Players with clean, emulatable, and/or simple strokes

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by GoaLaSSo, Sep 3, 2013.

  1. GoaLaSSo

    GoaLaSSo Semi-Pro

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    I think I have an idea of a few players, but who would you guys tell players to emulate if they were just starting?

    I'm talking strokes that are fairly simple and would work for normal humans or maybe someone with a bit above average athletic ability.
     
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  2. RoddickAce

    RoddickAce Hall of Fame

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    Berdych, Safin, Agassi
     
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  3. Roger Wawrinka

    Roger Wawrinka Professional

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    You really shouldn't model strokes exactly.
     
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  4. GoaLaSSo

    GoaLaSSo Semi-Pro

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    I'm not personally interested in modeling them. I'm far to along to be changing my strokes up majorly. I am just interested for the fun of it and to show some of them to some new tennis friends so they can see how relatively "simple" strokes can generate good power with good rhythm and proper timing.
     
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  5. Roger Wawrinka

    Roger Wawrinka Professional

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    I see. I think the important part of watching pros strokes is that even though there strokes look different, they all have common themes within there strokes. Take for instance the one handed backhand.
     
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  6. Vertiz

    Vertiz Rookie

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    It's usually the simplest and cleanest strokes that generate the most pace. These strokes are often more flat and make much cleaner contact with the ball giving more power. Good examples of these strokes are Berdych and Dimitrov. They both hit so freaking hard.
     
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  7. UncleRico.

    UncleRico. New User

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    Berdych and Dimitrov are also giants.

    Try looking at Justine Henin, if you're really looking to emulate anyone. She's the size of a dime but can bring pace for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
     
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  8. MikeHitsHard93

    MikeHitsHard93 Hall of Fame

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    When watching his strokes in slow motion in comparison to nadals or federers forehands and backhands, Andy Murray has very compact simple strokes. As does Bautista-Agut who recently got beaten by ferrer. Very clean, precise strokes, but he lacked strategy and willpower.
     
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  9. borg number one

    borg number one Legend

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    Chris Evert, Steffi Graf, and Andy Murray are possibilities.
     
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  10. GoaLaSSo

    GoaLaSSo Semi-Pro

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    These are all true. I think I would die if I had to play someone with the Graf backhand.
     
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  11. GoaLaSSo

    GoaLaSSo Semi-Pro

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    One of the guys I was thinking of was Nalbandian. His strokes look so simple and fluid.
     
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  12. borg number one

    borg number one Legend

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    Thanks, yes agreed. He has a very nice two handed backhand. Perhaps Mats Wilander on the backhand?
     
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  13. martini1

    martini1 Hall of Fame

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    I would only as far as getting some reference from those pro video. Going to a coach is really much better as he/she can point out what your mistakes are and how to correct them. Most people cannot emulate or copy a pro stroke beyond the starting position and the follow thru look. Everything in between cannot be learnt by merely looking at a video.
     
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  14. GoaLaSSo

    GoaLaSSo Semi-Pro

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    I'm mostly looking at them for fun, but I'm also gonna show them to some of my friends that are new to tennis.

    I actually have done a good bit of coaching, so the examples would mostly be to show them how simple strokes can produce a lot of power and spin.
     
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  15. skiracer55

    skiracer55 Hall of Fame

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    Tommy Haas...

    ...cleanest ball striker in the game today.
     
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  16. freelans

    freelans Rookie

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    Robredo has a beautiful forehand and backhand
     
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  17. dknotty

    dknotty Semi-Pro

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    I'm no expert but I'd have thought that Federer has one of the best, text book techniques in the last 15 years.
     
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  18. Lukhas

    Lukhas Legend

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    David Ferrer of course. Clean technique, not overly complicated, and the size of a club player standing at 5'9" tall.
    Federer's serve can also apply as I find that is FH is really personal and that there are simpler BHs out there.
     
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  19. hawk eye

    hawk eye Hall of Fame

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    I'd say Davydenko, and also Dennis Istomin.
     
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  20. hrstrat57

    hrstrat57 Hall of Fame

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    Istomin is actually a pretty good call based on what I saw last night - don't show you friends the tweeners tho!

    :)
     
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  21. GoaLaSSo

    GoaLaSSo Semi-Pro

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    I once had a tweener practice rotation at a clinic I worked at! It was not one of my better ideas.

    High school girls + tweeners = falling over
     
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  22. hrstrat57

    hrstrat57 Hall of Fame

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    Ha ha! I pulled a couple off back in the day with a T 2000.

