View Full Version : Lefties on the pro tour

03-02-2004, 04:33 PM
I have been noticing that alot of lefties on the pro tour seem to hit with more spin than righties, am i correct in saying this, and if so why? It seemed particularly noticeable when watching Patty Schnyder, it seemed like she couldnt flatten her balls out. Jw

03-02-2004, 06:17 PM
I'm not sure for all lefties, but it's definitely true of Rafael Nadal. Although in the Davis Cup against Czech Republic, the commentators noted that he was changing it up, and taking spin off the ball and flattening it out, so he can do it. But he normally hits with a lot of topspin.

And BTW, I read something in Andre's interview about lefty serves that I thought was interesting. I typed it up for the Nadal site, and thought I'd post it here since it's kind of related. :lol:

"Jimmy [Conors] had a lousy serve but he was a lefty so he could get away with it. If that serve were right-handed it would have been on the level of some of the worst serves."


03-02-2004, 07:32 PM
Susan, I've noticed that too. Alot of lefties seem to use the buggwhip(swing straight up and follow up over hitting shoulder) shot more than righties. THe only time I personally(I'm a righty) use the buggywhip is if the ball is way out wide and I can't get behind it properly, or if the ball is coming at me real quick-like and I can just send it back with spin to get decent pace. Why do lefties seem to use this stroke so often?

03-02-2004, 07:51 PM
Coming up, there were two things true as a lefty. First, all my right-handed opponents natural shot was a crosscourt forehand to my backhand. So, most left-handers will have a dependable backhand. Mine is more steady than my forehand.

The other truth about left-handers is that they learn to use spin through serving. The most effective serve a left-hander has is the swing serve to a right-hander's backhand. I guess that the use of spin becomes more prevalent through their game due to the effectiveness of this shot. Right handers don't develop this as much because 90% of the time, their slice serve is to a right hander's forehand.

03-02-2004, 08:05 PM
Interesting discussion. And since it kind of meshes in here, I will post a portion of an article by Carlos Moya about the advantages lefties (partricularly Nadal) have on the Tour. I don't think I posted it here before, so if I did, I'm sorry. But it was interesting:

"I also want to stop in the detail that he [Nadal] is a left-handed player, and you should know that they are rare on the circuit. A lefty always creates many problems, above all with the serve, because they get an effect which a right-hander isn't accustomed too. It's another advantage that he has, because 90 of 100 players are right-handed, not left. He's only 17 years-old, and because of this, to try to compare him to someone else on the circuit is risky. In any case, having in account that his system is aggressive from the back of the court and the rest is excellent, I would dare to establish a certain analogy with Juan Carlos Ferrero, except the distances, of course."

This article is translated from the Spanish "Maneja bien la presión," which translates to "He Handles the Pressure well." You can see the article in Spanish and English at:



03-02-2004, 10:04 PM
I read that Nadal is actually right handed but plays left is that true? I heard some of the french guys like Clement and Grosjean played a few tournies left handed even though they are right and won them, thats just skill.

03-02-2004, 11:28 PM
Yep, it's true. He's right-handed, but plays left-handed. He was asked about it in an interview, and said that it just happened. There was no plan or anything.

And the irony is that Moya is left-handed, but plays right-handed -- which is kind of surprising given that he writes about how much of an advantage lefties have. :lol:

But both Moya and Nadal are known for their forehands, and it's interesting that they produce those forehands off the opposite side in which they do most other things.

I asked Moya about this in Houston, and he said that he broke his right arm when he was young and tried to play tennis with his left arm "but wasn't very good."

It's probably just as well he stayed with his right arm.

03-02-2004, 11:44 PM
Clement played with his left hand while recovering from an injury to his right hand.


03-03-2004, 12:57 AM
Would any of you Lefties care to elaborate on the overwhelming - and tremendously unfair - advantage you have in both tennis and baseball as a result of the Earth's rotation?

