The insanity of the modern strokes.

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by goeblack, Apr 24, 2013.

  1. goeblack

    goeblack Rookie

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    I started this thread!

    As usual the topic get lost because, like me, we tend to start by reading the last replies and forget about the beginning idea.

    Yes I am 64. I play 4.0 mostly with 20 and 30 year old 4.0 and 4.5 players.

    Over the past two years I have changed my game from hitting heavy top spin with a conti grip to hitting heavy topspin with eastern forehand grip.
    Conclusion: neither one of these shots are going to blast a 4.5 player off of the court. And the 4.0 player will have equal difficulty with either one.

    I have developed a beautiful topspin backhand. But I can hit a pretty good topspin backhand with the conti grip too.
    Conclusion: The beautiful topspin backhand with eastern backhand grip is not going to blow a 4.5 player off the court.
    The topspin backhand with conti grip works equally as well against a 4.0 player as does the backhand grip.
    THE TOPSPIN BACK HAND WITH THE CONTI GRIP IS MORE RELIABE. I seem to have more time to prepare for it.

    I have more time on both shots with the conti grip and I think that not changing grips all the time has a lot to do with it. Add to that, I now do not change grips when I come to the net and to me it just works.

    The fact that I am 64 has nothing to do with it. I still move quite well and love chasing down balls at full speed and hitting down the line winners. Actually I set that situation up quite a bit as a weapon.


    This was my point--- Changing the way I play the game did not really prove to be effective for me. Yes I know for sure I look better to the 3.5 players watching.

    If had a buddy and we just wanted to feed each other shots so we could hit Federer looking backhands back and forth to each other I guess that would make me feel kinda good but I prefer winning.

    I posted this in case there are others who may be hell bent on looking good but possibly my find they would play better with their own natural style.
     
    #51
  2. martini1

    martini1 Hall of Fame

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    IMHO ts is not about blasting ppl off court unless you can hit like the pros. Ts is about getting more balls in, and make angles that are sharp, and in.

    Of course if u play net rushing or pure s&v you can get away with conti grip only. I love to play a guy like u and see how it looks from my end. You must be hitting with a neutral stance a lot and with very flat balls a lot.
     
    #52
  3. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    I really have to try the conti on the 1 handed BH tomorrow. I remember changing from it to E BH years ago, but then I am a much better player now :)
     
    #53
  4. President

    President Legend

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    What is the point of that, unless you are always playing with dead balls that don't bounce at all? I see almost no advantage for a conti 1HBH vs an eastern.
     
    #54
  5. BevelDevil

    BevelDevil Hall of Fame

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    You can still have a classic-like stroke using a SW+ grip, in the sense that you are finishing high.

    [​IMG]


    However, perhaps a big issue with older players is dealing with low balls because of slice, or because they tend to get to the ball later.
     
    #55
  6. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    Interesting. I'm the exact opposite. I find classic, old-school strokes to be much more fun to hit. Nothing more enjoyable than chipping a return of serve with underspin and then charging into the net. :)
     
    #56
  7. rkelley

    rkelley Hall of Fame

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    Well, we're all doing this for fun. There's nothing wrong with any style really. If you have fun with it then real point has been accomplished. And if you feel more comfortable with a more traditional grip and less topspin, then hit that way. It's all good.

    For me, I've always loved hitting hard. That feeling when you rip a couple is just such a high. With modern strokes I'm able to do that, hit harder, and hit harder in more circumstances (just about any circumstance really), and be far more consistent then I ever was with traditional strokes.

    Now generally I can't blast a 20 year old 4.5 off the court. That's about my level so I really wouldn't expect to be able to do that regardless of my age. What I can do is hang in a rally with the guy, deal with his pace and spin, put constant, consistent pressure on him, get a short ball, and then blow the put-away . . . I mean blow the put-away past him . . . yah, past him . . . OK, so I need to work on closing the point out. But I can construct points now. That's a big step big step up from what I used to do which was hit a few hard ones and hope for a UFE.
     
