Can a good rec player hit a SINGLE winner as good as a pro?

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by tank_job, Aug 11, 2012.

  1. tank_job

    tank_job Banned

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    Sometimes fit, young rec players hit what look to be 'amazing' shots. They hit the ball as hard as they can and it paints the line for a clean winner.

    The difference between recs and the pro's could be that the pro's hit these 'amazing' shots twice every game, while the rec player manages them twice a year...

    Or is the difference between recs and the pro's such that even these 'amazing shots' by the rec player are just infinitely inferior, even to a pro's average rally shot?

    We have no objective means of comparison (radar guns) on our courts, so if some good rec guy hits as hard as they can, it might be, like, a 20mph forehand, but the pro's can hit 100+mph forehands on average.

    The amazing, twice-a-year shot of the rec player goes at 20mph, but it only looks amazing because everyone else hits their shots at 2mph. However, the 'amazing' shot for the rec player is 5 times slower than the average rally shot of the pro player. And 10x slower than a hard shot from the pro.

    Same with spin, you may think you're putting every ounce of strength into creating vertical racket head speed, but your twice-a-year 'amazing topspin' shot would probably be about 30rpm, whilst the pro's can generate 4000rpm consistently.

    So what I'm getting at is that the pro's beat you on more than consistency. Even if you completely disregard consistency and try to hit just one single shot in your entire life as hard as a pro, your forehand would probably go at about 20mph and 30rpm, whereas a pro's forehand would be 140mph and 6000rpm, or seven times faster and spinning 200 times more than your best ever shot?

    Because even a fit young rec player, who, let's say even trains with weights and can squat double bw..etc..., just does not have the strength to hit anywhere even near the same as the pro's even once in their lifetime?
     
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  2. josofo

    josofo Semi-Pro

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    yes

    i have hit some huge shots before and am not more than a 4.0.
     
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  3. Up&comer

    Up&comer Hall of Fame

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    Hitting that hard with that much spin is technique. Unless the recreational player has great technique and is physically strong enough, no. If he is, he's not a rec player.
     
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  4. Larrysümmers

    Larrysümmers Hall of Fame

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    i can once in a while.
     
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  5. Headshotterer

    Headshotterer Professional

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    No. They will always have inferior tecnhique, timing, positioning, physique. Tell me when you see someone hit a 90 MPH forehand.
     
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  6. soleil

    soleil Rookie

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    Yeah sometimes. Its something you wouldn't expect though
     
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  7. TeflonTom

    TeflonTom Banned

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    this

    i was hittin with a top 30 wta player once n just for funsies i asked her to smack some balls at me winner-style. i have seen rec players hit some insane shots but compared 2 those this girlie was rewritin the laws o physics

    when ur at the other end o the court, there just aint no comparison
     
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  8. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    My best lucky forehand can be quite a bit better than a Federer shank.
    My lucky lunging volley just before falling on the ground can match Becker's good ones.
    I can bring it once a month.
     
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  9. Jonny S&V

    Jonny S&V Hall of Fame

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    What qualifies a rec player? 4.5 or below? If so, I agree. However, an angry 5.0 (aka, myself) can hit shots that pros hit (obviously not on a regular basis, otherwise I would be higher than 5.0).
     
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  10. TeflonTom

    TeflonTom Banned

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    i disagree. 5.0s can sometimes belt a very hard shot that gets lucky n goes in

    i am yet to see a 5.0 who can get the power n spin combination of a pro winner. lowest level ive seen it is amongst the top d1 college players
     
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  11. Up&comer

    Up&comer Hall of Fame

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    5.0 is not recreational. Period. I'd say a weaker 4.5 is about the peak for recreational standards. To get any higher would require time that would make you something other than a recreational player.
     
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  12. TenFanLA

    TenFanLA Hall of Fame

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    I am a 3.5 and I hit like a pro 1/2 the time. 1/2 at 7.0 and 1/2 at 0.0. Thus my 3.5 rating. :twisted:
     
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  13. Phonco

    Phonco Rookie

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    I think it's possible. I'd say the ultimate "rec" player would be a prolific/star athlete from another sport who decides to play tennis. In this case, let's say someone like LeBron James or an olympic decathlete. These guys would exceptionally and athletically gifted, but wouldn't be that good at tennis because they would lack technique or tennis IQ/experience. I disregard footwork because pros can still slap winners standing still i.e Almagro.

