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View Full Version : Whatever happened to the mighty forehands??


unjugon
07-15-2006, 03:45 PM
I feel that the decline of Moya and Ferrero doesn´t have much to do with mental/physical problems -Ferrero has been without injuries for quite a while-, but rather with their forehands becoming ordinary, in comparison to 2-3 years back.

Why does a player´s stroke become ineffective all of a sudden? Slightly different technique after a 1, 2-month-injury? Maybe the other players are faster now?

These forehands have lost their sting. They sometimes go out. They often come with a little less topspin than before. They aren´t as deep. They aren´t dominating the tour anymore.

It´s time we here find out what´s going on!!!!

NoBadMojo
07-15-2006, 05:01 PM
Their forehands havent eroded...they've slowed the surface/balls down and forehands arent as lethal anymore, nor are serves <for the most part>. Roddick was complaining that he now essentially must hit 2 or 3 forehand winners to actually win the point..obviously it is the same for everyone, and even Gonzos forehand doesnt seem as huge as it used to be

unjugon
07-15-2006, 05:06 PM
Their forehands havent eroded...they've slowed the surface/balls down and forehands arent as lethal anymore, nor are serves <for the most part>. Roddick was complaining that he now essentially must hit 2 or 3 forehand winners to actually win the point..obviously it is the same for everyone, and even Gonzos forehand doesnt seem as huge as it used to be
Hmmm, yes but Gonzo wins more than Ferrero or Moya. While Gonzo´s forehand may not seem as big as before due to slower courts, it does not seem to have lost as much effectiveness as Ferrero´s and Moya´s ones.

That´s my point.

NoBadMojo
07-15-2006, 05:32 PM
Hmmm, yes but Gonzo wins more than Ferrero or Moya. While Gonzo´s forehand may not seem as big as before due to slower courts, it does not seem to have lost as much effectiveness as Ferrero´s and Moya´s ones.

That´s my point.

What I was trying to explain to you is that they have slowed things up enough where players like Moya and Ferrero who never had huge forehands, cant hit nearly as many winners off it anymore..that's my point.

unjugon
07-15-2006, 05:38 PM
What I was trying to explain to you is that they have slowed things up enough where players like Moya and Ferrero who never had huge forehands, cant hit nearly as many winners off it anymore..that's my point.
Oh, I thought Moya and Ferrero had about the best/biggest forehands 2-3 years ago.
My bad.

Raistlin
07-15-2006, 05:41 PM
Kuerten had some pretty nice forehands in his days.

But I think Federer is the only one I've seen who has some serious power behind his forehand. (awsome racket speed) and of course Agassi but he's gonna retire so....

snoflewis
07-15-2006, 05:42 PM
some guy named federer has a good forehand...don't know if he's any good though....

aramis
07-23-2006, 07:55 PM
I've compared Ferrero's forehand to what it was years ago, and I can say that it is a technical problem. He just doesn't move well anymore, and any tennis player knows that good groundstrokes depend completely on footwork. I dont think its because the rest of the players are just better nowadays; in fact I think a lot of the young guys are pretty crappy from a technical standpoint. They're only taught to hit as hard as they can, but are not shown how to move.

Anyway, Ferrero's forehand can still be just as consistenly explosive as it used to if starts moving the way he used to. Also, the surfaces haven't changed since the beginning of 2003, or so I've heard.

mileslong
07-23-2006, 10:07 PM
as far as accuracy and power i would put feds and blake at the top these days...

Bogie
07-23-2006, 10:23 PM
berdych, safin, j. johansson > moya, ferrero, etc.

!Tym
07-24-2006, 03:46 AM
Hmmm, yes but Gonzo wins more than Ferrero or Moya. While Gonzo´s forehand may not seem as big as before due to slower courts, it does not seem to have lost as much effectiveness as Ferrero´s and Moya´s ones.

That´s my point.

Actually, I think slowing things down a little helps Gonzo as his swing take-backs are so exaggerated. This allows him to be a little more consistent, he used to get rushed more and hit the back fence because he'd catch it a little late.

Moya's getting old now, but he's shown he can still play big for a match or so. I mean once you've been around like Moya, it's very rare that they can stay fresh the way Agassi did as he got older; but also you have to realize that Agassi's strokes were much more compact and efficient, and I think easier to maintain as you get older, similar to how Connors' were.

Ferrero also. His confidence isn't quite the same. But I agree his footwork isn't what it used to be. His footwork used to be maybe the crispest on tour, he would take such brilliant little quick steps to get into perfect position to snap his forehand before with such accuracy. If you lose a little confidence, that AND injuries both can cause you to lose that rhythm on the footwork. His footwork used to be crisp all the time, and now it's like he just "loses it" for periods of a match and his game kind of just goes off.

