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Murray, especially in 2009-10 is a notable example.
 

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i think that, watching paire, should make the question OP asked, already answered. yeah, there are players with better bh than fh...
 

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They can but there are not too many.

Straight up off the top of my head.

-Safin
-Haas
-Giraldo
-Nalbandian
-Paire
-Gublis
-Djokovic (arguably)
-Edberg
-Murray
 

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i think that, watching paire, should make the question OP asked, already answered. yeah, there are players with better bh than fh...
:yeah:

Paire is indeed the player that first comes into mind here, his forehand is so awkward and the backhand is great.

I think that the reason most people say that the FH is better for all is that the inside-out topspin forehand is generally easier, or at least more often used, than the IO backhand, making the choices for the FH more varied. However, there are plenty world class backhands that can produce the shot.

Does the increased variety of choices for the shots mean that the shot is better? Not necessarily IMO, if the shot is less powerful and more error prone. Gasquet certainly creates more pace off his backhand than forehand and Murray hits more UEs off his forehand than backhand.
 

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Paire, Gasquet, Wawrinka & Murray are good examples IMO. Some are debatable like Safin, Nalbandian or Djokovic. They have very good forehands and superb backhands, but I think an above average forehand will be superior to a perfect backhand pretty much always. Not sure in Safin's case though as he had probably the best backhand of all time at his peak.
 

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Of course they can. I have even played club players with better backhands than forehands. It's just how some people are. I think Stan Wawrinka had a better backhand than forehand.
 

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If you ranked all the forehands and backhands of all the active players on the ATP, treated each one as an individual stroke, at which position would the first backhand appear on the list, roughly?

Essentially what I'm asking is, how does the best backhand on tour compare to the best forehand?
In my opinion this question is impossible to answer because the backhand and forehand cannot be compared. It would be roughly the same as if you would ask the same questions, but replace the word 'backhand' with the word 'volley' or 'smash.' This is because the role of the backhand in a rally is totally different from the forehand. Every player normally uses the forehand to take initiative in rallies and to try to win the point. Usually this is done by attacking the backhand. Therefore statistically, most forehands have high W/UE ratios whereas backhands have more UEs compared to winners, making them impossible to compare. Even players like Safin and Nalbandian, who are regarded to have excellent backhands, are very likely to have hit a lot more winners with their forehand and a lot more unforced errors with their backhand because of this. Even if you look at a player like Murray, he probably hits twice as much winners with his forehand than with his backhand.
(see e.g. http://www.atpworldtour.com/News/Tennis/2013/07/27/Wimbledon-Final-Preview-IBM-Stats-Djokovic-Murray.aspx )

The reason why people regard Safin and Nalbandian to have great backhands is because they were very capable to withstand attack on their backhand side and/or use the backhand more often than other players to take initiative and finish points. Not because their backhands were better than say, their own forehands or those of Hewitt and Agassi.
 

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In my opinion this question is impossible to answer because the backhand and forehand cannot be compared. It would be roughly the same as if you would ask the same questions, but replace the word 'backhand' with the word 'volley' or 'smash.' This is because the role of the backhand in a rally is totally different from the forehand. Every player normally uses the forehand to take initiative in rallies and to try to win the point. Usually this is done by attacking the backhand. Therefore statistically, most forehands have high W/UE ratios whereas backhands have more UEs compared to winners, making them impossible to compare. Even players like Safin and Nalbandian, who are regarded to have excellent backhands, are very likely to have hit a lot more winners with their forehand and a lot more unforced errors with their backhand because of this. Even if you look at a player like Murray, he probably hits twice as much winners with his forehand than with his backhand.
(see e.g. http://www.atpworldtour.com/News/Tennis/2013/07/27/Wimbledon-Final-Preview-IBM-Stats-Djokovic-Murray.aspx )

The reason why people regard Safin and Nalbandian to have great backhands is because they were very capable to withstand attack on their backhand side and/or use the backhand more often than other players to take initiative and finish points. Not because their backhands were better than say, their own forehands or those of Hewitt and Agassi.
What about Wawrinka?
 

