WTA vs ATP FH: pull vs whip

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by dominikk1985, Nov 19, 2013.

  1. dominikk1985

    dominikk1985 Legend

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2011
    Messages:
    6,436
    I have an interesting analogy for both FHs.

    the modern WTA FH is basically a pull. the player will set the angles at the end of the backswing (double bend structure) and then pull the whole structure around the body passivley using the big muscles of the core and legs.

    the ATP FH on the other hand is more seqmented. the wrist will stay neutral and the racket to the side fence as long as possible. then as the body rotates the wrist lays back and supinates and then the rotation slows down quickly and the racket whips through independent from rotation.

    instead of a pulling engine the hips and core here acts more like a whip handle which charges the whip and then stops to allow the elastic energy to release.

    The advantage of the whip vs the pull is that it is a more sudden movement only requiring a short backswing and creating RHS almost immediately while the pull is a powerfull motion but needs more time to build up because it lacks the suddenness (i.e longer swing). the pull is a gradual acceleration while the whip is an almost immediate acceleration from the point the wrist lays back (which is late).

    although probably for many women that pull motion might still make sense because the have relatively stronger legs and cores than forearms and wrists so that the might benefit from the long passive swing compared to the "reactive" whippy swing because their muscles might not be strong enough to convert that big stretch (although stosur and henin did very well and they are both strong but not huge girls).
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2013
    #1
  2. anubis

    anubis Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2012
    Messages:
    3,032
    I think the ATP guys also pull on the racquet. I see no difference, really. The ATP just generates more racquet head speed because they have a stronger core and use more of their legs. Think of the ATP as a sped-up WTA stroke, with more core muscles in use.
     
    #2
  3. dominikk1985

    dominikk1985 Legend

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2011
    Messages:
    6,436
    so you say it is the same technique but more strength? I disagree with that somewhat. Nobody uses the core more than Serena or Maria. If the wouldn't they could not hit 90 mph FH despite being women.

    The will set the angles and then pull everything around with a huge effort core turn. Powerful but long move. There is a pull in the ATP FH too but only for a very brief period. The racket starts in front of the hand ("point to chest side") then gets lagged very late, is pulled a short distance and then quickly reverses ("whips"). The core drives hard too but the racket is not pulled by the engine all the way but quickly hops on and the off the running train.
     
    #3
  4. RetroSpin

    RetroSpin Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2011
    Messages:
    1,959
    There is a big difference in the typical ATP and WTA FHs. The WTA FH features a much longer backswing that goes behind the body line, while the aTP FH is more compact and never goes behind the body line. The WTA rpos set their wrist on the backswing and maintain the nagle, something John Yandell advises most club players to do. The ATP FH involves the wrist laying back as the arm starts forward, giving it the trademark look.

    The big advantage of the ATP FH is the ability to handle incoming pace.
     
    #4
  5. rkelley

    rkelley Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2010
    Messages:
    2,410
    #5
  6. Topspin Shot

    Topspin Shot Legend

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2009
    Messages:
    5,141
    ATP: Keep backswing on right side of body.
    WTA: Allow backswing to drift back to left side of body.
     
    #6
  7. TCF

    TCF Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2012
    Messages:
    1,908
    Like others have said, the difference is usually the take back. If we start with boys and girls at age 6, the take backs are about the same. As the kids age and the boys upper body strength increases at a faster rate, the girls start winding up more and more while the boys have a shorter 'racquet behind the ball then accelerate' stroke.

    Another issue is the topspin. As the girls age, their topspin stops being as much as a weapon and they have to flatten out their strokes to be effective.

    But there are exceptions to these generalizations of course.
     
    #7
  8. mightyrick

    mightyrick Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2010
    Messages:
    4,862
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    There are exceptions, but I'm not sure it has much to do with strength as much as just what technique coaches are teaching these women.

    Justine Henin had one of the best forehands ever seen in the women's game and her technique was pure ATP-style. Her forehand looked almost exactly like Federer's. Stosur also uses ATP-style. Stosur is incredibly strong, but Henin is probably in the bottom echelon in the strength category.

    I'm not sure why women's coaches aren't teaching more ATP-style... but I doubt it's strength related.
     
    #8
  9. TCF

    TCF Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2012
    Messages:
    1,908
    Rick Macci and most top coaches teach boys and girls differently. They found that as they hit the 16s, the girls topspin that used to be a weapon, now sits up like a beach ball to get crushed by the big girls. So they teach them early on to hit a flatter ball. If you ask them why, the coaches will say because men are naturally stronger in the upper body and can generate enough spin for it to remain a weapon.

