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View Full Version : Would you rather have the best backhand or best forehand in the women's game?


Morning Morgan
Nov 17th, 2012, 03:44 PM
For comparison sake, assume all players are right handed.

Case for the backhand: Defending the backhand corner is harder than the forehand corner, and female players are less athletic than men in general, making defending even harder. Having a lethal crosscourt backhand gives a high percentage attacking shot which gives good dividends for a weak reply from the opponent.

Case for the forehand: Natural selection above selects for good backhands but rubbish forehands. Having a huge forehand gives one an easy time attacking the forehand wing of the opponent. And in general, forehand has a higher power potential, if done right should be hit harder than the backhand.

Choose :oh:

Matze
Nov 17th, 2012, 03:51 PM
Tough ask... For me hitting winners of both wings feels awesome... But a great backhand down the line tops a nice forehand winner imo... So if I had to give one concret answer, I would say a backhand a la Venus Williams!!!

ElusiveChanteuse
Nov 17th, 2012, 03:51 PM
FH for sure.

HaplessPossum
Nov 17th, 2012, 08:47 PM
Tough question but I'd go with a backhand like the one that Venus has got. Able to hit winners from pretty much anywhere with that shot; down the line, cross court and even inside out.

Stonerpova
Nov 17th, 2012, 08:48 PM
Forehand for sure.

GOATdin0931
Nov 17th, 2012, 08:52 PM
I would say backhand because it is unique and harder to pick on.

But I like my forehand so much better :oh:

Tag
Nov 18th, 2012, 01:45 AM
forehand, easily

forehands win slams

backhands don't

binky-GOAT
Nov 18th, 2012, 01:55 AM
Forehand - offensive shot (ie much easier to attack short balls with)
Backhand - defensive shot (ie better for counter attacking / neutralizing a point)

At the highest level, if two players are playing at their peak, attack always wins. So forehand.



Although women are far better at backhands, so that's why you see the top women have powerful backhands which they can attack with, but still a forehand is better if they had it.

Tag
Nov 18th, 2012, 01:56 AM
Tough question but I'd go with a backhand like the one that Venus has got. Able to hit winners from pretty much anywhere with that shot; down the line, cross court and even inside out.

graf

/end

moby
Nov 18th, 2012, 02:38 AM
Forehand obviously. The most lethal groundstroke in a rally situation is the run around forehand in the ad court from which one can go inside-out or inside-in because of the possibilities in placement and disguise and power potential. The best players ever (Graf and Federer), and players with strong forehands in general, rely on this pattern a lot. This also solves the problem of defending the backhand. (Although both players were also susceptible to a perfect BTL - and it had to be perfect since it was going to their stronger forehand side - from the opponent, which is a difficult shot to execute that well even for players who excel in it.)

Even Ivanovic got a slam with this play.

TheDream
Nov 18th, 2012, 03:10 AM
Forehand for sure. But, within the last few years it seems like having a solid forehand yet great backhand is the prototype for most players nowadays. Azarenka, Kim, Li, Maria, Henin, Venus, all have stronger backhands than forehands.

I feel like you can get away with a local forehand these days, but if you don't have the movement and footwork of Graf, the backhand side can really get picked apart if you can't run around it effectively enough.

netphobia
Nov 18th, 2012, 03:46 AM
Forehand DTL is just :drool:. Definitely FH, because of two things:

1. It's one of the most iconic shots in the game.
2. You can run around it easier than you can run around a backhand.

Mynarco
Nov 18th, 2012, 03:52 AM
Forehand.

wildemu
Nov 18th, 2012, 03:52 AM
I would do anything to have a great one handed backhand. Have been brought up on the 2 hander and it is boring as hell.

Maddox
Nov 18th, 2012, 04:03 AM
It is generally easier to hit winners off the forehand side for most players so I would chose forehand.
But a backhand that also can hit winners anywhere would be awesome as well.
Venus's backhand is a great example of this :drool:

jaredlikesbieber
Nov 18th, 2012, 05:00 AM
forehand for sure. a lot of players have very similar two handers, whereas the forehand quality tends to vary.