I mean you'll see. Look at Federer, right now everything works for him because his footwork is just in rhythm right now. Footwork is the name of the game. The second that slips whether by motivation, burn-out, age, injuries, sagging confidence, or whatever; that's all it takes to suddenly make an invincible shot begin to look very ordinary.

aramis
07-24-2006, 12:16 PM
Actually, I think slowing things down a little helps Gonzo as his swing take-backs are so exaggerated. This allows him to be a little more consistent, he used to get rushed more and hit the back fence because he'd catch it a little late.

Moya's getting old now, but he's shown he can still play big for a match or so. I mean once you've been around like Moya, it's very rare that they can stay fresh the way Agassi did as he got older; but also you have to realize that Agassi's strokes were much more compact and efficient, and I think easier to maintain as you get older, similar to how Connors' were.

Ferrero also. His confidence isn't quite the same. But I agree his footwork isn't what it used to be. His footwork used to be maybe the crispest on tour, he would take such brilliant little quick steps to get into perfect position to snap his forehand before with such accuracy. If you lose a little confidence, that AND injuries both can cause you to lose that rhythm on the footwork. His footwork used to be crisp all the time, and now it's like he just "loses it" for periods of a match and his game kind of just goes off.

I mean you'll see. Look at Federer, right now everything works for him because his footwork is just in rhythm right now. Footwork is the name of the game. The second that slips whether by motivation, burn-out, age, injuries, sagging confidence, or whatever; that's all it takes to suddenly make an invincible shot begin to look very ordinary.
Exactly!
Footwork is the one essential in having a great groundgame, and if there is anything Federer does better since 2003 I'd bet $1000 that its his footwork and nothing else.
Ferrero could still be a HUGE threat if he regained his confidence; he could even get to no. 3. Virtually no player (with the exception of Roger) moves the way Ferrero used to, on any surface. I just watched some old matches of his back in 2002-2003 and it looks as if the guy is standing on a burning pile of coals because he's CONSTANTLY adjusting his position, especially when the ball is on the other side of the court.

dandy2fast
07-24-2006, 03:47 PM
players like Moya and Ferrero who never had huge forehands,


:confused: Please send me some of what you smoke, it must be damned good!

stormholloway
07-24-2006, 04:24 PM
Blake's forehand looks sharp.

slider1979
07-24-2006, 04:30 PM
some guy named federer has a good forehand...don't know if he's any good though....


he's good...believe me :)

erik-the-red
07-24-2006, 05:13 PM
I think Moya and Ferrero both succumbed to the 'defender's syndrome.' It's what happens when you win a major and all of a sudden you feel satisfied with your career. The hunger is gone.

I vaguely remember seeing the 2002 French Open Final between Ferrero and Costa. But, I do remember seeing a kind of sharp focus in Ferrero's eyes, even though he lost the match. At the 2004 U.S. Open, it was all gone. There was no fire in his eyes; he was completely flat.

Sampras and Guga also fell to this. Sampras was dry in the majors for two years; it took a loss to Edberg in 1992 to convince him that 'just' Top 10 wasn't good enough.

fastdunn
07-24-2006, 05:14 PM
Their forehands havent eroded...they've slowed the surface/balls down and forehands arent as lethal anymore, nor are serves <for the most part>. Roddick was complaining that he now essentially must hit 2 or 3 forehand winners to actually win the point..obviously it is the same for everyone, and even Gonzos forehand doesnt seem as huge as it used to be

Actually, as fas as I know, they have done with slowing it down in 2003.
For example, Wimbledon changed it to 100% rye grass in 2001 and
some kind of clay layer treatment(underneath grasses) in 2003
(some says they put cement layer but unconfirmed )
US Open slowed it from 2001-2002 and done it further in 2003
and got happy. It's now supposedly same condition as 2003.

It showed immediate effects here and there between 2001-2003
but its full impact has been fully realized by 2004-2005, IMHO.

SydneyJim
07-24-2006, 05:17 PM
give a few, you'll see my forehand rise

PBODY99
07-26-2006, 08:46 AM
One factor that wasn"t mentioned is the "catch up". With everyone hitting bigger, the rest of the tour caught up with the speed merchants, on any of the shots. The extra pace everyone tries to hit decrases the number of big shot opportunities that the players have. They alos get use to seeing that extra speed leveland adjust.

