Heavy Topspin is Overrated.

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by KenC, Oct 7, 2012.

  1. KenC

    KenC Professional

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    Last night I watched the semifinal of a local 5.0+ tournament and there was this 14yo 5.0 phenom against an 18yo 5.5 topspin monster. The 14yo hit with a modest to normal amount of topspin just to keep the ball in while the 18yo used a full western grip with the typical overworked strokes. Every time the 18yo hit one of the massive topspin FHs the 14yo just nailed it back twice as hard. The massive topspin had no effect on a 14yo. The 14yo won 7-5, 6-3.

    I've been noticing a lot of these matchups lately. It seems those who hit with more pace and just enough topspin to keep the ball in are doing more damage than those who try to hit massive topspin. Apparently, all the effort going into hitting massive topspin is robbing them of needed pace.

    I know everyone is enamored with topspin, but it begs the questions: Do you really do damage to your opponent with all that topspin? Really? When was the last time a player beat you with topspin?
     
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  2. FedMex

    FedMex New User

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    I agree, if the topspin has some pace

    I agree that if you have flat to just needed spin on your shots then you can have an advantage over overworked spin players IF you get your timing used to their ball early in a match and all else is equal (movement, respective technique level, etc). One of 2 things happen:

    1. you get your ball deep and they have to pick up on the rise, which is harder to do with a more vertical spin path and not end up with a defensive or short shot

    2. your ball goes into their sweetspot / wheelhouse but because your pace is flatter they have to accelerate their racquet fast to get the loopy shot. if you can get the opponent running their capacity to do this consistently is diminished and eventually you get a weak ball you can flatten out for an approach or winner.

    I think what throws a flat to mild spin player off more is a lack of rhythm that may result from a non-consistent, often non-pace shot, not necessarily a heavy top spin hitter that is consistent and provides some pace once the ball bounces off the ground.
     
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  3. kimbahpnam

    kimbahpnam Hall of Fame

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    tell Nadal that.....
     
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  4. tennishotdog

    tennishotdog Rookie

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    it is overrated at the amateur levels up to 5.0. i play with many of these wannabes and topspin junkies types and their topspin are pretty weak. the ball just bounces high but has little pace. they are easier to handle than backspin slices for me. you can break them down pretty easily by just moving them around, hitting on the rise, throw in some slices and short balls, and not give them time to recover and set up.

    but topspin at the ATP level is totally different obviously there is a ton of pace mixed in with ridiculous amounts of topspin. so players can still keep the ball inside even with big swings at the ball for crazy passing shots and create insane angles. but guys like nadal use way too much topspin it should be illegal lol
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2012
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  5. Torres

    Torres Banned

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    How can you possibly conclude from that that topspin has no effect? Maybe the 14 y/o was simply a better player and the 18 y/o having an off day?

    It's also difficult to believe that any 14 y/o can nail it back with "twice the power" that an 18 y/o can generate. Is this 14 y/o green skinned and a freak of nature?

    And since when do they have NTRP rated tournaments in Italy?

    I don't seen how you can possible conclude that in a flatter v spin match up, the flatter hitting player will prevail and that "top spin has no effect". That's just simplistic nonsense.
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2012
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  6. ace_pace

    ace_pace Rookie

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    Topspin is not overrated. Nadal, Federer and Djokovic have the one of the highest average topspin rpm. It simply has so much more benefits. Some include:

    *More depth, height and direction control
    *Heavier balls i.e. requires more effort to change direction of the ball
    *Less pace is lost
    *Causes balls to bounce higher than usual, meaning higher contact point and longer depth
     
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  7. KenC

    KenC Professional

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    So, how many people play ATP level tennis here? Is the average 4.0 able to hit 4000rpm with heavy pace like Nadal? I would like to see the video please.

    Let's be realistic here. How many people are hitting spin and pace like Nadal today? Maybe just Nadal. But, how many are trying to hit spin and pace like Nadal and not doing a very good job? Millions. OTOH, I see people trying to use just enough topspin to keep a ball with heavy pace in, like Djoko does, and getting better results.

