AMAZING.. I enjoyed tennis for the first time in a while last night. I am 24, have been playing off and on for about 8 years.. i played in high school. I have never been coached or taken lessons (our h.s. coach was someone's dad- not a real 'coach'). I just kind of taught myself. Anyways, I have always had pride (and been very content) in hitting a flat bomb of a forehand and a decent slice backhand (serve is junk but anyway). I am starting to play now more than ever in my life as I have three people that are also getting really into tennis (FINALLY!!). I recently lost to two of these guys whom I didn't really consider to be much better than me when I first warmed up and hit around with them. However, when the matches started I just could not hit consistent forehands in. They would go a little long, I would ease up on it and then hit the top of the net all game. FRUSTRATING to say the least, as I am quick and take pride in getting to almost every shot. So last night, I had a session scheduled with my Aunt who is a pretty good 3.0 and i decided enough was enough. I went early before she got there and tried something new. TOPSPIN. Before I went out, I studied on the computer a pro's (i think it was Nadal from a While back) forehand in slowmotion and noticed two things, his grip was semi-Western or Western (whereas i have been using Eastern forever), and he used a more whipping down to up motion than I do. I said "hmmph... that doesn't seem too hard." So I went to the courts early and hit about 200-300 balls by myself with my new grip and with the windshield wiper motion. AWESOME. I always thought topspin was boring b/c you couldn't get any pace on it.. How Wrong I was. As long as your grip is correct (more radical than I'm used to - a semi-western grip i think), you can still keep them low and have a lot of pace. It is soo much easier hitting with topspin as I feel I can hit harder and it still will drop in.. and i hit MUCH better on the run too with my new topspin forehand. Anyway, I am more in love with tennis now than ever. Some of this has to do with me going with a slightly lighter racquet as well. I switched from the Redondo MP to the nBlade 98. The nBlade is perfect for my new style and it is just an outstanding racquet. So I finally feel like I will be improving and I can't wait to play some matches this week. Just wanted to share my excitement with you all.. not sure why it took me so long. I guess I thought I wanted to be the guy with the "smashing forehand.." which I was.. only i couldn't get it in on a consistent enough basis. Now I can flatten it out when I need to but hit topspin on most of my shots to keep it consistent. Okay, so thanks to you all.. this board is great. I have learned Tons from reading here.. It was here that I found the link that started it all.. watching Nadal hit that forehand in super slow-mo.. it all makes so much sense now.. lol so yeah.. i heart tennis.. big time.