Forehand continues to find the greatest shots in tennis and with the exception of the serve, this shot defines the player. Almost all players on pro level has a weapon in their forehand. Some have more ripping quality, others more topspin based. As opposed to the serve, where you might find a player or two who cannot use their serve as a weapon, I don’t think you will be able to find weak forehands. BUT! There are some way better than others.

No surprise that Federer got the top spot on this one. His forehand is, at times, inhuman, and ahead of it’s time but still so simple and straight forward. You cannot teach to hit it like Federer, as most of the elements in his forehand are a perfect mix of balance, wrist action, upper body rotation and all other small things that play a huge difference.

It’s seems that he can hit it excatly as he wants it, and place it with milliInch precision. The ones I prefer are his high rips and the topspin. I fact, I prefer Federer’s spin over Nadal’s. Federer can hit an effective spin with wrist and natural movement rather than sending the racket head at racket speed straight up. The Federer “brushing” is far more effective than Nadal’s “brushing” in a greater perspective. But what makes it the greatest, which separates him from most other players is the flexibility. The fact that he’s got so many things he can do with it makes it in a class of it’s own. To grasp this, I see Gonzalez and Blake to be exactly opposite. Hard-hit and sometimes consistent, but that’s it.

And the other names…. well you could extend that list by 100 players. For me, including Roddick, Lendl, Agassi and excluding Andreev, Monfils, Djokovic makes little sense. Djokovic has one of the best currently and is only 20. If he has the same development as Federer and his forehand maintains consistency, definitely on that list.

So far, to be a great player, having the 3 most important shots that define who you are, you should have:

Serve: like Sampras’
Return: like Connors’ (in today’s game I would pick Agassi)
Forehand: like Federer’s

Here’s a clip of a standard Federer ballkill:



2 Responses to “Forehand”

  1. Tim Says:

    I agree with the Federer story. But you seem to avoid comparing different eras. The way they look at it is to see how big of an impact it made in that perticular era. McEnore’s forehand doesn’t do much in today’s game, but he would kill players from the stoneage like Perry and Kramer. They still rocked on the forehand side in their period.

    Backhand tomorrow backhand?

  2. Says:

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