    Let me make this as clear as I can. I'm not saying to not hit with topspin, I am saying maybe it is more reasonable to just use enough topspin to keep a ball with heavy pace in, rather than put all the energy into creating a 4000rpm ball that just loops through the air and takes it's time arriving. Pace does more damage than spin does. But, if you can do both, like Nadal does, great for you.
     
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  8. maxpotapov

    maxpotapov Hall of Fame

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    I would argue that in case of Nadal it is not exactly
    spin AND pace, but rather
    spin OR pace

    I mean statistically his forehands land more in the middle of the court and then bounce high because of all those rpms. During USO 2009 he hit more flat, penetrating shots instead of his usual spin and it took many by surprise when his forehands landed so deep all the time. But then he went back to his all spin game.

    There is an advantage to this spin only game as one does not allow opponent to feed off pace and forces him to develop his own power all the time (and that's what 2011 Djokovic did brilliantly with all those shoulder level backhands) . But then you better be ready for this defensive/survival game and chase every ball the opponent tries to nail (younger/healthier Nadal style)
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2012
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  9. Metalica

    Metalica New User

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    Heavy topspin provides you with:
    -Better consistency
    -More angle
    -A higher point of contact for your opponent (makes it uncomfortable for him if you're looking for how topspin can be made a weapon)
    -The ball will travel much further after bouncing. This combined with the height of the shot may force the opponent back, giving you a court positioning advantage
    -It's another shot in your repertoire that you can use to mix things up, disrupting your opponent's rhythm

    Topspin is not essential to having a great stroke however it never hurts. As long as you have sufficient physical strength and technique, generating enough power will not be an issue. The best groundstrokes in the game right now are those that possesses both pace and heavy topspin, e.g Fed & Nadal's forehand
     
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  10. KenC

    KenC Professional

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    Guys, I think we all know what topspin does.

    My question is "What is the point of full western grips and overworked strokes, especially on the FH, if they don't do so much damage?" At worst, they create junk balls because the technique is too demanding, and at best they produce a ball that jumps off the bounce and bounces higher than normal. But, those ball get sent back every time.

    What I am seeing at the NTRP equivalent of 5.0+ here is way too many people who try to create a lot of spin with their western FHs and crazy looking strokes, but are neutralized by heavy hitters who use a normal amount of topspin. And this is on clay. On cement the advantages of killer topspin are seriously diminished.
     
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  11. Djoker91

    Djoker91 Rookie

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    Your absolutely right. On the nose. I've experienced this. A lot of people preach the heavy topspin, western grip. I see it all the time. But after years of falling into that, it is WAY better to have a mix. More pace, enough spin to keep it in, and you will hit winners or force a mishit from opponent. I've seen it first hand. And if the heavy spin player is just a little off during one of the shots in the rally, ball lands too short and goes right in my wheel house, the rally is over. Either I smack a nasty winner, force them to mishit, or I hit it out or in the net. But I go for it every single time. Has given me some great wins. Definitely the way to play. Just ask Djoker or Federer or Agassi. Not COMPLETLY flat, but enough spin to smack em with pace. Look at James Blake too
     
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  12. maxpotapov

    maxpotapov Hall of Fame

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    Take into account that western grip and heavy topspin is actually easier to learn. Modern lighter/faster/powerful racquets allow people to muscle the ball without regard to proper timing, footwork and kinetic chain. And "heavy top spin" is just the way to channel all the amateurish enthusiasm into something productive (to make the ball go over the net and land into the court thanks to huge margins of error).

    And I agree, that "after years of falling into that, it is WAY better to have a mix".
     
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  13. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    Tennis is a percentage game. There is more to winning a tennis match than stroke production. The player who is more disciplined at executing a high percentage gameplan and hitting to high percentage targets will usually win the match. Heavy topspin with a high margin for error is one small aspect of high percentage tennis. But, the gameplan and target choices are even more important, IMO.
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2012
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  14. sundaypunch

    sundaypunch Hall of Fame

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    Maybe in the match you watched. The opposite seems to be true in the majority of USTA junior matches I have watched. I see very few kids that have a hard time dealing with pace. It is the deep, heavy topspin balls that cause problems. The obvious situation where a flatter ball with more pace is important is hitting a winner by someone.

