Modern Backhand?

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by Shroud, Apr 19, 2013.

  1. Shroud

    Shroud Hall of Fame

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    I recently watched this video and changed to a modern forehand:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ho3FRWm9Pw

    It got me thinking that the same thing could be done to a backhand. The mechanics seem to be transferable at least in my head an with some practice swings.

    Anyone tried such a thing??
     
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  2. rkelley

    rkelley Hall of Fame

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    I hate that video.

    What is described as a traditional fh isn't traditional in most ways. The swing path is a basic modern, not traditional, swing path. The player is pronating his wrist at contact to generate topspin, swing up and across mostly, and the racquet face that hits the ball continues to face the opponent during the follow through. Look for that form on a Rod Laver video.

    The "traditional" part is that the guy steps into the ball, sets up neutral and swings his back leg around on the follow through on a ball that's short. However if he hadn't moved up on it that particular ball would have hit him on the shoe tops. You see players with a modern fh hit from neutral all of the time because sometimes you just have to do it.

    The change was to have the player set-up open. Granted this is the preferred set-up if possible. It's a good change but player's swing path is basically unchanged.

    And if we're talking traditional vs. modern, the player's backswing takes the racquet waaaaay behind his body in a Sharapova-esque manner. That's not modern, but that doesn't get mentioned or changed. He looks like he's hitting a nice ball, but a more modern stroke would keep the backswing more in front.

    I'm not sure how any of this translates to the bh other than swing more up on the ball and generating more topspin.
     
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  3. user92626

    user92626 Legend

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    I don't like that video either. IMO, it's much ado about nothing. They just got a guy doing two extreme stands -- and a little incorrect also so they could point out that its heavy on the knees! -- and called them "traditional" and "modern"!!!!

    How about this guy who does something in the middle of those extremities? Notice the alignment of feet. Or it's even a mix of those extremes -- a little pushing off the back foot but also finishing on front foot as you can see. What do you call it then?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GVNia4A9BTM
     
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  4. tennis_balla

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    This is my view only, nothing more. Its a good video in terms of showing the difference between a neutral stance forehand and a semi-open stance forehand, or how the coach has incorporated an open stance forehand into a players game which did not exist before (as the video states).

    The knee bend on the open stance is pretty deep but thats getting picky, I say this because the coach talks about relieving pressure on the left knee from hitting a more "traditional" forehand but now there's a lot of pressure on the right knee. Same difference. I don't see anything traditional from the first forehand shown. I see a player moving forward to hit a shorter ball. You cannot hit that sort of ball, moving forward like that, with an open stance. Also, to me the work with the player is incomplete or the coach should of chosen a different forehand to post on the video because the player is pretty off balanced at the end of the open stance forehand.

    I know I'm picky, and maybe overdoing it. Its a good video, but not complete thats all.
     
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  5. Shroud

    Shroud Hall of Fame

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    Interesting replies.

    Thanks for explaining it.

    Few people can relate to this but I never had a punishing forehand. Consistent sure, with heavy spin. Its not a weakness but not a weapon like my backhand which is a heavier ball and just natural. I often run around forehands to crush backhands.

    This video helped change my forehand into more of a weapon. Its the kinetic chain I think. the racket moves more because of the body motion. THere is a side motion component from turning the body. There is a video I cant find that explains this with a little hand drum (monkey drum I think). NOt only can I get more pace on the ball and put away balls I would just hit back, I am more consistent.

    Anyhow I will be hitting today and I'll see if the same kinetic chain can be incorporated into the backhand. I think I kind of do that naturally on the backhand. I cant put it into words well but on the backhand I hit flat with spin. I know that sounds weird but the racket is hitting it flat but the racket is just starting to move accross the body imparting top and some side spin. Kind of like that "windshield wiper" motion but on the backhand.
     
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  6. The Isomotion31

    The Isomotion31 Semi-Pro

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    What do they consider modern? Because I have been hitting forehands like that since high school 16 years ago.
     
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  7. Ehh

    Ehh Banned

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    no one has talked about backhands in this thread
     
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  8. Shroud

    Shroud Hall of Fame

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    Yeah I know.

    I did hit today and the few times i tried it I was able to get some of the windshield wiper action on the backhand. It felt pretty good.

    Nothing I would be confident of in a match but with some work I think it could be done.

    Not an expert on what modern is but I think it would be something from the late 80s onward.
     
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  9. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    In the "traditional" example, the guy is much further behind the baseline and moving in. In the "modern" example his is already planted where he is going to hit. So obviously there will be more linear momentum in the first case as he is covering ground in the forward direction. So, the example was not correctly constructed, though the point is clear.
     
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  10. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    Are you talking a one hander or 2?
    Yes, there is a modern version for each the one and two hander.

