Federer's backhand setup?

Discussion in 'General Pro Player Discussion' started by hoodjem, Apr 17, 2008.

  1. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    Anyone ever noticed the setup and backswing on Federer's backhand?

    I was watching a bunch of video highlights of his BH (slice or topspin, it really didn't matter), he kept taking his racquet back in a vertical position and would lightly hold the throat with his left hand.

    I just thought this was kinda odd, as the starting position to hit a BH. (I'm certainly not criticizing it, it's an excellent BH by all estimations.)

    Looks a little odd, but maybe I'll even try it myself. Maybe he's onto something.
     
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  2. stormholloway

    stormholloway Legend

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    Maybe he's onto something? Perhaps.

    I don't get your comments. What way do you consider the "normal" way?
     
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  3. h7hugo

    h7hugo Rookie

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    Because of this, Roger has a perfect tecnique to hit a BH...
     
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  4. MAX PLY

    MAX PLY Hall of Fame

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    Roger's Backhand

    Looks perfect to me. The key is his full shoulder turn (the left hand on the racquet is a helpful reminder to make the full turn and stays back to help him stay balanced on the swing). His racquet stays high on the slice and he drops the racquet head to hit topspin--the full turn, plus his grip, gives him those options. The same initial backswing gives him options and disguise. When you perfect it, I will watch you on TV.:)
     
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  5. jetlee2k

    jetlee2k Banned

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    that's a perfect setup to hit 1hbh. Use your left hand to hold and rotate your racket, prepare the setup, turn your shoulder and relax.. then upon ball contact, release it.. Federer has the best setup for 1hbh.. but sometime he missed it b/c he pulled up his shoulder too soon specially when he played against Nadal.. Nadal's ball jump up high above his shoulder so he had to practically stand up to hit.. I think Federer should use more slice against Nadal.. specially on clay so force him to bend lower to rip the ball..
     
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  6. yellowoctopus

    yellowoctopus Professional

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    I believe there are teaching pros (many? not sure) that do not recommend taking the racket up to the vertical position during a backhand set up, especially for beginners. The logic behind this is that players tend to develop a [bad] habit of not brushing the ball from low to high--i.e. forgetting or not having enough time to bring the racket down before swinging through the ball. I was taught this way when I was a kid. This is also how ljubicic and McEnroe set up their backhands.

    You are correct that the term 'normal' is probably not the most effective way to describe this less elaborate technique of BH preparation.

    Personally I find that as my tennis skill matured, taking the racket back to near the vertical seems more natural. Mentally, it gave me more sense of control of the racket head, along with having my left fingers on the racket throat, during preparation. Physically, it enables me to somewhat disguise my slice...or to change my mind the last moment to slice because the racket starts from nearly the same position.

    One difference that I noticed both Federer and Gasquet have on their BH preparation is that they keep the racquet very close to their bodies (more exaggerated arm bend). I don't know of any touring pros that use this technique. Perhaps they know something all of us don't since both of their backhands are just, beautiful.
     
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  7. stormholloway

    stormholloway Legend

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    I see what you're saying, but I think all players take it up to some degree. You need the racquet to be up with a one hander so that the mass of the racquet can generate the head speed. Once it reaches about hip level the shoulders and triceps kick in and whip it around. The key is not letting your racquet face open up upon contact.

    If you were to start the racquet low, then just brush up, you would have to muscle the ball rather than letting the racquet drop and do the work itself. Gasquet and Guga are great examples of loopy one handers letting the racquet do a lot of the work.
     
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  8. JRstriker12

    JRstriker12 Hall of Fame

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    #8
  9. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    ^^Yeah, I don't get the op's question???? All players do that. (some more extreme than others). Even I do it. :)
     
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  10. JRstriker12

    JRstriker12 Hall of Fame

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    Of course the Legend Drak does it. :)
     
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  11. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    ^^^LOL. How you been man??? You joining us at the US Open??? Did you see the vid from my tourney?? I posted it in the Microgel Prestige thread. You could actually see two bh's hit where I do exactly what the OP describes.
     
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  12. fastdunn

    fastdunn Legend

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    it's nice looking "U" shape smile with your arm and racquet.... ?
     
