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Golden Retriever
07-11-2009, 08:34 AM
I have been lured to believe that topspin is god by topspin worshippers on this board and I have wasted 8 years of my life trying to prime my topspin. Last week I injured my wrist so I stop using topspin and voila my shots are much much much much much better. Its got speed, depth, angle, control, less stressful on my wrist and most importantly it feels good.

I am now playing the game like it was meant to play. When I want spin I use backspin.

Come to think of it, topspin is just more harmful than benefitcial. First it slows down the ball a lot while expanding much more energy. How stupid is that? Secondly, it bounces higher to the striking zone of the opponent making it easier for your opponent to return the ball.

Now people say topspin has more control blah blah blah. I don't buy that no more. Yeah, you can hit higher above the net with topspin but remember you have to swing a lot faster to create that topspin. The faster the swing the less control you are gonna get. Any extra control you get from topspin will only be neutalized by the faster swing speed required to create that topspin. I would say at the end you get less control not more.

Of course if you can acquire the kind of topspin like Nadal then it is just another level of play but for most people topspin is way way way way way way overrated.

Mick
07-11-2009, 08:44 AM
i don't know if you have seen the piece done by cliff drysdale and patrick mcenroe on old school vs new school tennis during the wimbledon telecast. what i got out of it is if you have an old school style of play, you can play with any kind of racquets but if you are a new school player (a player who would hit with topspin), you can only play well with the newer racquets.

Golden Retriever
07-11-2009, 08:54 AM
i don't know if you have seen the piece done by cliff drysdale and patrick mcenroe on old school vs new school tennis during the wimbledon telecast. what i got out of it is if you have an old school style of play, you can play with any kind of racquets but if you are a new school player (a player who would hit with topspin), you can only play well with the newer racquets.


Did they say which one is better? I am definately going old school from now.

ronalditop
07-11-2009, 08:58 AM
i don't know if you have seen the piece done by cliff drysdale and patrick mcenroe on old school vs new school tennis during the wimbledon telecast. what i got out of it is if you have an old school style of play, you can play with any kind of racquets but if you are a new school player (a player who would hit with topspin), you can only play well with the newer racquets.

i think the answer is pretty obvious. Old school style's swingspeed is slow, therefore the timing is much easier, so you can play with small headed racquets with no problems. In the other hand, new school style's swingspeed is very fast so you need a bigger headsize to help timing the ball. There's a reason why nadal uses a midplus...

Mick
07-11-2009, 09:01 AM
Did they say which one is better? I am definately going old school from now.

drysdale says old school and P mcenroe says new school :)

Mick
07-11-2009, 09:06 AM
i think the answer is pretty obvious. Old school style's swingspeed is slow, therefore the timing is much easier, so you can play with small headed racquets with no problems. In the other hand, new school style's swingspeed is very fast so you need a bigger headsize to help timing the ball. There's a reason why nadal uses a midplus...

this is true. and when drysdale demonstrated old school tennis, he would hit a very flat ball and imo, it is easier to hit an offensive flat ball than an offensive top spin ball.

Golden Retriever
07-11-2009, 09:07 AM
Who the hell is P Mac Enroe anyway? If it was J McEroe maybe I would give it some weight.

Golden Retriever
07-11-2009, 09:08 AM
New school is only for the few very gifted and young. So maybe the best new schooler will cream the best old schooler.

Mick
07-11-2009, 09:10 AM
Who the hell is P Mac Enroe anyway? If it was J McEroe maybe I would give it some weight.

he's the mcenroe who plays with a 2hbh :)

raiden031
07-11-2009, 09:14 AM
Did it ever occur to you guys that if the old school game was better than the modern game, then the players with the best results (ie. top ranked) would play an old school style? Its no coincidence that the best players in the world (Nadal and Federer) hit with lots of topspin.

Golden Retriever
07-11-2009, 09:18 AM
I don't think Federer hits a lot of tops on purpose. Thats just the result of hitting flat with incredible swing speed. He intends to hit flat but ends up with a lot of tops. He is actually the ultimate old schooler.

Double bagel
07-11-2009, 09:20 AM
That's why I love the SW grip, when I want topsin...it's there. When I want to drive the ball, say for an open court winner, it's there.

raiden031
07-11-2009, 09:21 AM
I don't think Federer hits a lot of tops on purpose. Thats just the result of hitting flat with incredible swing speed. He intends to hit flat but ends up with a lot of tops. He is actually the ultimate old schooler.

I think Federer is good enough to hit the ball exactly the way he wants. If he wants to hit it flat, he can and does hit it flat.

Mr. Blond
07-11-2009, 09:22 AM
Another reason for why topspin is the way to go these days is because it gives you a much greater margin for error than hitting flat. It is simple geometry.....more arch on the ball means you can have more clearance over the net and better placement in the court.

One should strive to do well with both but I must admit, that once you master topspin.......you can flatten a ball out with much more authority. The opposite does not seem to be true of people who hit flat most of the time. They can usually not hit a good top spin shot.


Almost all of the top ranked (1 - 100) players use massive topspin....there has to be some validity to using it.

If you hate it, it is probably cuz you will not take the time to master that skill, and that will eventually make you plateau as a tennis player.

Mick
07-11-2009, 09:22 AM
I found that old school vs new school tennis video on youtube:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QsEKxBAaFVM

chico9166
07-11-2009, 09:23 AM
I don't think Federer hits a lot of tops on purpose. Thats just the result of hitting flat with incredible swing speed. He intends to hit flat but ends up with a lot of tops. He is actually the ultimate old schooler.

Fed doesn't do anything "on accident", he mixes the amount of spin to work the ball in a very specific way.

tennisdad65
07-11-2009, 09:23 AM
Did it ever occur to you guys that if the old school game was better than the modern game, then the players with the best results (ie. top ranked) would play an old school style? Its no coincidence that the best players in the world (Nadal and Federer) hit with lots of topspin.

but we are not talking about top 100 atp here.. I agree that the modern game is needed to get to the top these days.

But for club level 4.0-5.0 (and even 5.5), old school tennis can be used effectively:
1) most guys play a lot of doubles and serve & volley is important here
2) requires less effort and less tiring. perfect of club players
3) less injury potential to the wrist/elbow.

Double bagel
07-11-2009, 09:42 AM
I storm the net simply for the fact that the players nowadays aren't used to seeing s&v tennis. Just scampering towards the net like some Edberg-esque foaming-at-the-mouth savage incites inconsistent lobs and passes. They simply haven't perfected the art of beating a net-rusher.

Steady Eddy
07-11-2009, 09:51 AM
Another reason for why topspin is the way to go these days is because it gives you a much greater margin for error than hitting flat. It is simple geometry.....more arch on the ball means you can have more clearance over the net and better placement in the court.

What this neglects is that by hitting with topspin you are exposing less of the face of the racquet to the ball, and the more likely you will have a mis-hit. Here's how: hold your racquet in front of you, slowly rotate it until only the frame edge is facing you. That's what a topspin stroke does, at zero degrees, 100% of the face is available, at a 45 degree turn, only about 70%, at 60 degree angle it decreases to 50%. The more you swing low-to-high the more difficult it is to hit the ball on the sweetspot. This is why topspin is so much more popular with today's bigger racquets.

Also, the more your racquethead goes in a low-to-high path, the less speed to the ball. Let theta be the angle of your racquethead path to the floor of the court, the forward speed becomes the cosine of theta. This reduced speed is another reason the ball is less likely to go long, (that, and the Magnus effect). But if less speed is the player's goal, then an easier way to achieve this is simply to not swing as hard on a flat path then to swing very hard on a low-to-high path. The topspin shot also bounces higher than a flat ball, so this is good for your opponent. Given all this, why would anyone hit topspin groundstrokes? Allen Fox explains that topspin allows more angles for passing shots, but that for rallies it is better to hit flat as it does more damage to your opponent.

Some people argue that without topspin there is no way your shots can land inbounds. This would be true if you play in a spaceship with air but no detectable gravitational pull. For people who play on planet earth, there is alot of gravitational pull. At the rate of 16 feet per second squared. Play around with the parametric equations on a TI 83 calculator sometimes and you'll discover that even the fastest shots have plenty of 'bend' from gravity, and unless you have incredible power, gravity will pull almost all of your shots into the court.

raiden031
07-11-2009, 09:51 AM
but we are not talking about top 100 atp here.. I agree that the modern game is needed to get to the top these days.

But for club level 4.0-5.0 (and even 5.5), old school tennis can be used effectively:
1) most guys play a lot of doubles and serve & volley is important here
2) requires less effort and less tiring. perfect of club players
3) less injury potential to the wrist/elbow.

I don't know if I agree with the less injury potential, since I play with alot of middle-aged people who suffer from tennis elbow, and almost all of them hit flat strokes (with improper technique of course). I won't deny that the modern game requires more physical exertion though, and thats why I'm not surprised alot of older players still play the old school style of game.

I read in one of my tennis instruction books that it takes 3 times as much practice to develop flat shots than topspin shots, because there is far less margin for error in flat shots.

user92626
07-11-2009, 09:57 AM
(Nadal and Federer) hit with lots of topspin.

Correct me if I'm wrong. I do not consider Federer's style as topspin hitting. Nadal's style is. Fed does have topspin but that's more like ...the usual ts which most 10 do.

raiden031
07-11-2009, 09:59 AM
Correct me if I'm wrong. I do not consider Federer's style as topspin hitting. Nadal's style is. Fed does have topspin but that's more like ...the usual ts which most 10 do.

I don't think Fed hits with exceeding amount of topspin like Nadal, but he certainly plays a modern topspin game vs. an old school game.

ronalditop
07-11-2009, 10:00 AM
Correct me if I'm wrong. I do not consider Federer's style as topspin hitting. Nadal's style is. Fed does have topspin but that's more like ...the usual ts which most 10 do.

you know, federer is second when it comes to spin production in the whole atp tour , behind nadal obviously.

Steady Eddy
07-11-2009, 10:35 AM
I read in one of my tennis instruction books that it takes 3 times as much practice to develop flat shots than topspin shots, because there is far less margin for error in flat shots.
I've read books that discuss this as well, and I've been very dissappointed in the analysis they offer. First of all, they only discuss the path of the ball, and don't even mention the fact that it's more difficult to time a low-to-high racquethead path with a ball moving horizontally, than to match a horizontal path with another horizontal path.

When I started in tennis, the instruction books said that without topspin your shots would go long unless you hit "helium balls", shots so slow that gravity pulled them down. This makes it sound as if gravity has no effect on hard hit shots. Well gravity does have less time to work on hard shots, but even hard hit balls are influenced plenty by gravity. Even Major League fastballs thrown with underspin drop due to gravity, (not rise, as some believe). A 60 mph serve, hit parallel to the floor, with no topspin, will still not go past the service line. (Measure serves with a radar gun, don't assume your hard ones go 100 mph, most people can't hit it harder than 80 mph.) When you are hitting groundstrokes there is even more distance than on the serve. Even when you wallop the ball, if it still stays within two feet of the top of the net, it's gonna be in. Why do some go long? Because you really "skyed" it. Weekend players don't hit as hard as pros, and consequently don't need topspin. Gravity will work for them just fine. In fact topspin takes away from their pace, and they need all the pace they can get. What works at the pro level has almost nothing to do with club tennis. Radar guns have become affordable. Go around with a radar gun sometime, it's humbling to see how different club tennis is from world class.

Golden Retriever
07-11-2009, 03:50 PM
What this neglects is that by hitting with topspin you are exposing less of the face of the racquet to the ball, and the more likely you will have a mis-hit. Here's how: hold your racquet in front of you, slowly rotate it until only the frame edge is facing you. That's what a topspin stroke does, at zero degrees, 100% of the face is available, at a 45 degree turn, only about 70%, at 60 degree angle it decreases to 50%. The more you swing low-to-high the more difficult it is to hit the ball on the sweetspot. This is why topspin is so much more popular with today's bigger racquets.

Also, the more your racquethead goes in a low-to-high path, the less speed to the ball. Let theta be the angle of your racquethead path to the floor of the court, the forward speed becomes the cosine of theta. This reduced speed is another reason the ball is less likely to go long, (that, and the Magnus effect). But if less speed is the player's goal, then an easier way to achieve this is simply to not swing as hard on a flat path then to swing very hard on a low-to-high path. The topspin shot also bounces higher than a flat ball, so this is good for your opponent. Given all this, why would anyone hit topspin groundstrokes? Allen Fox explains that topspin allows more angles for passing shots, but that for rallies it is better to hit flat as it does more damage to your opponent.

Some people argue that without topspin there is no way your shots can land inbounds. This would be true if you play in a spaceship with air but no detectable gravitational pull. For people who play on planet earth, there is alot of gravitational pull. At the rate of 16 feet per second squared. Play around with the parametric equations on a TI 83 calculator sometimes and you'll discover that even the fastest shots have plenty of 'bend' from gravity, and unless you have incredible power, gravity will pull almost all of your shots into the court.

Couldn't agree with you more.

Strange how people would say anything to promote their own agenda. It is 3 times more difficult to master a flat shot?? Give me a break.

user92626
07-11-2009, 03:58 PM
you know, federer is second when it comes to spin production in the whole atp tour , behind nadal obviously.

I dont' even think so. Djok, F Gonzo and Tsonga hit with more ts than Fed.

Fed relies on low, flat, fast penetrating shot which suites hard surface and grass so much, hence his dominance there. Also, Fed's grip is eastern bordering sw which in slo mo you don't see a significant low to high swing path. All makes sense if you think about it but I am not sure.

Narcissist
07-11-2009, 04:22 PM
Whatever works for you I guess. I find it much easier hitting the ball 4ft above the net with topspin than threading the needle with flat shots 1ft over the net.

Lsmkenpo
07-11-2009, 04:40 PM
Correct me if I'm wrong. I do not consider Federer's style as topspin hitting. Nadal's style is. Fed does have topspin but that's more like ...the usual ts which most 10 do.

Well you are wrong Federer hits with a massive amount of spin and pace on his forehand, go watch him hit live there is nothing flat about any of his shots off either wing.

http://i43.tinypic.com/n1do5f.jpg

Federer is as far removed from old school as they come on the forehand, he hits a straight armed, windsheild wiper forehand using an eastern grip which requires extreme racquet head speed and timing to pull off.

Nadal and Verdasco hit their forehands with the same motion as Federer just different grips and swing planes. The new newschool.

S H O W S T O P P E R !
07-11-2009, 04:41 PM
Use kinda-new school (:?) style! Topspin is good for basic rally shots and helps when you need to defend while using flat shots (little to no topspin) is great for attacking. They fly through the air and usually have penetrating depth. You need to learn to combine both styles and once that happens, you will own :D

certifiedjatt
07-11-2009, 05:19 PM
i hate topspin as well (i.e., above and beyond what is impossible to remove). i play fairly flat and love it. it's more fun, more challenging, and just better.

Golden Retriever
07-11-2009, 05:36 PM
Topspin is just one of those things that makes you feel good but actually hurts good. Not unlike drug and/or sex.

Just kidding about the sex part.

tribunal4555
07-11-2009, 05:45 PM
I have been lured to believe that topspin is god by topspin worshippers on this board and I have wasted 8 years of my life trying to prime my topspin. Last week I injured my wrist so I stop using topspin and voila my shots are much much much much much better. Its got speed, depth, angle, control, less stressful on my wrist and most importantly it feels good.

I am now playing the game like it was meant to play. When I want spin I use backspin.

Come to think of it, topspin is just more harmful than benefitcial. First it slows down the ball a lot while expanding much more energy. How stupid is that? Secondly, it bounces higher to the striking zone of the opponent making it easier for your opponent to return the ball.

Now people say topspin has more control blah blah blah. I don't buy that no more. Yeah, you can hit higher above the net with topspin but remember you have to swing a lot faster to create that topspin. The faster the swing the less control you are gonna get. Any extra control you get from topspin will only be neutalized by the faster swing speed required to create that topspin. I would say at the end you get less control not more.

Of course if you can acquire the kind of topspin like Nadal then it is just another level of play but for most people topspin is way way way way way way overrated.

Topspin doesn't have more control- it just annoys my opponents by bouncing out of their comfort zone. I wouldn't call myself a "heavy" topspin hitter by any means, however- my normal rally ball is fairly flat, while I use heavy topspin shots to set up a point. I wouldn't dream of hitting topspin on every shot!

DNShade
07-11-2009, 06:00 PM
I dont' even think so. Djok, F Gonzo and Tsonga hit with more ts than Fed.

Fed relies on low, flat, fast penetrating shot which suites hard surface and grass so much, hence his dominance there. Also, Fed's grip is eastern bordering sw which in slo mo you don't see a significant low to high swing path. All makes sense if you think about it but I am not sure.

Ummm...No. Have you sat courtside while Roger plays? Have you hit with him? Then you'd know he hits on average a HUGE amount of topspin on almost every shot. It's a very deep and very HEAVY ball. Like the poster said above - second only to Rafa with RPMs. Roger does flatten out his shots now and then - but not nearly as much as quite a few other players do (Soderling, Blake, Gonzo at times) and Tsonga hits much flatter on average than Fed.

And yes, topspin is a much safer and controlled shot than a flat ball, and your timing doesn't have to be quite as precise as a "take the ball on the rise and drive it" kind of shot.

The reason you might not recognize it is because Roger's swings are much more compact and rely on timing a bit more and an all out huge swing path. You don't have to take a huge swipe at the ball to impart huge spin.

By the way, I'm a much more of an old school player - so don't try to paint me as a TS fanatic. Just posting the reality.

LuxilonTimo
07-11-2009, 06:15 PM
Some players on these boards dont know what they're talking about. They tell you to add more spin but if you add more spin you loose power and speed. The ball will just get high net clearance and drop down, then bounce high where it will be perfectly played in your opponents hitting zone because it will not travel far. Spin is good if you hit through it. Everyone thinks nadal is all spin but thats not true. Nadal hits through it very well with spin but andy roddick IMO uses to much spin and thats why Federer has beaten so easily.

Lsmkenpo
07-11-2009, 06:32 PM
Most older players were taught the classic topspin forehand stroke, brush up the back of the ball high to low to create topspin.

The modern forehand stroke is a windshield wiper forehand which allows
a more linear swing plane to hit through the ball and rip across with the windshield wiper finish to create topspin, this is the modern stroke.

The old classic stroke is fine for recreational old school players, but is not the
same stroke seen out on the ATP tour anymore.

Using the windshield wiper you can hit a flat trajectory and still hit massive spin, that is what makes Federer's forehand the best stroke in tennis. Spin without losing speed and power on the shot.

VaBeachTennis
07-11-2009, 07:50 PM
Hating topspin is kind of silly. Different spins serve different purposes. I grew up at a time where the conti and eastern grip was the norm, as I grew older it changed to extreme eastern and semi-western. There are times when you need a good topspin shot, flat shot, slice shot, and side spin shot.Why limit yourself to just one or two?
My main rally ball is a flat/topspin ball. It has a somewhat flat trajectory, but when it bounces it has a good amount of topspin. Depending on how I hi it, it will either kick forward or kick up and forward.
I tend to use topspin when I:
Do a high looper to buy me time or keep the opponent back
As a controlled approach shot
For angles
As a passing shot
A topspin lob

If I see that my opponent likes the topspin shots that kick high, I flatten it out more so it goes lower.
So don't "hate topspin", use it when the situation calls for it........................

Mr. Blond
07-12-2009, 01:03 PM
What this neglects is that by hitting with topspin you are exposing less of the face of the racquet to the ball, and the more likely you will have a mis-hit. Here's how: hold your racquet in front of you, slowly rotate it until only the frame edge is facing you. That's what a topspin stroke does, at zero degrees, 100% of the face is available, at a 45 degree turn, only about 70%, at 60 degree angle it decreases to 50%. The more you swing low-to-high the more difficult it is to hit the ball on the sweetspot. This is why topspin is so much more popular with today's bigger racquets.

Also, the more your racquethead goes in a low-to-high path, the less speed to the ball. Let theta be the angle of your racquethead path to the floor of the court, the forward speed becomes the cosine of theta. This reduced speed is another reason the ball is less likely to go long, (that, and the Magnus effect). But if less speed is the player's goal, then an easier way to achieve this is simply to not swing as hard on a flat path then to swing very hard on a low-to-high path. The topspin shot also bounces higher than a flat ball, so this is good for your opponent. Given all this, why would anyone hit topspin groundstrokes? Allen Fox explains that topspin allows more angles for passing shots, but that for rallies it is better to hit flat as it does more damage to your opponent.