    Two Ideas on what a modern strokes is. One is the normal evolving slang of
    tennis that describes what people are perceiving in todays pro strokes.

    The other is a group of techniques written about and documented in several
    books. These techniques were put together by a former touring pro in the early 70's
    and coupled with a way of sharing them. They were based on the best observed
    strokes of top players of the period. The fundamentals of this still hold up today.

    I use the latter definition from the books, as it is the
    one that is formalized with writings and videos to study, along with being a
    more organized concept of Modern. If you go by the first definition, then most
    everyone will have their own Idea of what is modern and what is not...which
    really thwarts serious discussion for the most part.
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2013
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  11. Shroud

    Shroud Hall of Fame

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    One handed.

    Nice explanation of modern
     
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  12. Ehh

    Ehh Banned

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    So, using your own definition, what is a modern 1hbh, and a modern 2hbh?

    Who on the current ATP tour has a modern 1hbh and a modern 2hbh?

    If you consider the 'modern' stroke to be one with a windshield-wiper finish, then just about every touring pro uses a modern forehand, Wawrinka, Gasquet, Almagro and even Federer often use modern 1hbh's, and only Nadal uses a modern 2hbh.

    Guys like Djokovic, Nishikori, and Gulbis, all use a classical non-windshield-wiper followthrough on their 2hbh's...
     
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  13. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    No, not really my own definition, but more the one used by the Touring Pro
    Instructor that developed the system that has been named as Modern Methods.

    For the most part, most pro strokes are going to hit most of the fundamentals
    of Modern technique with some exceptions here and there to some degree.
    The main aspect in what I've learned about modern is that it accounts for the
    across aspect of the shot as well as the "out thru the ball" aspect and blends
    the two in a ratio according to the intentions of the shot. This is the case for
    serves, slices and top spin strokes. Traditional technique focuses on the "out
    thru 3-5 balls" out to the target past contact aspect, leaving out the necessary
    arc of a good tennis swing (according to the traditional references).

    Modern includes a variety of grips and finishes, so imo, using grips, finish, or
    stance to classifying strokes is a mistake in regards to whether it's modern or
    not. Traditional strokes do tend to be more limited in grips, stance and finish.
    Most instruction today tends to be some type of blend of Modern and Traditional
    imo.
     
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2013
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  14. BevelDevil

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    There's definitely is a "modern" 1hbh (as well as 2hbh), as opposed to the typical strokes of the wooden-racket era and conventional textbook wisdom.

    The modern stroke, epitomized by pretty much all pro 1-handers today, involve at least 2 of the three following elements:

    1. A more "extreme" grip. A professional Eastern grip today is pretty extreme by historical standards. Not only is the index knuckle rolled back, but the heel pad seems to be rolled back even further so that there is a sharper angle formed by the racket and forearm.

    2. "Wristiness." Federer and Dimitrov's bread and butter backhands would be described as this. It seems to be a big "no no" from the old-school textbook. This is perhaps the 1hbh equivalent of the ww forehand.

    3. Opening up the chest at contact. Conventional wisdom says to contact the ball with the chest perpendicular to the net. Modern players (excluding Fed/Dimitrov) tend to open up their chest more at contact and follow-through. Wawrinka is an extreme example of this. Haas and Gasquet also open up a lot.

    4. Open stance. It seems to be used much more today than in the past. I think point 1 and 3 make it easier to hit from the open stance.


    As for a modern 2hbh, I would say it comes down to the distinction between the Jimmy Connors/Chris Evert backhand vs. the 2hbhs that are used today. The Connors 2hbh featured a straight front arm along with a straight wrist throughout the stroke. It is more front-arm dominant and flat.

    It's interesting to note that Andre Agassi did something like this, except that he pronated his right arm on the backswing, then supinated on the forward swing. This gave him power and top spin. Because of this, I would say Andre is "modern", but not in the same way as other pros.
     
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  15. antq21

    antq21 New User

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    What is the name of the touring pro that wrote these books, do you know the names of any of the books. (Modern Tennis) Is it someone other than OW.
     
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  16. WildVolley

    WildVolley Legend

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    I consider the Djokovic bh the definitive 2hbh of today. Is it modern?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wlmhJTUFEfM

    Seems to be left-hand dominant at contact, but he prefers to hit it out of a closed or neutral stance if given the time. We argued about why there isn't as pronounced a "pat-the-dog" on the modern 2hbh, but instead there tends to be straightening of the arms into the forward swing.
     
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  17. Ehh

    Ehh Banned

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    I don't see what's so different about Djokovic's backhand to old-skool backhands. They both use a low-to-high motion, over-the-shoulder finish and a conventional (not windshield wiper) follow-through.

