The modern game

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by Shroud, Sep 20, 2013.

  1. boramiNYC

    boramiNYC Hall of Fame

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    the comparisondoesn't work. a better one is two pros of similar ranking one hits flat the other topspin. consistency won't be the factor and flat hitter will be hitting just as hard.
     
    #51
  2. Topspin Shot

    Topspin Shot Legend

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    All true. The things is though, topspin (when done properly; if you do it wrong, you'd be better off not doing it at all) gives you the ability to be surprisingly off-balance, swing hard, and still make the shot. All those balls you see the pros hit hard when they're off their back foot are impossible without the modern brand of topspin. Back in the old days, serve and volley was so prominent because all you had to do was get the other guy slightly off-balance and come in. If he tried to hit hard, he'd miss, and if he played it safe, you'd have an easy volley. Now, if you get him off-balance, he'll swing hard and make the shot consistently.

    You see something like this when you see a good club player (e.g. a 4.5) play a ranked junior (and I mean a ranked junior, not some kid who hits hard without knowing what he's doing and deserves a whupping). The junior hits every ball hard and makes his shots consistently whereas the club player can only hit hard when he's perfectly on balance (which is basically never since the kid isn't serving up any soft shots). Take away the kid's AeroPro Drive and RPM Blast, and then all of a sudden, the topspin stops working, and the club player is in with a pretty good chance. But hey, that's the way the game is nowadays at the highest levels.
     
    #52
  3. dominikk1985

    dominikk1985 Legend

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    yes. a thin handle allows for more wrist movement. just look how thin baseball handles are, they used to be much thicker but I hink it was stan musial who started using very thin handles.
     
    #53
  4. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    That is a great point. Conventional wisdom says that the flat hitter will make more mistakes. But that is not what we see among the pros, unless we keep attributing every win or loss to just one factor and argue forever.

    What do posters think about this?
     
    #54
  5. psv255

    psv255 Professional

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    I agree. In an evenly-matched competitive level, shot shape (i.e. flat, loopy, late-breaking) has little significance. Each player has had a similar amount of practice, seen balls from every possible angle and become adept at handling each ball in their own way (Simon vs. Robredo, for example). Topspin makes flat shots at a certain speed go in that should be going out, but each is only as effective as a player allows it to be.

    If we're talking ease of access to the general public/rec player population, it's harder to argue that flat hitters enjoy the same success as those who hit w/ considerable spin. No idea on that point.
     
    #55
  6. Gilou Simon hits as flat as a pancake backhand and forehand most of the time too. He is one of the most consistent ball strikers on tour.
     
    #56
  7. Shroud

    Shroud Hall of Fame

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    1. Kind of. As Lee d pointed out I did try it a bit when we switched rackets but well there were completely different rackets so it was hard to tall and since his was a lot lighter, one would think the RHS would be greater given the same stroke and I for one didnt notice any difference in spin. That was a case in which #1 and #2 in my post were in play and with a smaller grip and more RHS I didnt notice anything different. Now my POG has a more open pattern and a lower tension and maybe that compensated...I cant really say.

    Also so you moved to a smaller grip and got more spin. I think that happens, but I dont think it has anything to do with the smaller grip. It think it is the difference in balance mostly. Do people compensate when removing grips to create a smaller grip (did you?). I guess not and it is the change in sw that might account for increased spin. It could be a false conclusion.

    2. I agree that it is the swing path mostly. But there is some whip action. Though I cant say that is exactly wrist action. What is weird is that my racket is heavy but super head light and I think I have pretty good RHS and that there is some pendulum effect and that weight helps to speed up the racket. Just a guess but since I have leaded up I swear my serves have more zing.

    Ha you are kind. I have been 5 10" but recently was measured at 5 8". Yikes. gained 12 pounds and at 215 am I guess a "big" guy but not really. That is the thing I dont think I am all that strong, just a decent athlete and some good hand/eye coordination. Maybe in my youth but I remember all my friends benching more and lifting crazy weights. And the amount of muscle mass I lost since turning 40 is scary.
     
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  8. Shroud

    Shroud Hall of Fame

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    Thats the thing Suresh. I am more confused after reading that because I took Chicago Jacks post as a refutation, though he seemed to be being nice about it and doesnt actually come out and say the analysis is wrong. But he does lead with "Wow" and then go into a different explanation using f=ma which I find makes more sense.

    Did the TW Professor agree with your analysis or travlerjam?

    It would have been better if the were examples of different rackets and velocities, etc.

    Not saying you are wrong just that there seems to be some conflicting info.
     