    Not going there with a Mid Plus!
     
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  23. dman72

    dman72 Hall of Fame

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    Straight arm forehand is more difficult to learn than bent arm. If your timing is off a hair you will struggle. I tried to hit like that a few summers ago...it is easy to generate tremendous power. I hit a handfull of shots where my partners gave me the "wow" look, but my already poor consistency got even worse, so I had to ditch it. If I could go out and hit every day, it might be a different story.
     
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  24. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Berdych is too tall, and Agassi had exceptional hand-eye coordination. Those things cannot be emulated.
     
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  25. MarinaHighTennis

    MarinaHighTennis Professional

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    google mayo hibi tennis
     
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  26. hrstrat57

    hrstrat57 Hall of Fame

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    Agree 100% for the recreational player.....but the straight extended arm forehand increases power and depth.
     
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  27. DavaiMarat

    DavaiMarat Professional

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    Well it depends what level you are playing really. To tell you to emulate Roger Federer and you're playing 3.0 weekend warrior Tennis would be silly.

    Here's the problem with emulating the pros. You are not built like Federer, Safin, Agassi, Sampras etc. Those players have developed very specific idiosyncrasies based on their build (Str, Height, Arm Length, Leg Strength).

    What I would focus on is the getting the less tangible things from the pros. Mental toughness, quick reaction splits, anticipation and strategies and playing phenotypes/archtypes. Emulate their style of play but not necessarily exactly how they hit the ball.

    Now to hit the ball, focus on things that create the right PAS for you. This is dependent on what kinda of ball you want to hit (topspin, slice, flat). PAS =
    Path, Angle, Speed of the racquet.

    This will also be dependent on your body type and other characteristics. Remember the ball doesn't know who's hitting the ball but just the characteristics of the racquet and strings hitting it.

    Here's a quick video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q8Sa1BYPctg

    Hope this helped.
     
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  28. dman72

    dman72 Hall of Fame

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    ..and spin. You can get more of everything with less effort...I just think that it doesn't come naturally to hit the ball that far away from your body for most people.


    You know how one of the drills people always talk about is catching the ball to get your footwork down?..well...that would lead you to be too close to the ball for a straight armed fed/Rafa type forehand, where as with a double bend forehand it's pretty much perfect.
     
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  29. GoaLaSSo

    GoaLaSSo Semi-Pro

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    You are trying to drive me crazy huh?
     
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  30. GoaLaSSo

    GoaLaSSo Semi-Pro

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    I appreciate the response. I am not planning to mess with my strokes because I already have everything solidified (maybe small tweaks over time). I was mostly just curious for fun and because I know some people that are just getting into tennis. I wanted to have some good examples of clean hitting to show.


    So what you are really saying is I should try to be more like safin in terms of court demeanor and mentality :twisted:
     
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  31. GoaLaSSo

    GoaLaSSo Semi-Pro

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    Agassi was one I had in mind, but i feel like davydenko would be an easier person to watch stroke wise.
     
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  32. Baxter

    Baxter Professional

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    I try to copy Laver.
     
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  33. sunof tennis

    sunof tennis Professional

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    I second the Tommy Haas nomination as someone who has clean, smooth strokes. Would use Djokovic or Agassi as good examples of two-handed backhands, although they are different from each other.
     
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  34. DavaiMarat

    DavaiMarat Professional

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    Ha touché

    However when safin was cool and calm, he almost look disinterested. Watch is aus 05 semi ad final. Cool as a cucumber. That's a safin to emulate mentally.
     
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  35. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

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    I'd go with these as well. Murray and Haas are also excellent models. While I would not copy his straight-arm technique on his FH, Federer is a good model for the serve, footwork and for the 1-handed BH (assuming that you don't expect Nadal to exploit it with high shots).

    Since your anatomy and skill set are different from these models, some customizing is usually required.
     
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  36. HughJars

    HughJars Banned

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    Tomic makes it look easy. He seems to just massage the ball.
     
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  37. Roy125

    Roy125 Professional

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    Chris Evert. Even an old 50-year old can emulate her strokes.
     
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  38. BevelDevil

    BevelDevil Hall of Fame

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    Not Federer's fh or bh. Too "whippy" to be considered simple or easy to emulate.

    Not Henin's fh, because it's too much like Fed's.


    If we really want strokes that are very simple, we should look at those with no, or very little, looping (Ferrer? Blake?).

