PDA

View Full Version : Is Dementieva's forehand in the caliber of Graf's ??


Bleach
Jul 29th, 2004, 04:31 AM
Please don't get mad when I ask because I know some ppl get mad !! :sad:

I just started following tennis this year, and I hear about Steffi's good forehand - is Dementieva's as good ??? :)

thelittlestelf
Jul 29th, 2004, 04:32 AM
Maybe not as good, but her forehand is extremely good and technically sound.

mboyle
Jul 29th, 2004, 04:35 AM
It isn't even as good as Capriati's, let alone Graf's.

vogus
Jul 29th, 2004, 04:40 AM
totally wrong, Dementieva's forehand is much better than Capriati's, and it's potentially better than Graf's as well because it's a more technically sound stroke than Graf had.

SerenaVenusNo1
Jul 29th, 2004, 04:42 AM
It might be more powerful than Steffi's .... I don't know, it's hard to say. But on the whole, I don't think it's a better stroke. Maybe Graf's stood out because her opposition didn't hit as hard ... really tough to say. Could argue it both ways.

clonesheep
Jul 29th, 2004, 04:43 AM
Dementieva's groundstrokes are among the best. Very quick and flat. Low percentage of error. You can simply re-watch her most recent match with Serana and see how rarely she hits the ball to the net.

It's hard to say whose forehand is better, Graf or Dementieva, because a forehand does not stand alone but is strengthened or weakened by its setup. You have to move your opponent around until he/she is in the wrong side of the court, then the forehand becomes "unreturnable". Graf perfected this strategy (reason why her forehands always look awesome) for Women's tennis therefore she should take the foremost credit for it.

thelittlestelf
Jul 29th, 2004, 04:43 AM
If you ever watch a match with Steffi, it's easy to see that no modern day forehand is hit quite as hard or quite as cleanly.

ys
Jul 29th, 2004, 04:46 AM
For her time, Graf's forehand was phenomenal. Dementieva can win almost any forehand rally. There was almost no forehand rallies with Steffi. All it was taking was one single forehand. Bang. Point is over.

vogus
Jul 29th, 2004, 05:12 AM
Graf's forehand was the best shot ever in women's tennis up that point. But the game has progressed in the five years since she quit and i think there are a few players today whose forehands are as good as Graf's was, with Lena D and Justine Henin being the most obvious examples.

thelittlestelf
Jul 29th, 2004, 05:15 AM
Graf's forehand was the best shot ever in women's tennis up that point. But the game has progressed in the five years since she quit and i think there are a few players today whose forehands are as good as Graf's was, with Lena D and Justine Henin being the most obvious examples.

& Lindsay + Jen

ys
Jul 29th, 2004, 05:17 AM
Elena D. will win 50+%of forehand rallies against any currently active player.

iloveazza
Jul 29th, 2004, 05:27 AM
Elena D. will win 50+%of forehand rallies against any currently active player.

What the hell is a forehand rally?

By the way, Steffi's forehand may not have been more powerful than Elena's but was defnitely more accurate and since she had a lot better footwork, she could hit it in her strike zone more often.

CJK
Jul 29th, 2004, 05:34 AM
I think Jen's forehand is better as well, just because Elena does not leave room for erros.
But I understand the comparison with Steffi since both use forehand as weapons, but I do think Steffi has a forehand that's more intimidating as people dont mind hitting into Elena's forehand. But I do like Elena's FH a lot:).

Just want to say I personally want to see them put more topspins like Jen when they hit the forehands, maybe it'll cut the pace down, but at least Elena wont just let the balls fly when she is off, which she is quite often.

Leo_DFP
Jul 29th, 2004, 06:37 AM
Dementieva has one of the best, if not the very best forehand in today's game. I'd say it's just as good as Steffi's.

For all those who favor Capriati's forehand, I would say Dementieva's is better and she's certainly more aggressive than Capriati off that side.

