Did anyone check out how ugly Gulbis's new forehand is?

Discussion in 'General Pro Player Discussion' started by Clay lover, Jan 1, 2013.

  1. Clay lover

    Clay lover Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2007
    Messages:
    1,912
    I mean, let's disregard results for the moment, just focus on the sheer HIDEOUSNESS of that stroke.

    It's definitely one of the ugliest forehands I have seen, looks like one of those wacky topspin 4 forehand animations rather than a pro stroke.

    2010 forehand
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ri7pVMr4HnA

    2012 forehand
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fo7j9G3C8Qc

    Why, Gulbis, why?
    (Question asked from a pure aesthetic point of view)
     
    #1
  2. Clarky21

    Clarky21 Banned

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2011
    Messages:
    12,686
    Yeah, this has been discusssed on here before. His forehand is awful now. I am not sure what he's trying to accomplish by changing it to the hideous style it is now.
     
    #2
  3. SQA333

    SQA333 Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2012
    Messages:
    1,518
    I don't know what he's trying to achieve by INCREASING the length of his backswing. Sure, the old forehand was inconsistent, but at least it had more power. This one is useless.
     
    #3
  4. Mike Sams

    Mike Sams Legend

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2011
    Messages:
    5,270
    What difference does it make? It's not like he was accomplishing big things on the tour even with his old forehand. Still losing most of his matches anyway. :lol:
     
    #4
  5. Clay lover

    Clay lover Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2007
    Messages:
    1,912
    If you lose anyway, you might as well lose looking good.
     
    #5
  6. Clay lover

    Clay lover Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2007
    Messages:
    1,912
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2013
    #6
  7. Joko

    Joko New User

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2010
    Messages:
    39
    Interesting topic.

    Does anybody know when he started to change his motion?

    All I know he started to work with Guenter Bresnik right before Wimbledon 2012 if I'm not mistaken. Bresnik is from Austria and the former coach of Stefan Koubek and current coach of Dominic Thiem.

    I'm not sure if they still work together.

    Here is a video where he is hitting a couple of forehands.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=RNNB4PENnkw#t=32s
     
    #7
  8. TTMR

    TTMR Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2009
    Messages:
    1,943
    Only a few full forehands were shown in the highlights of the second video. The forehand motion does not remain a constant even among a single player; it changes to some extent given the height of the ball. Hard to compare a match played on clay with a high bounce against a player known for his spin generation (Federer), with a match played on fresh first round grass with a low bounce against a player known for relatively flat trajectory strokes (Berdych). Not enough evidence to conclude he's definitively altered his stroke. You'll need slow motion practice videos from each 'forehand era' to demonstrate your claim.

    But more to the point, is a long backswing always 'ugly', aesthetically? People here seem to think so, yet they also adored the look of Gonzalez's masterful forehand:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KZ8K6boqFT0
     
    #8
  9. Clay lover

    Clay lover Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2007
    Messages:
    1,912
    A long backswing can sometimes look good, yeah.

    Well, the judgment of ugliness is subjective and spontaneous...but wow his new forehand, just wow.
     
    #9
  10. dominikk1985

    dominikk1985 Legend

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2011
    Messages:
    6,436
    I think this is a very good FH mechanically. he has a sort of strange loop but he creates a lot of racket lag and racket head speed. the FH is not the reason for his struggles:)
     
    #10
  11. Sid_Vicious

    Sid_Vicious G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2010
    Messages:
    11,680
    Location:
    In The City
    [​IMG]


    Just thought I leave this in this thread....
     
    #11
  12. The Meat

    The Meat Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2012
    Messages:
    1,998
    Edit: Ignore comment, my eyes were playing tricks with me while looking at his string pattern.
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2013
    #12
  13. TTMR

    TTMR Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2009
    Messages:
    1,943
    I don't really understand the objection. The forehand is one of the few shots where players can differentiate themselves from others. Most players have a unique aspect of their takeback, swing length, and so on. The game would become rather dull if everyone had a nice, clean textbook Federer, Ferrer or Agassi forehand.

