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-   -   Are the WTA players not strong enough for the WW forehand? (http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=451618)

dominikk1985 01-20-2013 12:34 AM

Are the WTA players not strong enough for the WW forehand?
 
The Advantage of the WW FH is of course that you can swing harder and still Keep it in. however you have to generate that RHS in the first place.

I noticed that a lot of the WTA Players with "ATP FHs" often lack Penetration in their FH (like the italian and spanish Girls who all use the WW finish) and most hard hitting Girls use more of a swing through (against the other shoulder) finish.

the only hard hitting WW women I can remember are henin, kuzneztsova and stosur. are women hitting flatter because they are not strong enough to hit heavy and hard? (obviously stosur and kuznetsova are strong enough but they are probably stronger than the average WTA Player).

TheCheese 01-20-2013 12:40 AM

Henin does not seem like she has a ton of muscle. I think it's something else.

dominikk1985 01-20-2013 12:58 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TheCheese (Post 7137583)
Henin does not seem like she has a ton of muscle. I think it's something else.

henin has a very strong lower Body and uses it well to generate Speed. if you just use the arm and forearm to generate RHS you Need more strength than when you use the legs.

TCF 01-20-2013 07:17 AM

==========================

luvforty 01-20-2013 07:28 AM

women run slower, so risk/reward favors hitting flat.

tlm 01-20-2013 07:43 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by luvforty (Post 7139817)
women run slower, so risk/reward favors hitting flat.

This is very true, i was noticing last night how weak the womens court coverage is.

TomT 01-20-2013 08:46 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dominikk1985 (Post 7137571)
The Advantage of the WW FH is of course that you can swing harder and still Keep it in. however you have to generate that RHS in the first place.

I noticed that a lot of the WTA Players with "ATP FHs" often lack Penetration in their FH (like the italian and spanish Girls who all use the WW finish) and most hard hitting Girls use more of a swing through (against the other shoulder) finish.

the only hard hitting WW women I can remember are henin, kuzneztsova and stosur. are women hitting flatter because they are not strong enough to hit heavy and hard? (obviously stosur and kuznetsova are strong enough but they are probably stronger than the average WTA Player).

I think women hit flatter (with an accompanying non-WW follow through) sometimes for the same reason that men hit flatter (with an accompanying non-WW follow through) sometimes. Flatter shots can be effective in taking time away from the opponent.

I don't think it's true that WTA players are not strong enough for the WW forehand.

President 01-20-2013 08:58 AM

Yeah there's a reason only the really strong women hit a lot of topspin (Stosur, Kuzzy, even Serena). You need a lot of RHS and strength to hit a penetrating topspin ball, otherwise it will just sit up to be crushed (Schiavone). Even on the mens tour there's a reason the physically strongest players (Nadal, Verdasco, Andreev) always hit the most spin.

dominikk1985 01-20-2013 09:06 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TomT (Post 7140182)
I think women hit flatter (with an accompanying non-WW follow through) sometimes for the same reason that men hit flatter (with an accompanying non-WW follow through) sometimes. Flatter shots can be effective in taking time away from the opponent.

I don't think it's true that WTA players are not strong enough for the WW forehand.

I'm not saying that they cannot hit it but they often lack Penetration.

see schiavone. she basically uses an ATP FH (pronated Loop take back, across brushing with a closed racket face, ww finish)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y_yc3lylsho

but her FH is not really penetrating (on average, sometimes she crushes a ball). she is a small Person anyway so she is probably wasting her energy into spin (OK she still won a slam:))

TomT 01-20-2013 10:13 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dominikk1985 (Post 7140279)
I'm not saying that they cannot hit it but they often lack Penetration.

You mean that maybe most don't have the strength (consistent explosive power) to consistently hit with enough topspin rpms to have the ball really take off after it hits the court? You might be right.

Quote:

Originally Posted by dominikk1985 (Post 7140279)
see schiavone. she basically uses an ATP FH (pronated Loop take back, across brushing with a closed racket face, ww finish)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y_yc3lylsho

but her FH is not really penetrating (on average, sometimes she crushes a ball). she is a small Person anyway so she is probably wasting her energy into spin (OK she still won a slam:))

You think she would have had better results if she had concentrated on a flatter forehand, a la Chris Evert?
You might be right about that too. But Schiavone's game is game is pretty effective for clay I think.

10isfreak 01-20-2013 08:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dominikk1985 (Post 7137571)
The Advantage of the WW FH is of course that you can swing harder and still Keep it in. however you have to generate that RHS in the first place.

