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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We all know that she takes her forehand waaaaayyy too late. And her ball toss was unbelievably high. And no one has hit more passing shots off the backhand with slice.

So, do you feel that Steffi Graf was the player she was because of her unorthodox play, or in spite of them?

Someone once said that steffi and monica are amazing because they are able to win although their play is not orthodox. but i feel that that's also the reason why they win so much.
 

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I don't think Steffi took "her" forehand waayyyy too late. It obviously worked for her so it was just right. Not to mention it's been hailed as the single greatest shot in tennis.
 

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steffi won the grand slam without talking to her coach. that's pretty amazing :eek:
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
DA FOREHAND said:
I don't think Steffi took "her" forehand waayyyy too late. It obviously worked for her so it was just right. Not to mention it's been hailed as the single greatest shot in tennis.
it is the greatest shot in tennis, and i believe it will stay that way.

but the way she hits it, if anyone tries it, they will probably be severely injured. and since it is not immediately replicable, it is also not terribly technically sound. but somehow it worked for her.
 

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people also said steffi could not win without her forehand but I have seen her win matches were her forehand went all over the court so it's not true that she was nothing without it!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
no it's not true

steffi is one of the fastest players to play the game, and could arguably be a successful defensive player :eek:
 

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she could if she wanted to become patient.

steffi's serve sucked and then she took a break for three months and then had the best (affective wise) first serve for years. that's talent :worship:
 

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"it is also not terribly technically sound. but somehow it worked for her."

I would have to disagree w/this statement. For any player to consistantly hit accurate groundies no matter how "unorthodoxed" the stroke must be sound. If she had concerned herself too much with what others thought would work she wouldn't have been the champion she is today.

High ball toss, she had among the best serves in womens tennis.
 

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Yes and she used to hold her second service ball in her left hand. I cant serve like that, I have to have one ball at a time. Never mind play the rest of the point.
 

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dava_russianrule said:
Yes and she used to hold her second service ball in her left hand. I cant serve like that, I have to have one ball at a time. Never mind play the rest of the point.
I think though that it was normal to do that before the ninties but steffi was probably the last who stopped doing it. I think in 91? maybe after the match against patricia hy where she was forced to play double handed? (for sure she still did it in 1990)
 

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Steffi's game had both orthodox and unorthodox stroke production. Her serve, while hit with a high ball toss, was technically perfect. One thing that people usually didn't notice with Graf, or took for granted, was how fast she did everything. She is the fastest player to ever have played women's tennis (most of the all time greats will back me up on that), and with her serve, she snapped at the ball very quickly. To have a high ball toss and hit the ball while jumping up off the court and to be able to time that wrist snap took extraordinary talent, which she had in abundance. Holding 2 balls helps maintain the consistency of the ball toss- I recommend everyone try it for a few matches- you'll see!

Her backhand slice and topspin were classic strokes- probably one of the top 5 slice backhands in the history of the sport.

The Graf forehand is unorthodox, but that does not mean technically unsound or inconsistent. She hit it off her right hip, and in comparison to the conventional theory- it's late. This was one component of why it was so effective- she took the racquet back many times only at the last second, and then jumped up off the court and hit it like a sling-shot with extreme wrist snap- just like her serve. When you think about it, the serve IS a high forehand.

Her biggest weapon, the one that allowed her to produce all those great results, was her footwork. No one in the history of women's tennis has run around more backhands to hit a winner than Steffi Graf.

The true test, in my opinion, is whether a player using the new, bigger composite racquets could play and win with a wooden racquet. Steffi's game would be just as dominating. Monica Seles wouldn't have won a single major with a wooden racquet.
 

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"Her backhand slice and topspin were classic strokes- probably one of the top 5 slice backhands in the history of the sport."

I can't think of many slice backhands that were clearly better, especially on the womens side.

I don't know if i'd go so far as to say Monica wouldn't/couldn't win w/a wooden racquet. I think it would be great to see an exho. w/female players using wood.
 