    Given someone like this, I find it quite possible, if not, quite probable, that they would be able to hit a ball at pro speed. Now I said hit a ball, not necessarily hit it in the court or anything like that. I believe there is a difference in visuals between a ball struck at 100mph/100 rpm versus a ball hit at 100mph/3000rpm. The level of action and visual speed makes the ball at 3000rpm look way faster even though both are hit at the same speed.

    Going back to the original point, give these "rec" star athletes some decent stroke technique, some power to feed off of, and I don't see why not they wouldn't be able to hit one fluke, random pro level shot.

    I equate the difference between pros and rec players as a difference in technique AND strategy. There are some players in the world with the most beautiful technique, but lack the mentality/strategy to win.
     
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  14. kiteboard

    kiteboard Hall of Fame

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    I can hit 90 off both wings, and I am mid fifties 4.5 and 30lbs over weight. Just recently began to learn how to with my fh, from tennisplayer.net site. That is with leaded frames, and my own stringing techniques, and stiff frames like the babolats or the h22. Also tour bite 18g/cyclone 18g, and thinner strings have more power.
     
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  15. Jay_The_Nomad

    Jay_The_Nomad Professional

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    Depends on what you mean by rec player. If you're talking about average club hacks then yes, their technique sucks.

    But for more advanced rec players who dabble in open category tournaments, it is certainly not impossible to be able to be technically as good as pro players.

    The only difference separating advanced rec players and ranked pro players is their ability to reproduce that exact high quality hitting form at a higher level of match intensity. And this is a very big difference and it is something you can only learn by competing with pro players week in week out.

     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2012
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  16. Hi I'm Ray

    Hi I'm Ray Hall of Fame

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    What did I just read? :confused:

    20mph at 30rpm would be like blocking or tapping the ball back.


    If you're just talking about 80-85mph winners, yes non-pros can hit those. College players, better 4.5's and up can hit at comparable speeds and at good angles. Consistency and ability to hit these shots in different situations are a different matter.
    However, I've only seen pros hitting those crazy groundstrokes that look more like serves - the kind of shots that are much faster than usual and makes the audience at a pro event go "whoa! (holy ****!)"
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2012
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  17. Timbo's hopeless slice

    Timbo's hopeless slice Hall of Fame

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    same old same old, sorry folks, but 5.0 is very much a recreational player.

    anyway, I reckon 4.0 and up can produce a pro level shot given the right ball and a bit of luck. Do it all the time? Not a chance!

    But I do agree with Jonny that 5.0s will pull one out once a set or so, usually when we're angry and just rip one!
    (if we could do it all the time, we wouldn't etc etc...)
     
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  18. Raul_SJ

    Raul_SJ Professional

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    The coach said my forehand is very good and it is at a 4.0 level. When I hit it correctly, it goes about 60-75 mph.

    When I watch him hit the forehand (on a drop feed), it goes about 90 mph.

    I can't figure out how he is getting so much power on his forehand, with essentially the same motion he is teaching me.

    I asked him if there's anything wrong with my takeback, swing, contact point, acceleration, etc., and he says everything is fine.

    I realize consistency is more important than power, but I am curious what is preventing me from hitting a forehand at 90 mph instead of 60 mph especially since he says there is nothing wrong with my form.

    Of course he is a pro, but I want to hit JUST ONE forehand like that. Just once.
     
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  19. Hi I'm Ray

    Hi I'm Ray Hall of Fame

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    ^^ My guess is: faster hip rotation, looser upper body, & better timing (& of course the control to keep it in)
     
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  20. cl76

    cl76 Rookie

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    I think rec players can hit comparable shots to pros once in a while.
     
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  21. tank_job

    tank_job Banned

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    What I'm saying is you take a strong, young, fit (maybe an ex-marine or something) rec player with good technique and feed him perfect tennis balls. He just needs to stand still (the ball will come to him) and crank forehands.

    Given these perfect conditions, will he be able to hit even ONE forehand with comparable mph's/rpm's as a pro forehand?

    I say no.

    The difference between the pro and the rec player is not merely consistency. It's not as if the rec player can hit one pro level shot in 100,000 of his shots, given perfect conditions.

    The rec player cannot hit one pro level shot in infinity of his shots, given perfect conditions.
     
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  22. Hi I'm Ray

    Hi I'm Ray Hall of Fame

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    I think you need to give us a better definition of what you mean by "rec player" and "pro level shot/forehand."
     
