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Fatmike
09-29-2005, 10:56 AM
How far below the ball your racquet goes when you wanna hit with topspin and power?

I use to go very low on all shots, like racquet head nearly touching the court (ala James Jenson) but I ended hitting lots of very high balls (6 to 10 feets over the net). I did put lots of topspin and the ball fall in play but that wasn't the kind of shots I wanted to hit. (Ball bounce high and almost staying in same position)

I have change a bit an mostly don't go below the ball, only a few inches.... I also try to have a very realxed hand and let go the wrist to give topspin to the ball. It's hard to time but works very well.

What do you think and do?

Ash Doyle
09-29-2005, 11:00 AM
It depends on the amount of topspin you want on the ball, but mostly the amount of topspin will come from how much force you put into the brushing upward motion over how much force you're hitting through the ball. So, in general, you probably don't want to go too far beneath the ball just to cut down on extra motion that could result in errors.

Also, balls going too high over the net has nothing to do with topspin, topspin will allow them to drop in but it doesn't cause the ball to sail too high. That comes from too open of a racquet face.

Marius_Hancu
09-29-2005, 11:01 AM
I watched this especially for you during the Montreal Masters, being behind Nadal and Agassi, amongst others, during training sessions (of course, behind the enclosure:-))

I'd say pros don't go (in typical rallies) lower than a racket-head width in the trajectory of the racket under the intended height of contact.

Check
Federer's and Hewitt's FH (high-speed camera clip)
in the Sticky.

Fatmike
09-29-2005, 11:11 AM
Also, balls going too high over the net has nothing to do with topspin, topspin will allow them to drop in but it doesn't cause the ball to sail too high. That comes from too open of a racquet face.

Not from topspin but from a too prononced upward motion I hits some kinds topspin lobs....

If I was hitting with a too open racquet face ball wouldn't go down in the court, they would go directly in the back fence

FiveO
09-29-2005, 12:26 PM
Topspin can be applied to the ball with a perfectly perpendicular racquet face but topspin can also be applied to the ball with a racquet face which is angled open or even closed. The angle of the racquet face dictates the initial trajectory off the stringbed. A topspin ball can leave the strings on a horizontal flight path or a inclined or declining flight path.

Topspin is a product of the "slope" that the swing path takes en route to and through the contact zone, (the "low to high" swing path) AND the AoA (angle of attack) of the racquet face as it moves through the contact zone (from 6" prior through 6" after impact). Controlling the ratio between the low to high swing and "open-ness" of the racquet face dictates the result. For example: a steep upward swing path, low to high can produce a flat, high, defensive lob, a lower topspin lob, a looped groundie or a short angle topspin pass, merely by adjusting the the angle of the racquet face (more open for the lob to more closed for the short angled pass) through the contact zone.

It's not one racquet face angle (open/closed) or swing path (angle of the low to high swing path) alone. It's both in varying combinations or ratios which dictate the resulting trajectory and amount of topspin applied to each shot.

But heed Marius' observations of the pros that the racquet face does not have to approach contact from a position drastically below contact height, a racquet head width is a good approximation. When hitting topspin shots the swing comes from inches below the contact point, not feet. As far as the wrist goes, if you're refering to rolling the wrist over the ball to apply topspin, it doesn't work. The ball is gone prior to the wrist roll. At normal speed, to the naked eye many pros appear to use their wrists to apply topspin. Super high speed video of the best fh's in the world show that the pros maintain a steady racquet face through the contact zone on that low to high swing path. Their wrists do release during the deceleration, giving a wristy appearance but that release happens well after going through the zone and way after the ball has left their string beds.

Good luck.

Fatmike
09-29-2005, 12:40 PM
Topspin can be applied to the ball with a perfectly perpendicular racquet face but topspin can also be applied to the ball with a racquet face which is angled open or even closed. The angle of the racquet face dictates the initial trajectory off the stringbed. A topspin ball can leave the strings on a horizontal flight path or a inclined or declining flight path.

Topspin is a product of the "slope" that the swing path takes en route to and through the contact zone, (the "low to high" swing path) AND the AoA (angle of attack) of the racquet face as it moves through the contact zone (from 6" prior through 6" after impact). Controlling the ratio between the low to high swing and "open-ness" of the racquet face dictates the result. For example: a steep upward swing path, low to high can produce a flat, high, defensive lob, a lower topspin lob, a looped groundie or a short angle topspin pass, merely by adjusting the the angle of the racquet face (more open for the lob to more closed for the short angled pass) through the contact zone.

It's not one racquet face angle (open/closed) or swing path (angle of the low to high swing path) alone. It's both in varying combinations or ratios which dictate the resulting trajectory and amount of topspin applied to each shot.