    #57
  8. goeblack

    goeblack Rookie

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    I find it quite funny that you think that a topspin backhand can not be effective with a conti grip. Yes, I feel a little stronger when I get my wrist more behind the ball but keep in mind I can take the ball later with the conti grip and still get plenty of topspin.

    I use the same stance and my balls are not flat.

    Yes I do love to hit topspin down the line and come in. I am a lefty
     
    #58
  9. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    You are confusing classic game with classic strokes. Underspin is not classic. It is the same spin in both classic and new.
     
    #59
  10. martini1

    martini1 Hall of Fame

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    Are u an one hander? Hitting with 2 hand conti grip on both hands is a totally different swing. So different I need to learn it from scratch. Really no pt for me.
     
    #60
  11. hawk eye

    hawk eye Hall of Fame

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    Why would someone,who plays a nice game with old school strokes and all contigrip care about 3.5 players watching? When they see you play 'modern' the probably just think there's another guy playing tennis and when they move on to the next court they forget all about you.
    At least with your old school strokes you feel comfortable and I think that's all what matters as a rec player on a tennis court. And you could take some pride in beating so called modern style players with your old school game.
    John mcEnroe can still do it, and he nevere gave a **** about what anyone thinks about the aesthetics of his groundstrokes. Besides, I doubt that his game looks worse than many of the 'modern' players, especially if they play with like western grips.
     
    #61
  12. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    Of course it is! Everybody hits with topspin these days. How many pros still hit every shot with underspin like Rosewall did? He had classic strokes.

    And, like I said, I find classic strokes much more fun to hit than modern strokes. That would be underspin, hitting through the ball flat, chipping the ball, blocking the ball, etc. I find all of those strokes more fun to hit than massive topspin strokes a la Nadal.
     
    #62
  13. tennis_balla

    tennis_balla Hall of Fame

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    Interesting thread
     
    #63
  14. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    How difficult do you find it to face incoming topspin? It seems to me that unless your flat shot is very heavy, precise, and steady, you would need to be able to put counterspin on the incoming balls to stand a chance.
     
    #64
  15. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    The easiest counterspin to an incoming topspin shot is underspin since the ball is already rotating in the same direction. But I also crush the ball flat which takes most of the incoming topspin off of the ball. :)
     
    #65
  16. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Forehand slices? Those are wimpy.
     
    #66
  17. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    I've seen 5.0 guys with forehand slices beat the pants off of other 5.0 and strong 4.5 guys.
     
    #67
  18. mightyrick

    mightyrick Hall of Fame

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    :roll:

    10whatevers
     
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  19. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    Um....guys with good forehand slices never miss....I mean NEVER miss. You can't beat a guy who never misses a shot. You end up beating yourself trying to go for winners. The harder you hit the ball and the more topspin you hit at them, the more they love it. They use your pace and spin against you. Topspin is not the only way to play tennis. Just ask McEnroe and Rosewall. Rosewall in his prime would still beat any 5.0 player today.
     
    #69
  20. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    That way Su Wei or whatever her name is, and the two more women on the WTA, whatever their names are, who use FH slices almost exclusively, should never lose.

    But can you even name the 3 that I am talking about?

    Then how is FH slice a winning strategy?
     
    #70
  21. tennis_balla

    tennis_balla Hall of Fame

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    sureshs, I believe you're thinking of Kimiko Date on the WTA tour? Also, Santoro used a slice on his forehand and sometimes Dolgopolov randomly throws it in but its hardly a winning strategy. If someone uses Santoro to make their case, well... might wanna up the medication.
     
    #71
  22. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    No, I was talking about the 2 women who played against each other recently and kept on slicing. Let me dig up the thread in the Pro section.
     
    #72
  23. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Can't find the thread. One of them is Monica Nicolescu.
     
    #73
  24. hawk eye

    hawk eye Hall of Fame

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    I guess slice can work well against 4.5 players and under. You have very crafty guys who can life miserable for almost anyone at these levels. Above 4.5, players are able to deal with it. They move too well to be bothered by all those slices. They just wait for the right ball to attack and then have the strokes to finish the point.
     