I noticed that a lot of the WTA Players with "ATP FHs" often lack Penetration in their FH (like the italian and spanish Girls who all use the WW finish) and most hard hitting Girls use more of a swing through (against the other shoulder) finish.

We can certainly find instances of rather powerful and muscular human beings who manage to hit impressive ground strokes, regardless of their unusual technique. It is not impossible and it would seem contrary to various principles which modern psychology underlines. Certainly, you can get good at doing something wrong, bearing some limits which are imposed by physical laws and anatomical structure. The point is that there is a series of traits that a good forehand must present and it must be present at the right moment. How you manage to get them is not important, unless differences between methods happen to exist.

Here, theories meet their practical applications. Certain ways of performing tasks make it easier to duplicate them consistently, which is a primary objective in tennis. Surprisingly enough, most professional players, including top pros on both the male and female tours, do not use the most efficient way to hit a tennis forehand. The most stunning fact of this narrative is not the relative scarceness of good forehand models that we may wish to emulate in great parts, but the relative obviousness which makes the difference between both.

The key detail that I am referring occurs in between the take back and the forward acceleration; it occurs as the player first moves his racket forward. The better players pronate at this moment, whereas others supinate (that is, some of them point their palm down while others start turning their palm toward the sky). And, as usual with tennis, good technique gives you everything: more pace, more spin, more control, more consistency...

Do you know why? Those who supinate at this moment cannot manage to get a specific type of muscular reflex force their forearm into a very violent pronation around contact; those who do pronate here, will manage to get it. And, as you might have guessed, both must meet the ball with roughly the same racket head angle (with a slight forward tilt). The player who benefits of the muscular reflex closes his racket of exactly the same amount every time, with exactly the same timing... the other one must actively force his forearm into pronating.

It doesn't mean that you can't play without it. In truth, most top pros who have even won hundreds of thousands in prize money do not do it and they could get better almost instantly by learning it. These players can manage to become good at doing something wrong: they have hours and hours of practice to force a good habit into a bad technical framework... But we're amateurs and time is counted. We can't fool around for years to get our top spin forehand under control... the quicker, the better. Players that hit their forehands properly including all of the current top four (without surprise, they're also hitting some of the biggest forehands ever) and players such as Berdych, Soderlign and Roddick. On the other hand, there are players such as Gonzalez (who's retired now, if I recall properly), virtually every women on the WTA tour and, for a clear example, Hewitt. I do have one example of a woman who hits it properly: Stosur. Sam Stosur's forehand is by far the heaviest thing you will find a woman hitting -- the William sisters and others may hit with as much pace, but Stosur has both pace and spin all the time.

For curious reasons, there are flat hitters who use this trick, as noted. But they're consistently hitting great flat forehands... it's that spin is not unilaterally determined by one variable. Anyway, if you want to know why a WW forehand MAY result in more spin, it's this specific thing. What you see a "wiper" action at the end is actually a severe forearm pronation. For some players, it does work: they do get extra spin because of their beneficial muscular reflex (it's a stretch-shortening cycle, for wonks), others just fail to make it happen early enough and, so, they perform the whole thing once the ball is already gone.

As for woman, it's a symptom of a whole generation, so to speak. Rare birds get the movement right -- it's not that it's hard, it's that you have to know it or to be very lucky. You, personally, could make it happen and use it -- and you could boast that your forehand has one element which is technically more efficient than that of a GS champion (Hewitt) and it's the stretch-shortening cycle of the forearm pronators.

TheCheese 01-20-2013 09:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by President (Post 7140235)
Yeah there's a reason only the really strong women hit a lot of topspin (Stosur, Kuzzy, even Serena). You need a lot of RHS and strength to hit a penetrating topspin ball, otherwise it will just sit up to be crushed (Schiavone). Even on the mens tour there's a reason the physically strongest players (Nadal, Verdasco, Andreev) always hit the most spin.

I think you're just picking the cases that support your point, here.

Look at Federer. He's hardly the most muscular guy out there, yet produces the 2nd most RPMs on tour. Don't you think it's more to do with technique, rather than strength?

I think the point about differences in men vs women's movement sounds plausible.

smoledman 01-20-2013 09:06 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TheCheese (Post 7142437)
I think you're just picking the cases that support your point, here.

Look at Federer. He's hardly the most muscular guy out there, yet produces the 2nd most RPMs on tour. Don't you think it's more to do with technique, rather than strength?

I think the point about differences in men vs women's movement sounds plausible.

