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Steffica Greles
Jan 5th, 2009, 12:01 AM
Here are a few notable players who would fall into that category:

Chris Evert

Chris's backhand was a legendary shot, the prototype for so many today. She had perfect weight transference, balance, timing, the shot was a rhythmic thing of beauty, and with it she hammered her opponents into submission with faultless length, placement and the most relentless accuracy ever seen in women's tennis. From the backhand side, I have no doubt she would have been able to compete successfully against today's players without any major adjustments, allowing for today's rackets. However, her forehand was probably the shot that prevented her winning a few of those Wimbledon finals. While there were no major technical problems in the stroke, and many times she used it to lure her opponents into the net, it was just too innocuous, with no acceleration and thus lending her no advantage in baseline rallies.

Martina Hingis

Nothing needs to be said about Hingis backhand. Her forehand was another with no major technical flaws, although if any side was to break down it was that because sometimes she'd come over the ball too quickly. She could wrong-foot her opponents by hitting down-the-line with the shot, and produced some superb angles. But the shot she lacked was one which ultimately finished her as a grandslam contender, in my opinion, which was the cross- court forehand - that is, corner to corner. When playing cross-court, Hingis was forced to angle her shots, which lessened her margin for error. Against great movers such as the Williams sisters or Capriati, that deficiency exposed her to winners down-the-line on her backhand side.

Curiously, there was at one time (it might still be there) a clip of a few minutes' duration showing a 15 year-old Hingis playing Steffi Graf in the 1996 U.S Open semi-final. That tournament had sparked her ascendancy to the number one ranking - she had reached the summit 6 months later. I did note that once or twice in those few minutes Hingis hit cross-court to Steffi's forehand corner with audacity. The mind boggles as to why that shot disappeared from her repertoire.

Aranxta Sanchez-Vicario

For over a decade, Aranxta's backhand was rated as one of the best in women's tennis. Her double-hander was the side from which she could press. She could flatten, loop or dink. And yet progressively throughout Aranxta's career, her forehand was the shot which was clearly her achilies heel when her confidence was low. Rather like Hingis, except much worse, Aranxta had a tendency to come over the ball too soon. She had a crisis of confidence in the first half of 1997 when her forehand was barely going over the net in some matches. Rarely could Aranxta hit winners from her forehand for technical reasons.

Of course, opponents still had to be careful against such an artful dodger. She could jab the ball with her forehand, slicing it into mid-court and leaving short balls which players felt obliged to put away but which spun unpredictably. And there were matches when players peppered her forehand but came off worse: Seles in the 1998 French Open final bombarded the Sanchez-Vicario forehand, as she had with great success in all of their previous matches, only that day to find Aranxta ripping forehand winners down the line. In the U.S Open final of 1994, Aranxta took out Graf by successfully negotiating the rallies with down-the-line forehands to her opponent's backhand. Moreover, on youtube there are clips of the 1991 French Open final when Aranxta was hitting flattened forehand winners against Seles. She clearly at some point in the mid-90s decided to impart heavy topspin onto her forehand and altered her technique. Again, the mind boggles as to how she managed to mess up the stroke.


Jelena Jankovic

Jelena has one of the top ten best backhands of recent decades, in my opinion, but like all of the players above, and most strikingly like Evert from my perspective, she tends to guide her forehand rather than hit it. If only Jelena could beef up her forehand to hit with more fizz and/or velocity, she could win slams in spite of her average to poor serve.

I'm sure people can think of a few more...but please, let's talk about great players, not also rans.

Cakeisgood
Jan 5th, 2009, 12:05 AM
I disagree with JJ. While that could have been said a little while ago, her FH has improved greatly. Although she does hit it with too much topspin, the short angle FH is actually a consistent weapon of hers.

Steffica Greles
Jan 5th, 2009, 12:09 AM
I disagree with JJ. While that could have been said a little while ago, her FH has improved greatly. Although she does hit it with too much topspin, the short angle FH is actually a consistent weapon of hers.

It's improved, but I've improved at jogging but I'll still never be world class.

