New question about federer's racket??

Discussion in 'Pros' Racquets and Gear' started by fedhead83829, Nov 28, 2011.

  1. fedhead83829

    fedhead83829 New User

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    I have watched countless videos of fed playing and practicing, because mainly i am obsessed, and ive recently noticed since he has been using the "BLX paint job" racket (whether it is or it isnt the real blx doesnt really matter to me), I have NEVER seen him hit a shot where the black side wasnt on top and the red wasnt on the bottom.. even after spinning the racket, during a point, etc.. always goes back to black on top and red on bottom.. So, I have been going crazy trying to find the reasoning behind this.. I have search this site and others to try and find a reason for this because I really am a beginner when it comes to custom equipment, equipment maintenance and the "inside" world of pro tennis.. My thought so far; I realize that there must be a custom grip or some kind of rib to help him find it but thats not exactly my question.. My question is more why? My ideas on this has run from maybe a different kind of stringing job my help on one side or another since he will always hit his forehands and serves on the same side and backhands on the opposite.. Or, maybe his has it weighted one side and not the other? like at 3 oclock and NOT 9 oclock so it would change the weighting if he were to hit with the opposite side (that 3oclock/9oclock is for an example to explain because i really dont know and i am extremely curious). I am growing more and more curious by every post I read about the different methods and tricks people/pros use to help improve their tennis game. Any comments or an answer would greatly help my sanity. Thanks!
     
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  2. anhuynh16

    anhuynh16 Hall of Fame

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    Because the black side looks alot better.
     
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  3. corners

    corners Legend

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    I hope I understand your question. But almost all good players grip the handle so that one side is the "forehand" side and the other the "backhand" side. It has to do with the shape of the buttcap, the way the grip is wrapped, and how it fits into the hand. So Federer always hits his forehand with the same side of the buttcap in his palm and so always hits his forehand with the same side of the racquet face. He hits his backhand with the other side.

    Even Justine Henin, who had semi-western grips on both forehand and backhand (pretty much the same grip for both, try it) switched side from forehand to backhand, probably for the same reason: the shape of the buttcap.
     
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  4. fedhead83829

    fedhead83829 New User

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    ok. I had seen fish when playing the other day had the black up but later in the match had the red up so i thought there was maybe something different w feds.. but then i wasnt sure because federer seems to hit with a lot of different grips from all sides so was wondering if there was anything too extreme going on with the grip
     
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  5. wings56

    wings56 Professional

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    many of those guys have custom handles. made specifically to the contours of the players hand. and generally it feels better gripping that handle a certain way. i find myself doing the same and i dont even have a custom handle.
     
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  6. Darko

    Darko Rookie

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    I guess its just OCD, but I like the Head Logo at the bottom of the handle to point right. I spin my racquet as well, and I always make sure it lands the same way.
     
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  7. henryshli

    henryshli Semi-Pro

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    Sorry it must have just been luck. I'm sure ill be able to find a picture of him hitting with red up.
     
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  8. DNShade

    DNShade Professional

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    No - it's not luck. Most high level players just develop a feel for the handle and the way they like to hold the stick facing the same direction every time. Some have custom handles - but most don't really have anything other than a custom size - some will have molded handle to favor one side - but most are just regular handles in custom sizes.

    It's probably superstition as well - but the handle, buttcap and the way the grip is wrapped does feel different holding it one way or the other. And once you have been doing it a while you can spin the racket in between shots and still catch it in the same spot every time. I do this all the time. Just becomes habit.

    This is what Fed is doing - he just likes to hold his stick they same way on the forehand every time - ditto on the backhand. Been doing if forever - just becomes more apparent with a PJ that's not symmetrical like the BLX. In this case with the black side up. P1 makes sure his grips are wrapped the same way on each one so they feel exactly the same and that the same side is "up".

