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View Full Version : How do you rate Serenas Backhand?


brickhousesupporter
Sep 10th, 2008, 02:12 AM
After watching the US Open final and seeing the backhand that she hit on matchpoint, I am really impressed. I don't think I have ever seen anyone hit that angle from that high above her shoulder and with so much power. So my question is how do you rate her backhand when compared to the top 10. Whose backhand is better and whose backhand is worse?

SharapovaFan16
Sep 10th, 2008, 02:20 AM
Ibtl

Thanx4nothin
Sep 10th, 2008, 02:22 AM
For me she has always had the best backhand in the world. Only Maria, Venus and JJ can really match her. She gets more width than most, can create beautiful angles and has the option of absolutely wolloping it for the winner.

Cakeisgood
Sep 10th, 2008, 04:55 AM
Only Sharapova and DTL Jelena can compare. I would say that Venus has a great backhand, but it frequently goes off, and lacks the consistency of the other three.

supergrunt
Sep 10th, 2008, 04:58 AM
I'm mentioning most of the following because people like to point out her backhand as her best shot usually.

Serena's game isn't perfect, of course not. But I've always had a hard time saying "Serena's _____ is her best shot," primarily just for the reason that she seems to me more like a culmination of several extremely good shots and capable ability in most of the rest than one or two great shots that overpower all of the others.

Serena's backhand is great. Sure. But so are most of the other aspects in her game. It's maybe her most consistent shot, bar the serve. Aside from her footwork and her volleying skills at times...everything else is just so good. :shrug: So this is hard for me to answer.

Strictly straightforward answer, I think only Jankovic and Sharapova (particularly CC) have better backhands in the current top ten. You could make an argument for Safina, as well.

I rate her backhand highly, aka. :)

ehhh.... :unsure:

Cakeisgood
Sep 10th, 2008, 05:11 AM
ehhh.... :unsure:

Why? That was a great observation.

OsloErik
Sep 10th, 2008, 06:29 AM
If we're talking about the great backhands in the top 10, the three names that crop up are Serena, Maria, and Jelena. Of the three, I think there are clear variations. Jankovic disguises hers very well, which allows her to hit winners off of it despite not having the same force as Sharapova or Serena, and hits it very consistently. Sharapova dictates with hers more. She hits more winners than either (generally, not every time) but also hits more errors, by a lot. I think Serena uses her backhand to open up the court better than anyone in history, and I'm including Chris Evert. She can ALSO hit winners off of it extremely well.

Plus, Serena has more variation on her two-hander than any player I've seen since Chris Evert (edit: forgot about Hingis. Sorry). Neither Jankovic nor Sharapova hit particularly nuanced shots. Sharapova's is a very flat shot and technically sound, while Jankovic's can either have a fair amount of margin OR flatten out for the down the line. Serena consistently hits with more driving topspin than either player, yet her MPH numbers are right up there with Sharapova, and probably higher than Jankovic on most occasions. In fact, the only shots of even comparable topspin in women's tennis would be the Kuznetsova forehand and the Serena serve.

DOUBLEFIST
Sep 10th, 2008, 07:18 AM
Serena's back hand as, imo, always been her most consistent weapon.

Go back and watch her first GS win in '99! :bounce: She had the most wicked inside out backhand!! :lol: She'd often run around her forehand to hit it!!

DOUBLEFIST
Sep 10th, 2008, 07:19 AM
btw,

let's not forget Lindsay's bh too! It was damn good- pure and fluid!

RND
Sep 10th, 2008, 07:48 AM
Second to JJ. :cool:

HEEJPQDBKIc

RND
Sep 10th, 2008, 07:50 AM
And a huge margin before #3 Safina,#4 Venus and #5 Paszek. ;)

bandabou
Sep 10th, 2008, 08:10 AM
Agreed...Serena's so dangerous 'cause she doesn't have an obvious weakness.
Her serve obviously is the world class shot..but after that doesn't have the best forehand or backhand..but she can hold her own.

venusallday
Sep 10th, 2008, 08:10 AM
As of late, I don't know how to answer this question. For me, both Venus and Jelena have had better backhands than Serena in the past. Neither of them resort to moonballs on the run like Serena often does. Venus has always had the best backhand return and shot for me, but it doesn't seem as strong as it used to because the rest of her game has developed. I remember the days when Venus won championships off just her first serve and backhand alone.

Jelena's backhand is truly her most important shot. I think hers is the best DTH and inside out of the backhands.