Some people argue that without topspin there is no way your shots can land inbounds. This would be true if you play in a spaceship with air but no detectable gravitational pull. For people who play on planet earth, there is alot of gravitational pull. At the rate of 16 feet per second squared. Play around with the parametric equations on a TI 83 calculator sometimes and you'll discover that even the fastest shots have plenty of 'bend' from gravity, and unless you have incredible power, gravity will pull almost all of your shots into the court.


Are you trying to suggest that a ball hit flat will land in as many times as a topspin shot because of gravity?

I understand what you are saying about how gravity adds to the balls trajectory, and you are right.....but I know this as fact from my game.......topspin shots catch waaay more than flat shots. Combine that with the extra action of a topspin bounce, the damage is there for my opponents.

The fact is that a flat ball is easier to return if you can get your racquet on it because you can just flat racquet it back using its own pace. A topspin shot however will need to have something put back on it.

Topspin as well as flat shots are effective.....it all boils down to being able to use both effectivly.

They are both shots a player MUST have to excel in tennis.

guitarplayer
07-12-2009, 01:45 PM
I love this thread. I am 54 and use heavy topspin with a lightweight frame. In the past 3 weeks my game has gone to h***. So erratic, no consistency. Honestly, I'm freakin' tired and sore all the time. I always felt I needed the safety of heavy topspin to keep the ball in play. The big topspin modern swing has worn me out and I was frustrated, until today..

Today, being sore and tired, I went back to my old heavy Prince Orig. Graphite OS. Yes, the pog. You can not take a big whack at the ball with this frame, to heavy to get around! So, I hit the ball flat with a much shorter compact easier flat swing. Holy cow, my consistency was improved 10 times over! I had more energy since I wasn't using such a huge violent swing. Took a while to go back to the "old school" swing, but it was refreshing! Now my issue is retraining myself and retraining my serve. I think old school is the new school for me now.

Steady Eddy
07-12-2009, 01:50 PM
Are you trying to suggest that a ball hit flat will land in as many times as a topspin shot because of gravity?
"As many"? It's more complicated than that, but there are some important generalities. One of them is that the harder the flat shot is hit, the less gravity bends its path. This is one of the few times a hacker like me has an advantage over a pro. They hit with so much pace they need topspin to keep there shots in. I don't hit nearly as hard as the pros, and can play consistently without spin.

I understand what you are saying about how gravity adds to the balls trajectory, and you are right.....but I know this as fact from my game.......topspin shots catch waaay more than flat shots. Combine that with the extra action of a topspin bounce, the damage is there for my opponents.
Do you shank more balls because of going for topspin? To make a fair comparision we have to include ALL factors. Not just the one's in topspin's favor.

The fact is that a flat ball is easier to return if you can get your racquet on it because you can just flat racquet it back using its own pace. A topspin shot however will need to have something put back on it.
Maybe. You have to put something on it, but when it sits up, this is also easier. I hate returning flat shots, esp on a smooth court, the low bounce means I should bend my knees to hit good shots. (I often get lazy and lock my knees and flick at the ball.)

Topspin as well as flat shots are effective.....it all boils down to being able to use both effectivly.
They are both shots a player MUST have to excel in tennis.
Yep. When your opponent is at the net, you can aim further to the sideline with topspin. A flat shot will go long. In the 70's topspin was sold as the ideal stroke for rallys. This seems to be understood to be a mistake. Flat strokes and slice for a change of pace have made a comeback.

animagriever
07-12-2009, 02:15 PM
I have the opposite problem... my forehand grip is extreme eastern-mildly semi western but because top-spin is in-grained into muscle memory I find it more difficult to hit flat! I have been having some lessons from club coach who is slowly weaning me off top-spin (arch shaped shot) to a more flatter trajectory top-spin shot... The reason I add this is I tend to have problems with the shorter balls where you should flatten shots that are above net level. Hitting with too much topspin will send the ball long whereas hitting flattish (some downward "punch") sort of shot will generally lead to an unreturnable shot or weak return...

darthpwner
07-12-2009, 03:05 PM
I don't think Federer hits a lot of tops on purpose. Thats just the result of hitting flat with incredible swing speed. He intends to hit flat but ends up with a lot of tops. He is actually the ultimate old schooler.

Federer could make the ball jump or die at will. Everything he does is intentionally, even hitting the net cord =)

Golden Retriever
07-12-2009, 08:02 PM
"As many"? It's more complicated than that, but there are some important generalities. One of them is that the harder the flat shot is hit, the less gravity bends its path. This is one of the few times a hacker like me has an advantage over a pro. They hit with so much pace they need topspin to keep there shots in. I don't hit nearly as hard as the pros, and can play consistently without spin.



You certainly know what you are talking about. I do have a question. When is brushing up (topspin) absolutely necessary? I am trying to not brush up at all from now on but sometimes it is still necessary. For me it is the topspin lob and the high forehand putaway. What do you think?

ubermeyer
07-12-2009, 09:26 PM
You certainly know what you are talking about. I do have a question. When is brushing up (topspin) absolutely necessary? I am trying to not brush up at all from now on but sometimes it is still necessary. For me it is the topspin lob and the high forehand putaway. What do you think?

uhh no the high forehand putaway is best hit flat

BreakPoint
07-12-2009, 10:38 PM
I have been lured to believe that topspin is god by topspin worshippers on this board and I have wasted 8 years of my life trying to prime my topspin. Last week I injured my wrist so I stop using topspin and voila my shots are much much much much much better. Its got speed, depth, angle, control, less stressful on my wrist and most importantly it feels good.

I am now playing the game like it was meant to play. When I want spin I use backspin.

Come to think of it, topspin is just more harmful than benefitcial. First it slows down the ball a lot while expanding much more energy. How stupid is that? Secondly, it bounces higher to the striking zone of the opponent making it easier for your opponent to return the ball.

Now people say topspin has more control blah blah blah. I don't buy that no more. Yeah, you can hit higher above the net with topspin but remember you have to swing a lot faster to create that topspin. The faster the swing the less control you are gonna get. Any extra control you get from topspin will only be neutalized by the faster swing speed required to create that topspin. I would say at the end you get less control not more.

Of course if you can acquire the kind of topspin like Nadal then it is just another level of play but for most people topspin is way way way way way way overrated.
See, what did I tell you? I'm glad you've finally seen the light. There's nothing better than hitting flat and crushing the ball. :)

Now if you'd also realize how much better a 1HBH is than a 2HBH, then you'll really be onto something. ;) LOL

BreakPoint
07-12-2009, 10:40 PM
Did it ever occur to you guys that if the old school game was better than the modern game, then the players with the best results (ie. top ranked) would play an old school style? Its no coincidence that the best players in the world (Nadal and Federer) hit with lots of topspin.
Um...Federer has an old school, classic game and he uses an old school, small-headed racquet. That's why I like his game so much. :)

Mick
07-12-2009, 10:50 PM
Um...Federer has an old school, classic game and he uses an old school, small-headed racquet. That's why I like his game so much. :)

federer's forehand is old school like borg's

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=31IYa7VsZYg

Steady Eddy
07-12-2009, 10:51 PM
You certainly know what you are talking about. I do have a question. When is brushing up (topspin) absolutely necessary? I am trying to not brush up at all from now on but sometimes it is still necessary. For me it is the topspin lob and the high forehand putaway. What do you think?I don't know your game, so it's hard for me answer this, but I don't know if it's ever absolutely necessary. I think topspin works well when your opponent is at the net because sometimes you can make the ball dip down at his feet. But I don't know if this means that it is best shot to try in that situation. For lobbing, again topspin lobs work great if you hit them just right but you don't have hit topspin lobs, sliced or flat lobs can work pretty well too sometimes.

Good luck with your flat game. It's easier on the arm because you don't have to swing so hard, and your strings will last longer. When I was into topspin I was lucky to have my strings last two weeks. Now I replace them before they've even broken. :)

uhh no the high forehand putaway is best hit flatI was thinking that too. You've got a straight shot at the court and don't need spin to 'bend' it in. You also want alot of pace, and a flat shot imparts the most speed.

heycal
07-12-2009, 11:08 PM
Man, I'd love to get me some of this fancy "topspin". But I use an old school style and my idea of safe net clearance seems to be around 3 inches. Very easy to both hit the net or hit long with flat strokes, which I guess is why topspin is so popular these days at all levels of the game and what they teach the kids.

Golden Retriever
07-13-2009, 01:55 AM
See, what did I tell you? I'm glad you've finally seen the light. There's nothing better than hitting flat and crushing the ball. :)

Now if you'd also realize how much better a 1HBH is than a 2HBH, then you'll really be onto something. ;) LOL

Actually, after I switched to hitting flat, my 2HBH has become my best shot. It provides excellent control for hitting flat. I can hit devastating DTL flat backhand all day now.

Sorry to disappoint you.

Golden Retriever
07-13-2009, 01:57 AM
I was thinking that too. You've got a straight shot at the court and don't need spin to 'bend' it in. You also want alot of pace, and a flat shot imparts the most speed.


But I was talking about a short high forehand putaway. If I hit flat on a short high ball wouldn't it go long?

Ballinbob
07-13-2009, 03:02 AM
But I was talking about a short high forehand putaway. If I hit flat on a short high ball wouldn't it go long?

No because you are hitting straight down into the court, kinda like a spike in volley ball. For the ball you described, a flat put away is the best option.

To answer the OP though:

I also feel the old school style makes the most sense vs the modern style. Most people I play in the tournaments are counter punchers who just mindlessly bash balls at me with topspin. With being 6"2, these balls bounce right into my strike zone and I drive a flat ball to their backhand and come in. I play a classical S&V game with flat strokes, and people are stunned when I beat them. They aren't used to seeing players do well with the old school style of play.

Also like Steady Eddy said, playing S&V/classical game is not as hard as playing heavy topspin balls, and it makes you think and construct points better. Playing an old school style is just not taxing on the body, and gets the job done with half the effort.

Tennis is a simple game, so lets keep it that way. The simpler the better I say

soyizgood
07-13-2009, 03:36 AM
Trying to go for topspin really hurt my forehand. 3 years of struggling with topspin resulted in my losing confidence in my forehand. I've gotten a bit better via driving the ball more instead of brushing up so much. I'm planning to flatten out the forehand because I can time my shots easier and I was usually comfortable hitting flat. My flat shots have topspin, but more of the low-clearance type that bites the court and stays relatively low.

Topspin for my backhand (2HBH) has had mixed results. I liked the spin I got when my left hand was in a semi-western position, but I hurt my left wrist and moved it to eastern. Now it's more difficult to generate reliable topspin and I make more errors when trying to product topspin. But when I hit flatter, I'm more accurate on the cross-court acute angled shots.

Power Player
07-13-2009, 06:50 AM
I always played the modern game even in the early 90s as a kid. Yes, topspin take more energy. But I don't mind. I am in great shape from it, and can play 3-4 hours of heavy hitting now (took a while to get there).

I use a lot of spin, but I still try and hit a flatter ball, if that makes sense. I am not trying to just hit so I just brush the ball and you get a nice soft shot at you that bounced in the service box. The goal for me is to get it 6 inches from the baseline and kicking at you. When I was a junior I would brush the ball too much, but now the kick I get from the topspin requires the opponent to attack the ball early. If you are on a club level, you will see that a lot of players hate doing this.

I also love topspin because my shots dip in at the last second even if I mishit many times. It bails me out and wins me points a fair amount. There is no doubt that it is a much more physical way to play the game, but that is my style, so it works for me.

Steady Eddy
07-13-2009, 07:08 AM
But I was talking about a short high forehand putaway. If I hit flat on a short high ball wouldn't it go long?I was thinking by "high" you mean that it's quite a bit higher than the net. If that's so, you have an unobstructed path into the court.

OTMPut
07-13-2009, 07:41 AM
Topspin strokes have their advantages - as a defensive shot gives you enough time to recover and it is not easy to put away high bouncing deep hit ball; it is difficult to take it early as the amount of spin can make the place, height and speed of bounce vary (not much you can do with flat shots except power and placement).

I would say "use it wisely". Spin is the only reliable way to control and if you use under-spin, you will have to keep topspin in your arsenal too.

Blade0324
07-13-2009, 08:14 AM
I am really surprised to be reading how many people think topspin is difficult to hit with and find that flat balls are more effective.
I play with a large amount of spin on both sides and my normal shots clear the net at about the height of the score tree. I hit throught the ball a great deal as well which is something I had to work on a bit to be able to get the depth on my shots. Using this type of rally ball pushes my opponenet back behind the baseline by a good bit and unless I play someone quite tall my shots bounce up at shoulder and head level on them. This height and depth of the shots combined with the fact that the ball jumps towards my opponent faster then they are expecting makes them hits very defensive shots and I often get a short ball that I can put away.
Don't get me wrong I flatten out shots that I am looking to put away and I mix in slice off of both sides a bit as well. I really try to vary the speed and spin of my shots to frustrate opponents but my go to shot is a looping topspin ball.
I love it when opponents hit flat balls as they are predictable and easy to time and impart huge spin on. It also makes it easy to hit a defensive shot when someone hits a flat ball to me. I can simply get my racquet in front of it and get it back. When someone hits a very aggressive topspin shot though, I have to actually do something with the ball or I won't be able to get it back in play.

Basically the modern game is not all topspin but being able to use that as your main shot and then vary your shots from there. If you are fit topspin game takes no more effort than an oldschoold game. If the oldschoold way works for you go for it, but I think you will find that someone that plays an effective new school game will have no trouble with your flat shots or S&V approaches. They will simply pass you all day and push you deep in the court with the spin.

pvaudio
07-13-2009, 09:31 AM
What this neglects is that by hitting with topspin you are exposing less of the face of the racquet to the ball, and the more likely you will have a mis-hit. Here's how: hold your racquet in front of you, slowly rotate it until only the frame edge is facing you. That's what a topspin stroke does, at zero degrees, 100% of the face is available, at a 45 degree turn, only about 70%, at 60 degree angle it decreases to 50%. The more you swing low-to-high the more difficult it is to hit the ball on the sweetspot. This is why topspin is so much more popular with today's bigger racquets.

Also, the more your racquethead goes in a low-to-high path, the less speed to the ball. Let theta be the angle of your racquethead path to the floor of the court, the forward speed becomes the cosine of theta. This reduced speed is another reason the ball is less likely to go long, (that, and the Magnus effect). But if less speed is the player's goal, then an easier way to achieve this is simply to not swing as hard on a flat path then to swing very hard on a low-to-high path. The topspin shot also bounces higher than a flat ball, so this is good for your opponent. Given all this, why would anyone hit topspin groundstrokes? Allen Fox explains that topspin allows more angles for passing shots, but that for rallies it is better to hit flat as it does more damage to your opponent.

Some people argue that without topspin there is no way your shots can land inbounds. This would be true if you play in a spaceship with air but no detectable gravitational pull. For people who play on planet earth, there is alot of gravitational pull. At the rate of 16 feet per second squared. Play around with the parametric equations on a TI 83 calculator sometimes and you'll discover that even the fastest shots have plenty of 'bend' from gravity, and unless you have incredible power, gravity will pull almost all of your shots into the court.
Please forgive me if this comes across as mean, but with all due respect, you need to stop talking as though you have any idea what you're saying. As an engineering student, nothing irks me more than people using false science to try to make a point, i.e. vacuum companies claiming "20 AMPS MAX POWER" when an amp isn't even a unit of power. First, the angle of the racquet head to the floor may as well be considered theta, but the cosine of theta is merely a dimension, and cannot be a velocity by any measure. It doesn't even make sense. It's like saying the distance between you and the net is 13 miles per hour.

Second, the earth's gravitational pull is not 16 ft/s^2, rather it is 9.8m/s^2 or 32.1 ft/s^2.

Finally, a TI-83 is nowhere near powerful enough to plot parametric equations as you're implying, and even if it could, that has absolutely nothing to do with the fluids properties that you're going on about. Telling someone to "play around with the equations" is another way to try and sound smart when you probably heard the term once and thought it would make you look like you know what you're going on about. To properly model a ball's flight when acted on by not only gravity but also frictional forces and accounting for the magnus effect, you need a lot more than simple multivariate calculus.

Again, sorry if this sounds mean, but it really bothers me when I see science and mathematics thrown about with reckless abandon. :)

Ballinbob
07-13-2009, 10:33 AM
double post sorry!

Ballinbob
07-13-2009, 10:37 AM
I
I love it when opponents hit flat balls as they are predictable and easy to time and impart huge spin on.

A hard flat ball that bounces an inch off the ground is easy to impart huge topspin on with a semi-western/western grip?LOL. I think your alone on that one buddy, no idea where you got that from.


It also makes it easy to hit a defensive shot when someone hits a flat ball to me. I can simply get my racquet in front of it and get it back. When someone hits a very aggressive topspin shot though, I have to actually do something with the ball or I won't be able to get it back in play.

Exactly. And when your busy blocking back floating balls of our flat shots we'll be waiting at the net and slamming them back down your throat.
If you are fit topspin game takes no more effort than an oldschoold game. If the oldschoold way works for you go for it, but I think you will find that someone that plays an effective new school game will have no trouble with your flat shots or S&V approaches. They will simply pass you all day and push you deep in the court with the spin.

I have a 5:15 minute mile as well as a 11.75 second 100m dash. I lift everyday for an hour and a half, and I bike everywhere I go. I'm on the track team and am a pretty fit 16 year old. And I'm telling you, the new school game does take more energy than the old school game, fitness has nothing to do with it. Sure I CAN play a new school game, but the old school gets the job more efficiently.

However, these are just my views. I'm not trying to sound mean, but rather to get to people to think a bit. I am trying to get people to look at both sides of this issue. Both styles have their pros and cons, and I'm well aware of the cons for the old school style. But since the thread is titled "I hate topspin" I thought this would be an appropriate place to put out the cons of the new school game

Both have their uses, and it depends on the player obviously. But its always good to look and study both styles and see how you can apply certain elements to your game

junbumkim
07-13-2009, 11:17 AM
A hard flat ball that bounces an inch off the ground is easy to impart huge topspin on with a semi-western/western grip?LOL. I think your alone on that one buddy, no idea where you got that from.

Exactly. And when your busy blocking back floating balls of our flat shots we'll be waiting at the net and slamming them back down your throat.


Actually, I don't think you are fully seeing through what he is saying.

I have seen players with a relatively flat stroke that sort of skids through the court, which is pretty difficult to control. They have a lot more penetration than spin. These players tough to play, but they also have less margin of error.

On the other hand, there are players with flat stroke whose balls just sort of sit up because they neighter have the penetration or spin. These balls tend to sit up nicely in a lot of players strike zone. These players are easy to get grooved with.

When counterpunchering, flat shots are a lot easier to deal with IF you know how to use their pace. All you need to is make a clean contact and fully follow-through. These aren't floaters but a counter-attack or counter-shots.

But if you are pulled out with a high bouncing topspin shots, it can be particularly difficult to counter attack because the ball is out of contact zone and less pace to deal with. These shots are particularly difficult for players who don't move well or cannot generate pace on their own.

A lot of this is situational. Bottom line is that you want a combination of good topspin AND penetration at the same time.

pvaudio
07-13-2009, 11:21 AM
A hard flat ball that bounces an inch off the ground is easy to impart huge topspin on with a semi-western/western grip?LOL. I think your alone on that one buddy, no idea where you got that from.




Exactly. And when your busy blocking back floating balls of our flat shots we'll be waiting at the net and slamming them back down your throat.


I have a 5:15 minute mile as well as a 11.75 second 100m dash. I lift everyday for an hour and a half, and I bike everywhere I go. I'm on the track team and am a pretty fit 16 year old. And I'm telling you, the new school game does take more energy than the old school game, fitness has nothing to do with it. Sure I CAN play a new school game, but the old school gets the job more efficiently.

However, these are just my views. I'm not trying to sound mean, but rather to get to people to think a bit. I am trying to get people to look at both sides of this issue. Both styles have their pros and cons, and I'm well aware of the cons for the old school style. But since the thread is titled "I hate topspin" I thought this would be an appropriate place to put out the cons of the new school game

Both have their uses, and it depends on the player obviously. But its always good to look and study both styles and see how you can apply certain elements to your gameWith respect, you must not be playing very heavy hitters. A heavy topspin shot doesn't even compare to a hard flat shot in terms of difficulty to return. That's what people are talking about when they say a ball is heavy. You could stand there and just smack balls around like people who don't really play tennis do when they rent racquets and stand at the baseline and hit wristy shots with 115sq" racquets. When you hit that pace plus lots of spin, that ball is going to kick off the ground so hard that you'll feel that you're pushed back just to return it.

