Juan Martin Del Potro

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by Ash_Smith, Jan 15, 2013.

  1. Ash_Smith

    Ash_Smith Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2005
    Messages:
    3,949
    Location:
    A green and pleasant land
    *Warning: Big first post!

    This thread has been inspired by none other than Mats Wilander...

    Watching "Game, Set and Mats" on Eurosport (for our friends over the pond it's Eurosports highlights show) and Mats made some "interesting" comments about JMDP's forehand...

    "If he hit it properly he could hit it twice as hard, well twice is an exaggeration, but he could hit it much harder with proper technique. It's definitely not the technique you want in the modern game"

    So this got me thinking, whilst JMDP's forehand may look a little different how does he fare in the 4 key positions; Preparation, Drive, Impact, Extension/Finish.

    Preparation
    [​IMG]

    Looks good so far, shoulders turned, off arm up and across, racquet hand shoulder high, racquet head above wrist, shoulder turned beyond hip (separation angle).

    Drive
    [​IMG]

    Still looking good! Buttcap to the ball, elbow externally rotated for stability, hips opening to pull racquet through.

    Impact
    [​IMG]

    Still looking good! Elbow stability maintained, internally rotated and in front of the plane of the body, head poised, racquet head slightly below wrist. Liking this (especially as this is off a return!)

    Extension/Finish
    [​IMG]

    Pretty text book finish! Good balance, shoulder internal rotation complete, racquet wrapped across, elbow up and away from the body.

    So, to summarise - either Mats is way off base or I am missing something!

    Thoughts?

    *Note: This is off a return so I am not looking at footwork etc

    Cheers
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2013
    #1
  2. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2005
    Messages:
    35,671
    Very timely and great post.

    Yesterday, Cliffie said that DP gets extra power on the forehand because he uses a more open face compared to other players. I wanted to be the first to start a DP thread, but you beat me to it.

    We want players with diverse styles - everyone playing high-percentage tennis gets boring. Tennis is not like an auto plant where you want everyone working predictably so that your car comes out reliable. There can be only one champion in a tournament, whatever style of tennis is played, and nothing is "on the line" for the viewers.
     
    #2
  3. luvforty

    luvforty Banned

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2012
    Messages:
    1,294
    you mean mats the big mouth.... he's bit of a sensationalist, which is understandable sitting in that broadcasting booth.
     
    #3
  4. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2008
    Messages:
    10,444
    #4
  5. dominikk1985

    dominikk1985 Legend

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2011
    Messages:
    6,436
    His FH is a very good stroke.

    it looks a little WTA style because it is not as spinny and he has a quite vertical racket compared to the very closed/pronated takeback that most ATP players use but this only shows how meaningless those details are for getting power.

    What mats is referring too is probably that JMDP doesn't use as much hips and legs like other players. that is just natural for tall athletes. just compare randy johnson to tim lincecum. people say if randy would wind up like tim he would throw 115.

    however that just doesn't work. tall guys use the kinetic chain too but they do rely more on their levers than a super quick hip turn (like agassi for example). they just cannot turn that quick but that doesn't mean their legs and hips don't generate a lot of energy.

    It is just that their "engine" works more like a truck engine with a large gear (long arms) while short guys like lincecums engine works more like a fast spinning race engine.
     
    #5
  6. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2005
    Messages:
    35,671
    He is more about flat and side spin, than top spin. Real men (tall and strong) can afford to do such things, while the short ones like Fed and Nadal have to rely on top spin.

    OK, above was an exaggeration, no need to get worked up about it.
     
    #6
  7. luvforty

    luvforty Banned

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2012
    Messages:
    1,294
    wow, just wow.

    what happened to 'you can't argue with success'... anybody has the balls to criticize that FH, buy a hit with JM, and get blown off the court.

    and yes, that includes Mats.
     
    #7
  8. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2005
    Messages:
    35,671
    But note that he had to have wrist surgery. Again, as with Nadal, we don't know cause and effect, but it is a data point.
     
