Over Shoulder or Windshield Wiper

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by Vyse, Oct 22, 2009.

  1. Vyse

    Vyse Semi-Pro

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    I have been playing tennis for 7 months and been playing quite a bit. I am wondering when the best time to convert my over the shoulder forehand to the windshield wiper as I think this would improve my game, but I am also not sure if I am really ready. Thoughts? When would the best time to do this be?
     
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  2. tricky

    tricky Hall of Fame

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    I feel when your footwork patterns are good. To check for that, see how your swing goes when you artificially limit or almost eliminate your takeback. You should still be able to easily finish over the shoulder. If you struggle, then look at the feet again.
     
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  3. 35ft6

    35ft6 Legend

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    You don't HAVE to convert to windshield wiper. Look at Davydenko, classic over the shoulder follow through and he gets plenty of spin and pace. Keep developing. Don't keep taking steps backwards by forcibly implementing radical new strokes elements whenever you're just starting to feel comfortable with something.
     
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  4. tricky

    tricky Hall of Fame

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    All the same, he's 7 months into playing, and he may want to give it a shot. But, yeah, nothing wrong with an over-the-shoulder finish. Agassi had a nice career with it. ;)
     
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  5. xFullCourtTenniSx

    xFullCourtTenniSx Hall of Fame

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    Do it whenever it comes naturally. If it doesn't, don't worry about it.

    My friend doesn't use a windshield wiper forehand, but his forehand when struck well probably goes through the court faster than mine. Then again, he mainly hits flat and I only hit that flat when I go for a dip drive... Still, I think his fastest shots beats mine.

    I never really focused on learning the windshield wiper forehand. I just experimented with forehand grips and used extreme wrist action and a very low to high motion. It started to come to me naturally, but I still performed better with an over the shoulder finish, so I stuck with that until it came back naturally again but performed better.

    Let your strokes mature into themselves following nothing but the fundamentals.
     
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  6. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    WW is somewhat of a new and informal term related to the Fh, so there is room for many opinions on this, but to me the WW is about how the ball is struck more than where a follow thru ends. I feel the WW is about meeting the ball with an up and across motion much like that of a car WW, but you can strike the ball in this fashion and still finish over the shoulder (or at least up by the shoulder), and probably should from a baseline rally. The key aspect of a WW is how you can get major spin, with major power, and much of this comes from accel when the stroke changes directions, across the body prior to contact. It's a way of blending these two aspects with great control.

    I see many players who do a WW type finish down lower on the opp arm, but after striking the ball in a very conventional manner, pushing out thru the ball, from a closed or neutral stance. Not too sure what this accomplishes other than a look. This won't enhance spin, power, or control IMO. I also think this is where the WW gets the rep for being just a spinny, loopy, rolling shot vs the power spin shot it really is.
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2009
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  7. Nellie

    Nellie Hall of Fame

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    Actually, this is good advice. Instead of thinking of the finish, think about your stance (open versus neutral), your grip, the height of the ball, your swing path (i.e., how much spin/drive you want for the ball) and the finish happens naturally.

    In general, you will need both, depending on your stance. If you are moving forward/back, it is better to close the stance and finish over the shoulder. If you are in a neutral rally and you want to try a more open stance, you will tend to finish around the waist - just make sure that you are swinging up and over the ball and then back down to finish low. Too many rec. players hit the ball at the apex of the swing, meaning you do get spin or pace, with the ball going weakly short or into the net.
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2009
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  8. snr

    snr Rookie

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    Definitely agree with you there on not forcibly implementing anything.

    Just wanted to add in though that, a "WW" (as someone said) is just a new term.

    Davydenko, though finishing at shoulder for many shots, is still technically hitting a "WW", since his swing path is still very horizontal.

    Look at any videos of him and while he finishes as if he was hitting a classical, the racket head is still very similar to all the other forehands on tour as it goes through the ball.
     