    #74
  25. travlerajm

    travlerajm Hall of Fame

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    This is the wisest post in this thread.
     
    #75
  26. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    They are playing against 7.0 WTA Tour pros, not 5.0 recreational players. Also, men are taller so it's easier for them to slice down on those incoming topspin shots.

    There was that one woman, Pironkova, who kept beating Venus at Wimbledon with forehand slices. :)
     
    #76
  27. rkelley

    rkelley Hall of Fame

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    I really like John's post. Everyone should read it.
     
    #77
  28. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    Yes, overall a pretty good post, but
    what are the classic elements to Pete and Tim's strokes?
    Classic game style...yes,... but stroke?
    Imo they, like almost all top male players, are almost fully modern in their strokes.
    That statement at the end seems to fall for some of the earlier pitfalls
    cautioned earlier in the post.
     
    #78
  29. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    I don't think Pete had the kind of TS that Fed or Nadal has, and his backhand was less wristy, less open, and less opening up compared to a Wawrinka or Gaquet today.
     
    #79
  30. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    This is likely reasonable to say, but we would just be talking degrees on a scale.
    The amounts will always vary from player to player, but imo has little to do with
    if they are modern.
     
    #80
  31. rkelley

    rkelley Hall of Fame

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    Sampras' stroke definitely have a lot elements that most people would consider modern, but there's also a traditional, stroke through the ball quality about them as well. He definitely hit the crud out of the ball so I'm not criticizing.

    I do think it is degrees on a scale. You can have some but not all of the modern aspects. I think yes. What's the tipping point from traditional to modern? Then gets back to how exactly you describe modern vs. traditional.
     
    #81
  32. JohnYandell

    JohnYandell Hall of Fame

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    The main differences for Pete and Henman compared to the "modern" players of the next generation are the amount of spin and the related forward swing paths.

    The research shows both were averaging below 2000rpm on their forehands, more than a third less than Nadal and twenty percent less than Fed and Djok.

    Going with this was a higher preponderence of on edge forward swings where the face of the racket stayed vertical to the court all the way through, or close to it, rather than turning over and wipering or reversing over the head.

    These exotic finishes are often thought to be the signature of the "modern" forehand especially at the club level but often those club strokes lack the foundation in early preparation with the body turn that is shared by Sampras and Henman, Fed, Nadal, Djok, etc etc etc.
     
    #82
  33. JohnYandell

    JohnYandell Hall of Fame

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    travler,

    thank you!
     
    #83
  34. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    Imo it is degrees on a scale, but not modern to classic so much as degrees of
    how the modern is used. Avg spin rates really tells us little. Modern strokers also hit
    thru the ball along with their across aspect...otherwise we wouldn't have 100mph+
    Fhs from modern Fhs at times. Pete choose a game style that had him hit
    thru more often...bringing his avg spin way down. Nadal has longer rallys with
    more heavy spin BL shots, so his avg is way higher. You also wouldn't expect
    Pete to get as much spin with the 85 head as Nadal with the 100, just like
    Fed doesn't.

    Better question is to try and find a classic stroke on tour by a top ATP player,
    much less a classic stroking overall ATP player.
     
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2013
    #84
  35. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Dr. Ivo, Stepanek and Llodra are the only people that come to mind.
     
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  36. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    ^^^ I just mention Ivo above, and then learn from the Pro section that he had a brain stroke today and is hospitalized in Miami.
     
    #86
  37. Relinquis

    Relinquis Hall of Fame

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    Once could say this of 99% + of the pro tour and 97%+ of the top 100 ATPs at the moment...

    Gasquet and Wawrinka's backhands aren't wristy.

    Back to the OP,

    I think the OP should play how he has the most fun and enjoyment out of the game... Get some lessons to work on fundementals and match strategy (big part of tennis)...

    if he feels up for the work that is necessary, it might be worthwhile to train to learn some new technique, that can be pretty pleasurable too. I like his part of tennis.
     
