Gonzalez Serve

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by gzhpcu, Nov 24, 2009.

  1. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Leap on the serve...
    One view would be that the older players who weren't allowed to leap actually played a tennis game that allowed their wind to stay within reason, so they were NOT as out of breathe as the new players. Their whole game was slower, they walked slower in general, and were NOT huffing and puffing as they served.
    When NOT huffing and puffing, heartbeat up to the working max, you are more accurate when you serve....just like you're more accurate when you shoot, throw, or hit a golf ball.
    Try hitting a golf ball after you ran the 200 yards.
    Try shooting a heavily mod custom .40 after you RAN 10 yards, slowed down, ducked the obstacle, hid behind the doorframe, drew the pistol, THEN try to hit the target.
    Notice that in gunfights, especially RUNNING gunfights, nobody hit much except for background scenery!
    Modern tennis doesn't allow us to catch our breathe because of PUSHERS !
    :shock::shock::shock: they get most everything back
     
    #51
  2. J011yroger

    J011yroger G.O.A.T.

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    If one is huffing and puffing when they serve, I would humbly suggest that they address their fitness, or take more time between points rather than staying on the ground when they serve.

    J
     
    #52
  3. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Are you saying that when you are playing a tough, even match, that you never huff and puff DURING your service motion? No way, you didn't play a tough match!
    And when you're losing a match, you huff and puff more!
    Tennis is not only about YOU. Maybe your opponent is in good shape too.
     
    #53
  4. J011yroger

    J011yroger G.O.A.T.

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    That is correct, I have never, nor do I ever intend to huff and puff during my service motion.

    J
     
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  5. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Of course, not DURING the motion.
    You'd hypervent 2 gulps, hold your breathe, then start your motion.
    So you don't get to huff and puff stage when you play a superior player?
    I see all the pros sweating like buckets and some almost ready to throw up from extreme high efforts.
     
    #55
  6. J011yroger

    J011yroger G.O.A.T.

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    Yea, and then they walk around, and tie their shoes, and towel off until they regain their breath, and their HR comes down, and then they serve.

    Interval work in the gym helps a lot with shortening up the recovery time required to get your HR down from the 180's to the 120's pretty darned quickly.

    As I said before, if you are out of breath when you step to the line to serve or receive then either your fitness is questionable, or your time management is poor.

    J
     
    #56
  7. the little dasher

    the little dasher New User

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    It would seem to me that your comparison with golf is a non sequitor not an analogy. Neither sportsman runs 200 yards immediately proceeding the strike off the tee or at the serve. Tennis can accomodate the relatively modest leap bcos the ball is a larger target and the racquet a larger surface area. Almost complete stillness is required to hit a golf ball.

    All modern athletes are fitter. That increased fitness level allows tennis players to recover from the exertions of the rally without unduly impacting on their serve. Fact is accuracy isn't as big an issue in tennis as golf bcos of the different margin for errors. There can only be good reasons all tennis players use the leap; their fitness levels allow it and it gives them an edge in hitting the ball faster without impacting on their accuracy.
     
    #57
  8. xFullCourtTenniSx

    xFullCourtTenniSx Hall of Fame

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    Cause his motion worked, it has almost everything fundamentally you would need in today's serve, and it is indeed a motion so excellent he could crush people with second serves alone!

    Sampras' motion was a product of the 90s. Is that outdated? No! It is by far the best service motion ever! Pancho Gonzalez's serve has to be in the top 5 though.

    Very few people can say they possessed a single shot (and game) so great, that it alone changed the rules of tennis!

    For a period of time, the rules of tennis were changed in an attempt to hinder his ability to take full advantage of his serve. He still won, so the rules were changed back.

    They had tournaments where players could only use one serve instead of two. He came out of that tournament with the trophy more easily than any other he played.

    Sampras and Ivanisevic changed the game in a different way. Their booming and well placed serves made people actually bored about how quickly things were going and that they were watching nothing but a battle of the serves (damned idiots WISHED they had serves like that). The result was that the surfaces would gradually be slowed down in an attempt to slow down the pace of play and give others a chance to do something if they didn't have booming serves backed up by a solid attacking net game.

    Borg, Lendl, and Navratilova changed the game in the fact that you had to be fit to be the best. They added physicality to the game; which, ironically in Navratilova's case, would bring about the endangerment of the pure serve and volley game.