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In my opinion this question is impossible to answer because the backhand and forehand cannot be compared. It would be roughly the same as if you would ask the same questions, but replace the word 'backhand' with the word 'volley' or 'smash.' This is because the role of the backhand in a rally is totally different from the forehand. Every player normally uses the forehand to take initiative in rallies and to try to win the point. Usually this is done by attacking the backhand. Therefore statistically, most forehands have high W/UE ratios whereas backhands have more UEs compared to winners, making them impossible to compare. Even players like Safin and Nalbandian, who are regarded to have excellent backhands, are very likely to have hit a lot more winners with their forehand and a lot more unforced errors with their backhand because of this. Even if you look at a player like Murray, he probably hits twice as much winners with his forehand than with his backhand.
(see e.g. http://www.atpworldtour.com/News/Tennis/2013/07/27/Wimbledon-Final-Preview-IBM-Stats-Djokovic-Murray.aspx )

The reason why people regard Safin and Nalbandian to have great backhands is because they were very capable to withstand attack on their backhand side and/or use the backhand more often than other players to take initiative and finish points. Not because their backhands were better than say, their own forehands or those of Hewitt and Agassi.
You make some godd points, but I'm not sure stats would back you up. IMO you theory works when the FH is also a good shot, but I highly doubt anyone bases their strategy against Gasquet by attacking the BH. It simply makes no sense as attacking his FH would make your life far easier.

Is there a place to check BH vs FH winners and UEs? I'd be really curious to see them. I'd expect the players with a huge difference in quality of one and the other wing, like Murray and Gasquet, to still have more BH winners.
 

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In my opinion this question is impossible to answer because the backhand and forehand cannot be compared. It would be roughly the same as if you would ask the same questions, but replace the word 'backhand' with the word 'volley' or 'smash.' This is because the role of the backhand in a rally is totally different from the forehand. Every player normally uses the forehand to take initiative in rallies and to try to win the point. Usually this is done by attacking the backhand. Therefore statistically, most forehands have high W/UE ratios whereas backhands have more UEs compared to winners, making them impossible to compare. Even players like Safin and Nalbandian, who are regarded to have excellent backhands, are very likely to have hit a lot more winners with their forehand and a lot more unforced errors with their backhand because of this. Even if you look at a player like Murray, he probably hits twice as much winners with his forehand than with his backhand.
(see e.g. http://www.atpworldtour.com/News/Tennis/2013/07/27/Wimbledon-Final-Preview-IBM-Stats-Djokovic-Murray.aspx )

The reason why people regard Safin and Nalbandian to have great backhands is because they were very capable to withstand attack on their backhand side and/or use the backhand more often than other players to take initiative and finish points. Not because their backhands were better than say, their own forehands or those of Hewitt and Agassi.
But you don't have to compare the FH and BH directly and measure them based on the same things. You should look at an individual player's FH and BH and determine how well each does in certain aspects like reliability, consistency, aggression, depth, etc. If a player has a FH that can often be broken down by playing to it consistently, that's a big liability. Whereas, the same player might have a BH that is solid and reliable, doesn't hit many winners but keeps the player in the point and allows them to perhaps construct points better. So for this type of player, you could very well reason that their BH is a "better" shot, not when you break it down to the fundamentals, but a better shot in terms of what it does for the player's game. And there are definitely players on tour with the current FH and BH traits I described.
 

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Good question. I think in a lot of cases the forehand is the bigger weapon/more error prone shot while the backhand is the solid, consistent shot.
 

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Djokovic, Berdych, Murray, Nishikori, Wawrinka, Gulbis to name a few.
 

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Yes but even guys with better BHs than FHs prefer ending points with their FH.
that doesnt make it better though... And it is more natural to move to make way for a forehand than a backhand that is why players prefer to move around the backhand to hit a forehand...
 

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nono, that's where you guys mess up. He chooses. Why? He has the choice - play a BH or a FH.

If his bH is his better wing, he'd play with it, just as Pironkova does all the time. She would even run around a ball come on her FH to play a BH.

Why wouldn't a male do? Define "natural" here...

This is a non discussion really, anyone who's played tennis should easily understand, it's no rocket science.

By comparing BHs to other BHs, we kinda tend to think that the best BHs are better than many FHs, which isn't true at all. It's just an illusion, it takes some time to realize it, but it's the truth.

A perfect comparison for this illusion is when some guys watching Serena Williams smashing winners left and right, might think she'd double baggel a mug like Benjamin Becker, or Florent Serra f.e.

Well, appearances are often deceiving.
Sorry but Pironkova has changed that habit, cause it is not a good one. Why would you compare bh to others bh, that doesnt make sense. best FH is better than the best BH, because of the angles a forehand can make. But you judge a stroke not only by how they can hit a winner of it, but mostly how they can construct a point with it.
 

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Interesting topic.

The current best player Djokovic has a much better BH than FH.
but the forehand is much better than every other player except Nadal and not others
 
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