    If you teach a boy and girl twin from age 6 the girl will naturally start to wind up more as she ages.

    We have tried to teach the girls the same as boys. But it simply does not work with them. The racquet behind the ball then accelerate stops working in the 16s.

    For whatever reason, their are exceptions like Henin. But in the real world if you try to force a girl to hit like a man, they start getting killed by the 16s in almost every case.

    I am dealing with that right now. We have a 15 year old whose forehand looks exactly like an ATP player. She was killing it in the lower age groups. I noticed yesterday our skilled 12 year olds are starting to give her fits.
     
    #9
  10. toly

    toly Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2010
    Messages:
    1,993
    Sharapova Forehand - 45° "Active" Wrist Ulnar Deviation

    [​IMG]
     
    #10
  11. mightyrick

    mightyrick Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2010
    Messages:
    4,862
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    That's interesting. How are the 12 year olds giving her fits? Because they are simply being more adept at handling topspin? Is the 15 year old having problems handing low, flat balls with an ATP-style forehand?

    There are definitely things that need to be tweaked with an ATP forehand. I have a very loopy ATP-style forehand, but it is a challenge for me to handle incoming hard-flat balls. I'm working very hard to overcome it, but it takes work and lots of practice.
     
    #11
  12. dominikk1985

    dominikk1985 Legend

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2011
    Messages:
    6,436
    henin was small but very strong. she had a spanish conditioning coach who did a ton of weight training with her. she got much better when she got stronger.
     
    #12
  13. bobosynth

    bobosynth Banned

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2013
    Messages:
    1
    I saw this video recently and it was pretty enlightening. I have only been playing for around four years but I noticed a difference and couldn't really put my finger on it before watching the video.

    As for the evolution of the women's game, I can't really comment because I don't follow the WTA. :confused:
     
    #13
  14. TCF

    TCF Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2012
    Messages:
    1,908
    They are giving her fits because they are starting to crush her topspin forehands. If you watch her hit side by side with the guys her age, her balls just do not have the spin and heaviness that theirs do. So the better kids can tee off on her forehands.

    The rest of the girls hit with less net clearance, flatter balls. This requires pretty amazing timing to pull off but can lead to effective penetrating shots.

    I had a visiting coach look at our best girl, just 9 years old. She hits a very hard, flat, and accurate ball and is tearing up the older kids. The coach commented that he has never seen such superb timing.

    So its a balancing act with the girls. They need some topspin of course, but they need to make sure their balls do not sit up to be crushed back at them.
     
    #14
  15. TCF

    TCF Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2012
    Messages:
    1,908
    Its a good video at explaining the differences.

    However it is way off the mark in that in the real world very few females can generate enough power using that technique to make it a weapon. Henin was an outlier for whatever reason....maybe she had different types of muscle fibers than most females, who knows.

    This guy making the video misses that there are 2 sides to the equation....the women on the other side of the net are big and strong. They are able to tee off on the spinny forehands.

    Rick Macci, Saviano, Sanchez-Casal have tried for decades to teach girls the same forehand as boys. Its not rocket science, any good coach knows the difference and can show girls how to hit it ATP style.

    But the results are what they are....not good for most females. By the 16s their forehands get crushed because their anatomy does not allow them to generate enough penetration, spin and power using an ATP style.
     
    #15
  16. SCSI

    SCSI Rookie

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2005
    Messages:
    332
    A very good comment. I have given some thoughts on this and I have a different theory...

    Conventional wisdom is that men have 40-50% greater upper body strength and that is the main difference and the reason why most female players are not able to be successful with so called ATP style technique. As you mentioned, Henin proved them wrong but she may be an outlier.

    However, we are seeing a few more players in the mix using this more advanced technique in WTA. Eugenie Bouchard certainly is one and her combination of spin and pace allowed her to rise up rapidly this year in rank. To a lesser extent, Halep has a similar technique and she also had a good bit of success.

    The kind of balls these two players are able to generate seems to cause considerable amount of trouble to many of their opponents. Halep vs. Kirilenko at the US Open was a good example, IMO.