    #58
  9. dknotty

    dknotty Semi-Pro

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    Thanks for that BoramiNYC.

    Makes a lot of sense, and again there is another similarity between kungfu / martial arts and tennis!

    This makes me think that I need to focus on structure & groundedness while hitting and improving my balance (which has suffered after an ACL reconstruction and the ankle / achilles issues I've been having recently).
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2013
    #59
  10. tennis_balla

    tennis_balla Hall of Fame

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    Think of the reason why badminton racket handles are so skinny and you got your answer.
     
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  11. HughJars

    HughJars Banned

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    Does that explain why a stock Aero Pro Drive has such a short grip? My two hands don't fit around the grip on the 2HBH, and it tapers away dramatically at the top of the grip into the neck.

    I had to wad half an overgrip around the top of the grip, then put a new grip over and overgrip on just to give me something to hold on to
     
    #61
  12. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    My analysis assumes that the linear/angular momentum is the same, because that is usually what is claimed - if they are the same across two frames, one lighter but swung faster, and one heavier but swung slower (replace mass with SW and velocity with angular velocity for rotation), the effect should be the same on the ball. But they are not.

    That is why junior coaches emphasize developing RHS over using heavier frames.
     
    #62
  13. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    So what male Pros do you see as flat hitters?
    Imo that conventional wisdom spoke of hard, driven balls with low spin rates.

    I see plenty who hit low trajectories, but almost all the good ones have very
    strong spin on nearly every shot.
    I agree that, gone are the days of high roller soft topspins, but they have been
    replaced by penetrating power topspins shots and Nadal's high biting topspins.
     
    #63
  14. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Delpo, Berdych, Rosol.

    Flat is relative of course.
     
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  15. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    I agree that these guys hit pretty flat trajectories if that is what you mean, but
    they all use quite a bit of spin in the process.
    I will say that when watching the right angles of Berdych, I was surprised at how
    much net clearance his AVG shot had....given his rep for hitting flat over
    the net.
     
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2013
    #65
  16. President

    President Legend

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    You could make an argument that the "modern game" with WW forehands is only as effective/prevalent in pro tennis today due to the surfaces. You had guys like Muster and Bruguera who played what I'm sure Oscar Wegner would term a modern style in the 90's but they didn't have much success outside of clay. On hard courts, it was guys with more classic strokes like Sampras and Agassi who were doing the damage. What is the MTM response to this?
     
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  17. tennis_balla

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    Sampras and Agassi didn't have classic strokes.
     
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  18. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    The exact answer I would have given.
    Sampras had a pretty classic game "Style", but Agassi was very modern
    there as well.

    But I will agree that the degree of amplitude to the modern aspect has
    grown on avg these days, meaning more players are using these modern
    tools to a greater extent. I agree with what many have said about how the
    strings and rackets have allowed today's players to leverage the Modern
    Swing for bigger result in general.
     
    #68
  19. President

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    Isn't MTM's big thing on the forehand to pull across the ball rather than hit straight through it in a linear way? Correct me if I'm misunderstanding, but I see Sampras and Agassi hitting THROUGH the ball when I watch tape of them these days (when you compare them with a player like Djokovic or Federer, not even going to bring Nadal into this). What Oscar Wegner has emphasized on the forehand will give you a Muster like stroke, which wasn't effective on hard courts in the 90's. Most rec hard courts are not nearly as gritty as the courts on the pro tour, they are still basically 90's courts. Therefore, wouldn't a flatter hitting style be more effective for rec players today?
     
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  20. Fintft

    Fintft Hall of Fame

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    Personally I went for a smaller grip and now back again to bigger.

    I might have lost some pop on the FH with the bigger grip, but my BH is better and overall I'm not sure that I can play with the smaller one anymore.

    Also gripping the racket too tight, perspiration are issues with a smaller grip, at least for me.
     
    #70
  21. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    Try not to confuse flatter trajectory with flatter spin. I think that gives us all
    fits communicating on here; me included.
    Flat can mean the trajectory or not hitting much spin.

    All good players have a blend of across and what you call thru the ball. To
    vary that amount is how you shape the shot, but both are nearly always
    present for good players. Pete, as you say, did tend to work more
    thru much of the time.

    I also agree with you that Oscar put more emphasis on the across aspect,
    but that is only to make the point of how it should be present in all the strokes.
    Before him, this was rarely if ever taught as part of the stroke, with coaches
    focusing on hitting like shooting pool with a straight stroke.
    Many confuse Oscar's contribution as a focus on top spin, but better top spin
    available is mainly just a product of a more effective stroke that allows one
    to hit with excellent power AND Spin, while staying consistent.

