Modern Tennis Tips by Oscar Wegner

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by Wegner, Dec 24, 2012.

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  1. bhupaes

    bhupaes Professional

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    @5263: I believe the term "yank" is appropriate if one also accepts that the pull across and up is rather abrupt.

    In other words: yank = abrupt up/across pull. I believe it is appropriate to call this motion abrupt since it introduces a sudden racquet head acceleration at that point. IMO, there's no need to confuse this with the concept of pulling back on the racquet handle.

    I think I had also called it abrupt in some earlier post, but decided not to press on for fear of getting into a needless and lengthy argument - ha ha! Surely, even abrupt motions will look smooth in slow motion video - it only looks abrupt if one sees it in real time. However, to misquote an old aphorism, "one man's smooth is another man's abrupt", so IMO it's not a point to dwell on!
     
  2. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    I'm not like some of the others who pass judgement with little or no experience on
    an issue. I haven't had time to experiment with abrupt or yank, so I'm
    reserving judgement on this. I'm sure I could go out and make it not work, as
    some on here like to do, lol. Playing bad is pretty easy, even if you are not
    looking to fail.

    Oscar's ideas have surprised me several times
    before, so I'm not about to count him out on this one yet either :)
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2013
  3. Cheetah

    Cheetah Hall of Fame

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    What is JY's findings/position on racquet head acceleration near contact/during the swing?
     
  4. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    I'll let him answer that, but seems the APAS showed there was accel as the RH approached
    contact.
     
  5. Cheetah

    Cheetah Hall of Fame

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    ok. I got confused over the years of debate on this. So oscar says there's acceleration after contact and jy says there isn't? is that correct?
     
  6. TomT

    TomT Hall of Fame

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    Ok, regardless of what one might call it, am I (a question for Oscar Wegner, or luvforty, or 5263, or arche3, or anybody) at all close to what OW is talking about in the vids below?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CchaxwnIprs
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PeJMyWDK_D8

    (Yeah, that's right. More vids from a 3.0 guy. Get over it. :) )

    The words that one uses to communicate something are important, and I think that maybe there's a better way of describing what OW is trying to communicate. But, having spent some time reading posts in both the OW and JY threads, I think I've come to an understanding of what OW is trying to communicate, and why some disagree with how he's talking about it.

    Anyway, I'm getting useful insights from both threads.
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2013
  7. Mick3391

    Mick3391 Professional

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    Tom, my friend. Take it or not, we are friends either way, just my opinon but I'm pretty sure about it.

    We can learn basics, just like in Martial Arts, but REAL TENNIS is inside you, that means no one can teach your brain how to instinctely use fear, joy, anxiety, all at once to take a chance and drive a shot, or drop it barely over.

    I guarantee you that you think I'm good because I hit monster shots, not true. I win because I use my brain, I don't think, I let my subconscious do it all.

    So you probably hit as hard as me, probably can do it all, the reason you wouldn't stand a chance, or likewise me against Fed is because you think TOO MUCH OF WHAT YOU ARE DOING!

    You are a scientist, then think! No way you can play high performance tennis thinking about what you are doing. You must visualize what you want, THEN YOUR BODY WILL FOLLOW, and may be tired:)
     
  8. TomT

    TomT Hall of Fame

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    Mick, I think there are two important aspects to what you're saying. One I agree with, and one I disagree with. I agree that one's best playing (whether it's in tennis or music or whatever) will be done while "in the zone".

    But I disagree that learning from others isn't helpful. In fact, I think that for most of us it's necessary at some point(s). I think that the ability to do something, anything, really well "in the zone" needs a solid technical foundation, and that one factor in producing a solid technical foundation is to incorporate and practice suggestions from knowledgeable and insightful people.
     