    My theory is that it is really not the strength, but the players' ability to fully grasp and understand the technique. For whatever reason, lagging and generally hitting the ATP style comes more naturally to men/boys. Maybe it is from playing other sports, but I have had a hell of time to have female players even understand the technique much less learning it. As you know, this ATP style technique, while looks simple, requires a bit of coordination, adding 1-2 more steps in the kinetic chain.

    I have been working with very good female player (ITF level) for the last 5-6 weeks on this. She is fit and has a decent size but is not particularly strong. When she gets the swing right, she hits with a great deal of spin and pace with little effort. The most challenging thing is to have her understand the swing and unlearning what comes naturally to her.

    That is, she, like many female players, learned to generate power using her hip. And, learning to lag the upper body and using the kinetic chain to hit the ball more efficiently is a completely foreign concept to her.

    Anyway, I realize that I could easily be proven wrong, but I will find out. It really doesn't require that much strength to use the ATP style technique.

    Having to compete from an early age, I can understand why most girls stick with the old school technique. I am often amazed how a little girl can hit so hard using her hip. But, I also see that she is not likely unlearn that easily and be able to change to a more advanced and effective technique.
     
    #16
  17. TCF

    TCF Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2012
    Messages:
    1,908
    I respect your opinion and wish you luck with your student. All I can say is every top coach I have ever visited with has tried to train many a girl to hit like the boys exactly as you are doing.

    And in almost every case they end up getting crushed by the girls who hit the traditional WTA method in the 16s or 18s.

    High level 18s and ITF and WTA are the ultimate survival of the fittest and evolutionary experiment. The best strokes will take over.

    If the ATP style forehand is superior even in females, it will take over as we move forward. So far, from all the experiments I have run or discussed with top coaches, it is inferior.

    It does require strength to use the ATP technique effectively at a high level. The player must generate tons of spin and penetration or the balls sit up too much to be crushed.
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2013
    #17
  18. GuyClinch

    GuyClinch Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2004
    Messages:
    4,894
    I'd argue that Heath Waters, Rick Macci and Lock and Roll have the definitive videos on the modern ATP forehands.. But that video is pretty excellent. There is a big difference though the men set up what Macci would call 'outside' and use the SSC reflex to allow the racquet to lag back and then snap through the ball. I'd lean to Waters because he seemed to be about 4 years ahead of the other guys in describing the SSC.

    Interestingly, Macci says the same thing about the serve - the major issue with that is that most players start their upward and forward leg thrust/hip drive after the racquet drop when it should be facilitating the drop...Anyway this concept is pretty cool. As a guy I am working on incorporating the SSC into my forehand and serve. I don't think it takes exceptional leg strength or anything like that - and FWIW women tend to have good leg strength its the upper body strength they lack.

    I use to think the differences in 'modern' forehands was overrated - it's not though. There are clear differences between the men and women which has been clarified after watching some of these videos. What I do disagree with is the push vs. pull designation. It seems to the wrong words to describe it.. Both men and women clearly pull on their forehand..

    Pull vs. Whip is better but I think the men pull as well...so its not great either.
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2013
    #18
  19. GuyClinch

    GuyClinch Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2004
    Messages:
    4,894
    Sam Stosur hits with an ATP style forehand as well. As far as the muscle fiber goes - BS man. All people have a mix of fast and slow twitch fibers. Some obviously are more 'fast twitch' then others. This is of course genetic and heritable (this is why families often have similar athletes).

    The most obvious fast twitch players on the female side are the Williams sisters. In fact Richard Williams correctly predicated that they would dominate because of their family history..

    But almost all the women on the tour have sufficient muscle strength and size to use the ATP style - that's how they got on the tour in the first place. Davenport, Clisters etc etc - these are generally big strong girls.

    Also relatively slim and weaker men can use the ATP style no problem as well.
     
    #19
  20. TCF

    TCF Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2012
    Messages:
    1,908
    Well we can go back and forth on this but the truth remains....many, many coaches have been trying to teach girls to "hit like the boys" for years and years.

    And in almost every case the ones that do it successfully are rare and the ones that use the traditional larger wind up WTA style pass them by.

    I have seen it over and over again with my own eyes. I have followed junior girls who hit exactly like the guys do. I currently see a 15 year old 5 times a week, and she is a big girl. But she can not generate enough spin and penetration to make it work.

    Like I said....its the ultimate evolutionary test. All these little girls being trained to hit like boys will rise to the top if it is superior. So far, very few have.
     
