Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: 12 o'clock high
Re: Would you rather have the best backhand or best forehand in the women's game?
Exactly. It's very difficult to run around the backhand the same way as the forehand. The forehand is a more dynamic and linear shot with a naturally bigger strike zone, and one that you can skip around and make a lot of adjustments with even as you are preparing your stroke. On the other hand the backhand requires more stability, and in particular, the double handed backhand is more of a rotational shot and so requires the feet to be set for optimal hitting. As for the one handed backhand, because the stroke requires a large relaxed swing with a lot of room, and the nature of the inside-out stroke is that the ball comes into your body and tends to jam it a little, this makes the already difficult timing even more difficult. It's not surprising that the 1HBH on-the-run out wide is the easiest 1HBH shot for most people to execute, from pros to amateurs.
I was just going to say that as a rule it's better to be a FH than a BH player since a FH is easier to bring to bear as the footwork required to hit a BH is more complex and much less forgiving of last-minute adjustments in positioning, but in the above paragraph you'll find a much more detailed explanation of this. Bolded part is a very well made and very important point.