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?
well making that conclusion based on one match is very flawed.
it is not so much about the spin but about the level of play. no style is inherently superior (although some styles like the pure pusher will hit a ceiling).
if the flat hitter won he did so because he was the better player not because of his flatter strokes.
a 4.0 flat spinner beats the 3.5 flat hitter and the 4.0 spinner will be easily beaten by a 4.5 flat hitter and so on.
fabrice sontoro plays an akward style but will double bagle any "modern hitting" 5.5 player (but lose to the modern playing top guys from today).
this is entirely about the level of play. you are fooling yourself that this player won because his style was superior.
however I agree that you need a good mix from pace and spin. too much spin and the strokes will lack penetration. and too little spin and your strokes will will lack consistency and weight (can be blocked back more easily). everyone needs to find happy medium were he can hit hard and with spin.