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View Poll Results: Whose is the greatest 2 handed BH ever?

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  • Bjorn Borg

    1 6.25%
  • Jimmy Connors

    1 6.25%
  • Andre Agassi

    6 37.50%
  • Marcelo Rios

    2 12.50%
  • Marat Safin

    0 0%
  • David Nalbandian

    2 12.50%
  • Novak Djokovic

    4 25.00%
  • Other

    0 0%
Results 1 to 8 of 8
  1. #1

    Great strokes. 2 handed BH, ATP.

    I will start with the two handed backhand because it has become the more dominant stroke at the professional level. Despite being more complicated than the one handed, it has provided more players with control and power on that side. Of course, many of these strokes are one handed, NON DOMINANT hand forehands with some extra support, but still, no need to go into the bio-mechanics that much.
    Bjorn Borg. One of the originals. But was it a two handed? Borg let go of the racket after impact, whipping the racket head up and away. Topspin was gloriously invented that way (no, it wasn’t. Players knew about it already. Borg just took it to the extreme).
    Jimmy Connors. The other original. Connors was deadly on that side, able to dictate and punch other players with the stroke. As flat as Borg’s was loopy. Consider his great return of serve and the fact that his T-2000 was only 62 sq in of hitting area, and you have to marvel at the man’s ability to hit a ball with the sweetspot.
    Andre Agassi: A more modern version and an improvement. Agassi attacked balls with his backhand, and had all the angles needed. A true weapon.
    Marcelo Rios. A super solid stroke. Because of his height, Rios invented that odd shot in which he jumped into the shot and inverted his legs to coil and generate power. An idiosyncrasy that became almost a staple in the tour.
    Marat Safin: Rios. With more height, more power and more accuracy. A truly great shot.
    David Nalbandian. The Argentinean can be considered an under achiever, but nobody can deny how good the BH was. He was absolutely terrific at going from cross court to down the line with it, leaving many opponents flat footed.
    Novak Djokovic: Nobody, and it is really nobody, has meshed the modern technology of the rackets with his skills to hit a ball. From the extra long preparation to hit winners to just a short bunt to pass a net charging foe, Novak has total control on that side. Add to that his sliding ability and currently there is no better two handed on tour.

    Honorary mention
    Mats Wilander. Pretty much the mold for European backhands for years. Great solely because it led the way. Otherwise, it was visually un-impressive.
    Andy Murray. Second only to Djokovic in the modern game. Perhaps a bit more variety with his spins and junk, and as reliable. For this reason, he engages with his friend in those endless BH2BH rallies, both waiting for the error. Novak usually waits a bit less.
    Jonas Bjorkman. You want to start a kid hitting his BH? Bjorkman’s is a good idea. As void of complications as a shot can be. But, with the exception of the return of serve, not a shot to dictate a point with.
    Goran Ivanicevic. He had a good one. Really.
    Kei Nishikori. Faced with the same lack of height as Rios, he basically hits the same stroke. And does that little jump as well as anybody else.
    Rafa Nadal. Some years, it has been a weapon. Others, a liability. The fact that he will go to such extremes to run around it makes it difficult to put him in the main category. Then again, he has zipped some truly superb winners cross court for too long not to mention it.
    Face it. It's the apocalypse.

  2. #2

    Re: Great strokes. 2 handed BH, ATP.

    I'm torn on this one:
    Agassi: the original one in my short experience.
    Nalby: at first glance he gets my vote. He could do anything yet...
    Nole: it's the cornerstone of his game so many times and he's just so solid on that side. However, variety wise I think Nalby has it better.
    Nadal: much deeper and more reliable than his FH, how many passing shots has he fired away with the BH?

    Finally went with Nalbandian. That he's competing with multi-slam winners just says how good it was.
    Meet again we do, old foe...

  3. #3

    Re: Great strokes. 2 handed BH, ATP.

    I went with Djokovic, that backhand is indeed the best part of his game. The only issue is that I'm too young to have seen Borg or Connors play.
    Roger forever

  4. #4

    Re: Great strokes. 2 handed BH, ATP.

    I am old enough. With Borg, if you were at the net and he had crossed his right leg over his left one, you were passed. The combination of spin and accuracy was incredible.
    At his prime, Connors BH was incredible too. He could hit with power and land that ball within one foot of the baseline more accurately than anybody. They were great.
    Face it. It's the apocalypse.

  5. #5

    Re: Great strokes. 2 handed BH, ATP.

    I'm going with Rios. He never gets credit for what he did and is always dragged because of his "prickly" personality and lack of a Slam. I wonder how his personality would be spun in the era that has given us Kyrgios.

    TennisTV (subscription) has quite a few of his matches available.
    “No matter how cynical I get, I just can't keep up.” – Lily Tomlin.

  6. #6
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    Re: Great strokes. 2 handed BH, ATP.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ti-Amie View Post
    I'm going with Rios. He never gets credit for what he did and is always dragged because of his "prickly" personality and lack of a Slam. I wonder how his personality would be spun in the era that has given us Kyrgios.

    TennisTV (subscription) has quite a few of his matches available.
    By accounts from long-time tennis journos, there was very little redeeming to Rios' personality. At least Kyrgios seems to have some decent angles.

  7. #7

    Re: Great strokes. 2 handed BH, ATP.

    Rios was famous for being a total jerk in the locker room.
    Swiss player Jakob Hlasek was thinking about retirement. He was not playing well and was really not having fun. At one tournament he was scheduled to play Rios. Before going out to the court all the other players started to cheer him up, basically telling him to kick Rios' derriere.
    He beat him and when he came back to the locker all the players gave him an ovation, congratulating him on the feat. He felt so good he played an extra year on the tour.
    I don't think anybody beating Kyrgios would get such a reception. And Kyrgios has friends on tour. Rios had nobody.
    Face it. It's the apocalypse.

  8. #8

    Re: Great strokes. 2 handed BH, ATP.

    This was a very good list with excellent analysis. Rafa's is not on par with the others, but yet, he has hit the 10 best backhand passes by players at the net I've ever seen. Really, the list would be him and them somebody else at No. 11.

    It also is the hardest category. I went with Agassi because his backhand never broke down and he did not have the speed to get into the position that Djokovic does. At times, Djokovic's backhand down the line has gone off.

    Nalbandian is a solid choice, too. He could do anything with his backhand and it was beautiful to watch.

    I like the Bjorkman mention, too. He had one of the most underrated service returns off all time--easily in the top five ever in my opinion.


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