Connors+Lendl: the perfect groundstroke

kiki

Banned
Take a great groundie and divide it into two consecutive sequences.

The first sequence is Connors.The prodigious eye-hand coordination and jumping amazingly at the ball.While it is at its highest raising point.

The second is Ivan´s.The way he unfolded his arm and the perfect timing and balance ( that is, contrary to most common opinions, from where he generated the pace).

The additon of both make up for the best groundstroking I can think of.
 
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KG1965

Legend
300

ATP , Majors , WCT , IPA , Grand Prix , ......
No-ATP , Special events ,
..... exos , Challenges .....


Hulk and Iron-man

... Pretty technical analysis .
 

kiki

Banned
Well, thanks but that is how I see it.

Timing + early ball picking makes power much less needed.Timing made Lendl look so powerful.Early ball taking made Connors be so agressive.And such a great returner.Not because of pace but because he ate out time and the server would have no time to react.
 

dgold44

G.O.A.T.
Connors forehand was not that good. It had that strange continental grip. His forehand would break down sometimes because he had zero top spin.

Lendl was superb off both wings. He has the right grip plus he had more power and top spin. Also, Lendls slice backhand was superb.
 

timnz

Legend
I would take Djoker or Agassi as the 2 greatest pure ground stroke players of all time.
Djokovic's backhand is certainly one of the best - but I don't think I would put his forehand in the all time top ten (there are many better - eg Federer, Lendl, Sampras etc). He is the best mover though and his being so solid and making so few mistakes means he is like a backboard to play against. In terms of ball striking Agassi is superior to Djokovic IMO, Agassi doesn't move anywhere as well as Djokovic though.
 

BTURNER

Hall of Fame
That Connors forehand is sneered at far too much, IMO. He drove straight it through with very little spin, and yet had remarkably few errors and complete disguise considering the the racket he was using. He could impart underspin, sidespin and even some top as a mix-up with sufficient control and pace to win on any surface. He had no trouble passing or lobbing and few players could break it down from the backcourt often enough for winning records. Of course Borg and Lendl are obvious exceptions. Half of his much vaunted service return game consisted of those forehand returns.
 
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big ted

Hall of Fame
jimmys forehand grip is interesting, some ppl say it was continental but it looks more like a semi or western grip like borgs, except connors drove thru the ball
 

kiki

Banned
The concept is to mix up two different styles in two sequences to make a great one.

Like the toss up of Tanner or Ivanisevic and the slice of Mac or spin of Edberg in one serve, f.i
 

jrepac

Hall of Fame
ATP , Majors , WCT , IPA , Grand Prix , ......
No-ATP , Special events ,
..... exos , Challenges .....


Hulk and Iron-man

... Pretty technical analysis .
but who is Hulk and who is Iron Man? LOL....
Lendl-Hulk, Connors-Iron Man, I think
 

jrepac

Hall of Fame
That Connors forehand is sneered at far too much, IMO. He drove straight it through with very little spin, and yet had remarkably few errors and complete disguise considering the the racket he was using. He could impart underspin, sidespin and even some top as a mix-up with sufficient control and pace to win on any surface. He had no trouble passing or lobbing and few players could break it down from the backcourt often enough for winning records. Of course Borg and Lendl are obvious exceptions. Half of his much vaunted service return game consisted of those forehand returns.
Agreed. It's been exaggerated quite a bit over time. You really had to hit a mid court, sliced, no pace ball that stayed low to draw an error. And, even then, no guarantee. His backhand was tremendous, but yes, go watch the 82 and 83 USO finals and see those forehand returns rocketing at Ivan.
 

jrepac

Hall of Fame
Connors forehand was not that good. It had that strange continental grip. His forehand would break down sometimes because he had zero top spin.

