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Djoker91 10-09-2012 05:13 PM

Racket face/Grip
 
So I've heard this a few times from some great tennis minds, even some on this forum. That when you want to hit that winner, high speed, still topspin, low trajectory winner, to make your grip more western and have the racket face closed a little bit more on contact. It will be a fast forehand, but stay in because of it already being low and the topspin. It looks to me like Djokovic does this. Does anybody intentionally tilt the racket head slightly closed at the point of contact when ripping into a forehand winner? Or not fundament in your opinion?

user92626 10-09-2012 05:29 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Djoker91 (Post 6944959)
So I've heard this a few times from some great tennis minds, even some on this forum. That when you want to hit that winner, high speed, still topspin, low trajectory winner, to make your grip more western and have the racket face closed a little bit more on contact. It will be a fast forehand, but stay in because of it already being low and the topspin. It looks to me like Djokovic does this. Does anybody intentionally tilt the racket head slightly closed at the point of contact when ripping into a forehand winner? Or not fundament in your opinion?

For me, most often, like when the ball isn't well above the net that there's not a clear straight line to opponent's court, tilting racketface down is a must if you hit with enough force and up motion. Otherwise the ball will sail long.

After a while all becomes a familiar feel and you still come out and rally to reinforce that feeling.

Rui 10-09-2012 05:33 PM

It is fundamental.

Djoker91 10-09-2012 05:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by user92626 (Post 6944977)
For me, most often, like when the ball isn't well above the net that there's not a clear straight line to opponent's court, tilting racketface down is a must if you hit with enough force and up motion. Otherwise the ball will sail long.

After a while all becomes a familiar feel and you still come out and rally to reinforce that feeling.

I've been having trouble with the ball sailing long. I think I used to do this when I was much younger and much better. I was a decent 16yo and it was because of my forehand. Good to hear someone else does it. I'm so sick of it going long, that if I rip one and it hits the net tape I would be THRILLED. they ALWAYS sail on me. This might fix my woes mate. I'll let you know after I hit tomorrow.

Djoker91 10-09-2012 05:41 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Rui (Post 6944979)
It is fundamental.

Man I thought I would gonna be getting hammered for this thread. It's good to hear that this is something I should try. I think it will really help my game. All the Djoker slow mo forehands show the same!

user92626 10-09-2012 05:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Djoker91 (Post 6944981)
I've been having trouble with the ball sailing long. I think I used to do this when I was much younger and much better. I was a decent 16yo and it was because of my forehand. Good to hear someone else does it. I'm so sick of it going long, that if I rip one and it hits the net tape I would be THRILLED. they ALWAYS sail on me. This might fix my woes mate. I'll let you know after I hit tomorrow.

it's fundamental that the racket face is closing as it is traveling around the body. Your arm dictates so. That's your first clue. Sports just amplifies (and glorifies) the human mechanics.

Topspin FH/bh shot is produced by a good mix of low2hi, forward motion and some racketface closedness. If you remove any component, the other components will go out of whack and your shot will be very erratic. Don't let anybody tell you that you can do without any one component.

And that's my 2 long paragraphs in a sea of posts dedicated to this phenomenon called topspin. :)

Xizel 10-09-2012 06:10 PM

The swing path of the modern forehand has a higher vertical vector and to compensate for the extra lift, you tilt the racquet face. You also tilt the racquet face against topspin, because it pushes the racquet back and you tend to spray them high if you don't adjust the downward tilt accordingly.

sureshs 10-09-2012 08:05 PM

Everyone is doing it

LeeD 10-09-2012 08:09 PM

If you swing faster, you have to compensate with more spin, which means a closed racketface, yes.
If you want the ball to go faster, but flatter, you can slow your swing a bit, hit the ball flatter, and the ball goes faster. This requires a different setup, more body turn, closed to neutral stance, flatter swingpath, something you need to practice.

fuzz nation 10-10-2012 07:49 AM

One thought: Be careful when thinking of your attempted winners as anything much different from your regular strokes. To hit with good pace and a good margin for error, you want to churn out enough topspin whenever you need it so that you (and the rest of us, too) can keep the ball down on the court. If you're thinking of going all in and doing something different whenever you try for a "winner", you might be trying to overcook it or come up with a miracle too often. Instead of winners, too many of those "different shots" can become errors.

Yes, definitely experiment with the idea of closing down your racquet face and taking a reasonable full swing through the ball. If that becomes your "rally mode" of hitting, you will have a better command of your topspin (and pace) more often. Eventually your "winners" will often be nothing more than those regular rally shots that you hit through open court once you get an opponent out of position.

