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View Full Version : What's Wrong With Woz's FH?


Cindysphinx
04-25-2011, 09:46 AM
I have to say, I am not a fan of Woz. Not at all. She's not interesting to watch, and her game lacks variety.

Still, I have watched a couple of her matches this year (against Li Na at AO and last night against Goerges), and I see a pattern. Players who beat her make her play a lot of FHs. She either misses or puts so little on her FH that her opponent pounces on that ball.

I'm not sure what the problem is. Is it mental? Is it technical? Is this something new? How can anyone make it through the ranks without a FH that is a weapon? As I think through female pros over the years, I can't think of one who couldn't crack her FH.

What, if anything, is the Woz camp doing about this? It seems like such a weird problem to have . . . .

soyizgood
04-25-2011, 09:56 AM
Her forehand is similar to Jankovic's. It's basically a rallyball shot with a lot of loop, sometimes too much to where it lands in the service box. She can get away with this somewhat as she can pull opponents out wide with it. Many bashers when taken wide are tempted to hit the low percentage winner which just goes down as a unforced error.

I am no fan of Woz either. But until enough players force her to change, her shots do the job.

SStrikerR
04-25-2011, 09:57 AM
She's a pusher. She doesn't go for shots, she just puts it back over the net.

single_handed_champion
04-25-2011, 10:36 AM
Her body weight is usually going backwards as she strikes her forehand. On her backhand, she can step in and belt it with less spin, so it is a more offensive shot.

skiracer55
04-25-2011, 10:43 AM
...or if there is something wrong with her forehand, it's the same thing that's wrong with the rest of the game. Which is basically that she's a great athlete, a fine mover...but also basically heavy ball backboard...which is kind of enough to get to number 1 in the WTA, these days. If Serena gets healthy, and decides to come back, that'll all change.

Goerges yesterday kind of showed that while steadiness and athleticism can produce consistent results, if you want to win tournaments, including Slams, at some point you need to take control and take the match away from the other player, not just play steady and figure you'll grind them down. Caroline has a decent backhand, it's probably her best shot, but you couldn't call it a weapon. Serena's serve, on the other hand, is a weapon.

Beyond individual strokes, there is aggressive versus counter-punching point construction, too. Serena will play defensive or neutral when necessary, but if she can, she'll use her serve or an aggressive return or ground stroke to break open the point and create opportunities for a winner or force an error.

I really think that players like Goerges are the future of the WTA. Goerges may not win consistently...but I believe she's gonna win a bunch, including a Slam, sooner than later...

Ludwig von Mises
04-25-2011, 12:00 PM
I have to say, I am not a fan of Woz. Not at all. She's not interesting to watch, and her game lacks variety.

Still, I have watched a couple of her matches this year (against Li Na at AO and last night against Goerges), and I see a pattern. Players who beat her make her play a lot of FHs. She either misses or puts so little on her FH that her opponent pounces on that ball.

I'm not sure what the problem is. Is it mental? Is it technical? Is this something new? How can anyone make it through the ranks without a FH that is a weapon? As I think through female pros over the years, I can't think of one who couldn't crack her FH.

What, if anything, is the Woz camp doing about this? It seems like such a weird problem to have . . . .

What's wrong with it, is that it sucks.

sureshs
04-25-2011, 12:02 PM
I really don't see this glaring deficiency that Cindy seems to notice.

Eightmarky
04-25-2011, 01:04 PM
I really don't see this glaring deficiency that Cindy seems to notice.

I think part of the problem IMO was Woz's movement. She looked slow and flat footed many times during this match. It's hard to hit good strokes if you're consistently out of position.

skiracer55
04-25-2011, 01:37 PM
I think part of the problem IMO was Woz's movement. She looked slow and flat footed many times during this match. It's hard to hit good strokes if you're consistently out of position.

...see what I said in my previous post. She's a great mover, it's just that Goerges hit such penetrating and forcing shots that Caroline's great movement was neutralized. Kind of a general observation about the top players and their matches. Somebody...whomever it is...wins, and all of a sudden, whatever they are doing is the only way to win matches. If a player loses a match, maybe that's the way it went for that day. Some days you eat the bear, some days the bear eats you.

