Better backhand: Nadal vs. Sampras

Which player had the better backhand?


  • Total voters
    132

USO19

Rookie
A true tennis expert on this forum, before noting that Nadal has a "mediocre backhand" when discussing his "weaknesses," said that Sampras would be the most complete player if not for his struggles on clay. Ergo, said expert thinks Sampras had a better backhand than Nadal.

What say you?

Note: We're talking about better/more effective, not prettier.
 

clout

Hall of Fame
It's gotta be Nadal as his BH has actually become a pretty decent weapon as his career progressed. Sampras had a ton of lethal weapons in his hey-day but his BH wasn't one of them at any point in his career
 

captainbryce

Hall of Fame
A true tennis expert on this forum, before noting that Nadal has a "mediocre backhand" when discussing his "weaknesses," said that Sampras would be the most complete player if not for his struggles on clay. Ergo, said expert thinks Sampras had a better backhand than Nadal.

What say you?

Note: We're talking about better/more effective, not prettier.
Nadal’s backhand is objectively better (by a huge margin) than Sampras. Having said that, it’s still not a top tier backhand in my opinion, and I can name 10 players who have a better backhand than Nadal.
 

King No1e

G.O.A.T.
This is like asking who would win on clay. There's absolutely no contest. Nadal's backhand is one of the best in history and Sampras's was a regular, unremarkable, club-player-looking 1-hander.
 

skaj

Hall of Fame
A true tennis expert on this forum, before noting that Nadal has a "mediocre backhand" when discussing his "weaknesses," said that Sampras would be the most complete player if not for his struggles on clay. Ergo, said expert thinks Sampras had a better backhand than Nadal.

What say you?

Note: We're talking about better/more effective, not prettier.
I say that the logic behind your conclusion is poor. The expert might think that Pete is more complete than Rafael overall, even though his backhand is not better.

Something like this: Sampras, like Nadal, has a tier I forehand/movement/mentality, and, unlike Nadal, a tier I serve and a tier I net game. Neither of their backhands are tier I backhands, and therefore mediocre/weaknesses in the context of the thread where the quotes is taken from. Ergo, Sampras is more complete than Rafa, but not because of the better backhand - the expert might actually think that Nadal has the edge in that department.
 

USO19

Rookie
I say that the logic behind your conclusion is poor. The expert might think that Pete is more complete than Rafael overall, even though his backhand is not better.

Something like this: Sampras, like Nadal, has a tier I forehand/movement/mentality, and, unlike Nadal, a tier I serve and a tier I net game. Neither of their backhands are tier I backhands, and therefore mediocre/weaknesses in the context of the thread where the quotes is taken from. Ergo, Sampras is more complete than Rafa, but not because of the better backhand - the expert might actually think that Nadal has the edge in that department.
Except said non-expert made no mention of Sampras's backhand when discussing weaknesses, and only mentioned his struggles on clay as his weakness relative to being "complete." Said non-expert then proceeded to mention Nadal's "mediocre backhand" when discussing the Big 3's "weaknesses."

Nadal has more than an "edge" in that department. It's not even close.
 

RelentlessAttack

Hall of Fame
Nadal’s BH is overrated post Madrid-09 when his movement to that side declined. In mid-08 the CCBH was really a weapon to be feared. But even so this poll is silly.
 

skaj

Hall of Fame
Except said non-expert made no mention of Sampras's backhand when discussing weaknesses, and only mentioned his struggles on clay as his weakness relative to being "complete." Said non-expert then proceeded to mention Nadal's "mediocre backhand" when discussing the Big 3's "weaknesses."

Nadal has more than an "edge" in that department. It's not even close.

No, it's just another poor logic behind a conclusion in your post: The "non-expert" you are now bringing to discussion have mentioned Sampras' completeness in the context of other players, not in the context of total completeness with no weaknesses(in the context of completeness) whatsoever.

Nice of you to share your opinion about Pete's and Nadal's backhands.
 

skaj

Hall of Fame
Sampras' bh is the most underrated stroke in history.
Hit so many winners with it past greats...people just don't remember.
Exactly, fabulous slice also.
He had so many other weapons - amazing serve, dangerous forehand, great net game, even his athleticism and mentality I would call huge weapons... backhand was eclipsed by those, so people forgot about it(also since Nadal is a baseliner, many automatically vote for him).
 

steenkash

Professional
Rafa's backhand is one of the best ever, he would crush Pete Sampras, Pete is lucky to have never faced Nadal
 

zep

Hall of Fame
It's not even top 10 of the two-handed ATP backhands...
It's highly underrated. You gotta remember that his BH usually goes up against other players' forehand. So if he had a weaker BH they would have destroyed him.
 

skaj

Hall of Fame
It's highly underrated. You gotta remember that his BH usually goes up against other players' forehand. So if he had a weaker BH they would have destroyed him.
It's solid and good enough to stay in those points(until he uses his amazing movement to find his killer forehand, which doesn't take long), but not among the best ever. So when you see some posts in this thread, it's actually overrated(in this forum I mean, I have never heard a professional commentator saying anything like that about his backhand).
 

skaj

Hall of Fame
And the mammoth backhand that has saved him on numerous occasions.
With a "mammoth" backhand he would've probably been the undisputed goat. It's the forehand-backhand combo that is one of the biggest reasons why he is troubled by Djokovic, who has better groundstrokes overall(and Nadal obviously has a stronger forehand).
 

steenkash

Professional
With a "mammoth" backhand he would've probably been the undisputed goat. It's the forehand-backhand combo that is one of the biggest reasons why he is troubled by Djokovic, who has better groundstrokes overall(and Nadal obviously has a stronger forehand).
It's his injuries that have prevented him from being the GOAT, but he's not far off tbh, he will likely surpass Federer and become GOAT. Novak is the most complete player in tennis, so can't compare him to Novak, Novak's BH is undisputed number 1. But Nadal's is in the top 5.
 

skaj

Hall of Fame
It's his injuries that have prevented him from being the GOAT, but he's not far off tbh, he will likely surpass Federer and become GOAT. Novak is the most complete player in tennis, so can't compare him to Novak, Novak's BH is undisputed number 1. But Nadal's is in the top 5.
I meant including injuries he would be the goat.

Yes, Nadal's backhand is the top 5 ever, I have nothing to add to that...

p.s. if you think Novak's backhand is the undisputed number 1, you should check out David Nalbandian's two-hander.
 

steenkash

Professional
I meant including injuries he would be the goat.

Yes, Nadal's backhand is the top 5 ever, I have nothing to add to that...

p.s. if you think Novak's backhand is the undisputed number 1, you should check out David Nalbandian's two-hander.
I absolutely loved Nalbandian, As a 9-year-old, I preferred him to Leyton Hewitt in the 2002 Wimbledon final. His BH was a force but did not have the same consistency that Novak has on his BH, it's why David fell apart.
 

ps2dcgba

Rookie
Both their backhands are stuff Legends are made of, Nadal has 18 slams to his name, Sampras has 14....
They are consistent and lethal when they want to be.

Are they as flashy as Wawrinka's or Nalbandian? .no
 
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