Definitely can't agree on IQ. I think you'd be in the minority on that one. Mentality, yes. Passing shots? Maybe. That's very close, though. Second serve? That's the only major thing Hewitt has over Murray.
Murray is a better mover. Backhand is debatable, unless you're only talking about it as an offensive shot. The same goes for the forehand. There are far too many elements to consider when judging individual strokes.
For example, did Safin have a better slice, did he have a better defensive forehand, and so on? The issue of his consistency makes it almost impossible to compare him to other players, since we're talking about a player who was close to unplayable at his peak, but he so rarely hit that peak.
Fuck, missing UFC because of this discussion.
Defense and movement is the same thing almost. Physique will tell you he's a better mover so it's basically implied. Safin's backhand was a better shot than Murray's overall - that's pretty clear in my mind. I used the word arguably because most of the things are pretty close besides serve. The forehand had a much higher ceiling than Murray's so I'd give him the edge there - both are prone to being terrible.
Hewitt's tennis IQ was the main reason he was able to win despite virtually have zero
offensive weapons. He played the percentages better than anyone and was a master of exacerbating his opponent's weaknesses. Well you factor in the lob Hewitt is a better exponent of the passing shot.
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