Pro strokes to learn from...

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by JohnThomas1, Aug 26, 2004.

  1. JohnThomas1

    JohnThomas1 Professional

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    Fun time. Here are some of the technically useful strokes (In my opinion) that i think make good models :)

    Serve

    Roddick (For shortened motions)
    Lendl (Apart from the height of toss, great left arm extension and quite a simple motion)
    Federer (Devoid of thrills but big on effiectiveness)

    Forehand

    Agassi (This is a standout model, a beautiful stroke)
    Blake ( The sort of stroke i think us guys can copy)

    Backhand

    Haas (If Bill used it it MUST be good, what a one hander)
    Lendl (Apart from the continental grip, a wonderful full turn, early prep and hits thru the ball as good as anyone ever)
    Flipper (One of the most underrated shots in the game)
    Eliot Teltscher (Back in the day a devasting one hander, aggressive and beautifully produced)
    Agassi (Does the two hander get any more simple, or effective?)
    Nalbandian (What a solid stroke)

    Forehand Volley

    John Newcombe (Not many pro's have better forehand volleys than backhand but he was one)
    Todd Woodbridge (A great shot, albeit mainly seen in dubs)
    Pete Sampras (Simple and short)

    Backhand Volley

    Pat Cash (As good as it gets)
    Stefan Edberg (Up with the best ever)
    Pat Rafter

    Overhead

    Pat Cash
    Yannick Noah
    Pete Sampras

    Return

    Agassi
    Hewitt


    Anyone else for some lighthearted fun ? Opinions? :)
     
    #1
  2. Power Game

    Power Game Professional

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    I thin you need to toss Safin's serve and backhand in the mix...
     
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  3. JohnThomas1

    JohnThomas1 Professional

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    His backhand is certainly a super stroke. Very uncluttered and successful. Good serve too, but does he toss straight above his head on the first serve?
     
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  4. Tennis Guy

    Tennis Guy Semi-Pro

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    Safin also has one of the best backhand volleys on tour.
     
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  5. Camilio Pascual

    Camilio Pascual Hall of Fame

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    Not a bad list, but I am surprised you did not mention Borg's 2H BH. He didn't invent the idea, but he was widely used as an example of making the weak side the dominant one in this stroke, an important advancement in technique.
     
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  6. Power Game

    Power Game Professional

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    Safin's service toss is a over to his left. He really arcs his back and smacks the ball. Come to think of, Safin has all the strokes that are worthy of imitation. His grips are modern but not extreme, his shots are hard and with spin.... Guess his mother taught him well
     
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  7. Tennis Guy

    Tennis Guy Semi-Pro

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    I agree.
     
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  8. Skinny Dip

    Skinny Dip New User

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    No mention of McEnroe for volleys? The greatest ever!
     
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  9. Chanchai

    Chanchai Semi-Pro

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    Sampras' overhead... at what level (of play and of athleticism) should one start trying to immitate it? Not trying to knock it since I've never been confident in gliding up and smashing the ball... But it does seem like it would be a tough overhead to learn or develop from.

    But I guess you could say you can still learn some of the central themes in a good overhead when you look at it--as far as body alignment and placement goes.

    McEnroe's volleys... I think the tough part about this is that they were brilliant volleys because of his talent, reflexes, and hand-eye coordination? That's how I feel about Mac's volleys though. Love to watch them, but it just seems to be pure talent. I don't personally think McEnroe is a great model for general technique, but what he did worked really well for him and still does.

    I do think Ferrero's forehand, especially the inside-out is a great model. His footwork as well as the swing mechanics (which includes his body).

    One of the toughest areas for me to think of is the slice backhand. There are so many ways to use this shot effectively with different types--and each player seems to have their own signature variations. My list would include a mix of old school players and modern players... And I'm not usually crazy about old-school technique, but some of those slices are great and do seem possible of modern application--depending on purpose.