    Some players don't care - Fish being one of them if I'm not mistaken - but I'd say most tend to hold the racket the same way all the time.
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2011
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  9. kimbahpnam

    kimbahpnam Hall of Fame

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    who knows on which bevel fed starts his leather and overgrip?
     
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  10. SirGounder

    SirGounder Hall of Fame

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    This is very true, though I believe it applies to recreational players as well. Due to the way I wrap my grip, I can tell which side of the racquet I am hitting with. I'm definitely not as consistent as Fed or other pros, and don't hit with the same side on a forehand. I just notice a difference in the feel of the grip.
     
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  11. robbo1970

    robbo1970 Hall of Fame

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    I agree with the answers here.

    I would certainly guess its to do with the way it is gripped and feels in the palm of his hand, which would then open the question as to why it is gripped that way with all racquets with the black edging facing upwards?

    Personally, I put matt black tape around the edge of my racquet head, to protect from scratches but also so that when I catch sight of my racquet out the corner of my eye I dont get any glare from it, so it could be for similar optical reasons. Looking down at matt black is calmer than looking at red.

    I do have a slight OCD as well though, in that I always have the Prince writing facing up on the throat of my racquet and the knot on my rubber band dampener on my backhand.
     
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  12. fedhead83829

    fedhead83829 New User

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    Thanks for the feedback everybody! I agree that the grip is customized a certain way that causes him to hit with the same side.. my next question would be, if it is beneficial in any other way besides the grip(or the way he holds the racket)? For example, like weighting it differently on the top or bottom(if racket was held out like at impact)? I am a golf professional and know that the effects of lead tape or weight at certain points on the club head, shaft, etc. can alter your ball flight quite a bit.. I read a post on lead taping and it was very informative but it talked about putting it on both sides.. I am wondering what the result would be and if Federer just likes his handle or if there is another reason? Thanks!
     
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  13. benjamins_80

    benjamins_80 New User

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    I like to think that Federer has superstitions like I do. I play with Tecnifibre and always have the samurai facing my opponent.
     
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  14. henryshli

    henryshli Semi-Pro

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    At least now we know why he shanks so many balls.
     
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  15. rfedererfan

    rfedererfan New User

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    xaxaxa because he doesn't have enough time to put it on the right side ?? LOL :D
     
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  16. mr_eko

    mr_eko Professional

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    I have a retail blx 95 team and you can tell I only hit shots with one side of the grip because at the top of the head of one side of the racquet where I do slices and the racquet hits the ground sometimes, that side of the racquet is scruffed up, but the other side is like brand new. It's funny.

    For me, I always grip the racquet on the same side.
     
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  17. VGP

    VGP Legend

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    Not a new question. Federer's been doing it that way as long as I can remember.

    It's just more noticable now with the asymmetric BLX cosmetics.

    If you go back through his pics, 99.99% of the time the "backward, curved side down" Wilson stencil on his strings face-on on the forehand side.

    It's industry standard to stencil the frame to match the direction of the logo on the buttcap.

    [​IMG]

    I'd bet he even had P1 install his buttcaps upside down so that his signature was "up" on his k90 frames.

    [​IMG]
     
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  18. Alzer

    Alzer Rookie

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    before I knew any pro's did this, I've always favoured a side... in tennis, squash, badminton etc... Just do, I decide which side I want to have 'up' and then wrap my grip accordingly. I do notice other players do it, and notice the ones that dont - and that weirds me out :)
     
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  19. Laver777

    Laver777 Rookie

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    i thought all players did this? the racquet grip over time molds to the shape of how you grip the racquet... i allways hold it the same way because if i hold it the other way it feels wierd because the handle has molded, changed shape to fit how i hold the racquet....
     
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  20. roundiesee

    roundiesee Hall of Fame

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    Great pics, especially of Federer's forehand. It's odd because I held my k90 the same way as that picture, and Federer's signature was facing up. The same with the KPS 88. Pete's signature was also facing up.
     
