In this 10-part series, I am going to delve into a bit of fantasy tennis. That is to say I am going to devise the ultimate tennis player.
Imagine fusing the heart of David Ferrer with the serve of Ivo Karlovic and the forehand of Roger Federer. Well now, you don't have to. This series will take the most crucial aspects of cultivating the ultimate tennis player and select the one individual that best represents each particular quality.
Let's start off with the forehand. I don't think this choice is too difficult to make nor should it be too surprising to anyone reading this.
Federer's forehand is pure technical perfection. A combination of unrivaled racket head preparation, circular fluidity, dynamic racket head speed and graceful precision, Federer's forehand is the staple of the Swiss maestro's game.
Federer's forehand is extremely potent from any position on the court. Possessing the ability to methodically cut up the court, Federer seeks to endlessly dictate rallies with his forehand. At times, it feels like the Swiss has his opponents on a string pulling them literally and up and down the court at will.
The world No. 3 often leans into his forehand, integrating supreme racket head acceleration and stable head and body control to push his opponents into a defensive position. These qualities provide Federer ample opportunity to quickly close out points.
Federer prefers to step inside the court and take his forehand early, thereby creating an offensive minded stance. Such early ball contact allows him to concoct seemingly unimaginable angles with his forehand.
The one aspect of Federer's forehand that is fully evident in the rest of his game is its pure effortlessness and fluid nature. Given that Federer has never retired from a single match during his career, it is clear that this level of balance and comfort is ideal for any tennis player.
Federer's forehand can absolutely destroy the heart and spirit of his opponents, including rivals like Rafael Nadal. A fine example of such marvelous execution was the 2011 World Tour Finals in London where Federer vanquished Nadal in straight sets, 6-3, 6-0. Federer's forehand was firing on all cylinders and an unhinged Nadal had no answers.
And, unlike Federer's backhand, which is prone to inconsistencies, especially against Nadal on clay, Federer's forehand rarely lets him down.
For these reasons, Federer's forehand must be considered the best in men's tennis.