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  9. 35ft6

    35ft6 Legend

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    ^ Most of the guys who have extreme windshield wiper forehands grew up on clay. That kind of technique in large part develops naturally as a result of adjusting to playing conditions. In its extreme form, it's not something I usually see from US players who grew up on hard court. Off the top of my head, Ginepri and Roddick being notable exceptions. But guys who grew up on faster courts don't develop it as much.

    It's something I've recently tried to use more often. I've done it instinctively at times, but I want to use it more. It's very useful for certain situations. Amazing in certain situations actually. But I don't think it's essential even at the pro level, let alone in the amateurs.
     
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  10. Wes_Loves_Dunlop

    Wes_Loves_Dunlop Professional

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    I used to use the ww forehand, but my mechanics werent right so the balls were always landing short.
    i changed to a trad forehand and my shots were way smoother and surprising i had more control over how much spin to put on and maxed out spin was much more than ww forehand.
    i only use ww if i need an extreme angle
     
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  11. Vyse

    Vyse Semi-Pro

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    When I play many of the people at college (I'm a freshman) they hit hard and it is difficult to always get into the neutral stance as I was initially taught so more and more I am using the open stance. Also, some of the players I am against hit excessive top spin and I have trouble hitting the ball deep on the high balls. It seems like the WW would be alot easier to deal with these kinds of rallies and high balls. And wouldn't it be nice to make the opponent be the one hitting high, heavy balls instead of me. I probably expect too much of myself
     
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  12. Vyse

    Vyse Semi-Pro

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    at 7 months*
     
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  13. Wes_Loves_Dunlop

    Wes_Loves_Dunlop Professional

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    you dont really need a neutral stance to hit a traditional follow through forehand.
    you can use a mix between open and neutral and still hit is extremely well.
    also, as long as you step into your shot, you should have no problems. which is one problem about using the ww forehand. you dont step into your shot as much
     
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  14. Blake0

    Blake0 Hall of Fame

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    Uhmm, if you want to try it, read about it and watch videos at FYB, great place to learn WW. But, i'd recommend to wait till you can hit cleanly and consistently, and make sure your form isn't off technically. If it's all good, make a switch whenever you feel like trying it, with info on it ofcourse, maybe a coach too. Just don't get into the habit a lot of people get with the wrist flicking thing.
     
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  15. Jonny S&V

    Jonny S&V Hall of Fame

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    Hey, I see you're from northern MO. Where are you located at? Maybe we could hit sometime. :wink:
     
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  16. xFullCourtTenniSx

    xFullCourtTenniSx Hall of Fame

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    At 7 months, being able to rally with a legitimate college player is nothing short of a miracle, so just be happy with the fact that they are willing to hit with you despite it really being a horrible waste of their time. :)

    And regardless of what ball you hit, your opponent will STILL give you high, heavy balls. Not only that, they're used to seeing those kinds of balls... So you really have no positives in this situation.
     
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  17. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

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    What FH grip are you using?

    If you are using an Eastern grip for your FH strokes, the OTS finish is fine. You can get a fair amount of topspin by letting the racquet head drop below hour hand prior to the forward swing and then brushing up with a low-to-high swing path and finishing OTS.

    If you are using a SW (or full W) grip, you would probably be more inclined to develop a WW finish. Agassi, who used a SW grip (I believe), finished OTS. However, despite using a SW grip, Andre hit fairly flat on his FH. Federer, who uses an extreme Eastern (not quite SW), uses both types of finishes. Of late, it seems that he favors the WW finish and reverse finishes more than he did in the past.
     
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  18. xFullCourtTenniSx

    xFullCourtTenniSx Hall of Fame

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    Really?! o_O As of late I've noticed him doing the opposite. I've never seen him finish over the shoulder in a match prior to 2008 or 2007. Even now it's very rare for him to do so. You mostly see it on running forehands and a few dip drives.
     
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  19. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

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    Perhaps you didn't go far enough back. I may be wrong about this, but I believe that Roger was using more OTS finishes as a junior player and during his early years as a pro (late 90s). What do you mean by, "As of late I've noticed him doing the opposite"? Are you saying that he is using somewhat more OTS finishes now than he did 2 years ago? This might very well be the case, not sure.

