Who is the best shotmaker the game has ever seen ?

Otacon

Hall of Fame
Tennis is first and foremost a sport of shots, and beyond the results, who has impressed you the most with their range of shots ?
 

Kralingen

Legend
Federer. Actually maybe Laver if you consider the limitations on what he was working with. But Federer overall.

I also think there is such a thing as 'defensive shotmaking' i.e. saving would-be winners and getting it back to the baseline or setting the point back to neutral, and Djokovic and Nadal are easily, like not even a question in my eyes, the two best in the history of the sport at this. Again there are levels to this question.
 

tudwell

Legend
Defensively, Nadal. He can just find angles, passing shots, forehands down the line that no one else can hit. Even today his defensive shotmaking is brilliant, though he can’t utilize it as much with his declined movement.

From offensive or neutral positions, probably Federer. Back before the racquet change, his forehand had days where he could just lash winners out of nowhere consistently. And he doesn’t beat you with pace but with deft and unexpected placement.

This is obviously very poly-skewed. This type and level of shotmaking just wasn’t really possible before. Even accounting for technology, they’re surely up there though
 

ollinger

G.O.A.T.
I notice some of the nominees here were not considered amazing volleyers. I don't think you can be considered a "best shot maker" if all of your "amazing" is/was from the baseline. Even going back just a few years a guy like Stepanek when his game was really on was a great shotmaker with both his groundies and his volleys.
 

NicoMK

Professional
Actually yeah revisiting this I think Mac is the best
In terms of talent, it's very difficult for me to decide between Leconte and McEnroe. Of course, Mac had a much better career than Henri but in terms of pure shotmaking, I think Henri should come first. There are snippets on YouTube but the quality is most of the time poor. I have never seen someone hit shots like Leconte did in his match against Sampras during the Davis Cup final in 1991, for instance. I would call Mac the greatest genius player on the planet and Henri probably the greatest shotmaker.
 

tex123

Hall of Fame
Djokovic does not even come into the equation. He's not a shotmaker. He relies on consistently placing his shots deeper with precision without going for his shots. That's not a shotmaker.

There's no one shotmaker that you could call the best. I'd say - Nadal, Federer, Gonzalez, Delpo for their forehand shot making. Backhands go to Wawrinka and Thiem esp. for DTL backhand.
 

SonnyT

Hall of Fame
There's no one shotmaker that you could call the best. I'd say - Nadal, Federer, Gonzalez, Delpo for their forehand shot making. Backhands go to Wawrinka and Thiem esp. for DTL backhand.
Djokovic is a much better shotmaker than Nadal. Did you see their '21 RG match? Djokovic consistently drew him wide with angled shots from both wings; Nadal couldn't do that to Djokovic. BTW, Federer has never hit angled shots as well as Djokovic.

Nadal is more of a ball-basher; he has never hit DTL and angled shots as well as Djokovic.
 

Thriller

Hall of Fame
OK, so who has had me out of my chair the most, literally screaming at the TV set, how the hell did he make that shot from that position? The one and only Rafael Nadal. The ultimate shotmaker.
No doubt legions of Federer fans have shouted the same thing at the TV set during Nadal matches but not been quite as happy as me at the outcome. :)
 

SonnyT

Hall of Fame
It's too general a question to have one answer. I'll just answer among B3.

Shotmaker off volley: Federer
Shotmaker off return: Djokovic. He can create many more shots off return, Federer mostly blocks 1st serves back.
Shotmaker off rally: Djokovic. He can create more acute angles off neutral balls than the others, he goes down the line more proficiently than them.

Nadal is a great rally player, because of his FH power, and groundstroke consistency, not because of his shotmaking.
 

nachiket nolefam

Hall of Fame
Roger is easily better shotmaker than both Rafa and Novak. He also goes for too much and misses vs these guys in crunch moment and end up losing. Rafa and Novak are measured.

Between Rafa and Novak have to go with Rafa. The Forehand creates incredible shots more often than backhand. And Rafa has one of the best fh ever.

 
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