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View Poll Results: Whose is the greatest 1 handed BH ever?

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  • Ken Rosewall

    0 0%
  • Guillermo Vilas

    0 0%
  • Stefan Edberg

    2 14.29%
  • Henri Laconte

    0 0%
  • Gustavo Kuerten

    3 21.43%
  • Roger Federer

    3 21.43%
  • Stan Wawrinka

    6 42.86%
  • Other

    0 0%
Results 1 to 4 of 4
  1. #1

    Great strokes. 1 handed BH, ATP.

    Ken Rosewall. He played long enough into the open era to make it here. And besides, everybody, and I do mean everybody, agrees that his one-handed SLICE backhand has never been even close to imitated, much less equaled. To imagine that this man would pass Rod Laver with slice (and many others) is truly outstanding.
    Guillermo Vilas. The opposite to Rosewall. Hit almost exclusively with topspin. And a peculiarity; Vilas had very faulty mechanics in that he would leave his right arm glued to his side. So all the huge power for the stroke came from his arm strength. Only Baal knows how much better this shot would have been if he had had proper technique.
    Stefan Edberg. The opposite from Vilas (but not to Rosewall, and bear with me) . Perfect form, hitting with an eastern grip. When he coiled and unleased his backhand he could hit any spot of the court with power. And nobody, truly nobody, ever did the “Carioca” slice approach better than he did. Seeing as he was always rushing the net, we saw a lot of that.
    Henri Laconte. The Frenchman was a precursor to Roger Federer: all his strokes were classically perfect. His technique was flawless on all shots. But his backhand stood out. Slice, flat or topspin, he had it, as well as power, control and disguise. But as in any French tragedy, the gods gave him that head.
    Gustavo Kuerten. A true Carioca (no, he was from Florianopolis, not Rio). Kuerten took the backhand, rotated his grip even further west, and exploded into the shot over and over. Mostly topspin so his slice was seldom seen. Not only it was powerful, it was a personal signature. A majestic shot.
    Roger Federer. By now we know he won the forehand poll. But his backhand is perhaps even more beautiful. As Laconte, he has all the spins and uses it both for offense and defense. With the exception of Rafa and Nole, he has driven people insane defending with that deep slice only to then pass them with a flat or topspin shot. The best right now. Or?
    Stan Wawrinka. If Roger’s BH is an Italian exotic car, Stan’s is an American muscle beast. When you can leave Djokovic flat footed going first crosscourt and then down the line, you know you have a special shot there. Wawrinka’s power is unmatched (the speed has been measured and he hits his BH harder than most players hit their forehands), the variety is there, the control too. Perhaps it is just evolution: his is the latest BH. So maybe it is the best.

    Honorary mention.
    This ended up being the opposite of the women’s 2 handed BH. I thought it was clear cut. And then, more and more examples kept popping up. It seems to be a stroke that if you have it, it is great. Too many to remember them all.
    John Newcombe. How come this man is forgotten? He won seven slams, plus 17 in doubles. His backhand was not as solid as Rosewall’s but it was amazing too.
    Pete Sampras. Yes, look at the backhand again. He lifted a bit too early but look at matches against Agassi at the USO and see how many winners he hit from that side too. It was NOT a weak side, by any means.
    Richard Gasquet. Again, the French school. A gorgeous stroke, with power and control. Watching him going one on one against Wawrinka and exchanging strokes is a joy, kind of the total opposite of Novak-Andy going BH2BH.
    Feliciano Lopez. If we were talking only about slice backhands, he makes the main list. We are not, so he makes this one. His depth and weight when hitting slice in this power age are amazing.
    Face it. It's the apocalypse.

  2. #2

    Re: Great strokes. 1 handed BH, ATP.

    What to do? The grace, fluidity and range of Kuerten or the power and offensiveness of Stan...
    Meet again we do, old foe...

  3. #3
    Everyday Warrior MJ2004's Avatar
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    Re: Great strokes. 1 handed BH, ATP.

    I’ve gotta go with Stan. Watching him hit that backhand never ceases to amaze.

  4. #4

    Re: Great strokes. 1 handed BH, ATP.

    Yes, I think I agree.
    Meet again we do, old foe...

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