Originally Posted by wihamilton
Nice discussion here folks. Enjoyed reading the posts so far.
In the video referenced above I explain that the WWF is driven by the motion of the arm. Jeff Counts (hi-techtennis.com) compares this motion to lifting and turning over a lever. Roddick and Andreev are good examples of this type of WWF.
But there's another way to hit a WWF. Federer is a prime example. Where the path of the arm doesn't control the low-to-high motion of the racket as much and doesn't cause the WW follow through. Instead, it's pronation that does the trick.
So there are two types of WWFs. Each works just fine. BUT from a recreational player's standpoint, I think the "lever" one is preferable because it's easier to learn, doesn't require amazing timing, and is more stable.
(Ever wonder why Federer goes on "shank sprees" on his forehand? Even the GOAT goes cold occasionally and loses his timing. A good indication of how tough this technique can be.)
Hey Will, thanks for the reply. I've gone through FYB Premium, Tennis Ninja, and TennixRx. Great stuff not only for learning, but for teaching others.
I'm wondering if you're familiar with the tennis speed blog, which talks about the different types of forehands used by the top pros. I'd love to hear your thoughts on this, it's a great read.
Speaking from experience it seems like the Roddick style WWF is more suited to western or extreme western grips and relies on supination leading up to the forward swing, whereas the straight arm style is suited to semi-western(Nadal) to eastern style(Fed) grips and relies upon pronation leading up to the forward swing.
First off, I'll begin by saying I'm a 4.5-5.0 level player who's had a good amount of coaching as a kid, so I'm probably more advanced that your average target audience and I definitely understand the reasoning behind making things as simple as possible.
As someone with a extreme-eastern grip the Federer method feels extremely intuitive and simple in comparison. I think it's a common sort of cliche that coaches use when they say that what the pros are doing is just not possible for the average player. I don't think it's a coincidence that most of the recent top forehands in the game are all using the pronation technique. Rather, I think it's a recent advancement in technique that's a result of the advances in string technology among other things. For me, it's simply the easiest way to get maximum control (topspin) and speed, all while still being able to maintain a relatively flat trajectory. However, it's definitely not something the average weekend warrior club player is going to have the patience to learn and it's definitely a more advanced technique to apply than the other style, so the simplification is warranted.
It's pretty clear from watching the classic Federer vs Roddick matches. The difference between the two techniques is the crazy amount of topspin that Federer can generate while STILL maintaining high ball speeds and a relatively flat trajectory. He's able to hit the same speed of shot Roddick is hitting but with a TON more margin on everything. In fact, the harder Federer hits, the more topspin he's generating, whereas the harder Roddick hits the less topspin he's getting.
Agassi talks about it in the commentary booth at the 07 US Open Roddick vs Federer QF
Yes, Federer and Nadal are very gifted athletes but I think part of their success is due to their technique, which is actually superior to the Roddick technique because of how much control it grants them due to the crazy amounts of topspin they can generate without sacrificing pace or trajectory.