Originally Posted by Limpinhitter
Agreed, although, IMO, Okker's forehand was a bigger weapon than either Nastase's or Borg's.
Okker had a great forehand. It was one of the best forehands in tennis and arguably the best in his day, with Nastase and Newcombe.
I might disagree with it being a bigger weapon than late 1970's Borg. I've seen Borg hit with incredible consistent power from his forehand side. Pancho Gonzalez said when he was announcing World Invitation Tennis Classic match with Borg that Borg was the hardest hitter he had ever seen.
I was in the seats watching a Nastase-Borg match at the 1976 US Open when Nastase hit a decent second serve to Borg. Borg just moved up and blasted it on his forehand. I could barely see the ball and the crowd was shocked at the pace Borg hit it. Nastase actually somehow floated the ball back before Borg put it away.
Anyway to get back to Okker. It seems a shame to me that people have forgotten what a truly gifted player Okker was. Along with Tony Roche and some others, Tom Okker was considered to be one of the super talented young stars of tennis in the late 1960's and early 1970's. Okker won a lot of tournaments, around 60 I believe and an Italian Open. Laver himself thought very highly of Okker's talent.
But you have a great point. Okker's forehand is one of the best forehands I've seen. I tend to forget about it at times when it comes to forehands because you tend to think of top tier greats first and Okker isn't a top tier great.