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dr_punk
01-16-2009, 08:35 AM
When executing the stroke, what should your right foot be doing?

Jonny S&V
01-16-2009, 08:45 AM
When executing the stroke, what should your right foot be doing?

If your right-handed, you should be stepping into the ball with it. If you're left handed, you should be using it as a pivot.

larry10s
01-16-2009, 10:04 AM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4QMF5U-GdjE&feature=related

Bungalo Bill
01-16-2009, 10:07 AM
When executing the stroke, what should your right foot be doing?

The right foot if you are lefthanded is the foot you should be hitting off of as you step into the ball. So, your step and your swing forward needs to be in sync.

Sequence:

1. Step forward.

2. Swing forward as you shift your weight over your front leg. (A lot of people are late here or out of sync). Your hitting hand pattern is EXTREMELY important here. If you have a long hitting hand pattern and are still taking the racquet back or dropping it down, when your weight and forward swing should be going forward to contact, you will shift your weight forward but the racquet will be late.

3. Rise from a bent knee position from your FRONT leg, and as you make contact you should be near full extension in the front leg rising through the contact point. The last part of your extension in the legs should help you with lift the ball and your timing with the ball.

4. Let the arm rise through the ball, extend, and followthrough.

5. You can now bring your back foot (left leg) around for recovery.

6. Do it again.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KTyyITw-fyo

Bending and rising over your front leg is very important for the onehander.

1. It gets your butt and your racquet lower than the ball.

2. It allows you to generate power and lift from the legs.

3. It alleviates you from overcompensating for power with your hitting arm.

4. It allows you to more evenely distribute the energy that goes into the ball from a variety of body segments.

dr_punk
01-16-2009, 10:12 AM
sorry, I meant righty... I was typing that on my iPod mind you

dr_punk
01-16-2009, 10:13 AM
LOL, did you just post a video of james blake's backhand?

Bungalo Bill
01-16-2009, 10:20 AM
LOL, did you just post a video of james blake's backhand?

Yes I did.

drakulie
01-16-2009, 10:21 AM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KTyyITw-fyo



BB, I've noticed you use this video **A lot**. I suppose it is because Blakes BH is just so simple, and yet so very effective.

One question. Blakes left foot clearly leaves the ground. (I do the same, much more so on the higher shots). I've noticed every pro today does the same. Yet, many cite this as "incorrect". My opinion is that one has to do this to maintain balance, especailly considering the pace of the shots, and the height one is making contact. Your thoughts?????

Thanks in advance.

Bungalo Bill
01-16-2009, 10:29 AM
BB, I've noticed you use this video **A lot**. I suppose it is because Blakes BH is just so simple, and yet so very effective.

Yes, I use it because the fundamentals are all there. It is simple, effective and what the majority of players learnign the onehander should duplicate. It is not that I am trying to turn everyones backhand into Blakes backhand, it is just this one video shows clearly what needs to happen from a fundamental perspective.

One question. Blakes left foot clearly leaves the ground. (I do the same, much more so on the higher shots). I've noticed every pro today does the same. Yet, many cite this as "incorrect". My opinion is that one has to do this to maintain balance, especailly considering the pace of the shots, and the height one is making contact. Your thoughts?????

Thanks in advance.

I like it. It helps with recovery and places more emphasis on a players getting that weight transferred over the front leg. The onehanded backhand should be fluid with the point you are playing and your movement through the ball should promote consistency, placement, depth, power, and recovery.

Most people are only looking at the swing. The onehanded backhand is more than just a swing. What happens before contact and after contact is part of the onehanded backhand. That is why HIT-BOUNCE-HIT is important because it considers the entire cycle both mentally and physically on what should happen in a onehanded backhand. It is cyclical.

m27
01-16-2009, 10:29 AM
blake's backhand sucks
truth be told, at point of impact your left leg shouldnt even be on the ground (if it is, there should be no weight on it). your right foot should be planted during contact.

