Best Stroke Ever?

stan wWhat was/is the best single tennis stroke you have ever seen? On a Wimbledon TV panel, John McEnroe declared, Stan Warinka’s backhand is the “greatest single shot I have ever seen.”

His brother Patrick was astonished by the claim and said, “Better than Pete Sampras’ first serve? Better than Serena’s serve? Better than YOUR volley?”

I remember coming away from watching the Swiss star’s victory over Djokovic in the French final and all I could think about were those classic one-handed backhands – both down the line and cross court. But, what do you think…mac stan

• Better than Sampras’ first (and second) serve?

• Better than Agassi’s return of serve?

• Better than Djokovic’s sliding off the court defensive shots?

• Better than Serena’s serve?

• Better than McEnroe’s volleys?

• Better than Rafa’s topspin forehand?

Do you agree with JohnnyMac, or do you have another favorite?

I do agree that Stan’s backhand is a “thing of beauty”; but would suggest that Sampras’ serve or Andre’s return of serve had a greater impact on the outcome of matches than Warinka’s backhand does.

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7 thoughts on “Best Stroke Ever?

  1. I think all of your suggested better shots are wrong, George. The … greatest … single … shot … in … the … entire … history … of … tennis………………………. IS………………………… WILLY HOFFMAN’S BACKHAND!!! End of story.

  2. The “was”answer for me is Rosewall’s backhand. Although it wouldn’t work very well in the modern game, he could place it on a dime.

  3. The Stanamal may have the BIGGEST but the one single stroke that was a killer for him may be the most unexpected stroke I have ever seen hit. He would hit this over and over, you could know it was coming and it changed many a match. The best part of it was other players would flock to watch his matches just to see him make guys look silly, and you could hear the air sucking out of a court knowing “Crap, it’s coming…”

    Whitney Reed’s mid court half volley. Jeez, how can that guy hit that so well, anywhere he wants, so often? What s shot!

    Miss you Whit……

    Patrick Swafford

  4. How about Lew Hoad’s forehand…..I saw him knock the racket out of Gonzales’s hand twice in one match?

  5. I was fortunate to see Pancho Gonzales in the early 60’s and his serve was the most effortless and powerful shot I have ever seen!
    Remember Pancho was so dominant that the tour changed the basic rules of the game one season to try to control him. Think of the ramification of that act,if there had been open tennis no telling of the records that would have been set.

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