The best looking backhands

skaj

Hall of Fame
The prettiest backhands you have seen? If you can, please also explain what you like about that particular stroke.


My pics:
1. Gasquet - poetry in motion.
2. Mecir - soft, compact, elegant; wonderful disguise.
3. Hingis - smooth, proficient, flexible, beautifully controlled.
4. Okker - simplicity at its finest.
5. Ashe – sharp, neat; graceful posture.

Others: Laver's and Goolagong's classic one-handers, Nalbandian's clean hitting, Henin's elegant catapult, Rosewall's effortless slice, Pavel. More recently Almagro, Cuevas, Nishikori(lovely jumping backhand, like Rios and Safin before him).
 
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skaj

Hall of Fame
You've forgotten about the two most beautiful BH volleyers in the history of the sport: Roche and Edberg. Edberg's BH volley is one of the most elegant shots ever.
It's not that I have forgotten Edberg's, I just don't like it that much, mainly the position his right arm is in before the impact, too close to his body, doesn't look good. I am talking about the ground stroke here, his backhand volleys were dreamy, of course.

Roche had a nice one, I agree.
 

skaj

Hall of Fame
in terms of pure aesthetics, Federer and Nalbandian.
I've heard people saying that Federer's backhand is aesthetically pleasing, but it's sort of a myth I would say, and I am not talking about the crazed fans here. I think people see his style of play as classic and beautiful(I agree of course), and think that one-handed backhands are always pretty(prejudice), they also connect beautiful classic playing styles with beautiful one-handers, so the conclusion goes => "Federer's backhand must be beautiful", while in reality it's a rather awkward shot. It might look pretty sometimes, from certain angles, but if you pay attention it is not a nice looking stroke at all - his upper body looks quite stiff while he's hitting the ball, like he has some kind of a spasm in the neck/shoulders area, his right shoulder is too high, shrugging almost, his head goes down too low, and his racket doesn't roll over the ball nicely, the impact is simple and not too fluid. Also that left arm looks odd back there, elbow, wrist and fingers are bent in an ugly way; and the arms look funny when separating, a bit like an exaggerated "here it is” gesture...

The rest of his game is quite gorgeous though :):love:
 
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RaulRamirez

Hall of Fame
Good topic, good list - will have to think about it more.
It was nice to see some "old school" players like Rosewall, Laver and Ashe, and also Goolagong.
Of other old school guys, I want to say Borg, as his two-hander was so iconic, but not sure how "pretty" it was. For aesthetics, I might mention Vilas' muscular one-hander.

For pure beauty, I'd also put Gasquet #1, I think - nobody has his flow. Stan's is more brutal, though there's a beauty to it, and Federer also rates a mention.
 

King No1e

Legend
1-Hander: Wawrinka. Poetry in motion. Effortless power and precision, an absolutely perfect stroke.
Haas, Gasquet and Federer have nice backhands. Gasquet has more power and Fed has more variety, but Stanimal stands alone when it comes to aesthetic beauty.

2-Hander: Safin. Flawlessly changes direction and injects pace, with amazing disguise. You never see it coming.
Honorable mentions to Nalbandian, Mecir and Djokovic
 

skaj

Hall of Fame
1-Hander: Wawrinka. Poetry in motion. Effortless power and precision, an absolutely perfect stroke.
Haas, Gasquet and Federer have nice backhands. Gasquet has more power and Fed has more variety, but Stanimal stands alone when it comes to aesthetic beauty.

2-Hander: Safin. Flawlessly changes direction and injects pace, with amazing disguise. You never see it coming.
Honorable mentions to Nalbandian, Mecir and Djokovic
Great shot, but I never thought of Wawrinka's backhand as beautiful. It is simple but not in a good way, sort of a robot backhand.
 

metsman

G.O.A.T.
I've heard people saying that Federer's backhand is aesthetically pleasing, but it's sort of a myth I would say, and I am not talking about crazed fans here. I think people see his style of play as classic and beautiful(I agree of course), and think that one-handed backhands are always pretty(prejudice), they also connect beautiful classic playing styles with beautiful one-handers, so the conclusion goes => "Federer's backhand must be beautiful", while in reality it's a rather awkward shot. It might look pretty sometimes, from certain angles, but if you pay attention it is not a nice looking stroke at all - his upper body looks quite stiff while he's hitting the ball, like he has some kind of a spasm in the neck/shoulders area, his right shoulder is too high, shrugging almost, his head goes down too low, and his racket doesn't roll over the ball nicely, the impact is simple and not too fluid. Also that left arm looks odd back there, elbow, wrist and fingers are bent in an ugly way; and the arms look funny when separating, a bit like an exaggerated "here it is” gesture...

The rest of his game is quite gorgeous though :):love:
This is a totally subjective opinion. Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder. I do agree his backhand(and serve) aren't particularly mechanically efficient, but both shots are still gorgeous imo(on the BH the stillness of his head is a huge factor in beauty for me)
 

galain

Hall of Fame
Most aesthetic for me .....one handers at the moment I like Stan's backhand a lot. I always liked watching Forget hit his backhand, as well as Arazi and Leconte from back in the day. And I don't think you can have an aesthetic backhand discussion without mentioning Ken Rosewall. I was lucky to see him live (albeit as a Legend) and his backhand is remarkable.

Two handers - Safin and Malisse for me for how they looked.
 

skaj

Hall of Fame
This is a totally subjective opinion. Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder. I do agree his backhand(and serve) aren't particularly mechanically efficient, but both shots are still gorgeous imo(on the BH the stillness of his head is a huge factor in beauty for me)
Of course that beauty is subjective(I wouldn't call it opinion, but taste), but what I wrote about how his backhand looks is not a subjective opinion, but simple description. If you like all of that, that's fine of course, but there is something that is mainstream/dominant idea of what is beautiful and I certainly don't think his stiff/constrained looking backhand fits it.

