Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by Fintft, Sep 4, 2013.
And what BH had Borg? Would you call that 1h?
Connors often used that hard sliced forehand as an approach shot when moving forward to the net since it stayed so low and forced the opponent to bring the passer higher. In that regard it was very effective.
Most if not all his FHs are like that. Constipated.
Club players would demolish the likes of him today.
Oh now I get it, please excuse my naivete.
Silly troll, go back home to your underpass!
The Big Three of the Golden Era
Jimmy Connors, Bjorn Borg, and John McEnroe.
Connors with a beard, great unique photo
Absolutely. That's from the Masters at New York's Madison Square Garden. He and Borg had some truly great indoor matches there. That picture is from early 1981 (Jan. 1981- '80 Masters YEC).
Hard to say if the OP knows nothing about tennis or is just trying way to hard to be a troll.
OK. I need to get my head examined as I'm replying to a kid that has never seen either of these two all time greats play. But, yes, I think you described it quite well. And sometimes he imparted what might be considered sidespin. The stroke was obviously effective but he could have trouble hitting a low, short ball with it. Which I guess the classic take advantage of that may have been Ashe at W.
Borg's was so obviously a 2HB that I don't understand the confusion. The slapshot like motion supposedly came from his early years playing hockey. Not sure if that story apocryphal but I remember hearing it back in his playing days and reading it in some old Borg bio book I had as a kid.
connors forehand was very effective and he had more control with less backswing..you just can't swing through it like a modern racquet with a wood racquet..you just don't have the leeway and will hit the ball in the stands.
another advantage of connors fh is that the ball stayed low..an advantage on grass...if you would approach a short ball with topspin and come into the net your ball would sit up to be a pass.
PS: I can't stand Murray play...Connors should show him how to attack a short ball..Murray justs slices it back and returns to BS...
1) Connors never used a wood racquet (or, at least, for almost the entirety of his career he used metal)
2) I don't think we're watching the same Murray (who, at his best, reminds me of a young Nadal; less aggressive than rafa is now, but gets to everything and can hit a winner from unlikely places. better serve, to boot!)
No, no. Be more precise. I beginner club player with a Babolat and polys could beat prime Connors with the racket clenched between his buttcheeks. Trollololol...
He could hit some underspin, some sidespin and a moderate amount of top on the forehand wing. He never used a lot of spin and those flat strokes could be devastating in a succession of two three or four shots skimming over the net and hitting no less than inches from the sideline. The forehand rarely hit clean winners like we are used to today, and there were days when his timing was off just enough that the net was an inch too tall.
personally I liked that forehand, it was a unique stroke and it usually did what he needed it to do.
Jimmy Connors had a simple, effective, and unique forehand. I still don't understand what Forehand Grip he used though....I want to say it's an eastern forehand grip, but he grips it like a hammer so it appears to lean towards a semi-western. But Jimmy himself says he used a continental. I don't know what to believe
Yes and yes.
Me too. And I watched it countless times. And photographed it. I do not know what grip he used.
A few years back in Miami I found myself on court 7 after a rain delay. Just Connors (who came out to squeegee for Roddick) and me. I was this close to asking him, "Jimmy can you show me your forehand grip." But I didn't pull the trigger thinking he was working. I've wondered about his grip over the years. And it's interesting that I'm not the only one that is confused by it. If you solve the puzzle post the result.
Looks like Eastern to me:
Thanks for that great little clip newpball! Based on that video I agree his forehand was generally in the Eastern Range. Ocassionally he'd hammer grip it and get something like this:
But Overall I'd say Jimmy connors used an Eastern Forehand grip.
Nice video clip.
Looks like Roland Garros with the red clay and the greenish tarp.
I always thought it was a semi-western grip. In the clip, I think his hand is turned so far from the top that it's not quite true Eastern in nature. Is there such a thing as a "quarter Western" grip? LOL.
History regards his forehand badly, but it really was quite good. Relative to his backhand (which was simply superb), sure it was inferior. I think it was at the USO in '85 where the press was picking on his FH. He played Heinz Gundhardt in the QF and hit primarily FH shots (deliberately) and pretty much crushed him.
It was an atypical shot...not great in the short court...where you'd see him approach with that sidespin...but it was pretty effective from the back court. It would come in fast, skidding all the way, allowing his opponent less reaction time. On grass, I though it was pretty awesome.
It was fifty percent of his return game. And very deceptive as a pass/ lob . Damn accurate shot. Guys hit to it on big points because there was only one other option, and it wasn't well advised.
When you have a backhand as good as Connors had, it's easy to overlook how consistent and effective his forehand was. Stefan Edberg is another guy you can put into that category.
Reporter : Jimmy, do you think your forehand was weak today?
Connors : You don't like my forehand? You think my forehand is weak?! You want to go out right now and hit forehands with me?!
Lol that is vintage Connors! This is one of my favorite clips of Connors. See this clip of the '80 W SF vs. McEnroe. "You keep your mouth shut out here."
