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-   -   Can you explain difference between a topspin and flat forehand? (http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=287266)

Oldracquet27 09-11-2009 06:15 PM

Can you explain difference between a topspin and flat forehand?
 
I am practicing in order to get a good and reliable forehand. I understand most of the basic fundamentals. I want to focus on one style first so i can build my muscle memory on the shot faster. That is why i want to be sure i am practicing either topspin or flat separate. I want to practice some months working with my topspin and later flat. I want to make sure i know which grips, stance, contact point height, etc are recommended for each one.

thanks!

Grizvok 09-11-2009 08:40 PM

Grip: Same grip for both shots.
Stance: Same stance for both shots

The contact point will vary depending on what you want to do on any given ball. Obviously if you are deep in the court with a ball around your knees you probably aren't going to be trying to crack a really hard flat forehand for a winner. However, if you are a foot inside the baseline with a sitter around your shoulder height you are probably going to want to be pretty aggressive with this shot and really hit through the ball.

For me, the best way to learn to hit these shots is to understand swing-paths. If you are looking to hit topspin you want to start well below the ball and hit up through the ball and finish high. There is a more advanced technique for generating topspin called the windshield wiper but you should NOT worry about this technique at your current level.

For flattening out a ball and hitting a penetrating and aggressive forehand your swing-path should be much more horizontal than before and focus on really driving through the ball more. This means that your racquet is general going to start level with the ball and if you take my scenario from the first paragraph and input it here, your finish should be roughly around or near the top of your shoulder since you were hitting a ball at shoulder height.

When you get this concept down then you literally have an infinite amount of shots you can hit since you understand that a vertical swing-path is giving you spin on the ball and a more horizontal one is hitting through the ball. You can vary the amount you hit through the ball and vary the amount of spin to whatever degree you want.

Spinning the ball in with a good amount of topspin but not getting the pace and depth you want? Go more horizontal and through the ball.

Hitting the ball too flat (and long) and not getting margin of error to keep up your consistency? Swing more vertical and brush the back of the ball more.

I'm a pretty young player (only 20 although I play at a pretty decent level) so take my teaching for what it is worth.

Lsmkenpo 09-11-2009 09:30 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Oldracquet27 (Post 3921168)
I am practicing in order to get a good and reliable forehand. I understand most of the basic fundamentals. I want to focus on one style first so i can build my muscle memory on the shot faster. That is why i want to be sure i am practicing either topspin or flat separate. I want to practice some months working with my topspin and later flat. I want to make sure i know which grips, stance, contact point height, etc are recommended for each one.

thanks!


Switching your stroke between topspin and flat forehand is an old school approach, that is how it was done 25 years ago.

The modern approach I would recommend if you are serious about playing the game at a higher level is to learn the traditional topspin forehand,than
learn to hit the windshield wiper forehand, you can flatten trajectory and still get topspin using the wiper,and offers better control than a traditional flat forehand stroke.

A true flat forehand stroke has become obsolete in my opinion, the windshield wiper is the dominate forehand stroke used in the modern game, allows a player to hit through the ball or loop it and both will have topspin for control.

marosmith 09-16-2009 05:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Lsmkenpo (Post 3921597)
Switching your stroke between topspin and flat forehand is an old school approach, that is how it was done 25 years ago.

The modern approach I would recommend if you are serious about playing the game at a higher level is to learn the traditional topspin forehand,than
learn to hit the windshield wiper forehand, you can flatten trajectory and still get topspin using the wiper,and offers better control than a traditional flat forehand stroke.

A true flat forehand stroke has become obsolete in my opinion, the windshield wiper is the dominate forehand stroke used in the modern game, allows a player to hit through the ball or loop it and both will have topspin for control.

I see no problem with using WW for rallies and then using a classic shot for winners, or to flatten out for a penetrating shot when you are set up. I think discounting one or the other is stupid. Watch Federer.

wyutani 09-16-2009 05:54 PM

wot for real?

topsin, ball spins higher when bounced. flat, not but faster.

Bud 09-16-2009 05:54 PM

It's all in the swing path... the more severe the brush up on the ball... the more spin it will have... and vice versa.

albesca 02-11-2013 08:40 AM

penetrating forehand
 
An advice that works for me on hitting penetrating forehand with an horizontal swing path is to avoid the raquet head drops down the ball.

It was easy to me to change the swing path ..it was less easy to change the habit to drop down the raquet head relaxing the wrist/forearm.

The sum of horizontal path + raquet head drop down is perfect if you want to make a hole on opponent back fence.

To hit flat, swing horizontal and move the raquet head back instead to leave it drops down as the forward swing starts.

Ciao
Al

boramiNYC 02-11-2013 11:28 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by albesca (Post 7206753)
An advice that works for me on hitting penetrating forehand with an horizontal swing path is to avoid the raquet head drops down the ball.

It was easy to me to change the swing path ..it was less easy to change the habit to drop down the raquet head relaxing the wrist/forearm.