  9. Povl Carstensen

    Povl Carstensen Legend

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    Not at all, it depends on the angle the racket has to the ball. And the angle is also what makes spin possible, if you hit right through the ball there would be no spin and you would be right. Which is also why the across ball hitting is most evident in Federers down the line and inside out forehands on the video, and not not so much in the cc's.
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2013
  10. Povl Carstensen

    Povl Carstensen Legend

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    I just stood up, held a racket in my stretched right arm, rotated around myself, and pulled the arm in. The acceleration was noticeable. It's up to yourself whether you want too try. And sorry I was not very clear in my nomenclature.
    I am not quite sure what the implications are for the power of the stroke though. The reason why rotation increases is that the inertia (mass x velocity) will remain constant, and when you decrease the radius of the rotation, angular velocity increases to keep velocity (inertia) constant. So theoretically it does not increase the speed of the racket, only the angular speed (rotations per sec, or what it is measured in).
    I am pretty sure though, that pulling inwards - across - upwards will apply a combination of power, top- and sidespin to the ball. Because the shoulder is somewhat towards the ball (upper body rotation), it is also a pull against the balls direction.
    I am also aware that Federer is known for hitting in front and with extension. That does not rule out brushing across though.
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2013
  11. bhupaes

    bhupaes Professional

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    Being awake really early due to jet lag, I thought I might take a shot at this... :)

    My take is both Oscar and JY are right, and there is some misunderstanding on the interpretation of what Oscar is saying.

    I believe JY is correct in saying that racquet head speed in the follow through after impact remains below its peak value which is reached just before impact. He has measured it, and that's proof enough for me.

    At time same time, I believe what Oscar meant to say is that the racquet does accelerate after impact, in the sense that maximum racquet head speed in the follow through is greater than its speed immediately after impact. That is, speed will increase up to a point before the swing ends. I accept Oscar's thesis that there must be no conscious effort to slow down the racquet after impact - the intention must carry through impact.

    One interesting experiment would be to measure racquet head speed in a shadow swing, where the player swings at a holographic image of a tennis ball, and seeing where racquet head speed peaks.
     
  12. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    Now I'm confused :???:
    How did you get from before/near contact to where you are now on this?

    Pretty important here don't you think?
     
  13. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    If you are already rotating around yourself, and allow for more rotations, it might make a difference. A diver starts a rotating jump, then curls in, and reaps the benefits of extra rotations.

    If you are only partially rotating, and sometimes not the whole body, and you are looking for an increase in speed in the millisecond before impact that you are pulling in your arm (which you are not actually, since you are hitting out on the ball), I don't think the increase in speed in the millisecond into impact is going to make a difference.
     
  14. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Yes, it is quite possible that the acceleration is still positive (but decreasing) after impact, just like it was positive (but decreasing) before impact, as per toly's studies.

    I doubt though that any conscious extra force is exerted by the player just before and after impact in an abrupt fashion. The impact is pretty significant - you can see Federer's frame wobbling. The acceleration will be down, but the speed may still increase, but probably as a consequence of the actions prior to impact.

    But the main contention is not this. It is the claim that the racket is moved slowly till it is very close to the ball, almost in the catching position, and then accelerated. That is just wrong. It prompted one person to ask - should I start my acceleration 1 or 2 inches from the ball? So the image is just not teaching the way the pros play.
     
  15. JohnYandell

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    Bhu,


    Actually the deceleration is continuous--it never speeds up after contact and is going 5mph or so by the time it reaches the wrap.
     
  16. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    OK that is a good clarification. So it is not just the acceleration is decreasing, but it is actually negative? Makes sense - why would a pro expend much energy after impact?

    This is what I had read before - that the racket starts to decelerate after impact. But I was not sure how accurate those comments were.
     
  17. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    I think this is true as well, but does not address the intent to accel near
    impact and thru part of the follow thru to lessen the loss at impact.
    As anyone in contact sports like MA and football know, if you don't seek to accel
    thru the contact, then your'e hit is weak. Even in those sports you are likely
    actually slowing during the process. Coaching is mostly about intent.
     
