Proper stance for fh's and bh's

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by Mr. Anderson, Jul 20, 2008.

  1. Mr. Anderson

    Mr. Anderson Banned

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    To properly hit and have a very effective fh and bh your stance on court has to be completely sideways right? Backhand maybe a little bit more turned than the fh right? Because I think this is the reason why my fh has been really bad lately, I unconciously hit fh's almost like me facing the net, which is really bad right? only when you fully execute one should you be facing the net with your front?

    I also wanted to ask about the feet positioning, I'm right handed, for a fh should my right foot be in front of the left? is this what they call an "open stance"? can I hit with my left foot in front (closed stance?)? sometimes the latter feels more confortable. Thanks anyone!
     
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  2. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

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    For groundstrokes, the upper body (torso/shoulders) should normally turn at least 90 degrees away from the net, sometimes more, to prepare for either FH or BH strokes. For both FH & BH strokes, the back of the front shoulder will often be presented to the net -- this is an indication that the shoulders have turned a bit more than 90 degrees. When setting up for run-around shots (inside-out shots), the body will rotate noticeably more than 90 degrees to set up for the shot.

    The orientation of the lower body (feet/legs/hips) will depend on the type of stroke and the type of stance employed. For FH g'strokes, the stance will usually be neutral (even/square), semi-open, or (fully) open.

    Closed stances, especially extreme closed stances, should normally be avoided on the FH side. This stance will not allow the hips to rotate freely back toward the net unless the back leg kicks around to open up the hips on the forward swing of the racket -- this often requires 2 extra steps to recover to prepare for the next stroke.

    Make sure that you master the neutral stance, not a closed one, for the FH so that you become accustomed to turning your body completely to the side. After that, then work on the semi-open and then the fully open stances -- make sure that your upper body rotates sufficiently away from the net on your unit turn.

    Which BH stroke are you using, the 1-hander or the 2-hander?


    For sake of clarity, let's use a sideline and the baseline as references. For the FH, place your right foot where a sideline intersects with the the baseline. If you take a step forward, toward the net, so that your left foot is pretty much on the same side line, you have a neutral (square) stance.

    If the left foot steps significantly across that sideline, you have a closed stance. In the case where the left foot does not step in and stays near the baseline, an fully open stance is the result. When the left foot is closer to the net than the right. but is positioned somewhere between the baseline & the sideline, you have a semi-open stance.
    .
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2008
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  3. Caladbolg

    Caladbolg Banned

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    I use one-handed backhand, but I didn't undestand your stance explanation that much! Everything else was good advice, thanks a lot
     
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  4. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

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    With the 1-handed BH, either the neutral or closed stances are ok. Since much less hip (& torso) rotation is used for the 1-hander than the other types of groundstrokes, the closed stance is suitable -- in fact, the close stance can be instrumental in preventing the hips from opening up for this type of stroke.

    Try to coil up more than 90 degrees for the 1-hander. This will allow some hip and shoulder rotation (uncoiling) to initiate the forward swing. However, before the racket head comes forward to meet the ball, the hips & torso should stop rotating. The power from the legs and the hip/torso rotation is completely transferred to the racket arm -- this means that pretty much only the front shoulder, the racket arm and the racket are moving for the contact phase and the follow-thru phase of the 1-hander (the back shoulder and the body stops moving for the most part during these phases).

    What part of my previous stance explanation was not clear? Is rather ironic that my attempt to make it crystal clear did not succeed. Note that the placement of the right foot for the FH on the intersection of the baseline and a sideline is supposed to be a reference for all 4 stance variations that I mentioned. It is the placement of the left foot with respect to the the reference (right) foot that distinguishes one stance from the next. Which stance variation was not clear.
     
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  5. Caladbolg

    Caladbolg Banned

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    Well, let's say I'm standing at the baseline facing the net, the net would be let's say 12 o'clock, and then I rotate to hit a forehand to let's say my feet pointing at 3 o'clock, so let's say both my feet are pointing at 3 o'clock, if my left foot is in front of my right foot in that direction (going straight from 3 o'clock) is that a closed stance? and if it is my right foot in front of my left, that's an open stance? so the second is more recommended?
     
