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Top Tennis Players: The Best Aspects of Their Game

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Roger Federer's infamous one-handed backhand.

Roger Federer's infamous one-handed backhand.

REUTERS

REUTERS

Roger Federer's infamous one-handed backhand.

Emily Sherman, Editor

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Juan Martin del Potro: The Serve

In case you didn’t keep up with the pace of the U.S. Open Men’s Singles tournament, let me inform you that Argentinian player Juan Martin del Potro’s serve is insane.  Averaging at a speed of 149.1 miles per hour, del Potro has had 4,321 aces throughout his tennis career in 574 matches. Although losing to former World No.1 Novak Djokovic in the U.S. Open Men’s Singles final, del Potro’s serve was evidently stronger.  While playing an amazing match, the most amazing points to watch were when del Potro’s serve was so perfect it seemed superhuman. Del Potro had six aces in the final, five more than Djokovic. Pairing speed with placement, del Potro’s serve is bound to take him far into matches throughout the continuation of his tennis career.  

Roger Federer: The Infamous One-handed Backhand

Roger Federer’s one-handed backhand is arguably the best in tennis history.  Pairing speed with grace and consistency, this one-handed backhand is the epitome of talent.   Furthermore, not only is his shot is efficient, but it is also powerful, adaptable, and versatile.  While battling through tight matches, Federer is able to hit both offensive and defensive shots- a difficult feat considering the inconsistency of most professionals’ one-handed backhands.  Many developing players look up to Federer while trying to develop their own one-handed backhand, studying his movements and figuring out how to make the ball fly low right over the net. Federer’s shot is such a staple that when players at my tennis club are developing their own one-handed backhands, my coach almost always recommends to go watch a video of Federer’s.

Serena Williams: The Classic Forehand

Compared to the many players on the WTA and ATP tours known for their exaggerated forehands with incredible amounts of spin, Serena Williams’ forehand is a stately and stable classic.  Many top players like Rafael Nadal and Victoria Azarenka have vicious swings that finish up over their head, an effective stroke but a little exaggerated. However, Williams’ forehand is more stable, but no less intimidating since top players tend to avoid it.  Many of her forehands during matches begin with a deep cross-court shot, which allows for an opening in the backhand side of a right-handed opponent. Serena Williams is one of the best tennis players of all time, and her forehand is just an example of her endless practice that has lead her to win twenty three Grand Slam singles titles.    

Serena Williams’ classic forehand.

Rafael Nadal: Movement

Although movement isn’t really a specific tennis shot, it is vital to have quick reflexes in order to dominate the game.  Rafael Nadal, now thirty two years old, is still covering the court with amazing speed despite predictions a decade ago that he would begin to slow down.  His movement is quite proficient- not only does he have great footwork, but he can also hit nearly every type of shot while sliding, bending, or arching to reach the ball.  Furthermore, Nadal’s effectiveness in returning dropshots is a prime example of his speed, agility, and refusal to give up. His willingness to cover the entire court and reflexive speed when doing so have led him to be considered one of the greatest players of all time.

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Top Tennis Players: The Best Aspects of Their Game