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slowfox 01-18-2013 05:08 PM

Best Pro to Emulate
 
Thinking about the Heather or Laura thread going on, I began wondering which pro (current or former) is best to emulate. Let's say this is for adult rec players who just want a decent game, have fun, play matches occasionally.

It's been said that most rec players don't get beyond 3.5, but they can still aspire to more and adopt role models. Reasonable ones, and by that I mean no aspirations to hit forehands like Nadal-Fed, or serve like Sampras, or return like Agassi.

I say Chris Evert, or perhaps Mats Wilander. Both had steady groundstrokes and high percentage serving.

PeterFig 01-18-2013 09:43 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by slowfox (Post 7133329)
Thinking about the Heather or Laura thread going on, I began wondering which pro (current or former) is best to emulate. Let's say this is for adult rec players who just want a decent game, have fun, play matches occasionally.

It's been said that most rec players don't get beyond 3.5, but they can still aspire to more and adopt role models. Reasonable ones, and by that I mean no aspirations to hit forehands like Nadal-Fed, or serve like Sampras, or return like Agassi.

I say Chris Evert, or perhaps Mats Wilander. Both had steady groundstrokes and high percentage serving.

I think guys like Kohlschreiber and Ferrer. Solid fundamentals , great footwork, mentally strong. No flashy shots. Just solid strokes and make the most of their size and games. Pick either depending on your backhand preference.

Mick3391 01-18-2013 10:31 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by slowfox (Post 7133329)
Thinking about the Heather or Laura thread going on, I began wondering which pro (current or former) is best to emulate. Let's say this is for adult rec players who just want a decent game, have fun, play matches occasionally.

It's been said that most rec players don't get beyond 3.5, but they can still aspire to more and adopt role models. Reasonable ones, and by that I mean no aspirations to hit forehands like Nadal-Fed, or serve like Sampras, or return like Agassi.

I say Chris Evert, or perhaps Mats Wilander. Both had steady groundstrokes and high percentage serving.

Fed, get you playing better than you can play. Plus he uses one handed everything, giving more freedom on backhand, more creative shots, creativity is key, not robotic moves unless you are into that.

My son is not playing too well, but he has learned spin drop shots, and low flat shots, he's like what 2.0 or whatever, but I pulled my leg running to get his shots today.

The thing that makes Fed so great is that he is creative, he thinks, and you can do that at any age, and it's so much more FUN.

Mcenroe answered that question, "If you are looking for someone to emulate, emulate Federer, I would love to play like him and I have 3 Wimbledons"

Mick3391 01-18-2013 10:56 PM

Yea, it's weird, I have taught my son in reverse, good or bad I don't know.

I played all court, heavy on Serve and Volley, so I started him with flat shots, side spin lobs, and I almost can't handle it.

I'm trying to teach him baseline play, so I told him "Kill it as hard as you can with topspin, I don't care if you hit the net or it goes long", we are just training right? So I am 3 feet behind the baseline, killing it to him, and he just has these shots, it looks like he's killing it, then it just barely goes over the net with sidespin, or flat, to left, to right, like I said I pulled a muscle in the back of my calf getting a shot.

He's lazy though, he has great shots but is very lazy, can't teach hussle. I beat him 6-0 easy, but he got close at least once. So yea idiots of course I'm proud of my son, can you imagine some come on here, enlist fake names to criticize me because they are personally offended that I would brag about my son.

My son is 2.0 or whatever, he has talent, physical skills (Height, speed), but no heart. He wants to be Federer without the effort, drives me nuts, I'm a "Old man" and I move more than he does.

Anyways, enough rant, I LOVE talking about my son because I adore him, he just needs to get heart. Here's another thing amazing, when I serve I just put it over, but when I NAIL IT, he does better, only thing I can think is that he doesn't have time to think, I mean I have a MONSTER SERVE, and it just comes cruising back barely over the net.

Alright, enough.

dominikk1985 01-18-2013 11:12 PM

Djokovics strokes are very simple yet modern at least the groundstrokes.

pvaudio 01-18-2013 11:16 PM

Djokovic for strokes, Kohlschreiber for movement. The latter doesn't have the talent of the top guys, but makes up for what he doesn't have in pure learned skill in his movement. Beautiful to watch. Djokovic's strokes are just simply elegant simplicity with few components which are hard to miss.