    As to rec tennis and what is better....
    When in a rally from BL and behind, better net clearance with powerful
    top spin is best, but when stepping up to mid ct to attack, a flatter
    trajectory for the good topspin is usually best.
    So Imo it takes both.... in the right situation.
     
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2013
    #71
  22. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Can you actually hit through a ball in a linear way? Sounds impossible to me in any realistic pattern of arm movement. It would be like a forehand volley if you add some backswing to it. I can't see how groundies can be hit that way.
     
    #72
  23. rkelley

    rkelley Hall of Fame

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    I used to hit through the ball in a fairly linear way. Of course the racquet's still rotating around my core to a great extent, not moving in a straight line, but the shot was very flat, and often very hard. Quite effective when I didn't tape it or hit it long, which was too often.

    I was hitting hard last night too, but with modern strokes - pulling up and across. Lots of spin to go with all of the pace. It's just crazy how hard you can hit. OK, I was hitting too hard at some points but it sure was fun. UFEs were still way lower than when I hit flat.
     
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  24. Shroud

    Shroud Hall of Fame

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    Sorry to waste everyones time. Looks like after 70+ posts we are no closer to any real answers.
     
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  25. rkelley

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    1. Generally accepted but unproven (AFAIK) that smaller handles make it easier to create rhs. The rhs can be used for spin, pace, or smashing the racquet. I can't think of an explanation why that's really strong, but it matches my personal experience.

    2. Generally the component of the velocity of the racquet orthogonal to the ball's flight is what creates spin. The faster that velocity component, the more spin.

    Racquet weight increases the racquet's momentum when it's in motion. More momentum will mean that it will be harder to accelerate the racquet, but when the racquet impacts the ball it will have less of a velocity change. The first will hinder the ability to generate spin, the second helps, but it would be minor I think because the biggest momentum change will happen to the component of the racquet's velocity in line with the ball, not the component orthogonal to it.
     
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2013
    #75
  26. tennis_balla

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    That's a typical thread on here, no need to be sorry. Instead of welcoming, encouraging and most importantly listening to teaching pros who've posted on here in the past, they were driven away off the forum. What you're left with is a bunch of club players throwing theories around with no experience to back anything up, stating them as facts and getting into arguments over who's got the most lead tape on their tennis racket.
     
    #76
  27. dknotty

    dknotty Semi-Pro

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    Was the main change in your strokes to hit across the ball from low to high?

    Are there any other significant differences?

    Would you agree that a semi-open stance allows more power than an open stance?
     
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  28. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    With semi open you can rotate so you get more power, while with pure open (feet parallel to baseline), you can use only the arm. Not 100% true, you can move the inside leg back I suppose, but rotation is still limited.
     
    #78
  29. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    That was what Uncle Toni taught Nadal and so he uses a 1/4th grip.
     
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  30. rkelley

    rkelley Hall of Fame

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    I've actually hit with a L1 grip. Feels OK. Very whippy. Too small generally, but I can do it.
     
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  31. rkelley

    rkelley Hall of Fame

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    The change in my fh was significant. It's more than just swinging across the ball, though that's an aspect of the change.

    I went from a neutral stance, left arm pointing at the ball, bring the racquet straight through the path of the ball type of swing to a modern fh. When I say modern fh I mean:
    - Unit turn
    - Reach across, not forward, with left arm
    - Racquet down in PTD position pointing to the side
    - Generally open stance with the weight on the back/outside leg when I have the time to get completely set up (you need to be able to hit from open and neutral, weight on front leg or back, depending on the situation).
    - Drive the butt of the racquet into the ball
    - Then pull up and across, let the pronation and flexion happen

    On stance I generally go with open when I have the time to set-up in the backcourt and I'm not following the ball in. I don't worry too much about semi-open verses open. I mostly think about getting my back leg behind the ball, getting the racquet down into PTD and legs loaded (i.e. bent).

    There's been a lot of wall time for me to get this down, but I enjoy hitting on the wall. Very Zen.
     
    #81
  32. Power Player

    Power Player Talk Tennis Guru

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    Yes, outside leg behind the ball is critical. I do it on both sides. It balances you out.

    The one thing that I do differently is I do not think about pointing the butt end (I saw on vidoo that I naturally do this anyway). To make the racquet lag, I keep the distance between my arms the same on the swing. What I mean is that when I reach across with my left hand and my racquet is prepped in my right, I keep that distance the same throughout the unit turn. This naturally creates the lag and just simplifies things in my head so my strokes are a lot more consistent now.