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  13. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    This is an excellent set of photos. It certainly demonstrates the universality of a similar set-up.

    What I was commenting on was how perfectly vertical Federer's racquet is (photo no. 4 in the top row), whereas others take it back similarly high but with a little angle.

    One point made above that I think is excllent is how this setup marvelously disguises the slice or topspin (because head drop for topspin happens later).
     
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2008
    #13
  14. JRstriker12

    JRstriker12 Hall of Fame

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    Drak - doing good man. Doesn't look like I'll be able to do the US Open this year, unfortunately.

    You got a link to that video from the tourney?

    BTW- we had a TW MAC mini-meet last night. A lot of fun. Topaz brough chocolate chip cookies too!
     
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  15. ericsson

    ericsson Hall of Fame

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  16. stormholloway

    stormholloway Legend

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    Looking at Gasquet's backhand, I actually have some problems with it. If you watch it in slow motion, you'll notice he straightens his arm way early. Somehow it doesn't seem to affect him negatively at all, but isn't it a principle of the one hander not to straighten out so early?

    That slow mo clip on youtube from Wimbledon shows it clearly.
     
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  17. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    That sucks you won't be able to join us at the open. You need to dump your wife. :)

    Were the cookies laced with anything??? muahahahaha

    Here is the vid from the tourney:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nuYSQdUQ8OE
     
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  18. stormholloway

    stormholloway Legend

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    I like your game drakulie. Good looking strokes.
     
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  19. el sergento

    el sergento Hall of Fame

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    Link?? I'd love to see that.
     
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  20. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    Thanks storm. Still working on both strokes though. I'm slowly chnaging my FH, and on the BH, I'm working on staying down a bit longer and not opening up so soon. It's a work in progress, but right now, I'm hitting the ball really well on both sides.
     
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  21. Babb

    Babb Professional

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    Now down to 4 feet behind the baseline.
    What are those awesome shoes you're wearing in that video? ;)
     
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  22. JRstriker12

    JRstriker12 Hall of Fame

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    Laced with chocolate. Thus Choloate chip cookies :)

    Nah - I think I need to dump my bank account and get a bigger one....
     
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  23. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    Those would be the Awesome Wilson Trance All courts!! :)

    I'm still loving them. IN another week or so , I will do another update in the thread as to how it's going with the shoes. They performed really well during the tourney. I made it to the finals of the consolation, and then had my ass handed to me. But I won't blame the shoes. I need a larger frame. :)


    JR, get a bigger bank account and sneak up to the US Open. We are counting on you. tell your wife you have an important business meeting with Dr. Akulie. :)
     
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  24. JRstriker12

    JRstriker12 Hall of Fame

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    Hmmmm.... I might have to try those Trace All-courts. Never really liked the look of most Wilson shoes, but I may have to give these a serious look.

    BTW- on pros wear those???
     
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  25. Lendl and Federer Fan

    Lendl and Federer Fan Hall of Fame

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    Wow, nothing to add to this.
     
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  26. stormholloway

    stormholloway Legend

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  27. stormholloway

    stormholloway Legend

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    What are you changing on the forehand?

    I just had a lesson today and decided to go back to the K90. It was Shanksville all day. I felt like a novice. Making that racquet change threw me out of whack.
     
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  28. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    I'm working on going thru the ball more, (getting lower to the ground, and then coming up thru the swing).

    Interesting. What made you decide to switch back???? Both are great frames, but I would defintiely think that going from one to the other will take an adjustment period before you are entirely comfortable.

    Anyway, if you decide to get rid of the MG's let me know. I'm interested. You got your from **** correct???
     
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  29. stormholloway

    stormholloway Legend

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    Yeah, I got mine from ****. They are 3/8 grip size and in great condition.

    It's a tough call between these racquets. With the MG my backhand is better than it's ever been. But I couldn't make the adjustment on serve, and this has always been the most sensitive swing for me.

    My email is stormholloway@yahoo.com if you wanna talk about prices and what not.
     
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  30. davey

    davey Rookie

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    I agree, it's a bit odd, kind of like a golf swing. A bent arm at the elbow that extends through the swing feels much better to me.
     
    #30
  31. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    Storm, email sent.
     
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