    I also see more rec. players that can handle pace but not the big spinny ball. As you said, if you can do both it is the best of both worlds. Find out what gives your opponent the most problems and adjust.
     
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  15. AnotherTennisProdigy

    AnotherTennisProdigy Professional

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    You described that the 18 year old was hitting it with more spin but with less pace. Doesn't that just mean the 14 year old was better? It's not that topspin is better than pace but rather spin helps you put a lot of pace on the ball and still keep it in. It's a little redundant if the shot has no pace to begin with, that's like saying a junk baller is better than a basher.
     
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  16. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Good observation. Most club level topspin (adults) is ineffective, other than the fact that it helps keep the ball in. Seasoned clubbies have no problem dealing with it, though you can get away with those guys who only play with flat-hitting people.

    Junior level and college is a whole different ballgame.
     
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  17. boramiNYC

    boramiNYC Hall of Fame

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    when adding pace to a stroke comparable amount of spin must be added otherwise loss of control. spin is the foundation where you can add pace. that 18 y o hasn't found a way to add pace to his spin and that 14 y o progressed with more balance of spin and power. dismissing spin is silly. but not able to find the balance between the spin and pace is also a limitation. this balance also depends on the competition level. as the level goes up spin becomes more important.
     
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  18. NLBwell

    NLBwell Legend

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    Of course the other extreme is to constantly chip-and-charge putting slice approaches deep in the court (often down the middle so there's no angle) and ankle-high. Make the topspinner constanly have to pass you while hitting the ball from an uncomfortable position.
     
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  19. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Heavy topspin works best when it's used by a match smart player, not by a strong dummy who just pummels the ball hard up the middle.
    Heavy top allows for increased short angles, running the opponent well past the doubles sidelines. It's also effective for dipping teasing passing shots, to make the netperson volley upwards.
    Great for driving tentative players off the baseline, so your short angle works even better.
    But no, a dummy hitting hard topspin is not the best player on the courts.
     
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  20. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    This is pretty good above. I don't agree with OP that tons of players try to overhit TS and
    I don't agree if you hit big TS, you can't have big pace.

    I do agree if the OP is just saying overworking the TS without some good pace
    has little application against good players, but
    I don't know anyone who suggests to do that...do you?
     
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  21. Power Player

    Power Player G.O.A.T.

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    This is a silly post. Much too black and white. I hit through the ball but still hit with a lot of top. So many ways to hit the ball.

    So you saw a guy hit with too much spin..it happens. The guy can fix that and hit a little more clean.

    Nothing is really overrated in tennis. There are so many variables that to pinpoint just one aspect of the game is small minded.
     
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  22. NLBwell

    NLBwell Legend

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    True, but quite a few players - especially juniors - try to do it anyway.
     
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  23. KenC

    KenC Professional

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    Just to be perfectly clear, the point of the topic is not "Is topspin relevant?" I think we all know the answer to that. The more the merrier. But is there a certain point where additional topspin really doesn't do any good and comes at the expense of better options, like pace?

    The point is, there are many players out there who have decided to base their entire game on topspin, and use topspin as their weapon of choice. Did they make a mistake? Has the focus on producing killer topspin prevented them from fully developing a better weapon or weapons?

    I think we all know where this current fascination with killer topspin originates. Indeed, Nadal had great success with killer topspin, especially on clay. Evidently there are many players who are trying to replicate his technique and strategy but not having overwhelming success with it. In fact, I see it having better success at the lower intermediate levels than I do at the upper intermediate levels. At the 5.0+ equivalent levels here it seems that the majority of players who face a killer topspin baseliner have already seen it enough to deal with it effectively.
     
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  24. sansaephanh

    sansaephanh Professional

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    i poop on this thread by saying that I really like garlic alfredo.
     
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  25. Metalica

    Metalica New User

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    My answer to OP's question is: Yes it is a bad thing, just like any other aspect of the game. It's easy to be fascinated with topspin. Same with, I think watching a well struck heavy topspin ball on TV can be very satisfying and I understand how trying to recreate those shots can compromise your technique. Still I believe at the club level, trying to hit too hard (and flat) is a bigger problem. Hitting poorly struck topspin balls at least allows you to contruct the point.
     
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  26. The Meat

    The Meat Hall of Fame

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    Heavy Topspin comes in two flavors.