    The variation among forehand styles (while of course, the fundamentals remain the same between all professional players) also helps recreational players, because they can choose more than one pro to copy from. If one approach doesn't work, they can switch to another pro's approach. They can also develop their own style, again so long as it does not compromise the fundamentals. Pointing to the diversity of pro level forehands is also a good defense against the money-grubbing coach that wants to "re-build" your stroke, requiring several additional lessons.
     
    #13
  14. stringertom

    stringertom G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2010
    Messages:
    13,957
    Location:
    In a sureshsian vortex
    Indelible in my brain is my first teaching pro's mantra to me while drilling me on FHs: "Keep your elbow tucked in!"
     
    #14
  15. Relinquis

    Relinquis Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2012
    Messages:
    4,335
    Location:
    On the courts; hard & clay ...
    no idea why he made the change. is it and attempt to hit more spin and less flat/through?

    i was discussing this with a friend and was making fun of the exaggerated left arm movement, until she mentioned that i kinda do the same thing with my forehand...
     
    #15
  16. merwy

    merwy Legend

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2011
    Messages:
    5,164
    Location:
    Netherlands
    Damn you people are a bunch of girls.. Who cares if it doesn't look "pretty"? I don't think Gulbis himself changed it because of the way it looks. I think efficacy is the most important (and the only important..) factor here. He says he will train more and be more dedicated so perhaps his new forehand is something that will help him produce some results this year. He looked very good in Rotterdam.
    Also, there is nothing wrong with a big backswing. It helps you set up for a bigger shot. It's just that I have no idea what the hell he's trying to do with his left arm. But I'm sure there's some thought behind it, he's not just making up random movements just for heck of it.
     
    #16
  17. matchmaker

    matchmaker Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2007
    Messages:
    4,040
    It is definitely an ugly motion, but I think it was actually designed to tone down his forehand, and maybe it helps him in that way. Gulbis forehand was a very powerful shot, but it was so powerful that he went for winners all the time and hit a lot of UEs. This new movement has such a long takeback that, unless it is a ball that sits up, he will normally not go for a winner.
    I just think that this might help his game more tactically than technically in that it limits his choices. Gulbis could play so many shots that it drove himself crazy
     
    #17
  18. Power Player

    Power Player Talk Tennis Guru

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2008
    Messages:
    20,201
    Location:
    On my iPhone
    I know a guy from his country who hits with him and Gulbis told him back then that he was having mental blocks with his forehand and was slicing way too much.

    Went and saw him in Miami and he was killing the ball. So I think he got it figured back out.
     
    #18
  19. Relinquis

    Relinquis Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2012
    Messages:
    4,335
    Location:
    On the courts; hard & clay ...
    i would be more than happy to have his old forehand, even though it seems we use different grips...
     
    #19
  20. db10s

    db10s Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    May 14, 2012
    Messages:
    1,973
    Location:
    S. FL/Maine
    It looked a little better today in Delray, where he has to play qualifiers at an event that he won a few years ago.
     
    #20
  21. mental midget

    mental midget Professional

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2008
    Messages:
    1,434
    i think it's a deliberate attempt to try and get the racket through the strike zone more horizontally to increase depth and create a full stroke every time. his grip is pretty far under the racket (western) and he's definitely been a bit of a 'slapper' with the forehand at times. pointing the racket back so conspicuously might be helpful to help keep a 'full swing' thought in mind, rather than just ripping up the back of the ball with poor preparation.
     
    #21
  22. Netbudda

    Netbudda Rookie

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2004
    Messages:
    277
    Sat down front row yesterday at Delray to watch his Qualie match against Daniel Kosakowsky. I took a video of his forehand because something looked odd to me...his left hand. As far as being effective LOL, that thing is so powerful is not even funny.
     