Bungalo Bill
01-16-2009, 10:39 AM
blake's backhand sucks
truth be told, at point of impact your left leg shouldnt even be on the ground (if it is, there should be no weight on it). your right foot should be planted during contact.

Here we go again. More bogus posts on what people think they are seeing.

Blakes back foot is leaving the ground at contact and it is extremely clear his weight is or has shifted forward. Plus, this is a ball that is hit AT him where his shift in footwork is forcing him to be very quick in transferring weight.

Blake does hit off his front foot with his backfoot off the ground. You dont know what you are talking about or have a clue on what you are seeing.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VT-Cs0_Pb-c

And concerning BLakes bakchand sucking? Compared to who? To you? Clearly it was Blakes improvement with his backhand that allowed him to rise up far in the standings. And being in the Top 20 is far far more than what you have ever done with your backhand.

Further, it wasnt necessarily Blakes backhand technique that was the weakness, it was also his shot selection and what he was trying to DO with his backhand that made it more of a liablilty than it should have been.

Still, I would take his backhand over yours any day.

dr_punk
01-16-2009, 10:47 AM
Thank you for the help. I'm considering adding a video just for reference in the futures.

sureshs
01-16-2009, 10:48 AM
BB, I've noticed you use this video **A lot**. I suppose it is because Blakes BH is just so simple, and yet so very effective.

One question. Blakes left foot clearly leaves the ground. (I do the same, much more so on the higher shots). I've noticed every pro today does the same. Yet, many cite this as "incorrect". My opinion is that one has to do this to maintain balance, especailly considering the pace of the shots, and the height one is making contact. Your thoughts?????

Thanks in advance.

It kind of automatically happens to me on high balls

m27
01-16-2009, 12:56 PM
Here we go again. More bogus posts on what people think they are seeing.

Blakes back foot is leaving the ground at contact and it is extremely clear his weight is or has shifted forward. Plus, this is a ball that is hit AT him where his shift in footwork is forcing him to be very quick in transferring weight.

Blake does hit off his front foot with his backfoot off the ground. You dont know what you are talking about or have a clue on what you are seeing.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VT-Cs0_Pb-c

And concerning BLakes bakchand sucking? Compared to who? To you? Clearly it was Blakes improvement with his backhand that allowed him to rise up far in the standings. And being in the Top 20 is far far more than what you have ever done with your backhand.

Further, it wasnt necessarily Blakes backhand technique that was the weakness, it was also his shot selection and what he was trying to DO with his backhand that made it more of a liablilty than it should have been.

Still, I would take his backhand over yours any day.

god, people get so defensive when you criticize their fantasy boyfriend.

indeed, he pushes off with his back foot. at the moment of contact, though, his foot is for all intents and purposes off the ground. that is pretty much the only thing I asserted in my post, and it is unequivocally correct. do you have reading comprehension issues, or are did you confuse "left foot" with "right foot" in your furor?

and really, do you think blake has the model backhand for people to emulate? I mean, continental backhand? really? its the weakest part of his game. the clip you posted is a particularly odd choice, considering he is rushed and somewhat pushing the ball.

Bungalo Bill
01-16-2009, 01:29 PM
god, people get so defensive when you criticize their fantasy boyfriend.

Defensive? You made a ridiculous comment.

indeed, he pushes off with his back foot. at the moment of contact, though, his foot is for all intents and purposes off the ground.

He pushes off with his back foot AT THE MOMENT OF CONTACT? LOL!!!

I dont need to go any further.

that is pretty much the only thing I asserted in my post, and it is unequivocally correct. do you have reading comprehension issues, or are did you confuse "left foot" with "right foot" in your furor?

What you asserted was "blakes backhand sucks." Here is what you said,

"blake's backhand sucks
truth be told, at point of impact your left leg shouldnt even be on the ground (if it is, there should be no weight on it). your right foot should be planted during contact."