    #8
  9. bradsm01

    bradsm01 Rookie

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2009
    Messages:
    184
    Ash, what do you mean "elbow internally rotated for stability" in your second picture? I have been video taping my forehand, and my elbow is what I bring back first and is up higher than DP, Fed, Joker, etc... I also think I take it back further than the plane of my body. Do you think that a high elbow which is pulled back further than the plane of the body adds to instability and inconsistency? All comments appreciated. Thanks
     
    #9
  10. President

    President Legend

    Joined:
    May 18, 2009
    Messages:
    7,056
    Location:
    Philadelphia
    I agree with dominik, I think Mats is referring to Del Potro sort of "arming" the shot. But other tall players like Berdych do the same thing, so it seems to be natural for those of that height. Del Potro hits the forehand harder than ANYONE else in the game too, so its a bit of a ridiculous statement.
     
    #10
  11. julian

    julian Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2006
    Messages:
    3,326
    Location:
    Bedford,Massachusetts,US
    I apologize for a link-I am on a tennis court

    Please see
    part 7 of .....
    Del Potro is FHT-3
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2013
    #11
  12. Ash_Smith

    Ash_Smith Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2005
    Messages:
    3,949
    Location:
    A green and pleasant land
    ^^^Julian - you refer to that website a lot - is it yours?

    Note - in the image sequence above JMDP has a bent elbow structure as opposed to the straight arm shown in the blog.
     
    #12
  13. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2008
    Messages:
    10,444
    Does he have the fastest Fh? I don't think so, but there seem to be various
    claims of records.
    Imo it's not ridiculous at all to think that Del Po could improve his Fh and clearly,
    hitting the fastest Fh (if he has) is not anything like having the best overall
    Fh.
    His Fh does meet the modern standards, but imo his style is not optimal, even
    for a big guy and could possibly bigger with better margin as well.
    just one persons thoughts...
     
    #13
  14. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2008
    Messages:
    10,444
    anyone have a link to a good HD x ct Fh by Del po?
     
    #14
  15. Ash_Smith

    Ash_Smith Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2005
    Messages:
    3,949
    Location:
    A green and pleasant land
    Externally* rotated refers to the elbow having rotated down and in towards the hip on the transition into the drive position. If you have an elbow led takeback this is a vital move for stability and consistency, it must also move in front of the plane of the body on route to contact. It can be taken back behind the plane, but should be in front for contact. Many recreational players have a "flying elbow", in other words the elbow doesn't contract into impact and they lose stability.

    Hope that makes sense.
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2013
    #15
  16. luvforty

    luvforty Banned

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2012
    Messages:
    1,294
    #16
  17. dominikk1985

    dominikk1985 Legend

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2011
    Messages:
    6,436
    Fastest not sure (who cares) but when we talk fastest average velocity DP is certainly up there. a lot of guys can once in a while hit that 100+ FH but DP can consistently spank that ball hard without a lot of errors. that is a big strength.

    It looks like he is arming the ball a little (as I said before mats was certainly talking about this and not the micro moves of the forearm and wrist that are the only thing discussed here:)) but this impression is likely caused by his height and long swing radius.

    to hit a 100 mph FH you need to swing the racket close to 80 mph. you cannot do that just with the arm even if you are 6"6. DP is using some legs and hip/spine rotation or he would not swing as fast.

    however at his long swing arc it just doesn't look very fast. berdych is similar. they both have very quiet swings (also because they hit quite flat and thus don't need so much extra RHS like nadal for example) but the ball really jumps off their rackets.
     
    #17
  18. luvforty

    luvforty Banned

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2012
    Messages:
    1,294
    i always thought 'elbow' in is a SW or W thing... E or C grips, you have to lift elbow to close the racket face.
     
    #18
  19. Ash_Smith

    Ash_Smith Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2005
    Messages:
    3,949
    Location:
    A green and pleasant land
    ^^^Umm no. Brent's elbow is internally rotated, even though it's a higher ball.
     
    #19
  20. dominikk1985

    dominikk1985 Legend

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2011
    Messages:
    6,436
    I don't want to smart ass but technically the elbow in is a result of humeral EXTERNAL rotation.

    you take the arm back and just like in the transition of an overhead throw the arm first externally rotates (elbow leads arm forearm lays back) which then reverses into internal rotation as the elbow slows down and the forearm whips through. the IR starts between frame 2 and 3 of your sequence and the ER before that is an important loading move.
     