  18. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    ^^^ That seems to be correct too - the old question about why follow thru is important since the ball is gone, and the old answer to that. But the speed build-up happens from much before than just before contact.
     
  19. treblings

    treblings Hall of Fame

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    i´m waiting for the next modern tennis tip:)
    not that the recent discussion about yanking and accelerating and deccelerating before, during or after contact isn´t totally fascinating:)
     
  20. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    and you are correct too, but that part is nearly effortless part of the flow,
    and the effort comes approaching contact.
    Starting the effort too early spoils the hit in any dynamic sport, but may work
    in chopping wood contest or something.
     
  21. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Too early is not getting as close to the ball as almost catching it, as it is claimed, and then accelerating. Such a jerky movement does not happen with the pros, should not happen, and will only result in injuries - it is bad advice. Just beating around the bush will not change the fact that it is wrong.
     
  22. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    Did I say jerk?
     
  23. bhupaes

    bhupaes Professional

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    Thanks for the clarification, JY.
     
  24. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    No, and the thread is not about you, either
     
  25. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    Ohhh, but you did quote me and my post didn't you, lol :)
     
  26. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Yes, and you will see that I did not claim that anybody said it was jerky. I said if someone slowly brings the racket to the ball almost to within catching distance, and then accelerates, it will be a jerky motion. Such advice has already prompted one poster to ask if he should start to accelerate from 1 to 2 inches distance from the ball. So it is dangerous giving advice such as last moment yanking or pulling back or jerky movements.
     
  27. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    So you are the one using the jerk term...Ok
    Just don't surprised when your perception is not accepted.
     
  28. JohnYandell

    JohnYandell Hall of Fame

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    At the suggestion fo 5263 to post in this thread:

    What is the yank?
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2013
  29. Wegner

    Wegner Rookie

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    The acceleration is through the impact, pulling, while the combined force is across. That causes racquet head speed to go beyond 50 MPH in front of the player while going across. Of course the player would not forcefully accelerate well past the impact, or he would injure or kill himself with the racquet. But his intention is to get the racquet all the way to the finish.

    And the racquet speed at the end of the stroke is ZERO and usually pointing backwards, while in front of the left shoulder (for right handers) the racquet head was close to full speed. Why? Because the player at that moment is loose, he has relaxed his arm.

    Here is a tip that explains some of the actions:

    Yank Across

    A tennis groundstroke has been thought, for a long time, to be a linear strike.

    Today’s modern players yank the ball across it’s line of flight. Think of it as if going towards the ball with your hand and suddenly changing direction and accelerating through the impact to make the ball both spin and advance at great speeds towards your opponents court.

    Nothing like baseball, or cricket, or golf. Tennis is a unique sport, using forces a bit like Martial Arts.

    It seems counter-intuitive, but it works like a charm. Let the theoretical experts think what they want. Try it and let us know your results.

    The pulling across accelerates the windshield-wiper, which provides the topspin needed to make the ball drop sharply, the yanking gives the ball great speed without abandoning control.

    The failure to recognize this and other aspects of modern tennis are the only reasons for the decline in the number of top players from the USA, Great Britain and Australia, previously the most successful countries in the game.

    I invite you to view a new two-hour DVD, “The Best of Oscar”, I just released. It will show you what changed tennis in many countries around the world and that this sport is a much easier game than previously thought.

    It is easy as well, with these techniques, to copy the best performers and improve your game substantially. All that stands in the way are misconceptions such as thinking that tennis is a linear game.
     
  30. Wegner

    Wegner Rookie

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    Vic Braden has measured Federer's stroke, in one instance, going from 7 MPH in the racquet head drop, 17 MPH just prior to impact, and over 50 MPH in front of his chest. Very different figures.
     
  31. Wegner

    Wegner Rookie

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    New Tip

    Transference

    I have tested, for decades, an interesting experiment that has proven helpful to a lot of players, from amateurs to pros.