Your take on Blake's backhand was incorrect. He had moved his weight off his back foot at contact and even if he had a toe on the ground, he was well within your descriptoin highlighted in your parenthesis above. Also, it depends on how that back foot leaves the ground. On a ball hit right at you, the timing of that backfoot on the ground can be different. The bottom-line is on a ball coming that quick to him, Blake switched his feet and definetly tranferred his weight over his right leg perfectly.

and really, do you think blake has the model backhand for people to emulate? I mean, continental backhand? really? its the weakest part of his game. the clip you posted is a particularly odd choice, considering he is rushed and somewhat pushing the ball.

I think Blake, Federer, and others are good models as they all have the same fundamentals in their backhands. They all demonstrate the fundamentals that players that are learning the backhand should duplicate. I use them all.

We are not talking about the results one gets with the background but the fundamentals that can be extracted that are common in a professional onehander that can be used for instruction. Again, you dont know what you are talking about.

m27
01-16-2009, 01:37 PM
Defensive? You made a ridiculous comment.



He pushes off with his back foot AT THE MOMENT OF CONTACT? LOL!!!

I dont need to go any further.

no, you really don't. you're embarrassing yourself as you continuously write rebuttals to clumsy misinterpretations of what I posted. re-read what you just quoted from my post. take note of punctuation. acknowledge. apologize. move on.

Bungalo Bill
01-16-2009, 01:39 PM
no, you really don't. you're embarrassing yourself as you continuously write rebuttals to clumsy misinterpretations of what I posted. re-read what you just quoted from my post. take note of punctuation. acknowledge. apologize. move on.

LOL, yeah okay I am embarrassing myself. Or maybe its just the way you use your punctuation. Capital letters usually help to start a sentence. LOL

So, now that you said this, how does this work with your original statement? Here it is again...

blake's backhand sucks
truth be told, at point of impact your left leg shouldnt even be on the ground (if it is, there should be no weight on it). your right foot should be planted during contact.

Here is the video Einstein. Based on your comment above in the parenthesis, is Blake fitting your description?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KTyyITw-fyo

I will give you some help...pause it at about :14. ;)

Then further, please tell us what you wouldnt teach concerning the fundamentals of this backhand. Go ahead, I cant wait to embarrass myself again.

m27
01-16-2009, 01:52 PM
LOL, yeah okay I am embarrassing myself. Or maybe its just the way you use your punctuation. Capital letters usually help to start a sentence. LOL

So, now that you said this, how does this work with your original statement? Here it is again...

blake's backhand sucks
truth be told, at point of impact your left leg shouldnt even be on the ground (if it is, there should be no weight on it). your right foot should be planted during contact.

everything I said here is 100% correct, and is demonstrated by blake in that clip. that we are still having this conversation is bizarre. that you insist on writing vicious "rebuttals" to my posts based on your careless misinterpretation of them is even stranger.

Then further, please tell us what you wouldnt teach concerning the fundamentals of this backhand. Go ahead, I cant wait to embarrass myself again.

jesus, did you eat nails for breakfast? all I said in my first post was an answer to the original poster. he asked what his right leg should be doing during the stroke. I said that, at the moment of contact, his right leg should be planted (or coming up onto his toes, as some players do but I personally dont advocate) and that he should have no weight on his left leg.

please explain what is wrong with this advice, because I would like to know why I have been ripped apart for the last 10 posts.

EikelBeiter
01-16-2009, 02:04 PM
please explain what is wrong with this advice, because I would like to know why I have been ripped apart for the last 10 posts.

I don't think his right foot is planted on the ground at impact, rather he is on his toes.

m27
01-16-2009, 02:06 PM
I don't think his right foot is planted on the ground at impact, rather he is on his toes.

(or coming up onto his toes, as some players do but I personally dont advocate)

planted=no rotation, all weight is on leg
federer and gasquet generally stay down unless hitting a particularly high ball
blake and haas will often come up on their toes
like I said, its an option. anything else?

