Love the Legends of Tennis
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Sydney, Australia
Well, Beverley Baker-Fleitz never had a backhand - literally - and she made the Wimbledon Final in 1955 losing to Louise Brough 7-5 8-6. She would hit a forehand with her left hand, then swap the racket to her right hand to hit a forehand on that side!!!! I have this final on tape and Beverley had very powerful and accurate drives - she would pound the ball low and flat to the corners, and she was a very impressive player. Also, she was very attractive.
Francoise Durr hit all her shots with her forefinger pointing down the grip! Her backhand was so unorthodox, she held it with a western forehand grip and the forefinger down the grip and thus she had to pull her wrist towards the ball like a soup ladle! Extraordinary. And all her volleys were like frypan shots - her serve was like a glorified pat and it didn't register on any speed machines! She was World #3 in 1967 after winning the French Open Singles and also won 11 Grand Slam Doubles titles. Was ranked in the top 10 for 10 years. See photo of frankie Durr's backhand. I have about 20 matches of Frankie on tape and in my opinion she is one of the most unorthodox players I have ever seen. See attached photo and take a close look at the grip!
Also, Kathy Jordan had incredibly unorthodox shots and won the Wimbledon doubles final with Liz Smilie against Navratilova-Shriver, also won the other 3 Slam Doubles titles. Made it to #10 in the world in 1984. Her forehand was with an extreme western grip (frypand type shot) and she used the same grip for a heavily sliced backhand and fly swatter type volleys.
I love watching the unorthodox players! Of course there were many more but they would have to be 3 of my favourites.