    I think a very simple stroke would be a no-loop WTA forehand.



    One of the best, yes, on the forehand at least.

    "Text book", no. Not on either side.
     
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  39. dknotty

    dknotty Semi-Pro

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    Can someone say why the straight arm is much harder?

    For some reason I always hit with a straight arm.
     
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  40. andreh

    andreh Professional

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    I always say Stich on serve. He had such a simple elegant serve, not too much kneebend or back arch for anyone to emulate. Toss was reasonable hight too. I'd say Edberg for volley technique. Haas for 1hbh. Tempted to say Edberg there as well, but he hit with a conti grip or possibly a mild eastern. Not what people use today.
     
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  41. MarinaHighTennis

    MarinaHighTennis Professional

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    Lol this girl is good shes playing is open juniors right now. #1 for 18 girls (she is 16) and ranked top 200 in world. Won easter bowl etc
     
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  42. Lukhas

    Lukhas Legend

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    Actually she's 17. And she's making a good run in the Juniors USO. I think she won her QF today. Can't see any matches of her though. Some people seems to like to watch her playing, so I wanted to see if it was that good.
     
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  43. Venetian

    Venetian Professional

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    Safin, Agassi, Murray, Sampras, Bob and Mike Bryan, Federer...all have pretty clean looking, compact, basic strokes without weird hitches in them and without using extreme grips.
     
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  44. Devilito

    Devilito Hall of Fame

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    Nadal
    Federer
    Berasategui
    Courier
    Gulbis
    Bruguera
     
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  45. boramiNYC

    boramiNYC Hall of Fame

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    I dunno
    I heard many times notable commentators saying exactly that and having studied Feds technique for years I'd agree with them. Feds technique is textbook with a little extra that is evolutionary.
     
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  46. chip and charge

    chip and charge New User

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    another vote for Tommy Haas
     
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  47. BevelDevil

    BevelDevil Hall of Fame

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    On his forehand, Fed uses a straight arm and a ton of rotation (pronation/supination and/or ISR cycles). That's why he's so good. He wouldn't have a GOAT forehand if it were textbook. It's GOAT because it's a generation ahead of most other players.

    On his backhand, he straightens his arm very late in the swing, more than any other player aside from Dimitrov. Definitely not textbook. (Although he may have changed his stroke in the last year or so... it seems more stiff lately.)

    If Fed weren't GOAT, commentators would probably be all over him for his "wristy" strokes.

    I think most TV commentators are terrible with their stroke analysis, especially the older ones. And they mainly want to claim Federer's greatness as their own by relating it to "classic" play.


    In any case, I don't think beginners/intermediates should try to emulate Fed. If you agree with this, then I don't see how you can call his strokes "text book." Of course, maybe you do think Fed should be emulated by beginners... ?
     
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  48. 10isfreak

    10isfreak Semi-Pro

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    Wrong, unless you define simplicity in terms of overall impression while watching a stroke in full speed. An elite touring forehand (talking about stuff like Federer, Nadal, Djokovic, etc.) involve a sequence of roughly 40 distinct movements. So, none of them are good examples in terms of total emulation... they are good examples if you bring their attention to a few details -- get them to focus on, say, turning their shoulders, always using both hands (you need to extend and move your non-hitting arm on a one handed forehand, for instance), etc.

    Take ANY top player of your liking and get them to emulate parts of that swing -- just enough so they can actually swing the racket and learn something. You get them to improve in steps, gradually adding stuff until they become good enough to come really close to those very complex professional strokes.


    Personally, I'd recommend picking a player who presents a pronated forearm at the end of his take back. Depending on their grip, it will look different, but the overall point is that you don't want to see a racket perpendicular to the ground and sideways before the forward swing (see the pictures bellow). Think about Federer, Nadal, Verdasco, Stosur, Henin (yes, there are a few WTA players who swing like top male players), Djokovic, Roddick, Saffin, etc. The reason you want that position is simple: your racket face is bound to open as you swing forward, but it has to stay a bit closed to make a high speed contact that won't send a flat ball over the fence -- starting closed helps you making a consistent contact without having to play with your racket face. Secondly, it gives you an edge over other players because it sets your wrist in position where, once you're good enough, it can benefit of a muscular reflex to move faster through contact -- it adds both pace and spin to your shot.


    What not to do:
    [​IMG] X
    What to do:
    [​IMG] OK
     
    #48

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