Ever since most of us were kids we looked at the pros and emulated (or tried to) their games. Whether it was Rod Laver's approach shot or Suzanne Lenglen's flair, we wanted to be like them.
If you could build your ultimate player what would they look like? Whose forehand would you pick, whose volley? (of course we're picking the players for when they were in their prime)
Here's your chance, build your own and, after you're done, vote for the one someone else has built, that you think is the best. (you can't vote for your own. Extra credit if you vote for mine :)
Here's my Frankenstein;
1. Serve. Without a doubt, Pete "Clutch" Sampras. The biggest, nope. The greatest variety, nope.No one could (or can) hit his spots better. You can't read his serve. Even Aggasi said he couldn't read it, and Agassi's arguably one of the best returners ever (more on him later). Match point down second serve and Pete'll hit a huge bomb down the middle (he said after, "I just felt like I could hit it") now that's confidence and, most of all trust in your serve. He had the best second serve in the game too, by far the best measure of a great server.
2. Forehand. This is a tough one. My first inclination is to say Fernando Gonzalez. He definitely has the biggest forehand in the game but, with that big loop he mis-hits more than most. And he goes for too much sometimes but, hey that’s between the ears and we’re just picking a forehand here. Hmmm Djokovic and Fed’s are great too. I’m a leftie so I think what about Rafa? Man Fed sure doesn’t like it and, it’s really helped to propel him to the top of tennis especially, one of the best of all time on clay. But, after all that I’d have to go with Gonzo. He hit a 101 mph winner last week. Even if you were in position that’d be hard to deal with. He can hit more forehand winners from more places on the court than anyone and that, more than anything, is why I’ll take his forehand.
3. Backhand. I have a one hander so I’m going to start there. I like Kuertens so fluid and smooth and, with a Zen like grunt like his you couldn’t be anything but silky :) However, I’ll have to cross the gender divide and go with Justin Henin. No one in the game can produce, pound for pound, more power than her and she can handle more different kinds of balls than anyone. She deals with many shots with ease, that Roger F. struggles with. I know I’ll get heat for this but, just watch and you’ll see. Yeah I know, she doesn’t have to deal with Rafa’s top spin etc. but, if you watch her you will see the ease and offensiveness she can attack shots that others just get back. It’s probably because she never had a two hander even when she was four and just learning how to play. I'll still take guga's grunt though :))
If I had to pick a two hander, it’d definitely be Agassi’s. His backhand was better than most players forehand or even their weapon(s) and it was rock solid.
4. Volleys. It’s a choice between Leander Paes and Martina Navratalova, both great. I’ll have to go with Martina. Perfect form and, she rarely missed a volley. The true test of a good volly’er…never missing. Although Serena has a great swinging volley…hmmm…Nope! It’s Martina all the way.
5. Return. I like Hewitt’s consistency. Man! Can he get the serve back more often than anyone buuuutt…, Agassi could do more with his return. Agassi could get into an offensive position right off the first ball. This is another tough one. I’d have to say that I’ll go with Hewitt simply because with all the other weapons I’d have, getting the ball back more often would be more important.
6. Mental. I’d have to say that at their peak Pete S. and Roger F. are pretty evenly matched. Although, on clay Roger has gotten further, so, Rog. it is. :)
Well, it’s one AM so, I’m going to bed, I’ll add more later.
Feel free to add your views or comments.