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Old 01-22-2013, 08:49 PM   #50
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Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 2,336

There's definitely a technique difference. A lot of the women are taking the racquet way back on the backswing like Sharapova, But I think there is a strength component too.

With the big take back the racquet's being accelerated from way behind the body. By the time it gets to the contact zone the racquet's going through the ball. This basically makes it impossible to get much of a swing path up and across the ball to generate the big spin. You can't redirect the swing path to go up once it as all of that momentum going forward.

There's definitely a lot of core rotation going into generating the power, but most of it is going forward into the ball.

The men and a few of the women, in contrast, keep the take back more or less in front and to the side. Their swing path is has a huge vertical component. They use their legs and core to load up energy in their arm and wrist in supination and extention. All of this energy then unloads onto the ball in pronation, which produces the spin, and flexion, which drives the racquet through the ball.

Where strength can come into this equation is that you have to be strong enough to load up and store all of that energy. Try swinging a baseball bat with modern ATP forehand technique. It's hard. A very big, strong person might be able to do it, but most people aren't strong enough to whip a baseball bat. I would think most guys could do that with a tennis racquet. Bigger, stronger guys will have an even easier time than smaller, weaker ones. Most women . . . I don't know. It's going to be harder for them.

If you can't whip it like an ATP forehand, the other choice is a simpler swing right through the contact zone - like a lot of the women use.
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