The best WTA backhands

Whose backhand is the best?

  • Evert

    Votes: 2 4.3%
  • Seles

    Votes: 4 8.7%
  • Davenport

    Votes: 2 4.3%
  • Hingis

    Votes: 2 4.3%
  • Venus

    Votes: 6 13.0%
  • Serena

    Votes: 3 6.5%
  • Henin

    Votes: 23 50.0%
  • Jankovic

    Votes: 2 4.3%
  • Sharapova

    Votes: 1 2.2%
  • Someone else

    Votes: 1 2.2%

  • Total voters
    46

skaj

Hall of Fame
Which WTA player do you think has/had the best backhand?

Not in the poll, but worth mentioning: Sabatini, Mauresmo, Li Na, Azarenka.
 
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Tanya

Hall of Fame
If I had a nickel for every time someone overrated Justine's backhand, I'd have a lot of nickels.

That said... for me best BH is a toss up. Venus and Serena obviously have very strong backhands, as did Davenport and Dementieva, as does Azarenka. Hingis.... should not be on this list lol
 
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mike841

Rookie
If I had a nickel for every time someone overrated Justine's backhand, I'd have a lot of nickels.

That said... for me best BH is a toss up. Venus and Serena obviously have very strong backhands, as did Davenport and Dementieva, as does Azarenka. Hingis.... should not be on this list lol
Depends if you take power / physicality into account. Henin was skinny/tiny, but technically,her BH was lighyears better than the Williams et al with a ton of variation. The fact that she could hang with them at all shows how good she was off that side.
 

conjoshruk

Semi-Pro
I think the best one single handed back hand would be Henin and two handed is Venus, her ability to have such a powerful and flat BHDTL and cross court was amazing during her peak. Even now still can produce winners of that wing!
 

Subway Tennis

Hall of Fame
Great list. Can see arguments for multiple candidates from the original post.

Heart and head both saying Seles at this stage....
 

SystemicAnomaly

Talk Tennis Guru
Favorite: Henin

Ugly but effective: Venus W

Deserves consideration:
Sharapova and Wozniacki

Deserves to be in the conversation:
Daniela Hantuchova, Suarez-Navarro

Best use of the BH slice: Steffi Graf
 

Tanya

Hall of Fame
Favorite: Henin

Ugly but effective: Venus W

Deserves consideration:
Sharapova and Wozniacki

Deserves to be in the conversation:
Daniela Hantuchova, Suarez-Navarro

Best use of the BH slice: Steffi Graf
Hantuchova? Interesting. She did have very nice groundstrokes. But then I think Dementieva must also be in there as well
 

MichaelNadal

Bionic Poster
Favorite: Henin

Ugly but effective: Venus W

Deserves consideration:
Sharapova and Wozniacki

Deserves to be in the conversation:
Daniela Hantuchova, Suarez-Navarro

Best use of the BH slice: Steffi Graf
I don't even think it's ugly lol. I know it's a weird grip but it's so ferocious.
 

PDJ

G.O.A.T.
Evert.

She put the 2HBH on the map. Her success at an early age changed the game.

The most versatile in terms of shots/spin.

But, primarily because she faced a multitude of serve/volleyers and her groundstrokes were more than equal to the task.
 

skaj

Hall of Fame
If I had a nickel for every time someone overrated Justine's backhand, I'd have a lot of nickels.

That said... for me best BH is a toss up. Venus and Serena obviously have very strong backhands, as did Davenport and Dementieva, as does Azarenka. Hingis.... should not be on this list lol
Because of the cocaine related scandal or what?
 

PDJ

G.O.A.T.
Because of the cocaine related scandal or what?
Not sure why? Possibly just the posters preference, which is fair enough.
Personally, I do rate Hingis' backhand: far superior to her lifted forehand, and possibly out of context, but her backhand down-the-line playing doubles, was an absolute marvel. Came in especially handy playing mixed.
 

skaj

Hall of Fame
Not sure why? Possibly just the posters preference, which is fair enough.
Personally, I do rate Hingis' backhand: far superior to her lifted forehand, and possibly out of context, but her backhand down-the-line playing doubles, was an absolute marvel. Came in especially handy playing mixed.
Not too powerful, but probably the best two-hander technically - placement, control, variety, flexibility, and so smooth on a top of it all.
 

Tanya

Hall of Fame
Because of the cocaine related scandal or what?
No, it's because when I think of best groundstrokes, Hingis is not on that list. I like Hingis a lot and love her play style, but think many other players had better backhands throughout history.
 

skaj

Hall of Fame
No, it's because when I think of best groundstrokes, Hingis is not on that list. I like Hingis a lot and love her play style, but think many other players had better backhands throughout history.
I think her groundstrokes overall were very solid, especially before the power game overtook. The backhand as good as anyone's, I mentioned some of its qualities in the post number 35. Better than Dementieva's for sure, although hers is certainly not bad and she has a better forehand.
 