CoryAnnAvants#1
Jul 29th, 2004, 06:45 AM
In the mid 90s, when Steffi was winning everything in sight, she probably had a better forehand than some of the men inside the top 200. Elena has a better looking forehand than Steffi's and it's better technically, but nowhere near as efficient. Give Elena the racquet Steffi used back then and her forehand wouldn't be as good as Graf's.

Even with the technology improvements since then, I'd say Steffi's forehand is slightly better than Elena's.

GoSandrine
Jul 29th, 2004, 06:53 AM
I wasn't a Graf fan but no one could run around her backhand and smack a forehand winner like Steffi. :bowdown:

JLDementieva
Jul 29th, 2004, 07:09 AM
I like both players because of their forehands, but Steffi's is definitely the better!

Stefwhit
Jul 29th, 2004, 07:15 AM
It's a HUGE mistake to label Graf's forehand as one of the most "powerful" or hardest hit shots, truth is, comparitively speaking- Steffi's pace was on par with most players on tour today. The pace wasn't what made Steffi's forehand so spectacular (that was just one part of it). Another thing we should clear up is the misconception that Steffi's always hit a BIG forehand. Steffi did possess the power to end points in a heartbeat, no question about it, but she didn't constatly hit her forehand hard. In a lot of rallies Steffi would have moderate pace on that shot- but when she got it in her mind to end a point- YOU BETTER BELIEVE THE POINT WAS OVER!!! No one can take advantage of short ball better than Graf, she was the absolute best at that. When Steffi would go for a winner she would normally do so by 'painting the lines' it was scarry how close to the lines she hit.

Steffi had horrible technique, she had really late racquet preparation, and often times as a result she was forced to hit off her back foot. Many times her point of contact was behind her which increased her margin for error. Even still she found a way for none of that to stand in her way. That was primarily due to incredible foot work. The way Steffi could run around any back hand to smack a winner with her forehand almost made it seem as though she had a forehand off both sides.

The main difference between Steffi's forehand and all the other players with great forehands is that Steffi's entire game revolved around setting up that one single shot. Everyone alwayz tried to attack her backhand and not hit to her forehand but that rarely worked because of that remarkable ability she had to run around her backhand. A lot of today's powerhitters feed off of pace, Steffi didn't need pace because with the flick of her rest she was able to generate her own pace, but at the same time she was more than comfortable exchanging rallies with the power hittters. Steffi never struggled with the power of Seles, Lindsay, or Jennifer- she had more problems with Serve&Volleyers than with anyone else.

Jennifer, Serena, Dementieva, Lindsay, Dokic, and Lucic all have great forehands and they consistently blast 90% of those shots with full firing power. Steffi was more opportunistic in her approach and would wait to make her move. Sometimes it seemed it would come out of nowhere... she would be hitting at one pace then all the sudden she would blast off on her forehand. Shot for shot all the other girls hit a heavier and harder forehand but I'm not sure any of them hit a more effective one.

the bambi
Jul 29th, 2004, 07:19 AM
steffi didn't have as many big hitters to contend with in her heyday so her forehand was 'the' forehand but i actually think lindsay's and sometimes even mary's forehand is a more potent shot. elena is up there with them and her forehand can be brilliant when it's on but technically it's not as good as steffi's.

Vass22
Jul 29th, 2004, 09:29 AM
It's not as good as Grafs. But it's better than Jen's. The first thinkg that I saw in Dementieva was her cross-court fh. In Cappy it was something else.

casanovalover
Jul 29th, 2004, 11:45 AM
how bout no. it's great when she's playing well but it's equally awful when she isn't (which is basically a 1:1 ratio). graf's forehand was almost always there for her - who cares about technique? she retired for god sake, it's not like it's going to break down in the future and ruin her career

Fishnick
Jul 29th, 2004, 11:53 AM
Dementieva's FH is Good, but Graf's is better. The Saddest thing about Graf's FH is it was only 50% as Good as it could of been. In practise she could come over that baby like pancakes on a sunday, unfortunately she could never reproduce it in a match. Not that it ever harmed her ;)

Zhao
Jul 29th, 2004, 01:37 PM
yeah i agree Dementieva's forehand is powerful
comparable to Graf's...
yet i also think Jenn forehand on the run is very very good
who can beat her in that area??