Federer is a freak of nature. No point in bringing him up in these conversations.

tennis_balla 01-21-2013 12:36 AM

Ash posted this a while ago, and I think it demonstrates perfectly the answer the OP is looking for.


Thud and blunder 01-21-2013 04:08 AM

It certainly demonstrates the phenomenon OP is talking about, but the question at hand is why?

I accept that first strike tennis has better risk-reward in the WTA, but then retrieving seems to pay off well too (cf Radwanska, Wozniacki); it's the intermediate ATP style that doesn't seem to get any traction.

isilra 01-21-2013 04:41 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by smoledman (Post 7142443)
Federer is a freak of nature. No point in bringing him up in these conversations.

It's about Fed's technique. He also doesn't have a regular ww motion. Federer gives so much spin with his eastern grip, flat trajectory and a glass cannon body by following a pronation-supination-pronation route. WTA players basically use a push stroke technique that doesn't allow to use these pronation things but depends on pure racquet head speed that created by the body torque and core strenght. Women are physically weaker and slower in legs compared to men and they spend the energy mostly to positioning than creating racquet head speed. That's why they need to hit flatter to make some penetrating shots.

corners 01-21-2013 05:42 AM

I'm with Tennisfreak and isilra. The poster tricky has written a lot about the differences between the ATP and WTA forehand techniques. As Tennisfreak points out, the ATP technique uses the stretch-shortening cycle at the forearm and shoulder to generate greater RHS. RHS can be used to produce ball speed, ball spin, or both. The women generally have enough RHS to generate good ball speed and moderate spin. The men can hit the same speed with an extra 1000 rpms of topspin, or flatten it out and hit 100 mph winners. There is also something about the rapid pronation of the forearm that seems to generate "free" spin, especially for guys like Nadal and Federer, who, like isilra points out, use funky pronation-supination-pronation technique. The women tend to wipe by creating an arch with their elbows (internal shoulder rotation) while the men wipe from the forearm and wrist.

Why don't more women hit like the men? Maybe it has something to do with grip strength as kids. To hit the ATP stroke there is a whip or lag in the transition between the takeback and forward stroke. This takes quite a bit of grip strength, especially in the thumb. It may be that little girls aren't strong enough to "whip" the adult size racquets they are given as children and must layback the wrist before the forward swing starts and use lots of trunk rotation to get that big racquet to come around with speed. Boys are stronger, especially in the wrist and shoulder, and so might find it easier to whip their racquets like they see the ATP players on TV do. They also are strong enough in the shoulder that they don't have to rotate the trunk so much and instead are able to harness the power of hip snap.

There also might be a coordination issue. The ATP forehand is a bit like a sidearm throw. The old phrase "throw like a girl" is often referenced when talking about teaching young girls or women to serve; this issue might be involved on the forehand too.

But how to explain the case of Raonic? He's a big guy, and obviously has good throwing mechanics with that monster serve. But he's got a WTA-style forehand and can't generate enough spin to harness his considerable power. In his case, I'm not sure he will make it to the top 5 without retooling his forehand as Henin did. According to John Yandell, she and her coach hit the video archives, focusing on Agassi in particular, and managed to create an ATP-style stroke for herself. Don't see why Raonic couldn't do the same.

luvforty 01-21-2013 07:47 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Thud and blunder (Post 7143374)
It certainly demonstrates the phenomenon OP is talking about, but the question at hand is why?

I accept that first strike tennis has better risk-reward in the WTA, but then retrieving seems to pay off well too (cf Radwanska, Wozniacki); it's the intermediate ATP style that doesn't seem to get any traction.

runners run, hitters hit.... couple examples dont make a trend :) .... and these 2 haven't won a major yet.

in ATP there are more runners.... guys are fast... guys who can't run, big guys, raonic, delpo... these are hitters and they hit like WTA.

in WTA there are more hitters (because them girls can't run), first strike tennis like you said.

survival of the fittest.

WW spinny stuff, pays off for the guys with legs... but often serve up mid court balls to be pounded in the WTA.

luvforty 01-21-2013 07:52 AM

by the way.... in the past decade or so... in both leagues there used to be #1s who are mostly a hitter OR a runner...

guys - hewitt a runner... agassi a hitter, safin a hitter
girls - davenport a hitter

but nowadays seems only the best of both worlds.. the 'hit n runners' dominate..

the top 4 guys and the top 2 girls are all 'hit n runners'.

Relinquis 01-21-2013 08:28 AM

are you guys suggesting that women can't hit near the baseline with topspin?

c'mon...


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