Nadal Forehand Extension

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by JohnYandell, Apr 19, 2012.

  1. JohnYandell

    JohnYandell Hall of Fame

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    #1
  2. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    Very nice vid and shows a lot of important aspects!
    I believe you can even see the side spin aspect due to his swing across the target line.
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2012
    #2
  3. arche3

    arche3 Banned

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    I see an arc across the body with a straight arm. with the shoulder and body as the pivot. I also see side spin imparted on the ball.

    I do not see the hand travel in the direction of the ball other than as part of the arc. there does not seem to be any effort to hit towards the target or direction of shot. Rather all the effort is accelerating the racket up into and across the ball pulling it across the body. His arm is fully extended prior to contact and it is impossible to extend anymore other than as part of the pull up and across the body towards the finish.

    Perhaps this is the reason there are so many issues with MTM and the extend in the direction of shot debate. People are actually saying the same thing. JY sees this as extention of the FH into the shot. MTM sees it as across. They are 2 definitions describing the same event. But the "extend into contact" has associations of old classic technique even if it is not meant to.

    The issue I have is some coaches seem to still think of hitting through the FH with actually "extending 3 balls into the contact" with your hand, arm, racket as the definition. Where this video and most modern pro videos show exactly this is not true. There is no hit 3 balls into contact. Its all part of the arc and pull across to finish.
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2012
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  4. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    That is some excellent info arche.
     
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  5. tlm

    tlm Legend

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    Here is a rafa forehand with very little extension, so the first clip shown by John has a lot of extension and the one i am showing has minimal extension.

    Plus there are many varying degrees in between these 2 examples, so it shows they use both depending on the situation.


    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NSr6dfxhMUw&feature=player_detailpage
     
    #5
  6. arche3

    arche3 Banned

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    it is insanely obvious watching at 500 frames per second rafa is not extending his hands arm and racket into and through contact. His arm is fully extended at the racket drop practically. The only way to hit is around the body.
     
    #6
  7. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    Ralph tends to have a reverse finish on balls taken below the waist, and a more typical low at the hip finish on higher balls.
     
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  8. 1HBH Rocks

    1HBH Rocks Semi-Pro

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    Thanks for the video Mr. Yandell.

    Is that the monster shot he has hit at some 110mph? He seems to be wearing the same shorts. Anyway, it's a nice video.

    We do see, even from Nadal with a pretty well extended arm a severe and violent movement toward the opposite side of his body as we'd expect following Oscar's MTM.
     
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  9. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    It would be very cool if you could reverse the video to show Nadal as a righty so we righties could appreciate what we're seeing a little better.
     
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  10. Xizel

    Xizel Professional

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    No. He was well inside the court and his preparation looked much more refined then.
     
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  11. JohnYandell

    JohnYandell Hall of Fame

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    Not sure what the mph was on that shot.

    Watch the racket head the 3 frames after contact--when the ball is still visible through the strings.

    If someone says hit 3 balls I think that can really help certain players. In my experience it's the lack of forward swing extension toward the opponent that is the most obvious failing in the basic drive of club players, and even many high level juniors.

    Everyone is coming across sooner or later.
     
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  12. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    One of the unique aspects of Nadal's and Federer's forehands is that they both extend quite a bit to the target before they make contact. In other words they hit way out in front. More than most. In the video you posted, Nadal does just that, and extends only a bit further after contact.
     
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  13. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    I'm really glad you pointed that out, as even with the monster frame speed you
    have for that vid, it is clear from the very 1st frame right before impact, how the
    ball continues to be further and further out towards the end of the hoop after impact!
    What an excellent example of how clearly the racket is coming across the target
    line.
     
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2012
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  14. JohnYandell

    JohnYandell Hall of Fame

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    Limp,

    By extension I mean the distance traveled forward toward the other side. The racket is moving in three dimensions obviously and is moving on a relatively flat curve from his left to right when viewed in two dimensions from above.

    My point is that a key element in a basic drive is that forward or outward movement--the movement of the hand toward the opponent. As you can see in the video, Nadal's arm is literally perpendicular to the net at the point of greatest extension. At this point in the swing his hand and arm are still in line with his hitting shoulder. You can see Fed in similar positions on many his drives.

    If you flim most club players and even high level juniors greater extension is usually the main element they are lacking in driving the ball.
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2012
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  15. Clay lover

    Clay lover Hall of Fame

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    I think Nadal's forehand is a perfect example of a "pull" stroke.