    #20
  21. dominikk1985

    dominikk1985 Legend

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2011
    Messages:
    6,436
    a lot of the southern european girls also use that ATP style FH especially the italian girls (schiavonne, errani) but also kuznetsova who learned in spain. mauresmo also used it.

    maybe for women this style is slightly better suited for clay than for HC? most success of the ATP style FH in the WTA seemed to have come on clay. henin was good on all courts but she won 4 out of her 7 slams on clay. kuzzy also had her best results on clay. mauresmo was an exeption though.

    there is a young spanish player from spain named torro-flor who is only ranked like 60 in the world but she has a very big ATP style FH (but also very erratic)

    very fun to watch, she basically goes broke with any FH she plays:)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tEwfpfS8ZS8
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2013
    #21
  22. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2006
    Messages:
    11,179
    Location:
    Stuck in the Matrix somewhere in Santa Clara CA
    Not really liking the pull vs whip dichotomy any more than push vs pull designations from a few years back. Back then, the claim was the the WTA was primarily push groundstrokes whereas the ATP was primarily pull. Now it seems that the push is now pull and pull is now whip. There appears to be elements of push, pull and whip in both the WTA and ATP groundies. Perhaps we are better off characterizing them as WTA and ATP unless we can find some better adjectives.
     
    #22
  23. dominikk1985

    dominikk1985 Legend

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2011
    Messages:
    6,436
    maybe with the lighter and more powerfull rackets and poly strings the dynamic will change a bit.
     
    #23
  24. TCF

    TCF Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2012
    Messages:
    1,908
    We will no doubt see what happens. Lots of girls in the 10s-14s have been taught to hit like the boys. Every coaches conference for the last 10 years some speaker will discuss teaching them to hit more ATP style.

    So lots have been taught to do it, if it is a better way for females to hit we will see them take over the top levels of tennis.
     
    #24
  25. barringer97

    barringer97 Rookie

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2012
    Messages:
    377
    You are going to hate this, but our pro (big USTA development guy) points to this:

    http://www.tenniscanada.ca/tennis_c...jugFnV79yt4B6ntqPm3m46aGa9QeE4rnvqfrEtXVmuw==

    The approach is called “Progressive Tennis.” It is imported from European countries such as France and Belgium where it was used to successfully develop players like Justine Henin-Hardenne and Olivier Rochus. Progressive Tennis uses a systematic progression of court sizes, balls, and racquets, to scale the game down to an appropriate level for 5-10 year olds.
     
    #25
  26. GuyClinch

    GuyClinch Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2004
    Messages:
    4,894
    The problem with saying that if the ATP style was superior that women using it would be dominating is that some of the more talented women might not be using it.. We would need some kind of blind sample to see which technique is better.

    For someone like Henin to beat dramatically bigger and stronger players using the ATP style - thats a huge plus for it. Henin is tiny compared to Serena - and less athletic to boot.

    I just don't see anything about female anatomy that would make the superior ATP style inferior in the hands of a woman. If you look at other sports the women adopt the same style as the men.. Its not like in the WNBA they use set shots.
     
    #26
  27. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2006
    Messages:
    11,179
    Location:
    Stuck in the Matrix somewhere in Santa Clara CA
    ^ Good point. However, I do not agree with the statement Henin was less athletic. Far from it. It was her athleticism that allowed her to play at such a high level.
     
    #27
  28. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2008
    Messages:
    37,229
    Location:
    East side of San Francisco Bay
    Don't agree with post 26.
    Girl's/women excell with their own style, NOT like male athletes.
    Basketball is a good example.
    In snowboarding, almost ALL the top women have a more upright stance.
    In skiing, like racing, notice the physique differences.
    Might be the unique weight distribution, or less upper body, more lower body strength making the difference. But there IS a difference.
     
    #28
  29. TCF

    TCF Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2012
    Messages:
    1,908
    Ha, yeah its the same claims they all make with the mini tennis. Robert Lansdorp laughs at the Justine Henin claims. He says she did mini tennis for 3 months when she was like 6 years old.
     
    #29
  30. martini1

    martini1 Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2008
    Messages:
    3,173
    Agree on the take back.

    I see ATP fh got much more wrap around finish from the top players. Whether it is Roger or Rafa with the straight arm or Djoker/Murray with the WW/banded arm stroke.
     