    Rather than trying to position your body at a certain distance from the ball, track the ball with your playing hand or hands as if you were trying to catch it.

    Now comes something that is instinctive, dictated by your intention of driving the racquet to your favorite end of the stroke. For example, you track the ball with your hand, you see it right where you want it, with a bit of back and forth hand movement you then accelerate your racquet diagonally, that is, up for topspin and across your body for control. You finish the stroke pointing the butt of the racquet to where you sent the ball.

    It is an easy transfer of focus where you transition from catch to hit with no doubts or reservations in the blink of an eye.

    You may even have your racquet quite loose.

    It may seem too simplistic, too left to chance. But by keeping both hands on the racquet while tracking the ball, your playing hand will determine the timing necessary and the details of your stroke. Just make sure you finish the stroke all the way.

    Focusing initially on the hand, rather than on the racquet, can develop several abilities. One is something that you most likely learned at a very young age: the skill to catch a moving object while YOU are on the move as well and then throw it away.

    Another resulting advantage is the simplification of the thought process.

    There is a hand and there is a ball you want to catch. Nothing else matters. I’d like to venture that there is no thought necessary at all. You are free to go about it as you please.

    It is nothing complicated, nothing rushed. Your lower body may be in an emergency, running fast. It will tend to look for efficiency to help you execute your primary intention, which is your stroke. Let your body teach you. Feel it and don’t force it in authoritarian ways.

    Give it your best try and let me know the results.
     
  32. Wegner

    Wegner Rookie

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    More tips

    The Finish

    There is a good drill that works marvelously on shaping groundstrokes.

    If you are a right-hander, on the forehand finish, touch the left cheek with the back of your right hand.

    On the two-handed backhand, touch your right cheek with the back of your left hand.

    The butt of the racquet, at the finish, will be pointing towards where you aimed the shot.

    Do it gently but consistently. It will improve your stroke.
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2013
  33. Povl Carstensen

    Povl Carstensen Legend

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    Well the whole upperbody with racket and all is turning (uncoiling), so I wil have to disagree.
    And I am not looking for anything, just stating my opinion. And if the ball is comming from the direction of your left shoulder, pulling in is actually hitting out against the ball, and across.
     
  34. treblings

    treblings Hall of Fame

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    i tried this approach with a 40+ female beginner with no sports background this summer and it worked wonders.
    i saw a video of your on youtube about how to teach a beginner the forehand within minutes by letting him catch the ball, hit it with the hand, etc. and that made a lot of difference, thanks
    i am a big proponent and have been for a long time on developing the feel for the ball first and moving naturally to the ball without thinking about footwork
    i believe though in the value of working on your footwork and integrating different moves and stances in your game. what i try to do is work on different strokes and present them with options on what might work better in a certain situation and why.
    mind you, not all the players i work with have had good coaching in the past. some are entirely self-thaught. concepts like doing a well-timed splitstep, unit turns or more open stances need to be brought to attention i believe.
     
  35. boramiNYC

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    the idea of first establishing the spatial estimate for contact by hand before setting the feet is a good one. but why and how anyone would call this 'transference' escapes me. care to explain how you decided to use that term, mr wegner?
     
  36. Povl Carstensen

    Povl Carstensen Legend

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    I do not think you can have acceleration without action, as in force.
     
  37. Povl Carstensen

    Povl Carstensen Legend

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    I think you are splitting hairs. But definetly not a jerk imo (who wants to play jerky?).
    But a acceleration of the racket, mainly by bending the elbow, pulling it inwards/upwards depending on which way the elbow points is what I am talking about.
    I guess the main discussion here is whether this happens only because of the natural kinetic chain, or also sometimes because of applying of force. I think the acceleration and applying of force through bending of the elbow (in a controlled, not jerky way) is usefull, and is seen in the Federer video.
     