I rank all three of these players higher than Sharapova, Dinara, and Davenport (who isn't in the top ten) only because their BH strokes don't require as long of a swing, and are therefore, more versatile.

Renalicious
Sep 10th, 2008, 10:00 AM
It is a weird question to answer.

Serena's backhand has always been good and consistent, but it's a better put away shot I feel. Once you put her on the run, it's harder for her to hit winners of it and she'd prefer to send it high into the air so that she can get in position again. Her forehand is much better on the run I think. As for the rest of the top 10, the obvious one is Jelena who I think has the best one today. It's not as fast as Serena's but she can hit an offensive shot in a defensive position (unlike Serena, usually). But I'd rank her 2nd in the top 10. Then I'd say Sharapova, and then Venus.

frenchie
Sep 10th, 2008, 10:14 AM
Venus BH is not as good as in the past
She doesn't hit it DTL very often

Serena's BH is very consistent and she can hit it CC or DTL with the same pace
She can also slice it which is new

But JJ has a great BH too, like Safina

The Dawntreader
Sep 10th, 2008, 10:52 AM
Serena's back hand as, imo, always been her most consistent weapon.

Go back and watch her first GS win in '99! :bounce: She had the most wicked inside out backhand!! :lol: She'd often run around her forehand to hit it!!

In those days, Serena barely had a forehand. She had such little confidence with it. I remember watching analysis of her matches in 99 and it showed that she was winning her matches 95% with her backhand:lol:

As for her backhand, i've always rated it extremely high. Like Venus, she has the ability to switch up the direction be it CC or DTL and you cant read the shot either due to that extreme open-stance. The fact that she's cracking the ball doesnt help her opponents either:lol:

Intrestingly i think both William sisters have become more aggressive with their forehands and it's quickly becoming their more offensive shot. Venus in particular hits more winners off the forehand than the backhand these days, even though her backhand is still superb.

Serena's backhand is definitely in the group of Jankovic and Venus:)

DA FOREHAND
Sep 10th, 2008, 02:17 PM
JJ
Serena

Maria

Venus Venus used to have a great bh example 01 us open semi v Capriati

Kworb
Sep 10th, 2008, 02:53 PM
I think it is the best backhand at the moment. In history, only Hingis and Henin compare.

DA FOREHAND
Sep 10th, 2008, 03:08 PM
Henin's backhand while pretty, is was, overrated.

Olórin
Sep 10th, 2008, 03:13 PM
I think it is the best backhand at the moment. In history, only Hingis and Henin compare.

:cuckoo:

CoolDude7
Sep 10th, 2008, 03:21 PM
JJ backhand is the best in the wta. There is no question about it. Serena/Venus are next.

majuu
Sep 10th, 2008, 03:25 PM
Henin's backhand while pretty, is was, overrated.

Strongly disagree. I mean she could be overpowered on her bh wing, but that very rarely happened. It was usually very consistent and she could hit it flat, with great topspin and had imo the best bh slice especially when on defense. She could also create ridiculously good angles with it - which she used a lot to open up the court to go for the winner. And on top of that it was fairly deceptive.

I would say without a doubt Serena, Jelena, Maria and Venus have the best backhands on tour, though it is difficult to rank them in order.

Mashafaaaaan
Sep 10th, 2008, 03:46 PM
JJ backhand is the best in the wta. There is no question about it. Serena/Venus are next.

What a joke.:lol::lol:
Sharapova has the best BH. She can find angles of which JJ doesn't even think:lol:

MrSerenaWilliams
Sep 10th, 2008, 04:58 PM
As of late, I don't know how to answer this question. For me, both Venus and Jelena have had better backhands than Serena in the past. Neither of them resort to moonballs on the run like Serena often does. Venus has always had the best backhand return and shot for me, but it doesn't seem as strong as it used to because the rest of her game has developed. I remember the days when Venus won championships off just her first serve and backhand alone.

Jelena's backhand is truly her most important shot. I think hers is the best DTH and inside out of the backhands.

I rank all three of these players higher than Sharapova, Dinara, and Davenport (who isn't in the top ten) only because their BH strokes don't require as long of a swing, and are therefore, more versatile.

Harder does not always equal better.

The reason so many players used to beat Venus and Serena then and now (Serena to a lesser extent now), is because they would mix up the balls and not just feed them pace.