    That is a tip I got from Rick Macci's modern forehand video, which is truly awesome. It is 30 mins and free on the web.

    Anyway, if you are doing this unit turn properly, the power you get is abundant and easy. It really does not matter the stance as long as your stance is balanced and correct. A lot of people hit open but arm the ball and then think the open stance lacks power, but it is because they do not have the proper unit turn.
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2013
    #82
  33. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    I agree that there does not need to be ANY worry about Open vs semi Open.
    Really it is more of.... open AND semi open. I really don't get this idea of separating
    the two since semi open is an open stance and is often the message intended of
    anyone saying open. Only reason I can see for breaking out semi is for when
    it gets closer to neutral to make the subtle distinction there.
    I'm NOT picking on sureshs here as many seem to be hung up on this, and
    seem to think semi must be the term any time the stance is not purely
    parallel.

    I do disagree with the idea that you must only hit with arm from full Open, as
    this must be a flexibility thing for anyone saying this. I can get excellent
    rotation from full open and even hyper open (past parallel) as do my
    students. More open should mean more coil and more rotation. I agree
    that anything can be overdone though!
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2013
    #83
  34. rkelley

    rkelley Hall of Fame

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    Everyone has different mental triggers and cues that they use. I've been focusing on the driving the butt end of the racquet, and also keeping my wrist and forearm loose while I do this, so that I properly load those joints in extension and supination respectively. It helps me get the butt end out in front with good racquet lag so that when I pull up and across the racquet whips into and over the ball.

    There are lots of different ways to think of this.
     
    #84
  35. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    My key or focus is on dragging the racket like a rope, into the strokes vs
    torquing them around.
     
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  36. rkelley

    rkelley Hall of Fame

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    Just to be clear, since you were responding to my post, that I didn't say that hitting from open means that you're only hitting with the arm. Someone else said that a couple of posts earlier, but not me.

    The whole point of hitting from open is that it's easier to get your hips and core more involved and turned into the ball - as you said more coil and more rotation. I too occasionally hit from hyper open, though it's usually when I need to make a last minute adjustment that I hadn't anticipated. Still, as you said, it works as long as it's not overdone.
     
    #86
  37. bad_call

    bad_call Legend

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    if it works and is effective then that's what counts in my book. don't care about being graded on "style" rather "substance"...think another stated something similar.
     
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  38. rkelley

    rkelley Hall of Fame

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    That picture totally works. I want the racquet to very easily drop into the dragging, butt-to-the-ball position.
     
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  39. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    I guess even with full open you can do a unit turn of the upper body only ...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2013
    #89
  40. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    I think he was responding to my post.
     
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  41. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    the first part was responding to rkelly and yes,
    that part was referring to your earlier comment.
    I agree with your later comment on how you can hit full open with the
    coil of the upper body and also add the point of how important that coil is in
    modern strokes.
    thanks
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2013
    #91
  42. dknotty

    dknotty Semi-Pro

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    Thanks for that - it is helpful. What is PTD?
     
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  43. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Pat The Dog.
    When racket is behind you, peak of backswing, the hitting surface faces down at the ground.
    Grip related of course, hard to do with a conti grip forehand. Easy to do with Western grips.
     
    #93
  44. rkelley

    rkelley Hall of Fame

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    Yep. I use an almost SW grip. Grip can have some effect on exactly how much the racquet faces the ground, but basically facing the ground.
     
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  45. dknotty

    dknotty Semi-Pro

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    Would you mind pointing me in the direction of the video? (there are several of his clips on youtube)

    By unit turn you mean coiling the body?
     
    #95
  46. Power Player

    Power Player Talk Tennis Guru

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    #96
  47. hawk eye

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    Suresh, i get the picture..
     
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  48. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    "rarely done right at the rec level"...
    We can do it pretty well when rallying.
    When the points count, the match close, we can lose it pretty quickly....
     
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  49. Power Player

    Power Player Talk Tennis Guru

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    I dont see many people do it when rallying even.

    Also when the points count now it is much easier for me to incorporate. It takes a lot of practice, but I am so much more consistent that the pressure points are easier for me to deal with since I am confident in my technique.
     
    #99
  50. hawk eye

    hawk eye Hall of Fame

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    Seems like a good one, i m gonna give it a try.

    My cue BTW is the old fashioned pulling the towel thing, and is serves me well. But when the FH is off, a new thing might work better.
     

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