03-03-2004, 02:58 AM
Only on the Northern Hemisphere Deuce, only on the Northern Hemisphere...


03-03-2004, 06:53 AM
We've covered this before, but there are other interesting switches. Thomas Muster is actually right-handed but plays left-handed. Martina Navratilova is right-handed but plays left-handed. Eddie Dibbs is left-handed but plays right-handed.

Of these, the only instance I know of where it was planned was Navratilova. When she started playing, her father made her play left-handed because in his view, lefties had an advantage.

Deuce- I remember when I came up playing Little League, my dad was very enthused about my south-pawdness. We lived in California then and my dad never missed Koufax on TV. The highlight of my career was pitching a no hitter in Little League. That was the first time I ever heard "Damn left-handers", I've heard it early and often ever since. :D

I don't know if the earth's rotation has anything to do with it or just that left-handed people are superior tacticians and possibly athletes. I know I have my opionion. BTW, I had one guy tell me that I'd be a 3.5 if I wasn't left-handed. 8)

03-03-2004, 12:53 PM
Well, one thing to keep in mind is that a lot of lefties are very good at using their right hand. Most right handers on the other hand can't do much with their left hand or even dream of playing left handed.

I have tried to play left handed and I surprized myself at how well I could hit. I was able to hit very consistent one-hand backhand lefthanded, even though I couldn't do that to save my life with my right hand (I play two-handed backhand). I think it was because I was using my whole body rather than just my arm when I hit one-handed backhand left-handed. Still, however, my left arm is too weak and uncordinated for me to play at the same level as with my right one. I am sure I would have had much better strength and coordination if I was forced to do a lot more with my non-dominant hand as many lefties are when I was a child.

03-03-2004, 10:44 PM
I was just reading an article on the Nadal vs. Rochus match in Dubai, and I just had to post this quote from it:

"Nadal's speed was breathtaking, and his ability to raise his game at important stages was too much even for the fluent Rochus, whose flat-hit ground strokes contrasted fascinatingly with the teenager's topspins in many superb rallies."

Guess it's that lefty thing he's got going. :lol:


03-04-2004, 02:57 AM
Another interesting thing re left handers is that both Ken Rosewall and Margaret Court were natural left handers but were forced to play right handed because of the times in which they were playing. Would have been interesting to watch them both as natural left handers.


03-04-2004, 08:08 AM
That's right! I forgot about Rosewall. Didn't know about Court though.

03-04-2004, 06:21 PM
I don't know, but it seems like a lot of the lefties are clay courters by nature, so they would naturally have big western forehands and the like.

I personally love watching a lot of lefties because they do hit with so much power and spin. Biggest example is easily Lopez, god I love that guys huge game.

Max G.
03-05-2004, 07:06 PM
"a lot of the lefties are clay courters by nature" - McEnroe, Ivanisevic... just off the top of my head.

If lefties play with more spin, it's because it works better for them. Their spin throws everyone off, so they develop it early.

12-07-2014, 02:30 PM
Like Guillermo Vilas, Rafael Nadal.

12-07-2014, 03:08 PM
I am a lefty and my cross court forehand goes to the righty back hand so I put a ton of spin on it so it jumps up high to the righty and they have trouble hitting the ball around the top of their shoulder. It is really that simple.

12-07-2014, 03:37 PM

In that list, players like Lopez, Muller, Young, Nieminen, Mannarino and Falla are not big lifters.

12-07-2014, 04:48 PM
I am a lefty and my cross court forehand goes to the righty back hand so I put a ton of spin on it so it jumps up high to the righty and they have trouble hitting the ball around the top of their shoulder. It is really that simple.
I wish I were a leftie...I love hitting with lots of spin.

As a rightie I basically have to hit inside out forehands until someone coughs up a short ball. My inside-in isn't nearly as reliable as my CC or I/O...

12-10-2014, 09:41 PM
It's amazing to see this thread from 10 years ago and see how people viewed and talked about nadal then not knowing how great he would become.