    Useless topspin shot= something that is used to bounce high to give people who can't handle high balls that well a hard time.

    Good topspin shot= used to make the ball land closer to the lines and either drag the opponent out wide or used to keep the ball in with a harder hit shot.
     
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  27. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    Pretty much a losing strategy to try and hit closer to the lines imo.
    Good topspin is used to keep strong shots away from the lines.
     
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  28. Power Player

    Power Player G.O.A.T.

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    Ok I get what you are saying now.

    My perspective : I was hitting with too much spin a year or two ago. Western grip, coming over the ball too much, not hitting clean. It actually can still win you a lot of matches, but IMO is not proper technique.

    I went to semi western more often (still slide to W for certain shots), focused on hitting the ball square and then letting my natural stroke add all the topspin.

    So I think what you are talking about is poor technique at an advanced level. A lot of guys can play their whole lives with that kind of top and win under 4.5. But the best ball is the heavy one that is hit clean and powerful and still has heavy top on it. the only way I found that shot was to go to the semi western grip and spend some time grooving it.
     
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  29. r2473

    r2473 Legend

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    ^^ Guess I basically just said what PP said in the above post. I am the guy with poor technique winning matches at 4.5 and below, but will probably never be able to beat "good players".

    This is my style of play. I hit with a RIDICULOUS amout of topspin. Long, loopy shots that keep my opponent glued a few feet behind the baseline.

    My gameplan is not to hit winners. I'm really a "secret pusher". My opponent can track down most every shot I hit. I just bank on the fact 1) I'm fitter than he is; 2) He will get impatient as he gets physically and mentally tired of running down my looping topsin (and hitting so many balls at shoulder height or higher).

    But I do get into trouble when I face guys that know how to deal with this. Then I have to cut down on the spin and hit through the ball more. I make more errors and I normally lose.

    As an aside, I'm 215lbs. and nearly 40 years old. I love to watch guys 50lbs. lighter and nearly half my age get tired
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2012
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  30. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    Yes, focusing on just having great TS is a mistake, but likely no more and actually
    likely less than any other 1 single item of focus. If you can't focus on but one
    item, TS might be the best. The issue here imo, is you can't just focus on one
    thing, but if you were that limited...is there something better than TS??
     
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  31. Power Player

    Power Player G.O.A.T.

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    I played a guy like this last night..pretty fit, but he is a slicer. what I did was hit heavy arcing topspin to one corner and used the topspin to place it as precisely as possible. He would scramble over and return it, and then I would just hit the same exact shot to the opposite corner. It was hilarious seeing these arcing moonball shots hitting for clean winners.

    I found that I only try to hit hard and through people if i have to now. against guys that take your pace away there is no need to hit that hard, so what you are doing simply works. The trick is to be able to hit through the ball as well since you can not play the low pace style against big hitters.
     
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  32. r2473

    r2473 Legend

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    ^^ I do the same thing to this "slicing pusher" guy I play. He gets a lot of balls back and keeps them low. So I just slice until he give me something I can hit with heavy spin. Then I just keep it up until the error or easy ball comes.

    What you say about heavy hitters is for sure true. Guys that can really hit through the ball just murder my looping topspin. My plan against these guys is to try to make them work as hard as possible and hope they get tired enough to be a little lazy with their footwork and strokes later in the match, so they start making errors. These guys I have to try and physically and mentally breakdown. I can't beat them going toe-to-toe.

    The other guy that kills me is the guy that can effectively come to net. I see this guy very rarely these days, but when I do, I pretty much know I'm toast.

    I can hit through the ball OK actually, but that is something like Plan D for me. I can hit through the ball to put an easy ball away or to put some pressure on my opponent, but I know I will make an error normally within 5 strokes of hitting this way.

    I also have the luxury of having a pretty effective first serve and a fairly bullet proof second serve (I rarely double fault). So I normally get 1 or 2 "free" points on my serve. This makes my job so much easier (and puts a lot of pressure on my opponent).
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2012
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  33. Power Player

    Power Player G.O.A.T.

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    Hitting hard and through the ball had been my plan A for too long. It is just not needed against a lot of players like you are saying.