Dominic
Nov 18th, 2012, 05:31 AM
Forehand!

thegreendestiny
Nov 18th, 2012, 05:32 AM
Forehand. But why choose one when you can have both. :shrug:

thegreendestiny
Nov 18th, 2012, 05:33 AM
Although BHDTL >> Any FH.

NashaMasha
Nov 18th, 2012, 06:25 AM
Stosur with her FH and absent backhand always looks hilarious , Roddick also was pretty weaponless from one side ......

In contemporary tennis player should be 2hander, of course from one side player can be more dangerous than from the other, but having lethal forehand and "average" BH is not enough

Stonerpova
Nov 18th, 2012, 06:54 AM
Stosur with her FH and absent backhand always looks hilarious , Roddick also was pretty weaponless from one side ......

In contemporary tennis player should be 2hander, of course from one side player can be more dangerous than from the other, but having lethal forehand and "average" BH is not enough

It's better than having no forehand and a quality backhand. Stosur has a slam, players like Zvonareva, Wozniacki, and Jankovic (who lack a big forehand) don't.

Yoncé
Nov 18th, 2012, 07:16 AM
Definitely forehand. Naturally a more powerful and explosive shot. If your forehand is GOAT you can hit inside out forehands instead of backhands, which you can't really do that when your backhand is the best shot.


Sent from my iPhone using Verticalsports.com Free App (http://www.verticalsports.com/mobile)

bobito
Nov 18th, 2012, 08:03 AM
I've seen plenty of players run around their backhand and hit a forhand winner. I only recall seeing one run around her forehand and belt a backhand winner and that was Justine up a set and two breaks on clay and in the mood to show off.

Setsuna.
Nov 18th, 2012, 08:10 AM
FH easily.

NashaMasha
Nov 18th, 2012, 08:13 AM
who knows average speed of winners from BH and FH for WTA players? Sometimes Eurosport shows speed of some shots , but i can't find any statistics about it

SUPER
Nov 18th, 2012, 08:20 AM
I've seen plenty of players run around their backhand and hit a forhand winner. I only recall seeing one run around her forehand and belt a backhand winner and that was Justine up a set and two breaks on clay and in the mood to show off.
Well, Seles did that a lot, but it's maybe an special case. MJMS does it too:p

Lord Choc Ice
Nov 18th, 2012, 08:27 AM
Forehand ;).

Brad[le]y.
Nov 18th, 2012, 09:30 AM
I've seen plenty of players run around their backhand and hit a forhand winner. I only recall seeing one run around her forehand and belt a backhand winner and that was Justine up a set and two breaks on clay and in the mood to show off.

I believe ASV did it a few times. JJ as well. But both are very good movers :lol:

bandabou
Nov 18th, 2012, 09:37 AM
forehand..and better yet: serve. :p

Simugna Help
Nov 18th, 2012, 10:03 AM
Left handed forehand.

n1_and_uh_noone
Nov 18th, 2012, 01:59 PM
THis is a trivial one. Forehand all the way. If you cannot hit a backhand, you can still control the entire court if you have a great forehand. Impossible to run around the forehand to hit backhands much the same way. Too much room to make and defend. Of course, if you do have a weak wing, you will be a mediocre player, but that is true of forehands as well. On the ATP, all the best players have dominant forehands. Djokovic was a second-tier player till he made his forehand a world-class weapon. Roger's forehand has controlled the tour for years, even when his backhand was not exactly the most lethal out there.

Another one: Anci > JJ achievements-wise :oh:.

Mr.Sharapova
Nov 18th, 2012, 02:15 PM
Forehand no doubt. I could always run around my backhand anyway :shrug:.

chuvack
Nov 18th, 2012, 03:42 PM
Case for the forehand: Natural selection above selects for good backhands but rubbish forehands. Having a huge forehand gives one an easy time attacking the forehand wing of the opponent. And in general, forehand has a higher power potential, if done right should be hit harder than the backhand.




You answered your own question. Natural physics makes the forehand the more dangerous and powerful stroke, as well as the harder to develop. A player with a great forehand is always dangerous even if the backhand is shit; if your backhand is great but your forehand is shit, you'll never be enough of a threat to make it as a pro player...

