PDA

View Full Version : pros and cons of windshield wiper forehand?


randomname
05-06-2007, 02:40 PM
what exactly are the pros and cons of using a windshield wiper forehand as opposed to hitting across the body?

tlm
05-06-2007, 03:06 PM
Windshield wiper puts extra spin on the ball, you can pick a short low ball + still go for a winner with this shot.

paulfreda
05-06-2007, 03:45 PM
Con; lack of pace.
You need to hit thru the ball toward your target to get real pace.
Lookup the Lansdorp technique.

You can hit thru the ball while also imparting topspin and it is most effective to combine the two desireable goals;top for depth control, pace for taking time from your opponent.

randomname
05-06-2007, 05:41 PM
I know most of the pros today use a windshield wiper but is one better for the club player? or do both have their merits?

10sfreak
05-06-2007, 05:55 PM
what exactly are the pros and cons of using a windshield wiper forehand as opposed to hitting across the body?
I thought the windshield wiper forehand was hittting across the body? I'm a little confused...:confused:

paulfreda
05-07-2007, 05:43 AM
I thought the windshield wiper forehand was hittting across the body? I'm a little confused...:confused:

Very good observation and question.

Think of the tip/top of the frame as point tracing out a line in space as you swing.
A true WW swing will make something that looks like a clock/circle in the air in front of you or to the side of you depending on where you take the ball and your grip and stance. Your forearm moves almost like the hands of the clock; that is in a vertical plane perpendicular to the court.

A drive ala Federer where he is hitting thru the ball will trace out a circle too but the circle will be in a plane that is nearly parallel to the court rather than "standing up".
Your forearm moves in this plane parallel to the court too.

In both cases, your right arm will come across your body.

HellBunni
05-07-2007, 07:46 AM
think the pro is getting those low balls near the net for winners.

it all depends on what you are used to, there's really no huge pros-cons if you master the techinque you use.

mucat
05-07-2007, 08:54 AM
I think Federer hit the wiper FH also. Wiper FH is not related to the plane of the swing path, as a player can adjust the plane to adjust both pace and spin and adjust to the height of the ball.

http://www.tennis.com/yourgame/instructionarticles/forehand/forehand.aspx?id=56544

If compare the wiper FH to the classic FH (low to high and thru), I think the wiper FH is more difficult to hit accurately. Because the swing path, the swing vector of the classic FH is in the same direction as where you want the ball to go to, but the wiper FH, the swing path is across the back of the ball, it is not the same direction as where you want to the ball to.

It makes it more amazing how today pros can paint the line a lot in a match.

polea
05-07-2007, 02:28 PM
i saw on hitechtennis.com that the pro WW is different that the WW the recreational players usually do. they do the wiper pivoting on the shoulder not on the elbow

tricky
05-07-2007, 02:46 PM
i saw on hitechtennis.com that the pro WW is different that the WW the recreational players usually do. they do the wiper pivoting on the shoulder not on the elbow

Yeah, a "correct" WW is just a reflection of your finishing point. Basically you visualize where you want your finishing point to be, and then you let the swing path take its course. The actual swing itself, you still concentrate on driving through the ball.

A lot of factors go into the wiping action itself (forearm angle of racquet tip to ground ), but this is all taken care of by the visualization. If the finish is "low" (around the armpits like Federer), you got a flatter swing. If the finish is "high" (above your shoulders), you get more wipe.

It's all relative to your basic swing, but the key thing is that, no matter what, you still got drive through the ball with the shoulder. Let the visualization take care of the swing path and the wipe. Just be concerned with hitting through the ball.

35ft6
05-07-2007, 03:26 PM
I know most of the pros today use a windshield wiper but is one better for the club player? or do both have their merits? For club players I think it's better to follow through in a more conventional, over the shoulder way. You can still generate good topspin plus drive through the ball more. The windshield wiper forehand requires "finer" timing, plus you have to create a lot of racket head speed to hit a fast shot when you're generating angular momentum like that.

Most club players will never practice enough to develop the mechanics needed to truly benefit from the windshield wiper forehand, which DOES have some advantages IMO that you just can't get from an over the shoulder follow through, but you don't even really need these advantages unless you're playing very high level competition.