EikelBeiter
01-16-2009, 02:14 PM
planted to me is that your whole foot touches the ground including the heel. But then again english isn't my first language so i could be wrong. The blake's backhand sucks part isn't right either :) I'd like to have his backhand!

Bungalo Bill
01-16-2009, 02:23 PM
everything I said here is 100% correct, and is demonstrated by blake in that clip. that we are still having this conversation is bizarre. that you insist on writing vicious "rebuttals" to my posts based on your careless misinterpretation of them is even stranger.

Viscious rebuttals? LOL! I guess I will need to "embarrass myself" again.

Once again here is your quote:

blake's backhand sucks
truth be told, at point of impact your left leg shouldnt even be on the ground (if it is, there should be no weight on it). your right foot should be planted during contact.

Is it your opinion that Blake leaves his left leg on the ground? Also, based on the information in your parenthesis, is Blake not doing this?

I will get to the right leg after you respond and get to the truth.

jesus, did you eat nails for breakfast? all I said in my first post was an answer to the original poster. he asked what his right leg should be doing during the stroke. I said that, at the moment of contact, his right leg should be planted (or coming up onto his toes, as some players do but I personally dont advocate) and that he should have no weight on his left leg.

Yeah, I eat nails for breakfast. So now that we know this, let's get back to embarrassing me.

But you said Blakes backhand sucks. Please tell me based on the video provided where his backhand sucks. Apparently, he fits your description of the left leg right?

Now, we take it to the right leg and your other comments. Can we agree that Blakes form, arm, swing, takeback, footwork, racquet position in relation to his arm is okay with you? Are these common attributes in a good onehander? Let's leave your "right leg" thing alone for now. Is there anything in his form besides the right leg that is terribly wrong?

please explain what is wrong with this advice, because I would like to know why I have been ripped apart for the last 10 posts.

What this sounds like is you really dont know. However, I will give you a chance to show us what is wrong with Blakes backhand from a fundamental perspective outside of his right leg since you said "Blakes backhand sucks."

As I said, I will get to the right leg in just a minute.

Bungalo Bill
01-16-2009, 02:35 PM
planted=no rotation, all weight is on leg
federer and gasquet generally stay down unless hitting a particularly high ball
blake and haas will often come up on their toes
like I said, its an option. anything else?

So once you answer the following we will move on to the next stuff.

Since Blakes backhand sucks...please tell us.

1. Why?

2. did Blake according to your description use his LEFT leg appropriately for the shot?

3. Is there any other fundamental problem with Blakes backhand besides his right leg that is terribly wrong and you asking me about using Blake as a "model."

I will get to the following:

1. Blakes CONTINENTAL backhand. Which obviously you are talking about his grip.

2. His right leg and that it should be PLANTED. Heel on the ground is planted. No rising through the shot.

3. Federer doesnt rise on his toes on his right leg at contact unless it is a high ball.

Is the above three correct on what I have to answer?

Bungalo Bill
01-16-2009, 03:48 PM
^^^^^tick-tock, tick-tock, tick-tock...

Bungalo Bill
01-16-2009, 04:17 PM
We might just want to continue without him...so does Blake's backhand suck? Do we need a different model because Blake doesnt know what he is doing?

We still have this to explain:


1. Blakes CONTINENTAL backhand.

2. His right leg and that it should be PLANTED. Heel on the ground is planted.

3. Federer doesnt rise on his toes on his right leg at contact unless it is a high ball.

4. Blakes backhand sucks. Bad model.

m27
01-16-2009, 04:31 PM
tick tock tick tock... some of us actually put thought and effort into our posts.
http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=239857

drakulie
01-16-2009, 07:26 PM
no, you really don't. you're embarrassing yourself

Only one here who is embarassing himself, is you. Move on, read and learn.