I agree 100% with the guy you quoted, a hard flat shot is a (semi)western player's dream as it's right in their contact zone, and they don't even need to generate much of their own power; the shot that gets returned has the flat pace on it plus the topspin from the returner. If we were talking slice returns, then that's a bit different since it's naturally going to lie lower to the ground than just a flat shot a 1-2 feet above the net.

harr
07-13-2009, 12:51 PM
I agree 100% with the guy you quoted, a hard flat shot is a (semi)western player's dream as it's right in their contact zoneWhile I agree that a good amount of topspin is beneficial, I disagree with this. Most of the people I play hit very flat and most of their shots go into my strike zone, despite the fact that my grip is on the weak side of eastern. I doubt many western players have the same strike zone. I experimented with a semi-western at one point, but the majority of balls that I faced were too low to hit naturally. I probably should have bent my knees more and endeavoured to hit the ball closer to the apex of its flight after the bounce*, but the ball was rarely right in my contact zone.

A ball dropped from chin height bounces to waist height, or it did when I just tried it on concrete anyway (the ball was probably a bit flat, but it's the result I would expect on most courts -- if anyone wants to try it with a good ball on a real court, go ahead). I would have said that waist height is the bottom of a semi-western player's strike zone.

*This is easy if they're hitting back to you, in which case a semi-western player should be able to catch it in their strike zone, but I find that players adjust and force you to hit running forehands.

pvaudio
07-13-2009, 01:04 PM
While I agree that a good amount of topspin is beneficial, I disagree with this. Most of the people I play hit very flat and most of their shots go into my strike zone, despite the fact that my grip is on the weak side of eastern. I doubt many western players have the same strike zone. I experimented with a semi-western at one point, but the majority of balls that I faced were too low to hit naturally. I probably should have bent my knees more and endeavoured to hit the ball closer to the apex of its flight after the bounce*, but the ball was rarely right in my contact zone.

A ball dropped from chin height bounces to waist height, or it did when I just tried it on concrete anyway (the ball was probably a bit flat, but it's the result I would expect on most courts -- if anyone wants to try it with a good ball on a real court, go ahead). I would have said that waist height is the bottom of a semi-western player's strike zone.

*This is easy if they're hitting back to you, in which case a semi-western player should be able to catch it in their strike zone, but I find that players adjust and force you to hit running forehands.
Hey it's all good, it's all about opinions anyway. I used a western grip for years and now use a semi-western grip so that I can get to the low balls a bit easier. The reason why I love getting flat shots is because to generate the same amount of pace as the opponent when a good percentage of your motion is devoted to producing spin, you have to exert more energy. When you get a hard ball back to you, you can return their pace and just impart the spin on it. Plus, when the ball bounces high as it does with topspin (higher, that is), you will end up having to come down on the ball which when using a western grip means you can get next to ZERO drive on the ball and can only impart spin.

When it's low, you can take your full stroke, meet it out in front, and get that nice bite that you want. However, when the ball is below your strike zone, you're really in trouble. A back 1/3 of the court flat shot is far easier to return for a topspin hitter than a back 1/3 court topspin shot that's going to kick higher much quicker. However, I do not like playing against players who hit flat because they tend to be boring and the rallies are pathetically boring with them just smacking the ball. You should be hitting flat for pushing back the opponent or putting the ball away, not during rallies especially if you're hitting against someone who uses good spin. I don't see how you can really compete since they can do what you're doing, but you can't do what they are. They can hit flat as well as with spin, but you're stuck with just flat and as such, can't drop the ball into the service box for a clean angled winner.

charaseac
07-13-2009, 01:26 PM
Please forgive me if this comes across as mean, but with all due respect, you need to stop talking as though you have any idea what you're saying. As an engineering student, nothing irks me more than people using false science to try to make a point, i.e. vacuum companies claiming "20 AMPS MAX POWER" when an amp isn't even a unit of power. First, the angle of the racquet head to the floor may as well be considered theta, but the cosine of theta is merely a dimension, and cannot be a velocity by any measure. It doesn't even make sense. It's like saying the distance between you and the net is 13 miles per hour.

Second, the earth's gravitational pull is not 16 ft/s^2, rather it is 9.8m/s^2 or 32.1 ft/s^2.

Finally, a TI-83 is nowhere near powerful enough to plot parametric equations as you're implying, and even if it could, that has absolutely nothing to do with the fluids properties that you're going on about. Telling someone to "play around with the equations" is another way to try and sound smart when you probably heard the term once and thought it would make you look like you know what you're going on about. To properly model a ball's flight when acted on by not only gravity but also frictional forces and accounting for the magnus effect, you need a lot more than simple multivariate calculus.

Again, sorry if this sounds mean, but it really bothers me when I see science and mathematics thrown about with reckless abandon. :)

I'm no engineering student, but i understand what you're saying.. Still.. i dont get why we need to think about physics when we play tennis lol

pvaudio
07-13-2009, 01:31 PM
I'm no engineering student, but i understand what you're saying.. Still.. i dont get why we need to think about physics when we play tennis lol
You don't that's exactly my point. Spewing out some mathematics words as part of your post to give it more validity only confuses people and doesn't help, especially when the mathematics makes no sense ;)

harr
07-13-2009, 02:55 PM
Hey it's all good, it's all about opinions anyway.:)
They can hit flat as well as with spin, but you're stuck with just flat and as such, can't drop the ball into the service box for a clean angled winner.You can hit an angled winners, it's just lower percentage than for someone who uses heavy topspin. An advantage of a flat angled ball is that the opponent has to hit up more, though it's obviously not as effective as kicking someone off court.

Steady Eddy
07-13-2009, 03:54 PM
Please forgive me if this comes across as mean, but with all due respect, you need to stop talking as though you have any idea what you're saying. As an engineering student, nothing irks me more than people using false science to try to make a point, i.e. vacuum companies claiming "20 AMPS MAX POWER" when an amp isn't even a unit of power. First, the angle of the racquet head to the floor may as well be considered theta, but the cosine of theta is merely a dimension, and cannot be a velocity by any measure. It doesn't even make sense. It's like saying the distance between you and the net is 13 miles per hour.
You're only a student, I teach. I might be your teacher, so no offense. :)
Yes, I should say that the speed is decreased by a factor of the cosine of theta.

Second, the earth's gravitational pull is not 16 ft/s^2, rather it is 9.8m/s^2 or 32.1 ft/s^2.

After x seconds, it has fallen 16 times x squared feet. The instantaneous speed is 32 times x feet per second.

Finally, a TI-83 is nowhere near powerful enough to plot parametric equations as you're implying, and even if it could, that has absolutely nothing to do with the fluids properties that you're going on about. Telling someone to "play around with the equations" is another way to try and sound smart when you probably heard the term once and thought it would make you look like you know what you're going on about. To properly model a ball's flight when acted on by not only gravity but also frictional forces and accounting for the magnus effect, you need a lot more than simple multivariate calculus.

Sure, but air resistance only makes the curve greater, so ignoring it is conservative. That is, if the shot will easily go in without topspin on the TI 83, in reality, it will drop even sooner. See, you needn't need all the details to make quick estimates. It's a shame schools don't teach that more.

Again, sorry if this sounds mean, but it really bothers me when I see science and mathematics thrown about with reckless abandon. :)

We disagree. My numbers are good enough, and not phony. But it does show you're thinking outside of class. Something I have trouble getting my students to do.

heycal
07-13-2009, 05:39 PM
head to the floor may as well be considered theta, but the cosine of theta is merely a dimension... the magnus effect...


Are you and Eddy using Scientology lingo?

pvaudio
07-13-2009, 05:49 PM
Are you and Eddy using Scientology lingo?
No, just some nerds who happen to play tennis. :)

pvaudio
07-13-2009, 05:54 PM
You're only a student, I teach. I might be your teacher, so no offense. :)
Yes, I should say that the speed is decreased by a factor of the cosine of theta.


After x seconds, it has fallen 16 times x squared feet. The instantaneous speed is 32 times x feet per second.


Sure, but air resistance only makes the curve greater, so ignoring it is conservative. That is, if the shot will easily go in without topspin on the TI 83, in reality, it will drop even sooner. See, you needn't need all the details to make quick estimates. It's a shame schools don't teach that more.


We disagree. My numbers are good enough, and not phony. But it does show you're thinking outside of class. Something I have trouble getting my students to do.
Unless there's an Arizona in West Lafayette, I doubt it :D

The flight of a tennis ball is more like an inverted catenary instead of anything parabolic, and as such, you would need a hyperbolic cosine to describe its path along with differential equations to describe the velocity. The TI-89 might handle it, but when in doubt, I'd just break open MATLAB and use it instead. Come to think of it, I have never NOT had MATLAB open when I'm on my computer.

pvaudio
07-13-2009, 06:29 PM
:)
You can hit an angled winners, it's just lower percentage than for someone who uses heavy topspin. An advantage of a flat angled ball is that the opponent has to hit up more, though it's obviously not as effective as kicking someone off court.
I was playing a match today against someone I met at my school's tennis center today, and even though I lost, I had this guy running like Armageddon was coming. He hit purely flat and had simply outrageous precision, but he couldn't touch my short angle topspin shots. Returning a serve on the ad side by rolling it in with a backhand just inside the service box is a pretty sobering experience. Unfortunately for me, never breaking his serve was even more sobering :cry:

Steady Eddy
07-13-2009, 08:17 PM
Second, the earth's gravitational pull is not 16 ft/s^2, rather it is 9.8m/s^2 or 32.1 ft/s^2.

We get these all the time in the math I teach. It's always -16t^2, why? Because that is the rate at which objects fall, (barring air resistance, of course). This means that the speed increases the longer it falles, that agrees with common sense. So if an object falls for 3 seconds, it falls 144 ft. Does that mean at impact it's rate was 48 ft./sec.? No, because it was falling faster at the end of the fall. To find the instananeous speed, take the derivative of 16t^2, which is 32 ft./second. That's what you're thinking of. Objects accelerate at 32 ft/second/second. So after 3 seconds it's instantaneous rate is 96 ft./second.

But it only was going that fast at the end, to find the total distance it fell you'd need to do the following integral.
http://codecogs.izyba.com/gif.latex?\int 32tdt = 32\left ( \frac{1}{2} \right )t^{2} + C = 16t^{2} + C

See how they are related, one is the integral of the other, and one is the derivative of the other one? This is why Newton created calculus, to deal with questions over gravity.

BTW, I like to use 16 feet, instead of metric units because it works so well for common fractions. In half a second the ball drops 4 feet because 1/2 squared is 1/4 and 1/4 of 16 is 4. In a quarter second it drops 1 foot, because 1/4 squared is 1/16 and 1/16 of 16 is 1. So if your service toss only goes 1 foot out of your hand, that's a quarter second going up, and a quarter second coming down, a full half second you get to hit it. High tosses require very accurate timing to hit it in the sweet spot. That's why 16 feet is good enough for estimates and much easier to work with than metric units.

So tell me, does mathlab show a need for to use spin to make a 60 mph serve drop in the court? 60 mph is about 90 ft/sec. So it would travel 60 feet before 2/3 of a second has passed. And 4/9 of 16 feet would be the drop. So even if a server hit their serve parallel to the court gravity would still pull the ball down before the service line. Factoring in air resitance would only cause it to drop down even sooner. The moral: if you can't hit your serve faster than 60 mph, you don't need to hit down on your serve, and you don't need any spin. Let me know if using more complex formulas contradicts this idea.

Golden Retriever
07-13-2009, 08:43 PM
Why is it that some nicpicking wiseguy always manages to show up from nowhere and ruin an otherwise perfectly fine thread? This is a tennis forum not a rocket science one so who cares whether the gravity figure is wrong or a scientific calculator is outdated or something.

treo
07-13-2009, 09:17 PM
Topspin is a weapon if you can swing hard and fast enough. If you can't, the ball will sit up and your opponent can take control of the point. Go play a 10 year old tennis academy kid and they will have lots of topspin but little power. You can tee off on his shots. 5 years later the kid will have the power to blow you off the court. In the WTA, most women don't have the strength to use big topspin as a weapon so they hit flatter because they can win more that way. If the ATP hit as flat, they would have trouble keeping the ball in court.

BreakPoint
07-13-2009, 09:30 PM
A hard flat ball that bounces an inch off the ground is easy to impart huge topspin on with a semi-western/western grip?LOL. I think your alone on that one buddy, no idea where you got that from.

Exactly! This is why Nadal has so much trouble against big flat ball hitters like Soderling, Blake, Berdych, Nalbandian, Tsonga, etc.

Toxicmilk
07-13-2009, 09:39 PM
Uh, I won't get too into it but...
I like topspin. I used to hit really really flat...but since I started hitting with more spin..it's been better.

BreakPoint
07-13-2009, 09:39 PM
I'm no engineering student, but i understand what you're saying.. Still.. i dont get why we need to think about physics when we play tennis lol
Because tennis is ALL about physics (and geometry). Stay in school. :)

BreakPoint
07-13-2009, 09:43 PM
I was playing a match today against someone I met at my school's tennis center today, and even though I lost, I had this guy running like Armageddon was coming. He hit purely flat and had simply outrageous precision, but he couldn't touch my short angle topspin shots. Returning a serve on the ad side by rolling it in with a backhand just inside the service box is a pretty sobering experience. Unfortunately for me, never breaking his serve was even more sobering :cry:
But you lost, right? So how does that make topspin better for winning matches? :confused:

vbranis
07-13-2009, 10:26 PM
Personally, I find topspin to be more efficient. A few years ago, when I was hitting flatter, I was having a lot of trouble with high topspin balls and found myself being pushed further and further back in the court. When hitting flat, your strike zone is quite narrow, anything above your shoulder is very hard to return with control and/or pace. So I had to either take it early on the rise (very difficult, requires great timing) or back up and give up the court. I had no problem with other flat hitters, but it seemed like more than 50% of players I was facing used topspin.

Gradually, I switched, and for the past year or so I've been using heavy topspin regularly (but not always, hitting flat is also essential). It has helped me out A LOT! I can now push opponents further back, open up the court with angles, have more precision, and have a bigger strike zone. Even balls around my knees don't really pose a problem, I just brush the back of the ball and it usually goes where I want it. Also, my margin of error has increased. Fewer balls in the net or long. Yes, I do have to swing faster, but I don't find that difficult (unlike taking topspin balls early with flat strokes). Now I'm not saying that topspin is for everyone, but it sure worked for me. BTW, I'm only 5'10, so I guess if you're like 6'5, you might get away with hitting flat.

Hitting flat off of HEAVY topspin shots is unbelievably difficult. I get the sense that some posters here who play old school tennis have only faced mild to moderate topspin, which can be attacked. But if you have to face those nasty, heavy, kicking, topspin shots with pace, it becomes a real nightmare. You have to fight fire with fire, or in this case, topspin with topspin to succeed.

Steady Eddy
07-13-2009, 10:27 PM
Why is it that some nicpicking wiseguy always manages to show up from nowhere and ruin an otherwise perfectly fine thread? This is a tennis forum not a rocket science one so who cares whether the gravity figure is wrong or a scientific calculator is outdated or something.You've heard the saying, "A little learning is a dangerous thing."? He just joined this month. BTW, the gravity figure isn't "wrong". -16t squared has been in my textbooks for 9 years. I came across some today, as a matter of fact. I wouldn't have trouble remembering that. Let an object fall for a full second, it falls 16 feet. At impact, the speed will be 32 feet/second. The numbers are different because it's constantly accelerating.

He kept saying "I don't want to be mean" but then suggested that I don't know what I'm talking about, and am just trying to bamboozle people. So he had to speak up. Then he gives his own account, and it's all confused. I hope he moves on as suddenly as he came in here. In physics, the figure 32 ft/s^2 is used. For setting up parametric equations that model a trajectory, 16t^2 is more common. I understand how each can be applied. Apparently somebody, saw the figure, thought that it's different from what he's seen in class, and immediately assumed, "that's wrong". 16t^2 is the correct one of the context I was using it in. For the skeptics, here's a quote and a link.

"If we use feet and seconds as our units of distance and time, then the acceleration due to gravity is approximately 32 feet per second per second (32 ft/s/s). In this system of units the parametric equations are
x = Vcos()t, y = Vsin()t-16t2. "

http://colalg.math.csusb.edu/~devel/precalcdemo/param/src/param.html

OTMPut
07-14-2009, 01:48 AM
The flight of a tennis ball is more like an inverted catenary instead of anything parabolic, and as such, you would need a hyperbolic cosine to describe its path along with differential equations to describe the velocity

We keep things simple and if back of the envelope conservative estimate proves the point then no need to get into fancy differential equations.
You complicate things only when they are absolutely necessary.

There is a reason why we start with simple newtonion point mass mechanics at school.

Steady Eddy's original estimates are conservative enough. In fact we do not even need fancy calculators. A piece of paper and pencil will do. All we need is the equation S = U*T + 0.5*g*T*T.

If you assume a ball speed of 70 kmph and assume it is struck flat and parallel to the court surface, with standard court length of ~20m (it is 23.77, but we round it down for ease of quick math and rounding it down is conservative in this case), we have about 1 sec for the ball to cover the court length. In this 1 sec the gravity will pull the ball down by >4 m. That is impressive. Even if you hit at 100 mph, gravity will bring it down by the end of the court length by ~1m.

pvaudio
07-14-2009, 06:13 AM
We keep things simple and if back of the envelope conservative estimate proves the point then no need to get into fancy differential equations.
You complicate things only when they are absolutely necessary.

There is a reason why we start with simple newtonion point mass mechanics at school.

Steady Eddy's original estimates are conservative enough. In fact we do not even need fancy calculators. A piece of paper and pencil will do. All we need is the equation S = U*T + 0.5*g*T*T.

If you assume a ball speed of 70 kmph and assume it is struck flat and parallel to the court surface, with standard court length of ~20m (it is 23.77, but we round it down for ease of quick math and rounding it down is conservative in this case), we have about 1 sec for the ball to cover the court length. In this 1 sec the gravity will pull the ball down by >4 m. That is impressive. Even if you hit at 100 mph, gravity will bring it down by the end of the court length by ~1m.
:smile: Nice.

pvaudio
07-14-2009, 06:23 AM
You've heard the saying, "A little learning is a dangerous thing."? He just joined this month. BTW, the gravity figure isn't "wrong". -16t squared has been in my textbooks for 9 years. I came across some today, as a matter of fact. I wouldn't have trouble remembering that. Let an object fall for a full second, it falls 16 feet. At impact, the speed will be 32 feet/second. The numbers are different because it's constantly accelerating.

He kept saying "I don't want to be mean" but then suggested that I don't know what I'm talking about, and am just trying to bamboozle people. So he had to speak up. Then he gives his own account, and it's all confused. I hope he moves on as suddenly as he came in here. In physics, the figure 32 ft/s^2 is used. For setting up parametric equations that model a trajectory, 16t^2 is more common. I understand how each can be applied. Apparently somebody, saw the figure, thought that it's different from what he's seen in class, and immediately assumed, "that's wrong". 16t^2 is the correct one of the context I was using it in. For the skeptics, here's a quote and a link.

"If we use feet and seconds as our units of distance and time, then the acceleration due to gravity is approximately 32 feet per second per second (32 ft/s/s). In this system of units the parametric equations are
x = Vcos()t, y = Vsin()t-16t2. "

http://colalg.math.csusb.edu/~devel/precalcdemo/param/src/param.html
I realize now that we're merely saying the same thing but at different steps of the mathematics. I accept full responsibility for the mixup. "I hate topspin" programming will now resume as scheduled :D

pvaudio
07-14-2009, 06:25 AM
But you lost, right? So how does that make topspin better for winning matches? :confused:
I lost because the guy had been playing as long as I'd been alive, but he would still struggle with shots that pushed him back with good spin. Flat shots and topspin shots both have their uses; they aren't interchangeable.

Steady Eddy
07-14-2009, 06:31 AM
I realize now that we're merely saying the same thing but at different steps of the mathematics. I accept full responsibility for the mixup. "I hate topspin" programming will now resume as scheduled :DOkay. :) *************

harr
07-14-2009, 06:35 AM
If you assume a ball speed of 70 kmph and assume it is struck flat and parallel to the court surfaceThe apex of the flight will generally be close to the net (unless you're hitting a very high ball or want it to drop short), so this seems a strange assumption.

pvaudio
07-14-2009, 06:55 AM
The apex of the flight will generally be close to the net (unless you're hitting a very high ball or want it to drop short), so this seems a strange assumption.
That's why I said it was more of an upsidedown catenary (a hanging chain or hanging telephone wire), but if it's flat and with enough pace, a straight line acted on only by gravity is close enough.

