Does taking the ball early require opening up more for FH?

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by New Daddy, Oct 20, 2009.

  1. New Daddy

    New Daddy Rookie

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    I understand that the extend of upper body opening in forehand is dictated by when the impact is made, which in turn is affected by the kind of grip you use.
    For example, with continental grip, the impact is made between your feet, so your body should stand sideways at impact; with eastern/semi-western grip, the impact is made at about where your front foot is, so your body should open up about 45-60 degrees; and with western grip, the impact is made in front of your front foot, so your body should fully open to face the net at impact - the theory goes, as I understand.

    How does the above rule of thumb reconcile with hitting early? I use semi-western grip and semi-open stance for FH and open up about 45-60 degrees at impact. But if I were to take the ball early, would that mean I should open up more at impact - perhaps face the net as when I would with a full western grip?
     
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  2. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    What do you mean by hitting early?
    soon after the bounce or more out in front?
    some use this term either way.
     
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  3. bad_call

    bad_call Legend

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    my understanding is: hitting early means hitting ball on the rise. so however you can do this...
     
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  4. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    I'm not to sure what he means though.
     
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  5. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Hitting on the rise usually means a shorter, more compact stroke for consistency. You can choose a fast swing to impart top to the ball, or a slower, blocking stroke to use the pace of the rising deep ball to go back over the net with depth. To swing thru, maybe you need a semi closed stance to allow room for the prep and swing before impact.
    To push the ball back using your opponent's momentum, maybe better to remain open with very short backswing and open face.
     
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  6. nereis

    nereis Semi-Pro

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    A western grip allows you to hit early while behind the baseline. Whether thats a good or bad thing for you depends on your tendancy to approach the net. Notice how Nadal can hit ridiculous winners off the bounce, Agassi before him also took advantage of this on his backhand. But notice how Federer can seem out of position at net when he hits a forehand approach. Unlike Sampras, who was already a step closer to the net when he hit an approach, Federer has to cover more ground to get to a good net position.
     
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  7. xFullCourtTenniSx

    xFullCourtTenniSx Hall of Fame

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    Federer out of position at net...

    Federer NOT being a natural at hitting the ball ridiculously early...

    Nadal taking the ball on the rise and hitting winners off the bounce?!

    :shock:

    We thinking about the same people here? Cause the only time I know Nadal to take balls on the rise for winners are those that are slow and sit up...
     
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  8. boojay

    boojay Hall of Fame

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    Classic!!!
     
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  9. bad_call

    bad_call Legend

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    maybe find a Davydenko vid to see how it's done.
     
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  10. nereis

    nereis Semi-Pro

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    Wimbledon 2008, Federer hits a forehand approach, gets passed by a Nadal sliced backhand crosscourt. Federer was nowhere near close to where he needed to be, as explained by John McEnroe.

    Australian Open 2009, Federer hits a crosscourt approach, then a backhand volley crosscourt deep... Nadal picks it up off the bounce on the forehand down the line for a winner. And again, Federer as Nadal on the run, hits deep to the Nadal backhand, Nadal skids to retrieve it, Federer runs around the backhand to smack a forehand into the Nadal forehand, picked up off the bounce, goes for it again with more angle... Nadal hits a forehand off the bounce down the line for another winner.

    With the way players swing at the ball now, the more extreme grips allow players to take the ball earlier. However, taking the ball early does not mean that you yourself are closer to the net. With an eastern grip, you make contact in line with your left hip. With a western grip, you make contact well in front of your body. Obviously, hitting off the bounce if the ball is well in front of you is much easier given that it isnt bouncing somewhere around your feet. But what does that imply for hitting off the bounce approach shots off with a forehand?
     
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  11. xFullCourtTenniSx

    xFullCourtTenniSx Hall of Fame

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    Taking a ball off the bounce REQUIRES a low contact point! Not only that, Federer's contact point is farther out than most people even with extreme grips.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Ma757H2iYU

    Tell me Nadal can do better than that! And no, his little bunt stab passing on Federer in the Australian Open won't count because here Federer takes a FULL SWING and generates his own pace and angle!

    And Federer getting passed by Nadal... Damn... Must make him horrible at the net cause Nadal doesn't manage to pull it off on anyone else on the tour... (Except for EVERYONE of course...)

    Guess Sampras and Nadal are better at net cause they've NEVER been passed at net...
     
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  12. bad_call

    bad_call Legend

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    this passing shot by Fed is a half volley from the baseline. not sure the OP was referring to this type of stroke.
     
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  13. fuzz nation

    fuzz nation Legend

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    Let's not hijack this thread and turn it into a "who's the greatest" dust-up.

    Taking the ball on the rise is a serious "next level" mode of shot making to have in your arsenal and while I agree that a more extreme grip allows - actually sort of requires - the hitter to make contact farther out in front, I don't believe that you need to go to a more extreme grip to take the ball on the rise.

    I think that a key to the success of this style of shot is recognizing the incoming ball early enough to get a jump on it. Since you're making contact shortly after the ball's bounce, you need to set up at your hitting zone even sooner and start your swing well before the ball even bounces. This makes for a tough change of gears for many players that time their complete take back and forward swing with the bounce of the ball so that they are just on time with the ball's arrival. To hit it on the rise, everything from the unit turn and first step all the way to initiating the swing must happen sooner.

    I don't see an impossibility with hitting on the rise with any sort of grip, but that earlier positioning must happen for whatever type of grip you choose so that the ball pops up off the court into your appropriate contact point. The other significant difference that I'm aware of when taking the ball earlier is my swing path - it's typically less low-to-high, since the ball is already rising off the court.

    My swing for this type of shot feels more like I'm trying to drive the ball into the top of the net instead of lift it over the tape. With the correct timing, this can be a very exciting way to hit the ball, since it carries a bit of energy when it's still popping up off the court. With a comfortable tempo, taking the ball on the rise can produce a rather aggressive shot with topspin for me from a relatively flat forehand stroke. I prefer an eastern or sw grip on that wing and I still open my stance a bit more as I use a more extreme grip. Continental still works, too, but hitting on the rise with that grip almost turns that shot into a half-volley from deep in the court for me.
     
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  14. defrule

    defrule Professional

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    I would love to be able to take a ball early, it beats moving back and surrendering ground.
     
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  15. xFullCourtTenniSx

    xFullCourtTenniSx Hall of Fame

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    It's still a full groundstroke on the rise.

    Anytime you take the ball on the rise, you're taking the ball at a lower contact point, not an earlier contact point, but a LOWER ONE!

    You can move your feet to adjust to the ball on how far away it is, but the bottom line is that taking the ball on the rise means you're taking the ball when it's lower than normal! (while it's still in your strike zone)

    People constantly saying "take it early" must've confused you.
     
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  16. bad_call

    bad_call Legend

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    no confusion here. don't see too many players taking balls THAT early consistently. need to have the ball jam you up so there wouldn't be much time to adjust/move.
     
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2009
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