Ash_Smith 01-19-2013 02:07 AM

Not a massive fan of having a single model to follow, but to answer the question for the OP I would suggest somebody like Simon - very solid, makes a lot of balls, good balance, good rhythm to his strokes etc. Would get 75% rating for everything, but doesn't excel in any one area.

boramiNYC 01-19-2013 03:11 AM

Simon sure makes a lot of balls. just had 71 shot rally in the match against monfils. and every point is around 20 shot rally. rec player emulating that would simply be called a pusher. :)

Seriously though I don't like the emulating idea. It just doesn't work to help improve at rec level. I'd say take lessons or study more systematically on internet. and practice and play a lot. watch pros play just to enjoy and maybe set a direction but emulating some random details most of the times fails to achieve anything to help improve.

treblings 01-19-2013 03:21 AM

when i started playing tennis, i didnīt have the advantage of good coaches in my area.
so i actively looked for role models, so i could copy their strokes, what they did tactically, how they moved on court,...
the thing is, sometimes you see somebody hitting a stroke and it feels right. it feels like something you yourself would want to play. thatīs the perfect one to emulate.
to you prefer Federers serve or Nadals? Ferrers backhand or Gascquets?
the one you prefer is usually the better one to emulate.

SystemicAnomaly 01-19-2013 03:38 AM

Federer for footwork/movement. Federer & Nadal for the way they focus on the contact point and keep the head still for (nearly) all of the forward swing on groundstrokes. However, I would not try to copy the straight arm technique on Federer's and Nadal's forehands. This technique is more for advanced players than for most intermediates.

I like Agassi as a model for a compact, classic version of the forehand. Sampras, Safin, Moya and Blake are also worthy of inspection. More modern FHs include Gonzalez, Moya and Murray (even tho' it's not as big as some of the others).

For the 2-handed backhand, take a good look at Nalbandian, Safin, Murray and Djokovic. You might also take a gander at Davydenko and Nadal. For the 1-hander look to Justine Henin, Haas, Federer, Blake and Kuerten. While Gasquet probably has the best single-handed BH of all time, it is not one that should be emulated.

Federer and Sampras for the serve. However, I would probably go with a simpler takeback/preparation than Sampras used on his serve. Consider an abbreviated or hybrid takeback for the serve motion.

isilra 01-19-2013 05:56 AM

I think the future of the tennis is pull/atp style strokes. Federer is the one that should be watched to understand how it is done. His forehand is for sure the most complex and hardest forehand in the tour but if you are willing to improve yourself, you need to learn that pronation-supination route. It can be easily done with a semi-western grip without additional pronation and a straight arm at contact. Nalbandian also does that but he has a huge loop that might be hard to get used to.

But if you are a club player that only plays tennis for having fun with friends, you don't need so complex techniques. You just need to watch somebody that has a total continuous loop like del potro or hewitt and improve your timing.

For backhands, again go with nalbandian.

treblings 01-19-2013 08:15 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by boramiNYC (Post 7135013)
Simon sure makes a lot of balls. just had 71 shot rally in the match against monfils. and every point is around 20 shot rally. rec player emulating that would simply be called a pusher. :)

Seriously though I don't like the emulating idea. It just doesn't work to help improve at rec level. I'd say take lessons or study more systematically on internet. and practice and play a lot. watch pros play just to enjoy and maybe set a direction but emulating some random details most of the times fails to achieve anything to help improve.

agreed, emulating players may help if you look at the big picture of the stroke but not random details. more like imitating a players style
if there are some technical details that you want to incorporate in your own game, chances are, these details are widespread thru the atp and not limited to certain players

Relinquis 01-19-2013 09:10 AM

there's more to tennis then just hitting!

You can emulate strategy and tactics from lots of players:
- The way Davydenko moves other players around like marionettes;
- Running down every ball like nadal;
- Court positioning like ferrer;
- Drop shoting people who camp at the baseline the way federer does;
- Grinding away at the baseline until your opponent gives up/makes and error like Gilles Simon;
- Mixing it up with spins and angles from the backhand wing like Gasquet;
- Having grit and not giving up like Roddick/Hewitt;
- Serve out wide, approach volley, the smash like Sampras;
- Enjoying yourself and having fun like Monfils, Tsonga, McEnroe ;) etc...

