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View Full Version : Wertheim´s best shots of all time


bandabou
May 10th, 2004, 10:37 PM
Who on the women's side, do you think had the best: 1) forehand, 2) backhand, 3) serve, 4) volley? I think Steffi Graf had the best forehand.
-- Ryan Kersop, London

I hate these questions because no matter what you write they trigger the inevitable flood of "You're an idiot! The [insert shot] of [insert player X] is way better than that of [insert player Y.]" But, by gum, Ryan Kersop wants answers, and who are we to deprive him? Let's limit this to the past 25 years or so. You know, to stave off Alice Marble's rabid horde of fans. Here goes:

1) Forehand. I'll give you Steffi Graf.

2) Backhand: Chris Evert. I would give Hingis some high marks here too. Both may have lacked blitzing pace, but they could go entire sets without missing.

3) Serve: We run into the age-old "historical sensitivity" issue (what if Martina Navratilova had used a titanium racket in her prime, blah blah, blah), but I think you have to go with the Williams sisters. Venus circa 2001 or Serena circa 2002. We know we shouldn't conflate them, but we're doing it anyway.

4) Volley: Navratilova. Without a doubt.

5) Return: Monica Seles. Wonder if there's ever been another player who took the ball so early?

Good list but I´d say Serena´s serve in 2002 was better than Venus´s 01 serve.

Dava
May 10th, 2004, 10:42 PM
Serenas serve is way better then Venus', its not as fast but way more consistant both in terms of power and accuracy.

MrSerenaWilliams
May 10th, 2004, 11:17 PM
I think that Serena's serve was by far better that Venus'. Commentators (PAM) have long criticized Venus for her erratic service motion. And the category says: SERVE, not 1st or 2nd. That's why I totally think that Serena is better. She, WITHOUT DOUBT, QUESTION, OR DEBATE, has the BEST SECOND SERVE on tour. I also agree that Navratilova was the best volleyer in WTA history! Good list!

MrSerenaWilliams
May 10th, 2004, 11:20 PM
2) Backhand: Chris Evert. I would give Hingis some high marks here too. Both may have lacked blitzing pace, but they could go entire sets without missing.
I dunno, when Serena's backhand is on (French Open Quarterfinal '03, US Open Final '02, Wimbledon Final '02) She can go for miles without missing either.

Venus too!

VRULES
May 10th, 2004, 11:32 PM
The reason they say Venus's serve in 2001, was she was consitantly getting service winners off of her second serve and nobody could return her first. Serena's is more on precision, but when players are expecting an 80 mph kick serve and venus hits a 100 mph serve down the middle, you get more out of it than if you hit the corner.

maximus82
May 10th, 2004, 11:51 PM
I dunno, when Serena's backhand is on (French Open Quarterfinal '03, US Open Final '02, Wimbledon Final '02) She can go for miles without missing either.

Venus too!
Serena and Venus do have phenomenal, strong backhands...but I don't think I would agree that they have consistency like Evert (or, to a lesser extent, Hingis). Evert would win tournaments only making like 10 bh errors. So as far as consistency goes, she's the champ. Now if you want to argue that we should be looking at numbers of winners or something, that *might* be a different story.

bandabou
May 10th, 2004, 11:55 PM
The reason they say Venus's serve in 2001, was she was consitantly getting service winners off of her second serve and nobody could return her first. Serena's is more on precision, but when players are expecting an 80 mph kick serve and venus hits a 100 mph serve down the middle, you get more out of it than if you hit the corner.

But those df´s are killing..

MrSerenaWilliams
May 11th, 2004, 12:32 AM
Serena and Venus do have phenomenal, strong backhands...but I don't think I would agree that they have consistency like Evert (or, to a lesser extent, Hingis). Evert would win tournaments only making like 10 bh errors. So as far as consistency goes, she's the champ. Now if you want to argue that we should be looking at numbers of winners or something, that *might* be a different story.
In the end, aren't winners what win matches (although keeping the ue's down are extremely important too)?

maximus82
May 11th, 2004, 02:16 AM
indeed hitting winners is key too, mrserenawilliams...being only 21, I didn't get to watch Evert play. Don't know whether she was just consistent or if she was both consistent and winner-producing off of her bh. But, still, the kind of consistency I've heard of Evert having is utterly remarkable!

SelesFan70
May 11th, 2004, 02:40 AM
I think it was Ted Tingling who said that Evert's backhand was like a "flowing fountain"...and it was and still is (on tape!) a thing of beauty. I really think Chrissie doesn't get enough credit for playing percentage tennis, and doing it so well. She still has the highest career winning percentage at 0.903 (I think that's the number). :worship:

Anyways, that list is very fair as Weirtham usually is.