    #87
  38. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    I mean Fed :)
     
    #88
  39. guitarplayer

    guitarplayer Guest

    More like the insanity of using a continental grip.
     
    #89
  40. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    If Nadal is removed from the equation, how much spin really is there in the ATP?
     
    #90
  41. jackcrawford

    jackcrawford Professional

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    Gonna have to eat some crow here - earlier, in another thread, I claimed JY's work was not "cutting edge" or influential. Being mentioned by Robbie Koenig during a Masters Seires event and Mary Carillo in the New York Times, is about as influential as it gets. Not to mention the pioneering work done with Lendl and McEnroe back in the VHS days. John's article in TP on the "modern" game showing how the strokes were hit (just not as regularly) one hundred years ago is essential to anyone wanting to place today's game in context. It's no exaggeration to say it's much easier to have an informed opinion on modern versus classic stroke production after reading the article and viewing the video evidence that goes with it. Possibly if the OP had tried Pete and Tim as models, he'd have had more success.
     
    #91
  42. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    No doubt that JY has been very cutting edge with his site and approach to
    collecting valuable video. Even things as simple as working up numbers on spin
    rates are things that were not readily available before.
    That said, not only had we on the forum covered the historical use of
    modern strokes in detail long before that tp article, but the instructor who
    developed the teaching method coined as modern strokes back in the 70s
    explained it decades ago, in his work on the subject. That instructor shared
    how he had used many of the historical greats as models for the fundamentals
    of Modern stroke technique teaching.

    To have a truly informed opinion on Modern vs Classic, IMO it would help to
    be familiar with the work of the author/tour player largely responsible for the
    term, "Modern Strokes", who wrote some of the earliest, if not the first books
    contrasting Modern technique vs Classic instruction.
     
    #92
  43. JohnYandell

    JohnYandell Hall of Fame

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    Jack,

    Thanks. How about some home made apple pie instead?

    Not everyone gets that my work isn't about pushing one particular approach. Tennisplayer is a magazine with the voices of over 50 coaches myself included. As well as the deepest archive of footage in the world.

    I don't think any one coach on Tennisplayer or elsewhere has a monopoly on understanding the so-called modern game. Or the complex interplay between the generations in the evolution of technqiue.

    But the one thing we do insist on is evidence. That's why we do all that "simple" high speed filming that no one else has ever done...This is one thing that people like Mary C. and Robbie tell me they like about the site.
     
    #93
  44. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    I am still trying to figure out if the above was meant as sarcasm or not.
     
    #94
  45. arche3

    arche3 Banned

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    Lol. Mary carillo....
    Also didn't those scientist guys cross (?) Do high speed video first anyways? Or the MIT tennis guys that Oscar wegnar did something with?
     
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2013
    #95
  46. rkelley

    rkelley Hall of Fame

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    John Yandell's work is great IMO. It's data. We can interpret it in different ways and there are lots of valid interpretations, but his work allows us to start from something objective.
     
    #96
  47. Relinquis

    Relinquis Hall of Fame

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    my strokes are post-modern...
     
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  48. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Rod and his colleague did high speed video of ball impacts, not pro strokes.

    The MIT video was not a high speed video meant to be analyzed frame by frame.

    As far as I know, John Yandell was the first to do it in a systematic way on a large scale. I am sure Vic Braden and others were using slow-motion replays, but scope and technology was limited.
     
    #98
  49. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    See the latest video from WiH

    http://www.patrafterserve.com/fe/46661-serve-volley

    Pat mentions how he used to irritate players who used the continental grip because they were unable to deal with high-bouncing balls (around 4:49).

    I can only imagine that the situation has gotten worse after Pat retired. Frankly, I don't think I can handle the balls of the top junior boys and girls at my club with a conti forehand.
     
    #99
  50. arche3

    arche3 Banned

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    Now everyone has a high speed camera so it doesn't matter who really did it first. What matters is the coaching. Like it always was.
     

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