In fact, I think Venus would be better served to take some pace off of her balls sometime and work herself into more points. She'd certainly suffer less losses to the Kvitovas and Pennettas if she did.

Nobody's Perfecc
Sep 10th, 2008, 05:59 PM
I think Serena's backhand is the best offensive backhands in the game (along with Sharapova, etc) when she positions herself well especially when she hits it closed stance. When in a defensive position or on the run, Venus and JJ have better backhands. When you pull Venus wide on her backhand, she can actually hit a great, flat angled shot back. However, if pulled to the same position, Serena would hit a higher, weaker shot. Though I've noticed that Serena has added a defensive one handed slice to her repertoire in the US Open. Perhaps learned from Venus?

Demska
Sep 10th, 2008, 06:03 PM
Jelena has the best backhand on the WTAtour. Not even Serena fans can argue against it.

Thanx4nothin
Sep 10th, 2008, 06:07 PM
Jelena has the best backhand on the WTAtour. Not even Serena fans can argue against it.

I completely disagree, backhand to backhand in the Miami and USO Final, Serena came off the better > 50% of the time IMO.

Demska
Sep 10th, 2008, 06:09 PM
So, you're judging it on two matches. Okay. :spit:

Kworb
Sep 10th, 2008, 06:10 PM
Strongly disagree. I mean she could be overpowered on her bh wing, but that very rarely happened. It was usually very consistent and she could hit it flat, with great topspin and had imo the best bh slice especially when on defense. She could also create ridiculously good angles with it - which she used a lot to open up the court to go for the winner. And on top of that it was fairly deceptive.

I would say without a doubt Serena, Jelena, Maria and Venus have the best backhands on tour, though it is difficult to rank them in order.

Henin's backhand was the best shot ever in women's tennis during her first period of domination (2003/2004). It wasn't as amazing during her second period which is what most people remember.

Destiny
Sep 10th, 2008, 06:12 PM
Second me thinks:crazy:

Olórin
Sep 10th, 2008, 06:14 PM
Henin's backhand was the best shot ever in women's tennis during her first period of domination (2003/2004). It wasn't as amazing during her second period which is what most people remember.

Are you completely mad? Best shot ever?

In the years which Henin did best in, I would say what stood out was her offensiveness and authoritativeness with her forehand, she tended to hit about an equal amount of winners of both flanks. This was what made her a dominant player, having fire power off two flanks. I fail to see how her backhand was any better in 2004 than it was in 2007.

Dodoboy.
Sep 10th, 2008, 06:17 PM
Jelena's backhand is a more natural shot, if you get what i mean.

I mean it isn't the most powerful shot, she doesn't get the best angles and it isn't again ALL THAT POWERFUL.

But i definitely feel like that is her best shot. She has the most control on her bh side on the tour.

Is it the best, of course not. Serena, Maria, Venus and Safina's bhs are more potent but there is something about JELENA's bh.

That feels like a ramble but i know what i mean :lol:

OsloErik
Sep 10th, 2008, 07:18 PM
Henin's backhand was the best shot ever in women's tennis during her first period of domination (2003/2004). It wasn't as amazing during her second period which is what most people remember.

...what?

Best shot ever in women's tennis? Graf's forehand, probably, but there's a case for Evert's backhand.

Let's not crown a new GOAT shot too soon.

OsloErik
Sep 10th, 2008, 07:21 PM
Are you completely mad? Best shot ever?

In the years which Henin did best in, I would say what stood out was her offensiveness and authoritativeness with her forehand, she tended to hit about an equal amount of winners of both flanks. This was what made her a dominant player, having fire power off two flanks. I fail to see how her backhand was any better in 2004 than it was in 2007.

THANK you. Henin's forehand was the key to her game. She could defend very well, her serve was no longer a liability, and if her opponent was careless or maneuvered properly, she could use that backhand to win the point. But her forehand was the only part of her game that could hit inexplicable winners. Her backhand has superlative technique, but her forehand made her a champion. We've seen perfect technique amount to very little before; Natasha Zvereva, anyone?

Serena~lover: you must spread some reputation around before adding to Serena~lover's reputation again.

serenafan08
Sep 10th, 2008, 07:30 PM
Serena's backhand is just a beautiful stroke. Remember her signature shot piece she did with ESPN at the Australian Open? It was gorgeous to watch. I would rate her backhand as one of the top four on tour - along with Venus, Maria, and Jelena.

Olórin
Sep 10th, 2008, 07:43 PM
Serena~lover: you must spread some reputation around before adding to Serena~lover's reputation again.