Blade0324
07-14-2009, 06:58 AM
A hard flat ball that bounces an inch off the ground is easy to impart huge topspin on with a semi-western/western grip?LOL. I think your alone on that one buddy, no idea where you got that from.

I have never seen a flat ball that bounces low like that. Flat balls tend to come in about waiste high particularly if hit hard. Now a slice is a different story. To me flat balls are almost sitters. Easy to hit and mostly right in the strike zone.

As for blocking back floaters for you to come to net and finish, if someone wants to come to net on me I'm not blocking back anything but rather using the pace and lack of spin on a ball to hit an effecive passing shot. I have not played anyone yet that comes to net often that I don't win the majority of points when they come to net. I love having someone at net as it makes me hit a good shot and make a good decision about what kind of shot to hit. Takes all the guess work out of it. Just simply pass them with a heavy topspin ball.

I realize you are only sharing your point of view, just as I am. Good discussion is what it's all about. :)

Blade0324
07-14-2009, 07:00 AM
Actually, I don't think you are fully seeing through what he is saying.

I have seen players with a relatively flat stroke that sort of skids through the court, which is pretty difficult to control. They have a lot more penetration than spin. These players tough to play, but they also have less margin of error.

On the other hand, there are players with flat stroke whose balls just sort of sit up because they neighter have the penetration or spin. These balls tend to sit up nicely in a lot of players strike zone. These players are easy to get grooved with.

When counterpunchering, flat shots are a lot easier to deal with IF you know how to use their pace. All you need to is make a clean contact and fully follow-through. These aren't floaters but a counter-attack or counter-shots.

But if you are pulled out with a high bouncing topspin shots, it can be particularly difficult to counter attack because the ball is out of contact zone and less pace to deal with. These shots are particularly difficult for players who don't move well or cannot generate pace on their own.

A lot of this is situational. Bottom line is that you want a combination of good topspin AND penetration at the same time.

Well stated you absolutely got the jist of my post.

pvaudio
07-14-2009, 07:33 AM
I have never seen a flat ball that bounces low like that. Flat balls tend to come in about waiste high particularly if hit hard. Now a slice is a different story. To me flat balls are almost sitters. Easy to hit and mostly right in the strike zone.

As for blocking back floaters for you to come to net and finish, if someone wants to come to net on me I'm not blocking back anything but rather using the pace and lack of spin on a ball to hit an effecive passing shot. I have not played anyone yet that comes to net often that I don't win the majority of points when they come to net. I love having someone at net as it makes me hit a good shot and make a good decision about what kind of shot to hit. Takes all the guess work out of it. Just simply pass them with a heavy topspin ball.

I realize you are only sharing your point of view, just as I am. Good discussion is what it's all about. :)

Exactly what I was saying :)

Steady Eddy
07-14-2009, 07:43 AM
I have not played anyone yet that comes to net often that I don't win the majority of points when they come to net. I love having someone at net as it makes me hit a good shot and make a good decision about what kind of shot to hit.
Maybe this is a bit off topic, but what you describe seems very common. The player at the net is at a disadvantage, not in charge. If this is true, I disagree with the advice that to beat a pusher, "go to the net". If the net is where players are vulnerable, this will be especially true of a pusher. Don't try to outsteady a pusher, bring him to the net.

OTMPut
07-14-2009, 08:08 AM
The apex of the flight will generally be close to the net (unless you're hitting a very high ball or want it to drop short), so this seems a strange assumption.

I was looking to emphasize the fact that a 1 sec flight will result in ~ 4m drop down in ball height at the end of the court length simply because of gravity. That is impressive.

Now you can hit it with a slightly open face and with a different trajectory, that might complicate the calculations, yet the fundamental effect remains.

The simplification is just to drive home the point.

MNPlayer
07-14-2009, 08:24 AM
Maybe this is a bit off topic, but what you describe seems very common. The player at the net is at a disadvantage, not in charge. If this is true, I disagree with the advice that to beat a pusher, "go to the net". If the net is where players are vulnerable, this will be especially true of a pusher. Don't try to outsteady a pusher, bring him to the net.

Like all strategies in tennis, bringing your opponent to the net or approaching the net yourself depends on how well you execute it.

The same is true of using topspin. Topspin is not bad or good, it is one tool in the toolbox. Executed properly, I find topspin to be useful for:
1) margin of safety
2) extreme angle shots
3) boucing the ball out of the opponent's strike zone, and
4) hitting balls that are hit to you with topspin, especially if you are a little out of position.

The last point hasn't been talked about much here, but I find it easier to time a low to high swing on a ball that is itself moving vertically (i.e. a topspin shot). Also, when you hit top with top, you are reversing the spin of the ball, making the strings "grip" the ball better. I think this is the another reason it is often easier to hit a slice with a slice (other than the height of the bounce).

Poorly executed topspin can hurt you bad, because it can make your normally deep shots short, your hard/fast shots slower, and make the ball sit up for your opponent. I have struggled with all these problems, but I think the solution is to improve my topspin shots, not eliminate them.

MNPlayer
07-14-2009, 08:27 AM
One more great use of topspin I forgot to mention: slowing down a shot to give yourself time to get back in position. When you get pulled wide, I don't know of a better, safer way to give yourself time than a nice deep moonball.

harr
07-14-2009, 08:54 AM
I was looking to emphasize the fact that a 1 sec flight will result in ~ 4m drop down in ball height at the end of the court length simply because of gravity. That is impressive.But in the vast majority of cases, it won't. Assuming no air resistance (of course this is completely ridiculous, but it makes mental calculations rather easier) and velocity with a horizontal component the same as in your earlier calculation, a ball that is hit so that it will rise by one meter to its highest point* will fall by roughly one meter by the time it reaches the end of the court and hence will only go in if it is hit from an extremely low point. This is hugely different from a 4m drop. It will fall significantly more once air resistance is factored in, but still nowhere near 4m.

*Given a ball hit at hip height, this gives a comfortable net clearance of around two and a half feet. This is more than you'd generally use, but this gives an idea of the margin of error.

pvaudio
07-14-2009, 09:26 AM
One more great use of topspin I forgot to mention: slowing down a shot to give yourself time to get back in position. When you get pulled wide, I don't know of a better, safer way to give yourself time than a nice deep moonball.I agree completely...with none of this. A heavy slice is always superior for giving yourself a chance. You need to slow down the point and back the opponent up. A moonball might work well as a defensive lob, but if you're just slightly on the defensive, hitting a high topspin shot could end up with the opponent hitting a baseline overhead and putting you even more on the defensive. Instead, Slice the **** outta that thing and put it deep, back up the opponent and have them work harder which will usually make them hit a neutral shot in return.

Blade0324
07-14-2009, 10:23 AM
Maybe this is a bit off topic, but what you describe seems very common. The player at the net is at a disadvantage, not in charge. If this is true, I disagree with the advice that to beat a pusher, "go to the net". If the net is where players are vulnerable, this will be especially true of a pusher. Don't try to outsteady a pusher, bring him to the net.

I agree completely. I don't go to net to beat a pusher as you'll get lobbed or something. I hit short balls and draw them in to a position at the net or near where they are easy pluckin.

Blade0324
07-14-2009, 10:29 AM
I agree completely...with none of this. A heavy slice is always superior for giving yourself a chance. You need to slow down the point and back the opponent up. A moonball might work well as a defensive lob, but if you're just slightly on the defensive, hitting a high topspin shot could end up with the opponent hitting a baseline overhead and putting you even more on the defensive. Instead, Slice the **** outta that thing and put it deep, back up the opponent and have them work harder which will usually make them hit a neutral shot in return.


I'm gonna have to disagree with you here to some extent. Yes slice can be effective when in a defensive position but for me if I'm playing someone with a 2hbh and I see them take a hand off to slice the ball I'm already looking to step into the court a good bit and take time away. I may even come to net, which is something I very rarely do. On the other hand if they hit a looping deep topspin shot I'm backing up so that it doesn't get too high up. Same result when I do the to my oponenets.
IMO slice is only effective if you are not in too defensive of a position. If you are really pulled wide for example slice is just inviting an aggressive player to hurt you even more with the next shot.
They both have their place but I find a high, heavy, deep topspin ball to be much more effective defensive shot than a slice.

TennisandMusic
07-14-2009, 10:58 AM
Why do so many people assume hitting with topspin and hitting flat in any way refers to trajectory. I hit with a good amount of spin. It allows me to hit a harder, faster, heavier ball with more consistency. If you hit "flat" (with no spin) you simply can't hit as hard, because it will go too fast for gravity to act upon it in time. The margin for error is just too small. However, I can still hit a FLAT trajectory while using a lot of spin. This causes the ball to kick up HARD and is certainly no fun for whoever I am playing against. Spin levels and trajectory are NOT the same thing. So "hitting flat" is a bit of a misnomer when referring to not using spin. You just don't hit with much spin. I have to say hitting back flat, no spin balls is quite easy. You can generally do anything you want with them. But trying hitting something that feels like a brick that kicks up 6 feet high towards your face. Over and over.

This thread sounds like a bunch of old dudes trying to rationalize with the fact they can't play the current style of big hitting tennis. If classic strokes were the best way to go, in general, that's what would be winning. It's not in the slightest. And Federer is hardly old school.

Syfo-Dias
07-14-2009, 11:13 AM
This thread sounds like a bunch of old dudes trying to rationalize with the fact they can't play the current style of big hitting tennis. If classic strokes were the best way to go, in general, that's what would be winning. It's not in the slightest. And Federer is hardly old school.

LOL I totally agree.

Blade0324
07-14-2009, 11:22 AM
Why do so many people assume hitting with topspin and hitting flat in any way refers to trajectory. I hit with a good amount of spin. It allows me to hit a harder, faster, heavier ball with more consistency. If you hit "flat" (with no spin) you simply can't hit as hard, because it will go too fast for gravity to act upon it in time. The margin for error is just too small. However, I can still hit a FLAT trajectory while using a lot of spin. This causes the ball to kick up HARD and is certainly no fun for whoever I am playing against. Spin levels and trajectory are NOT the same thing. So "hitting flat" is a bit of a misnomer when referring to not using spin. You just don't hit with much spin. I have to say hitting back flat, no spin balls is quite easy. You can generally do anything you want with them. But trying hitting something that feels like a brick that kicks up 6 feet high towards your face. Over and over.

This thread sounds like a bunch of old dudes trying to rationalize with the fact they can't play the current style of big hitting tennis. If classic strokes were the best way to go, in general, that's what would be winning. It's not in the slightest. And Federer is hardly old school.

You are 100% correct but I think some of these guys will flame you for saying so.

pvaudio
07-14-2009, 11:26 AM
I'm gonna have to disagree with you here to some extent. Yes slice can be effective when in a defensive position but for me if I'm playing someone with a 2hbh and I see them take a hand off to slice the ball I'm already looking to step into the court a good bit and take time away. I may even come to net, which is something I very rarely do. On the other hand if they hit a looping deep topspin shot I'm backing up so that it doesn't get too high up. Same result when I do the to my oponenets.
IMO slice is only effective if you are not in too defensive of a position. If you are really pulled wide for example slice is just inviting an aggressive player to hurt you even more with the next shot.
They both have their place but I find a high, heavy, deep topspin ball to be much more effective defensive shot than a slice.
Nice explanation, my friend. I'll consider this next time :D

pvaudio
07-14-2009, 11:29 AM
Why do so many people assume hitting with topspin and hitting flat in any way refers to trajectory. I hit with a good amount of spin. It allows me to hit a harder, faster, heavier ball with more consistency. If you hit "flat" (with no spin) you simply can't hit as hard, because it will go too fast for gravity to act upon it in time. The margin for error is just too small. However, I can still hit a FLAT trajectory while using a lot of spin. This causes the ball to kick up HARD and is certainly no fun for whoever I am playing against. Spin levels and trajectory are NOT the same thing. So "hitting flat" is a bit of a misnomer when referring to not using spin. You just don't hit with much spin. I have to say hitting back flat, no spin balls is quite easy. You can generally do anything you want with them. But trying hitting something that feels like a brick that kicks up 6 feet high towards your face. Over and over.

This thread sounds like a bunch of old dudes trying to rationalize with the fact they can't play the current style of big hitting tennis. If classic strokes were the best way to go, in general, that's what would be winning. It's not in the slightest. And Federer is hardly old school.
I agree with everything you said here. People use the words interchangeably because a topspin shot in your average warmup/rally will be higher over the net than the equivalent flat shot to make it land at the same depth.

VaBeachTennis
07-14-2009, 11:29 AM
I have never seen a flat ball that bounces low like that. Flat balls tend to come in about waiste high particularly if hit hard. Now a slice is a different story. To me flat balls are almost sitters. Easy to hit and mostly right in the strike zone.

Maybe people have different interpretations of what "flat" is. The "flat" shots I hit are definitely NOT sitters, they usually skid and or go low when they hit the court. This is usually when I catch the ball on the rise or hit flat through a higher ball. I think that it happens because a lot of times I hit through it flat with a little bit of side spin. It's a hard shot for people to pick up, usually it get blocked back with a weak reply.
That said, I still believe that top spin is an important part of one's game, just as slice is, sidespin, hooks (outside in top spin), etc.

Ballinbob
07-14-2009, 01:42 PM
With respect, you must not be playing very heavy hitters. A heavy topspin shot doesn't even compare to a hard flat shot in terms of difficulty to return.

I'm a 4.0, and I've played my fair share of good players. We can disagree on this

I agree 100% with the guy you quoted, a hard flat shot is a (semi)western player's dream as it's right in their contact zone,
No. Get your facts right. A flat skidding shot that bounces an inch off the ground is definitely NOT in the strike zone of a player with a western or semi western grip. Just no.

Like Break Point said, why does Nadal have trouble with Gulbis/Berdych/Blake?

Oh yeah that's right!

Their flat shots bounce right into Nadal's strike zone! Wow I guess you learn something everyday!

Ballinbob
07-14-2009, 01:46 PM
Maybe people have different interpretations of what "flat" is. The "flat" shots I hit are definitely NOT sitters, they usually skid and or go low when they hit the court. This is usually when I catch the ball on the rise or hit flat through a higher ball. I think that it happens because a lot of times I hit through it flat with a little bit of side spin. It's a hard shot for people to pick up, usually it get blocked back with a weak

What he said, flat shots are the opposite of sitters, they skid an inch or two off the ground. If your facing people who are hitting flat balls and they're bouncing waist high they're just patty caking the ball in.

TennisandMusic
07-14-2009, 01:49 PM
Like Break Point said, why does Nadal have trouble with Gulbis/Berdych/Blake?

Oh yeah that's right!

Their flat shots bounce right into Nadal's strike zone! Wow I guess you learn something everyday!

When was the last time Nadal lost to any of those guys? Federer would have lost to Berdych had Berdych not completely choked in the AO.

Also, since when does ANY player not have trouble against a big hitter who is on? And these "big hitters" are still hitting with loads of spin. So...

TennisandMusic
07-14-2009, 01:52 PM
What he said, flat shots are the opposite of sitters, they skid an inch or two off the ground. If your facing people who are hitting flat balls and they're bouncing waist high they're just patty caking the ball in.

No one on planet earth is hitting hard flat groundstrokes that bounce an inch off the ground. If there were, that person would be winning every match they played. If gravity works on the ball at all, it's going to bounce up at least a foot or two. Only a very strong slice will keep a ball that low to the ground, and even then it better be on grass.

I think there is something amiss with your examples...

BreakPoint
07-14-2009, 01:59 PM
This thread sounds like a bunch of old dudes trying to rationalize with the fact they can't play the current style of big hitting tennis. If classic strokes were the best way to go, in general, that's what would be winning. It's not in the slightest. And Federer is hardly old school.
Haas got to the semis of Wimbledon by serving and volleying. That's old school. He beat all the new school players, such as Djokovic, Cilic, Andreev, etc. en route but couldn't get past another old school player, Federer.

Syfo-Dias
07-14-2009, 02:33 PM
Haas got to the semis of Wimbledon by serving and volleying. That's old school. He beat all the new school players, such as Djokovic, Cilic, Andreev, etc. en route but couldn't get past another old school player, Federer.

Federer uses a WW forehand that produces around 2,800 RPM's which is only second to Nadal's topspin. How is that old school? I'd say Fed is more of a modern, all court player than truly old school.

harr
07-14-2009, 02:47 PM
No. Get your facts right. A flat skidding shot that bounces an inch off the ground is definitely NOT in the strike zone of a player with a western or semi western grip. Just no.

Like Break Point said, why does Nadal have trouble with Gulbis/Berdych/Blake?None of them hit particularly low bouncing shots (and they all hit quite a bit of topspin, just not relative to other pros). Plus from what I've seen Nadal quite likes low balls on the forehand side -- possibly as the result of his straight arm technique. He really rips slices in particular.

BreakPoint
07-14-2009, 03:02 PM
Federer uses a WW forehand that produces around 2,800 RPM's which is only second to Nadal's topspin. How is that old school? I'd say Fed is more of a modern, all court player than truly old school.
Eastern grips, one-handed backhand, lots of slicing and underspin, all-court game, small-headed racquet, natural gut mains - sure sounds like old school to me, especially when compared to the likes of Nadal.

Federer's game is classic, just like his childhood idols Sampras, Edberg, and Becker. :)

BreakPoint
07-14-2009, 03:08 PM
When was the last time Nadal lost to any of those guys?
Um...Soderling at the French Open?
ince when does ANY player not have trouble against a big hitter who is on? And these "big hitters" are still hitting with loads of spin. So...
Oh, come on. You know we mean "flat" as in much "flatter" than what Nadal does (loopy balls that go high over the net). "Flat" can also mean the trajectory. Federer hits a much flatter trajectory than Nadal but it still can have good spin on the ball. That's why he can hit the ball so hard. It's impossible to hit the ball totally flat (zero spin whatsoever).

pvaudio
07-14-2009, 03:15 PM
I'm a 4.0, and I've played my fair share of good players. We can disagree on this


No. Get your facts right. A flat skidding shot that bounces an inch off the ground is definitely NOT in the strike zone of a player with a western or semi western grip. Just no.

Like Break Point said, why does Nadal have trouble with Gulbis/Berdych/Blake?

Oh yeah that's right!

Their flat shots bounce right into Nadal's strike zone! Wow I guess you learn something everyday!
What are you on about? I have never in my life seen a ball skid an inch off the ground. No one with any sense would say that's in the strike zone, but no one with any sense would say that ball is even possible to hit. You're making your argument using situations that are impossible.

chess9
07-14-2009, 03:30 PM
McEnroe is right. The modern game is superior.

And topspin doesn't need to be 2700 rpms. It can, and usually is, much less for your 5.0 and below players.

I'm an old school player who has learned to use new school techniques, and it wasn't that hard to do. New school techniques are slightly more vigorous than old school techniques, so if you are not fit, or are a bit lazy, YOU will get schooled. LOL!

On my forehand side I can hit blistering and fairly flat forehands. I can hit heavy spin or slice or flatten it out, and I'm sure all the pros do exactly the same, depending.

On my onehanded backhand I still don't hit with really heavy topspin. Very modest topspin in fact, as I prefer the slice still for approaches and some defensive shots.

On the other hand, a master at old school, like Haas, will beat a lot of new school players. But, that's about talent not technique.

-Robert

The_Steak
07-14-2009, 03:41 PM
What are you on about? I have never in my life seen a ball skid an inch off the ground. No one with any sense would say that's in the strike zone, but no one with any sense would say that ball is even possible to hit. You're making your argument using situations that are impossible.

Obviously he is exaggerating a bit. I have seen balls skid about a foot off the ground from incredibly flat hitters. These balls are incredibly hard to handle with my full western grip. Although, when dropping the wrist and using the reverse forehand, it really doesn't become a difficulty.

pvaudio
07-14-2009, 03:48 PM
Obviously he is exaggerating a bit. I have seen balls skid about a foot off the ground from incredibly flat hitters. These balls are incredibly hard to handle with my full western grip. Although, when dropping the wrist and using the reverse forehand, it really doesn't become a difficulty.I know that he's exaggerating, but Flat hitters are not hard to handle, especially on my 1HBH. I love the ball low because it makes it so much easier to swing through cleanly. On the forehand, again, the only time balls are too low to handle is when it's sliced. Plus, if you use a western grip, then you should be prepared for the consequences. I used to for years, but switch to semi and all shots are easier to hit off that wing.

Moz
07-14-2009, 03:58 PM
What is it about people and tennis? Always looking for the shortcuts.

Sure, discredit topspin and it makes your life simpler. Or discredit flat and slice - it makes your life easier.

