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Old 10-17-2013, 07:00 PM   #18
Frank Silbermann
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 1,063

Originally Posted by easywin View Post
Well if you look at Nadals adjustements he did to beat Djokovic, the backhand slice plays an important role.
Mainly because his two-hander isn't as good as his forehand, so he supplements it with variety.

Of course the thing open to discussion ( or more to opinions since there is no professional with 2 forehands that can bring evidence ) is if the 2 forehands are equally strong, maybe the player will still run around balls to hit with the stronger forehand.
Maybe, but I think he has a better chance of strengthening his weak side to be match his strong side, at least to the extent that he suffers no bio-mechanical limitations on his weaker forehand. A two-hander will always have limited reach and limited topspin compared to a forehand, all the more so with a one-handed backhand..

Does anybody know if ambidexterity is favored by unique brain structures or is just a process of learning it as a child ( if wanted or not ) ?
I think the brain structures are different in someone who is strongly 'handed as compared with someone ambidextrous. I also think that brain structures change with use, all the more so in children.

If we're talking the perfect baseline player - like a guy with 2 Del Potro forehands - who can hit amazing winners from both sides frequently then I totally agree. 2 forehands have way more potential - I just don't think it's realistic
I don't disagree, actually. Do people who learn to play weak-handed due to injury ever reach their prior ability? Rarely, I suspect. Would his weak-handed forehand ever surpass the level of his earlier double-handed backhand? I think that's possible.

However, when someone starts out fairly ambidextrous, I think it's a good risk to try that style of play and see what happens. I mean, the average person is not going to become a champion, anyway, no matter what he does.

In the early 1950s Beverly Baker Fleitz played with two single-handed forehands and nearly won Wimbledon. In other tournaments she often beat the woman who did take the Wimbledon crown that year, so she was capable of winning it.

In my case, both my hands have less coordination than other people's strong hand, and both have better coordination than other people's weak hand. I played tennis right-handed (poorly) for ten years and was frustrated by my inability to turn my one-handed backhand into a killer weapon. (Well, they _claimed_ the backhand his the most natural shot, that if you turn your shoulders you've discover surprising power, and that most good players have better backhands than forehands. Foolish me, I wanted to believe them. But Jack Kramer insisted otherwise, and I never saw a player whose one-handed backhand was as dangerous as Lendl's forehand.)

Then I read a tennis magazine article explaining that the top pros develop an individual style suited to their own physical and mental characteristics rather than, say, imitating a favorite player from their childhood. I reasoned that if I did not have a strong hand to use, I could at least hit the stronger stroke off both sides.

For the first twenty-five years of ambidextrous play I was stronger of the right side, due to those early years as a right-hander. I was crappy tennis player, but among people at my level (with comparable strong-hand forehands) my lefty forehand was much stronger than their backhands. (Aside from the absence of general athletic talent, I was kept down by lack of a decent serve and net game.)

Then I made a decision to spend most of my practice time working on my serve, net game, and left forehand. Now my left hand is stronger -- usually -- so I've started bringing back some right-handed practice. I never try to run around the ball; but shots straight at me I will take on which ever side is stronger on that particular day. I'm somewhat less crappy a player these days, especially that I'm finally starting to develop spin serves (switching to left-handed serving might NOT have been such a great idea).

At my 3.5 level I hit winners with either forehand. I don't care how high they bounce the ball up at me. People say I look like a 4.0 player -- and probably would be one if I didn't have a tendency to occasionally space out on the court and forget to watch the ball. (In a period of sustained focus I beat people at my level 6-0; then when I lose concentration they beat me 6-0.)
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