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  6. Mr. Anderson

    Mr. Anderson Banned

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    I also use a one-handed backhand, but I just don't know that well about the stances and all that, which is which and so on, but your other advice was good.
     
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  7. Mountain Ghost

    Mountain Ghost Semi-Pro

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    Tennis Stance Diagrams

    Tennis Stance Diagrams:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    MG
     
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  8. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

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    ^ Thanks MG. Those pix are worth thousands of my words. Is it now crystal clear guys?
     
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  9. Storm_Kyori

    Storm_Kyori Hall of Fame

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    So would you guys say that do what feels comfortable? To me depending on the shot or how I want to hit it, I go neutral I guess when I want to go towards the net. Usually I think my stance is Open to Semi-Open on my FH. I have problems with my BH I don't think it's my stance too much more of my timing. Although I use Semi-Open to Neutral stance, is that good for a 1HBH?
     
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  10. fuzz nation

    fuzz nation Legend

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    I like a closed stance for my 1hbh (topspin or slice) so that I can get a good swing through the hitting zone, but I like a squared or semi open stance when I employ a 2hbh. For that forehand wing, you can certainly experiment, but you may find that the more your grip goes toward western, the more of an open stance you'll want to accommodate it. If you use an eastern fh grip, you might be most consistent with a squared stance or even a slightly closed one, but it's smart to try them to find what fits your swing.
     
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  11. Mr. Anderson

    Mr. Anderson Banned

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    Excellent MG, this cleared it all up.

    Yep, it's crystal clear now, so which would you recommend to use?
     
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  12. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

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    ^ ^ ^

    The top graphic is for the FH g'stroke. I would recommend all stances except for the 4th one, the closed stance. For a 1-handed BH (refer to the lower graphic), the first 2 stances are normally preferred, either the closed stance or the neutral stance. When I get jammed (a ball directly at me), I will sometimes use a semi-open stance for the 1h BH. You also see it sometimes on serve receive. Other than those situations, I'd avoid the open stance for the 1h BH.

    For the 2-handed BH, the neutral stance, or something close to a neutral stance (slightly closed or slightly open) is preferred. A real closed stance should usually be avoided for the 2h BH if at all possible. Some pros, like the Williams sisters, also use open stances for the 2-hander. Many of us do not.
     
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  13. Caladbolg

    Caladbolg Banned

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    Hey I just noticed after watching many videos of Federer hitting his forehands, that on most, not all of course, but on many forehands he actually hits them with his left foot in front or above of his right foot, that stance doesn't appear on the chart MG supplied.

    I myself have the bad habit to hit like this on most of my forehands, is it bad? I think it's a question of laziness with me, because I feel it easier or quicker to hit it like this. It's like a closed stance with your right foot farther back. All this for a right hander of course.
     
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  14. River Hill

    River Hill Rookie

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    Great Chart. I learn something here everyday.
     
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  15. [ GTR ]

    [ GTR ] Semi-Pro

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    I think this part from SystemicAnomaly describes what Federer does on his closed stance forehands where he kicks his right leg out to open up..

    Closed stances, especially extreme closed stances, should normally be avoided on the FH side. This stance will not allow the hips to rotate freely back toward the net unless the back leg kicks around to open up the hips on the forward swing of the racket -- this often requires 2 extra steps to recover to prepare for the stroke.
     
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  16. schwuller

    schwuller Rookie

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    i think gtr is right. he hits some forehand where he WHIPS around alot more than normal, and and his right foot releases.

    but let's talk about his NORMAL forehand. i think that is best shown by seeing him warm up.

    look here:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z47bHHUbbxw

    you'll see he hits open stance (leaning toward semi-open), and a more closed stance for very low balls.
     