Lendl was superb off both wings. He has the right grip plus he had more power and top spin. Also, Lendls slice backhand was superb.
Not sure what I liked less, Ivan's backhand or Jimmy's low forehand. maybe the low forehand.
 

encylopedia

Semi-Pro
jimmys forehand grip is interesting, some ppl say it was continental but it looks more like a semi or western grip like borgs, except connors drove thru the ball
Errrr....if there are people saying it was continental (never heard that), then they are.....idiots. It was nowhere near continental. It looked eastern to me, not far enough under to be semi-western, but even that would be closer than calling it continental! :)
 

encylopedia

Semi-Pro
Agreed. It's been exaggerated quite a bit over time. You really had to hit a mid court, sliced, no pace ball that stayed low to draw an error. And, even then, no guarantee. His backhand was tremendous, but yes, go watch the 82 and 83 USO finals and see those forehand returns rocketing at Ivan.
Heh, it is quite true. Even if one never saw him play I'd ask: is it plausible that Connors won all those titles, largely from the baseline, with a "weak" forehand? ;-)

Reminds me of the famous incident where a media pundit asked Connors about his "weak" forehand. Jimmy took offense and threateningly asked: you think my forehands weak? You want to go out right now and hit forehands with me?
:)
 

kiki

Banned
The best Connors FH was his passing shot
Never missed and gave no reaction time to volleyer
 

KG1965

Legend
Connors's FH... a shot without a scientific explanation

Heh, it is quite true. Even if one never saw him play I'd ask: is it plausible that Connors won all those titles, largely from the baseline, with a "weak" forehand? ;-)

Reminds me of the famous incident where a media pundit asked Connors about his "weak" forehand. Jimmy took offense and threateningly asked: you think my forehands weak? You want to go out right now and hit forehands with me?
:)
Connors on the forehead of a day I'll write a thread because ... it's the best shot I've seen between all players alltime. The best shot? The FH ??? Yes.
I'm not writing for effectiveness but technique. The reason is that it is scientifically impossible because a stroke has no effect.

Now stretch the effectiveness.

Connors had a phenomenal BH, because it was always phenomenal: from the baseline, half-court, in attack, in return, in passing, on the high balls, the low balls, longline, cross.
He had only a weak point, only one: the other side very low, in fact, suffered tremendously BH lefty Orantes and Vilas of har tru (and it is no coincidence I've lost two finals at the US Open, and not only, Orantes and the Vilas other times they beat on clay).

Connors had a FH equally phenomenal suffered tremendously because the FH down because he had an incredible grip.
It was so much in need of red clay, grass and less on much less of har tru.
But this does not disadvantage him on carpet and hc! Because that's where the ball fell short.

On carpet, and on hc, his FH, from the baseline, half-court, in attack, in return, in passing, on the high balls, even on low balls, longline, cross was almost equal to the BH.
Very often in retrun and attack it is better than the BH!
(Youtube Masters or US Open or Wembley and Philadelphia .. youtube helps to understand).
 

Serpententacle

Hall of Fame

Errrr....if there are people saying it was continental (never heard that), then they are.....idiots. It was nowhere near continental. It looked eastern to me, not far enough under to be semi-western, but even that would be closer than calling it continental! :)
So, by that logic, you’ve calling Connors himself an idiot? From his own admission he definitively said he uses a “continental type” grip.
 

jrepac

Hall of Fame
So, by that logic, you’ve calling Connors himself an idiot? From his own admission he definitively said he uses a “continental type” grip.
I don't think that's true....I had seen it classified as Eastern or semi-western. Edberg has a true continental grip.. just watch him vs. Connors and you will see the difference.
 

WestboroChe

Professional
So, by that logic, you’ve calling Connors himself an idiot? From his own admission he definitively said he uses a “continental type” grip.
Here's a good photo of a Connors FH. Definitely not eastern but he might have used a conti grip sometimes. It's pretty rare for a player to use the same grip on every single shot.
http://www.tennisserver.com/turbo/images/citibank99/JimmyConnors1.jpg

Connors best attribute was his ability to hit the ball on the rise which his mother made him learn how to do. It took time away from his opponents and since he hit very flat it must have been a nightmare for a S&V player.

I wouldn't rate his FH as especially good compared to other world class players. But it wasn't a weakness either. Connors was really a classic counter puncher. He took the opponents pace and spit it right back at them. That's why Ashe beat him with softballs in that Wimby final.
 
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