    Topspin looping is great against lower level guys who you know you should beat, but if you go out there and hold down the power button you usually lose. In that case, heavy spin pushing them back can be devastating.

    Learned a lot playing my friend who can crush the ball for winners but will loop the heck out of the ball and just move it around deep in the court. If you can hit those balls deep, they are very hard to attack. I can return them deep and set up winners now but it is a very patient style of play. Heavy loops allow you to recover and prep on time, and that is something that is not valued enough in rec tennis.
     
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  34. xFullCourtTenniSx

    xFullCourtTenniSx Hall of Fame

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    If Nadal gets stomped, it's usually by a guy who hits on the flatter side of things. Most of his upsets are caused by players who hit relatively flat on the tour. So if we told Nadal that, he would confirm the OP's observation for people who have the timing to pull this off consistently.

    Generally there are 3 basic matchups. Defensive vs aggressive, aggressive vs aggressive, defensive vs defensive. This doesn't mean "this guy is pushing and that guy is bashing", it means "this guy is looking more to get balls into play and the other guy is looking to force the point open". Aggressive vs Aggressive would basically be Safin vs Agassi, Federer has popped in all but the final scenario (being defensive vs Nadal's aggression to his backhand, aggressive vs Nadal's defensive, or aggressive vs Nadal's aggressive).

    More often than not, the topspin player will be playing the more defensive role in a majority of the shots for a majority of the points compared to a flatter hitter. However, it is almost always on the flatter hitter to really decide how the match will be played. If he REALLY wants to be aggressive, he has to take the ball earlier and play with better timing. If he is used to this, then he inherently has an advantage. If he normally likes to play from further back, then he either comes out even or has a disadvantage depending on how he performs. If he decides to be defensive, then the spin player has the option to then either be more aggressive (by using his spin to open up more angles) or to play a similar defensive-minded strategy. This again results in the flatter hitter either being in an even or disadvantageous position because spin grants better safety and the spin hitter will be able to hit from closer to the court. If he decided to be aggressive without taking the ball on the rise, then he is in nothing short of a disadvantageous position because he is hitting from way behind the baseline, with very little to ensure his ball is deep, inside the lines, and over the net. He will eventually miss or hit short.

    So from this, we can tell that in a VAST MAJORITY of scenarios, the spin hitter will be in a very strong position during rallies. However, for those flat players who CAN and WILL hit the ball early, consistently, and cleanly, the spin players are at a MASSIVE disadvantage. The ball is coming back earlier AND faster than they are used to compared to more hybrid opponents.

    However, only a few (and extremely skilled or talented at that) can do that. Heavy topspin throws people off their game. For some, it's by a lot. For some, it's very little. Is it really worth it? Well, you could make an argument that for a vast majority, you come out either even or in a strong position... But for that small minority you are essentially ****ed if you ever play against them. Nadal has adapted by incorporating flatter shots in his arsenal, and it's served him well.

    Strategically, for lower level players, I would say it is good... Because how many of them can really hit the ball so well? Most players who take the ball on the rise still won't hit it hard and return it with a good amount of spin. Very few below 5.0 can actually crank it consistently on the rise. Nadal has made it work because he travels around the world, has a good few months to play on clay to rack up wins, and has the body and legs to stay in points long enough to make it work.

    I really don't advocate a Full Western grip (Roddick is an example of why you SHOULDN'T go full western). I advocate Eastern and Semi-Westen because they allow you to hit either flat or heavy spin while giving ample access to the other. Nadal uses Semi-Western, and Federer uses a mild Eastern. That's why these guys can hit so hard and hit with so much spin. It simply gives them a better range of shots. Full Western doesn't give you that option. Flat is stupid hard to hit with Full Western.

    I would say heavy topspin is undervalued and often misused when it IS valued. The reason we're all not professional players on the tour (aside from age and fitness) is that we still have things to learn about tennis. Decisions like when to and when not to abuse heavy topspin is one of those things.
     
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  35. xFullCourtTenniSx

    xFullCourtTenniSx Hall of Fame

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    Because the junior mentality is usually all about winning. That's why so many fail to transition to being a pro. That's why the % of players with a 1 handed backhand on the tour is better than that in the juniors.

