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View Full Version : My new forehand: full turn, short takeback, laid back wrist and straight arm


Orion3
10-18-2011, 12:16 AM
At the weekend I played someone for the first time a super fit 20 something year old…:evil:

To cut a long story short, his court coverage was ridiculous and coupled with fairly good groundstrokes and a great forehand he kicked my a**. Individually close games but a war I was never going to win!

He had the strongest first serve I’ve faced for a long time but predictable with 90% going to my forehand – normally a big strength. My problem however was that although I could predict the general area he was hitting to, the pace and length of both serves and groundies was such that I had very little time to prepare (Oh, to be 20 years younger and 20 years faster).

The first set was over in what seemed a blink of an eye, but in the second set I changed by forehand stroke – not intentionally, more out of necessity to hit a service return.

From facing the ball (body/racquet) it was a 90 degree(ish) shoulder turn but a very short and straight(ish) small ’C’ take back, with the racquet face at maybe a 45% angle to the ground (SW grip). I then hit through with a laid back wrist and full WW finish, hitting slightly in front with what as I realised later was a straight arm at impact (my takeback was with a bent elbow).

The resulting return was a bullet, a clean winner; he’d barely landed from hitting his serve:twisted:. Suffice to say I started using my new forehand at every opportunity and whilst I still lost the set and match. The pace on the forehand was excellent, with plenty of topspin; not as much spin as my normal SW forehand but certainly as much as I’ve been generating with my recent experiment with newer Eastern grip/flatter forehand in a bid to regain some of my lost pace.

Yesterday I was watching a re-run of the Murray/Ferrer match I noticed the similarity between my new stroke and Ferrer’s forehand (albeit he hits with a double bend). I’ve also noticed some similarity to the old Courier forehand although not as jerky.

The key bit for me has been more pace with much less effort. Also, because my preparation time for this stroke is much quicker, my slow legs seem more able to get me in position to hit it.

Thought I’d share…

dozu
10-18-2011, 04:12 AM
no video? quantum leap like this has to have one.. otherwise...

Orion3
10-18-2011, 05:04 AM
no video? quantum leap like this has to have one.. otherwise...

Quantum leap is a bit strong - but point taken.

Videoing isn't my strong point, but maybe I can get one of my sons to get some footage sometime and I'll get it posted.

Did find some footage of JC Ferrero that showed something similar to what I was trying to describe. At .25 JCF hits a forehand - if you imagine a straighter takeback (rather than the loop) I think that shows it better than my inept description. The other difference is that my arm appears to be straighter at impact.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cymE7bhM6Y8&feature=feedf

LeeD
10-18-2011, 06:31 PM
For me also, a shorter backswing often results in a faster moving ball, on both sides. Just means I"m hitting flatter, and also cleaner.
However, my posture is a problem, and I can't hit too many fast balls IN while maintaining balance and integrity after being run around by my opponents of any skill level.

Orion3
10-18-2011, 09:50 PM
For me also, a shorter backswing often results in a faster moving ball, on both sides. Just means I"m hitting flatter, and also cleaner.
However, my posture is a problem, and I can't hit too many fast balls IN while maintaining balance and integrity after being run around by my opponents of any skill level.

I think you've hit the nail on the head. I was hitting the ball flush every time, like I've not done for years. I have a very short backswing with my driver in golf and can kill the ball too, always hitting out of the sweetspot.

I don't think the straight arm is anything other than a bi-product of the position I'm finding myself in. The other thing I noticed today is the shorter backswing has quickened my overall swing and I'm hitting slightly more in front of me and I think its allowing me to transfer more weight into the shot.

Angle Queen
10-19-2011, 05:32 AM
I think you've hit the nail on the head. I was hitting the ball flush every time, like I've not done for years. I have a very short backswing with my driver in golf and can kill the ball too, always hitting out of the sweetspot.