Jelena's forehand is still too weak; we saw Venus pummel that side in the masters a couple of months ago. Like Hingis, she can angle the ball from her forehand, but sometimes I feel the angled shot can be running away from a problem rather than circumventing it. Hingis could also angle her forehands, but when it becomes predictable, quick movers can hit down their flank.

Mina Vagante
Jan 5th, 2009, 12:10 AM
Serena's serve.

During 07 AO , even if the rest of the game wasn't working she served so well, especially in the final.

Usualy, when her serve is on , the rest of her game is on.

Its for sure a championship winning shot.

Cakeisgood
Jan 5th, 2009, 12:12 AM
Serena's serve.

During 07 AO , even if the rest of the game wasn't working she served so well, especially in the final.

Usualy, when her serve is on , the rest of her game is on.

Its for sure a championship winning shot.

???? not this thread haha. btw congrats on 5k posts

The Dawntreader
Jan 5th, 2009, 12:14 AM
Yeah there was no real body-weight transference with Evert's forehand. If anything she would push off the ball, and Navratilova would pick on that side to come in on, especially on grass. She just didnt have the confidence or imagination on that shot.

Hingis's forehand wasnt a bad forehand, but she never flattened it out that regulary, it was often the precursor to the backhand DTL. I agree about her coming over the ball too much, she would often not finish her shot and almost run into the ball at times.

Sanchez Vicario's FH benefited her ok on clay. She could lift it up with topspin and give her more time to find the backhand to play a more a offensive shot. Sometimes though it could just look plain ineffectual, especially on fast hardcourts.

Mina Vagante
Jan 5th, 2009, 12:14 AM
???? not this thread haha. btw congrats on 5k posts

Hahah Probs not. I just saw the thread title a replied :lol: Your first post was too long to read :p

And thanks:D

G1Player2
Jan 5th, 2009, 01:01 AM
Why isn't Venus Williams on this list? She has the best backhand in women's tennis behind Jankovic.

LDVTennis
Jan 5th, 2009, 01:02 AM
In the U.S Open final of 1994, Aranxta took out Graf by successfully negotiating the rallies with down-the-line forehands to her opponent's backhand. Moreover, on youtube there are clips of the 1991 French Open final when Aranxta was hitting flattened forehand winners against Seles. She clearly at some point in the mid-90s decided to impart heavy topspin onto her forehand and altered her technique. Again, the mind boggles as to how she managed to mess up the stroke.


How exemplary can the 1994 US Open Final be? Steffi won the first set very easily. Then came the back spasms. Steffi had to be treated on the court for the condition. She was never quite the same afterwards.

Cakeisgood
Jan 5th, 2009, 01:03 AM
Why isn't Venus Williams on this list? She has the best backhand in women's tennis behind Jankovic.

Because the thread is about players with good backhands but poor forehands. Venus' forehead is plenty good.

Optima
Jan 5th, 2009, 01:04 AM
Jelena can flatten out her forehand and get some pop on it whenever she wants to, I've seen her do it, but for some reason she just..doesn't most of the time.

G1Player2
Jan 5th, 2009, 01:05 AM
Because the thread is about players with good backhands but poor forehands. Venus' forehead is plenty good.

I know what it's about and Venus's forehand breaks down more than any other top player so she should be included in the list IMO. When her forehand is on, sure, it's one of the best, but that is very far and in between.

Cakeisgood
Jan 5th, 2009, 01:15 AM
I know what it's about and Venus's forehand breaks down more than any other top player so she should be included in the list IMO. When her forehand is on, sure, it's one of the best, but that is very far and in between.

Im surprised you're fighting for the inclusion of one of your faves in a dubious lists. And while that was true a while ago, Venus' FH has improved dramatically.

slamchamp
Jan 5th, 2009, 01:17 AM
I know it's gonna sound biased..but I'm the only one thinking maria and the williams sistas have a better backhand than JJ ?

RenaSlam.
Jan 5th, 2009, 02:02 AM
What about Mauresmo?

She has one of the prettiest backhands in the history of tennis IMHO, but her forehand goes array and she gets tentative with it when tight.