LindsayRulez
Jul 29th, 2004, 02:10 PM
Dementieva may not be as consistent as Graf (probably because she is forced to go for so much more) but I would say it is definitely a better shot. Whenever I watch Elena play anyone, I either dread her hitting that forehand (if it's Lindsay she's playing lol) or I can't wait to see her hammer it (if it's anyone besides Lindsay lol).

Like Serena said last week, she hits winners with it when she is so far out of position that she just shouldn't be able to hit them.

SpikeyAidanm
Jul 29th, 2004, 02:14 PM
Dementieva's forehand has always been an intriuging shot, definately not text-book stuff, arguably manufactured but seems natural to me, she hits it incrediably on-stance, like a big punch shot, hardly any topspin but usually pays dividends... Doesn't break down easily either... with all this said, it is one of the main reasons why she'll be a top player for some years to come.

Chunchun
Jul 29th, 2004, 02:30 PM
:worship: :worship:

Leo_DFP
Jul 29th, 2004, 02:37 PM
Dementieva may not be as consistent as Graf (probably because she is forced to go for so much more) but I would say it is definitely a better shot. Whenever I watch Elena play anyone, I either dread her hitting that forehand (if it's Lindsay she's playing lol) or I can't wait to see her hammer it (if it's anyone besides Lindsay lol).

Like Serena said last week, she hits winners with it when she is so far out of position that she just shouldn't be able to hit them.
:lol: I agree.

And I love what all the other players say about Dementieva and her unorthodox style on her effective groundstrokes. Lindsay was talking about it last year as well, right before facing off against Elena in the semis of New Haven. She said it was hard playing her because she can hit some amazing shots off-balance and in weird positions. I was reminded of that when Serena was talking about how Dementieva could be way off the court but just make a weird swing at the ball and hit a winner. She sure is a fun player to watch. :D

thelittlestelf
Jul 29th, 2004, 02:40 PM
Perhaps we should make a backhand thread ;).

Anyway, I think Dementieva has the overall better forehand than Jen, but Jen can hit much better angles from anywhere on the court.

LDVTennis
Jul 29th, 2004, 04:08 PM
Not even close. Graf's forehand is so far superior, just a dazzling shot.

Here is a comparison of the two:

Dementieva

The Good
Great Power
Frequently good Placement
Good Ability to move the shot side to side
Some Ability to go dtl off of a mid-court ball

The Bad
Grip - extreme grip means low balls are a problem almost every time
Not as effective of a shot when on the run; options become limited when on the run.
Inconsistency - an effect of the grip or of her open stance set up or her footwork into the shot.
With Dementieva, moreover, there is no indication yet that she can correct the shot if it begins to misfire.

Graf

The Good
Amazing Power (even when going for some really extreme angles)
Amazing direction (from dtl to inside-out to crosscourt from all points on the court), placement (spots and depth), and accuracy (in going for lines)
Amazing ability to hit inside-out or dtl from backhand corner
Excellent ability to move the ball side to side
Often hits ball on outside edge, therefore has the ability to hit some realy extreme angles and to curve the ball back into the court when pulled out wide.
As good of a shot on the run, due to superior speed and footwork.
Could almost hit winners at will from the center of the court.
Grip gives her the flexibility to half volley from the baseline or to hit low balls.
Consistency - despite her late timing (hitting the ball off her hip), her consistent mechanics and dynamic approach to the shot (jumping into it) made this shot effective more than 90% of the time.
At its best, Graf used the shot not to rally, but to punctuate a point.

