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Puma 03-22-2004 07:58 AM

Just for Grins, Bungalo
Watched Hennin play the final. Ok, ok no cracks about the hand issue, this is something different. Just tennis and tennis technique. After reading the posts where you guys were explaining how to increase topspin on a onehander, I noticed Hennin hitting what looked like topspin from a ball that was at about her chin. Not only did she hit it, but it looked like it was well spanked and well directed. How she do dat? Please explain.....

Bungalo Bill 03-22-2004 11:38 AM

Henin uses an extreme backhand which is or is close to the grip you use as a semi-western backhand. This is a difficult grip to get used to. However, the strike zone makes it higher. So with practice and excellent timing she can really smack the ball.

The other thing henin does besides having excellent timing is excellent balance and she is always (or almost always) in position to hit the ball with her whole body. She really turns the hips well and the shoudlers arms follow. She has excellent commnad of her head. She really keeps it still.

What Mahboob, Frank, and I (and many other professional teachers) were suggesting is that to hit a solid onehanded backhand you have to develop good fundmentals first before adding a bunch or "stuff" to it. There is so much that can happen to your detriment, to screw up a sound development program for a onehanded backhand.

You will also see pros leave their feet as soon as the ball bounces they will rise with the ball while swinging out to meet the ball. This is also an advanced move once you have learned how to hit the onehander consistently.

Henin is one mean customer on that onehander but she is in shape and she is fast with good anticipation. If you can get better in this department alone you will see your backhand improve dramtically.

One other thing, normally to hit a ball around waist level you would swing upward at abouot 30 degree angle. This angle is natural just by raising your arm to hit the ball. To hit a higher ball with topspin you would have to go up at a steeper angle to hit the ball. Also, when it comes to power in a stroke, never under estimate previous work done with her body - the legs.

Puma 03-22-2004 12:27 PM

Ok, ok....I already know I cannot hit the topspin at chin height. I can hit it on the frame at chin height and put all kinds of funky stuff on it, but I don't know where it is goin.

Next question- I have watched the pros and their air-borne attack on groundies. Looks impressive and easy when they do it. So..When Federer hits that slice backhand, short real spinny forehand and the deep super flat forehand is this an attempt to keep the opponent from getting a chance to come off the ground returning his ball??

Bungalo Bill 03-22-2004 06:07 PM

No not really. They are not hitting balls to allow their opponent to not get off the ground. They are basically using tactics in their shot selection to open the court, take time away, run the legs, get a player off balance or a variety of other things.

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