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View Poll Results: the single greatest shot

serena's serve 194 53.44%
henin's single handed backhand 41 11.29%
graf's forehand 82 22.59%
seles's double handed backhand 14 3.86%
navratilova's backhand volley 8 2.20%
evert's backhand pass 8 2.20%
court's forehand volley 1 0.28%
king's overhead smash 1 0.28%
other 14 3.86%
Voters: 363. You may not vote on this poll

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Old Feb 10th, 2013, 06:23 PM   #31
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Re: Single Greatest Shot of all time in Women's Tennis

Venus backhand?
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Old Feb 10th, 2013, 06:32 PM   #32
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Re: Single Greatest Shot of all time in Women's Tennis

1) Graf's forehand is arguably the GOAT forehand that there was in the WTA, she used an eastern forehand grip = awesome (23 grand slam titles plus Olympic gold)

2) Serena's serve; different spins, speeds, placement = ridiculously consistent (30 grand slam titles plus 4 Olympic gold)

...I picked Serena's serve for its simple technic, consistency, & in deciding close matches, the guys on the ATP would like to have that serve too

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Old Feb 10th, 2013, 06:33 PM   #33
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Re: Single Greatest Shot of all time in Women's Tennis

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Originally Posted by Sir Stefwhit View Post
One point I'd like to make to counter your argument my fellow Rafa fan (I hope he wins today btw..)-

The technology argument is easy to overcome. The same technology that Serena has available is the same that Dementieva, Hingis, Azarenka, Sharapova- and every other woman playing tennis has available to them. If it was simply a matter of putting the right technology in your hands then everyone would be able to serve like Serena. So it can't be as simply as that.

Even if Serena was limited with technology her perfect toss, disguise on the serve, and placement would make it a weapon in any era. It's just like when they credit our Rafa's ability to generate and use so much spin on his forehand. They want to give 100% of the credit to the technology but fail to comment that the same technology exist for everyone so why don't the others incorporate spin to the degree that he does. (And to be honest our beloved Rafa benefits more from technology advances than Serena does IMO).
nice to meet a fellow rafa fan......rafa wouldn't be learning, practicing and playing the same way if he had to do it with a wooden racket......he has shown that he can mold his game according to surface requirements......that's why he peaked on different surfaces at different times......so their argument is flawed......

federer and djokovic benefited more than rafa from the modern rackets......they peaked at a single time on all surfaces and exhibited generic brand of tennis and could not change their game much when challenged......

all that tells me that nadal would be better adapted to other eras and technologies more than the other two......let's not forget that tennis is 90% mental......

as for women, agreed that serena leads the serving pack by a country mile despite all the players having access to modern rackets......but what we forget is that other aspects of tennis have taken priority over the serve and that is one of the main reasons why serve in women's tennis today has been reduced to a mere rally starting mechanism......

by the same argument they could say that serve was a major priority in the previous decades and groundstrokes din't yet evolve but what we forget once again is that limited racket technology din't allow them to invest more on groundstrokes......it was not thought to be a rewarding practice than serving, volleying and finesse tennis......

serena is still in the poll because of her greatness of having overcome the groundstroke influence in the sport and establishing herself as a great server......

steffi is in the poll for a similar reason plus a few more reasons......

where i am getting at is, modern players have more options today and we have to decide who in the history could adapt best to which aspects of the sport......
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Old Feb 10th, 2013, 06:35 PM   #34
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Re: Single Greatest Shot of all time in Women's Tennis

Serena's serve obviously.

Honorable mention to Legend's lob.
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Old Feb 10th, 2013, 06:43 PM   #35
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Re: Single Greatest Shot of all time in Women's Tennis

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Originally Posted by Sir Stefwhit View Post
I'm not comfortable with people saying "serving has gone down" in years. I started watching tennis in the late 80s and I find it mind-boggling that such a statement can be said with a straight face- and it's not just you I've been hearing tons of people say that. Lets put aside technology for now because BJK, Court, and Navratilova all had top notch serves in their time. The simple truth was that for most women back in the day all the way up till the late 90s, the serve was simply a means to get the point started.

The players didn't have the mindset of winning the point from the very first shot, if anything serve and volleyers would serve out wide then rush the net to put the shot away to the open court. At its best, the serve used to be part of a 'one-two combo', it generally wasn't thought of or used as a weapon right out of the gates.

When the technology changed and players started being more aggressive on the returns it forced players to take more chances on their first serve. So it was almost out of necessity that players had to beef up their serves. I think we see more double faults now of days because of the pressure that returners put on servers. If players could simply spin it in with no worries of an opponent crushing the return they could all be as consistent and non-effective as the women used to be back in the old days.

