Originally Posted by LeeD
Interesting take, and only mildly applicable with your ATP stats.
Even Federer often hit's a slight bent arm forehand.
How do you explain all those super bent arm forehands of the WTA players, those girl's getting more coaching than anyone in tennis.
You might be saying a more straight arm groundies is a more advanced level of groundie, of which I cannot deny.
But, if the ball has already bounced, it's much too late to move any feet or legs to compensate for inexact spacing.
Agree that he often enough has to pull the arm in as an adjustment: That's just a mirror of a double-bend player, say Djokovic, often having to straighten out to get a ball, I suppose.
I'll suppose, about the WTA players, that they are well-advised to take the ball with their upper arm closer to the body...because it provides a slightly stronger position at the shoulder, and they have (only on average) weaker shoulders.
About the straight-arm FH I can speak from experience: It was years ago, but the memory is this: When I tried it dragging the butt cap toward the ball, I felt it was more difficult to hit well than the bent. When I pulled up good video of both Fed and Raf, and could conclusively see each of them was pulling out to the expected point of contact, not more forward and toward the ball, and I tried it, it was like the clouds parted and the sun came out. I found the straight easier to hit well, especially (and surprisingly) against much younger faster-hitting guys. It changed the visual cue: The hand provided a strong confidence in where the racquet head would end up, and fast. It also lead to more 'automatic' topspin, because of the greater tension that the slightly more side-ward push caused. (It was actually after concluding the "out to the expected point of contact" was the thing, that I took more seriously the use of the off arm to at first focus on the ball's track up from the bounce....)
I have no opinion on which someone should choose. I think THAT is where a good experienced coach comes in, evaluating the player, their strengths, and judging how well each style fits the rest of a player's technique, helping the player come to his choice. I have zero expertise in that aspect of things.