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  17. schwuller

    schwuller Rookie

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    look here : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xSf2rzVPU2I&NR=1

    at the 1:45 point of the video, you'll see him hit an open stance forehand, followed by a squared stance forehand. so he uses both. i think everyone does. but when he's just hitting the ball normally he seems to hit open/semi open, and for low balls he closes his stance up more into a squared stance.
     
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  18. wihamilton

    wihamilton Hall of Fame

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    MG,

    That's a great chart. Well played sir.
     
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  19. Rickson

    Rickson G.O.A.T.

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    Your right foot should not be in front of the left even in an open stance. As for the backhand, you should be in a closed stance if you hit a one hander. On forehands, you don't have to be completely sideways.
     
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  20. Mr. Anderson

    Mr. Anderson Banned

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    I think you miunderstood what I said. I know that your right foot should never be in front of your left, the only way that would be possible is to cross your legs or something, what I meant was, say standing in a semi-open stance, you see there the right foot is, I don't know how to say it, higher then than the left foot, that's what I mean, not crossed in a way that your right foot is to the left and your left foot is to your right or something
     
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  21. Bungalo Bill

    Bungalo Bill G.O.A.T.

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    For the forehand, you should be able to use the following stances at any given time whether you are playing baseline or coming in.

    1. Open stance

    2. Semi-open stance

    3. Forward stance

    For the onehanded backhand, you should be able to use the following stances at any given time whether you are playing baseline or coming in.

    1. Neutral/forward stance (preferred)

    2. Closed stance

    When you get better and are more coordinated in your weaker side (left side), you can move into hitting your backhand from an open stance or semi-open stance especially for the service return.

    In the neutral and closed stance on both sides, make sure your body rotates towards the 45 degree angle. On some balls you would do this with the semi-open stance.

    On the open stance forehand, make sure you use your back shoulder turning into the contact zone as your reference for timing and to prevent over rotation. Your non-dominant arm plays a role in this as well.
     
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  22. Rickson

    Rickson G.O.A.T.

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    I know exactly what you meant, Neo. You're talking about your legs being spread apart. Your right foot should still never be in front.
     
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  23. Mr. Anderson

    Mr. Anderson Banned

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    Well, you're crazy then, because what you're saying is wrong
     
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  24. Rickson

    Rickson G.O.A.T.

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  25. Mr. Anderson

    Mr. Anderson Banned

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    Ok ricky, whatch this video then and tell me which foot was in front then:

    http://youtube.com/watch?v=qZWRAY_lTX8
     
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  26. Rickson

    Rickson G.O.A.T.

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    The left foot is in front. You just proved yourself wrong, Anderson.
     
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  27. Mr. Anderson

    Mr. Anderson Banned

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    And you just proved yet again that you do not understand what I told you the first time
     
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  28. Rickson

    Rickson G.O.A.T.

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    You mean shift your weight? There's nothing wrong with that.
     
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  29. Mr. Anderson

    Mr. Anderson Banned

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    No, what I initially meant was that Federer sometimes hits most of his forehands with his left foot above his right foot, and this here that I'm telling you means that e.g., both feet are placed in a squared stance, and the direction where the feet point, let's call that North, so if you move your left foot north and your right foot south, you get the stance I'm talking about, with th left foot above the right one, so in the video I showed you, in that case Federer's right foot was above his left foot, not in front, get it? That's what I meant.
     
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  30. Rickson

    Rickson G.O.A.T.

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    You're overthinking, Anderson.
     
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  31. Mr. Anderson

    Mr. Anderson Banned

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    Just explaining what I was thinking about ricky
     
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  32. xtrakewl

    xtrakewl New User

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    is one stance better for some situations or it more personal preference???
     
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  33. Rickson

    Rickson G.O.A.T.

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    The open stance is preferred for crosscourt forehands and the closed stance is preferable for inside out forehands.
     
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  34. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

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    Altho' the stance on inside-out FHs "looks" closed, I believe that often it is not closed at all. The stance often looks closed if you are using the lines of the court as your reference. However, if you look at the placement of the feet with respect to the orientation of the body, the stance is not really closed much of the time. It is often square or can even be slightly open.

