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Old 03-22-2004, 11:38 AM   #2
Bungalo Bill
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Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 11,885

Henin uses an extreme backhand which is or is close to the grip you use as a semi-western backhand. This is a difficult grip to get used to. However, the strike zone makes it higher. So with practice and excellent timing she can really smack the ball.

The other thing henin does besides having excellent timing is excellent balance and she is always (or almost always) in position to hit the ball with her whole body. She really turns the hips well and the shoudlers arms follow. She has excellent commnad of her head. She really keeps it still.

What Mahboob, Frank, and I (and many other professional teachers) were suggesting is that to hit a solid onehanded backhand you have to develop good fundmentals first before adding a bunch or "stuff" to it. There is so much that can happen to your detriment, to screw up a sound development program for a onehanded backhand.

You will also see pros leave their feet as soon as the ball bounces they will rise with the ball while swinging out to meet the ball. This is also an advanced move once you have learned how to hit the onehander consistently.

Henin is one mean customer on that onehander but she is in shape and she is fast with good anticipation. If you can get better in this department alone you will see your backhand improve dramtically.

One other thing, normally to hit a ball around waist level you would swing upward at abouot 30 degree angle. This angle is natural just by raising your arm to hit the ball. To hit a higher ball with topspin you would have to go up at a steeper angle to hit the ball. Also, when it comes to power in a stroke, never under estimate previous work done with her body - the legs.
Former USPTA Teaching Professional
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