    I would even go as far as saying that it's like swinging the bat in baseball. Coaches tell you to "pull the knob" to the ball and then the barrel follows after as you uncoil the body. This way you are conserving all that kinetic energy and releasing all of it onto the barrel of the bat at the last moment. It's almost like firing a catapult in which your body serves as the frame and the bat/racquet the catapult arm. The ball is the ammo.

    Nadal uncoils, pulls his buttcap into contact and you can clearly see the lagging behind of his racquet head. As he contacts the ball all that energy is released.

    As a side note, I agree with one poster that the whole extension is part of the arc. Nadal did not intentional extend his arm into the ball, his body and pulling the buttcap do all the work for him. Also, in my opinion, the sidespin is a side-product of this arc instead of an intentional brushing across motion.
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2012
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  16. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    You make some good points and observations, and have added a new comment to the discussion. No one has claimed a brush across as you now imply, but we have talked to pulling across on the arc as you agree with. Pulling across this way is important as it does provide the plow thru effect to drive the ball, but with the power of pulling around and across.
     
    #16
  17. Clay lover

    Clay lover Hall of Fame

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    Thanks, the brushing across part i think i misconceived
     
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  18. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    No worries and you made several very good points otherwise.
     
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  19. mntlblok

    mntlblok Professional

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    "Extension"

    That's a cool video. BTW, can I get a URL for the "world war III" thread?

    The "extension" that *I* notice is of his wrist - he gives it up. He's got it laid back a bunch, but then flexes it a good bit on the path forward. If he didn't, he'd have to be closer to the ball and catch it further out in front in order to have the racket face facing the same target at contact time, no?

    Don't mean to start another "myth of the wrist" deal, but that seems to be a significant aspect of his stroke.

    As far as "extension through the ball" (three balls), I don't think I'll ever understand how that can happen, unless the wrist lays back more as it goes through, or some other body part stops the "circular" action of the racket head (as seen from above). I strongly suspect, though, that using the *thought* of extension must be of value.

    Kevin

     
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  20. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    I wouldn't say flexes it, as you can't swing like that and hold back the wrist
    any longer than he did in that one.
    With the hand having started across like in the vid, the centrifugal force working with the wrist loaded like that will bring the racket face out like that; unless you swing way slower,
    but then it would have never laid back so far in the first place.
    It's not that he flexes it out, but I can agree with - he gives it up- as there is no other choice here; but it is just how it is suppose to work.
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2012
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  21. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    This is a his trademark up-the-line forehand which catches the opponent by surprise. It requires immaculate timing and contact to send the ball to the sidelines from behind the baseline. The opponent is expecting the ball down the line or in the middle, instead it is angled away. It is very difficult to hit this, as the window is narrow from behind the baseline. To get enough power into the shot, he is off the ground and this is really like an aerial assault on the ball.

    Unless you are a supremely good and fit player, don't try this.
     
    #21
  22. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    It is also pretty obvious in pro matches. Once in a while, someone (like Isner) will hit a backhand winner, and the commentator will point out how he drove through the ball instead of pulling up early. Then you realize, yes, that is what I was thinking of.

    This Nadal video is pretty misleading. It shows an extraordinary stroke where a glancing sideways blow is used to direct a ball into a place that others do not dare to go to. Use of the legs is made to provide such power in the swing that even a sideways component is sufficient to be a winner. On the other hand, the ball could as easily landed out with a small change in timing.

    I would not emphasize this video for anything other than how Nadal can hit such a shot. It is not a good example to emulate or teach. Few players can generate this much RHS to make a sideways glance this powerful. They are far better of learning to hit the ball solidly.
     
    #22
  23. mntlblok

    mntlblok Professional

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    Hold back???

    Wow. I may have something *completely* backwards. . .
     
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  24. JohnYandell

    JohnYandell Hall of Fame

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    suresh,

    actually, disagreed. this is what all great drives look like from this reverse view.
     
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  25. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    That is interesting. Though I don't see many drives barely catching a corner of the strings and going off to the side. Are these kind of drives limited to Nadal and Federer who use straight-arm forehands? Can they be seen in the women's game?
     
    #25
  26. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    IMO, you are overstating the "sideways glance" aspect of this shot and I agree with JY that there is plenty of plow thru here as well. We have all been discussing this blend along the way and the balance of elements is adjusted according to the intent of the shot for the good to great players.
     
    #26
  27. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    I said there was plenty of plowthru, that is why even a sideways glance had so much power. I am still skeptical of the reliability of a shot when hit in a corner as far from the sweetzone as possible. People do say that Nadal uses every square inch of his 100, and this is perhaps what they mean.