But for the average man, if you want to maximise your potential you'll need both and you'll need to use them at the right times and in the right situations.

All this taking a definitive side on the issue is either madness or laziness.

The_Steak
07-14-2009, 04:02 PM
I know that he's exaggerating, but Flat hitters are not hard to handle, especially on my 1HBH. I love the ball low because it makes it so much easier to swing through cleanly. On the forehand, again, the only time balls are too low to handle is when it's sliced. Plus, if you use a western grip, then you should be prepared for the consequences. I used to for years, but switch to semi and all shots are easier to hit off that wing.

Actually, a lot of flat hitters can "Hit through you". I mean, the ones I play against hit hard as hell.

pvaudio
07-14-2009, 04:19 PM
Actually, a lot of flat hitters can "Hit through you". I mean, the ones I play against hit hard as hell.
All I'm saying is that a flat shot hit with the same pace as the topspin shot won't be as hard to return. The flat shot is going to be fast and hard, but the topspin shot will be very heavy and hard to get back. Again, this is merely my opinion from my experience :)

TennisandMusic
07-14-2009, 05:12 PM
Haas got to the semis of Wimbledon by serving and volleying. That's old school. He beat all the new school players, such as Djokovic, Cilic, Andreev, etc. en route but couldn't get past another old school player, Federer.

He also just started playing with poly, and lo and behold he's playing better! Interesting isn't it? Now I'm no poly evangelist, but I also don't think saying this way or THAT way is definitely better is all that important.

Serve and volley just works on grass though, and you know it. It's a detriment to the sport that the younger guys don't do it. Not even Federer does it really. And Federer's windshield wiper strokes, open stances and hybrid string are all modern things man. Yeah he is more of a blend of classic and modern than many new guys, but overall he's pretty friggin modern. Pete Sampras was the last really classic great if you look at his strokes and the way he played.

I'm not gonna respond to the rest of your posts because as usual you're just playing a semantics game and trying to cloud the issue in order to be "right" in some way.

The bottom line is, guys who hit "flatter" (Blake, Berdych, Gulbis, Tsonga, Tursunov etc) can hit big big shots and play huge tennis at times. They also never win a single big title because they can't keep it up. More topspin oriented players such as Nadal and yes Federer, dominate the game. They mix up safety, consistency and aggressiveness, to varying degrees. There really is zero arguing with results. And yes Federer IS a "topspin" player.

VaBeachTennis
07-14-2009, 05:30 PM
No one on planet earth is hitting hard flat groundstrokes that bounce an inch off the ground. If there were, that person would be winning every match they played. If gravity works on the ball at all, it's going to bounce up at least a foot or two. Only a very strong slice will keep a ball that low to the ground, and even then it better be on grass.

I think there is something amiss with your examples...

I wouldn't say that they bounce an inch or two off of the ground, but they do skid/bounce very low, thus giving some of our more extreme grip brothers a hard time. My preferred rally ball is one with a somewhat flat trajectory with a good amount of topspin on it. It's fast, penetrating, and stays in for the most part.

VaBeachTennis
07-14-2009, 06:09 PM
What is it about people and tennis? Always looking for the shortcuts.

Sure, discredit topspin and it makes your life simpler. Or discredit flat and slice - it makes your life easier.

But for the average man, if you want to maximise your potential you'll need both and you'll need to use them at the right times and in the right situations.

All this taking a definitive side on the issue is either madness or laziness.

EXCELLENT POINTS!!!

drake
07-14-2009, 07:13 PM
What is it about people and tennis? Always looking for the shortcuts.

Sure, discredit topspin and it makes your life simpler. Or discredit flat and slice - it makes your life easier.

But for the average man, if you want to maximise your potential you'll need both and you'll need to use them at the right times and in the right situations.

All this taking a definitive side on the issue is either madness or laziness.



Truer words have never been spoken Moz. There's no black or white with advanced groundstrokes. You take advantage of what you're given. Spin allows you to stay in a point, flat is great for aggresive play and both styles just makes one a better player. Why be one dimensional at any level.

pvaudio
07-14-2009, 07:24 PM
Truer words have never been spoken Moz. There's no black or white with advanced groundstrokes. You take advantage of what you're given. Spin allows you to stay in a point, flat is great for aggresive play and both styles just makes one a better player. Why be one dimensional at any level.Precisely. You need slice, topspin and flat. They shouldn't be considered interchangeable as they all have their strategic uses.

Ballinbob
07-15-2009, 04:38 AM
Plus from what I've seen Nadal quite likes low balls on the forehand side -- possibly as the result of his straight arm technique. He really rips slices in particular.

A slice is different. It bounces lower yes, but it's a slower shot and floats more in the air and therefore Nadal has more time to set up. A hard flat shot hit straight at the Nadal forehand does trouble him, hence Blakes positive record on Nadal (not 100% sure on this, but I'm pretty sure he has a decent record against him)

What are you on about? I have never in my life seen a ball skid an inch off the ground. No one with any sense would say that's in the strike zone, but no one with any sense would say that ball is even possible to hit. You're making your argument using situations that are impossible.

I'm exaggerating a bit obviously, but either way, your just flat out wrong if you think a hard flat shot that skids is in the strike zone for a player with a full western grip, or even semi western. Nadal is the perfect example for this. Berdych and all those players I listed in my previous post prove my point exactly. Those players give Nadal fits. This is not even debatable. You can see this crystal clear in all of Nadal's matches vs flat hitters.

Players with a full western grips like HIGH balls, not low flat balls. Go take a survey if you don't believe me. It doesn't matter if i'm exaggerating, my point still stands. A hard flat shot is not even remotely close to the preferred strike zone of players with a full western grip

GuyClinch
07-15-2009, 04:55 AM
^^^ Come on Nadal doesn't have alot of trouble with any player. As for flat hitters beating him.. Flatter hitters have a lower margin of error so they tend to be streaky. None of the guys on tour hit flat though not even Blake.

The problem with championing "flat" over "topspin" is that its too hard to do consistently - hence topspin is used. its a shame the OP couldn't learn the modern hard hitting topspin game. Its pretty awesome.

harr
07-15-2009, 06:11 AM
A slice is different. It bounces lower yes, but it's a slower shot and floats more in the air and therefore Nadal has more time to set up. A hard flat shot hit straight at the Nadal forehand does trouble him, hence Blakes positive record on Nadal (not 100% sure on this, but I'm pretty sure he has a decent record against him)But that suggests that it is the pace of the shot that troubles Nadal rather than the height of the bounce. If he has to run to a hard flat shot he may not be able to take it as high as he likes, so the lower bounce of flat shots might give him trouble, but I don't think height is an issue when the ball is hit straight to him because Nadal's grip really isn't that extreme and even the flattest hitters among the pros hit shots that bounce quite high.

Steady Eddy
07-15-2009, 06:12 AM
^^^ Come on Nadal doesn't have alot of trouble with any player. As for flat hitters beating him.. Flatter hitters have a lower margin of error so they tend to be streaky. None of the guys on tour hit flat though not even Blake.

The problem with championing "flat" over "topspin" is that its too hard to do consistently - hence topspin is used. its a shame the OP couldn't learn the modern hard hitting topspin game. Its pretty awesome.
It's not clear that what the top pros do is what everyone should do. If serve and volley makes a comeback in the pros, does that mean weekend players should do that too? They're two different sports because they're played on such different levels. Recreational players shouldn't necessarily use the same techniques as the pros.

Blade0324
07-15-2009, 06:47 AM
I'm a 4.0, and I've played my fair share of good players. We can disagree on this


No. Get your facts right. A flat skidding shot that bounces an inch off the ground is definitely NOT in the strike zone of a player with a western or semi western grip. Just no.

Like Break Point said, why does Nadal have trouble with Gulbis/Berdych/Blake?

Oh yeah that's right!

Their flat shots bounce right into Nadal's strike zone! Wow I guess you learn something everyday!
I know you are just being figurative when you say the shot bounces an inch off the ground as that is simply not the case. However different people, even those with SW and W FH grips have different strike zones. For me personally I really like either a low ball around knees to waiste high or a high ball up around shoulders. That may explain why some of us like your low ball to hit hard back to you.

Blade0324
07-15-2009, 06:49 AM
What he said, flat shots are the opposite of sitters, they skid an inch or two off the ground. If your facing people who are hitting flat balls and they're bouncing waist high they're just patty caking the ball in.

Not even Blake, Soderling etc. that hit very hard flat shots with minimal spin on them have balls that bounce an inch or two off the ground. That tells me that yours do not do so either. Yes they may be lower than a topspin bounce but they are still somewhere between the knees and waiste if you are playing on a HC.

GuyClinch
07-15-2009, 04:48 PM
It's not clear that what the top pros do is what everyone should do. If serve and volley makes a comeback in the pros, does that mean weekend players should do that too? They're two different sports because they're played on such different levels. Recreational players shouldn't necessarily use the same techniques as the pros.

Certainly shots like the WW are too hard without sufficent court time and practice. But your basic over the shoulder topspin shot (that most women and juniors hit) is plenty effective at the recreational level, IMHO.

Like i said the OP didn't get the proper coaching and never learned the proper skills, IMHO so he is attempting to dismiss it. Just because it didn't work for him doesn't mean its a strategy the recreational player should ignore.

At the college level nearly all the players hit fairly hard topspin rally balls. So its pretty clear its a good technique for us mortals.

Pete

Golden Retriever
07-15-2009, 10:11 PM
It's not clear that what the top pros do is what everyone should do. If serve and volley makes a comeback in the pros, does that mean weekend players should do that too? They're two different sports because they're played on such different levels. Recreational players shouldn't necessarily use the same techniques as the pros.

Exactly, if I were a pro I wouldn't be complaining about topspin. I probably would want as much topspin as possible.

BUT the point is I AM NOT A PRO so I hate topspin.

BTW if hitting flat works for Agassi, it is good enough for me.

Kevo
07-15-2009, 10:27 PM
Flat hitters beat Nadal because they hit big and hit the ball by him. It's not because he has all that much trouble returning their shot. Nadal has trouble with these guys because if he's not hitting every heavy topspin shot well, one ball ends up shoulder high and Blake or Soderling just rip a winner or force the error.

It's more about the match up than who has "better" strokes.

The best thing about hitting flat is it takes away time. It's not really because of the height of the bounce. Nothing is really outside my strikezone except a biting slice or a ball I can't get my feet to. Anything else, if I'm in position I can take a cut at.

A player who can drive a ball flat with precision is difficult because they take away time to prepare and hit the ball clean. So if that's the style you want to develop, I think it's a great way to go if it works for you. I like to employ that technique at times and it works well in the right situation or against the right player.

I just feel I can control points better, in general, with topspin shots. I can work angles better, I can change the height of the ball to my opponent when I want, I can vary the speed off the bounce. It's a huge weapon in the arsenal, and I think for 4.0 and higher it's really something you should have in the tool belt.

It's also tremendously useful for dealing with short balls that are below the net. I end up getting winners on these shots a lot of the time because I can hit angles short in the court that take off on the bounce.

I say work on everything and use what's working.

Mick
07-15-2009, 10:44 PM
Exactly, if I were a pro I wouldn't be complaining about topspin. I probably would want as much topspin as possible.

BUT the point is I AM NOT A PRO so I hate topspin.

BTW if hitting flat works for Agassi, it is good enough for me.

yeah but brad gilbert says if you play against a good woman tennis player, you have got to use topspin. if you feed her flat balls, she will kill you :)

masterxfob
07-15-2009, 11:33 PM
this thread reminds me of a friend. the guy hits with crazy, heavy topspin that bounces up to your shoulders, but still has incredible pace. i think the ball bounces higher than the height that it actually travels. you have to take it early or you'll end up at the back of the fence waiting for it to come down. he didn't become the #1 ranked 5.5 player in southern california a few years back by hitting moon balls. his shots pack some serious heat and topspin.

GuyClinch
07-16-2009, 05:24 AM
BTW if hitting flat works for Agassi, it is good enough for me.

Agassi doesn't hit "flat" - if that's your idea of flat then yeah you don't need topspin. <g> My god man have you ever even hit with a ex satellite pro? Your ideas about tennis are flat out crazy.

pvaudio
07-16-2009, 06:54 AM
Exactly, if I were a pro I wouldn't be complaining about topspin. I probably would want as much topspin as possible.

BUT the point is I AM NOT A PRO so I hate topspin.

BTW if hitting flat works for Agassi, it is good enough for me.

What the flying **** are you talking about? Agassi did NOT only hit flat. I don't know if this forum can embed, so I'll try

SiHIklJiM7U

If not,
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SiHIklJiM7U

Low to high swing, that isn't flat.

Another one:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BwhBJ4B84yo&feature=related

Who has been teaching you tennis, because I think you're confusing flat and spin.

mental midget
07-16-2009, 07:30 AM
tennis is mostly about not missing. topspin provides for a greater margin of error. how is this thread 7 pages long?

hard, 'flat' hitters bother nadal because they obliterate the ball at a zillion miles an hour within a few inches of the baseline. btw, that bothers everyone. it's also basically impossible to do on a regular basis, which is why nadal slam count > blake/berdych slam count. by the way, what is blake, like, 3-2 v. nadal? where's the pwnage, exactly, in those numbers?

and if we're holding up pete's success as a 'flat' hitter to bolster the argument--

sampras had great groundies, especially early in his career, but if you think 97.43 percent of his success wasn't due to his serve and subsequent first volley, you're on crack.

SupremeV
07-16-2009, 08:32 AM
I think the problem that which has led to seven pages of circular discussion is due to how we define "flatness". Now I agree with the OP that the capabilities and advantages of Topspin are a bit over-exaggerated. It has led to the mentality of many players who focus so much on "brushing" the ball that they no longer push through the stroke.

HOWEVER, it would be pretty foolish to completely discredit topspin. I believe that the general consensus on what a "flat" shot is the relative lack of topspin compared to some norm; not the absence of topspin. It is quite impossible to induce a spinless shot. Even if you just slightly finish over the ball or push through the stroke, it will impart some kind of spin. Now as many people keep posting yet the OP seems not to understand is that any pro, it doesn't matter what era, will hit topspin; some more than others. They have found the correct proportion of topspin/pace that has allowed them to hit consistently.

I think what the OP means by "I hate topspin............ Hitting flat is great...... Agassi hits flat...." is that he has finally found a good proportion of topspin/pace that works for him. He may not realize it, but he’s probably putting more topspin and pace into the stroke which feeds the illusion of a “flat” ball.

harr
07-16-2009, 11:17 AM
What the flying **** are you talking about? Agassi did NOT only hit flat.He hit very flat compared to most of today's pros (similar spin to Sampras on the forehand, less on the backhand*, and Sampras has been highlighted by mental midget as someone who hit quite flat), though I agree that it wasn't truly flat. He does however show that you can succeed at any level with relatively little spin compared to the average for that level. Many pros still hit with little spin on the 2hbh, but they generally have much spinnier forehands than Agassi (or so it looks to me anyway).
Low to high swing, that isn't flat.Almost all shots are going to have some degree of low to high or high to low. If you define flat as having no spin whatsoever then nobody at any level primarily hits flat. In the video that you posted, most of the low to high is after contact. As I said I agree that he didn't hit flat, but most of the power goes to pace rather than spin.

*Based upon a very small sample (http://wings.avkids.com/Tennis/Project/usspin-04.html)

Bungalo Bill
07-16-2009, 12:01 PM
I have been lured to believe that topspin is god by topspin worshippers on this board and I have wasted 8 years of my life trying to prime my topspin.

Eight years? Are you kidding me? And who are these topspin worshippers that you have been gullible enough to jump to conclusions and take topspin to the extreme?

And what does "priming" topspins mean? Where you try to put more and more and more topspin on the ball in hopes to do what? Be the club hero? Impress the men and women on the court?

Topspin is a good spin to learn in tennis just as underspin is as well. But for the negatives that you listed, I can combat them with positives especially since I know you are exaggerating.

Last week I injured my wrist so I stop using topspin and voila my shots are much much much much much better. Its got speed, depth, angle, control, less stressful on my wrist and most importantly it feels good.

Less stress on the wrist? I will bet you $10 that your technique is what is the problem and not topspin. If your wrist is having problems, believe me you are hitting the ball improperly and you are moving through the ball with poor technique.

Before you start chiming in with your lack of technique and dishing a spin that is viable for all levels of players, you best get your informaton straight.

I am now playing the game like it was meant to play. When I want spin I use backspin.

Well, just because you like to use underspin, doesn't mean that this is the way to play the game. Especially since you hinted to me that your technique is all messed up.

There is nothing to hitting topspin. A player only has to swing low to high to get the benefits of topspin. There is no exaggerated stroke, stress on the wrist, or anything else! If you are adding the windshield wiper technique, then you should do so properly. Twisting, forcing, or torquing the racquet to try to get more topspin is futile and stupid. However, with that said, advanced players can put some torque on the handle to help increase racquet head speed, but it is careful, small, and needs to be well timed.

Hitting with topspin should be nearly effortless and does allow a player to go for their shots more with more margin for error.

Come to think of it, topspin is just more harmful than benefitcial. First it slows down the ball a lot while expanding much more energy. How stupid is that? Secondly, it bounces higher to the striking zone of the opponent making it easier for your opponent to return the ball.

What? Huh? Man if you are hitting balls like this no wonder you are dissappointed. All of the above is absolute nonsense. Topspin is more harmful? LOL!!! Topspin bounces higher making it easier for your opponent to return the ball?

The purpose of topspin is not to "trick" your opponent but to help you hit the ball with good pace and keep it in the court! Topspin is for YOUR benefit and NOT just your opponents.

Now people say topspin has more control blah blah blah. I don't buy that no more. Yeah, you can hit higher above the net with topspin but remember you have to swing a lot faster to create that topspin. The faster the swing the less control you are gonna get.

Now, we are getting into stupidity. You do not have to have a monstrous swing to hit with topspin and get the benefits it gives you over underspin. The reason topspin is predominately used today is because of its benefits. And the faster you swing does not mean you will get less control. That depends on your grounding, balance, technique, position to the ball, etc...I can have an incredible swing speed and still maintain control of the ball because the spin will help the ball come down in the court.

Any extra control you get from topspin will only be neutalized by the faster swing speed required to create that topspin. I would say at the end you get less control not more.

Is it okay for me to laugh now? I am dying to put an "LOL" here somewhere.

Of course if you can acquire the kind of topspin like Nadal then it is just another level of play but for most people topspin is way way way way way way overrated.

Well, topspin is not overrated. It is a proven spin that will be here for a very long long time. Topspin is simply a FORWARD rotation of the ball. The airflow above and below the ball helps promotes its benefits. A player does not have to expend a ton of energy trying to hit a ball with topspin. Topspin is topspin. You simply brush the ball low to high and you have topspin. If you want to increase the revolutions of the ball, then you will have to improve several areas of your swing to increase speed, but it does not mean the player loses control.

With underspin, it can be very tricky to control the float on the ball and have it land in play. With underspin, many times the ball ends up short, and if you play a savvy player, he will eat that up.

Who the hell is P Mac Enroe anyway? If it was J McEroe maybe I would give it some weight.
Patrick McEnroe? You never heard of him? Well, let's just say he is better than you and his advice is good.

New school is only for the few very gifted and young. So maybe the best new schooler will cream the best old schooler.

Hitting with topspin is something that has been around for decades. You dont need to be very gifted to hit with topspin. This is just flat out ridiculous. And new school and old school has nothing to do with who will cream who!!! It is simply a style. If you want to hit more balls with underspin go for it. But to knock topspin because you got hurt or don't understand its use, is completely bogus.

I don't think Federer hits a lot of tops on purpose. Thats just the result of hitting flat with incredible swing speed. He intends to hit flat but ends up with a lot of tops. He is actually the ultimate old schooler.

Actually, Federer's swing helps him to hit with more topspin. Since Federer is swinging the way he is, he is thinking to swing the way he is. It is practiced.

And how do you hit flat but end up with a lot of topspin? Please tell me?

charaseac
07-16-2009, 01:09 PM
Because tennis is ALL about physics (and geometry). Stay in school. :)

I was just trying to be sarcastic :(

This forum is awesome, you asked about tennis and topspin, you get some formula pasted from wolfram lol....

Too bad my degree has nothing to do with physics (heck i dont even remember my first year physics anymore :oops: ) or else maybe i going to post something here too :)

Steady Eddy
07-16-2009, 03:11 PM
Topspin bounces higher making it easier for your opponent to return the ball?

