Left-handed players possess key advantages when facing right-handed opponents. The lefty spin patterns and serve can frustrate righties who are used to standard patterns of play.
Great lefties like Rafael Nadal, John McEnroe and Martina Navratilova demonstrated how to effectively exploit the lefty edge. Specifically, their vicious topspin, additionally their attacking net play, and moreover their creative shot-making troubled countless right-handed adversaries over the years..
In this article, we explore the dynamics between right and left-handed tennis players and examine the key advantages lefties wield.
The Challenge of Facing a Lefty
A right-hander playing against a lefty is never going to be easy – their natural topspin that pulls a righty out of the court on the backhand side is a very effective weapon.
Notable Left-Handed Players
Rafael Nadal – The King of Clay
Currently, 14 ATP lefty’s in the top 100 rankings. The “greatest” lefty is Rafael Nadal with 21 grand slam titles, including an amazing 14 wins from Roland Garros. Nadal has a very unique style focused on extreme topspin that causes trouble for right-handed players. His determination and humility have won fans worldwide.
John McEnroe – The Volatile Genius
John McEnroe had a creative serve and volley game with incredible touch, athleticism and shot-making ability. He is now a popular tennis commentator, though infamous for his angry outbursts as a player. His rivalry with Borg was legendary.
Martina Navratilova – The Fitness Pioneer
Martina won 18 grand slam singles titles and revolutionized women’s tennis with her athleticism and aggression. Originally from Czechoslovakia, she is certainly one of the greatest left-handed players ever.
Additional Notable Lefties
Other famous lefties worth mentioning are Jimmy Connors, Rod Laver and Monica Seles.
The Lefty Advantage
The major issue for a righty when facing a lefty is the serve to the backhand from the ad court. The sidespin and slice can pull the righty far off the court. Nadal’s high-kicking lefty serve to Federer’s backhand was difficult to handle.