The windshield wiper forehand is part of the Holy Trinity of the modern game's power, along with tweener rackets and poly strings. Any one of these three things couldn't exist without the other two at the ATP level, but together, you see guys hitting incredibly fast, heavy balls consistently.

Frank Silbermann
05-07-2007, 08:34 PM
I looked at a few slow-motion clips on youtube of the pros hitting windshield-wiper forehands, and it seemed to me that the racket was mostly coming straight forward and up. The racket didn't windshield-wipe until just after contact. It seemed to me that the wipe was not a mechanism of applying topspin but simply an consequence of a grip that won't allow the racket head to continue directly forward on the follow-through.

donut
05-07-2007, 10:25 PM
http://www.hi-techtennis.com/forehand/roger_wiper.php

mucat
05-07-2007, 11:35 PM
i saw on hitechtennis.com that the pro WW is different that the WW the recreational players usually do. they do the wiper pivoting on the shoulder not on the elbow

Should not pivot on the elbow, Pro or recreational, you will hurt yourself.

JCo872
05-08-2007, 04:48 AM
I looked at a few slow-motion clips on youtube of the pros hitting windshield-wiper forehands, and it seemed to me that the racket was mostly coming straight forward and up. The racket didn't windshield-wipe until just after contact. It seemed to me that the wipe was not a mechanism of applying topspin but simply an consequence of a grip that won't allow the racket head to continue directly forward on the follow-through.

Frank,

Great observation. I agree with you. Topspin comes from the lift up the back of the ball and a push forward. Watch all the examples here. All these forehands are windshield wiper forehands, but you can see that they are driving through and up the ball first:
http://www.hi-techtennis.com/forehand/topspin.php

You bring up a great point about "not allowing the racket head to continue directly forward on the follow through". Because the pros use a double bend hitting structure on the forehand, this structure cannot go very far forward, just a few inches through and up the ball. Then the entire thing starts to rotate over in the wiper motion. On my home page watch the Nalbandian clip. His double bend hitting structure means that everything will start to rotate over (windshield wipe) after driving through and up the ball for several inches):

http://www.hi-techtennis.com/

Jeff

tlm
05-08-2007, 05:01 PM
Good clips jco872, the majority of the topspin does come from the lift.But the wiper motion adds some top+side spin to the shot, also it is true that the pros dont hit through the ball that much because of the double bend.This is were the modern forehand is so much different from the older style of hitting through the ball.

35ft6
05-08-2007, 06:04 PM
Good clips jco872, the majority of the topspin does come from the lift.But the wiper motion adds some top+side spin to the shot, also it is true that the pros dont hit through the ball that much because of the double bend. I really didn't think it was necessary observation. To me, the windshield wiper is PART of the swing, so therefor helps generate top spin. People don't characterize the forehand as windshield wiper because it's the part where the racket imparts spin on the ball, but because it's the most physically distinctive part of the swing, the part that most easily sets it apart from a conventional over the shoulder follow through, or a reverse forehand follow through. It's all about the follow through is still true today. Without even talking specifically about the other phases of the forehand, if you simply tell somebody to follow through so that their racket is pointing at the target, it changes the whole swing, and will make for a flatter shot. Same thing with a windshield wiper follow through, it automatically changes the entire section of the swing leading up. Man, this post is probably just as mundane an observation as the posts I'm responding to.

tricky
05-09-2007, 05:02 PM
I think you can see both classical and WW swings as punches. Classical swings are jabs, and WW are hooks. In both cases, these punches are about the feet, hips, and good shoulder rotation/turn. The rest of the arm goes along for the ride.

If you want to drive through the ball, like a basic punch, it helps to shift weight toward backfoot in the backswing. Then in your forward swing, the weight transfer makes you press into the ball with the racquet, regardless of whether you finish across the body or on edge over the shoulder.

tlm
05-09-2007, 07:45 PM
Those are good points tricky, the weight transfer is very important.

Ross K
05-09-2007, 10:38 PM
Although these points are more specifically related to the 'millenium forehand', I was wondering how they may or may not apply to the issue of windshield wiping...

