Re: Which of these is the Single Greatest Shot of all time in Women's Tennis?
I have to go with the obvious and probably clear favorite of Serena's serve. Being that the technique is without flaw, it's reliable and remarkably consistent, and as a result it makes her serve really hard to break even when she's off and her ground game is isnt working. She can almost always count on her biggest weapon to be there.
Steffi's forehand was a fierce and deadly shot. I think what really made it stand out it was how hard she hit compared to all the other women on tour at the time. She doesn't get credit for helping to usher in Big Babe tennis because she sliced her backhand but she is definitely one of the pioneers of power. The one big drawback (and I'm not talking about her unorthodox technique of hitting the ball late and behind her) was that her forehand could have really really bad days. For some reason no one ever talks about my beloved Grafs unforced errors but contrary to what some may think she could really litter a a match with tons of errors. She was a stubborn player and when her forehand was off she would just keep going for it and trust that it would eventually auto-correct, which it obviously did more often than not.
Henin's backhand got all the glory at the expense of her awesome forehand. No one really gives Juju props of the forehand side but in truth it was the shot she used to set up her legendary backhand. She would work over the opponent with the forehand then close out the rally with the backhand. In addition to it being an effective weapon, she had incredible variety with that shot as well. I don't have a lot of bad things to say about her backhand except that as good as it was when u compare it to Serena's serve or Graf's forehand, IMO, it doesn't hold up in the same category.
Seles backhand was no better or worse than her forehand and that's why she was so damn tough to face, especially in the early 90s when power tennis wasn't the norm. Seles never gave you a break u couldn't hit to one side to gain the advantage cuz she was just as deadly and effective off either side. Her strokes, and more importantly her angles, were top notch, no doubt. I would make the argument that Seles best attribute was her deadly angles, there's just no answer to them. I think the biggest obstacle to Seles backhand (and forehand) was that she wasn't as good on the run. To counter Seles you need an attacking game and u need to be able to get her on the run. If u can do that u can somewhat neutralize her weapons. Unlike Serena's serve there is away to make her best shots less effective. Since Serena is more in control of her best shot it's a better shot.
Navratilova's volleys are the stuff of legends! And in its time was just as effective as any weapon in the list. The reason I'm not inclined to pick that shot is only because its not a shot that transcends time like Steffi's FH, Seles BH, or Serena's serve. In today's game Navratilova would have a hard time coming in as much as she would have liked and with today's technology making the returns better than ever Navrats best shot simply wouldn't be as effective as it was during her era.
Everts BH is probably not the biggest weapon but its without question THE MOST IMPORTANT AND TRANSFORMATIONAL shot listed. Evert (along with Connors) revolutionized the sport and ushered in a wave of double handed backhands. She had awesome timing, great depth, and precise placement- even if the power lacked compared to others it was still an effective weapon. Like I said its not the biggest when compared to the rest but it will forever go down in history.
Can't comment on King and Court- never seen them play....
STEFWHIT'S HALL OF FAMEGreatest Singles Player of All Time:
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Clijsters, C.Evert, A.Agassi, A.Berasategui, N. Zvereva, I.Majoli, M.Safin, Li Na, VIKA, and Del Potro
Last edited by Sir Stefwhit; Feb 10th, 2013 at 06:44 PM.