I don't think the straight arm is anything other than a bi-product of the position I'm finding myself in. The other thing I noticed today is the shorter backswing has quickened my overall swing and I'm hitting slightly more in front of me and I think its allowing me to transfer more weight into the shot.I've toyed, off-and-on, with a straight-arm takeback for my BH...especially when I'm struggling with it. Got inspired to try it by watching Hewitt and Moya -- both guys with solid but not necessarily spectacular BHs (here's a decent webpage (http://www.tennisplayer.net/public/avancedtennis/two_handed_backhand/2hd_bh_simplest_complex/2hd_bh_simplest_complex_pg2.html?format=print) with some short clips of most of the arm styles).

As for doing it on the FH side, with a full body turn...sounds kinda Old School. :) But the shorted takeback and hitting somewhat on the rise are newer twists...and ones, as you've found, can make certain elements of the otherwise same "stroke" have more pop.

Good observation/analysis from you within the match...and then realizing what it could mean/do for you in the future.

Orion3
10-19-2011, 09:51 AM
As for doing it on the FH side, with a full body turn...sounds kinda Old School. :)

Lol - I am/feel old(ish) but I'm still hitting with an open stance :) just rotating my trunk

Tried videoing it today with my iPad...disaster, couldn't see a thing! So for the time being we'll have to make do with words and descriptions - sorry.

tennismonkey
10-19-2011, 10:29 AM
i've also switched to this forehand style with an abbreviated takeback. in my mind it feels like i'm just turning my shoulders and the racquet straight back but on video it just looks like i eliminated the loopy high takeback. in any case - i hit the ball cleaner which in turn gives me more pop. i can still get plenty of topspin with this abbreviated takeback as well - i just concentrate more of a low to high motion.

not sure if this is a consequence of the shorter takeback -- but it has mostly cured me of my slappy forehand tendencies as well.

LeeD
10-19-2011, 11:55 AM
One thing mentioned is that we probably need more than ONE technique to do any stroke. For instance, on your backhand, you have topspin OR slice.
So on forehand, it makes sense to adopt a couple of different strokes techniques. Against normal or slow balls, a long loopy stroke GENERATES pace and spin. Against fast incomers, a shorter, more direct entire motion redirects the ball with less effort and more accuracy.
We are not all Feds and DJ's. We need crutches against better players, and we need to be able to create against equal or worse players.

Orion3
10-19-2011, 11:57 AM
i've also switched to this forehand style with an abbreviated takeback. in my mind it feels like i'm just turning my shoulders and the racquet straight back but on video it just looks like i eliminated the loopy high takeback. in any case - i hit the ball cleaner which in turn gives me more pop. i can still get plenty of topspin with this abbreviated takeback as well - i just concentrate more of a low to high motion.

not sure if this is a consequence of the shorter takeback -- but it has mostly cured me of my slappy forehand tendencies as well.

Think you are absolutely right. I've uploaded the vid but its very dark - my loopy take back has pretty much gone and what my take back feels like is different from what I see on video. We shot this as we were warming up and after seeing the result - gave up. My shots today were crisp and out of the middle of the sweetspot, I'd forgotten how much easier things are when you hit the ball so cleanly.

http://m.youtube.com/index?desktop_uri=%2F&gl=GB#/watch?v=CbI1HmvVd9M

Orion3
10-19-2011, 12:31 PM
One thing mentioned is that we probably need more than ONE technique to do any stroke. For instance, on your backhand, you have topspin OR slice.
So on forehand, it makes sense to adopt a couple of different strokes techniques. Against normal or slow balls, a long loopy stroke GENERATES pace and spin. Against fast incomers, a shorter, more direct entire motion redirects the ball with less effort and more accuracy.
We are not all Feds and DJ's. We need crutches against better players, and we need to be able to create against equal or worse players.

More pearls of wisdom!

You are right of course, I still love to hit my old forehand and will pull it out of the draw as and when needed. Likewise, I still love my high loopy forehand - it too has it's own time and place; works wonders on clay and especially on hard courts against the backhands of slice pushers or flat hitters.

Never really thought about it much but I also change my grips depending on the shots I want to hit; mine vary from the inside face of an eastern backhand (when I'm playing silly spin shots) through to a full western for very high forehands. All of this obviously depends on who I'm playing and how much time I have to choose the shot I want to make.