CJ07
Jan 5th, 2009, 02:17 AM
I know what it's about and Venus's forehand breaks down more than any other top player so she should be included in the list IMO. When her forehand is on, sure, it's one of the best, but that is very far and in between.
There isn't a great enough difference. Evert's backhand is the greatest of all time, yet her forehand was no where near as good. Just like Steffi's forehand was the greatest of all time, but her backhand not nearly as good.

If Venus's backhand is a 9, I would say her forehand is a 7. Not so for the others.

Direwolf
Jan 5th, 2009, 02:33 AM
I know what it's about and Venus's forehand breaks down more than any other top player so she should be included in the list IMO. When her forehand is on, sure, it's one of the best, but that is very far and in between.

are you nuts...
on recent months..
Venus has the best forehand in the game...

Dave.
Jan 5th, 2009, 04:12 AM
Good thread.

I can't write any long post now, but Venus, Mauresmo, Sharapova would fit in that list too.

skanky~skanketta
Jan 5th, 2009, 04:29 AM
Jelena has been taking strides in imporving her FH. While she lacks the power (just like her bh), she controls it well, always hitting wide angles and always hitting it deep. She also changes directions just as well as she does on her backhand. The major weakness is that it's a little too loopy. However, it has been getting better.

Justine was pretty similar at the start of her career. Her BH was a thing of beauty while the only thing I ever saw her do with her FH was to hit it cross court, with topspin. We all know what happened after 2002. Jelena may be going the same direction.

As for Venus, while it is the most flawed weapon in her game, it's still a weapon, unlike most of the other players mentioned. She still uses it as an attacking tool. The problem is that with the good defenders, they are able to break it down and draw the errors.

OsloErik
Jan 5th, 2009, 05:00 AM
I think all four of the players you've listed were less damaged by their less powerful forehands than they were by their less powerful serves. If any of them could take control of a point from the get-go, they wouldn't have to worry about their forehand landing short more often than one would hope.

Polikarpov
Jan 5th, 2009, 05:21 AM
Hingis actually hit the ball flatter and with more pace when she was just a rising player. I don't understand why she started hitting a more loopy and more top-spun forehand later on her career.

RenaSlam.
Jan 5th, 2009, 05:24 AM
Venus and Sharapova definitely do not fall into this category...

Cakeisgood
Jan 5th, 2009, 05:27 AM
Venus and Sharapova definitely do not fall into this category...

For once, I agree with you.

Babolatpro880
Jan 5th, 2009, 06:59 AM
What about Mauresmo?

She has one of the prettiest backhands in the history of tennis IMHO, but her forehand goes array and she gets tentative with it when tight.

Definitely agree. Amelie never seems tentative on the backhand, but with the forehand she decelerates and just covers right over it. It seems like 75% of the time that her forehand misses it's in the net.

Andrew Laeddis
Jan 5th, 2009, 07:08 AM
Wozniacki to some extent.

louloubelle
Jan 5th, 2009, 08:50 AM
Here are a few notable players who would fall into that category:

Chris Evert

Chris's backhand was a legendary shot, the prototype for so many today. She had perfect weight transference, balance, timing, the shot was a rhythmic thing of beauty, and with it she hammered her opponents into submission with faultless length, placement and the most relentless accuracy ever seen in women's tennis. From the backhand side, I have no doubt she would have been able to compete successfully against today's players without any major adjustments, allowing for today's rackets. However, her forehand was probably the shot that prevented her winning a few of those Wimbledon finals. While there were no major technical problems in the stroke, and many times she used it to lure her opponents into the net, it was just too innocuous, with no acceleration and thus lending her no advantage in baseline rallies.

Martina Hingis

Nothing needs to be said about Hingis backhand. Her forehand was another with no major technical flaws, although if any side was to break down it was that because sometimes she'd come over the ball too quickly. She could wrong-foot her opponents by hitting down-the-line with the shot, and produced some superb angles. But the shot she lacked was one which ultimately finished her as a grandslam contender, in my opinion, which was the cross- court forehand - that is, corner to corner. When playing cross-court, Hingis was forced to angle her shots, which lessened her margin for error. Against great movers such as the Williams sisters or Capriati, that deficiency exposed her to winners down-the-line on her backhand side.