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  21. slickerthansleek

    slickerthansleek Rookie

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    I'm glad to see this is a common thing. I do this too, I make sure the logo on my dampener is facing the ball when I hit my forehand, it's more comfortable to hold the racket that way... I thought I was just weird lol
     
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  22. ShooterMcMarco

    ShooterMcMarco Hall of Fame

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    This. Plus I wrap overgrips the same way every time so it's super easy for me to tell if I'm hitting with the same face over and over again. Also, the wear and tear on the upper hoop of my frame is asymmetrical.
     
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  23. ben123

    ben123 Professional

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    in another thread someone stated federer is probably using lead on only one side of the racquet (9 or 3).
     
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  24. Mike.Killion

    Mike.Killion New User

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    FEDHEAD -

    In the same forum, look in the thread that has this title: "Pic of Fed with new stick and new kicks". I posted several ideas that Federer (in my opinion) does indeed have his rackets weighted differently. In my opinion, I think the black side of his frame is much (8-12g) heavier than the red side of his frame (from the previous BLX paintjob years). There's alot of physics behind my idea that support. I won't bore with the details, you can read all of the thoughts yourself......as well as add 6-8g of leadtape to one side of the frame and give it a try yourself. Remember, heavier side up when hitting. - Mike.Killion
     
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  25. champy511

    champy511 Rookie

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    Since Mike.Killion suggested about the possibility of Fed may put some weight onone side of the frame, I've been paying attention on Fed's matches. It's even clearer this year with the new pj, that he always have one side up, 100%. Even in practice. it baffled me, he had to have something behind that more than just superstition.Since I am playing with a Donnay racket, I have put an extra 6 gr on one side of my racket, between 1-3 o'clock. i kept that part up n I think I am seeing an extra kick on my topspin.
    What have you learn from being a golf pro? I would like to know more. Also, if you happenned to see the on court interview that Courier had with Fed, right after he beat Dr. Ivo, Fed was being very vague about his racket, but he did say something about doing something to the inside of his racket. I have not been able to find that interview online, so if anybody have it, please post it. Thx. Would love to hear more about this matter, all the while, I will keep the weight on my racket.
     
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  26. SFrazeur

    SFrazeur Legend

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    Always holding one side of the grip isn't a superstition. It's about consistency. Even if a handle was perfectly symmetrical a wrapped base grip and overgrip is going to give a different feel to either side. Always holding one side just makes sense.

    -SF
     
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  27. fedhead83829

    fedhead83829 New User

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    I also tried it.. i put 2 two inch strips of lead tape on the "top" side (if the racket is at impact position of the forehand/backhand) and did see and feel a difference. It definitely seemed to come off the racket a little lower and did seem to have more action.. it almost seemed that i needed to "lift" the ball over the net. I havent played very much with it and am going to keep testing it but there does seem to be something to this theory.

    And yes I am a golf teaching pro and known the different effects for weight at certain points and kick points, etc. To be more specific, What would you want to know? The effect on putting more weight higher on the club face would lower ball flight and so that make sense.. but anything else i would be glad to try and answer...
     
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  28. RJYU

    RJYU Rookie

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    Some of you are over thinking this stuff. I can tell you that Roger does not weight one side of the frame differently than the other. The reason he plays with the racquet in his hand the same way is purely due to the way the grip is wrapped. The overlap at the start of the grip causes one side of the racquet to have a slightly larger bump on one side of the buttcap. He orients the racquet in his hand because of the feel of that bump in his palm.
     
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  29. West Coast Ace

    West Coast Ace G.O.A.T.

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    I agree with you that it's the grip. But want to know how you know. Others come off as being definitive, then go back to stating they are their 'ideas'.
     
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  30. PeterFig

    PeterFig Professional

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    Two pages of speculation and discussion on physics shot down by RJYU saying it's just where the overlap bump when grip is wrapped ends up :) classic. Ron you just broke the hearts and hopes of many who thought they found the secret to Roger's game.
     