Sure, you won't execute the same way these guys do, but your opponent's aren't hitting or moving like pros either. It will help you see a different level of tennis that's more than just "am i hitting my strokes properly".

Also, points will seem less random!

TomT 01-19-2013 10:47 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by slowfox (Post 7133329)
Thinking about the Heather or Laura thread going on, I began wondering which pro (current or former) is best to emulate. Let's say this is for adult rec players who just want a decent game, have fun, play matches occasionally.

It's been said that most rec players don't get beyond 3.5, but they can still aspire to more and adopt role models. Reasonable ones, and by that I mean no aspirations to hit forehands like Nadal-Fed, or serve like Sampras, or return like Agassi.

I say Chris Evert, or perhaps Mats Wilander. Both had steady groundstrokes and high percentage serving.

I think there are so many (slightly different) ways to hit good shots that it would be impossible to argue successfully for just one or two 'best' players to emulate.

I think that experimenting with, and being able to utilize, several different 'styles' is fun and can be effective at the sub 4.0 level. For higher levels of competition I would guess that it's probably necessary to nail down a particular way of hitting in order to maximize accuracy and consistency.

You mention Chris Evert. Well, she's certainly accurate and consistent, but I'm not sure that her 'U' forehand prep is the way that players are taught these days (which seems to be more in line with the 'C' prep of her opponent in the video below):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ufzAt8nfxw

Nellie 01-19-2013 12:23 PM

I like to look at the shorter/smaller players to see how they are generating pace. I feel that as you get taller/bigger, you can get away with some odd technique. I really like watching Ferrer and Nishikori play. My former favorite player to watch was Henin (5'4" of hitting power and movement).

FrisbeeFool 01-19-2013 12:35 PM

Nikolai Davydenko, Janko Tipsarevic, and Nicolas Almagro for groundstrokes. On the women's side Kuznetsova for groundstrokes.

Xizel 01-19-2013 06:22 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nellie (Post 7136130)
I like to look at the shorter/smaller players to see how they are generating pace. I feel that as you get taller/bigger, you can get away with some odd technique. I really like watching Ferrer and Nishikori play. My former favorite player to watch was Henin (5'4" of hitting power and movement).

Even Nishikori himself packs quite a punch for his size :-P

I agree with the Ferrer, Kohlschreiber, and Simon kind of recommendation. They lack the unique characteristics that the top boys have, so ultimately it's almost purely technical regarding their performance. Consistency wins at the lower level. Federer is amazingly strong to generate so much pace on an inside out forehand from subpar preparation and time. His use of the wrist is ridiculous dexterity.

dominikk1985 01-20-2013 03:45 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by isilra (Post 7135403)
I think the future of the tennis is pull/atp style strokes. Federer is the one that should be watched to understand how it is done. His forehand is for sure the most complex and hardest forehand in the tour but if you are willing to improve yourself, you need to learn that pronation-supination route. It can be easily done with a semi-western grip without additional pronation and a straight arm at contact. Nalbandian also does that but he has a huge loop that might be hard to get used to.

But if you are a club player that only plays tennis for having fun with friends, you don't need so complex techniques. You just need to watch somebody that has a total continuous loop like del potro or hewitt and improve your timing.

For backhands, again go with nalbandian.

You can do that with a bent arm too
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YIaE5DzwOdQ

(this another simple yet modern FH similar to nole which I think is worth to emulate)

sureshs 01-20-2013 09:45 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nellie (Post 7136130)
I like to look at the shorter/smaller players to see how they are generating pace. I feel that as you get taller/bigger, you can get away with some odd technique. I really like watching Ferrer and Nishikori play. My former favorite player to watch was Henin (5'4" of hitting power and movement).

I would not emulate her use of head-heavy frame and extreme Eastern BH grip. Not good for the arm.

TomT 01-20-2013 10:03 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by sureshs (Post 7140466)
I would not emulate her use of head-heavy frame and extreme Eastern BH grip. Not good for the arm.

It looks to me like she uses something closer to a western bh grip.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LdDwMj3_WMA


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