Curiously, there was at one time (it might still be there) a clip of a few minutes' duration showing a 15 year-old Hingis playing Steffi Graf in the 1996 U.S Open semi-final. That tournament had sparked her ascendancy to the number one ranking - she had reached the summit 6 months later. I did note that once or twice in those few minutes Hingis hit cross-court to Steffi's forehand corner with audacity. The mind boggles as to why that shot disappeared from her repertoire.

Aranxta Sanchez-Vicario

For over a decade, Aranxta's backhand was rated as one of the best in women's tennis. Her double-hander was the side from which she could press. She could flatten, loop or dink. And yet progressively throughout Aranxta's career, her forehand was the shot which was clearly her achilies heel when her confidence was low. Rather like Hingis, except much worse, Aranxta had a tendency to come over the ball too soon. She had a crisis of confidence in the first half of 1997 when her forehand was barely going over the net in some matches. Rarely could Aranxta hit winners from her forehand for technical reasons.

Of course, opponents still had to be careful against such an artful dodger. She could jab the ball with her forehand, slicing it into mid-court and leaving short balls which players felt obliged to put away but which spun unpredictably. And there were matches when players peppered her forehand but came off worse: Seles in the 1998 French Open final bombarded the Sanchez-Vicario forehand, as she had with great success in all of their previous matches, only that day to find Aranxta ripping forehand winners down the line. In the U.S Open final of 1994, Aranxta took out Graf by successfully negotiating the rallies with down-the-line forehands to her opponent's backhand. Moreover, on youtube there are clips of the 1991 French Open final when Aranxta was hitting flattened forehand winners against Seles. She clearly at some point in the mid-90s decided to impart heavy topspin onto her forehand and altered her technique. Again, the mind boggles as to how she managed to mess up the stroke.


Jelena Jankovic

Jelena has one of the top ten best backhands of recent decades, in my opinion, but like all of the players above, and most strikingly like Evert from my perspective, she tends to guide her forehand rather than hit it. If only Jelena could beef up her forehand to hit with more fizz and/or velocity, she could win slams in spite of her average to poor serve.

I'm sure people can think of a few more...but please, let's talk about great players, not also rans.
Nice post :)
Chris Evert had a little bit of a side spin on the forehand too so I think would have restricted her ability to really drive through the ball. Though you would see her use the forehand drop shot more than anyone and the lob to great effect. One of Chris's worse losses to Lori McNeil at the US Open was due to Lori really picking on that forehand at the net.
ASV I think used her opponents pace well of her forehand. When she had to generate, she used to wrap the racquet around the ball too much and many would fall into the net. Though it was only rarely that you would see it break down during her good years.
Mary Jo Fernandez was another one who I thought was better off the b/h than f/h.

Dexter
Jan 5th, 2009, 08:56 AM
I know it's gonna sound biased..but I'm the only one thinking maria and the williams sistas have a better backhand than JJ ?I wonder when people will learn to read before they actually reply... Never, I guess.

Steffica Greles
Jan 5th, 2009, 12:32 PM
Why isn't Venus Williams on this list? She has the best backhand in women's tennis behind Jankovic.

Because she has a forehand which isn't impotent. Jesus Christ why don't they read?:rolleyes:

Steffica Greles
Jan 5th, 2009, 12:51 PM
For Heaven's sake! Venus? Maria? Justine? Amelie? Are people mad?

Those are NOT impotent forehands. They might be forehands which are weaker relative to their backhands, but all of those players can still kill the ball with explosive power from the forehand side when they need to. I'm talking about meek forehands, which produce little effect other than for positional purposes.

Justine's forehand was always the side from which she hit most winners, even in 2000. It was a well-known fact to those who didn't listen to ignorants like John McEnroe who never even followed women's tennis anyway. Justine always reminded people that her most powerful side was her forehand. There was never a stage when her forehand was anything like that of Jankovic.

Mary Jo Fernandez? I actually nearly added her. The reason I didn't was because I felt that she could sometimes flatten it out and give the ball a good clonk.

dave1971
Jan 5th, 2009, 03:46 PM
historically in the 80s and first part of 90s, following on the example of Evert, a lot of women pro players, I would even say a mojority, had strong 2-handed backhands and weak forehands. As time went on and more players started to be modeled on Steffi Graf than on the older Evert model, the forehands of women pro's (as well as the overall quality of game) began to improve. Jankovic is kind of a throwback style, but her lack of big forehand definitely hurts her and is maybe the big reason why she isn't going to win a lot of Grand Slams (she might manage to sneak 1 or 2).