    In any case, Roger is something of any anomaly. For players using an Eastern FH grip, Roger uses much more WW finishes than other players.
     
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  20. defrule

    defrule Professional

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    I say, let your stroke dictate the follow through.

    I for example with an eastern forehand, my follow through can range anywhere between over the shoulder or WW down to near my hip or even over the hand like Nadal, but these happen because of how I hit the ball and I don't consciously force follow throughs.
     
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  21. split-step

    split-step Professional

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    I think the bigger issue here is you have been playing for 7 months and think where your forehand stroke finishes is what will improve your game.

    At 7 months you are not even close to being ready to exploit the benefits of increased racquet head spead of a windsheild wiper motion. (Also the windsheild wiper motion can end with an over-the-shoulder finish as well.)
     
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  22. Vyse

    Vyse Semi-Pro

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    I realize the forehand follow through is not my most pressing concern at this point, but I am just curious as what people think. My whole game especially footwork is probably the most important thing to improve but still, eventually I think the WW could help my game or maybe it wil just come naturally or not at all. I use semi-western and a mix of neutral and open stance so I would think it would help at some point from what i hear I've heard about it.
     
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  23. user92626

    user92626 Legend

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    I honestly haven't seen any pro using a clear WW as staple FH. Almost all finish around / over shoulder.
     
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  24. Vyse

    Vyse Semi-Pro

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    Depends on situation where they finish probably but isnt it how they are hitting it that really makes the difference. Up instead of through?
     
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  25. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    Check a few of these posts that explain that the WW shot can finish in different places. Seems many are concerned with the finish point more than how contact is executed. You can hit a conventional FH and give it a WW finish. Seems that is what many advocate, as they talk of WW finished shots.
     
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  26. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    Up and ACROSS instead of up and out.
     
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  27. ubermeyer

    ubermeyer Hall of Fame

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    It actually is probably BECAUSE he doesn't use a WW that his fastest forehand is faster than yours. It is easier to get pace when hitting more flat.
     
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  28. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    I don't agree. Del Potro was hitting up and across the ball at the US open and I bet Gonzo's Fh record was Modern as well.
     
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  29. user92626

    user92626 Legend

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    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Vyse
    Depends on situation where they finish probably but isnt it how they are hitting it that really makes the difference. Up instead of through?

    5263: Up and ACROSS instead of up and out.

    What do you mean by "up and out" ?

    I thought it's only possible with up and across the body as the arm wraps around the front. Before, I basically hit almost all cross which was very easy for placement & control at medium speed but gave very little spin. Now I do more "up and wipey across". :)

    btw, 5263, i've been meaning to thank you for giving me the tip for hitting with pace. The one about starting slow then accelerate heavily thru contact. It's working very well for me. In fact I kinda overdo it sometimes and consistency goes down. lol
     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2009
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  30. ubermeyer

    ubermeyer Hall of Fame

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    I said EASIER. At amateur levels, it is probably much easier to learn to hit hard when hitting relatively flat as opposed to hitting lots of spin. At pro levels, obviously this is not the case
     
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  31. 35ft6

    35ft6 Legend

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    Anyway, if you really want to develop a windshield wiper forehand, I think the best way is by having people feed balls to you while you stand on the service line. I use a windshield wiper forehand the most during mini tennis. It's the only way you can take a fast full swing and keep it short enough in the service box that your partner can hit it back. If they feed you balls around waist level and below, the only way you can take a full fast swing and keep it within the service box across the net is by windshield wiping. Maybe to make it even easier choke up on the racket more than usual until you get the motion down.
     
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  32. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    I still would not agree, but it would be hard to prove without a very large study.
     
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  33. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    You are most welcome, glad it helped.

    Up and out to the target is "common" conventional instruction for TS Fh early instruction, such as Quick Start. Yes it is harder to execute due to how the body works, but is augmented often by a step towards the target to extend the swing down the target line.