    We're talking about a normally good aspect of tennis taken to an extreme. Obviously, if we asked "is pace or flat shots overrated", we'd probably say yes, especially when compared to topspin, simply based on the argument that topspin is much more consistent, and you're far more likely to win points against evenly skilled opponents with consistency than the fastest visible ball you can hit (I say fastest visible ball because technically according to the rules, if you can't see it, give benefit of the doubt to the opponent, so balls hit at the speed of light will always be winners).
     
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  36. Netspirit

    Netspirit Hall of Fame

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    It also depends on the surface. On hard courts you can hit through the opponent, so pace > topspin.
    On clay it is much harder, since clay eats flat balls alive, so topspin > pace.

    In general: whatever makes it harder for the opponent (given the surface, equipment, opponent skills, your skills, and all other factors).
     
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  37. Mick3391

    Mick3391 Professional

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    AMEN. Finally it's time that someone agrees with me, and I'll bet dollars to donuts that the person making this post can really play.

    These guys today, the so called "Modern Tennis" is no more than people with no skills using monster spin rackets just returning the ball, anyone can do that. But to win, you must PLACE SHOTS, many times slow shots are more effective than "Heavy shots", yet the amateurs on this forum don't understand this.

    I will ralley a guy at the baseline with my "Small" PS 90, they just cut over and over with their Bab 100 spin rackets, it's so predictable, so simple for me to move them around, I MUST place my shots, must go back and forth, then just drop over the net, baseliners, even at the pro level have no clue what to do with that, it makes them mentally insecure, they never know if you are going long or drop it, so they have no clue where to play.

    My 11 year old sons best shots are to hit with me baseline to baseline, then disquise his shot and drop it over the net, I can't get it. I'm not what I used to be, but I can't get it, a flat drop to my back hand where I can't even get to it is effective.

    85-90" rackets are the best, they force you to place your shots, not just be a Andy Murray type and simply get the ball over the net.

    Of course beginners will claim they play well with huge heads, but they are playing better than they actually play, shot making needs to be returned to Tennis and it will, you'll see....
     
    #37
  38. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    I see lots of shotmakers who use wisdom, placements, mixing spins, and they're using OS sized racketheads.
     
    #38
  39. r2473

    r2473 Legend

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    With the price of donuts, nobody would take that bet these days.
     
    #39
  40. Mick3391

    Mick3391 Professional

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    I understand, and to the naked eye all seems well.

    However, take out a small head size, I have a PS 90 and a K-Factor 95, with the 90, I'm not talking about what we see in the pro's but reality, and with the 95 it's extra effort, I have to find the sweetspot to place my shots, with the 90 it's intuitive, like that dude on TW says "It's like an extention of your arm".

    So yea, I was actually thinking the same thing, you see these guys with huge Babs slamming it back and forth, but if you elimate the common denomiator, it comes down to who is in better shape, that's why Rafa is in such peril, but when you are a true shot maker, you NEED a small head size so you can put your shot here and there.

    I can go out tomorrow and get a Rafa Racket, put RPM blast in it, and yea, I can get more spin consitantly, but Tennis is SO MUCH MORE than topspin, it's topspin, slice, and flat shots, so Bab is doing great for now with their philosophy, but always the all-court player will come out on top, Sampras, Fed, and we'll have some other dominant player who is more than just a hussler.

    Want to learn to play real tennis? Get a 75 inch head wood, then move up to a huge 90 inch head so you can place your shots AND have inherit power,

    Babolot huge spin rackets are for amateurs, or those who specilize in clay
     
    #40
  41. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Or for players who just want to follow the lead of who's ahead of them.
    Or for players who don't want to use imagination, artform, or creative shotmaking.
     
    #41
  42. sundaypunch

    sundaypunch Hall of Fame

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    If I remember, in an older thread you said you were just getting back to the game after a long layoff. I'm also an "old guy" that had some time away from the game and was not impressed with mega-spin and everyone trying to hit like Nadal.

    With two kids that play USTA, I'm spending time now having them learn more modern strokes and try to undo the old-school flat hitting learned from their first coach. I have been to many, many tournaments and have seen firsthand what wins and what loses. Let us know how it goes for your 11-yo when he starts playing USTA hitting flat (especially with anything under a 95). There is a reason this has all but disappeared, particularly in junior play.
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2012
    #42
  43. Power Player

    Power Player G.O.A.T.