    #22
  23. Sid_Vicious

    Sid_Vicious G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2010
    Messages:
    11,680
    Location:
    In The City
    Spare us, Merwy. Is Gulbis your son or brother that you insult people just because they think his forehand looks ugly? These quoted posts indicate that you can't refrain from making superficial critiques of effective tennis games. Nadal and Murray are both immensely successful players and by calling their games "ugly", you are calling yourself a "girl"...and a very hypocritical one at that.
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2013
    #23
  24. Sid_Vicious

    Sid_Vicious G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2010
    Messages:
    11,680
    Location:
    In The City
    There is no objection. Why can't anyone comment on aesthetics of a players game without being accused of hating or being a "girl" (heh, nice 'insult' Merwy)? The point of posting that picture was not to hate on Gulbis, but just to show the excessive movements he does before hitting his forehand (which kinda look funny IMO). Gulbis's forehand is not even that unorthodox. He does have excessive arm movement, but boiled down, he still gets the racquet head speed and windshield viper finish which is essential for the modern forehand.

    Also, nothing about Federer's forehand is textbook.
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2013
    #24
  25. merwy

    merwy Legend

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2011
    Messages:
    5,164
    Location:
    Netherlands
    I don't understand how my post offended you to this degree.. But I don't like it when the discussion gets personal like this so can we please keep this about Gulbis?
     
    #25
  26. Sid_Vicious

    Sid_Vicious G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2010
    Messages:
    11,680
    Location:
    In The City

    It is perfectly normal to discuss the aesthetics of form and technique on a tennis forum. Not everyone looks like Federer on court. You, yourself, think that Murray's forehand is ugly and Nadal "rapes the game of tennis" of tennis with his game. Therefore, there is nothing wrong with people thinking that Gublis's forehand looks ridiculous.
     
    #26
  27. TTMR

    TTMR Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2009
    Messages:
    1,943
    Federer's forehand was not textbook at the time of his emergence, but since now everyone wants to play with it, instructors feel compelled to teach it. A large percentage of rec players are Federer wannabes, with the bandana, wristband and moisture-wicking polo courtesy of Nike to match. No other player seems to have such conspicuous imitators (a few teenagers try to play like Nadal but rarely adopt the full get-up). That demographic must be catered to by the tennis community. So for better or worse, Federer's forehand is the new textbook forehand.
     
    #27
  28. Sid_Vicious

    Sid_Vicious G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2010
    Messages:
    11,680
    Location:
    In The City
    Federer's forehand is a very tough shot to teach. You are talking about average recreational players who love imitating his idol; an irrelevant observation. I have seen these people myself and no matter how hard they try, they will never actually learn Federer's forehand and there are no instructors who can teach you Federer's forehand either. If you have been watching the new talents showing up on the scene now, they all have hideous forehands that are struck with extreme grips and an exaggerated windshield viper. The kind of muscle memory Federer has on his forehand stroke is something that is utterly elusive to the younger pro players and his imitators.

    Agassi did have a textbook forehand. His policy was almost "grip it and rip it". He took the racquet back and struck the ball cleanly...there was very little room for wrist snaps, overhead finishes, and throwing his entire body at the ball.
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2013
    #28
  29. Overdrive

    Overdrive Legend

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2012
    Messages:
    5,301
    Location:
    Garden of Gethsemane
    Didn't people complain that Sampras had an ugly forehand too? :confused:
     
    #29
  30. NLBwell

    NLBwell Legend

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2004
    Messages:
    7,161
    His forehand looks like TW playtester Mark Boone except with a straight racket arm.
     
    #30
  31. Vlad_C

    Vlad_C Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2012
    Messages:
    463
    Location:
    Canada
    Who is Gulbis, and why would anyone care?
     
    #31
  32. President

    President Legend

    Joined:
    May 18, 2009
    Messages:
    7,056
    Location:
    Philadelphia
    lol, I like different strokes and its nice to get some variety on tour. He definitely hits a VERY heavy ball with that stroke, so it seems pretty effective.
     
    #32
  33. TTMR

    TTMR Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2009
    Messages:
    1,943
    #33
  34. Buford T Justice

    Buford T Justice Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2011
    Messages:
    424
    Heck yes. In the qualie match I saw him play in, he was absolutely pounding the ball. He was hitting harder from both sides than anyone else there. I thought he was going to break the damn ball.
     
