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jbdbackfan 05-21-2013 07:25 PM

Racquet Face on Takeback
After watching many pros on video, along with observing myself, I have become obsessed with perfecting what should be a good take back.

Watching Agassi for example, his racquet face is always perfectly facing the side fence on every take back before moving forward to swing. Agassi hit with a semi-western grip correct? However, some pros have have "open" (if this is correct term) take backs where the strings are facing the wall behind them.

What is correct? And what is correct for each grip type?


Roger Wawrinka 05-21-2013 07:47 PM

Both ways are fine, and you can use a semi-western for both ways.

SystemicAnomaly 05-21-2013 10:52 PM

Not a fan at all of FHs where the stringbed faces the back fence on the takeback -- at least, not the ones that I've observed. Even with an extreme grip (full Western), I've not seen an implementation that requires that much rotation (forearm pronation with, possibly, some shoulder rotation). Such extreme rotations, to my mind, appear to complicate the stroke unnecessarily. Do not see this with Rafa, who uses as pretty extreme version of the SW grip.

Perhaps one of you guys can provide an example of a consistent, outstanding FH that has the stringbed facing the back fence on the takeback. BTW, I like the simplicity of the Agassi FH. However, I would encourage a swingpath that produces more topspin that Agassi employed on his FH.

rosewall4ever 05-21-2013 11:40 PM

Of all the parts of the stroke the takeback has the greatest variability but is conigent on how the ball is played..push or pull . it doesnt matter what it looks so long it has a loop in it and feels comfortable with the style u play...

^ i don't mind this guy

rkelley 05-22-2013 07:12 AM

The grip will have a significant effect on where the racquet is facing during take back, with the more W. grips tending to face more towards the back.

IMO though, the thing to be obsessed about on your take back is getting the racquet in the pat the dog (PTD) position - face of the racquet mostly facing the ground, racquet parallel to the ground and pointing at the side fence, and below the height of the expected contact point. This is the position from where your swing should start. From this position you can rotate you hips and shoulders into the ball, which will pull your arm around and get your hand out in front. The racquet will naturally want to lay back and angle down, (wrist extension and forearm supination) and the face will open up to the ball. At this point pull up and across and the racquet will whip into and over the ball.

Watch Murray:

He's really deliberate about getting the racquet facing down and parallel to the ground early in the take back, and then dropping the position until he's at the right height. Then he starts his forward swing and you really see the racquet layback and then whip into the ball.

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