Ballinbob
01-16-2009, 07:35 PM
blake's backhand sucks


Oh it does now? That's why he's been in the top 10 for so long right? How many people stay in the top 10 for that long with a bad backhand? His backhand is solid and it demonstrates good technique. Since when do you know more than BB about tennis? Many of us can't afford that many private lessons (including me), and BB is here taking time from his day helping us. He's a teaching pro and we're arguing with him? When BB gives advice, I take it all in and do as he says. Maybe you should do the same...

oh, and you can go and try copying Gasquet's backhand and see how that works out for ya'

fluffy Beaver
01-17-2009, 03:35 PM
you're embarrassing yourself .

Oh Rly? :shock:

anyway, based on three videos (very limited info) I would say 4.0-4.5. his movement (recovery in particular) is not great but the serve and groundstrokes seem quite solid. keep in mind that these are clearly his best points. he seems to just stand there after hitting his shot; in these videos, it works out because the ball doesn't come back, but I have a feeling that for each one of these there are 10 points where he is out of position and has to scramble (or would, at least, against a better player).

One of my regular hitting partners hits about 115mph with a LOT more action on the bounce (the ball noticeably slams into the ground and leaps off). Unless his placement is impeccable (which it often is), it's not hard to return (once you get used to it). Just have to step in, splitstep, and chip it back. If you stand behind the baseline with your feet planted like you're 75, you're not going to get many balls back.

you are all wrong, except those that said at least 6.0

the guy in the video is neil Kenner, and here is another youtube video of him competeing in a chellenger event. this means he's 6.0+

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XLP3hf-sqOo

for those who said 4.0-5.0, what are you smoking? that's a big serve made by someone who is making $$$ off tennis

Jonny S&V
01-17-2009, 04:02 PM
Oh it does now? That's why he's been in the top 10 for so long right? How many people stay in the top 10 for that long with a bad backhand? His backhand is solid and it demonstrates good technique. Since when do you know more than BB about tennis? Many of us can't afford that many private lessons (including me), and BB is here taking time from his day helping us. He's a teaching pro and we're arguing with him? When BB gives advice, I take it all in and do as he says. Maybe you should do the same...

oh, and you can go and try copying Gasquet's backhand and see how that works out for ya'

Well said.

We might just want to continue without him...so does Blake's backhand suck? Do we need a different model because Blake doesnt know what he is doing?

We still have this to explain:


1. Blakes CONTINENTAL backhand.

2. His right leg and that it should be PLANTED. Heel on the ground is planted.

3. Federer doesnt rise on his toes on his right leg at contact unless it is a high ball.

4. Blakes backhand sucks. Bad model.

Sorry, m27 said that, but doesn't Blake have an eastern backhand (albeit a weak one, in grip that is)?

Tennisguy777
01-17-2009, 04:33 PM
Leave Blake alone, Leave Blake alone, Leave Blake alone, aaaaahhahhhaaa,ahhahhahaaa,waaaaaa :cry:

jhusein
01-18-2009, 08:56 AM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4QMF5U-GdjE&feature=related

Hi Larry, what grip is Pete using on that BH and to what grip, if any, did he change to for the FH? Thanks.

BeHappy
01-18-2009, 11:24 AM
I don't think Blake has a bad backhand at all, by any standards. Blake's weakness is not his backhand, it is his shot selection. The only thing with blake's backhand is he hit's it altogether too flat. Day in, day out I would rate his backhand better than Federer's. People don't appreciate it because it doesn't look pretty, which is probably because he wears wife beaters, and grunts loudly when he hits it.




Something that has always been very confusing to me is how people raved over Korda's backhand and berate blake for his, technically they are virtually identical.

BeHappy
01-18-2009, 11:30 AM
Also, myself and BB had a massive argument over backhand grips (about a year ago?), and it turned out contrary to our expectations that Blake has an eastern grip and that haas actually has a classic continental!