    Chris Evert brought about the groundstroke game, and with Connors and Borg she popularized the two handed backhand. Monica Seles brought about the aggressive baseline game to the women's tour and the idea of taking the return very early with a big groundstroke (just like Agassi, and also with the help of Bollettieri).

    Agassi and Courier brought about the booming groundstroke game with the help of Bollettieri. Agassi also brought about the rise of taking the ball on the rise as more of just taking away the opponent's time. He would blast big groundstrokes on the rise, which has never before been heard of. He also brought about the baseline half volley, which has been taken to the next level by Roger Federer.

    Federer and Nadal will probably bring about massive changes to the sport, but the full effects of their presence on the tour probably won't be felt until at least 5 years from now.

    The game has evolved over time because of the players. Throughout these decades, the fundamentals of good strokes have still remained the same, though new ones have been added and some old ones removed due to the increased speed of the game (this generally only applies to groundstrokes though). 80 years from now, people like you will say "why copy Federer's forehand? It's outdated crap!" You overlook the fact that it worked incredibly well in his time, and will still work well decades after his time (though more racket head speed will need to be applied). Federer's forehand alone will probably bring about an evolution of forehands. Before, people would change the rules to try and hinder a player. Now they change the surfaces and keep everything else pure (which is the better way to go, though I personally dislike both choices to change the conditions under which players play under that aren't affected by the person on the other side of the net). Nowadays, players adapt. The newer generations emulate the older generations, and become greater. And one person surpasses the rest in this evolution, and the future shall follow him. The cycle repeats infinitely, resulting in the game becoming faster and more athletic. One day we'll probably have 8 foot tall players who can easily beat out Nadal in a battle of movement.

    But through all these years, the serve has gone through the fewest changes. Gonzalez's serve, Sampras' serve, and Federer's serve still have an amazing amount of similarities between them.

    Regardless of the fact that the game has evolved, copying the strokes of a dominant player in the past will still yield some benefits because they still possess many of the fundamentals required to hit a great shot. And since the serve is still very much the same throughout the years, emulating a serve from as far back as the 20s is still a very solid choice.
     
    #58
  9. Ripper014

    Ripper014 Hall of Fame

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    I agree with your assessments for the most part... but I would give more credit to an attacking baseline game based on taking the ball as early as possible (ie. off the rise) to Connors... I also believe good classic strokes survive the test of time... Federer is pretty much a classic ball striker as was Sampras... and I would say the Laver backhand would do just fine in the current game. What I would argue would be that we have much better athletes playing now then ever before, in the past we had great tennis players... now we have great tennis players that are great athletes.

    In the past the best athletes would gravitate to the core sports of baseball, football and basketball... in other parts of the world I guess that would be football, cricket and rugby: that is no longer the case.
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2009
    #59
  10. joe sch

    joe sch Hall of Fame

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    I would also die to find that match.
    BTW, Charlie Pasarell also had one of the most efficient and beautiful serves in the history of tennis.
     
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  11. J011yroger

    J011yroger G.O.A.T.

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    Sir,

    That post was extremely well thought out, and well written.

    I salute you.

    J
     
    #61
  12. stormholloway

    stormholloway Legend

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    This is the only thing in your post I could possibly begin to challenge. If 8 foot tall people begin taking over, I'll be the first to set my racquet aflame and amass an angry mob.

    But anyway, great post. I think though, that given Gonzalez' hinderance by the rules to his service motion, that his motion isn't the best to copy. Better to copy someone's motion that wasn't restricted in that manner, though there is still plenty to learn from Pancho's serve, its overall smoothness being key.
     
    #62
  13. gzhpcu

    gzhpcu Professional

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    #63
  14. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

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    Didn't Solomon use a Garcia?
     
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  15. joe sch

    joe sch Hall of Fame

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    Yep. Garcia 240 Solomon Autograph
     
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  16. Datacipher

    Datacipher Banned

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    Since I've returned, I've noticed that LeeD, keeps boasting about various tennis accomplishments, yet shows that he has almost no understanding of any aspect of tennis. It's absurd, yet, he continually manages to one -up (down?) himself....why would anybody listen to his asinine fantasy comments?
     
    #66
  17. Datacipher

    Datacipher Banned

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    Pasarell could stay grounded and BLAST a serve. One instructional video I have features Pasarell talking about the serve, then casually, quickly, and easily serving about 3 balls in a row, all right down the middle, all easily 110mph with not so much as the slightest effort, while taking a single step into the court after the hit. A very effortless looking demonstration from him, with very impressive results. All filmed in extreme close-up from behind him.
     