    #30
  31. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2008
    Messages:
    37,229
    Location:
    East side of San Francisco Bay
    I see a similar long finish, fully wrapping around to the other side, in lots of higher level women's tennis.
    But, it's not as noticeable as the men, possibly due to slower swingspeeds.
    And for old farts like myself, it's possible that adding swingspeed and topspin to my groundies would only make it EASIER for the opponent to redirect, since whatever I have to add just might be not enough to make a positive difference....like in women's tennis.
     
    #31
  32. TCF

    TCF Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2012
    Messages:
    1,908
    It is what it is. Many coaches have tried having girls use the ATP style for years now. They have taught boys and girls side by side with no prejudice.

    The boy's forehands get more and more punishing as they get older, more of a weapon. The boy's topspin and heaviness of the balls gets better and better. But almost all the girls start having worse and worse results in the 16s-18s. You can sit there at tournaments and watch their ATP style forehands sit up like beach balls. The ones with the WTA style forehands do not.

    I have hit with kids all along the way. The 15 year old top boys blow me away, I have no problem handling the 15 year old girls raised on the ATP style.

    We can disagree on what the reasons are, but the real world data shows it simply is not effective for most females.

    This idea of hitting more like boys has been around for a long time and lots of coaches have bought into it. If it was better than the top 100 ITF and top 100 WTA would have 95% of the females hitting that way by now.
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2013
    #32
  33. GuyClinch

    GuyClinch Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2004
    Messages:
    4,894
    Not buying it. The Federer Nadal style forehand is pretty 'new' and only recently has Rick Macci been pushing it..

    So acting like this is something that has been attempted for years does not seem genuine.

    Here is what Yandell said about the SSC earlier this year:

    "Some players and coaches believe that this forward flexion is a key to power or spin and an example of that mythical, epic, invisible and misunderstood term the "stretch shorten cycle.""

    I don't think we have had widespread agreement about how to hit a modern Federer forehand - or even an Agassi forehand for many years.

    I remember hearing how Agassi had an especially short swing that you wouldn't be able to generate any power with.. Now we know better..
     
    #33
  34. JohnYandell

    JohnYandell Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2004
    Messages:
    1,676
    Just to clarify.

    As I understand the work of the only guy who has really studied and measured this, Dr. Brian Gordon, the primary stretch shorten cycle in the forehand involves the shoulder muscles. It's created by the combination of the outside backswing and the racket flip. This is what we see so clearly in Roger and to some great extent in most of the other top players on the men's side.

    He doesn't believe the wrist flexion contributes to racket head speed. If anything players are often apparently reducing flexion for a variety of reasons on certain balls. This matches perfectly with what the high speed film shows about the lay back of the wrist.
     
    #34
  35. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2008
    Messages:
    10,444
    What I'm seeing in the rKelly vid agrees with what I understand JY to be saying about Brian's work.

    I'd like to add what I'm seeing as the 2 key mistakes in that vid....1st is that he misses the connection of the relative position between the ball of the shoulder or shoulder plane, and the hand for the men and women. While the men do in fact drag the racket...they drive the hand strongly with the shoulder by keeping it even with or slightly ahead of the shoulder plane. The women tend to drag the hand just behind the shoulder plane, thus dragging the hand to drag the racket. Imo this also relates to how the other hand is used in rotation. I teach this as "drive the hand with your shoulders to drag the racket".

    So when the vid suggested the men swing with more independent arm motion, this is wrong imo; as the men strong use the hips to drive the shoulders, to drive the hand pulling the racket along. The women use more arm as they lead with the shoulder dragging the hand, which runs out sooner and requires them to finish using more arm as the shoulders start to stop that segment, allowing the arm to accel around to contact then follow thru.
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2013
    #35
  36. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2008
    Messages:
    10,444
    I think the 2ond thing is related to apples and oranges....tough to tell since he does not play them thru, but the vid seems to mostly use WW fh for the Men vs the ovr shoulder with the women. Imo this is a factor in what he calls releasing the wrist and makes for a poor comparison. He does not seem to acknowledge that men use a variety of finishes...including over the shoulder.

    I don't care for the "release the wrist" term, since imo you can't release what you have not held. Imo the players don't hold the wrist other than some flex or tension to avoid hyper extension (or strain) in the so called "stretch part". Since the wrist is already released in the forward direction the whole forward swing....you can't release it at or about contact. It is the swing and shaping of the swing that cause the wrist to work as it does and that is related to finish as well, since the finish tells us much about how the shot was shaped.
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2013
    #36
  37. GuyClinch

    GuyClinch Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2004
    Messages:
    4,894

    The thinking goes like this - if your wrist is forcibly laid (and locked in place) back - you inhibit the SSC - and you destroy the whole chain.. Women (and Leyton Hewitt) lay their wrist back and keep it that way..