    I finished watching Sharapova-Kvitova in Stutgart now, and I did not see a single forehand which even remotely came close to this. Most were solidly hit shots with moderate spin (could clearly notice the movement after the bounce) but nothing like this. A more spinnier Schiavone also never comes anywhere close to this.

    As a side note, the latest issue of Inside Tennis has an article about how all manufacturers are converging on the 100 as the optimal size and focusing R&D resources on those models. Not 98, not 102, but 100. Bab seems like a visionary company now.
     
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  28. Cheetah

    Cheetah Hall of Fame

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    The ball in nadal's strike here was not hit far from the center of the racquet.
    This is the contact point.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2012
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  29. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    I agree that 100 is a size with all things considered.
     
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  30. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    Good computer skill there and I agree with what you say here. Not for off the sweet spot at all.
    Looks like it is very near the high serving sweetspot.
     
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  31. JohnYandell

    JohnYandell Hall of Fame

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    Right, some of of video research indicating a tendency to hit a little higher toward the tip--especially Djok but for all we know this was the ideal spot for Rafa...certainly close enough to create a massive fh...
     
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  32. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    You guys are right. I played the video frame by frame and Cheetah got the impact right. I assumed the impact was when the ball had just left the frame, but that was wrong from this point of view. The transparency through the back killed me here.

    The ball is pretty much hit squarely near the sweetzone.

    I see no extension through contact. Frame by frame, after impact, I mentally plotted the perpendicular to the strings and compared it to the ball direction, and they show a steady divergence, almost cone-shaped. It is as if a soccer player came running towards an incoming ball, kicked it towards his partner to the left, and then kept running to his right.

    I am watching Nadal-Verdasco now, and Nadal has hit this several times already. He seems to have 3 forehands - this one, a cross court one, and a DTL one. This one seems to be his version of an inside-out forehand, but while others hit that closer to the baseline, this guy can hit it from way behind. In the CC and DTL ones, the racket path after impact seems to correlate much better with the ball path after impact. His backhand also seems to show more correlation. But I really can't tell for sure from TV - need frame by frame analysis.

    BTW, I seem to have come up above with a scientific meaning of extension: the rate of change of angle between the path of the ball and path of the perpendicular to the strings after impact, normalized to the racket head speed in some way to compare across strokes and players. In other words, how slowly/quickly the two diverge, keeping the RHS the same.
     
    #32
  33. JohnYandell

    JohnYandell Hall of Fame

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    Suresh, that'd be a pretty cool way to measure it. How flat or curved is the curve and how fast does the racket move along it.

    Again by extension I am talking about the movement of the hand and racket in the forward dimension. Obviously it's moving in 3 directions. To me extension is mainly the direction outward toward the opposite side.
     
    #33
  34. toly

    toly Hall of Fame

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    Your “scientific meaning of extension” can be easily defined by velocity (V) of the racquet point of contact (during impact) and orientation of the racquet string.

    In 2D case, for example, if racquet face is perpendicular to the ground:

    1. The Vnormal to the strings identifies the ball translational speed and direction which would be around perpendicular to the strings.

    2. The Vtangential defines “across aspect” and can affect the ball spin.
     
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  35. toly

    toly Hall of Fame

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    How flat or curved is the curve usually defined by curvature of the curve. If we know racquet point of contact trajectory we can easily calculate curvature of the trajectory.

    Unfortunately your definition of the extension is not specific enough, that’s why nobody can clearly understand it. You once in awhile should listen to your potential and real customers, otherwise “positive feedback” never works. Good luck with that.:)
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2012
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  36. mntlblok

    mntlblok Professional

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    Slide distance

    Ahh, but how far does the ball slide whilst on the strings? And, what percentage of that slide is on either side of the center of the strings? :mrgreen:

    Kevin
     
    #36
  37. Off The Wall

    Off The Wall Semi-Pro

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    Don't most of you who just hit the ball find that your contact point is in the same low/tip quadrant as Nadal's?

    The good players I've observed have a string wear pattern right there.
     
    #37
  38. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    That just could not be....all that movement on the strings. I started to mention it
    as well, but decided not to open that can of worms about how the ball is on the strings
    only 4 nano seconds or something. I've been told I can't feel that slide as well because the nerves transmit too slow, but I don't think it matters so much if you
    feel it late... you still felt it and can develop feel based on how other similar
    shots felt.
     