Marat Safinator
07-26-2006, 09:29 AM
everybody is starting to hit bigger shots, moya in my opinion still has a very big forehand but not ferrero.

aramis
07-26-2006, 12:02 PM
everybody is starting to hit bigger shots, moya in my opinion still has a very big forehand but not ferrero.
I dont know about Moya, but Ferrero is definitely not the same player he was before 2004. Its not because other players have improved, Ferrero has just dropped a lot mentally and physically. He'd probably lose to juniors the way he plays right now. He's just lethargic out there, even in the matches he wins; there's no spring in his step anymore, his forehand has become a joke, and his serve is slow and flat. He is not the "mosquito" out there anymore, he's more of a lazy, emaciated clown.

The tour has always been full of guys who could hit the ball big, even 4-6 years ago. Like you said, there plenty of guys hit big nowadays too, but it doesnt mean anything. Its the footwork and movement that underlies a player's shots that shows how talented he is, and consequently how much success he is going to have. The best example would be Federer. He doesnt have the best serve, or the best backhand, and definitely not the best volleys. He probably has the best forehand and maybe the best return of serve, but thats it. He doesnt even have the strongest mentality either; I've seen him get down in matches and he becomes quite negative, which tends to affect his game. So what makes him the best must be his movement alone, and for years we've all known that he has the best footwork in the game.

Every time I see some of these "talented" youngsters, like Berdych, Novak, Andreev, Tursonov, etc., I always wonder who taught these guys how to play? All they do is blast the crap out of the ball at almost every opportunity, and when they happen to have a game where most of their shots land inside the court, they're hailed as "geniuses", or "Federer's rivals". However, they're missing the one essential: movement. Their footwork is either poor, awkward, or in some cases, just plain clumsy. They may be able to run fast, but thats not the same thing at all. A player who has good footwork will actually move their feet MORE when the ball is on the other side of the court, like Federer does. Ferrero also, when he used to be a good player, had unbelievably active footwork when the ball was on the other side.

ShcMad
07-26-2006, 12:12 PM
I think that competition is getting tougher these days. I mean, on the ATP, everyone and their mother have big forehands nowadays.

I remember the French Open provided a nice angled camera view during matches behind the players, and from what I've seen from this angle, 99% of the ATP guys can crank huge forehands with blistering pace. Benneteau, Gicquel, Kiefer, Djokovic, Berdych, Blake are just some of the guys I've seen hit one big forehand after another without getting tired.

KBalla08
07-26-2006, 12:31 PM
Federer and Blake have amazing forehands. Roddick's is good as well, but it's not the huge force it used to like back in 03.

Marat Safinator
07-26-2006, 01:22 PM
I dont know about Moya, but Ferrero is definitely not the same player he was before 2004. Its not because other players have improved, Ferrero has just dropped a lot mentally and physically. He'd probably lose to juniors the way he plays right now. He's just lethargic out there, even in the matches he wins; there's no spring in his step anymore, his forehand has become a joke, and his serve is slow and flat. He is not the "mosquito" out there anymore, he's more of a lazy, emaciated clown.

The tour has always been full of guys who could hit the ball big, even 4-6 years ago. Like you said, there plenty of guys hit big nowadays too, but it doesnt mean anything. Its the footwork and movement that underlies a player's shots that shows how talented he is, and consequently how much success he is going to have. The best example would be Federer. He doesnt have the best serve, or the best backhand, and definitely not the best volleys. He probably has the best forehand and maybe the best return of serve, but thats it. He doesnt even have the strongest mentality either; I've seen him get down in matches and he becomes quite negative, which tends to affect his game. So what makes him the best must be his movement alone, and for years we've all known that he has the best footwork in the game.

Every time I see some of these "talented" youngsters, like Berdych, Novak, Andreev, Tursonov, etc., I always wonder who taught these guys how to play? All they do is blast the crap out of the ball at almost every opportunity, and when they happen to have a game where most of their shots land inside the court, they're hailed as "geniuses", or "Federer's rivals". However, they're missing the one essential: movement. Their footwork is either poor, awkward, or in some cases, just plain clumsy. They may be able to run fast, but thats not the same thing at all. A player who has good footwork will actually move their feet MORE when the ball is on the other side of the court, like Federer does. Ferrero also, when he used to be a good player, had unbelievably active footwork when the ball was on the other side.

good post amaris. i actually think the tour was alot better 4-6 year ago, there werem any playerschallenging for no.1 . like sampras, safin, kuerten, norman, hewitt, agassi, kafelnikov, haas, ferrero, moya etc.
yes alot of the players you mentioned dont have flair, they jsut blast the ball most of the time, like tursunov, a great player but could do so much more. andreev is an absolute spin head.