    But you claim the SSC in the wrist is a myth - so therefore laying the wrist back forcibly in the backswing wouldn't hurt you. This is where the disagreement comes in.

    I don't think anyone thinks you have to conciously flex your wrist on your forehand.

    Anyway this is a disagreement between tennis authors. I am not picking sides just explaining that there is disagreement and pointing out that the teaching HOW to hit a Federer forehand is not abundantly clear. It seems to be coming into clarity in the past 5 years or so but certainly i don't think the coaching establishment has known how to teach it for years.

    So we can't claim that we have been teaching girls to hit it all along and thus it 'doesn't work' for women. Rick Macci was explaining how he thought Roddick's forehand setup was 'wrong' (too outside) he termed it but let it go because it worked so well.

    I think we will see more and more women mimic the guys style and dominate with it in the future - much like Henin but with larger athletes. Take Henin's technique and let a WTA size women use it and you likely have a dominant player..that's the thinking.
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2013
    #37
  38. dominikk1985

    dominikk1985 Legend

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2011
    Messages:
    6,436
    the description is new but the technique has been used since about the mid to late 90s.

    see albert costa:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JU55C2bvfcs

    he did not use straight arm but racket on chest side, pat the dog and across/WW finish. but it is a great thing that guys like macci and waters made an exact description of it, before that day the players would develope it more by themselves (or not).
     
    #38
  39. SCSI

    SCSI Rookie

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2005
    Messages:
    332
    It seems like some of us are talking about a few different things.

    On the topic of WTA vs. ATP style of play, my thought is that you can play at a very high level using older technique and most top ten WTA players use older technique with their racket face synching with their hip movement with no significant lagging. Hewitt and Agassi were quite successful for a long time even against players with more advanced technique.

    Even at the junior and ITF level, many players are remarkably good at this so called WTA style and anything that sits up will be put away decisively. However, if you use the right "new technique", your ball should not sit up with excessive topspin. What I am on working is more like Federer style of technique, which, IMO, is much more advanced than the Spanish technique that was popular in the late 90s and early 2000s.

    The game is evolving rapidly on the men's side. The women's game is lagging behind in so many ways. Most female players stay close to the baseline and "slap" at the ball and rely heavily on their feel and repetitive practices rather than working on superior and more solid technique, which, IMO, explains the lack of rhythm and consistency that you see in the men's game.

    This style of play make it very challenging to play or develop the ATP style of game, if you practice and play tournaments against women, because every ball comes at you differently and very quickly, as they rely on robbing time away from you by standing on the baseline and hitting hard and flat balls.

    Well coached players like Eugenie Bouchard really seems to work on the rhythm and really focus on hitting (driving) the ball in the right way in a very deliberate way. I don't know her personally, but I would bet she is also very smart like Federer and Nadal. She gets it unlike most other girls/women. She also has the athletic ability to execute the shots with the right effect and has good enough footwork to make it work. I first learned about her, when the player that I have been helping called me a couple of years ago from a ITF tournament in Florida and told me about her after having a chance to practice with her.

    In golf, women don't swing differently than men. They may not have the power and speed that men have, but the players and coaches don't think twice about learning and teaching the most advanced technique. Why should tennis be any different except there is relatively little focus on technique and there are seemingly only handful of coaches out there that truly understand Federer's technique and they don't seem to be particularly forth coming about sharing what they know.
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2013
    #39
  40. RetroSpin

    RetroSpin Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2011
    Messages:
    1,959
    Have to say, this is developing into one of the best threads of the year.

    Just to inject another element, one of the most common patterns of play on the ATP is the so-called spanish style, ie using a big FH to dictate play and run around your BH to hit big FHs to your opponent's BH. This is far less common on the WTA. There the big weapon and point ender is the BH DTL.
     
    #40
  41. RetroSpin

    RetroSpin Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2011
    Messages:
    1,959
    Julian had a post last week in which he cited research showing the dominant factor creating topspin was wrist radial deviation through impact. My assumption is that the "laid back" wrist position as the forward swing begins creates ulnar deviation and thus sets up the wrist to fire into radial deviation.

    This seems to me to be consistent with what Oscar Wegner teaches.

    Any thoughts?
     