1. Is it not more important to ensure that both your elbow and butt face the net at the very end of the shot?

2. And don't some ppl also advocate that the racquet needs to wrap around waist-chest area as opposed to up and over shoulder?

3. Does this all not assist in achieving a WW?

tricky
05-10-2007, 12:56 AM
3. Does this all not assist in achieving a WW?

From my point of view, the "finish" of a WW is really a visualization technique. It all really goes back into enabling your shoulder to rotate as much as possible into the ball without ruining the integrity of your swing. And, so, it's good to keep that always in mind when thinking through the swing.

1. Is it not more important to ensure that both your elbow and butt face the net at the very end of the shot?

Mmm . . . this is more of a visual indicator of how well you laid your wrist back through the stroke. It's not something you actively "force" in your stroke; in fact, if you do, you might find yourself self-consciously snapping your wrist or using active hand rotation.

Basically, this is how it should be done:

1) From that previous thread, as you go into your forward swing, visualize the slot behind the racquet or the side wall. In other words, make sure the wrist lays back as you're swinging forward.

2) When you finish your swing, notice how tightly the arm wraps around your body. Repeat step 1, but this time, try make your wrist lay back a little longer and more. You'll notice the wrap-around gets tighter and tighter, and the butt cap starting to orient a little toward the side fence.

3) Never "force" the elbow and cap to face the net. In fact, you want your swing to be loose through entire stroke. Let the hip, shoulder, and wrist "lasso" the racquet around you.

2. And don't some ppl also advocate that the racquet needs to wrap around waist-chest area as opposed to up and over shoulder?

It's a visualization technique that lets you control how much wiping action you want in your actual swing without you actively/consciously rotating your hand.

Essentially, this "visualize the finish" technique determines the angle of your racquet tip at the beginning of the forward swing. If you think over the shoulder, the racquet tip starts close to 45 degrees angle with the ground. If you visualize the finish around chest level, your racquet tip will be close to parallel with ground.

The angle of the racquet tip, in combination with the initation of the forward swing, will cause your forearm to supinate passively. The lower the tip, the more supination. As you're swinging across the body, the forearm will start to pronate automatically, which facilitates the wiping action. The more supination you got (i.e. the lower racquet tip), the more forearm pronation and therefore wiping action you will get.

Now, the key advantage to this visualization technique is that this all happens automatically through the stroke. You don't have to think about wiping the racquet with your hand. You don't have to think about down-to-up action except from your legs. You can keep your wrist laid back without self-consciously rolling over the ball.

As a result, you can concentrate on killing the ball, not doing something "frou frou" to put extra spin on it. By visualizing where you want your finish, you can control the spin rate on the ball without complicating your stroke.

It should be noted that, with the WW stroke, having a flat swing path doesn't mean you're driving through the ball. The key trick to again, leaning on your back foot and then transferring from back foot to front through the forward stroke. When you shift weight, this further activates the "press/punch" kinetic chain across the palm to the shoulder giving you more linear swing path and extra acceleration. And this is available to you whether you use little wiping action (finish across chest) or a lot (above shoulder.)

The basic lesson is that, when learning the WW, you don't want to force the wiping action or warp-around. You want that to be a natural consequence of your visualization and relaxed wrist while you try to drive through the ball with your feet, legs, hips, and shoulder.

Finally, the height of the wiper finish lets you adjust your topspin, but relatively. You see a lot of players use waist-chest high finishes because they're using strong SW grips. It's a way for them to hit the ball flatter as well as a bit lower.

For example, old school Roddick, who uses a 4/4 SW, used to finish around the waist. New school Roddick now finishes around the armpits.

James Blake, who uses a more conservative 4/3 SW, finishes around the armpits. Agassi, who uses same grip, finishes just over the shoulder.

Federer is an anomaly. He uses a 3.5/3E and also finishes around armpit height. His shots should be even flatter and riskier than Blake's, which they're not. However, his extension-backswing is also the lowest in the game, and so he still gets down-to-up action while mantaining a low contact point. He does vary his finish, though it should be noted that when he does sometimes swing from waist level, he also sits low to the ground.