    -Chanchai
     
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  10. kevhen

    kevhen Hall of Fame

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    I think McEnroe's technique's are so extreme that not many pros could even attempt to copy them.
     
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  11. JohnThomas1

    JohnThomas1 Professional

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    No skinny dip, i was using good technical models. Mac's volleys were anything but textbook, tho they were unbelievable as you state. They were also however bad examples for us to copy, he drooped the racquet head lots of times etc etc. His pure genious let him get away with it.

    Sorry Chanchai, i meant his basic overhead not the slam dunker, that shot is best left to him hehehe. I'd trip over and fall on my face or something. Just for you :)

    The Slice Backhand

    Ken Rosewall (Best ever)
    Stefan Edberg (Best of the later era imo and wonderfully simple)
    Mark Woodforde (Sampras nominated it as about the best around at one time)
    Petr Korda (Spelling? Whether under or over it was a sensationaly shot)
     
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  12. Chanchai

    Chanchai Semi-Pro

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    Thanks JT!

    Yeah, I really love that Rosewall slice backhand. Well... the one thing that's "tricky" to me is that rotation of the racquet (or whatever it is) that Rosewall did though... Going from horizontal to vertical on the racquet face. In a sense, I'm almost falling on the fence on that part--but that's because I don't really understand it completely and wonder if it puts the casual or wannabe player at risk... and yet, that's what makes his slice backhand what it is... My hesitations with it is just imagining it these days and what not.. As he drives the racquet lower, his racquet opens slightly as much until it seems almost flat at contact, right? Would like to hear your thoughts on it.

    The modern slice backhands are probably the hardest ones to really talk about... Like, I actually believe in the effectiveness and utility of the slice backhands post-Edberg, but I'll admit that they don't have a classy look. I think the depth of their utility is a bit more than meets the eye though.

    But I gotta admit I love the look and feel of the older slice backhands more than the modern ones. But I do admire how some of the pros have been using the slice backhand lately, especially this year (last year it seemed that most top 30 ATP pros used it for very limited purposes and as a way to minimize a deficiency--this year I believe it's being used with more depth in application).

    -Chanchai
     
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  13. jun

    jun Semi-Pro

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    If I had to copy pros, I would immitate one of the following pros

    Forehand
    Agassi, Rafter, or Coria (if I was using western grip). Kim Clistjers
    Safin
    Backhand

    One handed

    Hass, Federer.

    Two handed

    Kim Clisjters, Agassi, or Coria, Safin

    Serve
    Coria, Guga Kuerten, Roger Federer, Sampras.

    I think it's important that you develop your own style. YOu can try to emulate their swings, and it might work for you, but it probably won't work for you. I think it's far more important to try to look at what they do well in certain strokes (preparation, getting under the ball etc).
     
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  14. JohnThomas1

    JohnThomas1 Professional

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    Thanks for the post Chanchai. Some very insightful thought on the slice. I saw a post ages ago by Bill talking about the very manipulation of the racquet face you speak of. Hopefully he will comment on our behalf. I think he spoke about it being the German slice due to Graf's similar motion. Amazingly there were studies done that actually claimed Rosewalls backhand was flat!!! Vic Braden pioneered them. His best slice backhand of the day revolved but 12 times from one baseline to the other. My take on rosewalls is that he took the racquet back reasonably high on the backswing like others but then brought it down early to a level position with the intended strike height then manipulated the face thru to where he wanted it on the forward swing to contact. This means from basically horizontal to near vertical. I also agree that the pro's are respecting underspin that litle bit more at present.

    Thanks jun, some interesting decisions and comments :)
     
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  15. Ultra2HolyGrail

    Ultra2HolyGrail Hall of Fame

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    Connors two hander was pretty sweet...
     
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  16. JohnThomas1

    JohnThomas1 Professional

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    Yes, a perfect model for the flatter two hander i reckon. So compact, and so very efficient.
     
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