    #20
  21. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2008
    Messages:
    10,444
    I didn't say it was bad or even didn't look fast.
    Just that I think he has room to improve it, much like his serves.
    Sort of a safe statement since almost anyone can improve some :)
     
    #21
  22. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2008
    Messages:
    37,238
    Location:
    East side of San Francisco Bay
    Mat's probably has trouble understanding the problems of hitting a tennis ball when you're a 6'5" player. It's not like you can grow OlivierRochus into a 6'6" giant and he dominates the game. Don't work that way.
    And shrinking a Milos to Barrasetechi size won''t allow him to win either.
     
    #22
  23. Ash_Smith

    Ash_Smith Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2005
    Messages:
    3,949
    Location:
    A green and pleasant land
    apologies, I have my rotations ass backwards, its late here! - have now corrected. :D
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2013
    #23
  24. dominikk1985

    dominikk1985 Legend

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2011
    Messages:
    6,436
    #24
  25. dominikk1985

    dominikk1985 Legend

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2011
    Messages:
    6,436
    I'm also not a fan of his serve. just like tomic (who is a lot worse though) it looks like he did not throw a lot of things in his youth. it looks stiff and robotic with not a lot of flow of energy through the body. he still hits the bal reasonably hard but that serve is not very athletic.
     
    #25
  26. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2008
    Messages:
    10,444
    :) Well done Ash,
    and that's how it's done for those who can seem to admit a mistake.
     
    #26
  27. bradsm01

    bradsm01 Rookie

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2009
    Messages:
    184
    Luvforty, no but more like Sampras's high elbow. Ash, I'll post a few pictures tonight so you can comment on it. Thanks
     
    #27
  28. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2008
    Messages:
    10,444
    I really don't want to see what he could do if he tightens up his game, given
    his size, attitude, and movement.
    A few guys like that could possibly ruin the game for anyone under 6' 4", sort
    of like volleyball or basketball.
    I don't want to see that :(
     
    #28
  29. dave t

    dave t New User

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2010
    Messages:
    78
    Caught a match between del po and gulbis in LA - maybe a year or two ago (gulbis played great and won). Del po's groundstrokes were ok during this match - I've seen him hit harder but they were still decent. He definitely gets his weight behind fhs when he has time to set up. I did notice a big issue though (and it definitely could be related to his injury). His wrist/forearm does not seem to stretch/snap/whip the way most good players' do. This was especially apparent while serving. He could have a WAY bigger serve. Gulbis was a good contrast cause he was cracking the ball that night, you could really see the difference in wrist action. Gulbis def hit at least 10 mph faster with a lot of work on the ball.
     
    #29
  30. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2008
    Messages:
    37,238
    Location:
    East side of San Francisco Bay
    Tennis channel played a old or new match of Hewitt vs DelPo.
    DelPo doesn't move nearly like a shorter player, has ape arms, and slow reacting compared to Hewitt.
     
    #30
  31. TheCheese

    TheCheese Professional

    Joined:
    May 10, 2012
    Messages:
    954
    I think he ends up hitting it flatter than he has to, so when he hits harder he can't do it as consistently as a Fed or Nadal. He doesn't get the increase in topspin that goes along with his increase in ball speed.
     
    #31
  32. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2005
    Messages:
    35,671
    And he shouldn't. Adding top spin will slow down the ball.
     
    #32
  33. aimr75

    aimr75 Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2007
    Messages:
    3,336
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    #33
  34. Timbo's hopeless slice

    Timbo's hopeless slice Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2011
    Messages:
    4,097
    ye, exactly. I watched him practice at the AO last year out on that court near the fence on the city side, just POUNDING forehands..

    was amazing.

    I noticed the left arm too..
     
    #34
  35. chico9166

    chico9166 Guest

    What is "hard"? Ball velocity? Racquet head speed? Del po routinely hits the ball as "hard"/velocity as anyone on the planet. RHS? Not so much..... My own opinion, is that his backswing tends to compromise his ability to hit the kind of topspin that the big three can generate.....Than again, he also has a substantially higher contact point than the others that negates this disadvantage to a certain degree.
     
    #35
  36. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2005
    Messages:
    35,671
    His top spin technique is flawed though - at least it is not a smooth action. Some aspects of the push forehand are present.
     
    #36
  37. chico9166

    chico9166 Guest

    And what is flawed in your opinion Suresh?
     
