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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I'm curious to know who has the best forehand on tour currently according to TF? To make it more specific (otherwise we'll probably get the same answers as usual) I'm referring to right now, as in end of the 2019, so while Steffi Graf has a great forehand historically, she's long retired, so nevermind. And if you say Serena for example, it means you think it is because Serena has the best FH on tour right now, and not just peak Serena.

Some points to evaluate a forehand could include:
  • Power: The ability to just end the point, often a 1-2 punch, but also in rallies
  • Counter punching and defence: Being able to absorb and redirect pace of the opponents shots, or defend and prolong the rally
  • Return: Ability to get a lot of first serve returns in and reset the point, be aggressive on second serves and so on.
  • Consistency: Not making too many wild UEs, being able to place the ball accurately on the court
  • Versatility: Being able to hit not just top spin, but flatten it out, hit dropshots, slice, lob, hit from any part of the court.
  • Net skills: Can hit traditional volleys, swings volleys, overheads etc. I guess it could be argued it's not specific to having a good FH, as people good at the net are usually good at both sides. It could also come under versatility, but since many players look like a deer in the headlights at the net, it can be specially mentioned :eek:h:
There of course could be many points to consider, but these are some things I thought of. Maybe according to you no player has a clear best FH, but you could list some FHs on the tout which are good at certain categories.

Looking at the top 10 for example, you have a lot of players with good FHs. The young trio of Barty, Osaka, Andreescu all have excellent FHs. And you have older players like Kvitova and Serena. However, it's possible you think there is a lower ranked player with a superior FH to all of the top players, like say Sloane. Anyways, discuss away!
 

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Because this is TF, the kind of answers you'll get will usually be players who hit the hardest or most winners.

But anyway, there are a few great options that have reliability, ability to set up points, versatility, deception, power, accuracy etc:

In no particular order

Andreescu
Kerber
Kvitova
Barty
Serena
Osaka


Many more tbh

The WTA has had a lot of backhand-dominant players in the last few years (Azarenka, Sharapova, Halep et al), so it's interesting how things tend to flow like this.
 

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Osaka. Not only power but the angles she creates. The angles she creates is just out of this world sometimes and she can be pinned back so much, but still hit it so hard and deep is just amazing! Sometimes it reminds me of steffi's forehand...
Only if her backhand becomes consistent like her fh...
 

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I like Yastremska's flat forehand. I also like Osaka's. It has power and spin.
Dayana has insane power and the ability to hit from anywhere in the court. She does get wild and make some crazy errors though.
I think she meets all that criteria except consistency. She can hit a good winner then hit one really far out on the next one and she can't close out matches consistently with it.
 

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I think it used to be Serena.Right now I'd say Barty. Her forehand is the centerpiece of her game. Osaka needs her serve, as does Kvitova. Barty needs her forehand or her whole game is whack
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
I think it used to be Serena.Right now I'd say Barty. Her forehand is the centerpiece of her game. Osaka needs her serve, as does Kvitova. Barty needs her forehand or her whole game is whack
Well, I think Barty depends on her serve firing as well, even if her groundstrokes go whack she can at least try for some 1-2 punches and get past some service games with good serving. I think that's part of why she's been so consistent this year.

But I agree her game is centred around hitting a good FH. Her topspin BH is quite unreliable, so she uses that slice BH till she manages to get a good FH to strike, kind of like Graf. She definitely tries running around that BH whenever she can.

What are your thoughts on say Bertens, Kasatkina or Sloane vs Barty who all use a lot of topspin as well in their FH?
 

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I think come next year it'll be Kim but Barty uses hers best at the moment in terms of opening up the court, hitting winners or damaging shots to move in off of.
 

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Well, I think Barty depends on her serve firing as well, even if her groundstrokes go whack she can at least try for some 1-2 punches and get past some service games with good serving. I think that's part of why she's been so consistent this year.

But I agree her game is centred around hitting a good FH. Her topspin BH is quite unreliable, so she uses that slice BH till she manages to get a good FH to strike, kind of like Graf. She definitely tries running around that BH whenever she can.

What are your thoughts on say Bertens, Kasatkina or Sloane vs Barty who all use a lot of topspin as well in their FH?
Bertens has a good forehand when its on. Kasatkina has to improve hers, but it is her best stroke. Stephens, I dont know where her head is now.
I would put Barty's forehand above them because it is more consistent. And she needs it to stay consistent at big events, like Melbourne where Ash can be one of the the biggest stories of the whole tournament if she makes a run
 

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Overall, I'd say it's Andreescu. She has a lot of options on it. She can quickly finish points or can be more patient hitting really heavy with a lot of spin to drag opponents around the court and even throws in effective moonballs. Also plays great drop shots and lobs on it. It's the best rounded forehand.

Most entertaining to watch is Yastremskas. The girl can hit winners from anywhere in court once she sets it up. Stunning power that often makes her opponents look powderpuff.
 
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