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I know Steffi is one of the greatest that's ever played the game. But it's an overstatement that her forehand is the all time best. It's arguably one of the best single weapons in women''s tennis but Lindsay's forehand is just as good. I think it's even more powerful and cleaner then Steffi's. Steffi had so much better footwork then Lindsay which enbled her to run around and hit so many inside out forehands. Lindsay with Steffi's footwork would be just invincible.
 

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people always said steffi had no talent and only worked hard. that made her insecure according to heinz gunthardt who wrote that in grand slam 95 but he also said steffi winning the french that year without any preparation since she was lying in bed with flue which also increased her already chronical injured back is something that is impossible without incredible talent :bowdown:@steffi
 

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gogomaggie said:
I know Steffi is one of the greatest that's ever played the game. But it's an overstatement that her forehand is the all time best. It's arguably one of the best single weapons in women''s tennis but Lindsay's forehand is just as good. I think it's even more powerful and cleaner then Steffi's. Steffi had so much better footwork then Lindsay which enbled her to run around and hit so many inside out forehands. Lindsay with Steffi's footwork would be just invincible.

Me begs to differ. You contridict yourself. We all know that Lindsay hits cleanly, which means she has good footwork, so how could having Steffi's footwork make her invincible? Lindsay may have the variety that Steffi displayed w/her forehand, but does she use it in her matches? Not really. Pace of shot alone doesn't make it great, only fast.
 

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DA FOREHAND said:
"Her backhand slice and topspin were classic strokes- probably one of the top 5 slice backhands in the history of the sport."

I can't think of many slice backhands that were clearly better, especially on the womens side.

I don't know if i'd go so far as to say Monica wouldn't/couldn't win w/a wooden racquet. I think it would be great to see an exho. w/female players using wood.
It would be interesting. Steffi would be great- nothing missing. Monica would have alot of trouble with the small racquet face and she'd be an easier target as soon as an opponent got her on the move. Plus, with Monica, many people don't realize how extreme her grip changes are. She doesn't change her hands, but she does rotate the racquet quite a bit in her hands and with that oversized frame, generates a ping-pong like shot with a huge sweet spot close to her body. With wood- the sweet spot is half that size, and almost a foot out farther away from the body, with the flex of a wooden racquet. She'd have to learn one-handed shots and hit them all the time.

Other players who could play with wood: Novotna, Navratilova, Martinez, Sabatini, Davenport, Capriati, Henin-Hardenne. I think the Williams sisters would have trouble for a while, but their athleticism and drive would eventually produce results, but it would be very difficult for them. Venus would have to learn how to construct points and serve-and-volley.
 

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Oh so now Venus doesn't know how to construct points? The single greatest weapon Venus used to begin to turn her h2h around against Lindsay and especially Martina was her patience in setting up points, and incorperating more variety.

I do remember that year Monica played with that "hackers" racquet it was just inside the legal limits for size. I call them the point and click snowshoe. Kind of embarrassing and desperate looking.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
martina's name should be in that list
 

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as somebody said on the steffi newsgroup. steffi was the symbol of the old and new generation. she played semi old tennis and semi new tennis. if she had be born three years later she had probably hit double handed on the backhand side too.
 

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DA FOREHAND said:
Oh so now Venus doesn't know how to construct points? The single greatest weapon Venus used to begin to turn her h2h around against Lindsay and especially Martina was her patience in setting up points, and incorperating more variety.

I do remember that year Monica played with that "hackers" racquet it was just inside the legal limits for size. I call them the point and click snowshoe. Kind of embarrassing and desperate looking.
Yes, Venus learned patience, and to not go for winners all the time, but with a wooden racquet, these qualities are requirements. She still does not know how to think 3 and 4 shots ahead and you NEVER see her moving to where her opponent is going to hit the ball. She simply covers the court and gets to everything no matter where it goes, and has become much better at hitting winners on the run. Her shakey forehand technique would be magnified with a wood racquet, as well as her less than par second serve. Any number of players would beat her with wood.
 
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