The Bad
About the only thing I can think of, timing could sometimes go off on the shot, more true in the early days, and render the shot ineffective for a set or more. From mid-career onward, however, Graf became better at correcting the shot when it began to misfire.

One more thing, Graf built a career out of her forehand. Dementieva has yet to win a major tournament with hers. I can think of a number of majors that Graf won with her forehand alone. When Dementieva had the chance in this year's FO, her forehand was hardly a factor. Graf would have feasted on the Myskina ball.

LuckyStrike
Jul 29th, 2004, 04:47 PM
She has one of the best Forehands right now!!!!

pcrtennis
Jul 29th, 2004, 05:24 PM
No...it's not even the best forehand on tour right now....

Experimentee
Jul 29th, 2004, 05:31 PM
Her forehand isnt even one of the best right now.

Bleach
Jul 29th, 2004, 05:36 PM
Who are the other good forehands ??? :eek:

Steff_forever
Jul 29th, 2004, 05:41 PM
No.


But I hope she uses it more instinctive and not in every moment when she's endangered. It would be wise to learn how to play a long and aggressive bh-slice as Steffi did. It's a weapon Steffi used to disorder the opponent ...
Just to rely on ONE weapon is not enough today. Use all your skills, Alyona !

Calimero377
Jul 29th, 2004, 07:30 PM
Please don't get mad when I ask because I know some ppl get mad !! :sad:

I just started following tennis this year, and I hear about Steffi's good forehand - is Dementieva's as good ??? :)


Is Kerry the same calibre as John F. Kennedy?

DA FOREHAND
Jul 29th, 2004, 07:49 PM
Graf's forehand was the best shot ever in women's tennis up that point. But the game has progressed in the five years since she quit and i think there are a few players today whose forehands are as good as Graf's was, with Lena D and Justine Henin being the most obvious examples.


No way no how does justine's forehand even get mentioned in the same breath as Graf's.

Elena's forehand isn't nearly as versatile as Steffi's , gonna have to show me a little more than she has thus far. When she can control a match w/ her forehand and people consciously try and avoid that wing...then we can talk...NEXT

Atrixo
Jul 29th, 2004, 08:49 PM
No way no how does justine's forehand even get mentioned in the same breath as Graf's.

Elena's forehand isn't nearly as versatile as Steffi's , gonna have to show me a little more than she has thus far. When she can control a match w/ her forehand and people consciously try and avoid that wing...then we can talk...NEXT

I agree; Graf's forehand inspired fear and trepidation in every player that faced her. It was a "true" weapon, that her entire game was built around. I haven't seen any player before or since, with that level of "weapon" in their arsenal. :)

Aphrodite
Jul 29th, 2004, 09:35 PM
IF Elena does have a better backhand, which I dont think is at all the case, still Steffi knew how to use hers more succesfully, Steffi was more consistent in every department so its not really comparable.

DEETHELICK
Jul 29th, 2004, 10:11 PM
Steffi's FH was probably the best ever. i think her unorthodox motion actually helped her to hit some great forehands.

As for those doubting Elena's FH, tut tut. the only reason Elena remained in the Top 20 between 2001-2003 Amelia Island was becuase of that forehand. It helped her win matches.

Today, her forehand is definitely one of the best, if not the best on the tour. Cross court, DTL, angled, on the run, out wide, Elena can SMACK it. And she can now hit it flat, topspinned, lopped, etc.

Elena has added great variety to her groundies, thats why she has moved forward.

Back to the FH, I'd say

1) Steffi - Nuff said :)
2) Elena D - technically unusual, but extreme pace and great control. Uses it well.
3) Lindsay/Jen - Lindsay has a great FH, but better BH IMO. Jen's is so solid and can do damage. But I wish she was more aggressive with it.

tenn_ace
Jul 29th, 2004, 10:11 PM
not sure whether it's better than Steffi's ( a close call), but definitely is the best in game right now, especially that Jenn is in slump.