Djoker91 10-10-2012 10:20 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by fuzz nation (Post 6945710)
One thought: Be careful when thinking of your attempted winners as anything much different from your regular strokes. To hit with good pace and a good margin for error, you want to churn out enough topspin whenever you need it so that you (and the rest of us, too) can keep the ball down on the court. If you're thinking of going all in and doing something different whenever you try for a "winner", you might be trying to overcook it or come up with a miracle too often. Instead of winners, too many of those "different shots" can become errors.

Yes, definitely experiment with the idea of closing down your racquet face and taking a reasonable full swing through the ball. If that becomes your "rally mode" of hitting, you will have a better command of your topspin (and pace) more often. Eventually your "winners" will often be nothing more than those regular rally shots that you hit through open court once you get an opponent out of position.

That's a great point. I find in tennis you can never swing as hard and fast as you can. You can only go 60-70%. At least for me. Then later on I can push 80 but that's it. If I try to go all in at 100 I wind up lost without a compass in shank city.

user92626 10-10-2012 11:41 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Djoker91 (Post 6945979)
That's a great point. I find in tennis you can never swing as hard and fast as you can. You can only go 60-70%. At least for me. Then later on I can push 80 but that's it. If I try to go all in at 100 I wind up lost without a compass in shank city.


That really depends on one's skill and strategy at the time. Guys like Djokovic and Nadal frequently seemly go for 100% quite often, usually when there's a clear winner opportunity in sight (and they could afford to lose the point if they messed up). A good example of this is Djokovic vs Fed in the US Open semi (2010?) where he went all out and came back from multiple match points, and Fed complained that Djokovic played recklessly.

LeeD 10-10-2012 12:15 PM

I doublt the pros really swing anything past 90%, which would be about 200% for us.

user92626 10-10-2012 01:11 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by LeeD (Post 6946274)
I doublt the pros really swing anything past 90%, which would be about 200% for us.

You doubt or believe a lot of weird things without substantiation. Once again what's the point? LOL.

LeeD 10-10-2012 01:39 PM

The point is, pros seldom miss as badly as us.
We swing 100%, shanking constantly when we do.
Pros can shank, but it's probably more due to bad bounce or lazy read than an uncontrolled, furious swing.
That's what.

user92626 10-10-2012 03:01 PM

It's not about comparing us and pros.

I only pointed it out for the OP when he said "I find in tennis you can never swing as hard and fast as you can." It's very possible [for pros] to swing out of the mind that even confounds their fellow players, as in the Djokovic/Fed match.

Djoker91 10-10-2012 03:47 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by LeeD (Post 6945150)
If you swing faster, you have to compensate with more spin, which means a closed racketface, yes.
If you want the ball to go faster, but flatter, you can slow your swing a bit, hit the ball flatter, and the ball goes faster. This requires a different setup, more body turn, closed to neutral stance, flatter swingpath, something you need to practice.

Well I just got back from hitting. And the slower swing with a flat swing path is definitely better for me. Even when I close the racket face I still find a way to shovel the ball. I used an agassi form and hit flat, with the wrist laid back, but the key was resistance and holding back. Hitting at 60-70% speed hit some nasty winners. I have to trust that less is more. And was also producing a great rally ball at 50-60% swing speed, fast, low over net, right in the middle between service line and base line, bounce low, and awesome and surprisingly easier placement. Then when I got that dinker from my opponent, I had to say out loud "hold back", hit 70ish%, cleared the net by 6 inches and hit the winner. The crazy part was I did this sequence dozens of times. Very consistent. I can now focus on match tactics. Thanks lee

LeeD 10-10-2012 07:42 PM

Cool, hope it holds up in match play.
Most of us are strong enough to hit winners if we can stand within a foot of the baseline. We need to hold back some to get the ball in, or hit heavy loopy topspin shots that use lots of energy.
I'd rather hold back some, hit flatter, swing slower, and conserve some of my energy, but that's just me.

Djoker91 10-10-2012 08:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by LeeD (Post 6947007)
Cool, hope it holds up in match play.
Most of us are strong enough to hit winners if we can stand within a foot of the baseline. We need to hold back some to get the ball in, or hit heavy loopy topspin shots that use lots of energy.
I'd rather hold back some, hit flatter, swing slower, and conserve some of my energy, but that's just me.

You nailed it man. It's one or the other. Heavy loopy spin, which swings harder, or exercising restraint. The only thing is to REMEMBER restraint. I was saying out loud "hold back" I have to trust that if I take some off and stay safe and slower, it will either be a winner, a mishit for my opponent, or a smash shot for me. All good things. We should play doubles against these guys that SCREAM topspin high and loopy is the answer. I usually have very close games with my friend. I'll let you know what the score is over the weekend.


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