The purpose of topspin is not to "trick" your opponent but to help you hit the ball with good pace and keep it in the court! Topspin is for YOUR benefit and NOT just your opponents.
It never makes it easier for your opponents? That's not what some of my opponents used to tell me. They'd say, "I love hitting with you because your topspin makes the ball set up nice and high." Also, I hit down the middle too, so they could stand in one place and rally. I was trying to be consistent. I was, but I was also making it very easy for my opponent to be consistent too. In competition, shouldn't I hit shots that my opponent doesn't like?

Well, topspin is not overrated. It is a proven spin that will be here for a very long long time. Topspin is simply a FORWARD rotation of the ball. The airflow above and below the ball helps promotes its benefits. A player does not have to expend a ton of energy trying to hit a ball with topspin. Topspin is topspin. You simply brush the ball low to high and you have topspin. If you want to increase the revolutions of the ball, then you will have to improve several areas of your swing to increase speed, but it does not mean the player loses control.
Back in the 70's someone manufactured a 'wood' oversize racquet. It was named after Vilas. (Actually, it was a composite of wood and other things.) Since Vilas a a big topspin player, it said how it was good for topspin because it was oversize, and since topspinners get alot of mishits, this especially made it good for them. I wondered, "I've always heard how topspin makes someone consistent, how can you be consistent if you're mishitting or shanking the ball?" The low to high path of the racquet head reduces your sweet spot. To see this, hold a racquet so that it faces you. As you rotate it you see less and less of the racquet face. The more severe your low to high stroke, the harder it is to put the sweet spot on the ball. This doesn't mean that topspin is wrong. Just that it's not so clear that it's a good thing to do. There are advantages and disadvantages. My view is that topspin works for some people, but that it is not for everyone.

Bungalo Bill
07-16-2009, 03:49 PM
It never makes it easier for your opponents? That's not what some of my opponents used to tell me. They'd say, "I love hitting with you because your topspin makes the ball set up nice and high." Also, I hit down the middle too, so they could stand in one place and rally. I was trying to be consistent. I was, but I was also making it very easy for my opponent to be consistent too. In competition, shouldn't I hit shots that my opponent doesn't like?

Topspin is topspin. The rest of the game you should develop is moving the ball around, placement, closing your court off, etc...If you hit the ball in the same place all the time, then of course people are going to camp out and drill the ball.

I could say the same for underspin. I love players that hit only underspin. I simply keep hitting balls and wait for that short ball. I move in after I hit and then move back if they are able to hit it deep. I move in again, and whalaaaa, short ball, point over.

Just by the veyr nature of underspin, underspin is harder to control than topspin to consistently keep the ball deep and in play.

Do you even know what underspin is and topspin? Do you know what is happening to the ball through the air? Why dont you take out some studied before you chime in with your "reasoning".

Back in the 70's someone manufactured a 'wood' oversize racquet. It was named after Vilas. (Actually, it was a composite of wood and other things.) Since Vilas a a big topspin player, it said how it was good for topspin because it was oversize, and since topspinners get alot of mishits, this especially made it good for them. I wondered, "I've always heard how topspin makes someone consistent, how can you be consistent if you're mishitting or shanking the ball?" The low to high path of the racquet head reduces your sweet spot.

My god, are we going to go into the realms of complete BS? Topspin does not make someone consistent. Practice does, the right kind of practice. Topspin is a spin, if you overhit and lose balance, I dont care how much topspin you use, you are not going to be consistent. Underspin can also be a problem. If you swing to hard, dont maintain balance, you will not be consistent as well.

Quit thinking the spin is the culprit and look at the players technique, approach to the game of tennis, and how he hits the ball. It isn't the spin.

To see this, hold a racquet so that it faces you. As you rotate it you see less and less of the racquet face. The more severe your low to high stroke, the harder it is to put the sweet spot on the ball. This doesn't mean that topspin is wrong. Just that it's not so clear that it's a good thing to do.

LOL! Wow, more terrible examples of what topspin is. Could it be that you just can't hit a ball with topspin? So instead of crapping on yourself you crap on the spin?

You do know that topspin can be hit be gradually moving the racquet up naturally in about a 30 degree angle dont you?

So if you are going to exaggerate about hitting topspin, why not make it fair and do the same with underspin? Or can you? Or would you dare?

There are advantages and disadvantages. My view is that topspin works for some people, but that it is not for everyone.

Using topspin in your game is for everyone. You may not want to use topspin but it doesnt mean your game can't benefit from it. It is crazy to say what you are saying. Severe low to high stroke? Well, I could say the same with underspin!!! My gosh!!

Hitting a ball with topspin is a good way to play tennis. Using underspin to mix things up is even better. There is nothing wrong outside of your exaggerations and misinformation that topspin is bad for anyone. I just get so tired of this BS on this board.

user92626
07-16-2009, 04:09 PM
Bill and Others,

I am wondering if it's even possible to hit WITHOUT any topspin if you execute a proper modern groundstroke?

Bungalo Bill
07-16-2009, 04:16 PM
Okay, before I get really ticked off about this entire thread, let's bring it back to earth and let me take a deep breath.

First off, this...

1. Don't exaggerate about topspin. Topspin is simply a spin. It is not the Holy Grail to your consistency, placement, or anything else. It is a way to hit the ball to get certain benefits from it just like any other spin.

2. It is not dangerous, injury causing, massive frame ball producing, or any other exaggeration. Topspin is simply topspin and any speed in revolutions so long as the ball is spinning forward is topspin.

Let's face it, many many players overhit their ball. They think more is better and disregard placement, mixing up speeds and spins, ball movement, consistency, depth, and decent power on the ball. They just got to swipe faster, go up steeper, swing the racquet as hard as they can because they want to get the tremendous revolutions on the ball that Nadal can get. They want their ball to bounce a mile high and have everyone "WOW" them to death.

So, we are simply talking about topspin and underspin. Both have their pros and cons. I also don't want to get into this ridiculous talk about "smaller" window to make contact with the ball as compared to underspin.

BOTH SPINS HAVE THEIR STRENGTHS AND WEAKNESSES AND BOTH NEED TO BE IN YOUR GAME.

If you choose to use one more than the other, so be it. That is your choice, but don't dish a spin just because you can't handle it.

WHAT IS TOPSPIN
It is a forward rotation of the ball. It causes air pressure to build up on TOP of the ball pushing it down sooner to the ground.

A tennis player can take advantage of this by using a low to high swing and making clean contact with the ball. He can put power into his shot to produce a heavier ball for their opponent while allowing the air pressure and gravity to work together to force the ball down into the court's boundaries. Forget the BS about mishits and all of that junk. Many, many, many players hit with topspin today with good results.

You do not have to hit the ball real hard to produce topspin. Topspin is produced by the direction your strings strike the ball. If you are going in an upward direction (NO MATTER HOW STEEP OR SHALLOW) you will produce topspin.

If a player simply raises his arm up from the shoulder naturally and without alteration, you will hit the ball and make it spin for topspin. It is that simple.

Where topspin gets complicated is when a player tries to do too much for their skill level. They try to rise and perform a windshield wiper. And since they didn't make good contact or don't feel they didn't get that jump out of the ball that Nadal can get, they start trying harder and harder and harder. Soon, they are injured, mishitting, losing their balance, and are terribly inconsistent.

This is not a problem with topspin. This is a problem with the players brain which is called "BEING STUPID."

WHAT IS UNDERSPIN
Underspin is produced by striking the strings of your racquet downward on the ball.

Underspin puts air pressure UNDER the ball which keeps it up and floats through the air longer and faster than topspin. You do not need to hit the ball hard with underspin to get the ball to zoom through the air. However, underspin gets tricky when you begin handling more difficult balls. Underspin can float on you long or out. A player can leave their ball short with underspin. Underspin can hang in the air for a doubles partner to cream the ball.

So for people here to dish topspin, some can dish underspin as well.

The bottom-line to this is the OP is simply overstating his disappointment with topspin and we don't know why he is truly disappointed. In all strokes, poor technique and poor choices are more of the culprit than the spin itself.

firstblud
07-16-2009, 04:20 PM
3. Let's face it, many many players overhit their ball. They think more is better and disregard placement, mixing up speeds and spins, ball movement, consistency, depth, and decent power on the ball. They just got to swipe faster, go up steeper, swing the racquet as hard as they can because they want to get the tremendous revolutions on the ball that Nadal can get. They want their ball to bounce a mile high and have everyone "WOW" them to death.

:mrgreen:

i'm guilty as charged

SplitStepper
07-16-2009, 04:22 PM
I've played for 20 years and coached for t10. I've worked with literally thousands of players from all over the world. Including D1 college players as well as ATP touring pros. Bottom line......TOPSPIN RULES. There is a small place for flat shots, but you have to be very accurate to hit them. Consistency is king and topspin is the key. game over flatliners.

user92626
07-16-2009, 04:37 PM
I imagine post like this ^^ gonna drive Bill to the cliff. LOL. It's like SplitStepper didn't read Bill's post at all. hehe.

pushing_wins
07-16-2009, 05:05 PM
I have been lured to believe that topspin is god by topspin worshippers on this board and I have wasted 8 years of my life trying to prime my topspin. Last week I injured my wrist so I stop using topspin and voila my shots are much much much much much better. Its got speed, depth, angle, control, less stressful on my wrist and most importantly it feels good.

I am now playing the game like it was meant to play. When I want spin I use backspin.

Come to think of it, topspin is just more harmful than benefitcial. First it slows down the ball a lot while expanding much more energy. How stupid is that? Secondly, it bounces higher to the striking zone of the opponent making it easier for your opponent to return the ball.

Now people say topspin has more control blah blah blah. I don't buy that no more. Yeah, you can hit higher above the net with topspin but remember you have to swing a lot faster to create that topspin. The faster the swing the less control you are gonna get. Any extra control you get from topspin will only be neutalized by the faster swing speed required to create that topspin. I would say at the end you get less control not more.

Of course if you can acquire the kind of topspin like Nadal then it is just another level of play but for most people topspin is way way way way way way overrated.

there is one problem

topspin is the go-to shot for "all" 5.5+ players

there is a difference between moon balls and 5.5 topspin

most people think they are hitting topspin but in reality they are hitting moonballs

i dont think anyone actually knows how to teach proper driving topspin

instruction on the forehand is usually garbage, but if you feed balls to 100000s of kids with the same garbage instruction, a few willl figure out it out for themselves and they go on to become pros.

then the coach takes credit for their success.

but in reality its http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Survivorship_bias


dj4life, before you say anything, post your video and do they offer stats in home school?

ubermeyer
07-16-2009, 08:32 PM
lol, this is a fail-thread. Topspin is necessary at all levels, even for pushers like me :)

Mansewerz
07-16-2009, 08:34 PM
lol, this is a fail-thread. Topspin is necessary at all levels, even for pushers like me :)

If you use topspin, I doubt you're a pusher.

klementine
07-16-2009, 08:42 PM
I don't know if I agree with the less injury potential, since I play with alot of middle-aged people who suffer from tennis elbow, and almost all of them hit flat strokes (with improper technique of course). I won't deny that the modern game requires more physical exertion though, and thats why I'm not surprised alot of older players still play the old school style of game.

I read in one of my tennis instruction books that it takes 3 times as much practice to develop flat shots than topspin shots, because there is far less margin for error in flat shots.


This is what makes topspin more reliable, it's more forgiving.

I started off playing only flat,it felt more natural and efficicent.

Then after about two years of constant playing (too busy for lessons and tons of hours practicing) , I naturally developed a topspin shot, although not extreme.... now it's hard for me to switch back to flat shots.

pvaudio
07-16-2009, 08:44 PM
If you use topspin, I doubt you're a pusher.
There's a whole thread on this: pushers and dinkers are completely different players. A pusher is someone who hits with just about no pace and gets the ball over the net. They can use top spin, slice, sidespin, facespin, whatever, their main goal is just to keep the point going. A dinker on the other hand has ZERO strategy whatsoever and just wants the ball in the court. Their passing shots are more akin to divine intervention than actual skill. The pusher could be able to hit passing shots, and would only go for a winner if they've brought you into the net. Above 4.0, the pusher is called the counterpuncher.

chris
07-16-2009, 10:18 PM
thankyou bungalo bill

Bungalo Bill
07-16-2009, 10:50 PM
I've played for 20 years and coached for t10. I've worked with literally thousands of players from all over the world. Including D1 college players as well as ATP touring pros. Bottom line......TOPSPIN RULES. There is a small place for flat shots, but you have to be very accurate to hit them. Consistency is king and topspin is the key. game over flatliners.

Ugggg, for the 1990's yes, but nowdays, players perform all kinds of shots. Flat, top, and under.

Bungalo Bill
07-16-2009, 11:03 PM
thankyou bungalo bill

You are welcome.

GuyClinch
07-17-2009, 06:41 AM
Ugggg, for the 1990's yes, but nowdays, players perform all kinds of shots. Flat, top, and under.

Hardly any real flat shots - most have some backspin or topspin.

Bungalo Bill
07-17-2009, 07:35 AM
Hardly any real flat shots - most have some backspin or topspin.

Hardly any flat shots? You sure about that? Women pros included?

And geeez, can we get picky here? "Real" flat shots vs. just a flat shot? There is no such thing as a ball traveling with absolutely NO spin. So a flat shot is considered to have some reasonable amount of spin and behave in such a way that when it bounces or goes through the air that it doesn't dive or kick up or anything like that so that it would be called "hitting flat".

Therefore, pros, any level, any sex, any player, any amount of money, any tournament, etc. etc...has pros that hit flat, with topspin, and with underpspin. Pros can flatten out the ball for winner. Pros can hit with a lot of topspin for a purpose. Pros can hit with underspin for various reasons. Pros can even can hit with some sidepspin.

Get real.

Steady Eddy
07-17-2009, 07:36 AM
Do you even know what underspin is and topspin? Do you know what is happening to the ball through the air? Why dont you take out some studied before you chime in with your "reasoning".
Since you asked, yes I know what topspin and underspin are. Topspin dips, underspin has a more straight path. But I don't know what you mean, "...take out some studied..."

My god, are we going to go into the realms of complete BS? Topspin does not make someone consistent. Practice does, the right kind of practice. Topspin is a spin, if you overhit and lose balance, I dont care how much topspin you use, you are not going to be consistent. Underspin can also be a problem. If you swing to hard, dont maintain balance, you will not be consistent as well.
I don't know how old you are, but in the 70's topspin was being marketed as the "secret" to tennis. Borg and Vilas were the top players, and everyone was copying their loopy strokes. If your opponent wore a big headband over his long hair, you could bet that he thought he was Borg and would hit with lots of topspin.

I just get so tired of this BS on this board.
Take a deep breath.
let me take a deep breath.
Just what I said.

When I took up tennis in the 70's topspin was so emphasized that some even thought it was a new invention. Remember when Roscoe Tanner marketed himself as the "new, topspin Tanner"? That's how it was in the 70's, it was like topspin was this new thing that was changing the game. Alot of people, like me, got confused. I really don't disagree with what you're saying about moderate topspin, and how everyone should use it sometimes. Sorry, didn't mean to get you riled. Just trying to express my 2 cents.

Blade0324
07-17-2009, 08:10 AM
Bungalo Bill has certainly brought the voice of reason to this thread. Thank you!!!
Bottom line is that one needs a variety of shots in their arsenal to be effective.
The other thing that keeps getting overlooked is something that another poster mentioned here previously.
People often mix up spin and trajectory. A ball can be hit with a low "flat" trajectory and still have a tremendous amount of topspin on it. It doesn't have to clear the net by 6 feet to have loads of topspin.

Bungalo Bill
07-17-2009, 08:39 AM
Since you asked, yes I know what topspin and underspin are. Topspin dips, underspin has a more straight path. But I don't know what you mean, "...take out some studied..."

One dips and the other has a more straight path??????? Would you like me to laugh now?

What is topspin and what is underspin? Can a player try for too much of either? In other words, can a player overhit, underhit, or try too hard in producing either spin?

Topspin to a tennis player is useful because air pressure is on top of the ball. Underspin is useful to a player because air pressure is under the ball. players can take advantage of this in their game.

Both can be used by a tennis player and either one can be used to build your game around. Depending on your grip, topspin can either be massive, moderate, or a little. Some players can get more out of a grip than others. When a player moves out of their means and does more than they are capable of or their grip allows, we get posts like this.

What I am having a problem with is this post is painting topspin in a bad light because I can bet the OP did not use topspin correctly and got injured or aggravated an injury in the process.

He is implying that topspin is the reason for his woes. This is not only a bunch of BS but it is misleading and untruthful.

Any amount of forward revolution on a tennis ball is topspin. In the 70's topspin was being used. However, the grips (Continental/Eastern) did not really allow for massive amounts of topspin. Revolutions on the ball were much lower than today. However, they were hitting topspin in the 70's.

Topspin was very much around in the 70's because that is the era I grew in tennis the most. You should not confuse today's windshield wiper technique and the massive amounts of rotation on the ball that players can get these days with the topspin of yesterday.

Even if the ball spins one turn from one end of the court to the other, the ball had topspin on it.

I don't know how old you are, but in the 70's topspin was being marketed as the "secret" to tennis. Borg and Vilas were the top players, and everyone was copying their loopy strokes. If your opponent wore a big headband over his long hair, you could bet that he thought he was Borg and would hit with lots of topspin.

Please, please stop. The 70's my gosh. In the 70's both topspin and underspin were being used. I played in the 70's. Coaches at that time were teaching both strokes to master and if you only learned topspin, then too bad for you.

Steady Eddy
07-17-2009, 08:56 AM
Bungalo Bill has certainly brought the voice of reason to this thread. Thank you!!!

Maybe. He certainly seems quick to express irritation at folks he perceives to not know as much about tennis as himself. And he perceives everyone that way!
One dips and the other has a more straight path??????? Would you like me to laugh now?

Topspin to a tennis player is useful because air pressure is on top of the ball. Underspin is useful to a player because air pressure is under the ball. players can take advantage of this in their game.
Pardon my simplicity, but don't these express the same ideas, but in different words?

Please, please stop. The 70's my gosh. In the 70's both topspin and underspin were being used.
Yes, I will. You seem to be constantly irratated by everything except for toadies like Blade. I notice your signature says.
"Former USPTA Teaching Professional"
I was under the impression that being a good instructor wasn't only about technical knowledge, but involved other factors, like patience, as well. Seems a diversity of opinions bothers you. Should this be the "Bungalo Bill speaks and everyone else can 'shut up' board?"

Bungalo Bill
07-17-2009, 09:22 AM
Maybe. He certainly seems quick to express irritation at folks he perceives to not know as much about tennis as himself. And he perceives everyone that way!

Maybe my butt. I did bring in reasoning to this post that painted topspin in a bad light.

And based on this thread and some of the ****-eyed responses that side with the OP, you bet I know more about tennis, instruction, than you and your clones ever will. I have no problem admitting that.

To paint topspin in a bad light without considering that the OP may have been overhitting or trying to do something with topspin that he shouldn't and jumping to the "70's" for your so-called argument is just lame logic all the way.

Pardon my simplicity, but don't these express the same ideas, but in different words?

Same ideas but in different words? What?

Yes, I will. You seem to be constantly irratated by everything except for toadies like Blade. I notice your signature says.
"Former USPTA Teaching Professional"

No, I am irritated by nonsense posts and there are plenty of them here. This thread and the OP's experience and blasting of topspin is a flat out joke.

I was under the impression that being a good instructor wasn't only about technical knowledge, but involved other factors, like patience, as well. Seems a diversity of opinions bothers you. Should this be the "Bungalo Bill speaks and everyone else can 'shut up' board?"

Patience? lol!!!!

I have been patient. Do you want me to blow smoke up your butt and tell you that your little 70's history lesson was right on? Are you high?

I could careless what you think or what you want to think. What you don't like is me being blunt about things. You provide nonsense posts and I will respond. Get it together.

And please, lowering yourself to personal attacks? Are you out of ammunition? Can't finish out your so-called logic? Out of things to say? The former in my title is exactly that. I no longer pay dues to the USPTA. And so I can't exrpess an opposing opinion? I presented my logic to the topic TOPSPIN.

I will stand and say the OP's post and those that support the OP's post are flat out false.

Sorry you don't like someone else being blunt when the OP was pretty darn blunt about his experience.

Steady Eddy
07-17-2009, 09:34 AM
Same ideas but in different words? What?
The standard example is "Six of one, half dozen of the other." See, they are the same thing, 6 * 1 = 6, 1/2 * 12 = 6. So I know, and expressed how ball rotation affects flight in tennis, (same way it affects balls in baseball and golf).

No, I am irritated by nonsense posts and there are plenty of them here. This thread and the OP's experience and blasting of topspin is a flat out joke. But topspin isn't a person. It doesn't have feelings.

