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View Full Version : Knee Injury; changes in strokes?


Roforot
10-17-2005, 01:47 AM
I've missed the summer season w/ a Right Medial Knee sprain, the first injury that I haven't been able to shake off.
Anyway, I've been through physical therapy/conditioning and managed to avoid surgery; the knee feels strong except that my previous open stance w/ weight loaded on R. leg is not so good. No pain, but a little tweak there that I think I should heed.
In using a traditional closed stance, I feel fine and while I'm aware I'm losing spin and power, I'm just happy to play and not worry about icing my knees afterwards.
The crux of my question is this; I've heard many people say that an open stance goes hand in hand w/ a western grip, does a closed stance become more effective w/ an eastern grip?

thanks in advance!

golden chicken
10-17-2005, 03:49 AM
western is hard to pull off with a closed stance because you can't generate the racket speed you need as easily as with an open stance. semiwestern and eastern are "flatter" strokes, so good weight transfer and clean contact are more important.

you can hit a nice hard ball with a slower stroke using a closed stance by stepping into the shot and making solid clean contact. you won't get the spin potential that a western offers, but you may find your shots penetrating the court a little more.

you don't have to switch all the way to eastern. you can use SW with a closed stance and then it might not be such a big leap for you

Marius_Hancu
10-17-2005, 04:06 AM
for several useful knee forums
check the Knee Pain links in my signature here:

Roforot
10-17-2005, 07:15 PM
Thank you both for your replies; Marius I indeed have checked some of your fitness posts/links prior to starting a specific rehab program.

GoldenChicken, I've experimented w/ both Eastern/SW for a little; I think I'll stick w/ SW as it feels more natural. When I try Eastern, I end up hitting a lot of balls over the fence!

It does feel like I'm hitting deeper shots (especially DTL) but I cannot produce good angles. Anyway, I am happy to be pain free. Do you also play w/ a closed stance? Are there any other advantages or things I should do to make this work?

AngeloDS
10-17-2005, 08:32 PM
I had a knee injury as well. From the beginning of this year, and from basketball. My stance for a few hits had to be changed, especially the backhand.

Semi-open stance with the semi-western grip is a really good combination. You can generate a lot of topspin, or a lot of power on the flat forehand shot depending on your swing path. Low to high back to low will generate a lot of topspin but hardly any power, low to high will generate topspin and some power, across your chest will generate little topspin but a lot of power for the flat shot. Most of all, I can generate better angles than someone with a western stance.

nViATi
10-17-2005, 08:47 PM
I had a knee injury as well. From the beginning of this year, and from basketball. My stance for a few hits had to be changed, especially the backhand.

Semi-open stance with the semi-western grip is a really good combination. You can generate a lot of topspin, or a lot of power on the flat forehand shot depending on your swing path. Low to high back to low will generate a lot of topspin but hardly any power, low to high will generate topspin and some power, across your chest will generate little topspin but a lot of power for the flat shot. Most of all, I can generate better angles than someone with a western stance.
western stance?

Marius_Hancu
10-17-2005, 09:06 PM
Anyway, I've been through physical therapy/conditioning and managed to avoid surgery; the knee feels strong except that my previous open stance w/ weight loaded on R. leg is not so good. No pain, but a little tweak there that I think I should heed.

Hm, thinking about Nadal. He currently has knee tendinitis.

Now, he's certainly flexing those knees to an unbelievable extent during all those running shots in extremis ... getting to very low balls. This must be very taxing.

But related to your problem, by looking at some of the tennisplayer.net clips, I recently realized that when preparing a FH, Nadal is standing very much with the back considerably inclined backwards from the vertical, with lots of pressure put on his right leg, quads and knee of course. This is something common in the open stance with W grip FH for many players, but he's doing that to a quite exagerated degree.

These things might be well related.

AngeloDS
10-18-2005, 12:12 AM
I meant to say open-stance with a western grip :).

Actually, an open-stance with an eastern grip is effective in producing a "heavy" ball. My coach from JV who played collegiate level tennis in his younger days (played like 30-40+ years of tennis), still uses his serve & volley techniques but can play baseline well. He's in his 40's or 50's now, and still uses it with no physical problems.

I could never do it, I'm not that strong in my arms/shoulders and the technique is difficult. I'm not sure how he does it, but his racquet is completely open, his body is in an open-stance position, his shoulders are completely open and his stroke is very smooth and uses upper body rotation, head still and it comes across his body. I don't think any power comes from his legs, other than bending low to get some balls. Like with the western and open, you're pushing off with your right and your left foot comes off the ground.

Also he holds the racquet differently. For our western and semi-western, we hold the racquet pretty much paralell to the ground. My JV coach from HS, he had his completley open but at a 45 degree angle. So it pointed up like this /. And hit's the ball like that. And he does this weird, not a wrist flick but kind of like it but not really. It's hard to describe. But it adds the topspin to the ball I think.

I never got a hold of the technique, it's difficult and I'm guessing it took him a long time to develop it.

Roforot
10-18-2005, 07:33 PM
Hm, thinking about Nadal. He currently has knee tendinitis.

But related to your problem, by looking at some of the tennisplayer.net clips, I recently realized that when preparing a FH, Nadal is standing very much with the back considerably inclined backwards from the vertical, with lots of pressure put on his right leg, quads and knee of course. This is something common in the open stance with W grip FH for many players, but he's doing that to a quite exagerated degree.

These things might be well related.

Yes this describes some of my old FHs (especially trying to take deep/hard hit shots); I don't doubt that I placed undue strain on my knee w/ extreme/faulty technique, but now that it's done, even a "normal" open stance FH shot feels tweaky.

FWIW, besides some amazing angles, what I also miss about open stance is that it's easier to move b/c you're kind of already facing the court/square to net, whereas now I have an extra step before and after hitting the ball.

After I become more confident, perhaps Semi-Open may be an option as AngelosDS suggests:
>>Like with the western and open, you're pushing off with your right and your left foot comes off the ground.

I'll have to see later how this feels...