    #37
  38. aimr75

    aimr75 Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2007
    Messages:
    3,336
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    Its great watching them from that close.. was there yesterday, caught fed practicing among others.. then watched him at rod laver. Got some pretty good footage which i'll eventually upload
     
    #38
  39. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2005
    Messages:
    35,671
    There is some weird wrist movement and arming of the ball. I cannot pin point it. I observed it several times last night.
     
    #39
  40. Cheetah

    Cheetah Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2011
    Messages:
    3,980
    Location:
    San Diego
    #40
  41. bhupaes

    bhupaes Professional

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2007
    Messages:
    957
    For the life of me, I can't find any flaws in DelPo's forehand. True, he looks a bit gawky, and his hitting hand is a little further away from his body than perfection would dictate, I suppose - but it's a monstrous, highly effective forehand that would be hard to improve upon, IMO.
     
    #41
  42. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2008
    Messages:
    37,238
    Location:
    East side of San Francisco Bay
    Well, there's pages and pages of the flaws of Federer's forehand, Nadal's forehand, and Murray's forehand.
    So why not a number 6 in the world?
    Most don't bother with critiqing DJ's or Ferrer's forehands.
     
    #42
  43. julian

    julian Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2006
    Messages:
    3,326
    Location:
    Bedford,Massachusetts,US
    No,sorry

    Ash,
    I am flattered by your question but the answer is :no
     
    #43
  44. julian

    julian Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2006
    Messages:
    3,326
    Location:
    Bedford,Massachusetts,US
    Rhs

    The vertical component can be improved
    but it is NOT going to be twice
    There are two issues:vertical RHS and vertical acceleration
    regards,
    Julian
     
    #44
  45. Avles

    Avles Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2009
    Messages:
    1,505
    Location:
    The Peak of Good Living
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2013
    #45
  46. rkelley

    rkelley Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2010
    Messages:
    2,411
    It kind of depends on what Mats is referring to when he says "DP could hit it harder with proper technique."

    DP hits a bit flatter than a lot of the men, though John Yandell says he's still getting a lot of ts on his forehand - so he's not hitting flat. Does Mat's mean that DP could hit harder from more positions, especially if the ball's lower and closer to the net, and needs the ts to keep it in, than he can/does with his current fh technique? I can't say personally because I haven't studied DP's fh enough to say. I know for me and my little peon strokes that one huge advantage of the modern fh is that I can swing with very high rhs from almost anywhere on the court and just vary the amount of spin vs hitting through the ball based on the situation and how brave I'm feeling.

    Generally DP hits it really hard, so I don't see how generally DP is wasting a lot of potential pace.

    When I've looked at slomo of his fh he doesn't get into ptd as much as some other guys. This links to 5263's comment on leading with the edge of the racquet and the waiter tray comments from others. His motion is a little different generally, and not as pretty as a guy like Federer. But he hits that fh hard. I don't see you can seriously say DP is has a lot more power potential in that shot and still keep it inside the earth's gravity well.
     
    #46
  47. julian

    julian Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2006
    Messages:
    3,326
    Location:
    Bedford,Massachusetts,US
    I took a hint if attempted

    I took a hint if attempted about copyright
     
    #47
  48. julian

    julian Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2006
    Messages:
    3,326
    Location:
    Bedford,Massachusetts,US
    Pilic or Wajda

    Pilic or Wajda are good people to ask (if you can)
     
    #48
  49. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2008
    Messages:
    10,444
    All your points are good, but it's mainly because imo, once you get a Fh into the low
    100's it takes a major improvement to show a mere 3-5 mph.
    So Delpo could make some pretty significant changes to the better and only get 3 mph
    and 300 rpms out of it. But then, that may be the difference of being 2" inside the line,
    instead of 2 " outside that line on break pt.... or not.

    What it comes to for me is "Aggregation of Marginal Gains" on this. To me this
    is an excellent example, but for nothing, because he is not going to change :)
    We can all hit the ball hard, but who can get it in the court with the right level of
    aggression? Who can get better?
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2013
    #49
  50. luvforty

    luvforty Banned

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2012
    Messages:
    1,294
    JM is 12th in 1st srv pts won%..... for him to crack the top 4, that is his lowest hanging fruit, the 1st srv.... he's not going to dominate the returns, he must the serve.

    FH... who cares.
     
    #50

Share This Page