Tanya

Hall of Fame
I think her groundstrokes overall were very solid, especially before the power game overtook. The backhand as good as anyone's, I mentioned some of its qualities in the post number 35. Better than Dementieva's for sure, although hers is certainly not bad and she has a better forehand.
That's fair, although I respectfully disagree. Imo, Dementieva had some of the best groundstrokes in the history of the women's game. Her problems were a) the serve, and b) mental toughness. Dementieva's talent + Sharapova's mental toughness would have been made quite the player! Alas I'm sad she never managed to nab a major :(
 

NonP

Hall of Fame
With the caveat that my familiarity with women's strokes is limited to more recent/famous ones...

Evert for versatility, Seles for power and angles, Davenport for reliability. My all-time fave, though, is Henin, 1H or 2H. (Goolagong from what little I've seen is also up there.)
 

skaj

Hall of Fame
That's fair, although I respectfully disagree. Imo, Dementieva had some of the best groundstrokes in the history of the women's game. Her problems were a) the serve, and b) mental toughness. Dementieva's talent + Sharapova's mental toughness would have been made quite the player! Alas I'm sad she never managed to nab a major :(
I agree about Elena having very good groundstrokes and about her main weaknesses, but I would never take her backhand over Martina's.
And I am also sad she never managed to win a major, great player, very nice girl. She does have an Olympic gold, that's in a way even more special. :)
 

SystemicAnomaly

Talk Tennis Guru
If I had a nickel for every time someone overrated Justine's backhand, I'd have a lot of nickels.
Devil's advocate? Keep saving those nickels.

You appear to be in the minority on this one. Tennis expert / historian, Steven Flink had Henin in the top 3 in his book a few years ago. Another highly regarded tennis authority, Christopher Clarey (NY Times) also had high regard for the Henin Bh. To my mind, it was a thing of beauty. And respected by both WTA & ATP pros. Why do you believe her Bh is overrated?
 

SystemicAnomaly

Talk Tennis Guru
Simona Halep. Absolutely criminal that her name's not yet been mentioned (after 40+ posts). In the past few years, a number of her top rivals on the WTA tour have deemed her DTL Bh as the best in the game. Her x-court ain't too shabby either (refer to The Championships 2019, in case it's slipped your mind).

Posted 2018:

Martina Nav and Chrissie don't always see eye-to-eye but last year, for 2018, on this they agreed:


And there's more. Both of these were recorded and posted posted before Simona's outstanding Bh exchanges against Serena on the grass last year. SW was stunned by this, as well as the rest of Simona's play.
 
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skaj

Hall of Fame
Simona Halep. Absolutely criminal that her name's not yet been mentioned (after 40+ posts). In the past few years, a number of her top rivals on the WTA tour have deemed her DTL Bh as the best in the game. Her x-court ain't too shabby either (refer to The Championships 2019, in case it's slipped your mind).

Posted 2018:

Martina Nav and Chrissie don't always see eye-to-eye but last year, for 2018, on this they agreed:


And there's more. Both of these were recorded and posted posted before Simona's outstanding Bh exchanges against Serena on the grass last year. SW was stunned by this, as well as the rest of Simona's play.
For the today's tennis it is, but that's because there are almost no great backhands in her generation. Many decent ones, but not many really great ones. Hers is solid, but its quality is hugely depended on her mobility and consistency, as a shot itself it is nothing special.
 

SystemicAnomaly

Talk Tennis Guru
For the today's tennis it is, but that's because there are almost no great backhands in her generation. Many decent ones, but not many really great ones. Hers is solid, but its quality is hugely depended on her mobility and consistency, as a shot itself it is nothing special.
Or there has been a lot of pretty darn good, perhaps great, BHs in the game in the past few years. And Simona's is currently among the best of these. Justine is still the best, or one of the very best, in my book. But I'd put the Bh of SH right up there top BHs of all time.
 

SystemicAnomaly

Talk Tennis Guru
Other overlooked BHs.

Believe Vika Azarenka has been mentioned.

But don't recall seeing Ash Barty. I appreciated her 1-hander as much as I did the BH of Suarez Navarro. Daria Kasatkina had a pretty sweet 1-hander as well.

Other impressive 2-handed backhanders include Amanda Anisimova and Jelena Ostapenko. Perhaps not yet proven to the extent as other recent elite 2-handers (Halep, the Williams sisters, Wozniacki & Sharapova). But impressive nonetheless

 

skaj

Hall of Fame
Or there has been a lot of pretty darn good, perhaps great, BHs in the game in the past few years. And Simona's is currently among the best of these. Justine is still the best, or one of the very best, in my book. But I'd put the Bh of SH right up there top BHs of all time.
Which ones are those?

Who's SH?
 

skaj

Hall of Fame
Other overlooked BHs.

Believe Vika Azarenka has been mentioned.

But don't recall seeing Ash Barty. I appreciated her 1-hander as much as I did the BH of Suarez Navarro. Daria Kasatkina had a pretty sweet 1-hander as well.

Other impressive 2-handed backhanders include Amanda Anisimova and Jelena Ostapenko. Perhaps not yet proven to the extent as other recent elite 2-handers (Halep, the Williams sisters, Wozniacki & Sharapova). But impressive nonetheless

I wouldn't call Wozniacki backhand elite. It's consistent, but not a great weapon.

Safina also deserves a mention.
 
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