InsideOut.
Jan 5th, 2009, 04:05 PM
Some posters :tape: Venus' forehand...Sharapova's forehand...and then SERENA'S SERVE...those are EXCELLENT shots not impotent shots. :rolleyes:

I truly think Amelie should be included. Her forehand is really a pretty bad shot.

slamchamp
Jan 5th, 2009, 04:06 PM
I wonder when people will learn to read before they actually reply... Never, I guess.Oh I'm sorry master Dexter

shap_half
Jan 5th, 2009, 04:32 PM
Amelie Mauresmo's FH is also pretty bad...not that her backhand is that awesome, but the discrepancy is pretty notable.

sweetpeas
Jan 5th, 2009, 05:06 PM
Championship winning.....You must of won a slam right?

Watching
Jan 5th, 2009, 05:30 PM
Championship winning.....You must of won a slam right?

Lol good point sweetpeas should Jelena be allowed in this category?

And other notables people have mentioned Amelie may deserve to be in this category but Williams and Sharapova definitely DON'T!

Steffica Greles
Jan 5th, 2009, 05:50 PM
Amelie Mauresmo's forehand is not impotent.

I'll agree that sometimes she can lose length and it'll sit up to be put away, and it's not her strongest side, but Amelie's too physical and robust a player to guide a forehand rather than hit it. Amelie's entire body goes into the shot, and I've seen her hit many forehand winners.

spencercarlos
Jan 5th, 2009, 06:46 PM
For Heaven's sake! Venus? Maria? Justine? Amelie? Are people mad?

Those are NOT impotent forehands. They might be forehands which are weaker relative to their backhands, but all of those players can still kill the ball with explosive power from the forehand side when they need to. I'm talking about meek forehands, which produce little effect other than for positional purposes.

Justine's forehand was always the side from which she hit most winners, even in 2000. It was a well-known fact to those who didn't listen to ignorants like John McEnroe who never even followed women's tennis anyway. Justine always reminded people that her most powerful side was her forehand. There was never a stage when her forehand was anything like that of Jankovic.

Mary Jo Fernandez? I actually nearly added her. The reason I didn't was because I felt that she could sometimes flatten it out and give the ball a good clonk.
Mary Joe? actually Mary Joe's money shot off the baseline was her forehand, she hit it flat and powerful. Mary Joe in general was a well rounded player, she could hit any shot.

AcesHigh
Jan 5th, 2009, 06:58 PM
Very nice thread. I'd advise people to read the first post before responding. Maria, Venus and Mauresmo definitely don't belong on this list. Mauresmo mainly b/c I don't consider there to be too much of a difference between the two wings and her backhand I wouldnt consider championship-winning anyway.

moby
Jan 5th, 2009, 06:58 PM
Amelie Mauresmo's forehand is not impotent.

I'll agree that sometimes she can lose length and it'll sit up to be put away, and it's not her strongest side, but Amelie's too physical and robust a player to guide a forehand rather than hit it. Amelie's entire body goes into the shot, and I've seen her hit many forehand winners.See the part in bold. If that is not impotence, I don't know what is. It happens pretty often. Amelie rolls over a lot of her forehands, especially when she's not confident or under pressure. To make matters worse, she can make wild errors off it while simply trying to rally, which is not the case for the other "impotent" forehand you mentioned. (I agree that her backhand isn't championship-winning.)

Hingis (and I'm sure some of those players you mentioned) hit plenty of forehand winners too. She could definitely rev up the forehand DTL. Her forehand was still a relatively weak wing though.

flc_9f6FxUI

Circa 99. This was when Amelie was much more aggressive off the baseline.

HenryMag.
Jan 5th, 2009, 07:23 PM
what about Aga??