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  23. SlapShot

    SlapShot Hall of Fame

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    I'm a 4.5, and I guarantee that I've hit a few that would qualify as a "pro level" shot. The one I can distinctly remember was in a tourney last year - was getting my butt kicked by a kid who was playing out of his mind, and I got frustrated and clocked a FH off of a return. The kid didn't even make an attempt.

    Can I regularly hit that ball? Not a chance. Not even once a match. But every now and I again, the timing lines up and I can unload on a ball.
     
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  24. Jonny S&V

    Jonny S&V Hall of Fame

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    I can vouch for SlapShot, and I'm sure he can vouch for me. :)
     
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  25. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    There are more levels in tennis than just pro or rec.
    What about former pros?
    What about up and coming recs?
    What about big strong guys?
    And within each set, there are subsets that define the exact levels.
    So where do we begin?
     
    #25
  26. peoplespeace

    peoplespeace Semi-Pro

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    Not all pro shots have alot of spin. Rec players can be lucky and pull off a flat forehand equal to that of a pro. Specially if u can shadow the shot u can be lucky enough to time is correctly with high racket speed and it will be a pro shot. But i agree if ur talking about the very heavy balls with tons of spin and speed the i think that if very very raraly happens for a rec player.
     
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  27. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Have a look at Nalbandian practicing with Jibron.
    We all can hit shots like Nalbandian was hitting to Jib's backhand. We just can't hit 3 in a row like that. There is not much topspin, but plenty of placement and depth.
     
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  28. chrisberchris

    chrisberchris Rookie

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    I am a low 4.0, and I can hit pro shots off my forehand when I get my coil and hip rotation just right. And that is at least once a game. I don't think you have to be in crazy amazing shape to hit those shots either. It's timing and technique. It helps to be in great shape, but if you play a lot of tennis and run on a regular basis, I think you have the physical prowess to hit those shots. But, that is only my personal experience. I think it's possible to have 4.5, 5.0 + shots and still play at a 3.5-4.0 level. It's the sustainability that is the problem for people. It doesn't matter much if you can hit a couple pro shots in a match if your entire game isn't 5.0. That is why I am only a 4.0 ha
     
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  29. Mongolmike

    Mongolmike Professional

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    I can do this often.... the ball usually sticks in the back fence on the fly.... (then I let out a "whooo!!!" and try to intimidate my opponent.) Does that count??
     
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  30. tank_job

    tank_job Banned

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    But is it the consistency?

    Or could you never in your life hit a single pro-level forehand if we spent the rest of your days on earth feeding you ideal tennis balls to your strike zone?
     
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  31. Steady Eddy

    Steady Eddy Hall of Fame

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    In basketball, mediocre players will sometimes sink 3 pointers. And professional players sometimes miss free throws. I once sunk a golf shot from 100 yards out, it was luck. I still didn't even have a good score for that HOLE.

    In tennis, hackers can hit shots that would be winners against a pro; a drive that catches a line, or a net cord that drops dead over the net. So my answer is 'yes'. Pros are very, very good human players, but they're not super-human.
     
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  32. KineticChain

    KineticChain Professional

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    If you haven't hit competitively with a pro or highly trained player, there's a good chance you have made false assumptions on the pace and spin on their ball. Also I've seen a lot of people here have bad estimations of their own ball pace in terms of mph. So to those people who are saying they are 3.5/4.0 and hitting 1 or 2 pro quality balls per game, I say nope.

    Also, what is meant by good rec player? A 5.0 player with sound technique can certainly hit a pro quality winner if the incoming ball is in their bread n butter spot. But, place a pro on the other side of the net and the 5.0 would never get that nicely placed incoming ball to hit a winner off of.
     
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  33. tank_job

    tank_job Banned

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    that's not what I'm talking about, though.

    I'm saying you feed the good rec player forehands over and over again, and the rec player is just trying to hit ONE pro level forehand, hitting every ball you feed him as hard as he can.

    If you were wondering, the rec player is at a good enough level where he can hit as hard as he can and have the ball land in the court. Occasionally.

    When he gets a shot that he hits as hard as he can that goes in, that shot will probably be traveling at 30mph and 30rpm, whereas the pro would be hitting at 200mph and 60,000rpm.

    Because the pro's are so much more athletic than the rec player will ever be, even if the rec player has ome crazy 44inch vertical jump and squats 3x bodyweight.
     
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  34. junbumkim

    junbumkim Professional

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    Let's say you feed 100,000 balls to rec players at all levels, and 100,000 balls to a professional. Recreational players below 5.0 will never hit a single shot which is as good as the professional's worst shot except for the missed ones.
    It doesn't matter if it is the recreational's favorite shot. The pace and spin will not match those of pro's. They may look like pros, but not in the quality of their shots.
     
