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Federer Names Best Forehand

The forehand is the engine that drives US Open success.

Four of the eight US Open quarterfinalists—Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Juan Martin del Potro and Sam Querrey—own the most formidable forehands in tennis.

Del Potro: Power of Love

So which forehand is the best in the game?

While del Potro's ferocious flat forehand may be the most explosive, Federer says Nadal's twisting topspin forehand is the premier shot in the sport.

"I mean, I think Rafa's for me is maybe number one," Federer told the media after his US Open fourth-round win. "It depends on what surface we're talking about. But just throughout the career, I think Rafa's is extremely high, if not my favorite one.

"But DelPo's is flat. When it's flat, clearly margins are smaller. You also have to be in really good position, court position, to be able to do it, when he can do it from further back, as well. He's got a great forehand down the line, inside-out forehand, which in my opinion are maybe more difficult shots to hit."

Del Potro's forehand grip is more toward eastern, while Nadal uses a western grip to whip a heavy topspin forehand that can run away from right handers.

Dominic Thiem, who was victimized by a series of vicious del Potro forehands in the 2009 US Open champion's pulsating comeback win, calls the Argentine's forehand the most imposing.  

"I mean, it's no big secret that it's one of the best or maybe the best forehand in the game," Thiem said of del Potro. "Especially on little bit quicker surfaces, it's extremely tough to play."

Federer said del Potro's racquet-head acceleration through the ball and sheer ferocity on the strike make it an exceptional and exemplary stroke.

"What I like about it, (del Potro) doesn't really hold back," Federer said. "He doesn't care if he misfires a few times. He keeps doing it until he finds his range and his rhythm.

"No, it seems like a huge takeback, so you always feel like he's going to be late on it. At the end of the day he's in position when he needs to be. He drives through the ball perfectly. I think a lot of juniors actually should look at that forehand as a great forehand."

Photo credit: Matt Hazlett/BNP Paribas Open Facebook