I don't know why you think his serve is not efficient. I find it to be both efficient and beautiful.
 

MajesticMoose

Hall of Fame
I don't like Gasquet's backhand at all. He rolls it so much and he's not as aggressive as a Wawrinka or Thiem. Thiem can roll it too a lot but he's very aggressive. Did you see some of those 1 handers he ripped againast Nadal at the USO?? My gawd...
 

byealmeens

Semi-Pro
This is a totally subjective opinion. Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder. I do agree his backhand(and serve) aren't particularly mechanically efficient, but both shots are still gorgeous imo(on the BH the stillness of his head is a huge factor in beauty for me)
I agree. The Federer BH has to be one of the most fluid shots I have ever seen. Even when he improvises the stroke looks elegant and flows well. I think Gasquet's BH looks good on most full swings, but when he rolls over it quickly it does not IMO. I'm being picky of course ... he has an amazing BH overall.

The one thing I would add is I feel Kohlschreiber rarely gets mentioned in this area. I don't think his stroke is as effective as Fed, Stan or Richard, but I think it's an absolutely beautiful stroke. It's long, fluid and very aesthetically pleasing. So much so, I watch his matches ONLY to see him hit backhands.
 
Guga, Rf, tommy haas, and Andrei Pavel for looks.
Wawrinka for the win. My actual favorite to watch, and to <try to> emulate.
Honorable mention for the very high fun-to-watch factor:
Guillermo vilas, Henri leconte, guy forget about it, Hicham arazi, stefan Edberg, Adrian voinea, ljubo, mark FILApoussis, Alex corretja, alberto Costa, karim alami, Paddy rafter, Michael Stich, richard krajicek, und Boris Becker. Et jo tsonga when flicking a fly onehander on the run.

If there is a two handed division...
daveed, chino, andre, marat, and Djokovic
 
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junior74

G.O.A.T.
Guga, Rf, tommy haas, and Andrei Pavel for looks.
Wawrinka for the win.
Honorable mention for the very high fun-to-watch factor:
Hcham arazi, stefan Edberg, Adrian voinea, ljubo, mark FILApoussis, Alex corretja, alberto Costa, karim alami, Paddy rafter, Michael Stich, richard krajicek, und Boris Becker. Et jo tsonga when flicking a fly onehander on the run.
No love for Paradorn?
Beautiful and effortless bh IMO.
 

TearTheRoofOff

Hall of Fame
I've heard people saying that Federer's backhand is aesthetically pleasing, but it's sort of a myth I would say, and I am not talking about crazed fans here. I think people see his style of play as classic and beautiful(I agree of course), and think that one-handed backhands are always pretty(prejudice), they also connect beautiful classic playing styles with beautiful one-handers, so the conclusion goes => "Federer's backhand must be beautiful", while in reality it's a rather awkward shot. It might look pretty sometimes, from certain angles, but if you pay attention it is not a nice looking stroke at all - his upper body looks quite stiff while he's hitting the ball, like he has some kind of a spasm in the neck/shoulders area, his right shoulder is too high, shrugging almost, his head goes down too low, and his racket doesn't roll over the ball nicely, the impact is simple and not too fluid. Also that left arm looks odd back there, elbow, wrist and fingers are bent in an ugly way; and the arms look funny when separating, a bit like an exaggerated "here it is” gesture...

The rest of his game is quite gorgeous though :):love:
The fact that I find Federer's backhand aesthetically pleasing isn't a myth. We all have our preferences of course, surely that's what this thread is about, but it seems farcical to try and objectively falsify another's taste.
 
Yeah, this thread is not and does not claim to be about something objective or empirical. But what is? Number of winners off the bh wing? Most uploaded? Downloaded? Most searched? Mph? Rpms?
 
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I Like this comment, shame about Richie's fh. The eighties and early nineties version of that comment was....
Edberg. Shame about his FH...but he hardly even needs a good FH,

Less the case avec richarr.
 
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skaj

Hall of Fame
The fact that I find Federer's backhand aesthetically pleasing isn't a myth. We all have our preferences of course, surely that's what this thread is about, but it seems farcical to try and objectively falsify another's taste.
No, you didn't understand my post correctly I think. Your aesthetic experience is not a myth, you feel what you feel, it is (maybe, it doesn't have to be the case with you) based on a myth, or whatever you wanna call it. So, because of the mechanism I have explained, people form an opinion which influences their perception - they don't see the obvious, which is what I have described. In other words they are blind to see what is really out there, that was my point. It is an interesting topic, media for example often tells us that something or someone is beautiful/ugly, and even though it doesn't fit our standards of beauty we buy it.

Similarly, it could be that there are things that you see in his or other backhands that are beautiful, and me and some other people are failing to notice. Or, you can actually like what I have described, which is of course completely legitimate too.
 

TearTheRoofOff

Hall of Fame
No, you didn't understand my post correctly I think. Your aesthetic experience is not a myth, you feel what you feel, it is (maybe, it doesn't have to be the case with you) based on a myth, or whatever you wanna call it. So, because of the mechanism I have explained, people form an opinion which influences their perception - they don't see the obvious, which is what I have described. In other words they are blind to see what is really out there, that was my point. It is an interesting topic, media for example often tells us that something or someone is beautiful/ugly, and even though it doesn't fit our standards of beauty we buy it.

Similarly, it could be that there are things that you see in his or other backhands that are beautiful, and me and some other people are failing to notice. Or, you can actually like what I have described, which is of course completely legitimate too.
Pretty much your final point applies I would say. I just look at the motion and like it.
 
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