The Top 5 Forehands in the Open Era – The Coolest and the Meanest

AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein

The Top 5 Forehands in the Open Era – The Coolest and the Meanest

Everyone wants a mean and/or cool looking forehand. Most tennis players wish they could unwind and pull the trigger on a screaming forehand down the line or cross court. In the open era, there have been some standouts in the forehand department. In my opinion, the following five players have the best forehands in the Open Era. My criteria are as follows; power, style, effectiveness, and consistency.


Number 5: Juan Martin Del Potro


Del Potro has a monster forehand. He has the ability to put his whole 6’ foot 6’ inch frame into the ball resulting in a complete bomb. Not only does it have pace, but also heavy power. Here’s a snapshot of his monster forehand in slow motion. He has been known to hit his forehand upwards of 120 miles an hour! Check out a couple of his forehand in action against Roger Federer in the 2009 US Open Final. Whoa, look out!



Number 4: Steffi Graf


Graf was the first woman to really tear it up from the forehand side. She was especially effective at dictating points with the forehand. Her amazing footwork allowed her to run around the backhand and hit the forehand either down the line or cross court. It had pace, placement, and style. Here’s her forehand at work against Serena Williams.



Number 3: Serena Williams


Speaking of Serena, nobody in the woman’s game has been able to match her power and placement on the forehand side. She is able to hug the baseline and like Graf, dictate a point from that side. Here’s her forehand in slow motion during practice at the 2012 Australian Open. Especially on the return, Serena is able to step in and absolutely crush most second serves on the women’s side.


Number 2: Roger Federer


Roger does not have a weak point in his whole game, both his backhand and forehand are perfect. He’s got racket speed, placement, and depth. You get Roger in a rally on the forehand side, and 90% of the time you will end up on the losing side of the point. In addition, his forehand has style and grace. He almost looks like he’s flying through the court. Here’s a great collection of Roger hitting forehand winners from all over the court – Down the line, cross court, approach, passing shot, you name it!




Number 1: Andre Agassi


I’ve chosen Andre as my number one because absolutely nobody had seen a forehand like his when he first came out on tour. Ivan Lendl quickly labeled his game as a “Forehand and a haircut.” As we know now, he is ended up being much more than that, winning eight Grand Slams in his storied career. I always loved to watch him hit the forehand because there was so much style to it. It simply looked super cool. Here’s a look at Andre hitting forehands in slow motion. His preparation and execution are flawless, and he hits it so clean off the mark. Another reason why I loved his forehand was that he could hit them any which way for winners. Here’s a no look behind the back forehand down the line for a winner. Unbelievable shot!



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