Is it fair to say that because of his backhand overhead and overall fluidity of game that Federer is the most athletic tennis player ever?

McEnroeisanartist

Hall of Fame
Is it fair to say that because of his backhand overhead and overall fluidity of game that Federer is the most athletic tennis player ever?
 

smalahove

Hall of Fame
No. Define athleticism.
I agree that athletism Isn’t the best term/concept to describe where Fed excels with regards to movement and balance. But Fed is by far the best on tour when it comes to technical footwork and efficient and fluid dynamic balance and movement. I would say it’s the same attributes that describe a great dancer, be it hiphop or ballroom dancing.
 

RelentlessAttack

Professional
Coordination, balance, explosiveness, stamina are all up there at peak. Pretty sure he won’t rank among the top in pure foot speed, vertical, power
 

BeatlesFan

Talk Tennis Guru
Nadal's backhand overhead is better.


Never mind that Nadal rarely comes to net and has to hit a BH overhead about twice a year. His sample size is paltry compared to Roger's. In any case, Vilas had the GOAT backhand overhead, it was not as elegant as Roger's, but it was brutal.
 

Thriller

Semi-Pro
ever mind that Nadal rarely comes to net and has to hit a BH overhead about twice a year. His sample size is paltry compared to Roger's. In any case, Vilas had the GOAT backhand overhead, it was not as elegant as Roger's, but it was brutal.
Yeah. Nadal is not a net bluffer. He knows how to construct a point and when to move in for the kill but when he gets there his improv skills are in s totally superior league to Federer's.

 
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smalahove

Hall of Fame
Btw, just as impressive as his directional control on his bh overhead, are his rock solid landings, with a gymnast’s finish.
 

vex

Hall of Fame
No. Fed’s a great athlete but it’s his skill swinging a racket that makes him special not blazing speed or flexibility. (Tho, again, he has plenty of those attributes). Nadal, Djoker maybe even Andy in his prime are more athletic.
 

The Blond Blur

Hall of Fame
He's a great athlete, but he's not even close to the most athletic guy to play tennis. Borg, PETE, RAFA, Joker, MurrayGOAT, Monfils are all better athletes just to name a few.
 

RaulRamirez

Hall of Fame
It's hard to say. Fed remains slightly underrated as a "pure jock" and Rafa is underrated for his incredible touch and racquet skills. They both rank very high in both categories, but if forced to pick one, I'd lean to Rafa.
 

zagor

Bionic Poster
Nah, he may be the best tennis player ever but while the role his athleticism played in his success is underrated, he's not at the top there historically speaking.
 

skaj

Hall of Fame
Depends on how you define athleticism. Nadal has an awesome backhand overhead, plus he is faster, stronger, more explosive...(not very fluid though).

Also, executing a great overhead for me is very much a skill. We've seen other players who were skillful, physically gifted and fluid at the same time - Nastase, Noah, Mecir, Edberg, Sampras...
 
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