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  18. stormholloway

    stormholloway Legend

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    I've seen professionals' on serve clearly affected by fatigue. I don't think it's an absurd comment to make. Over a course of a match, you can see a player's serve affected. To say this isn't true is to say players don't get fatigued and we know this isn't true, even at the highest levels of the game. How many times have we heard a commentator say "At this point, fatigue is becoming a factor" or some-odd thing?

    Even pros get tired.
     
    #68
  19. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    ..and as a once a week "player", I"m always huffing and puffing", fighting off cramps, trying to conserve energy, even during my low level doubles matches....:shock:
    And if you'd read more than one of my posts, you'll find I claim high 3.5 to low 4.0 in singles skills. Real bravado there....:oops:
     
    #69
  20. Datacipher

    Datacipher Banned

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    Storm, I was talking about several comments both in this thread and in many others, however, on the subject of the Leaping and fatigue. LeeD's OP was so poorly written, it is unclear what exactly he is saying.(see below) In any case, as to your statement, can serve be affected by fatigue? Of course, that's a ridiculous statement.......a simple axiom. However, no player has ever huffed or puffed due to jumping on the serve. No pro player has ever had his heart rate accelerated in any meaningful way due to jumping on the serve. It is, in fact, a complete non-factor on this issue.

    "Leap on the serve...
    One view would be that the older players who weren't allowed to leap actually played a tennis game that allowed their wind to stay within reason, so they were NOT as out of breathe as the new players. Their whole game was slower, they walked slower in general, and were NOT huffing and puffing as they served.
    When NOT huffing and puffing, heartbeat up to the working max, you are more accurate when you serve....just like you're more accurate when you shoot, throw, or hit a golf ball.
    Try hitting a golf ball after you ran the 200 yards.
    Try shooting a heavily mod custom .40 after you RAN 10 yards, slowed down, ducked the obstacle, hid behind the doorframe, drew the pistol, THEN try to hit the target.
    Notice that in gunfights, especially RUNNING gunfights, nobody hit much except for background scenery!
    Modern tennis doesn't allow us to catch our breathe because of PUSHERS !
    they get most everything back "
     
    #70
  21. Datacipher

    Datacipher Banned

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    Excellent. Just so we're all clear. The person who has been questioning the efficacy of Gonzalez serve mechanics, and Vic Braden's qualifications, is a high 3.5. All your asinine assertions and instructional advice should be qualified in this manner, and then I have no problem with it. You, like all 3.5's are entitled to your opinion.
     
    #71
  22. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Thank you for allowing my opinion.
    And if you'd look into the Q results for TransAmerica, 1978 and '79, you'll find me listed as going 4 rounds first time, 5 rounds second time. That is not a 3.5 tournament.
    I've lost to JoaroSoares (following year ranked under 30) one year and to RussellSimpson the next.
    Point of this thread is to evauate Pancho's service motion. NOBODY would advocate that motion nowadaze. I pointed out all of it's flaws, it's up to you to decide I'm correct or not.
     
    #72
  23. Datacipher

    Datacipher Banned

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    OH, here come the boasts again....funny...."And if you'd read more than one of my posts, you'll find I claim high 3.5 to low 4.0 in singles skills. Real bravado there...."

    And of course, this is simply factually incorrect. "NOBODY". A NUMBER of people within this very thread have advocated the motion "nowadaze". As does Vic Braden, as do many coaches and experts on tennis. YOU ARE EITHER STUPID (and don't think any of these people exist, which certainly makes one wonder why you're even replying to fantasy delusions) OR A LIAR.
     
    #73
  24. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Probably a little of both, as we all are...
    Don't look at the name PANCHO.
    Look at his motion. Now would you tell a 6'4" player to use his motion? NONE do, on the tour. You ever wonder WHY?
     
    #74
  25. Datacipher

    Datacipher Banned

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    I did look at his motion. As did Ashe, Tanner, Rusedski, and many others, as I mentioned in my previous post. Yes, like many coaches and many in this thread, I'd recommend anybody use his motion, were it natural for them. In fact, in all fundamental ways, it IS the same biomechanically as all top serves. I would never have a player directly emulate the quirks or timing of any player, but his is as good as any. You're an idiot. And the fact that you don't realize that Gonzalez motion IS the same as any good server, simply reinforces how little you know about tennis.