Patience? lol!!!!
You laugh at the idea of being patient? I wonder what your lessons were like?

I have been patient.
Yes. I've noticed.

I could careless what you think or what you want to think. You provide nonsense posts and I will respond. Get it together.
Still don't get why a person would get angry about a different POV. Without admitting anything, let's suppose a post is totally wrong. Suppose someone says to grip racquets upside-down and hit with the handle? You might feel sorry for them. You might laugh at them. But why would you get angry? It seems, IMHO, that the anger indicates insecurity, not confidence.

Bungalo Bill
07-17-2009, 09:52 AM
You laugh at the idea of being patient? I wonder what your lessons were like?

Well, let me tell you what my lessons were/are like. They didn't have BS in them. They were truthful lessons with sound technical advise given. They were tough lessons and one that built a tennis player from the ground-up.

They were lessons built around encouragement but had a no nonsense approach to them. I did not tolerate laziness and I made sure you knew it if you started to slack off on any drill.

You worked on my lessons, you wieghed in, you studied tennis, and you learned every stroke in the book.

You learned topspin, underspin, finesse strokes, rally strokes, you became proficeint at all spins of the serve, you learned about court geometry, strategy, and tennis tactics. You developed grounstrokes, volleys, half-volleys, serves, overheads, and any other stroke.

I could see something with your stroke that needed improvement a mile away. I had a keen sense in knowing where you are at mentally, physically, emotiionally, and spirtiually.

I am a darn good coach and all of my students are thankful that I taught them tennis.

I had people like you in my lessons and knew who they were. They are the patty-cake social tennis players that want lessons to be rosey and full of smoke and mirrors. If you are basing tennis coaches in that light, then you have eveyr reason to doubt my abilities. However, I have every reason to doubt your ability to even last 15 minutes in my lesson before you went off crying.

Move on pal, you really don't want get into it with me.

Steady Eddy
07-17-2009, 09:56 AM
I had people like you in my lessons and knew who they were. They are the patty-cake social tennis players that want lessons to be rosey and full of smoke and mirrors. If you are basing tennis coaches in that light, then you have eveyr reason to doubt my abilities. However, I have every reason to doubt your ability to even last 15 minutes in my lesson before you went off crying.

If I went away crying after 15 minutes, would I get a refund? :)

Bungalo Bill
07-17-2009, 09:58 AM
If I went away crying after 15 minutes, would I get a refund? :)

Of course, just don't come back.

Steady Eddy
07-17-2009, 02:57 PM
If I went away crying after 15 minutes, would I get a refund? :)

Of course, just don't come back.
Another poster says this about being a teaching pro.
"However, this particular profession, (tennis pro), depends more on people skills than tennis strokes."
http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=275298
Listening BB?

Bungalo Bill
07-17-2009, 04:02 PM
Another poster says this about being a teaching pro.
"However, this particular profession, (tennis pro), depends more on people skills than tennis strokes."
http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=275298
Listening BB?

Yeah, boy, I am telling you. You got me good there. I don't know what to say or do. Geee, you are too good for me. Your knowledge just goes beyond anything I can say or do.

Phew! Glad we got that over with.

VaBeachTennis
07-17-2009, 08:57 PM
Since you asked, yes I know what topspin and underspin are. Topspin dips, underspin has a more straight path. But I don't know what you mean, "...take out some studied..."


I don't know how old you are, but in the 70's topspin was being marketed as the "secret" to tennis. Borg and Vilas were the top players, and everyone was copying their loopy strokes. If your opponent wore a big headband over his long hair, you could bet that he thought he was Borg and would hit with lots of topspin.


Take a deep breath.

Just what I said.

When I took up tennis in the 70's topspin was so emphasized that some even thought it was a new invention. Remember when Roscoe Tanner marketed himself as the "new, topspin Tanner"? That's how it was in the 70's, it was like topspin was this new thing that was changing the game. Alot of people, like me, got confused. I really don't disagree with what you're saying about moderate topspin, and how everyone should use it sometimes. Sorry, didn't mean to get you riled. Just trying to express my 2 cents.

People usedtop spin way before the 70's, check out Bill Tilden's: The Art of Lawn Tennis, on page 34 he referred to top spin. Here: http://books.google.com/books?id=kitXYgWLUzIC&printsec=frontcover&dq=bill+tilden+tennis

Steady Eddy
07-17-2009, 09:03 PM
People usedtop spin way before the 70's, check out Bill Tilden's: The Art of Lawn Tennis, on page 34 he referred to top spin. Here: http://books.google.com/books?id=kitXYgWLUzIC&printsec=frontcover&dq=bill+tilden+tennis
Oh yes. And that only makes sense, doesn't it? Would players have practiced so hard and never experimented with spins? I don't think so. Rod Laver often hit with topspin. When Vilas and Borg became so successful in the 70's with 'top', the media sometimes acted like it was something new.

Thanks for the link. That was fun to read.

VaBeachTennis
07-17-2009, 09:12 PM
Another poster says this about being a teaching pro.
"However, this particular profession, (tennis pro), depends more on people skills than tennis strokes."
http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=275298
Listening BB?

I've watched "tennis pros" USPTA and PRT certified and all who have "people skills", the ones I have seen are hacks who talk about everything else BUT tennis. They usually teach housewives who rarely progress in skill level, but are happy to let it be known that they "are taking lessons". Just the other day I witnessed one of these ladies, who took a lesson from another pro, knock him because he suggested that she change her grip (continental), so she could be more effective. So she dropped the guy and went back to the pro, who would just feed her balls, blow smoke up her ***, and talk about everything else EXCEPT tennis........................... she'll stay the same and never learn anything different, but she'll be happy that he had "people skills".

VaBeachTennis
07-17-2009, 09:14 PM
Oh yes. And that only makes sense, doesn't it? Would players have practiced so hard and never experimented with spins? I don't think so. Rod Laver often hit with topspin. When Vilas and Borg became so successful in the 70's with 'top', the media sometimes acted like it was something new.

Thanks for the link. That was fun to read.

Any time!!

Steady Eddy
07-17-2009, 09:22 PM
I've watched "tennis pros" USPTA and PRT certified and all who have "people skills", the ones I have seen are hacks who talk about everything else BUT tennis. They usually teach housewives who rarely progress in skill level, but are happy to let it be known that they "are taking lessons". Just the other day I witnessed one of these ladies, who took a lesson from another pro, knock him because he suggested that she change her grip (continental), so she could be more effective. So she dropped the guy and went back to the pro, who would just feed her balls, blow smoke up her ***, and talk about everything else EXCEPT tennis........................... she'll stay the same and never learn anything different, but she'll be happy that he had "people skills".Too true. But that's what people are willing to pay for. Most people who come to pros for help, bring few skills and modest goals. They only want to be able to play with their friends at the club or public park. Rarely does someone appear who wants to get a tennis scholarship at a divison I college and is willing to do what it takes to get there. So people who see pros do so because they like them, and they makes them feel good. Some drill sergeant who wants to put them in a tennis boot camp isn't welcome at the country club.

GuyClinch
07-17-2009, 11:31 PM
Too true. But that's what people are willing to pay for. Most people who come to pros for help, bring few skills and modest goals. They only want to be able to play with their friends at the club or public park. Rarely does someone appear who wants to get a tennis scholarship at a divison I college and is willing to do what it takes to get there. So people who see pros do so because they like them, and they makes them feel good. Some drill sergeant who wants to put them in a tennis boot camp isn't welcome at the country club.

Speak for yourself - I would love to get a pro like BB from what I have read. There are plenty of players who appreciate a hard driving pro. I don't know where you get your info. You don't lessons to play in the park. That's just silly.

The problem I have seen is that ALOT of teachers teach old style tennis. I had one guy telling me to seperate my hands on my forehand - whereas most modern pros would have me leave my offhand on the racquet for a better shoulder turn.

Tennis pros are shockingly inconsistent. That's what bugs me..

Pete

Toxicmilk
07-17-2009, 11:34 PM
Thanks, bungalo bill, for saying everything a lot of us were thinking but didn't say, and more. :]

prattle128
07-18-2009, 01:53 AM
Well, let me tell you what my lessons were/are like. They didn't have BS in them. They were truthful lessons with sound technical advise given. They were tough lessons and one that built a tennis player from the ground-up.

They were lessons built around encouragement but had a no nonsense approach to them. I did not tolerate laziness and I made sure you knew it if you started to slack off on any drill.

You worked on my lessons, you wieghed in, you studied tennis, and you learned every stroke in the book.

You learned topspin, underspin, finesse strokes, rally strokes, you became proficeint at all spins of the serve, you learned about court geometry, strategy, and tennis tactics. You developed grounstrokes, volleys, half-volleys, serves, overheads, and any other stroke.

I could see something with your stroke that needed improvement a mile away. I had a keen sense in knowing where you are at mentally, physically, emotiionally, and spirtiually.

I am a darn good coach and all of my students are thankful that I taught them tennis.

I had people like you in my lessons and knew who they were. They are the patty-cake social tennis players that want lessons to be rosey and full of smoke and mirrors. If you are basing tennis coaches in that light, then you have eveyr reason to doubt my abilities. However, I have every reason to doubt your ability to even last 15 minutes in my lesson before you went off crying.

Move on pal, you really don't want get into it with me.

Boy howdy, would've loved to have taken lessons from you.

Steady Eddy
07-18-2009, 06:03 AM
Speak for yourself -
I was. When I observe what most people want, that doesn't mean I'm saying what YOU want.
You don't lessons to play in the park. That's just silly.
?? What does this mean? Sounds silly.
Thanks, bungalo bill, for saying everything a lot of us were thinking but didn't say, and more. :]
Get that S**t off your nose!
Boy howdy, would've loved to have taken lessons from you.
It's the BB sychophant parade!

Steady Eddy
07-18-2009, 06:05 AM
Move on pal, you really don't want get into it with me.
What's this mean? Are you such a tough guy that you'll reach through my computer screen and give me a slap?

GuyClinch
07-18-2009, 06:19 AM
?? What does this mean? Sounds silly.

It should have read you don't NEED lessons to play in the park. But you get the idea. Most people taking lessons want to improve their game as much as possible.

So a hard driving coach is appreciated by many players. Just like people training in martial arts want to be better fighters. Or a boxer might appreciate a tougher coach.

There clearly is a demand for a good coach.

It's the BB sychophant parade!

Whatever dude. I was saying as much before he got involved in the thread. The OP poster never learned how to play the topspin power game properly thus he thinks its bad. <g>

Golden Retriever
07-18-2009, 12:22 PM
Well, maybe we have good topspin and bad topspin.

Good topspin is the topspin you get from a gradual upward stroke making solid contact with the ball. That kind of topspin is inevitable and probably is the kind that BB was talking about. I like that kind of topspin.

Bad topspin is the topsin that you get from a violent and abrupt upward stroke brushing up on the ball with a lot of wrist action. I hate that kind of topspin.

bhupaes
07-18-2009, 12:41 PM
^^^ Yup, you're getting there. :)

One doesn't hit topspin for the sake of hitting topspin. One uses it to control the trajectory of the ball, so it lands where one wants it to. It can be fast, it can be slow, it can be angled, it can be whatever your intention is. Even shots with flat trajectories can have a ton of topspin on them. It's a tool - an essential one, I would say - in one's toolchest, to help execute one's strategy.

junbumkim
07-18-2009, 02:19 PM
Well, maybe we have good topspin and bad topspin.

Good topspin is the topspin you get from a gradual upward stroke making solid contact with the ball. That kind of topspin is inevitable and probably is the kind that BB was talking about. I like that kind of topspin.

Bad topspin is the topsin that you get from a violent and abrupt upward stroke brushing up on the ball with a lot of wrist action. I hate that kind of topspin.

Well, to be precise, there is no bad or good topspin. What you are refering to is a good technique VS a bad technique. And, there is no intended use of wrist in hitting any kind of technique, although there is be more wrist release or break which naturally results from accelerating the racket through the contact zone.

I think sometime people get a false sense of how to put topspin on the ball, which leads to a faulty technique with poor result of shanking, lack of penetration (or drive), or less spin, and so on.

Kevo
07-18-2009, 08:16 PM
And, there is no intended use of wrist in hitting any kind of technique, although there is be more wrist release or break which naturally results from accelerating the racket through the contact zone.

I'm not sure what you mean by "no intended use of wrist", but maybe you could clarify that. I don't think you meant that how it reads, but I could be wrong.

Gaudio2004
07-18-2009, 09:32 PM
Hitting flat is hitting topspin, basically. No matter what you do (unless you slice or hit overhead) you are hitting with top spin, unless all of your strokes are continental.

EtePras
07-18-2009, 09:59 PM
I hate volleying but you don't see me making 3 page threads about how it is not the proper way to play tennis and only Federer should be allowed to do it.

split-step
07-18-2009, 11:24 PM
Don't know if this has been mentioned but no matter what shot you hit, the ball your opponent receives will have topspin on it. Including a slice.

This is because of the action of friction on the bottom of the ball when in contact with the court surface.

pvaudio
07-19-2009, 07:08 AM
Don't know if this has been mentioned but no matter what shot you hit, the ball your opponent receives will have topspin on it. Including a slice.

This is because of the action of friction on the bottom of the ball when in contact with the court surface.
I was going to agree with you until you said slice. What you said in the last paragraph is not true. That friction is not top spin. Top spin is applied to the ball at impact and is there to affect its trajectory. Slice shots do not have topspin.

Djokovicfan4life
07-19-2009, 07:58 AM
I was going to agree with you until you said slice. What you said in the last paragraph is not true. That friction is not top spin. Top spin is applied to the ball at impact and is there to affect its trajectory. Slice shots do not have topspin.

He means that after bouncing the ball will have topspin on it, which is true. Not sure what it has to do with this thread though.

Mick
07-19-2009, 09:13 AM
....Bad topspin is the topsin that you get from a violent and abrupt upward stroke brushing up on the ball with a lot of wrist action. I hate that kind of topspin.

especially, if you are playing against someone who would hit the ball like that :)

there's a guy in my neighborhood that plays like that. i don't have problem playing him because i hit the ball early and flat but for other people who play with more topspin, his balls would be about their heads height when they make the contact.

dave333
07-19-2009, 10:23 AM
Topspin, when combined with pace and/or depth, is very good stuff.

The shot that players should aspire to hit is a deep topspin shot that can hit the back fence in one bounce. The higher the better. Being able to hit this shot is great because of the large margin of error (you can hit higher over the net, the ball dips into the court) which brings consistency, and the fact that it will allow you to easily beat down sub 4.0 players that are pushed back and forced to play defensively.

That is the type of topspin shot you want to hit. Not the wimpy, short topspin that lacks pace/depth. You want this kind of topspin shot, and to have it will make you a much better player.

pvaudio
07-19-2009, 11:06 AM
He means that after bouncing the ball will have topspin on it, which is true. Not sure what it has to do with this thread though.

Yeah of course it's true. That has nothing to do with a topspin stroke which is what this thread is about.

junbumkim
07-19-2009, 03:07 PM
Hitting flat is hitting topspin, basically. No matter what you do (unless you slice or hit overhead) you are hitting with top spin, unless all of your strokes are continental.

To me, this is equivalent to saying all bananas are yellow when they are ripe.

What we are discussing is not the presence of topspin, but the degree of topspin. And the ensuing consequences of trying to put more topspin on the ball....

People do swing differently when they try to control the amount of spin on the ball to hit either "flatter" shot or "more spinny" shot.

phoenicks
07-20-2009, 06:53 AM
Bad topspin is the topsin that you get from a violent and abrupt upward stroke brushing up on the ball with a lot of wrist action. I hate that kind of topspin.

I too hate this kind of topspin,frequently see people with no formal coaching, and emulate pro's they see on TV hitting like this.

Bungalo Bill
07-20-2009, 08:58 AM
What's this mean? Are you such a tough guy that you'll reach through my computer screen and give me a slap?

It means you dont know what you are talking about. And in person, you wouldnt want to either. Move on either way.

Bungalo Bill
07-20-2009, 09:00 AM
I was. When I observe what most people want, that doesn't mean I'm saying what YOU want.

?? What does this mean? Sounds silly.

Get that S**t off your nose!

It's the BB sychophant parade!

Looks like someone is starting to cry.

SplitStepper
11-07-2009, 08:13 AM
It means you dont know what you are talking about. And in person, you wouldnt want to either. Move on either way.

I think most of us agree that Buffalo Bill needs some lotion on its skin. Dude, you need to get off your high horse, stop praising yourself, and learn how to treat people. "I made my students weigh in." ?????? Is that a friggin joke?

And "in person", I'd love to tangle with you. I bet I'm half your size and could have you choked out in 30 seconds. Now, go beat your kids.

defrule
11-07-2009, 08:55 AM
I don't think topspin itself is the important part but it's the player's ability to control his spin that makes topspin good.

dozu
11-07-2009, 11:14 AM
different folks different strokes.

unless you are a teenager who's got extra energy to burn... create spin for the sake of spin is low efficiency tennis. the goal is to send a small object from A to B... so why add loft to take a detour thru C?

equipment plays a big role also, if you have some precise equipment like I do, I can aim 6 inches above the net and 1 ft inside both lines and have the confidence to drill it there 8 out of 10 times, with 1 into the net 1 going out, I take that bet all day, because the 8 good ones usually are outright winners or get me way ahead in the point.

it all depends.... if you get a short low slice at the service line, you have to add topspin to bring it down, if you get a sitter at the service line, you better add some topspin, but maybe not as much as on a low slice.

just think efficiency and balance.... don't dwell on some 1-dimentional things like spin or no spin.... come on, you are smarter than that.

BajeDuane
11-07-2009, 12:12 PM
He means that after bouncing the ball will have topspin on it, which is true. Not sure what it has to do with this thread though.

I think what he means is after bouncing the ball will spin, that is definitely not topspin. As pvaudio stated topspin is created when the racket makes contact with the ball. If yu hit the ball flat, it will not really spin in the air, only after it hits the ground and that does not create the same effect as if you hit the ball with topspin or slice for that matter.

Slazenger07
11-07-2009, 03:08 PM
I have been lured to believe that topspin is god by topspin worshippers on this board and I have wasted 8 years of my life trying to prime my topspin. Last week I injured my wrist so I stop using topspin and voila my shots are much much much much much better. Its got speed, depth, angle, control, less stressful on my wrist and most importantly it feels good.

I am now playing the game like it was meant to play. When I want spin I use backspin.

Come to think of it, topspin is just more harmful than benefitcial. First it slows down the ball a lot while expanding much more energy. How stupid is that? Secondly, it bounces higher to the striking zone of the opponent making it easier for your opponent to return the ball.

Now people say topspin has more control blah blah blah. I don't buy that no more. Yeah, you can hit higher above the net with topspin but remember you have to swing a lot faster to create that topspin. The faster the swing the less control you are gonna get. Any extra control you get from topspin will only be neutalized by the faster swing speed required to create that topspin. I would say at the end you get less control not more.

Of course if you can acquire the kind of topspin like Nadal then it is just another level of play but for most people topspin is way way way way way way overrated.

I have more control when i hit with heavy topspin, I feel like I can put the ball wherever i want it, especially off my forehand, your topspin probably just sucks cause mine kicks up really fast and high and gives opponents all kinds of problems and I rarely miss it. Consistent aggression, the best of both worlds all thanks to topspin.

Slazenger07
11-07-2009, 03:14 PM
I don't think Federer hits a lot of tops on purpose. Thats just the result of hitting flat with incredible swing speed. He intends to hit flat but ends up with a lot of tops. He is actually the ultimate old schooler.

Im pretty sure Federer intends to do whatever he does on the court. Cause he's just insanely good. When he hits topspin, its cause he wants to hit topspin.

Djokovicfan4life
11-07-2009, 04:59 PM
I think what he means is after bouncing the ball will spin, that is definitely not topspin. As pvaudio stated topspin is created when the racket makes contact with the ball. If yu hit the ball flat, it will not really spin in the air, only after it hits the ground and that does not create the same effect as if you hit the ball with topspin or slice for that matter.

Topspin means that the ball is rotating forwards, simple as that. Due to friction, all balls will have topspin on them after the bounce.

Cloud Atlas
11-07-2009, 05:36 PM
I am now playing the game like it was meant to play. When I want spin I use backspin.

Come to think of it, topspin is just more harmful than benefitcial. First it slows down the ball a lot while expanding much more energy. How stupid is that? Secondly, it bounces higher to the striking zone of the opponent making it easier for your opponent to return the ball.