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=5VmcxsyFnyw#t=382 (from 6:20)
The difference between the two is the percentage of points in a match in which that forehand groundstroke is likely to prove decisive. When you come in on all your service points, and between 30-40% of your opponents (second delivery) without a rally, your weaker wing is not as tested. For Connors, baseline rallies were his bread & butter.
In the post match press conference somebody asked Jimmy what he told to Mac.Jimmy answered:
" Next year I´ll bring my one year old son Brett, who has better manners than you".Typical Jimbo answer.
Weakness is a relative term. Connors' forehand was a major asset when he was on. A weapon when he was on. It definitely did lack the consistency of his backhand, though.
But if I were to analyze his strokes, I'd definitely rank his serve lower than his forehand.
His forehand wasn't like Gerulaitis' backhand where he couldn't hurt you. The days it was on, and there were plenty of them, he's run players ragged with it.
He had almost a sidespin forehand on some of his down the line approaches, but that was also the approach he missed most often, IMO, his best forehand was the one running wide. He could turn defense into offense better than anyone with that shot. Lendl was an example. He'd shot that forehand up the line and move up to the baseline, maybe a little inside, thinking Connors reply would be relatively weak and it would come back like a rocket, in the corner, about a foot from the baseline, putting Lendl completely on the defensive.
Vitas sliced approach shot was the best in the game for a few years.he used that shot to take advantatge of the net.
I meant off the ground. It was his side to attack if you were going to come to net against him. He couldn't really hurt you with it from the back of the court. Not with any real consistency. As an approach shot, though, excellent.
Top-tenner Dick Stockton said of Jimmy Connors that he never before saw anyone hit the ball that hard so consistently.
Stockton had a sh#t backhand. Just thought I'd throw that into the conversation. And his little brother had a really nice one but never went pro. Go figure.
To all the pundits out there: let's presume for a second that you are right- why don't you (and the Djokovicis of the world) go ahead and make that your FH style lol?
And please don't use excuses like newer rackets and strings.
The more I think about it, the more it looks that at the best Connors' FH was an approach shot or a volley and not a true FH.
Thanks for clarifying this.
Not that you would want to do it all the time, but I fail to see why a backhand slice is perfectly legit, but a forehand slice isn't. I would love to see players occassionally hit a hard forehand slice to mix it up and see how their opponents would deal with it.
It is unpleasant, but that doesn't mean that people actually want to play that style.
Absolutely, it also sets up your forehand dropper if you do use underspin on the forehand as a groundie or approach. One of the reasons a great forehand dropper is rare, is that the disguise is missing once you see the downword cut of the stroke.
I always thought Connors had weak strokes, especially his serves. Didn't see anything special about him. That was until I saw him play live at the Great Western Forum in the late 80's. His serves and strokes were not only fast, he was toying with the much younger player. It's funny how ineffective he looked sometimes on TV thinking I could probably get a game or two against him, even ace him a couple of times. WRONG!
Saw Agassi play live, too. He, for some reason, lost his exhibition tennis match opponent that day and asked if anyone in the crowd was willing to play him. I believe the player that eventually got the honor to play Agassi was a ranked division 1 player from either UCLA, or somewhere pretty close. Agassi wasn't playing serious tennis, but... the difference in skills... was evident from the very beginning.
The pros are pros for good reasons..., and we are (mostly) wanna be's....
?? even his serve, which was relatively slow moving, was well placed. the ground strokes were far from weak.
Jimmy's shots all had that slight underspin. You still see a couple of guys in the 40+ crew who hit flat slaps like that and they are a nightmare to play. That ball stays low and tails wide off the court.
After his match at the US open against Haarhuis. Haarhuis said that Connors hit the ball so fast and deep against the baseline that there is absolutely nothing you can do.
His serve was not a strength, IMO. A weakness relative to his biggest rivals. However, his forehand was no weakness. It was a strength. Just not as big a strength as his backhand.
Certainly not as consistent, but when it was on, he's run you all over the court with it. Connors groundstrokes, both forehand and backhand, were the bedrock of his game.
Everything else flowed from that.
I kind of began playing tennis with Agassi coming up in the ranks..., so Connors looked wimpy compared to him... on TV. I was wrong. You did read everything that I wrote, right?
got it; yes, in person, Connors game is more impressive than it may appear on TV. Agassi hits with far more spin, but both of their ground games were top notch.
Out of interest, what level do you play tennis too?
That slicer that spins out wide is not his "normal" forehand. He used it on DTL inside out shots and approach shots. His normal full power forehand was flat. What a great advantage it must have been to be able to spin the ball wide on both sides of the court.
For those ^^^ reasons Connors' approach shots off both wings were right up there with the best ever, and he had the mind and the temperament to use them often, and, more importantly, know when to use them!
I love that they showed some of the Connors 1991 run during the rain delay at this year's Open. I hope some of the younger players who maybe aren't aware of who Connors really is/was caught that. Some of the best, most exciting tennis ever!
Makes me want to drive to Santa Barbara and hit on a wall until Connors comes along so I can try to get a hit with him! ;-)
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