    Up and Across gives more control over depth, which is why it is the most common way for very good players to play and why it is easier for a beginner as well.
     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2009
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  34. xFullCourtTenniSx

    xFullCourtTenniSx Hall of Fame

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    From 2002 to early 2003, Federer's forehand changed slightly by having a slightly less inverted follow through (basically the EXTREME windshield wiper). From 2003 to 2004, it changed again in such a matter. From 2004 to 2005/2006 he adds more spin to the shot and uses a more noticable windshield wiper forehand (face isn't as closed as 2002-2004). 2005/2006 to 2007/2008/2009, he seems to have further increased the spin and also more of his dip drives from around or behind the baseline finish over the shoulder as opposed to wrapped around the body. Also, since 2006 and on, he seems to hit more running forehands with an over the shoulder finish as well.

    As a junior (especially young junior), I am very sure that he used an over the shoulder follow through on all of his forehands. Why? Cause he has an eastern forehand grip, it's only natural to do so. Though later on, in his teenage years, he progressed to a inverted follow through (rather extreme windshield wiper motion) which later would become more extreme around 2002. Then again, most of the clips I see of him in 2002 are on clay. That might've contributed to his success on clay since he might've changed his form slightly for that surface to generate more spin.

    And I see a lot of people with eastern forehands hit windshield wiper forehands. Not extremely, but they do mild ones like Federer.

    I hit through the ball very well and even though I use a windshield wiper forehand, it's very mild unless I go for a very high heavy topspin shot.

    He says that he gets a lot of the pace of most of his shots from me. I'm not sure if that's true or not, but a lot of people do that. The reason why I'm not sure is because I'm doing the exact same thing to him but I can't generate as much pop as he does. We'll whack balls as hard as we can to each other and suddenly he'll pop an insanely big one onto the line. It's probably just cause I put more spin on a majority of my shots than he does.

    No... Even at the pro level, people who hit flat will put a lot more MPH on the ball than those who are hitting it with spin. When Nadal and Monfils flatten out their forehands, they top 110 mph! But when Nadal uses spin, his shots are in the 50s! And I'm pretty sure Monfils isn't too far off of those numbers either.

    It doesn't matter what you learned. The fact is that hitting flat ALWAYS equates to more pace. Whether you can keep the ball in or not is a totally different story.
     
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  35. ubermeyer

    ubermeyer Hall of Fame

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    Can't tell if you're agreeing or disagreeing with me. Anyway, it is easier to hit flat when finishing OTS, and harder the more "WW" your swing is.
     
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  36. Falloutjr

    Falloutjr Banned

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    Exactly. My swing is very WW and very often I find myself finishing in front of my shoulder or up over my head, depending on how much spin I want. Honestly, as long as your point of contact is efficient, where you finish isn't too important, although coaches make note of finishing at the same point on every swing for consistency.
     
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  37. ubermeyer

    ubermeyer Hall of Fame

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    Ummm... when you hit UP - vertically - on the ball it's called a WW
     
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  38. xFullCourtTenniSx

    xFullCourtTenniSx Hall of Fame

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    I'm disagreeing with your ideas about pros and their shots. It's a fact that people who hit flatter will always hit harder, regardless of what level you play at. They just sacrifice some consistency in order to do it. (Or perhaps I should say they play with increased risks during a rally)

    Of course it's easier to hit flat with an over the shoulder follow through with an old school swing than using a windshield wiper motion. The windshield wiper motion was developed to put heavy spin on the ball while the classic swing was developed to hit through the ball so you could get power on a wood racket without risking contact with the frame. Enough with the obvious. :?
     
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  39. crystal_clear

    crystal_clear Professional

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    Great advice~ I have the same problem sometimes.
     
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  40. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    I don't want to be disagreeable here, but can we look at this a little closer to see if we can agree in a reasonable manner on a couple of things about the WW. These terms can be so tough due to double meanings at times, such as hitting flat. Flat can mean flat trajectory or hitting with little spin.