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  31. PeterFig

    PeterFig Professional

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    He customizes / strings Roger's racquets :)
     
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  32. DNShade

    DNShade Professional

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    THANK YOU - maybe people will actually believe that now.

    Sometimes I wonder if people out here even play tennis by some of the posts I see out here. As a player you just get used to holding a grip one way because it feel "right" to you hand - and then you just always play that way. And I spin the stick all the time and catch it on the same side without looking - easy. Just becomes habit - nothing more than that.
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2012
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  33. Bobby Jr

    Bobby Jr Legend

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    He didn't say anything of significance other than they try are open to trying different stuff including weight, strings, materials etc. - i.e. basically his way of saying he remains 'modern' but without actually saying anything specific.
     
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  34. fedhead83829

    fedhead83829 New User

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    hey guys.. i am simply curious.. not trying to figure out the "secret" to federers game, that is not a secret, he more talented/works harder than others!!! not the question.. just have a similar factors, similar forehand grip and a 1hand backhand so i watch him and try to improve.. i noticed the racket thing and was just curious.. i wouldnt put lead tape in a certain spot of my clubs or hit a draw/fade bias driver because a tv pro was doing it.. if i hook the golf ball i would not do things to my equipment that a slicer would.. in the same way i wouldnt try to match my equipment to nadals cuz i dont have any similar factors(by the way, not saying i am like federer in any way) and that would not helping me play better, and THAT is root of this curiosity, simply to improve.. and if there is a trick(lead tape, grip, strings,etc) that a player that has similar grip/style its atleast worth a try and to try and better understand the reasoning behind the method..
     
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  35. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    Always a first time for everything. This is a photo taken by me at the Sony Miami 2009 practice.

    Enjoy:

    [​IMG]
     
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  36. DNShade

    DNShade Professional

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    Nice. But we've also see him hit two handed backhands in practice as well...lol.
     
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  37. fedhead83829

    fedhead83829 New User

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    ? thats the k factor version? whats the 1st time?

     
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  38. 8nfinity

    8nfinity New User

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    By the 1st time, drak means that he caught Fed not positioning the racket in the up direction. It's harder to tell on the K Factor 90 since its symmetrical, but you can tell by his "W" stencil - the W ends are facing down, indicating that he didn't position it the way he does 99.9999% of the time.

    Amazing find Drak! :)
     
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  39. champy511

    champy511 Rookie

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    Thanks for replying, I was just curious with the scientific aspect of it. I found out that as I let the momentum pulls the racket, the mass or the heavier side created an extra pull on its way up. But I wasn't sure if that was the main reason. some of the players I hit with made comment about how much spin was produced, even though I have not told them anything.
    Btw, to those of you that wondered if I even play tennis, I am a teaching pro,and I have been in the top 50 ITF junior in the 90's, n have played in the tour as well as Division 1 college, so no offense taken but please watch when you decide to pass judgement, thanks.
    And what has gotten my curiosity is that I haven't found a single shot by Fed this year (with the new pj), that he hit with the white side on top. I'll be fine if it turns out it is nothing, but as I tried it myself, I was quite surprised by the result.
    So, fedhead, from what you're saying then, when you put more weight on top of the club head it created a straighter hit and lower the ball flight, will the opposite happens if you put extra weight at the bottom?
     
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  40. DNShade

    DNShade Professional

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    Indeed - although it could be that the stencil was put on the "wrong" way and that's why he was using that string job in practice...but more than likely just hitting around and got caught in wrong grip etc.
     