StoneRose
Nov 18th, 2012, 03:49 PM
Backhand, best players in the world all have good-great backhand. BBB's all have a good if erratic forehand and questionable backhand and in the end that backhand always gets ripped apart against the best.

Fantasy Hero
Nov 18th, 2012, 04:40 PM
quality-wise we see a lot more players with better BH than FH, so if I had the best BH in the tour I would own probably one of the greatest weapon against the majority of players as they couldn't hurt me with BH CC and I could expose their FH by going BTL.

moby
Nov 18th, 2012, 05:38 PM
I've seen plenty of players run around their backhand and hit a forhand winner. I only recall seeing one run around her forehand and belt a backhand winner and that was Justine up a set and two breaks on clay and in the mood to show off.

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.

miffedmax
Nov 18th, 2012, 09:37 PM
Neither would do me any good as I would completely fail my first doping/drug test.

Adi1987
Nov 19th, 2012, 02:52 AM
It is traditionally considered that a great forehand can help a player, open up the court with unusual court patterns for e.g the inside out and inside in forehand.


http://sportplan3.sportplan.net/viewer/movies/tennis/thumbs/TA0000001.png

The same can be achieved with a backhand, however not many players with the exception of the Williams sisters have achieved this. Nadal is an example of a player who generates the pattern from the left hand side though from his forehand.

NashaMasha
Nov 19th, 2012, 03:46 AM
Left handed forehand.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=shmxc0PnRQs
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z0i4DOYApdU
:)

ViennaCalling
Nov 20th, 2012, 03:53 PM
I've seen plenty of players run around their backhand and hit a forhand winner. I only recall seeing one run around her forehand and belt a backhand winner and that was Justine up a set and two breaks on clay and in the mood to show off.

Tamira did it twice :lol: :tape:

Dominic
Nov 20th, 2012, 08:38 PM
quality-wise we see a lot more players with better BH than FH, so if I had the best BH in the tour I would own probably one of the greatest weapon against the majority of players as they couldn't hurt me with BH CC and I could expose their FH by going BTL.

This depends on what you mean by quality, if you mean more power, more winners more agressive etc, the forehand thumps the backhand on ATP and WTA.

Cajka
Nov 20th, 2012, 09:38 PM
I've seen plenty of players run around their backhand and hit a forhand winner. I only recall seeing one run around her forehand and belt a backhand winner and that was Justine up a set and two breaks on clay and in the mood to show off.

you'll see players hitting what so-called "inside-out" or "outside-out" backhands, but it's not even similar to inside-out and inside-in forehands, because they don't literally run around their fhs.

Pie800
Nov 20th, 2012, 10:28 PM
Personally speaking (I'm a lefty), I have/had a wicked backhand, high consistency shot that I hit very flat and hard. My forehand meanwhile isn't the greatest. I suppose I wouldn't change things if I had the choice.

Shonami Slam
Nov 21st, 2012, 11:21 AM
brilliant BHs are posh, and so am I.

Corswandt
Nov 21st, 2012, 06:46 PM
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.

Sammo
Nov 21st, 2012, 06:49 PM
Backhand, because mine is very good and I love hitting backhands :) The forehand sucks though.

JarkaFish
Nov 28th, 2012, 02:04 PM
When you combine a really amazing forehand with absurdly good footwork/movement and court coverage you get a player that's quite special.

Just look at Steffi Graf, Pete Sampras, Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal..

chuvack
Nov 28th, 2012, 02:22 PM
Neither would do me any good as I would completely fail my first doping/drug test.


No worries, it's easy to pass those tests; just ask anyone in the WTA top 20.

chuvack
Nov 28th, 2012, 02:41 PM
The best players ever (Graf and Federer), and players with strong forehands in general, rely on this pattern a lot. This also solves the problem of defending the backhand. (Although both players were also susceptible to a perfect BTL - and it had to be perfect since it was going to their stronger forehand side - from the opponent, which is a difficult shot to execute that well even for players who excel in it.)




A good point - how many times did Safin with his famous down-the-line BH beat Federer? Maybe twice out of twenty... and the same situation with Graf and Davenport.