    #38
  39. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Yes I realize it now. You do not necessarily focus only on the movement after impact but the full picture of the motion before it too. Others (like me) focused only on the movement after impact and could not find the 4 balls in a can. It is the root of the misunderstanding here.
     
    #39
  40. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    You can always count 3-4 balls if they are before impact and you are looking for them to hit the last one, but
    that ruins the whole deal as they say that hitting any one of the line of balls is
    ok, not just the last one. I'm not even sure it is totally technically correct for the last ball, as the racket has started across very briefly before contact even.
     
    #40
  41. PED

    PED Legend

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    John, thanks for the video. Those Nadal shorts looked really bad back in 09 and haven't aged well either ;)

    Regarding his fh in the vid: doesn't the fact that he's hitting an IO forehand mean that he's not as likely to extend THROUGH the ball as he would when hitting CC or down the middle.
     
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  42. JohnYandell

    JohnYandell Hall of Fame

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    PED,

    Your welcome and yeah he could have worn something less ugly in honor of us filming him...

    As regards the finish, I think it is more dynamic than that. In general the inside forehands tend to have great extension but they can have that from anywhere depending on the incoming ball, the height, and what the players are trying to do.

    To me this is one of the breakthroughs from the filming that there is not one forehand. The forehand has many elements that can be mixed in different ways.
     
    #42
  43. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Exactly! That is what I also said. This is one of his 3 forehands. On TV, the CC and DTL forehands appear to show much more correlation between ball and strings path after impact, and extension through the ball, than his inside out. But that is only from TV so I am not sure.

    In this IO forehand, you can see that the ball is hit on the right hand side slightly towards the left (from Nadal's POV) and was actually moving even further to the left. Nadal basically helped the "reflection" of the ball towards the left by utilizing its incoming angle, and further hitting on its right hand side. His intention was NOT to direct the ball CC or DTL.

    That is why I still cannot understand JY's statement:

    suresh,

    actually, disagreed. this is what all great drives look like from this reverse view.


    which contradicts:

    To me this is one of the breakthroughs from the filming that there is not one forehand

    unless he is saying that the basic elements are all present and combined differently. That is probably it.
     
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2012
    #43
  44. JohnYandell

    JohnYandell Hall of Fame

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    suresh I may have misunderstood. Yes definitely elements can be combined differently depending on incoming ball and shot intent--high ball, low ball, short ball, angle, loop, flatter, spinnier, etc

    AND the extension element on the power drives--the most basic variation to master in my opinion--tends to look very similar...
     
    #44
  45. toly

    toly Hall of Fame

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    About Extension, “Cross Aspect” and Dead Spot

    This is one of the hardest Federer flat FH I’ve ever seen.

    [​IMG]

    During impact, the angle between racquet long axis and forearm axis (ϕ) is next to zero. That’s why there is practically no extension. Federer chest, arm and racquet construct almost straight line. So, during impact racket velocity can have only normal component to the strings. That’s why there no “across aspect”. From the power standpoint, this is the best mechanics for maximum ball translation speed.

    Very important that practically all power is coming from active/passive wrist flexion, because torso and arm around shoulder joint rotates very slowly compare to hand/wrist rotation. There is no pronation and elbow flexion. The geometry of the stroke is very simple.

    Btw, impact occurs next to the sweet spot (not dead spot), but racquet stops moving forward after contact. It looks like there is something wrong with Rod Cross dead spot theory.

    This is also great example of flat 2HBH. Again, there is no extension and any “cross aspect”. Sharapova hits through the ball. The racquet long axis and left arm form the straight line (ϕ=0°), which is parallel to baseline.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2012
    #45
  46. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    I remember that shot from yesterday's match against Azzy! This was a direct forcing of the ball and she angled it across for a winner. But I would not call this a typical backhand - she improvised when she had no time. It would be like saying a forehand is like Fed's between the legs tweener.
     
    #46
  47. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    What?
    That Bh is only a good example of trying to stay in the point and

    the Fh of Fed's is moving across so fast that in one more frame the ball will be outside
    the frame of his racket due to the crossing aspect.
     
    #47
  48. toly

    toly Hall of Fame

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    Forget about Sharapova 2HBH please.

    What do you think about Federer flat FH and extension?:):confused:
     
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  49. toly

    toly Hall of Fame

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    I absolutely don’t care about crossing aspect after impact, because the ball already gone. To me, follow through is safety issue only, don’t hit myself. :)
     
    #49
  50. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    It is great. But not sure I am at the point where I can make use of that ...
     
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