Atp male forehand vs. female wta forehand. What's the difference?

5263

G.O.A.T.
Did anyone watch the video? It's interesting.
Great vid by a friend of mine. He did a super job imo.

I don't think this level of detail has been taught to players until recently. Imo, these older players evolved into these styles based on the balls they face and the type of shots they tend to hit. I know that is how I got to the ATP takeback years before this became the rage. Imo the desire to take fast balls on the rise well was the driving force that pushed me to this very responsive type takeback. Hitting with top caliber Jrs and some pros just off the tour puts you in situations where you can't wait for the ball to fall.
 

kiteboard

Banned
Great vid by a friend of mine. He did a super job imo.

I don't think this level of detail has been taught to players until recently. Imo, these older players evolved into these styles based on the balls they face and the type of shots they tend to hit. I know that is how I got to the ATP takeback years before this became the rage. Imo the desire to take fast balls on the rise well was the driving force that pushed me to this very responsive type takeback. Hitting with top caliber Jrs and some pros just off the tour puts you in situations where you can't wait for the ball to fall.
Listen to this guy.
 

10isMaestro

Semi-Pro
Has anybody actually systematically measured spin rates/speed of WTA FH vs ATP FH, carried out by the same gender to show one is superior to the other? And I'm not talking about 3 or 4 measurements done by that tennisspeed blog site.
There is a major lack of data in many sports, at least to the extent that the public can access it. Of course, you can browse through the ATP website for data, because they have plenty of information on specific things. The problem is that virtually none of it is available in a format that would allow for analysis. We probably can find, piece by piece, data on unforced errors, aces, winners, etc. for all top players since their first match, but you don't have a nice panel dataset that contains it all. You'd have to write down all that information in a structured file to analyze it or write a program that does this job before you even begin to think about data analysis.

It's a pitty because we could learn a lot more, even with plain data exploration and descriptive statistics, than we currently can -- and it's to a point where even someone with an old laptop has enough computational power to handle hundreds of thousands of data points and do that exactly.
 
C

Chadillac

Guest
Got to 18mins fast forwarding. Women seem to open up faster on the left side and dont prep the forehand face down.

The wta plays with different tennis balls now, spin doesnt work as well. Modern wta looks like a red ball tourney.
 

mxmx

Hall of Fame

Women are not taught the atp take back: on the right side of their body: snap back: snapping back against the wrist after patting the dog: and follow through: across the lower part of their shoulders vs. bag of potatos over the back? Strange. Christina Mchale, Stosur, Henin, and Francesca Schiavone? That's it? Weird.
Because hitting flat is the compromise to get pace. Women do not have the strength to generate the pace (and) spin that men do. If they focused on spin (Sanchez Vicario), they would be outpaced and murdered in the rally due to most women with flatter more powerful strokes (Seles). Obviously both spin and flat power is ideal, but women sensibly go for the flat pace due to their physiological limitations.
 

bitcoinoperated

Professional
Interesting video. My opinion is that the guys have more power and therefore need more spin to help control the pace of the ball. They are dealing with harder hit balls too, so the more compact swing helps. The ladies tend to hit flat, because in the WTA a flat forehand has enough pace to be an instant winner when placed in a corner. The guys cover the court better and have longer rallies, also adding to the need for more spin to help sustain the rally. So, at least before I saw this video, I would say the ATP forehand is more oriented towards control and spin (because the guys hit with plenty of pace anyway), and the WTA forehand is longer and flatter to generate maximum velocity. The video doesn't change my mind, it just points out the technical differences.
Sounds reasonable. The WTA is a power game and the ATP is a game of grinding out points with fast moevement (now).
 

quiddy

New User
It comes down to coaching not genetics. Some women can do it as they were coached to. The men coaching the wta to men, as well, those men who have the wta fh, don't do as well. They can't handle the higher rpm/pace/depth that the atp fh creates as well.

The proof is in the coaching pudding. The wta fh is inferior on the men's side of things. Less rpm and less spin. Less heaviness.
You're wrong. Wta forehand generates more power. Think of the male pros who have wta forehand - like Del Potro or Soderling.

also using stosur and henin as an example is bad. They have exceptional strength and musculature. No breasts. Muscular shoulders. Look at the more conventional looking women who have the atp forehand. Where are they now in their success path? Their forehands def didn't contribute to their success.
Also by the way, Stosur never beat an aging Hingis who has a very wta forehand.

It's a physiological thing and social/environment thing: women generate their power from their child bearing hips. It's very solid and stable so they plant the lower body down and then pivot their upper body creating a fast and solid movement thst transfers to the ball. Men can generate power easily with just their arms.

what we need to do is get rid of all this toxic masculinity in here ( male ego, chest thumpin, feminine is bad, male pros technique must better over female technique) and pose this question : what if male pros were taught to develop a wta technique?
 

ShinMezame

New User
Yeah from a strictly bio-mechanical standpoint, you are able to generate much more forward pace with a WTA style swing. The optimal player should have both in their repertoire and use each one according to what the situation calls for.