Again, the problem with Blakes backhand is there is too little low to high, whenever he tries to put more topspin on it, he he just pulls off the ball reducing the pace and keeping the topspin the same, which has obviously led him to concluding that to hit it with pace he needs to hit it flat. I genuinely don't think he understands that if he hits it with more of a low to high swing path he can get the best of both worlds.

Interestingly, the pulling off the ball instead of swinging more low to high is what Roddick does with his forehand these days, maybe tey have both suffered from the "brush up the back of the ball" instruction?

larry10s
01-19-2009, 09:27 AM
jhusein from sampras childhood coach robert landsdorp. I like players to start with what I call a "true" continental grip, although some people might call it an eastern. This is the grip Sampras uses, the same as Stephen Edberg or Richard Krichek. With the true continental grip you can interchange and teach the player slice. When you start out it's the easiest to get the feel of hitting through the ball. The followthrough is the easiest. I can see when they hit the ball how the racquet is coming through the ball. I know how pure they are hitting the ball. For the beginning it's crucial.


For most players a lower take back is better, at about the level of your pocket.
After that I don't mind it slipping over a little bit. You get a little bit more topspin automatically.
this is from tennisplayer.net. ibeleive sampras evolved to an eastern bakhand and eastern towards semi western forehand. since his hand stays around waist height he also does not get the racquet tip up above his shoulder.

larry10s
01-19-2009, 09:29 AM
my 2 cents. blakes simplicity as a model for fundamental 1h bh technique is an excellent choice bungalow bill you are the best . you should post your article on phillo pousis backhand

AznHylite
01-19-2009, 09:37 AM
god, people get so defensive when you criticize their fantasy boyfriend.

indeed, he pushes off with his back foot. at the moment of contact, though, his foot is for all intents and purposes off the ground. that is pretty much the only thing I asserted in my post, and it is unequivocally correct. do you have reading comprehension issues, or are did you confuse "left foot" with "right foot" in your furor?

and really, do you think blake has the model backhand for people to emulate? I mean, continental backhand? really? its the weakest part of his game. the clip you posted is a particularly odd choice, considering he is rushed and somewhat pushing the ball.

You have no place to talk. You still owe us a video of that amazing serve of yours.

Bungalo Bill
01-20-2009, 08:39 AM
So lets see if Blakes backhand really sucks and we shouldnt use it as a model to extract fundamentals from it that are also common in other professionals players.

Let's start with the repeated claim:

"BLAKES BACKHAND SUCKS."

Here is an article that says otherwise.


Stronger backhand gets Blake to next http://i.usatoday.net/_common/_images/clear.gif
http://images.usatoday.com/_common/_images/clear.gifhttp://images.usatoday.com/_common/_images/clear.gifhttp://images.usatoday.com/_common/_images/clear.gif
By Bob Berghaus, Gannett News Service
BEIJING When James Blake joined the pro tennis tour, his weakest shot was the backhand.
Not anymore.

"It's been my most improved shot and it continues to improve and I feel it's gotten me to where I am now," said Blake, who made his Olympic debut on Sunday with a 6-3, 7-6 (7-3) victory over Australian Chris Guccione.

Blake, ranked eighth on the ATP tour, is seeded eighth in Olympic competition, which is being held at the Olympic Green Tennis Center. Guccione, ranked 90th in the world, made it a point to work on Blake's backhand. It was a strategy that eventually backfired because at two key points in the match, that stroke is what put the Yonkers, N.Y., native in control.

Bungalo Bill
01-20-2009, 08:49 AM
More on the Blakes Backhand "sucks" thing.

James Blake has a backhand that has good fundamental principles we can all learn from. A lot of people think that the reason Blakes backhand "sucks" is because he doesn't hit the ball right. That is far from the truth. Granted Blake (like any other pro) has his own style in hitting his backhand but it does not suck and further, the stroke has many good principles/fundamentals any club player can review and practice.