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    Wow Mick is in beast mode for just returning to the game.

    So if I read this correctly, don;t be like Rafa or Murray (even though he uses a 95) even though they are grand slam champions.

    Furthermore Fed doesnt use topspin even though his RPMS are the second highest in human history.

    Ok.
     
    #43
  44. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    post 19 and 26, even though post 27 says WHAT ? You mean to NOT hit close to the sidelines? That is just weird!
    What? Preach hitting heavy topspin PUSH BALLS up the middle?
     
    #44
  45. Mick3391

    Mick3391 Professional

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    The problem is not topspin or lack of it, the problem is people only reading part or what they want to pick up in what I write.

    To start a little one, in my opinion, they need to learn ALL SHOTS, when I started him, we focused on flat shots, and I'd LOVE any one of these oracles to ralley with Mick when he barely hits a flat shot over the net.

    Anyways, he now hits power topspin shots, can not only hit slice shots but sidespin shots, you know, the ones that when they land scoot 4 feet in a different direction.

    So now he can, unlike the robots trained these days, is to hit ALL SHOTS.

    One thing I didn't anticipate, so far they are 0-2, is how the mental part of the game is so strong. In his first game he made one unenforced error, second half 3, his partner gave away 3 games in a tie breaker match. But, last match they both played terrible.

    This was in stark contrast to our practice, in practice with no pressure, he was to me unbelievable, but in the match just tried to barely get it over, hitting soft flat shots right to the opponents forehands, terrible.

    The coach and I decided that they need to go all out, not worrying about missing, but the mental part is everything, so we have along way to go, he has his first USTA singles tourny on Nov 9th, we'll see. If he believes he's playing with me he'll win, if he gets nervous he'll lose bad, BAD.
     
    #45
  46. rkelley

    rkelley Hall of Fame

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    10 char

    xxxxx
     
    #46
  47. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    LeeD, you have read enough of my post to know...and likely read the thread
    on Smarter Targets, right?

    You don't have to push or hit heavy TS or hit up the middle to AVOID hitting
    close to the lines
    . Why do folks so often go to so many extremes? You go to
    3 wrong ones in a single statement.

    I believe in clearing the net with good margin and hitting mostly away from the
    opponent or cross court to the smart target which is at least 15" off the sideline.
    I do hit closer to the sideline than the net or baseline, but still want a good
    margin on all the lines except serving on first serve.
    This allows for aggressive cuts at the ball which IMO, account for getting most
    mid ct opportunities to attack. The only purpose of the BL rally is to earn a
    shorter attack opportunity. right?
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2012
    #47
  48. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    This is exactly why I teach powerful shots with lots of margin for error.
    It doesn't call for so much touch, but the touch will come thru with experience.
    Players who often hit low over the net or near the lines will do great at times,
    then stink it up big at times...usually when nervous or pushed...timing and
    rhythm are the first to go.
     
    #48
  49. Larrysümmers

    Larrysümmers Hall of Fame

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    phew, good thing im not pro.
     
    #49
  50. KenC

    KenC Professional

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    My take on the use of topspin as a weapon is this: All shots should do damage to the opponent, and a wise tennis player will choose the shot, placement and pace combination that does the most damage within an acceptable risk. If all one knows how to do is loop the hell out of the ball, they won't ever do much damage to those who know how to deal with those shots effectively. Unfortunately for those topspin monsters, we have seen it enough to know how to neutralize it and even turn the tides by returning a ball that does more damage than their killer topspin ball did.

    What I often see is these topspin monsters trying to hit with a massive amount of spin but somehow it just always seems to go right into the hitting zone of their opponent. I think the technique is just too difficult to do well consistently. Moreover, maybe on clay this gives a higher bouncing ball to deal with, but on faster surfaces the ball jumps forward more than up. This little jump forward may affect lower level players some, but better players read it right away.

    Again, often the player who wins is the player who consistently does more damage with acceptable risks. I just don't see the return on investment from killer topspin, yet so many are dedicated to it.
     
    #50

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