Originally Posted by suwanee4712
This will sound strange but I believe this to be true: Novotna's (not Graf's) lack of a topspin backhand stopped her from winning big matches. What's one of the most effective ways to beat an s&v player? Take the net away from them.
Graf's net game wasn't great. But there are two players she charged the net an unusually high amount of times against ....Shriver and Novotna. They were the safest players to attack. Each dinked and lobbed quite well but neither could hit a flat or topspin backhand on a consistent basis. Me, you, and half this forum could attack Novotna's backhand with reasonable success.
Many times, even at Wimbledon, when Graf got into trouble she served out wide to Novotna's backhand or she she waited for a short ball to approach to that side. Now once in a blue moon Jana might rip a successful flat backhand for a winner or force a volley error. But 9 times out of 10 she would slice a backhand down the line or dink a chip crosscourt. Sometimes she would chip a lob and charge the net behind it. But the smart players knew what to expect and made Jana pay.
This is, of course, how why Martina beat Jana much more easily than she did Hana or Helena, both of whom had excellent topsoin backhands.
I recal screaming out loud for Jana to hit her backhand, she had the ability to do it but refused...I am a two hander and can slice one handed very effectively...I find I get stuck in a rut of slicing too much and get too comfy doing it...she was waaay too comfortable with that slice...I blame he coaching.