Originally Posted by 2ManyAces
based on the picture, simply observe that each player is taking the racquet back at different points.
Rafa is taking it back quite noticeably less than Sharapova. This means he can use more time to calculate the shot etc, and then use his sheer muscle to bring the racquet around.
Sharapova needs to bring the racquet back slightly farther than Rafa because she simply does not have the muscle mass that Rafa possesses.
The point of that picture, which comes from virtualtennisacademy.com, is to show that Sharapova takes the racquet back behind her back and rafa keeps the racquet on the same side of the body and in line with ball. It's not an issue of strength. It's technique. Rafa will use ssc and lag etc to generate rhs and spin and sharapova uses her arm mostly.
Many women today have atp type forehands. Li Na is one for example.