Originally Posted by KenC
Last night I watched the semifinal of a local 5.0+ tournament and there was this 14yo 5.0 phenom against an 18yo 5.5 topspin monster. The 14yo hit with a modest to normal amount of topspin just to keep the ball in while the 18yo used a full western grip with the typical overworked strokes. Every time the 18yo hit one of the massive topspin FHs the 14yo just nailed it back twice as hard. The massive topspin had no effect on a 14yo. The 14yo won 7-5, 6-3.
I've been noticing a lot of these matchups lately. It seems those who hit with more pace and just enough topspin to keep the ball in are doing more damage than those who try to hit massive topspin. Apparently, all the effort going into hitting massive topspin is robbing them of needed pace.
I know everyone is enamored with topspin, but it begs the questions: Do you really do damage to your opponent with all that topspin? Really? When was the last time a player beat you with topspin?
Tennis is a percentage game. There is more to winning a tennis match than stroke production. The player who is more disciplined at executing a high percentage gameplan and hitting to high percentage targets will usually win the match. Heavy topspin with a high margin for error is one small aspect of high percentage tennis. But, the gameplan and target choices are even more important, IMO.