    Usually this seems to go together, but the WW shot really changed that. Not everyone has developed this, but with the true WW, you can hit incredible spin, WITH power, on a flat trajectory shot. The WW is a very special shot as it allows you to combine these two aspects to an amazing extent, with exceptional control. Granted, you lose some spin when hitting flatter trajectory with a WW, but not near the trade off you get when hitting conventional. I believe with a proper WW shot, hit on a flatter trajectory, you can actually get more mph on a shot into the court, than on a traditional step in Fh.

    Seems the misconception that the WW Fh is just a follow thru and/or is mostly about a big brush on the ball, seems to have led to many players being limited hitting only spinny, loopy WW Fhs. IMO this is missing the real purpose of this tremendous shot.
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2009
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  41. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    He means that Davy has a very horizontal aspect to his ww shot. IMO a proper WW has the horizontal aspect and vertical aspect- into contact, not just as a modified follow thru.

    Not only is Davy hitting a WW, it is maybe the best example on tour. He hits and awesome WW Fh, and shows often how it can be flattened out (on trajectory) for excellent power, WITH excellent spin.
     
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  42. Blake0

    Blake0 Hall of Fame

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    Uhm..to hit flatter, you hit with less spin..less than heavy topspin atleast. Pro's who hit with flatter trajectories like federer, still hit with topspin and a lot of it..but not as much as pro's who hit heavy topspin like nadal. People who hit with flatter trajectories play a more riskier type of tennis, but they get an advantage of hitting faster and penetrating strokes. Heavy topspin hitters are the opposite. Most pro's tend to hit flatter trajectory strokes, because it's harder for the opponent to kill.

    I'd say to watch french open 2009, nadal vs soderling. That's like watching the 2 extremes of tennis in a match. Nadal, i consider one of the best heavy topspin hitters, and soderling a good flatter hitter.

    But yeah, im not saying flat trajectory players don't hit with topspin, because they do, everyone does..it gives them more consistency..but they sacrifice that consistency by hitting through the ball more then brushing up, while heavy topspin hitters do the opposite by brushing up more and gaining consistency but sacrificing penetrating strokes.
     
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  43. tribunal4555

    tribunal4555 Semi-Pro

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    In my humble opinion, especially at the amateur level, the distinctions between a Windshield Wiper and conventional forehand are very little. The main difference between a Windshield wiper and a conventional shot (not the finish) is that in a windshield wiper, you can see through your strings during the shot, while a conventional allows you to see only the edge of your racquet. Personally, I use both. I use a conventional forehand for my normal rally ball and a Windshield Wiper as a changeup/defensive shot.
     
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  44. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    What is your point? You repeated everything I said with more detail, but seemed to miss the point that proper WW Fh meshes the 2 worlds of spin and power, while giving a choice of flatter or curved trajectories. Yes, you can get more spin when using a more curved version the WW, but you can still get excellent TS on flatter trajectories with the WW as well. If you are not able to hit this shot yet, it is worth learning.
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2009
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  45. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    Robin has a great flat trajectory, and is a super example of hitting flatter with the WW Fh.
     
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  46. Blake0

    Blake0 Hall of Fame

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    Haha..stupid me..i misinterpreted that..i thought u were disagreeing with him on the part about flatter and loopier trajectories..i wonder how now..:oops:
     
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  47. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    We got it now; no prob, but thanks.
     
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  48. Blake0

    Blake0 Hall of Fame

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    I have a problem with my WW...i'm hitting flat with little to no spin at all...anyone know why this happens in general?

    I tried a more vertical swing path..and only got a bit of spin..so whenever i hit the ball it went on the baseline..or close to it..which you guys might consider as good depth..but..it causes me a lot of inconsistency...
     
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  49. Power Player

    Power Player Talk Tennis Guru

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    The WW is a natural finish that happens once everything else clicks in. I never really practiced it too much, but I worked more on my angle of how I attack the ball. That will naturally lead you to the WW finish.
     
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  50. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    BlakeO, just switch your grip more towards Western, and now your shot go limp into the net, needing a much bigger swing, a much faster swing, a higher arcing trajectory, and with all the aforementioned, more topspin.
    Or you can use your current Eastern grips and WW the finish, causing the ball to go low and short, so you add much more swing and you're cured..:):)
     
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