Thanks Oslo, I appreciated the comment from the Graf thread. :wavey:

MrSerenaWilliams
Sep 10th, 2008, 07:49 PM
...what?

Best shot ever in women's tennis? Graf's forehand, probably, but there's a case for Evert's backhand.

Let's not crown a new GOAT shot too soon.

If the serve counts as a shot, a case could be made for Serena's serve (and Navratilova's too).

Dodoboy.
Sep 10th, 2008, 07:52 PM
If the serve counts as a shot, a case could be made for Serena's serve (and Navratilova's too).

I agree.

Olórin
Sep 10th, 2008, 07:58 PM
If the serve counts as a shot, a case could be made for Serena's serve (and Navratilova's too).

I would say the five best shots of womens tennis ever are: Graf's Forehand, Serena's Serve, Navratilova's Serve, Evert's backhand and probably Court's volleys (I've seen a couple of matches she played and she never missed from what I saw).

sweetpeas
Sep 10th, 2008, 08:01 PM
That backhand won A.O ,for Serena!Her 7 slam...

DeliriousPotato
Sep 10th, 2008, 09:04 PM
Best Forehand- Serena, Dementieva
Best Backhand- Henin
Best Serve - Venus, Serena, Brenda, Liezel, Alicia
Volleys - any doubles specialist (Cara, Liezel, Serena, Venus, Ai,etc.)
Footwork - Venus

hingisGOAT
Sep 10th, 2008, 09:35 PM
Compared to her rivals throughout her career, I'd say her backhand is below Hingis and Venus, and about even with the following players: Davenport, Sharapova, Jankovic, Henin. Her backhand is better than anyone not on this list...

Cakeisgood
Sep 10th, 2008, 10:23 PM
JJ's backhand is very natural and the stroke is beautiful to watch.

However, her angles are not nearly as effective as Serena's or Maria's. Her down the line is very effective, but she lacks the versatility that the other two have.

The Dawntreader
Sep 10th, 2008, 10:27 PM
JJ's backhand is very natural and the stroke is beautiful to watch.

However, her angles are not nearly as effective as Serena's or Maria's. Her down the line is very effective, but she lacks the versatility that the other two have.

I dont really rate Maria's backhand as highly as yesteryear. Like many of the top players nowadays, she's using her forehand much more now to set up the winners and particulary when coming to the net to pick off a drive-volley. In 2005/06, it was rivalling Davenport for the angles and width she could produce on that shot, but not so much anymore. Still a superb shot though dont get me wrong:)

Jelena's backhand is as fluid and natural as any shot on the WTA, but she's not nearly half as aggressive on it as she could be. Although to her credit in the final against Serena she was firing backhand winners all over the shop.

homogenius
Sep 11th, 2008, 06:54 AM
Are you completely mad? Best shot ever?

In the years which Henin did best in, I would say what stood out was her offensiveness and authoritativeness with her forehand, she tended to hit about an equal amount of winners of both flanks. This was what made her a dominant player, having fire power off two flanks. I fail to see how her backhand was any better in 2004 than it was in 2007.

Agree.

On topic, Serena's backhand is one of the best for sure.Maria's one is very good too but Venus's one is not as good as it was (quite inconsistent and she's not hitting that much winners with it as she used to imo).
As for Jelena's backhand I agree with some that it seems more natural and smooth and I like how she can changes the direction of the ball as she wants to, even when she has to deal with very hard strokes.

So I'd say the best 3 (in no particular order) are Serena, Maria and JJ backhands.

DA FOREHAND
Sep 11th, 2008, 02:13 PM
Henin's backhand was the best shot ever in women's tennis during her first period of domination (2003/2004). It wasn't as amazing during her second period which is what most people remember.

First of all that status belongs to Steffi Graf's forehand!:wavey:

Justine's backhand could and would be overpowered. 2-7:help:

BuTtErFrEnA
Sep 11th, 2008, 02:40 PM
more variety on it than all the others..gotta be the best

bandabou
Sep 30th, 2008, 04:31 PM
Interesting question..it seems that she always wins that last point in championship matches with her backhand. ' 07 oz open F, ' 05 oz open SF, ' 08 u.s.open final come to mind.

Ciarán
Sep 30th, 2008, 04:34 PM
Serenas whole game is brilliant when its on :worship:. But on backhand alone I think Venus, Sharapova and Safina definetly give her a run for her money.