You do make a great point that women don't take the time and attention to fully develop their serves when they get started and I won't argue that in general the women can do a much better job in that department because they are definitely lacking. I just make the argument that they aren't lacking compared to past players- they're just lacking overall....does that make any sense?
yup, serving in general hit a peak in the 90s and early 00s and gone down after that because of changing priorities in tennis......past players were more renowned for finesse skills like their volleying, slicing, drop shots etc......

before 80s, serving was a mere formality of putting the ball in the opposite box......
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Old Feb 10th, 2013, 06:46 PM   #36
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Re: Single Greatest Shot of all time in Women's Tennis

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shonami Slam View Post
serve should have an asteriks by it - since you control this shot more than any other shot in the game.
in that aspect, Graf's abbility to hit perfectly timed forehands is more impressive, and Nav's volley's the most intelligent of them. Henin's backhand is probably the shot that requires most self belief (returning a serena bomb single handedly is something that federer usualy volley's back. even momo, with a much stronger upper build, mostly chopped back stronger serves most of her peak years).

the evert pass, and i may raise alot of accusations here and life threats - wasn't as impressive. yes - she perfected it, but i have many reasons to believe the speed of play left her plenty of time to prepare for her shot. it was almost practice session quality shot.
I do agree somewhat that the serve is a different kind of shot than a shot hit in a rally. Nonetheless when we talk about greatest shots of all time I see no reason for any asterisk because it is a shot played in tennis and for that reason alone it is 100% comparable to any other great shot.

And while I also agree that because other shots are more influenced by the opponent than the serve is, one could look at Grafs forehand as more impressive. Impressive- yes, but greater, not quite... The 'greater' shot goes to the shot least influenced ...that actually aids in greatness IMO.

It's nice to have a poll where my all time two faves are dominating the polls- as rightfully they should be!
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Old Feb 10th, 2013, 06:48 PM   #37
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Re: Single Greatest Shot of all time in Women's Tennis

Serena's serve!
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Old Feb 10th, 2013, 07:51 PM   #38
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Re: Single Greatest Shot of all time in Women's Tennis

When Serena's serve is clicking, the match is pretty over.
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Old Feb 10th, 2013, 08:06 PM   #39
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Re: Single Greatest Shot of all time in Women's Tennis

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Originally Posted by Start da Game View Post
yup, serving in general hit a peak in the 90s and early 00s and gone down after that because of changing priorities in tennis......past players were more renowned for finesse skills like their volleying, slicing, drop shots etc......

before 80s, serving was a mere formality of putting the ball in the opposite box......
Yeah I guess if u judge by 90's standard as the peak era for serving in the women's tour I agree that it has gone down. In the 90s we had:

Serena
Davenport
Steffi
Venus
Mauresmo
meghann shaughnessy
Brenda Schultz McCarthy
Seles (she came back a better server suprinsngly)
Samantha Stosur (she turned pro in 99, so I included her as well)

...did Mary Poerce and Capriatti have good serves?...lol. I can't remember. I know Capriti had issues w.double faults at one point but I can't remember ...but for some reason I want to include her and Pierce but I do so reluctantly...lol
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Old Feb 10th, 2013, 08:09 PM   #40
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Re: Single Greatest Shot of all time in Women's Tennis

I would've nominated Seles's return of serve and Chris's two handed backhand.

Anyway, it's Serena's serve.

This is most important in the women's game because historically the women's game has had relatively weak servers. It is a game that's traditionally being built around the return of serve. It still is.

Serena's serve is the game changer. Here you have a woman who can dominate around her serve. But of course, it's because of the rest of her game also that she's a 15 time and counting slam champion.
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Old Feb 10th, 2013, 08:51 PM   #41
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Re: Single Greatest Shot of all time in Women's Tennis

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Originally Posted by Start da Game View Post
her forehand is definitely better than her backhand but it would clearly be second to graf's.......hence there is no point in mentioning it in this thread......her backhand is more relevant to this thread......if people think otherwise, there's always the other option......
I think that Henin's backhand was more effective than her forehand till about 04-05. I think that in 06-07 the forehand became more powerful and accurate. Her backhand down the line and cross court angles, at their best, were a joy to see. Overall, I would say that the Serena serve is the most effective shot in the history of the game. What baffles me is why more women players do not have outstanding serves. Also, one should not compare a players great shot in different eras, as a players results and shots should only be judged by the era they played it.
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Old Feb 10th, 2013, 09:01 PM   #42
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Re: Which of these is the Single Greatest Shot of all time in Women's Tennis?

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Originally Posted by Sir Stefwhit View Post

Seles backhand was no better or worse than her forehand and that's why she was so damn
What ? Just rewatch Graf pounding Seles' forehand to death with her sliced backhand over and over...
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Old Feb 10th, 2013, 09:08 PM   #43
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Re: Single Greatest Shot of all time in Women's Tennis

Serena's serve definitely.
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Old Feb 10th, 2013, 09:22 PM   #44
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Re: Single Greatest Shot of all time in Women's Tennis

Yeah Serena's serve is the clear winner here. That motion is so fluid I'm teaching my nieces tennis and I have a replay of her motion recorded that I show them and help them to imitate.

PS- I keep telling my brother he has the Williams Sisters 2.0. They are about a year and a half apart and my brother is extremely tall like me so his daughters already are as big as girls older than them.
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Old Feb 10th, 2013, 09:25 PM   #45
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Re: Single Greatest Shot of all time in Women's Tennis

Thank you Vika

Had to go with Serena's serve, but it really edged Graf's FH by a hair. Both are similar in that they are/were the defining weapons of the women's game for an extended period of time, and both players built their game around maximizing the strengths of said weapon. Honorable mention to Chrissie's 2HBH/pass, it was absolutely revolutionary for it's time But just like in the GOAT polls having one or two better options means she gets the short end of the stick
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