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  41. PeterFig

    PeterFig Professional

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    I guess there are two parts to all this:

    1. What's the reason for Federer having the racquet always in one orientation? This has now been put to rest by RJYU - Federer has his grips/overgrips done the exact same way on each racquet so it's the wrapping/bump that determines how he holds the frame - and not any weight.
    2. Does putting in some weight at only 3 or 9 positions help in any way? This is actually a very interesting idea. I also wonder if it would be a little 'mental hint' to drop the racquet head before contact to generate more topspin. I know I sometimes hit too straight through the ball, don't drop the head enough to brush up on the ball ... i wonder if putting some weight on the 'bottom' side would help in that - would you actually feel the weight and remember to drop the head down? Anyways - interesting discussion irregardless of it not being something Federer does.
     
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  42. champy511

    champy511 Rookie

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    As I spent more than 30 mins hitting with the heavier side up,I could tell when the heavier side, accidentally (as I forgot to stop my habit of spinning my racket), was at the bottom. I felt a bit of a lag when the weight is at the bottom. This just amplified my curiosity that Fed had not a single time, this year, accidentally hit with the white side up.
     
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  43. fedhead83829

    fedhead83829 New User

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    technically, yes.. when the weight is placed lower on the golf club the ball tends to go higher, the mass has the leverage and increases the vertical launch angle.. the opposite happens on the "sides" tho, weight on the toe(part of the club face farthest from the shaft) of the club will promote the toe not to close down causing a fade/slice and also weight on the heel(part of the face closest to the shaft) will cause the toe to close down faster causing a draw/hook.. this is in alot of equipment now with the different weights you can put in drivers and different clubs.. this is why im surprised at the all of the negative feedback and this kind of thing is not more common in tennis..
     
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  44. fedhead83829

    fedhead83829 New User

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    good question.. but my thought is the opposite.. i also hit more flat and want to brinng the ball down in the court more.. so, i THINK that weight on the bottom will NOT allow the racket face to come over the top of the ball to create more topspin and will keep the racket face straight up/open that will make the ball fly..
     
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  45. champy511

    champy511 Rookie

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    Thank you. I will test this some more. I think the negative feedback came, because they r so used seeing many people tryi g to copy how the pros look without wanting to know the reason why, and they probably thought that we are one of those who just want to copy the look and hoping for the same result. Well, whatever, I found this very interesting, especially knowing that it has been done in golf. The difference would be that there is the diagonally upward swing in tennis that creates the topspin action.
     
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  46. fedhead83829

    fedhead83829 New User

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    agreed.. and i enjoy the discussion.. but it seems to me, that its a combination of the upward swing and the position of the racket face at impact(or what the racket does at impact) would dictate how much or what kind of spin.. example: just because i swing to the left does not mean the ball will go left, the club face would need to be pointed in that direction for it to fly there. if my face was open(or pointed to the right) with the same swing path going to the left then the club would generate a left to right spin on the ball causing the ball to slice.. and so if the added weight on the top would keep the racket face tilted down longer at impact, it would seem to "cover" the ball longer and that would mean it would reduce the vertical flight of the ball and create more topspin, correct?

    [​IMG]
     
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  47. champy511

    champy511 Rookie

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    I think it is supposed to generate the topspin, at this point I am thinking that since I generate all my powers by letting the momentum built through my loop backswing, I feel like as I guide the racket forward and up, the mass or the weight on top of the racket will creates an extra pull, which build velocity. But I am not the right person to say this, it seems that way in my mind. So, as a result, I think that creates more lift that produces some more topspin. I also realized today that my shots seem to be a bit deeper than when I used normal weight, so maybe the weight at the top caused the racket face to open a bit more than normal, maybe?? I don't know, but I am enjoying the results so far. Hope you have a good experience too. Btw, I looked through hundreds of Fed's pictures this year n not a single one is he hitting with the white side up (new pj).
     
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  48. Baris

    Baris New User

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    I have tried to put some lead tape at 9 oclock but I could still not find out which side is up while turning the racket as in like return of serve position. Is it the overgrip gripping style that might create some bump at one side or special buttcap lets him to determine which side is up or not?
     
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  49. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    I understand that Jimmy Connors used to put lead tape on only one side of his T-2000s.
     
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