Originally Posted by dominikk1985
AA did hit the ball more cleanly but that doesn't mean he was a better ballstriker.
He just used a quite moderate swing while federer swings really wristy and spinny. that means he has much less margin for error. the more spin and wrist action you have the less margin for error you have because your swing plane doesn't match the ball plane but intersects it steeply meaning you have a short time window to hit the ball.
Extreme spin always means some framing and shanking it's much easier to strike the ball cleanly flat. no coincidence that all the flat hitters look like they hit it always cleanly (davydenko, agassi, Delpo).
glad you made this point so i didn't have to. agassi and connors, everyone's top-of-the-heap ball strikers, both had exceedingly compact strokes with fairly flat swing planes. Connors in particular has mentioned he has what amounts to a 'woman's game,' imparted by his mother: very simple strokes, straight back, straight through.
you can add guys like petr korda and berdych to the 'ball strikers' list, which we might rename 'guys who hit flat and are good at it.'