Caroline has an amazing record, and richly deserves to be #1. So she lost a match...so what? The top players play an incredible schedule, and there's no way they are going to win every match, all the time. Caroline's great strength is her great weakness...95% of the time, she'll grind it out, which is why her win/loss record is so dominating, and why she's #1 in the world. It comes down to your priorities...would you rather be #1...or be number a bazillion...and win Wimbledon?

dcdoorknob
04-25-2011, 01:47 PM
I do think it's a little bit technical. It's obviously a fairly consistent rally shot but I don't think she can really flatten it out and be all that aggressive with it with the way she swings. The way she rolls over it can lead to good loopy deep shots when she times it right, or short loopy attackable shots when she doesn't. The hard forcing flat forehand isn't really in her arsenal, at least not with any sort of consistancy, and I think it has to do with the way she swings at the ball.

*note: I'm no tennis expert in the least, just is just how things look to me with Woz's forehand.

Cindysphinx
04-25-2011, 05:28 PM
Her body weight is usually going backwards as she strikes her forehand. On her backhand, she can step in and belt it with less spin, so it is a more offensive shot.

I'm not sure about this, although I can't rule it out.

Yesterday, for instance, her opponent could crack a ball to the FH. Most times, Woz got it back, but it had nothing on it and Woz was well off the court and couldn't recover to the BH. A few other times, Woz would miss entirely.

Maybe she's just not good at changing direction (like Safina), but I do think she is a better mover than Safina.

I wonder if she just has a naturally defensive mindset (like Monfils and Murray of old). When in trouble, it just never occurs to her that she might need to go for more, not less. Then again, if that is the problem, why doesn't she get into trouble on her BH side?

I dunno. I was watching this closely during the Goerges match (not of my own accord but because the commentator criticized Woz for it), and I did observe that Woz's FH had significantly fewer MPH than her opponent's.

I wonder, is it possible to train that out of a player? At one point in the match, the FH winner/error count was 18/12 for Goerges and 5/5 for Woz. A ratio like that means you aren't making much happen out there.

cc0509
04-25-2011, 05:39 PM
Still, I have watched a couple of her matches this year (against Li Na at AO and last night against Goerges), and I see a pattern. Players who beat her make her play a lot of FHs. She either misses or puts so little on her FH that her opponent pounces on that ball.

I'm not sure what the problem is. Is it mental? Is it technical? Is this something new? How can anyone make it through the ranks without a FH that is a weapon?

I don't think the problem with her FH is as bad as you are making it out to be personally. Sure her FH can be inconsistent and other players know this and hit to it very often, but what player does not have a weakness that other players concentrate on? None that I can think of. All players have weaknesses of some kind.

Credit to Görges though as she had a lot of variety in her game which is needed to beat Wozniacki's consistency.

forehandshanker
04-25-2011, 05:53 PM
If you watch this video of Wozniacki practicing with Sveta, it's pretty obvious that she gets a lot more racquet head speed with her backhand than her forehand.

http://youtu.be/Uu4im22q1Cw

From what I can see, she just has to go out and hit a lot of dip drive forehands (i.e. hit flat drives off a high bouncing ball from inside the baseline) and get to the net. If anyone does that enough, you learn to be more aggressive with your court position, accelerate more with your swing, and build confidence in playing aggressive.

mellowyellow
04-25-2011, 06:04 PM
If you watch this video of Wozniacki practicing with Sveta, it's pretty obvious that she gets a lot more racquet head speed with her backhand than her forehand.

http://youtu.be/Uu4im22q1Cw

From what I can see, she just has to go out and hit a lot of dip drive forehands (i.e. hit flat drives off a high bouncing ball from inside the baseline) and get to the net. If anyone does that enough, you learn to be more aggressive with your court position, accelerate more with your swing, and build confidence in playing aggressive.

Agreed, I know when my forehand is lacking a little, I go and stand at the baseline and try to hit balls that will land 1/2 to 3/4 deep on the other side and not bounce a second time before hitting the fence. You need spin to get it over and in, but you need some drive to get it to hit the fence before a second bounce.

mellowyellow
04-25-2011, 06:09 PM
I would say her grip is too extreme as well....

SuperDuy
04-26-2011, 07:13 AM
What's wrong with it, is that it sucks.

Very good explanation.......NOT!