feel Rosewall and Laver had.

I read some people stating that Rosewall's backhand was semi-flat and they indicate he couldn't do what some backhands could do. I've seen a lot of Rosewall in person and on video and trust me when I say that the man was almost never aced and almost always got his racket on the ball to return it. Dennis Ralston wrote an article on the service return and he stated that at the time he wrote the article that Rosewall had not missed a backhand return of serve in two weeks. That's astounding!

Rosewall generally hit the ball back low against serve and volleyers but he could also drive the ball back with great power passing the volleyer. He could hit sharp angles plus he had a great lob on the backhand side. He also had an excellent drop shot on the backhand side and it was one of the most consistent backhands ever, along with Borg.

There was really nothing Rosewall didn't have an answer to on the backhand side. I read he could hit topspin in practice but why do it if you already have a backhand that has the answer to all situations.

Arthur Ashe ranked Rosewall's and Laver's backhand as the best he had ever seen. He wrote this in the late 1979's when Borg and Connors were in their prime. It's not as if Ashe didn't respect Borg and Connors at that point. Ashe wrote at that point that he felt Borg was the GOAT and yet he still ranked Rosewall's and Laver's backhand the best he had ever seen.

Last edited by pc1; 12-29-2009 at 11:00 AM.
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