    Actually, one player who always reminded me of a jerkier version of Gonzalez on the serve is Justin Gimelstob.

    Incidently, to anybody else, since one can now come off the ground, one can easily do that, using the Gonzalez motion, in fact, it's quite natural to do so, Gonzalez already has a good knee bend, and if you simply toss the ball a bit farther forward, and "go after it", you'll automatically start coming off the ground, which is the way it should be.
     
    #75
  26. gzhpcu

    gzhpcu Professional

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    He has a great motion. What do you find wrong with it?:confused:

    Forget the fact that he was not allowed to jump.

    Great pronation, great upward motion, hitting inside-out, fluid: all the elements of a great serve.
     
    #76
  27. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    I thought I already posted.
    Left arm needs to be bent and close to body on followthru.
    Takeback is a continuous loop, with no trophy position.
    Takeback is circular, from the side.
    Legs too close together, not giving balance.
    I'll go back later and look for more flaws.
    He had a "classic" serve for the time, but today, his serve would be picked apart (mechanical technique).
     
    #77
  28. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Just glanced again....
    Followthru on the right side of the body.
    Doesn't lean into the court enough. I know, no jumping, but he doesn't move into the court.
    And all those audios and accolades.... by people who don't play modern tennis.
     
    #78
  29. gzhpcu

    gzhpcu Professional

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    Look at this:
    http://www.youtube.com/user/gzhpcu#p/a/u/0/XeI3jNIWMx0

    The takeback style is not a core fundamental. Many modern players have his take back style. Look at Pat Rafter.

    You do not have to have a continuous swing to achieve the trophy position.

    He leans into his serve. As a great serve and volley player, how could he play his style without doing so?

    Legs too close together? Ever hear of the pinpoint stance?

    His finish is to his left, but, of course, like all great servers he swings from left to right after impact, so his swing goes towards the right. Necessary to get spin.
     
    #79
  30. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Do you even play tennis? Pinpoint stance starts wide stanced, then goes pinpoint while the body is moving forwards. Pancho starts pinpoint, and barely gets started forwards.
    No coach anywhere would advocate a circular backswing on the serve. Not needed, and more to go wrong.
    Look at your own serve! If Pancho's serve was so great, why doesn't anyone copy it nowadays?
     
    #80
  31. Ripper014

    Ripper014 Hall of Fame

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    This is a great service motion... and in my opinion transcends all eras, it is effortless and powerful... and if I could hit it... I would, that is the only reason why I wouldn't copy it... I can't. And people would tell you I have a pretty good service motion.

    I don't believe in jumping into a serve either... I think of it more as a lifting effect from hitting up and out...
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2009
    #81
  32. SirSweetSpot

    SirSweetSpot Banned

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    Won't ever happen. David Robinson, the NBA Hall of Famer and avid tennis freak, said giants won't ever take over the tennis world en masse, because they can't get down low enough consistently. Karlovic, Isner, Kevin Anderson, etc are EXCEPTIONS to the rule. Tennis will always be about bending the knees.
     
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  33. gzhpcu

    gzhpcu Professional

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    Thanks, I have been playing tennis just as long as you have. You do not have to start wide stance to achieve the pinpoint stance. Look at Roddick. You can start wide and slide up to achieve a pinpoint stance, or start that way like Roddick and Monfils.

    The backswing is not a core fundamental.

    Look at Philippoussis: circular backswing
    http://www.playerdevelopment.usta.com/pdmediabooks/assets/men/Mark%20Philippoussis/PerformanceAnalysis.html
     
    #83
  34. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Phil was a 6'5" monster of a man.
    You want a good service motion, look at tiny guys like Hewitt who's 5'9" and can still serve bombs.
    You don't copy Karlovics motion, you copy a more normal sized player.
    Sampras was 6' and served equal speed to the giants. Copy his motion.
     
    #84
  35. Datacipher

    Datacipher Banned

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    You're quite correct gzhpcu. The takeback is one of the most irrelevant parts of the serve, only important for timing or if it affects something later in the motion. That is why you can find excellent servers using just about every and any takeback under the sun. Ironically it reminds me of something Tanner once said about the backswing: he said when Gonzales was coaching him on the serve, one day he said you had to keep the racquet up around waist height when you take it back, the next day he said you had to drop the racquet down low when you take it back, and both times, he said it was the ONLY way to serve! Tanner's point was that he realized it really doesn't matter at all how you get the racquet back there.

