Originally Posted by TTMR
Federer's forehand was not textbook at the time of his emergence, but since now everyone wants to play with it, instructors feel compelled to teach it. A large percentage of rec players are Federer wannabes, with the bandana, wristband and moisture-wicking polo courtesy of Nike to match. No other player seems to have such conspicuous imitators (a few teenagers try to play like Nadal but rarely adopt the full get-up). That demographic must be catered to by the tennis community. So for better or worse, Federer's forehand is the new textbook forehand.
Federer's forehand is a very tough shot to teach. You are talking about average recreational players who love imitating his idol; an irrelevant observation. I have seen these people myself and no matter how hard they try, they will never actually learn Federer's forehand and there are no instructors who can teach you Federer's forehand either. If you have been watching the new talents showing up on the scene now, they all have hideous forehands that are struck with extreme grips and an exaggerated windshield viper. The kind of muscle memory Federer has on his forehand stroke is something that is utterly elusive to the younger pro players and his imitators.
Agassi did have a textbook forehand. His policy was almost "grip it and rip it". He took the racquet back and struck the ball cleanly...there was very little room for wrist snaps, overhead finishes, and throwing his entire body at the ball.