The sum of horizontal path + raquet head drop down is perfect if you want to make a hole on opponent back fence.

To hit flat, swing horizontal and move the raquet head back instead to leave it drops down as the forward swing starts.

Ciao
Al

I came to the same conclusion about not dropping the racquet head below the contact, esp for E grip fh. it's good for hitting flat or topspin with flat trajectory (Fed) shots.

albesca 02-11-2013 12:30 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by boramiNYC (Post 7207101)
I came to the same conclusion about not dropping the racquet head below the contact, esp for E grip fh. it's good for hitting flat or topspin with flat trajectory (Fed) shots.

With a 100% passive wrist/forearm happens the gravity wins and the raquet head drop direction will be inevitably down... but, i think this doesn't mean we are forced to use muscles to control the position of the racket head during the drop, because the level of that dropping also depends on timing of the forearm/wrist relaxation.

If I start to swing forward when raquet head is still pointing up, gravity not win and the raquet head doesn't drop down too much, then i can hit horizontal with more penetration.

If i wait a fraction of second more...gravity wins and raquet head drops down and i can't hit horizontal otherwise the ball gets too high and goes long...

10isfreak 02-11-2013 01:21 PM

The difference lies in the spin/pace ratio, a flatter stroke travelling at a higher speed relatively to its spin.

To get a loopier stroke, players swing more vertically and meet the ball with a greater degree of closure at impact; to hit flatter, they keep the swing more horizontal and present a less severely closed face at impact. But if you look at Federer, while he seems to be hitting fairly flat most of the time, he's still hitting at spin rates in the vicinity of 2500 rpm on average. In truth, he hits more top spin on his flat strokes than most pros hit on their loopier balls!

The point is that top spin should be a tool to increase your control over your strokes: to tame the heat of a 70-80 mph forehand during rallies, you need a sick amount of top spin... but if you own spin production, you also own your shot and it will stay in time, after time, after time.

ace_pace 02-12-2013 03:02 AM

Topspin forehand is the way of the future regardless of surface speed because it is the only consistent way of keeping balls in the court while A) hitting balls faster and B) losing less speed on ball bounce.

Nellie 02-12-2013 11:35 AM

You should not be hitting "different" forehands based on topspin/flat strokes. The difference between flat and top spin shots is the motion of the racquet during the millisecond of contact between the ball and the racquet face (with topspin happenning when the racquet head is rising during contact). As suggested above, even you have terribly loopy strokes, you will hit flat shots if the racquet head does not dip below the height of the ball (since the racquet head is not moving up at contact but, instead, is moving up after contact). So, you should be working on the same stroke, with differences in racquet preparation/finish adjusting the amount of topspin from the stroke.

FYI, I strong believe that every player should hace some topspin on their strokes but I don't recommend extreme topspin (e.g., western grip strokes) for beginners because you will tend to brush up the back of the ball and not hit through the stroke.

TheCheese 02-12-2013 09:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by marosmith (Post 3949844)
I see no problem with using WW for rallies and then using a classic shot for winners, or to flatten out for a penetrating shot when you are set up. I think discounting one or the other is stupid. Watch Federer.

Watch again. Federer doesn't hit flat forehands. He hits topspin forehands with a flat trajectory at times. People at home are constantly amazed how these pros are able to hit such flat shots without missing. They aren't threading the needle on every shot, they're putting a ton of spin on the ball because they get ridiculous racket head speed which allows them to have a margin for error even on relatively flat trajectory balls.

Mahboob Khan 02-15-2013 07:39 AM

I think you must understand how and where the rubber will meet the road (strings meeting the ball):

For topspin: You peel an orange from 6 to 12 o' clock positions causing the ball to rotate forward-upward. The racket-head at contact goes more on a vertical path and less on a linear path. The topspin shot clears the net with high margin.

For flat: You smash the orange .. the strings go through the ball more on a linear path (as if the ball will pass through the head of the racket). Flat shot clears the net with less margin.

Topspin keeps you more in rally situations. Basically it is a safe shot. A player like Nadal could be very aggressive with topspin.

However, when the winner presents itself you flaten it out and hit a flat winner to a nearby corner.

An experienced player will mix his shots with topspin, flat and slice to offer a deadly cocktail to his opponent.

You must have all the shots .. topspin, flat, slice .. to become a complete player.

marosmith 02-15-2013 10:32 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TheCheese (Post 7210664)
Watch again. Federer doesn't hit flat forehands. He hits topspin forehands with a flat trajectory at times. People at home are constantly amazed how these pros are able to hit such flat shots without missing. They aren't threading the needle on every shot, they're putting a ton of spin on the ball because they get ridiculous racket head speed which allows them to have a margin for error even on relatively flat trajectory balls.

No one hits "flat" but some balls are flatter and Fed has the ability to hit numerous kinds of forehands including classic "flat" type strokes.


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