    Whether or not both hands are straight or bent at contact is not that important to the mechanics of the stroke, is it?

    Almost all two handers look like this apart from Nadal's and Courier's which have a windshield wiper finish.
     
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  18. mightyrick

    mightyrick Hall of Fame

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    The amount of straightness in the arms absolutely is important. The commonality of greatest two-handed backhand players almost always use straighter arms. Agassi, Safin, Djokovic, Hewitt, Nalbandian... to name a few.

    A straighter-arm two-handed backhand maximizes control, minimizes racquet floppiness, and minimizes wristiness. This is great for returns. No surprise that all of the players with the best two-handed backhands are also prolific returners of serve. All of the above players are also great at changing ball direction with their backhand.

    This type of backhand eliminates some of the variables that exist with two-handed backhands that have a lot of bend in the arms.
     
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  19. Ehh

    Ehh Banned

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    Well what about Nadal and Tsonga - they both hit with both arms straight at contact and are not great returners.

    Simon hits both arms bent at contact and is a great returner and very good at changing directions with the backhand.

    But the point I am making is that the swing path is not dictated by the 'bent-ness' of the arms in the 2hbh. For example, Nadal and Djokovic both hit with straight arms (or straight-ish arms in Djokovic's case), yet Nadal has a completely different swing path to Djokovic. Nadal's has a windshield wiper finish like a modern forehand, whereas Djokovic's has a conventional over-the-shoulder followthrough like an old-school forehand. On the other hand, Simon has both arms bent at contact, yet his swing path is similar to Djokovic's as both have the same follow-through.
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2013
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  20. mr_fro2000

    mr_fro2000 Rookie

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    I had joined the tt forums after being away from the game for 15 years... and i saw the term "modern" being thrown around left and right...

    Never knowing what that was, I came here and asked which lead to a 50+ page thread of people arguing about it, and then being called a 'troll' for bringing it up.

    Conclusion:
    "modern" tennis is in fact not very modern. I had been playing "modern" strokes all along. All pros have been playing "modern" strokes pretty much since (and even during) the wooden racquet era.

    So basically its a bunch of bullsh**. Someone (wenger or whatever his name is) has made a crap load of money over nothing.

    So referring to your backhand question... The "modern backhand" can be best described as "backhand".
     
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  21. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    It is Oscar.
     
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  22. mightyrick

    mightyrick Hall of Fame

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    Djokovic is not a great returner? :shock:

    Dude, I can't read any more of your posts.
     
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  23. Ehh

    Ehh Banned

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    I meant to say 'Nadal and Tsonga'.

    Now argue with it.
     
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  24. tennis_balla

    tennis_balla Hall of Fame

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    You wrote Djokovic, got called on it and now say you meant Nadal? Nadal is actually a pretty good returner as well. Whats the point anyways?
     
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  25. tennis_balla

    tennis_balla Hall of Fame

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    Also, Djoko's forehand is bent arm not straight or "straight-ish"
     
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  26. mightyrick

    mightyrick Hall of Fame

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    I didn't say that adopting straighter-arm two-handed backhand would equate to instant returning greatness. Hell, it doesn't equate to instant backhand greatness. I merely gave examples to demonstrate that the greatest two-handed backhanders and returners use a straighter-arm style.

    Once the timing of this shot are mastered, it doesn't have some of the weaknesses that can plague the more bent-style backhands. The difficulty of a straighter-arm two-hander is the timing. And the timing is tough to master.

    The players who have problems with straighter-arm two-handed backhands are players who just haven't mastered the timing enough.
     
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  27. mightyrick

    mightyrick Hall of Fame

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    We're talking about backhands not forehand. Also, Djokovic's backhand is much more straight arm than not.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wlmhJTUFEfM

    However, many images of Djokovic with bent arm are situations where he's jammed up all over the place and players just have to do whatever they can do get the ball back. Especially when returning serve sometimes.
     
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  28. tennis_balla

    tennis_balla Hall of Fame

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    My bad, I completely misread this sentence. Read it like he was talking about forehands which makes no sense. The return comment however still stands.

     
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  29. BevelDevil

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    The major difference between Connor's bh and pretty much any other current pro is not just the straight front arm, but the straight wrist on the backswing. Every current pro I know of today bends their bottom wrist on the backswing.

    This allows him/her to: Dip the racket head low, close the racket face, and let the top hand to play a bigger role in the shot. All this helps in producing more top spin.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CxzCe3sipgg

    That is the modern 2hbh.

    Compare that to how Connors keeps his racket face open, and pretty much hits the ball close to the bottom of the pendulum motion. Also notice that he will often release the racket with his top hand shortly after contact.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yEFvYMpuJLI
     
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