Simon Reed

Favourite shotmakers: Women’s forehand

Simon Reed

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The best: Steffi Graf

The standout player for me, the best of all time, is Graf. She had a very good serve and won so many cheap points setting up the forehand and she'd hit a killer given half the chance.

The key thing with her forehand was the movement - she could move so gracefully but so effortlessly around the court and was able to set up the forehand time after time. When they thought they had got her out of the point, so many players tried to play her backhand.

But the way she manoeuvred around those trying to find her backhand all the time, to hit the forehand either down the line or across the court. It was a delight to see.

Her opponents were always under pressure because they knew if they dropped it short to her at any stage, they'd be dead in the point. It was putting so much pressure on the opponent - they were constantly trying to find the backhand and she would constantly dance around the court and hit forehands.

It was quite staggering really. Yes the backhand was a weakness, compared with the forehand, although it didn't lose her too many points. But what was amazing was the forehand. It just crushed her opponents.

The best of the rest:

There's no-one really of Graf's level in the modern game, but for power Ana Ivanovic is good. When she was playing well and went to number one in the world - obviously at the moment she's all over the place - but 18 months ago when she was really firing she had an amazing forehand. It was a bullet.

Of those playing well now, Svetlana Kuznetsova has the biggest forehand. She's got so much core strength, which she uses so well, producing a lot of whip on her shots and generation of pace on the ball. I think Kuznetsova's got it. When she's playing at the top of her game, which she seems to be again now, it's great when she hits that forehand. I think it'll be one of the key shots in Doha this week.

Linsday Davenport set up so many points with a big first serve and then a forehand into the corner. Serena Williams does exactly the same. But they are more all-round players, and it's Kuznetsova's forehand that I think is a beautiful shot.

There are also a lot of players coming out of Eastern Europe, particularly Russia, with big forehands now. Russian Elena Bovina had an extraordinary forehand. She just cracked it. That was a few years ago, but sadly she got injured and isn't playing any more.

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