Strokes of the 80's!


Best First Serve - *Boris Becker*, honorable mention, Curren, Lendl, McEnroe, Slobo, Hooper and Noah. No doubt i've missed some, care to add?

Best Second Serve - *Becker Becker* I saw Lendl jump on Edberg's second serve on quite a few occasions, but never Boris's. Mecir handled it ok too, but as for the rest..., honorable mention, Edberg, Lendl, Curren and McEnroe.

Best Volleyer - *McEnroe* In his prime he was just amazing, soaking up the pace off the ball at will. Edberg and Cash would challenge him for best backhand volley. All covered the net like a blanket, especially Cash when fully fit. Mayotte, Becker and Annacone also volleyed superbly.

Best Overhead - *Cash* A very difficult one as we didn't see enough of his best, but Cash fully fit got back like no-one i have ever seen and invariably smashed the ball for a winner. McEnroe could easily challenge, rarely was he beaten by a lob. Noah was amazing, certainly the most spectacular but he was beaten more than the aforementioned due to his penchant for closing right in.

Best Returner - *Connors* A very easy one, he was still playing top tennis in the early 80's. I am actually going to leave Agassi out of this article, he is still playing amazing tennis and certainly played his best after the 80's. Borg too is excused. Honorable mentions, Lendl, Wilander, Becker, Nystrom, Mecir and McEnroe amongst others.

Best Forehand - *Lendl* Too easy, i feel he has the best forehand in history. There were other rippers too, including Krickstein, Arias and Gomez.

Best Backhand - *Connors* Possibly debatable but it was his signature stroke along with the service return. I feel Lendl just surpassed Edberg for the best one hander due to consistency. Honorable mentions, Teltscher, Mecir, Wilander, Clerc, Jose Higueras.

Best Passing Shots - *Lendl* Tho he had weapons he made a career out of patroling the baseline and responding with laser beam like thrusts whenever his opponents took to the net. Others can lay good claims but Lendl's record at number 1 has to count for something. Wilander is a definite contender. Others are Connors, Nystrom, Mecir, and no doubt a few others.

This is my first topic in this board and i hope somebody somewhere gets enjoyment out of my article, and i would love to see what others have to add :)


1st serve- McEnroe
2nd serve- Edberg
forehand- Lendl
backhand- Edberg
passing shots- Lendl
returns- Connors


Excellent choices jmckinney!! Valid arguments for every single one.

I totally agree edge, i think he has the best serve ever full stop. The only reason i didn't mention him was because he wasn't really an 80's player of course :)

Rocky Top

New User

Great choices and well expressed. I would only disagree with you on a few:

2nd Serve - Becker had a great 2nd when he was on, but he lost a lot of points by being overly aggressive at times. I would give the nod to Edberg simply because he was so consistent.

Volleys - I'd have to split it with the forehand to Mcenroe and the backhand to Edberg. If you were looking for the best combination, I think Cash is the best overall package at net. Great call on the overhead by the way - and you didn't even mention his backhand overhead, which was the best ever. That guy could bounce bh overheads 15 rows into the stands!

Best passing shots - Lendl got a little predictable at times (always dtl), but he was brutally effective. I'd give a strong look to Mats there because he set up his passes so well - usually a two shot combination. He didn't have the artillery Lendl did, but got much the same reuslt. This one's at best a tossup though, as Lendl was the man.


Did Lendl hit passing shots??? I always thought he tried to hit through the guy at the net. :) After Lendl finished a tournament there were a lot of net rushers running around with Wilson or Penn tattoos. ;-)


lol@ Hal hehehe, he did hit at them a lot early in his career.

Excellent post Rocky Top! I tossed up Becker and Edberg on the second serve for quite some time. One could definitely debate either way.

I definitely agree with your volley comments, i was going to name Mac on the forehand. I am also glad someone realises just what an extraordinary talent Cash was at the net, if only he was more injury free and got to show the world just what he had. His serve however wasn't up the the other serve volleyers and his groundies were quite erratic at times.

the passing shot yes, i tossed these two up for ages and it was only Lendl's record that made me choose him. You overlooked Mats' lob too, he was one of the best lobbers in history off either side i reckon. I still remember him caning Curren in the final of the Australian Open, early 80's. On fast grass too. Curren would pound in massive serves, Mats would block them back low time after time then simply pass or lob him. It was an amazing exhibition, and he whupped him bad.