One thing I can guarantee in every professional sport is that there will always be talk of the greatest player to ever play the game. It is a conversation that every racquetball player has had at least once with friends, co-workers, racquetball buddies, and whoever else is patient and polite enough to talk about it. In this blog I am not going to debate the best player of all time, instead I am going to take the best attributes of top players’ games, and combine them to make the absolute best racquetball player imaginable.
Obviously, there will be some debate over my answers and why I chose a certain player over another, but hey, that is why it is a fun topic to address! I am going to leave my name out to avoid sounding arrogant and biased, and for the most part I am going to leave Kane out for the sake of repetitiveness.
Serve: Cliff Swain
It would be hard not to pick Cliff for the best serve since I have never seen a flatter serve in racquetball. Between his power, angle, and being a lefty, it was a nightmare to return. The only reason I am happy Cliff’s not on tour full time, is so I do not have to face that serve again!
Notable Mentions: Tim Sweeney, Mike Green.
Forehand: Alvaro Beltran
His multiple National, Pan Am, and World Championships are a testament to how great Alvaro’s forehand is. Every time I hit a ball to the right, I get a quick reminder of why I better make it perfect the next time!
Notable Mentions: Javier Moreno, Mike Guidry
Backhand: Sudsy Monchik
This was probably the easiest of my decisions. There have been some great backhands in the game, but there is no question about who had the best. Incredibly powerful and dangerous from anywhere in the court, Sudsy’s backhand was nothing short of remarkable.
Notable Mentions: Shane Vanderson, Jack Newman
Power: Mitch Williams
I have never played anyone who consistently hit the ball harder than Mitch Williams. Whether he was set up or off balance, he could absolutely destroy the ball. It was nearly impossible to counterpunch Mitch’s offense. Although I loved it when we played doubles together, it was tough to handle while playing him in singles!
Notable Mentions: Chris Crowther, Mike Dennison.
Athletic ability: Kane Waselenchuk
I do not think racquetball has seen a more natural athlete than Kane. I hear sports analysts say “he just sees the ball in slow motion”, and it is hard for me to comprehend. He is on another level of athleticism, and that is my main answer to when people ask me “what makes him so good?”
Notable Mentions: Rocky Carson, Mitch Williams
Retrieving ability: Jason Mannino
This was another category that was not much of a debate in my mind. Whenever he stepped on the court, people were in awe of the gets he would make. Jason was the player who put so much pressure on his opponents to kill the ball he would end up forcing a lot of mistakes. Jason was definitely the most frustrating game style to match up against.
Notable Mentions: Rocky Carson, Jack Huczek
The Greatest Ever: I will let YOU decide!
Obviously these single attributes do not define each player, but are the strong points that helped them achieve so much success in racquetball. With all of these attributes taken from this group of guys, it would create a racquetball combo that is unbeatable! You think your combo could beat mine? I would love to hear which attributes you would use differently, or not at all…Racquetball Warehouse Facebook Page