  38. luvforty

    luvforty Banned

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    the tracking-by-hand thing, i am surprised this being touted such a revolutionary idea? it's a good idea no doubt and good for mr. Wegner to teach it....

    but come on, isn't this a bit obvious?

    you lead the butt end into the ball.... I can say tracking the ball with the butt end...

    to-may-to, to-mah-to
     
  39. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    I don't think Oscar is considering this one tip or teaching pt to be revolutionary,
    so much has his teaching system as a whole, which was one of the first to
    depart from the classic instruction.
    Watch a R Lansdorp vid with him demo'ing a swing with the racket nearly
    aligned with the upper arm, lower arm and racket....all pretty much in a
    straight line. Should help you to see how different things are done now,
    than in the past related to instruction.
     
  40. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Yes, but the pulling in occurs before hitting out. There is no pulling in at impact.
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2013
  41. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Seems to be OK as long as done gently as advised.

    For those who want further clarification, here cheeks refer to the parts of the face.
     
  42. Relinquis

    Relinquis Hall of Fame

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    it's not yanking/pulling, it's rotation
     
  43. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    Right...It's pull to contact.
     
  44. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    No, you got it wrong as usual.

    Vic's analysis (with his colleague) is here. The speed goes from 7 (top of swing) to 25 (lowest point of swing) to 71 near impact (in that analysis, contact was in front of the chest).

    Did you really think Federer would swing at 17 mph at impact? I think even casual tennis and golf players know that the number is way too small.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pPLmCqGIotM
     
  45. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    The above should put to rest the myth that the pros take it slow till near contact and abruptly accelerate. The acceleration is present throughout the swing.

    If one swings slowly till almost catching the ball, and then accelerates, then perhaps he will only get 17 mph at impact! Luckily, Fed did not know about such modern tennis tips and learnt to hit the ball hard.
     
  46. WildVolley

    WildVolley Legend

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    It is possible that Wegner is discussing some other forehand, but I think that the video of the fh shown is fairly typical. As you correctly note, the racket goes from roughly 25mph at the end of the racket drop (sometimes called the 'pat-the-dog' position) to 71mph at contact. That's an acceleration of about 46mph into the forward swing.

    So it is clear that the most of the pros, when hitting a hard ball, are accelerating hard out of the racket drop. They are not waiting to accelerate until almost at impact.

    A question for Wegner: Do you really believe that players are waiting until the hand is almost at contact to accelerate, or is this a teaching trick to encourage players to accelerate harder with a short backswing?

    The ATP players have shorter backswings (Soderling is an exception) than most of the WTA players who will have a more gradual acceleration profile. That short backswing suggest the acceleration out of the drop is going to be pretty impressive. (I could be wrong about the acceleration pattern differences, I probably should look for data when comparing ATP and WTA.)
     
  47. julian

    julian Hall of Fame

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    See http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=449122&page=14

    see
    http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=449122&page=14
    post #265
     
  48. WildVolley

    WildVolley Legend

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    I looked at those threads and am confused.

    Could you briefly summarize the point you are making by referring me to those threads?

    What I see is that hand accelerating hard out of the drop in an arcing fashion. I think what Wegner is referring as sudden acceleration prior to impact is the racket lag catching up with the hand as the arm straightens and the hand arcs across. Basically, the racket head is going to lag my hand as it accelerates out toward the ball in an arcing fashion.

    Here's a video. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k_6hC2qKnKw&NR=1
     
  49. julian

    julian Hall of Fame

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    I will do it in the John's Yandell thread 12 hours from now

    I will do it in the John's Yandell thread 12 hours from now-please check from time to time
    I am teaching right now
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2013
  50. Povl Carstensen

    Povl Carstensen Legend

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    Interesting. Btw, I am sure that there is more than one way to hit a ball. And that a guy like Federer can and will hit in different ways depending on the situation, and what he wants to achieve.
     
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