CapFan#1
Jul 29th, 2004, 10:16 PM
not sure whether it's better than Steffi's ( a close call), but definitely is the best in game right now, especially that Jenn is in slump.
Not even a close call.. Steffi's was and remains the best.
Not the best in the game rigt now at all....... Davenport has a better FH

Jenn's in a slump:confused: Since May she has had the following results

SF
F
SF
QF

I'll take that slump any day!!! Oh and BTW, Jen's FH is MUCH better than Elena's..... and that is just 1 of the reasons Elena has NEVER beat Jen........

Crazy_Fool
Jul 29th, 2004, 10:43 PM
Not the best in the game rigt now at all....... Davenport has a better FH
Yeah, Davenport is such a clean striker of the ball, and amazing angles. Elena hits a pretty good forehand though, it definately is one of the best.

Vass22
Jul 29th, 2004, 10:49 PM
I'll take that slump any day!!! Oh and BTW, Jen's FH is MUCH better than Elena's..... and that is just 1 of the reasons Elena has NEVER beat Jen........

Is this your only argument? It weights NOTHING> I'm more incline to think that lena was losing because of her serve and a million other game factors, including confidence.

And if lena won Lindsay, why doesn't it mean that Lena has better forehand?

Kart
Jul 30th, 2004, 01:13 AM
No but her second serve is up to the calibre of Gaby Sabatini :hearts:.

Bleach
Jul 30th, 2004, 01:16 AM
:haha:

tenn_ace
Jul 30th, 2004, 01:17 AM
Not even a close call.. Steffi's was and remains the best.
Not the best in the game rigt now at all....... Davenport has a better FH

Jenn's in a slump:confused: Since May she has had the following results

SF
F
SF
QF

I'll take that slump any day!!! Oh and BTW, Jen's FH is MUCH better than Elena's..... and that is just 1 of the reasons Elena has NEVER beat Jen........

take it... I'm sure Jenn would exchange this record for a win in any of those tournaments any day... or even for RG final :wavey:

samn
Jul 30th, 2004, 08:51 PM
Graf

The Good
Amazing Power (even when going for some really extreme angles)
Amazing direction (from dtl to inside-out to crosscourt from all points on the court), placement (spots and depth), and accuracy (in going for lines)
Amazing ability to hit inside-out or dtl from backhand corner
Excellent ability to move the ball side to side
Often hits ball on outside edge, therefore has the ability to hit some realy extreme angles and to curve the ball back into the court when pulled out wide.
As good of a shot on the run, due to superior speed and footwork.
Could almost hit winners at will from the center of the court.
grip gives her the flexibility to half volley from the baseline or to hit low balls.
Consistency - despite her late timing (hitting the ball off her hip), her consistent mechanics and dynamic approach to the shot (jumping into it) made this shot effective more than 90% of the time.
At its best, Graf used the shot not to rally, but to punctuate a point.



The other thing was that Graf's late swing on her forehand (often criticized by "experts" as poor technique) made it very difficult for her opponents to determine whether she was going crosscourt or down-the-line.


The Bad
About the only thing I can think of, timing could sometimes go off on the shot, more true in the early days, and render the shot ineffective for a set or more. From mid-career onward, however, Graf became better at correcting the shot when it began to misfire.



She added some topspin to her forehand when she switched to the Wilson racquet in 1994, and that helped her use it more often as a rallying shot and not just as a winning shot.

LDVTennis
Jul 31st, 2004, 04:39 AM
The other thing was that Graf's late swing on her forehand (often criticized by "experts" as poor technique) made it very difficult for her opponents to determine whether she was going crosscourt or down-the-line.



She added some topspin to her forehand when she switched to the Wilson racquet in 1994, and that helped her use it more often as a rallying shot and not just as a winning shot.

Great point.

I've remarked on the additional topspin in another thread. Didn't know it was due to the new racquet. Interesting!! Thanks for that fact.