    The body orientation for the inside-out FH is normally very extreme. If the stance was significantly closed in this situation, the feet would be perpendicular to the alignment of the body and the hips would be locked out (unable to rotate in the direction of the forward swing unless the back leg swings around).
     
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  35. Bungalo Bill

    Bungalo Bill G.O.A.T.

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    :) Hello,

    The reference on what is what foot is the net. Normally, people refer to each foot (front foot/backfoot) using the net as a reference at or before contact.

    Therefore, in an open stance forehand, the left foot for righthanders is considered the front foot no matter where it lands after contact.
     
    #35
  36. Bungalo Bill

    Bungalo Bill G.O.A.T.

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    It is somewhat difficult to get in a closed stance on the inside-out forehand, unless the ball is a duck coming towards you. Most inside-out forehands are hit with a neutral to semi-open stance. :)
     
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  37. tennisfreak15347

    tennisfreak15347 Banned

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    While some argue that inside-out forehands can be hit with closed stances, and some argue that it can be hit with semi open/neutral, it can be safely stated that fully opened stances are out of the picture for this shot. I think it is based on preference. I hit with a neutral/closed stance for inside out FH.
     
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  38. Rickson

    Rickson G.O.A.T.

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    Maybe closed is the wrong word. Square stance then. I can hit the IO in an open stance, but I feel it's easier for beginners to close up more for the IO even though you're correct in that it wouldn't be a truly closed stance where the left foot crosses over the right foot. It would be more of a square stance or a heavily angled stance, but not a true closed stance.
     
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  39. Bungalo Bill

    Bungalo Bill G.O.A.T.

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    Who? Name them? Who is arguing?

    And?

    Maybe, maybe it is simply what the player sets up for or has time for.

    The inside-out forehand can be hit from any stance if you have time to get around the ball. I am only speaking of what it is MOSTLY hit out of.
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2008
    #39
  40. Bungalo Bill

    Bungalo Bill G.O.A.T.

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    I usually am in a semi-open stance. We dont see too many closed stance runarounds.
     
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  41. Mr. Anderson

    Mr. Anderson Banned

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    Alright then
     
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  42. Bungalo Bill

    Bungalo Bill G.O.A.T.

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    Alright then! Continue please... :)
     
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  43. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

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    Are you sure that those I-O FHs are really being hit with a closed stance? Perhaps it is the "illusion" of a closed stance as I had indicated in post #34.
     
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  44. jb193

    jb193 Rookie

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    I noticed from watching the video of Federer that Rickson posted that Federer's backfoot (the right foot) seem to be parallel to the baseline in some shots and sometimes at a 45 degree angle. Should this be a major point of emphasis and what is the general rule regarding this foot position? Someone in another thread posted a diagram which infers the backfoot should be horizontal to the net for a right handed player. Thanks for any feedback.
     
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  45. jb193

    jb193 Rookie

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    By the way, I am referring to a forehand in particular.........
     
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  46. Mr. Anderson

    Mr. Anderson Banned

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    Hey Rickson I'm sorry for arguing with you, words can't express the tone of voices, so you couldn't have know I was joking, so sorry man, friends?
     
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  47. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

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    On FH shots where Fed's stance is somewhat neutral, his back (right) foot was oriented pretty much to the side (more-or-less parallel to the baseline) most, if not all, of the time. On open-stance shots the right foot is often angled a bit more (somewhat toward the net post).

    With the neutral stance, both the hips and the torso are turned to the side. However for open stances, the hips are not turned quite as much as the upper body prior to the forward swing. This difference can account for the orientation of the feet. Whenever I use a neutral stance, my back foot is usually turned to the side (to facilitate the extra hip turn). When I use a semi-open or fully open stance, I attempt to turn the foot to the side in order to be sure that my torso (upper body) coils sufficiently. If the back foot does not turn completely to the side in this situation, it doesn't really matter as long as the torso turns enough.
    .
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2008
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  48. Rickson

    Rickson G.O.A.T.

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    No worries, Anderson.
     
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