    As to Gonzales, backswing. I wonder if you to are at a total loss to even understand what LeeD is ranting about. "circular" backswing...yes, it's a sweeping motion, not nearly as big as Flippers (who does drop the racquet right down, for a big circle...if I recall), Gonzales, is more direct, keeping the racquet up near his waist. In that sense, Gonzales, is right in the middle of the backswing lengths. Not quite as abreviated as a Roddick or Rios, but not the drop down swing. If anything, the recent trend in pro tennis is towards shortened serve swings.

    As to his criticism that there is no "trophy" position. Well, this simply proves his ignorance. Gonzales most certainly does reach a trophy position. Just because he does not stop at the trophy position does not change that. In fact, aside from one theorist, most tennis coaches, think that a continuous motion (which LeeD also seems to think is a criticism) is quite desirable. I think this is the first time I've ever heard somebody criticize a serve for having a "continuous loop"! LOL!

    Stance...again...all number of stances can be made to work. As long is one is balanced (and Gonzales CERTAINLY is, despite LeeD's assertion that he is not). You don't become one of the greatest servers of all time, known for consistency and pressure serving, without having great balance on your serve....and again, despite LeeD's strange notions...if anything, current tennis trends are towards narrower stances on the serve. In fact, Gonzales stance was shoulder width or a touch wider, though perhaps that's harder to see in this video. The fact that LeeD doesnt' know this, despite his assertions of a long history in tennis, certainly makes one wonder even more about his faculties.

    Oh and yes, you are bang on about his swing from left to right. In fact, Gonzales, when writing about serving, stated that he never hits the ball flat (may be a slight exaggeration, since he seemed to hit some pretty big flatish serves!), he said he puts at least a touch of roll to the ball, topspin or slice, to get control and a higher percentage. He specifically mentioned hitting from left to right. This would be the case even more so with his topspin serves.

    And yes, as you said, Gonzales leaned into the serve, again, I have still pictures illustrating this, and he himself talked about it. To say he doesn't....well LeeD seems to be in his own world. Of course, he would lean a bit less depending on what spin he's going for, but in the still pics, you can clearly see a very pronounced lean.


    So yes, I am sure you do play tennis. LeeD? Not so sure at all. Certainly he seems not to know anything about it.
     
    #85
  36. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Good post !!
    Comes down ..... WOULD YOU COPY HIS SERVE MOTION?
    Of course not, you wouldn't.
     
    #86
  37. joe sch

    joe sch Hall of Fame

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    Im surprised LeeD is now claiming that circularity is bad for serve. Wrong. Sure the modern rackets allow for abbreviated strokes but in general, circularity will help improve all the strokes in tennis. This ofcourse assumes proper technique, mechanics, and timing but once a player has these skills, bigger more circular strokes can help generate more power with less need for quick torquing efforts to achieve high racket head speeds, ie power.
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2009
    #87
  38. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Once again, WOULD YOU COPY HIS SERVICE MOTION? Of course not.
    WOULD YOU TEACH HIS MOTION TO SOMEONE ELSE? Another negative.
    End of story.
     
    #88
  39. Datacipher

    Datacipher Banned

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    As you can see, it's unclear what he is even calling "circular". As I pointed out, Gonzales swing is actually much more compact than most modern models. The only things that are clear: he has no clue what he's talking about, it took 2 days to for him to come up with a post where he simply agrees with my post but then erroneously concludes that "nobody would teach it".

    What is always unfortunate about tennis forums is that sincere people seeking to improve their game are constantly advised by online "gurus" who are quick with advice read or stolen from a book/video. Most real teachers/players are simply too busy, and not interested in arguing with nonsense. More tellingly, they don't provide the palatable answers that the net guru specializes in. It's really why I can't stomach the instruction forum.
     
    #89
  40. Datacipher

    Datacipher Banned

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    Since most posters have already answered this in a contrary manner, 1 has only a few options:
    1.present reason why they should believe otherwise
    2.admit that the other posters know more and that you have made a mistake
    3.make strange little posts pretending that the answers you are giving to your own questions are in fact what others have said (misrepresentation)

    Welcome to #3. And thanks for verifying everything I have said about you.
     
    #90

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