    #34
  35. Buford T Justice

    Buford T Justice Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2011
    Messages:
    424
    I must have been right next to you!

    Yes...that FH was atomic. I don't know why anyone here is questioning its execution.
     
    #35
  36. President

    President Legend

    Joined:
    May 18, 2009
    Messages:
    7,056
    Location:
    Philadelphia
    Definitely, the two most impressive pros to watch live IMO are Gulbis and Nadal, both just MASSIVE hitters of the ball.
     
    #36
  37. pennc94

    pennc94 Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2006
    Messages:
    758
    Location:
    Maryland
    Just saw this yesterday. Yes, it looks odd, but only because it's different for him (and just about any other player). Almost looks like he's waving to someone first. Looks like it works for him!

    Odesnik looks like he had a few Jay Berger type serves. Anyone catch that?
     
    #37
  38. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2008
    Messages:
    37,234
    Location:
    East side of San Francisco Bay
    A stage of the evolution of his forehand. Sometimes, you have to over exentuate to ingrain something, then you go slightly back to more conventional.
    Similar to the stage in Djokovic's service motion 3 years ago.
     
    #38
  39. Relinquis

    Relinquis Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2012
    Messages:
    4,335
    Location:
    On the courts; hard & clay ...
    Odesnik? you mean the guy with the dink/fryingpan type serve where the racquet is held up facing the net before the ball toss?

    Is Gulbis trying just trying to get more rotation into the shot?

    Slow motion of his forehand from his most recent match at the Delray 250:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BmixYOD5q04
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2013
    #39
  40. rufus_smith

    rufus_smith Professional

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2011
    Messages:
    887
    I tried out the Gulbis style forehand today and my arm is now in a sling. Doctor says I may regain use of the arm with expensive medical marijuana therapy. Think I can sue Gulbis for it?
     
    #40
  41. Sid_Vicious

    Sid_Vicious G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2010
    Messages:
    11,680
    Location:
    In The City
    You can try, but it won't accomplish anything. Gulbis will just jump into his spaceship and escape to another galaxy.
     
    #41
  42. TennisCanada1

    TennisCanada1 Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2010
    Messages:
    768
    hahaha so ugly
     
    #42
  43. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2008
    Messages:
    19,814
    Location:
    Central Florida
    Arias calls it the eagle forehand where both arms go up to start the motion.
     
    #43
  44. Buford T Justice

    Buford T Justice Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2011
    Messages:
    424
    I think that might be the reason and this type of arm reach would seem to all but guarantee it.
     
    #44
  45. Buford T Justice

    Buford T Justice Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2011
    Messages:
    424
    Ha yes! Heard that too......" The Flying Eagle".
     
    #45
  46. okdude1992

    okdude1992 Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2005
    Messages:
    3,337
    wow i wonder why he changed it. such an ugly takeback... there was nothing wrong with his old forehand.
     
    #46
  47. ductrung3993

    ductrung3993 Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2010
    Messages:
    2,318
    Location:
    San Francisco, 94118
    Just to distract his opponents...
     
    #47
  48. Mladic

    Mladic New User

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2013
    Messages:
    8
    it's hideous...but it works for him perfectly it seems. His forehand use to be just hit or miss.
     
    #48
  49. El Nino

    El Nino Rookie

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2012
    Messages:
    105
    Location:
    Cairo
    Well he destroyed Tipsy & Seppi with that FH. Might have a decent chance against Rafa?
     
    #49
  50. Relinquis

    Relinquis Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2012
    Messages:
    4,335
    Location:
    On the courts; hard & clay ...
    He destroyed Tipsy, but i wouldn't call his match against Seppi a destruction.

    Rafa will be a big test for him, mentally.

    Nothing wrong with his forehand. The technique is still evolving, but what is clear is that he really commits to his shot and therefore swings freely into and through the shot. Hits a powerful shot.
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2013
    #50

Share This Page