But heed Marius' observations of the pros that the racquet face does not have to approach contact from a position drastically below contact height, a racquet head width is a good approximation. When hitting topspin shots the swing comes from inches below the contact point, not feet. As far as the wrist goes, if you're refering to rolling the wrist over the ball to apply topspin, it doesn't work. The ball is gone prior to the wrist roll. At normal speed, to the naked eye many pros appear to use their wrists to apply topspin. Super high speed video of the best fh's in the world show that the pros maintain a steady racquet face through the contact zone on that low to high swing path. Their wrists do release during the deceleration, giving a wristy appearance but that release happens well after going through the zone and way after the ball has left their string beds.

Good luck.

nice

thanks

and about the bold part, that was not what I mean. I talked about releasing the wrist. Keeping my hand relaxed makes this happens naturally and it seems to help apply topspin. I don't try to "envelop" the ball. (by envelopping I mean going from back to top of the ball... I don't do that)

Marius_Hancu
09-29-2005, 12:55 PM
FiveO,
well said, it's a combination of factors.

Another, one about which I learned more recently, is the density of the stringbeds. I was told here that on denser stringbeds, one should use more open racket faces at contact than with less dense ones, and from my short experience with PC600, this seems to be the case.

This might be important for Fatmike as he seems to have a 18x20 stringbed on his FP.

I think Fatmike might remember our discussion at:

How do they hit their forehand with a so close racquet face? (see pic inside)
http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=44538

as he was the OP in that thread:-)

but anyway, I'm posting it for others.

Fatmike
09-29-2005, 01:01 PM
FiveO,
well said, it's a combination of factors.

Another, one about which I learned more recently, is the density of the stringbeds. I was told here that on denser stringbeds, one should use more open racket faces at contact than with less dense ones, and from my short experience with PC600, this seems to be the case.

This might be important for Fatmike as he seems to have a 18x20 stringbed on his FP.

I think Fatmike might remember our discussion at:

How do they hit their forehand with a so close racquet face? (see pic inside)
http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=44538

as he was the OP in that thread:-)

but anyway, I'm posting it for others.

thanks Marius for reminding me that fabulous thread :) - like you said, combination of factors; racquet face orientation (open or close racquet face), low to high and rear to front (how low to how high) -

And on my FP I have a 16x19 stringbed (reason why I went for the flexpoint and not the LM)

FiveO
09-29-2005, 04:17 PM
I assumed that most of the participants in this thread were aware of it, so I left it out of my original post, but for others who may be wondering, another very important factor in achieving topspin is: Racquet head speed.

So, to me, the three most important factors in topspin are:

1) swing path
2) racquet face angle
3) racquet head speed

Varying these three factors can produce markedly different results. Awareness of them helps.


Marius,

The relationship between string pattern density and requisite racquet angle at contact is interesting. It may be a factor in why many of us with our roots in wood and dense string beds, favor today's more traditional "player's" sticks over the "modern" wide bodies with large heads and open string patterns. Interesting thread. Thanks.

Rumjungle
09-29-2005, 04:31 PM
The relationship between string pattern density and requisite racquet angle at contact is interesting. It may be a factor in why many of us with our roots in wood and dense string beds, favor today's more traditional "player's" sticks over the "modern" wide bodies with large heads and open string patterns. Interesting thread. Thanks.

Yes but are you favoring dense string beds because you tend to hit balls too high (due to a face that's too open for the lower density stringbeds in more modern frames)? If so, that would confirm Marius' idea. Very interesting indeed.

Marius_Hancu
09-29-2005, 07:37 PM
The relationship between string pattern density and requisite racquet angle at contact is interesting. It may be a factor in why many of us with our roots in wood and dense string beds, favor today's more traditional "player's" sticks over the "modern" wide bodies with large heads and open string patterns.

I have to give the credit to BLiND.

He told me (when I recently had my first 18x20 string pattern, on a PC600, while I played all my life with 16x19 or thereabouts, thus less dense) that:

-------------
Firstly you can't use the same technique for a dense pattern as you
use with an open pattern... its simply different, the dense strings
brush the ball more, while the open strings grip the ball more.

Don't have time to post specifics, but basically... for dense pattern, you open the racquet-face more. You need to brush more on it, which can feel very strange at first, and can give you a sense of less control, but you get use to it.

With an open pattern you close the racquet face lot more, otherwise
the ball can sail on you.

I'm talking at around the mid to end of the stroke... especially the
end... if you don't close that racquet on an open pattern it'll
sail... not-so with dense patterns.
----------

My limited experience with PC600 confirms the above. Others are welcome to contribute their impressions.