What do you mean "the way it was meant to be played"?. Back then it was played like that, now it's played with topspin. One is not better than the other. Old school tennis was not some kind of "golden age" just a different age.
And your complaints about topspin sound suspiciously like the complaints of someone who can't do it. Sorry, but to say topspin is "stupid" as you do flies in the face of all that has been successful in the modern game.
If you play better with flatter strokes, then go for it. But don't think that because you don't play well with topspin that it means that topspin in general is bad.

T1000
11-07-2009, 05:43 PM
I have been lured to believe that topspin is god by topspin worshippers on this board and I have wasted 8 years of my life trying to prime my topspin. Last week I injured my wrist so I stop using topspin and voila my shots are much much much much much better. Its got speed, depth, angle, control, less stressful on my wrist and most importantly it feels good.

I am now playing the game like it was meant to play. When I want spin I use backspin.

Come to think of it, topspin is just more harmful than benefitcial. First it slows down the ball a lot while expanding much more energy. How stupid is that? Secondly, it bounces higher to the striking zone of the opponent making it easier for your opponent to return the ball.

Now people say topspin has more control blah blah blah. I don't buy that no more. Yeah, you can hit higher above the net with topspin but remember you have to swing a lot faster to create that topspin. The faster the swing the less control you are gonna get. Any extra control you get from topspin will only be neutalized by the faster swing speed required to create that topspin. I would say at the end you get less control not more.

Of course if you can acquire the kind of topspin like Nadal then it is just another level of play but for most people topspin is way way way way way way overrated.

You play the game the way its supposed to be played but you hate one handed backhands? Thats an oxymoron to me

xFullCourtTenniSx
11-07-2009, 11:52 PM
I have been lured to believe that topspin is god by topspin worshippers on this board and I have wasted 8 years of my life trying to prime my topspin. Last week I injured my wrist so I stop using topspin and voila my shots are much much much much much better. Its got speed, depth, angle, control, less stressful on my wrist and most importantly it feels good.

I am now playing the game like it was meant to play. When I want spin I use backspin.

Come to think of it, topspin is just more harmful than benefitcial. First it slows down the ball a lot while expanding much more energy. How stupid is that? Secondly, it bounces higher to the striking zone of the opponent making it easier for your opponent to return the ball.

Now people say topspin has more control blah blah blah. I don't buy that no more. Yeah, you can hit higher above the net with topspin but remember you have to swing a lot faster to create that topspin. The faster the swing the less control you are gonna get. Any extra control you get from topspin will only be neutalized by the faster swing speed required to create that topspin. I would say at the end you get less control not more.

Of course if you can acquire the kind of topspin like Nadal then it is just another level of play but for most people topspin is way way way way way way overrated.

Enjoy being a 3.0 forever!

i don't know if you have seen the piece done by cliff drysdale and patrick mcenroe on old school vs new school tennis during the wimbledon telecast. what i got out of it is if you have an old school style of play, you can play with any kind of racquets but if you are a new school player (a player who would hit with topspin), you can only play well with the newer racquets.

That's such ********! If you're a good player, you can play well with any racket! Will some decrease your abilities on the court more than others? Absolutely! But Pros will play 10x better with a wood racket than a stock super oversize racket at 9 ounces.

this is true. and when drysdale demonstrated old school tennis, he would hit a very flat ball and imo, it is easier to hit an offensive flat ball than an offensive top spin ball.

But which is easier to keep in the court? Clearly the topspin ball. And in 80% of cases, it will be by far the more effective shot.

New school is only for the few very gifted and young. So maybe the best new schooler will cream the best old schooler.

You're crazy... He'll DEMOLISH the old schooler! 6-0, 6-0. He just can't produce the pace to come even close to keeping up. Sampras is a great example of a classical play style, pretty much at it's finest even in his old age (though clearly not as good as in his prime), and he got WRECKED by Safin. Couldn't do anything! It was a clean blowout!

I don't think Federer hits a lot of tops on purpose. Thats just the result of hitting flat with incredible swing speed. He intends to hit flat but ends up with a lot of tops. He is actually the ultimate old schooler.

Wow... You just keep digging your hole deeper and deeper into the land of dumb don't you? Compare his earlier swing styles to now. He clearly intentionally puts heavy topspin on his shots. Not only that, Federer is known for being able to hit the ball ridiculously flat as well as insanely heavy (in terms of spin)! I'm sure that giant range is due to his incompetence and lack of ability and talent on the court... He totally doesn't know what the hell he's doing and has no sense of control in his shots or stroke consistency.

but we are not talking about top 100 atp here.. I agree that the modern game is needed to get to the top these days.

But for club level 4.0-5.0 (and even 5.5), old school tennis can be used effectively:
1) most guys play a lot of doubles and serve & volley is important here
2) requires less effort and less tiring. perfect of club players
3) less injury potential to the wrist/elbow.

Are we talking Sampras old school, or even farther back when people just kept slicing the ball? If they're slicing, 4.5 and up will wreck them. If they're Sampras old school, they can be successful with a big serve and great net play up into the pro tour level. But it takes some serious talent and ability to live off of that alone (namely Sampras' serve or a serve that's consistently in the 140s).

Play around with the parametric equations on a TI 83 calculator sometimes and you'll discover that even the fastest shots have plenty of 'bend' from gravity, and unless you have incredible power, gravity will pull almost all of your shots into the court.

This is assuming people have the ridiculous consistently to always hit the shot exactly the same everytime, which is very far from true! If people could do that, there never would've been a need for topspin to control high speed swings.

Correct me if I'm wrong. I do not consider Federer's style as topspin hitting. Nadal's style is. Fed does have topspin but that's more like ...the usual ts which most 10 do.

Federer's topspin forehand is HEAVILY underrated. Most people are too dumb to notice that this is why he is so effective on clay as well as other surfaces - his ability to play forehands with the most ridiculous range of spin rates that most people can't realistically hope for.

I don't think Fed hits with exceeding amount of topspin like Nadal, but he certainly plays a modern topspin game vs. an old school game.

Again, Federer's topspin is denied the spotlight it deserves because of Nadal. If you've ever watched Federer play court level on clay, his shots have so much arc and kick that it's insane! There's a reason he can easily produce angles from anywhere on the court!

Couldn't agree with you more.

Strange how people would say anything to promote their own agenda. It is 3 times more difficult to master a flat shot?? Give me a break.

Is it 3 times more difficult to get into the court at similar speeds? No... More like 10 times...

I dont' even think so. Djok, F Gonzo and Tsonga hit with more ts than Fed.

Fed relies on low, flat, fast penetrating shot which suites hard surface and grass so much, hence his dominance there. Also, Fed's grip is eastern bordering sw which in slo mo you don't see a significant low to high swing path. All makes sense if you think about it but I am not sure.

Jesus... First you ask us to correct you if you're wrong, then deny what we tell you. Federer uses some sick wrist action. It doesn't matter what grip you use, heavy topspin can always be produced (except maybe once you hit continental). If I can produce a heavy topspin shot with a full on eastern forehand grip, I'm sure he can do much better with HIS wrist action as well as his slightly modified grip.

Well you are wrong Federer hits with a massive amount of spin and pace on his forehand, go watch him hit live there is nothing flat about any of his shots off either wing.

http://i43.tinypic.com/n1do5f.jpg

Federer is as far removed from old school as they come on the forehand, he hits a straight armed, windsheild wiper forehand using an eastern grip which requires extreme racquet head speed and timing to pull off.

Nadal and Verdasco hit their forehands with the same motion as Federer just different grips and swing planes. The new newschool.

Hmmm... Always though Nadal got his numbers up into the 5000 RPM range... And I though Federer could hit a few of those balls flatter than that... Oh well... That's still an amazing spin range no matter how you look at it.

rocket
11-08-2009, 06:43 AM
Come to think of it, topspin is just more harmful than benefitcial. First it slows down the ball a lot while expanding much more energy. How stupid is that? Secondly, it bounces higher to the striking zone of the opponent making it easier for your opponent to return the ball.

Place the racquet head 1 foot below the ball. Hit right through the ball. The ball will shoot forward when it lands on the other side. Your opponent will comment how 'heavier' your shot is.

There you have it. ;)

BajeDuane
11-08-2009, 12:56 PM
Topspin means that the ball is rotating forwards, simple as that. Due to friction, all balls will have topspin on them after the bounce.

Topspin is forward spin created from the friction of the upward motion of the racket making contact with the ball. When that is added to the friction of the ball hitting the ground you see the effect of that topspin. So not every single ball you hit has topspin on in simply because it hits the ground and spins.

http://www.thefreedictionary.com/topspin

fruitytennis1
11-08-2009, 04:21 PM
You tell em xfull. People play how they play live with it. Yes go old school if your going to use the 17oz wood racquet.

Ripper014
11-08-2009, 05:18 PM
I don't think Federer hits a lot of tops on purpose. Thats just the result of hitting flat with incredible swing speed. He intends to hit flat but ends up with a lot of tops. He is actually the ultimate old schooler.

Actually I have always thought of Federer as being a bit of an old schooler... just by the way he addresses his game. I believe he does hit the ball with heavy topspin from time to time... but unlike his contemporaries he does not hit with what I would consider excessive topspin. He does it to give himself time, as he would with heavy slice... Like old schoolers he uses spin, speed and placement to throw off an opponents rhythm. When he has setup a point and has an opening he will flatten out his forehand and go for a winner.

It is like your serve... use spin, speed and placement to confuse your opponent why would you not want to have same options with your ground game.

Ultra2HolyGrail
11-09-2009, 04:37 AM
I think if you have a eastern forehand and are a flat ball hitter that you cannot just try to be like nadal. Or even federer. It all depends on your grip. If you want to add more margin of error with topspin you need to do it slowly. Not just big radical changes in your swing. Tweak your swing. Don't try to imatate a pro like federer or nadal.

Even on flat serves a little bit of spin is helpful for consistentcy. If you are natural a flat ball hitter with a eastern forehand i don't think it should be to hard to add a little spin to improve margin of error. Problem is trying to much, radical changes, like trying to be a nadal.

Ultra2HolyGrail
11-09-2009, 04:41 AM
I could see something with your stroke that needed improvement a mile away. I had a keen sense in knowing where you are at mentally, physically, emotiionally, and spirtiually.


But yet you do not know what ntrp level you are? That's interesting bill.

Ultra2HolyGrail
11-09-2009, 04:49 AM
different folks different strokes.

unless you are a teenager who's got extra energy to burn... create spin for the sake of spin is low efficiency tennis. the goal is to send a small object from A to B... so why add loft to take a detour thru C?


There is more to it than that. If you are playing a one hander who has trouble with high backhands are you going to hit hard flat shots right to their power zone? Strategy plays a big role in the type of shot's you want to hit. Sometimes just keeping the ball in play is tough. I hope you realize you can hit hard forehands that have topspin. Sure for ultimate mph you want to hit flat. Any good flat ball hitter knows they have a very limited margin of error over the net if they want to get it in, or sacrifice power to keep it in.

ttbrowne
11-09-2009, 07:51 AM
If you were brought up w/ a flat shot, It can be a great weapon. We have a pro who played Div1 women's and her flat shot is something to see. You better be ready for the pace cause it will knock you down, bro. It's so low over the net that it appears to be going into the net and...boom...it's on you.

She went all the way to the top of college tennis with a flat shot so I guess it works, huh?

troytennisbum
11-09-2009, 08:44 AM
Saying that a tennis player can excel without mastering topspin is equivalent to saying that a linebacker can excel in tackle football without knowing how to tackle.

EOM.

zettabyte
11-09-2009, 09:16 AM
different folks different strokes.
equipment plays a big role also, if you have some precise equipment like I do, I can aim 6 inches above the net and 1 ft inside both lines and have the confidence to drill it there 8 out of 10 times, with 1 into the net 1 going out, I take that bet all day, because the 8 good ones usually are outright winners or get me way ahead in the point.


You "usually" hit winners 80% of the time 6 inches above the net and within 1 foot of a line?

:lol:

Ripper014
11-09-2009, 09:26 AM
You need to be able to hit with spin... hitting hard flat shots though can be effective (depth is better), but it also robs you time if you are in a defensive position. Hitting with heavy spin whether under or over the ball can give you those extra few 10th of a second to get back in position. Also if you move your opponents around with spin... and then hit a flat ball it is much more effective. I you hit flat and hard all the time your opponent can eventually start getting a feel for the speed. As I mention above... mix it up change speed, spin, depth, direction and try not to be predictable.

GuyClinch
11-09-2009, 09:37 AM
Well if you hate topspin your not going to advance far up the NTRP. But that's not the goal for everyone. So its not a big deal.

Personally I delight in the variety of shots you can hit with tennis - so i try to work in spin. Hitting just flat shots is kinda boring..

ttbrowne
11-09-2009, 01:34 PM
Saying that a tennis player can excel without mastering topspin is equivalent to saying that a linebacker can excel in tackle football without knowing how to tackle.

EOM.

That's wrong. It's more like a linebacker who can excel to the college level but not beyond that.

troytennisbum
11-09-2009, 01:54 PM
That's wrong. It's more like a linebacker who can excel to the college level but not beyond that.

I see. Just like a reciever who cannot catch, "can excel to the college level but not beyond that." Got it. Thanks.

Djokovicfan4life
11-09-2009, 04:07 PM
You "usually" hit winners 80% of the time 6 inches above the net and within 1 foot of a line?

:lol:

Haha, pros aren't even at that level of accuracy.

papa
11-09-2009, 05:03 PM
Interesting comment but recently, maybe six months ago, I saw an entire match played without "one" topspin backhand. Both players were ranked in the top two or three in the world - one in the 60's and the other in the 70's.

So, it is possible to play at a very high level without topspin, especially at certain levels. Do I agree with the approach, no but some have just mastered the slice drive and its very effective.

LeeD
11-10-2009, 12:03 PM
Reciever HAS to catch. Maybe like a reciever who can only get open against college slow players.
Linebackers all can tackle. Maybe like a linebacker who can only tackle slow college players, and bounce off the fast strong ones.
One KenRosewall was once ranked sort high in some league. His topspin backhand was nonexistent, his topspin forehand was prone to disappear for months at a time. But that was a long time ago a far far away.....from now.
We all need topspin nowadaze. How often we choose to use it is still up to argument and interpretation.

Cloud Atlas
11-10-2009, 01:07 PM
Interesting comment but recently, maybe six months ago, I saw an entire match played without "one" topspin backhand. Both players were ranked in the top two or three in the world - one in the 60's and the other in the 70's.

So, it is possible to play at a very high level without topspin, especially at certain levels. Do I agree with the approach, no but some have just mastered the slice drive and its very effective.

Worked then. Wouldn't work now. They'd struggle with shoulder high balls and would make far too many errors trying to keep up with the pace. If purely flat/sliced balls worked these days, we'd see more pros doing it.

LeeD
11-10-2009, 01:40 PM
Rosewall was incredibily good against shoulder high balls. Not so much with head high bouncers thos.
Connor's strategy was to run Rosewall wide using side/underspin combo, skidding low and arcing into the alleys. The low balls didn't give Rosewall any angle to produce, so Connors, already being younger and faster, could retrieve almost anything Rosewall could angle.
Connors won, of course, and that started the end of the old Aussie era. Connors didn't hit high bouncers to Rosewall, rather he hit sidespin skidders that tailed off into the alleys on this DTL shots.

Cloud Atlas
11-10-2009, 03:07 PM
Rosewall was incredibily good against shoulder high balls. Not so much with head high bouncers thos.
Connor's strategy was to run Rosewall wide using side/underspin combo, skidding low and arcing into the alleys. The low balls didn't give Rosewall any angle to produce, so Connors, already being younger and faster, could retrieve almost anything Rosewall could angle.
Connors won, of course, and that started the end of the old Aussie era. Connors didn't hit high bouncers to Rosewall, rather he hit sidespin skidders that tailed off into the alleys on this DTL shots.

That's all true, but connors also didn't hit with nearly the topspin todays guys play with. Obviously older generation against older generation, where both players hit the ball relatively flat, then there's not the same issue. I guess I'm trying to compared flat hitters with today's hitters. If it still worked, people would do it now.

papa
11-10-2009, 04:40 PM
Worked then. Wouldn't work now. They'd struggle with shoulder high balls and would make far too many errors trying to keep up with the pace. If purely flat/sliced balls worked these days, we'd see more pros doing it.

Well again, it would depend on what age group/skill level is involved. Pace and height might not be that much of a problem either, believe it or not - all depends. Its easier to hit a "higher" ball with slice in most instances - its the real low ones that can create problems.

Actually, we are seeing more slice drives in the game today. However, I would agree that just the use of slice on every backhand would not be a great idea.

Bungalo Bill
11-10-2009, 04:59 PM
Well again, it would depend on what age group/skill level is involved. Pace and height might not be that much of a problem either, believe it or not - all depends. Its easier to hit a "higher" ball with slice in most instances - its the real low ones that can create problems.

Actually, we are seeing more slice drives in the game today. However, I would agree that just the use of slice on every backhand would not be a great idea.

Geez, papa, what is up, long time no see. :)

Ripper014
11-10-2009, 05:03 PM
Well again, it would depend on what age group/skill level is involved. Pace and height might not be that much of a problem either, believe it or not - all depends. Its easier to hit a "higher" ball with slice in most instances - its the real low ones that can create problems.

Actually, we are seeing more slice drives in the game today. However, I would agree that just the use of slice on every backhand would not be a great idea.

I agree... Federer still hits alot of backhand slices... especially off the return of serve... and it is an easier shot to make contact with, if you think of the swing path of your racket when you slicce and the flight of the ball. The path between the two bi-sect longer than hitting topspin off the same ball where they would cross paths.

papa
11-10-2009, 05:14 PM
Geez, papa, what is up, long time no see. :)

BB, still out there pounding the pavement three to four hours a day but when you love the game it all works out. Certainly not getting younger but I still keep up, or try anyway.

Keep up the good work - your the best.

papa
11-10-2009, 05:40 PM
I agree... Federer still hits alot of backhand slices... especially off the return of serve... and it is an easier shot to make contact with, if you think of the swing path of your racket when you slicce and the flight of the ball. The path between the two bi-sect longer than hitting topspin off the same ball where they would cross paths.

Yeah, its a good return shot. You get a surface that has lots of bite, the ball almost stops. By the same token, on fast surfaces with little bite that ball just skids and doesn't come up at all - both can be tricky and easily misplayed. I think its a great approach shot also and can catch the returner off guard.

If its used too much your just going to have people running around the shot and your going to have it for lunch. Once I know that your going to just hit slice on the backhand, watch out because I'm going to have my way with you - singles or doubles.

Cloud Atlas
11-10-2009, 07:43 PM
I agree... Federer still hits alot of backhand slices... especially off the return of serve... and it is an easier shot to make contact with, if you think of the swing path of your racket when you slicce and the flight of the ball. The path between the two bi-sect longer than hitting topspin off the same ball where they would cross paths.

I think we're confusing things a bit here. Obviously there is a place for slice in the modern game. I don't think anyone would try to dispute that. But what Papa originally said was that he hated topspin, that it was a waste of energy, and basically that it was overrated and, in his case, abandoned for flat shots. I think there's a place for slice, and even bunted back returns. But let's express it differently: I don't think there's any place for lack of topsin in the modern game. That is, hitting flat or slice shots 100% of the time, like may have happened in past generations. It's not complicated. Papa is simply wrong in suggesting topspin is overrated or that flat shots are easier to hit and more effective. The evidence for this is the 99.99% of professional tennis players who employ topspin in there game. If it did work as papa suggests, there'd be more players who hit flat. I'm not talking slice, I'm talking flat.

EDIT: Sorry, I've been saying Papa, but I meant the OP.

SourStraws
11-10-2009, 08:01 PM
I honestly dont think the OPhas any idea what he's talking about

S.S.

papa
11-11-2009, 05:53 AM
I think we're confusing things a bit here. Obviously there is a place for slice in the modern game. I don't think anyone would try to dispute that. But what Papa originally said was that he hated topspin, that it was a waste of energy, and basically that it was overrated and, in his case, abandoned for flat shots. I think there's a place for slice, and even bunted back returns. But let's express it differently: I don't think there's any place for lack of topsin in the modern game. That is, hitting flat or slice shots 100% of the time, like may have happened in past generations. It's not complicated. Papa is simply wrong in suggesting topspin is overrated or that flat shots are easier to hit and more effective. The evidence for this is the 99.99% of professional tennis players who employ topspin in there game. If it did work as papa suggests, there'd be more players who hit flat. I'm not talking slice, I'm talking flat.

EDIT: Sorry, I've been saying Papa, but I meant the OP.

Thanks, I think you might realize that I would never say that stuff about top.