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  35. KineticChain

    KineticChain Professional

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    One more thing I'd like to add. Not all winners on the pro tour are the same quality (pace/spin/placement/angle). We would have to define an upper and lower limit on the quality of the winner using the properties above. Surely the upper quality limit of high level rec player winners would match at least the lower quality limit of pro player winners.
     
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  36. Steady Eddy

    Steady Eddy Hall of Fame

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    But, this is just restating the original question, i.e. can a good rec player hit a single winner as good as a pro? Everything in the material world has variation. A pro has much less variation in his shots than a recreational player, but there is still some variation. Since the square root of 100,000 > 30 the worst shot in a sample of 100,000 would be about 30 standard deviations from the mean! In a sample size that big, the improbable becomes quite possible. Even I can hit a shot better than a pros 1/100,000 stinker, IMO.
     
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  37. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    No pro can hit the shots the way I do
     
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  38. Fugazi

    Fugazi Professional

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    Cosigned. Of course 5.0s don't qualify as rec players.

    10wishfulthinkings
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2012
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  39. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    This thread is silly.
    OF COURSE, a strong fit rec player 4.0 and up can hit ONE shot at pro level speed and spin.
    Not all pros hit like Soderling or DelPo, do they?
    And any former Open level player, even if he doesn't play for 30 years, can still hit ONE shot like the pros.....it might be a drop volley, or a short angle CC pass, or a DTL topspin lob.
    There are few pros who can hit consistently as hard as Berdyh, Delpo, or Soderling.
     
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  40. Hi I'm Ray

    Hi I'm Ray Hall of Fame

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    This thread is getting ridiculous. Clearly the OP does not have a decent understanding of typical ball speed, mph, and rpm. I'm really wondering if the op has ever seen any of the following types of player hit in person: good coach, a 5.0, a college player, or seen pros hit from a moderate distance.

    There is a whole thread of poster replying yes, while the OP is here insisting that a good non-pro's best shot will top out at 30mph, 30rpm :roll: (do you get how long it would take for a ball to rotate once if it is spinning at 30rpm?) and cannot define what a "pro shot" is.

    Sometimes you will see vids of pro matches where the winner speed is reported, and it can be surprisingly low. I think there was one by Nadal clocked at 53mph. Sometimes the very fast ones are closer to 100mph.

    70-80mph groundstrokes are definitely within the range of a good 4.5/5.0. Hitting such a shot in "perfect conditions" would not be anything special.
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2012
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  41. Timbo's hopeless slice

    Timbo's hopeless slice Hall of Fame

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    Ye, I agree. Not every time, of course, but every now and then a decent rec player can make a pro level shot

    It's one of the things I love about tennis, when I see someone make a particular shot on TV, I know what that feels like.

    I have no idea what it feels like to run 100m in under 10 sec, turn a triple somersault off the gym floor or slam dunk a basket, those things just aren't in my range of capacity.
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2012
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  42. TeflonTom

    TeflonTom Banned

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    o hai white guy
     
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  43. Timbo's hopeless slice

    Timbo's hopeless slice Hall of Fame

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    short white guy!
     
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  44. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    I bet you have never hit one pro shot in your life
     
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  45. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    You can say all you want, but you never played Open events or any Q's.
    JohnnyBlaze cannot hit a real "pro" level forehand.
     
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  46. sunof tennis

    sunof tennis Professional

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    I agree. You hit a shot well, you know it. It may not be 100 mph forehand, but it is a shot at a pro level. Doesn't happen often obviously. That's why I hated that Brad Gilbert commerical for some product where he says most of you will never know what it is like to hit a truly good shot. Part of me would just like to reach out through the TV and grab him by the throat.
     
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  47. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    sure they can
     
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  48. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    I think Brad is correct.
    Think of the majority of tennis players. Level around 2.8 AT BEST!
    They sit around on weekends watching TV, play tennis once every 2 weeks, are fat and out of shape.
    YOU, even as a 3.5, is a superior tennis player, compared to the general tennis playing public.
     
    #48
  49. tennishotdog

    tennishotdog Rookie

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    a rec player can never hit one unless they are taught or have learnt the right technique else they are just muscling the ball. thats why the pros are pros they spent all their life practicing and perfecting their technique.
     
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  50. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    These things go together. A pro level forehand does not exist in isolation with a club level everything else, except maybe in a freak situation.
     
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