    #41
  42. JohnYandell

    JohnYandell Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2004
    Messages:
    1,676
    GC,

    I think it's better to layback the wrist than not to have good hitting arm structure around contact.

    BUT I have found that Brian's outside backswing solves that for most people and makes the lay back happen naturally. It's good to learn something new and improved...

    Again the stretch shorten cycle is in the shoulder not the wrist and forearm.
     
    #42
  43. dominikk1985

    dominikk1985 Legend

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2011
    Messages:
    6,436
    who is brian?
     
    #43
  44. TCF

    TCF Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2012
    Messages:
    1,908
    Well I am all for this 'new' idea of training the girls to hit the ATP style forehand. It will be less competition for our players. The bottom line is girls and boys have been trained side by side using the exact techniques described here despite the skepticism of some.

    In my opinion any increase in topspin and penetration will not be enough to overcome the amazing timing the girl receiving the ball has. The top girls will almost always be able to jump on the ATP style female forehands. The flatter balls will continue to win in female tennis is most cases.

    Our eyes light up when we see a girl warm up at a tournament with the ATP style forehand. There will likely be plenty of balls to attack. Maybe that will start to change in the future. We shall see. If it does, we will adapt.
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2013
    #44
  45. rkelley

    rkelley Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2010
    Messages:
    2,410
    OK, a couple of people who are very knowledgeable and I respect a bunch are saying . . . well basically that I'm wrong. I hate that.

    So to back up a bit, I want to check agreement with a couple of basic principals first.

    I think a modern swing path is basically independent of grip within a certain range of grips, E to W. Whatever the grip, the goal is to make the racqueet follow a certain swing path that produces pace and spin. When I look at Djokovic and Federer, two guys with fairly different grips, the racquet near and through the contact zone is doing about the same thing. Is there agreement on this swing path point?

    Second, and given the above, I really don't see how we can talk about specific wrist and arm motions until we specify the grip. While the swing path may be the same, the motions of the wrist, forearm, and upper arm are going to be different in order to achieve that swing path. Is there agreement on this point?

    I'll stop here and see where things land. Really interested to hear from John Y and 5263 among others.
     
    #45
  46. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2005
    Messages:
    35,650
    #46
  47. Topspin Shot

    Topspin Shot Legend

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2009
    Messages:
    5,141
    You are correct on both these points. When coaches teach a modern forehand, they don't obsess too much on the specific motions of the arm segments but rather coach the swing path and allow the student to create the arm movements necessary to make that swing path happen. If the student does something very wrong, the coach will step in and make a correction, but often, provided the student keeps his arm loose and fluid, any arm deficiencies will manifest in an improper swing path.

    The swing path itself consists of up, across, and through components through the hitting zone as part of a power loop. The plane of the racket remains the same through this zone. Macromovements of lower body segments accentuate the up (sit and lift) and across (coil and uncoil) components. Does this all make sense?
     
    #47
  48. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2005
    Messages:
    35,650
    You are right she doesn't have the longer backswing:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hoAFdcwAg_4

    On the other hand, she hasn't won anything compared to Li Na, Sharapova, or the Williams sisters, and she is not mentioned as a power hitter either, so we will see.

    If you have a shorter backswing and want to get the same racket head speed at impact, you have to have a faster swing. Otherwise you should have a longer swing and accelerate over a longer period of time. Men can do the former. So there is no big mystery about it. And the tradeoffs are also clear for someone who has a shorter swing yet cannot accelerate faster - they need to rely on the quickness of response to take away the opponent's time rather than the quality of the stroke. Even among the men, Federer takes it earlier and robs the opponent of time, while Nadal stays back and takes his own sweet time, but what a ball he produces when he does hit it!
     
    #48
  49. RetroSpin

    RetroSpin Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2011
    Messages:
    1,959
    I think there is a surprising lack of agreement on technique. The same thing goes on in golf BTW, with many well-known instructors teaching suboptimal technique.

    Tennis pros from Vic Braden on have taught that it is necessary to bend your knees and lift through the stroke to generate top. Videos of top players show they do no such thing. They use knee extension, ie squat and jump, to power core rotation.

    Ironically, the guy teaching the most modern technique is an older guy, Oscar Wegner.
     
    #49
  50. Topspin Shot

    Topspin Shot Legend

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2009
    Messages:
    5,141
    Actually, they do both. Sit and lift powers the core and accentuates the vertical component of the swing, providing extra topspin.
     
    #50

Share This Page