Her FH can be very weak sometimes...But I love her BH :hearts:

Steffica Greles
Jan 5th, 2009, 07:32 PM
See the part in bold


All players occasionally lose length when on the defensive. I certainly agree with you that Amelie's game became more tame from c2003 onwards, and she lost muscle bulk, which rendered her more consistent, but less of a formidable player when facing the likes of Venus, Serena, Davenport, Kim or Justine.

But Amelie can also belt forehands. She plays the ball from her forehand side and doesn't get played by it. I'll agree that her forehand has problems, but it's not impotent. That would be going too far.

RenaSlam.
Jan 5th, 2009, 07:34 PM
See the part in bold. If that is not impotence, I don't know what is. It happens pretty often. Amelie rolls over a lot of her forehands, especially when she's not confident or under pressure. To make matters worse, she can make wild errors off it while simply trying to rally, which is not the case for the other "impotent" forehand you mentioned. (I agree that her backhand isn't championship-winning.)

Hingis (and I'm sure some of those players you mentioned) hit plenty of forehand winners too. She could definitely rev up the forehand DTL. Her forehand was still a relatively weak wing though.

flc_9f6FxUI

Circa 99. This was when Amelie was much more aggressive off the baseline.

Circa 99 when she was playing Hingis. :tape:

hablo
Jan 5th, 2009, 08:02 PM
First time I've ever seen anyone defend Momo's fh! :eek:

Isn't JJ's fh way better than Amélie's?

brent-o
Jan 5th, 2009, 08:23 PM
For Heaven's sake! Venus? Maria? Justine? Amelie? Are people mad?

Those are NOT impotent forehands. They might be forehands which are weaker relative to their backhands, but all of those players can still kill the ball with explosive power from the forehand side when they need to. I'm talking about meek forehands, which produce little effect other than for positional purposes.

Justine's forehand was always the side from which she hit most winners, even in 2000. It was a well-known fact to those who didn't listen to ignorants like John McEnroe who never even followed women's tennis anyway. Justine always reminded people that her most powerful side was her forehand. There was never a stage when her forehand was anything like that of Jankovic.

Mary Jo Fernandez? I actually nearly added her. The reason I didn't was because I felt that she could sometimes flatten it out and give the ball a good clonk.

I've never seen Amelie kill a forehand! Maybe once a match. I definitely would say she uses it more for positional purposes, often spinning it deep (and at her peak, she was pretty consistent with it).

RenaSlam.
Jan 5th, 2009, 08:29 PM
Amelie's forehand is impotent. End of story.

Steffica Greles
Jan 5th, 2009, 09:18 PM
There is just no comparison between Amelie's forehand and the other players I've mentioned.

Julian
Jan 5th, 2009, 09:44 PM
Glad to see Arantxa get some recognition! :)

LoveFifteen
Jan 5th, 2009, 11:18 PM
Evert and Hingis are my two all-time favorite players. :hearts:

It's true that neither one was good at unloading with their forehands, but their forehand lobs, dropshots, passing shots and (Hingis's) volleys were orgasmic. :hearts:

It's pretty amazing what they accomplished with forehands that lacked power. And shit serves! :hearts:

I have seen so many Hingis matches so I have seen her hit a few flat, strong forehands from time to time, but it was rare. She played percentage tennis, and doing that would have produced errors.

I need a new fave. :sobbing:

Steffica Greles
Jan 5th, 2009, 11:28 PM
Evert and Hingis are my two all-time favorite players. :hearts:

It's true that neither one was good at unloading with their forehands, but their forehand lobs, dropshots, passing shots and (Hingis's) volleys were orgasmic. :hearts:

It's pretty amazing what they accomplished with forehands that lacked power. And shit serves! :hearts:

I have seen so many Hingis matches so I have seen her hit a few flat, strong forehands from time to time, but it was rare. She played percentage tennis, and doing that would have produced errors.

I need a new fave. :sobbing:

Hingis hit some decent forehands in terms of depth and control of her spin, but she just never hit close to the side lines. Sometimes you were just willing her, begging her (like in the Aussie final of 02), g'won, it's match point, just go for broke! But alas, she just couldn't. It was so frustrating.

SvetaPleaseWin.
Jan 5th, 2009, 11:32 PM
cba to read the whole thread
surely everyone knows by now that women tend to have strong backhands and weak forehands and the men are the opposite?...