TSequoia01
May 11th, 2004, 02:43 AM
indeed hitting winners is key too, mrserenawilliams...being only 21, I didn't get to watch Evert play. Don't know whether she was just consistent or if she was both consistent and winner-producing off of her bh. But, still, the kind of consistency I've heard of Evert having is utterly remarkable!
I watched Chris play and she was a heady player. They all were. But comparing Evert's backhand to say Henin or Mauresmo is like comparing a model T to a lamborghini. Both were great but not fair to pit one in a race against the other. Apples and oranges. :cool:

MisterQ
May 11th, 2004, 05:23 AM
http://www.allposters.com/IMAGES/151/68162.jpg :)

Venus Forever
May 11th, 2004, 05:33 AM
Serena and Venus do have phenomenal, strong backhands...but I don't think I would agree that they have consistency like Evert (or, to a lesser extent, Hingis). Evert would win tournaments only making like 10 bh errors. So as far as consistency goes, she's the champ. Now if you want to argue that we should be looking at numbers of winners or something, that *might* be a different story.
But then, Evert's backhand was not to blast winners with like Venus' is.

Venus uses her backhand to hit winners, not to massage the ball around the court.

Considering Venus' consistency with such a lethal shot, that backhand should rank up there as one of the best, if not the best.

Venus Forever
May 11th, 2004, 05:35 AM
But those df´s are killing..
The Venus of 2001 did not double fault like the Venus of now.

Her serve was a LOT more consistent, and more deadly. It was consistently in the 90 mph range.

The serves of Serena 2002 and Venus 2001 would make an unstoppable player, as evident by their dominance during those times.

maximus82
May 11th, 2004, 06:56 AM
But then, Evert's backhand was not to blast winners with like Venus' is.

Venus uses her backhand to hit winners, not to massage the ball around the court.

Considering Venus' consistency with such a lethal shot, that backhand should rank up there as one of the best, if not the best.
Hmm...I don't think you can say that Venus's consistency is even in the same league as Evert's on the bh. Evert's bh was her strongest shot and she relied heavily on it in accomplishing the following feats:
-the highest winning percentage in pro tennis history (.900)
-the best record on clay of any player for any single surface with a 125-match win streak
-From 1972-1989, was never ranked lower than the Top 4
-Won at least one Grand Slam title per year for 13 years, 1974-86

So while Venus's bh might be more lethal when it's on (as far as winners and power), Evert's bh was leagues more consistent and led her to a level of success that Venus has not had (at least not yet).

tennisIlove09
May 11th, 2004, 07:05 AM
Venus serve of 2001 was the best serve. Her first serve was deadly (knocking a racket out of Serena's hand in the finals of the Open); her second serve was consistently in 90's (watch the New Haven finals 01 against Davenport).

Greenout
May 11th, 2004, 07:44 AM
Off all time? It's difficult for me to rate Evert's game because I remember
it on tv; but I wasn't into tennis yet.

I'll just talk about what I know from my tennis viewing years.

1) Best Forehand- Yep, it's Graf. It rarely broke down, until the later
1990's; but that has more to do with people like Serena and LD breaking
her game with something supersized in return.

2) 1-handed backhand-Why didn't he mention Justine? She got the best, and
will now be the standard that all will be measured against.

3) Serve- I see this between Serena, and LD. Serena's is unreturnable
and she never serves in the same spot. It's the best now, and the
standard to follow. LD's use to be unreturnable; but she serves
always in the same places. It's become predictable- just
as Justine, she owns the LD serve now.

4)Vollye-Original Martina; but that's because of her long and glorious career. Jana, Natasha, GG, and Hingis were just as good as she was. Percentage wise theirs are lower; but that's because they always went
for the high risk volley. Original Martina's was more physical, and very consistent.

5) Return- Monica is great; but it's difficult to rate her because everyone
is that good now. I would say in their prime Monica, the Capster and
LD were the greatest; but this viewpoint sort of reflects my 1990's
based tennis knowledge.

Anyway- I agree with Bandabou (what?!!). It's difficult to make a list
of "THE ALL TIME GREATS" because of various decades, and the
playing styles. Are we suppose to only rate players by their success
in winning grand slams, TIER 1's or on pure talent?

Grice
May 11th, 2004, 08:00 AM
One of the rare occasions Wertheim says something good about Monica.

But i do agree, Monica was one of the pioneers of taking the return early and hitting the ball of the rise. And in addition, she would return the serve to with acute precison and accuracy and hit the ball to areas way beyond the server's reach. :bounce:

GoGoMaggie
May 11th, 2004, 10:16 AM
I think Brenda Schruz Mccarthy had a better serve then either of the Willies.