aramis
07-26-2006, 01:50 PM
good post amaris. i actually think the tour was alot better 4-6 year ago, there werem any playerschallenging for no.1 . like sampras, safin, kuerten, norman, hewitt, agassi, kafelnikov, haas, ferrero, moya etc.
yes alot of the players you mentioned dont have flair, they jsut blast the ball most of the time, like tursunov, a great player but could do so much more. andreev is an absolute spin head.
Yeah the tour did seem to be a lot more exciting back then. I dont know for sure, because I only started to seriously follow tennis since 2003, but I was watching highlights of the 2001 and 2002 masters cup on the masters series tv site, and the atmosphere in all of those matches was just so electric, especially the final with Ferrero and Hewitt. The masters cup hasn't been the same the past three years, but maybe the boring Houston venue had something to do with that.

LethalLefty
07-26-2006, 04:26 PM
All of you left out one of the most menacing forehands on tour......Verdasco!!!!!

FiveO
07-26-2006, 04:28 PM
Actually, as fas as I know, they have done with slowing it down in 2003.
For example, Wimbledon changed it to 100% rye grass in 2001 and
some kind of clay layer treatment(underneath grasses) in 2003
(some says they put cement layer but unconfirmed )
US Open slowed it from 2001-2002 and done it further in 2003
and got happy. It's now supposedly same condition as 2003.

It showed immediate effects here and there between 2001-2003
but its full impact has been fully realized by 2004-2005, IMHO.


Apparently not, according to Richard Evans. Quoting from his "Roving Eye" column in the August '06 issue of Tennis Week:

".....There is no governing body to draw up a global strategy that would ensure what the president of the ATP Plyers Councils wants to see will come to pass---namely the chance for every type of player to have his period of the year when he can enjoy conditions that suit him.
Ivan Ljubicic hates the fact that fast court players are having fewer and fewer places to express themselves. And he was brought up on clay. At the next Council meeting, maybe he can start asking tough questions about why the balls are getting heavier and the courts slower all around the world. And if anyone wants to refute that this is so, talk to the players. I have not heard a single player do anything but complain that the Slazenger balls used for the English grass court season were heavier than the year before....."

AAAA
07-26-2006, 04:55 PM
At the 2004 U.S. Open, it was all gone. There was no fire in his eyes; he was completely flat.


That's because he was carrying injuries and was playing his forth match in a many days. He was physically and mentally drained even before the final began.

Punisha
07-27-2006, 03:27 AM
http://youtube.com/watch?v=HWNPaYbFL_s&search=james%20blake

Dilettante
07-27-2006, 05:17 AM
players like Moya and Ferrero who never had huge forehands,

WHAT???

Sorry, I mean...

What?

Ganz
08-06-2006, 06:10 PM
It is a shame about Ferrero,wasted talent. It's almost like he doesn't want to work hard anymore. Going over to Head rackets and the silly headband, he's confused!

I was watching him play in Athens at the Olympics. He was playing Mardy Fish, second round match I think. Anyway, Ferrero was by far the more exciting player, his backhand passing shots and forehands were quite stunning and his movement on court always exciting to watch. He lost to Fish! Old flashes of inspired play appeared but never stayed for long. Fish was solid, nothing flash but Ferrero.

It's funny as Roddick performance was also below standard. A lot of players went out leaving Fish and Massau in the finals. Maybe they didn't like living in the Olympic village and eating the village food. But that's another thread.

Shame about Ferrero. I would have to say I'd prefer Ferrero as a rival to Federer than Nadal. Maybe tennis has moved on but we just didn't notice it.

skittles
08-06-2006, 08:09 PM
good post amaris. i actually think the tour was alot better 4-6 year ago, there werem any playerschallenging for no.1 . like sampras, safin, kuerten, norman, hewitt, agassi, kafelnikov, haas, ferrero, moya etc.
yes alot of the players you mentioned dont have flair, they jsut blast the ball most of the time, like tursunov, a great player but could do so much more. andreev is an absolute spin head.

i agree. Nowadays the up and coming players just want to hit the ball as hard as possible. i would say 3 years ago was the last top 10 ive seen that had enough depth and that anyone of those guys could have been #1. Too bad, these new guys must neglect the first lesson they learn when they first picked up a racket. Movement. Safin for example is one guy who hits big but moves fairly well especially for his size. the Mosquito didnt have a very big forehand but it might have seemed big because he hit it deep everytime. I still consider him my favorite player.

And last. for that guy who questioned if Moya had a big forehand. YES he does. That was his biggest weapon. And if u saw that davis cup final between US and Spain. then you would know he does because Roddick has a big forehand as well but it was pathetic in comparison to Moya's.