Before we go into the fundamentals of Blakes bakchand (which is evident in many professional players onehanded backhands, I want you to learn a little about James Blake and what he has overcome to be a very good professional tennis player.

Basically it is this. His rise to the top ten was not easy. Just like it is not easy for you to develop your swings better so you can rise in the NTRP. Blake is an example to all of us about what we can do if we put our minds to it. Also, if you think you are using good fundamentals in your stroke but are still having issues with timing etc...never underestimate your eyes and the information it is receiving. I have said this over and over again...

Read the following and then we will do a break down of Blakes backhand to see if it really does "suck". I will also answer the questions I proposed to M27 that he has failed to answer. Further his other post? Please dont believe it, it is tainted and is a poor analysis because he is not comparing apples to apples as shown by the video example I provided.

So read this, and then we will begin:

James Blake's Improving Backhand

From the Las Vegas Review-Journal: Champion turning weakness into strength (http://www.reviewjournal.com/lvrj_home/2006/Mar-06-Mon-2006/sports/6212347.html)
To have told James Blake in years past that he was a good tennis player for someone without much of a backhand was not, well ... a backhanded compliment.It was, as Blake readily concedes, the truth."It was something that in college and my first few years on (the ATP) Tour was a weakness," the American said Sunday. "Everyone would know the scouting report: Attack James' backhand. Attack his backhand. Keep him from the forehand and get him hitting backhands and you'll be in good shape."Now, I feel like it's something where guys aren't as clear-cut (on what to do). They can't just attack the backhand all day."Ask Australia's Lleyton Hewitt, Blake's opponent in the finals of the inaugural Tennis Channel Open at the Darling Memorial Tennis Center. Although he didn't make it a steady practice of attacking Blake's backhand Sunday, he found that on those occasions when he did, Blake, 26, was more than up to the defensive challenge.He kept rallies going using a strong two-fisted backhand from the baseline.He fought off scoring attempts by Hewitt at the net with a soft one-handed backhand.He even won a handful of points with his backhand -- foot-riveting points down the near line or crosscourt shots to the opposing sideline that had Hewitt sprawling in vain...Blake is on a roll, and his developing backhand has helped him mightily along the way."Oh, it's a lot better, no doubt ..." Hewitt said. "His backhand obviously was a weakness. It was out, pretty much, to everyone. But he's had to work on it. To his credit, it's a lot better. He can stand up and just play with it."But first Blake had to work on it.That conscious effort began in the summer of 2004, shortly after the death of his father, Thomas, triggered the stress-related viral infection shingles. The malady paralyzed half of Blake's face, blurred his sight and, naturally, derailed his playing career.But Blake could see well enough to run on a tennis court. Moreover, he had to remain in some semblance of shape so he would be ready to play once he was healthy.So, drilled by his lifelong coach, Brian Barker, the right-handed Blake spent countless hours during his recovery being run back and forth in an effort to improve his backhand."I couldn't do a lot of real drills where I wanted to hit the ball clean or whatever," Blake explained. "I was working on my defense. Just having my coach run me -- not a whole lot of fun -- run me from side to side and just find ways to get back into a point."As my eyesight got better, I was able to see the ball better and actually hit it on the run. It got me feeling pretty good about it, that I could play defense, too. I don't even want to use that as my first option, but when a guy puts you on defense and you can place it where you want to put it, it's a big plus."As with any skill that is not innate and must be acquired, achieving that first level of success creates confidence and the ensuing confidence creates even greater success.-------------------

So is it really his stroke or his physcial limitation which he worked hard to overcome? If it was his stroke, certainly coaches and players in the know would mention something to that. Certainly, Blake would have mentioned it above. Further, if Blakes backhand was a weakness and a bad model, why wouldnt players hit more to it now? Why would Hewitt say what he said regarding strategy?

Bottom-line? M27 is full of it and I hope you dont mind me putting him in his place.