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Discussion Starter #1
Top 10? Top 20? Or not even in top 1000? I mean on effectiveness and reliability, not aesthetics of Fed's backhand.

And since Federer is considered the GOAT, the best and the most talented player ever by a lot of his fans, why such a talented player couldn't turn his backhand into a better and more reliable shot?
 

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He had insane runs with his backhand...

Watch 2006 us open Madrid and tour finals. It’s quite incredible what he does with his backhand there. It’s a real shame it wasn’t more consistent in general. He had awesome runs with it but also stretches where you think „even a future player has a better Bh“
 

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Discussion Starter #5
He had insane runs with his backhand...

Watch 2006 us open Madrid and tour finals. It’s quite incredible what he does with his backhand there. It’s a real shame it wasn’t more consistent in general. He had awesome runs with it but also stretches where you think „even a future player has a better Bh“
Yeah, that's true - when Fed's forehand is on it's pretty deadly, but more often then not it's unreliable.
 

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His backhand slice is one of the best ever, but overall it doesn't rank very high. Not in the top 30 at least. Offensively he could hit some shots, his shotmaking was quality for sure, but defensively he could shank a lot when put under a bit of pressure. Oh, and his passing shots were great too. Overall a very good backhand but not elite.
 

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All the periphery aspects of it are top notch. His feel with the shot is gorgeous and those flick shots are something you rarely see from anyone else, at least at the rate he used to produce them his his prime. It's always been a better shot when he's instinctive with it which is why he's always excelled at passing shots. The TMC final against Blake in 2006 ranks up there are one of the most outrageously high displays of backhand shotmaking I've ever seen. He's never been able to do that again since though.

The weakness has always been the topspin rally backhand which is a significant flaw in discussions like this because that's the bread and butter of any groundstroke. Frames and lack of depth has been a common issue for him but it never really got exploited enough to hurt him because he had a top tier slice to mitigate it.

Topspin alone it's not that great but if you include the slice it brings him back into the conversation.
 

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Funny thing is he almost always had his best backhand performances in the tour finals. 2003 final against Agassi is an almost forgotten backhand gem. Just like the 2007 semifinal and final performances. It’s also the event where he’s 3:1 against nadal, a record which is certainly credited to his topspin backhand. In slams before 2017 the awesome consistent backhand was a thing of the long forgotten past. Stuff like 2010 AO final or 2011 USO 4R wasn’t seen in almost six years and suddenly out of nowhere and after 6 months out he produced one of the best backhand performances of his career followed almost immediately by another one against the same player.

The final set of the 2017 Australian open comes in third place of backhand performances. Only topped by 2006 tmc against Blake and 2011 us open against Monaco since he maintained the level for the entire match. But a 11:2 W:UE count in a single set is quite impressive.

Now his topspin Bh is to where it was between 2012 and 2015 most of the time. A solid shot and helping to extend rallies but also lacking depths and the killer instinct to hit clean winners. Furthermore his shanks off a high bounce were a huge problem. Thiem has a one-handed too for example but (when in Form) Deals a lot better with those moonballer on the backhand site. That’s why he’s most successful on clay.
 

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One of the best slice backhand returns of all time along with Rosewall

Problem is the neutral rally topspin backhand which can get exposed
 

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Federer's BH is good but it fluctuates in effectiveness. The positive is the all court aspect of his BH, and good blocks/slice and he has good control and variety on it, but notice how often Federer opts to run around a hit a FH from the BH corner. Everyone fawns over 2017 neo-BH but on average, it's a good shot but not a particularly potent nor highly consistent shot. What I mean is if you took that shot alone in isolation from the others, it won't be as effective.
 

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Hardly top 10. But his forehand at its peak was god tier.
 

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Hard to compare single handed backhands with double handed backhands
Among single handed backhands, and in this century, I rank him 4th, after Wawrinka, Murray and Gasquet

Edit: by Murray I mean his incredible slice backhand
 

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Tough to say. But I have no doubt Federer's backhand-to-Nadal's forehand baseline exhanges are the most influential and beautiful in tennis history. It touched so many nerves over the years.
 

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Like top 20. Nadal is the only one who can really expose it consistently. Djokovic can sort of expose it... but beyond that, against like 500 other varying players, Federer's backhand holds up really well.

Also if we count the drop shot and the slice alone, then it must be pretty far up there.
 

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I don't know what weaknesses people see in his backhand: i reckon it's the best i ever witnessed in 35 years of modern tennis because of the variation, security and pace.

Which player do you remember able to drop shot off the backhand upon receiving first serves ?

Certainly in the same ballpark as Rosewall or Laver.

Sure Nadal can break it down, but to the price of insane court coverage, which he can't do anymore.
 

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Again, like Djokovic's forehand, Federer's backhand is heavily underrated. The slice, the chip return to big servers, the defense from this side - it has produced some of the finest wins of his career. Really very diverse shot!
 

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I don't know what weaknesses people see in his backhand: i reckon it's the best i ever witnessed in 35 years of modern tennis because of the variation, security and pace.

Which player do you remember able to drop shot off the backhand upon receiving first serves ?

Certainly in the same ballpark as Rosewall or Laver.

Sure Nadal can break it down, but to the price of insane court coverage, which he can't do anymore.
Because most of the people want to see powerful one shot winners and consider this "great''. Tennis is not football - the shots don't need to be goals. It's a chess game - the masters are the ones with diversity and subtle power!
 

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Honestly speaking Fed's BH overall is arguably TOP10-TOP15 of all time.

His slice, variety, taking the ball on the rise are the trademarks of his BH.

On the other hand, as others noticed, his regular baseline rally topspin BH is a weakness and tends to become a vulnerability in longer exchanges.

However it's his FH that declined much more than his BH. His BH nowadays is maybe 80% of his peak BH while his FH is maybe early 50% what it used to be.
 

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It’s one of the best. The reason why his backhand isn’t considered one of the best is because people assume best with how hard someone can hit their backhand. That’s why someone like Gasquet is considered by many to have the best one handed backhand. Because he can stand 15 feet behind the baseline and rip backhand winners. Federer doesn’t do that, hence why his backhand is considered not among the very best. But when you take into account not only the ability to rip backhand winners from way behind the baseline, but also the slice, the passing shots, the defense, the drop shots, Federer’s backhand is not only one of the best backhands of all time, but it is also one of the greatest shots in tennis.

This narrative that Federer’s backhand is a weakness needs to die already.
 
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