For example, I sometimes see pros like Felix Auger-Aliassime get a short floaty ball they could put away HARD with a purely flat forehand, yet they still opted to perform their regular ATP forehand, resulting in a shot that got more topspin than necessary, which resulted in less forward pace, and allowed their opponent to get it back. You could argue that they're playing it safe with topspin on those putaway shots, but a proper WTA swing at that point is so easy to execute and control that you don't ever need to worry about topspin and would crush the ball faster than any modern ATP swing could have done.

Tennis IMO still has a long way to go. We haven't even seen close to the best possible tennis player even among the big 3.
 

socallefty

Legend
The optimal player should have both in their repertoire and use each one according to what the situation calls for.

For example, I sometimes see pros like Felix Auger-Aliassime get a short floaty ball they could put away HARD with a purely flat forehand, yet they still opted to perform their regular ATP forehand, resulting in a shot that got more topspin than necessary, which resulted in less forward pace, and allowed their opponent to get it back.
So, you are saying that a player should choose their takeback type and swing type based on the shot they plan to hit. Have you coached any players to success in at least junior tennis or college tennis adopting this style?

Also, you are saying that an ATP takeback results in a FH that cannot be flattened out at high pace? Have you watched any pro tournaments in person? Just because an ATP take back helps to generate topspin easier on average doesn’t mean the converse is true - that you can’t flatten out your shot at high pace.
 

ShinMezame

New User
So, you are saying that a player should choose their takeback type and swing type based on the shot they plan to hit. Have you coached any players to success in at least junior tennis or college tennis adopting this style?

Also, you are saying that an ATP takeback results in a FH that cannot be flattened out at high pace? Have you watched any pro tournaments in person? Just because an ATP take back helps to generate topspin easier on average doesn’t mean the converse is true - that you can’t flatten out your shot at high pace.
Yes you should choose your swing type based on the shot you plan to hit, that's exactly what I'm saying. You plan to hit a forehand, you choose a forehand takeback. You plan to hit a slice, you choose a slice takeback. Why not add WTA takeback and swing into your arsenal of different shots?

And no, I'm obviously not saying you can't hit a flat ATP forehand, only that it's easier and more consistent to produce a much faster pace ball with the WTA type style.
 

a12345

Professional
I said eventually the women will learn the ATP forehand and start to come through. Its a better technique.

Leylah Fernandez and Raducanu both have ATP style.
 

a12345

Professional
Ive seen people say women dont have the strength and muscle for it, but Justine Henin showed the complete opposite.

Leylah Fernandez is small and skinny, Raducanu is 5"9, not a giant, and relatively skinny.
 

5263

G.O.A.T.
The question has not been answered, as to why women are not taught the atp III fh. It can't be due to sexual differences, or mind sets. Is it that coaches who train women don't believe they can hit like men? I don't get it. The vid shows just how obvious the differences are. Same goes with over heads and serving for the most part. Then there's the ***** squat shot that men don't do either.
Imo it is pretty clear that it was an adaptation, not a taught skill before Christophe Delavaut pointed this out in his landmark video on the topic. I was using the ATP takeback for many yrs and didn't even know it and was constantly harassed by top teaching pros about how I needed a big C with the wrap. When Christophe called me to discuss his discovery, I didn't see the importance right away or realize that is what I'd been doing. I still think that for certain shots the WTA can work better. Notice even advanced players like Fed went thru the changes over the decades and started more with the big C, then moved to a small c with the flip, before moving towards the ATP take-back with the swivel to the "slot entry".
 
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zaph

Professional
I have to admit I am a sceptic about all this. I have never known coaches at club level teach different stroke mechanics to men/boys and women/girls. I always assumed it was just a way to wind up posters when they put up videos.

Look at this guy, WTA forehand and waiter serve, what a joke.
 

ShinMezame

New User
I said eventually the women will learn the ATP forehand and start to come through. Its a better technique.

Leylah Fernandez and Raducanu both have ATP style.
Raducanu most definitely has a WTA style. You can see her distinct loop, low elbow, and the fact that she hits the ball like she's slapping it with the rotation of her body instead of whipping at it with her arm.

 

SystemicAnomaly

Talk Tennis Guru
Ive seen people say women dont have the strength and muscle for it, but Justine Henin showed the complete opposite.

Leylah Fernandez is small and skinny, Raducanu is 5"9, not a giant, and relatively skinny.
Justine H was something of an anomaly. It is not just a matter of strength, it is also a matter of anatomy and power production (not the same thing as brute strength).

Leylah & Emma have some elements of the ATP Fh but their implementation is closer to what I would call a WTA/ATP hybrid Fh. Not quite as compact as a true or commonly accepted ATP Fh.

In the late '90s I was teaching an Agassi-like Fh to both young boys and young girls. A decade plus later, I was teaching a more modern version of this Fh. Even tho I had been teaching them a compact, ATP Fh, a vast majority of the girls had adopted a less compact or hybrid version of the Fh -- quite often similar to the hybrid implementation exhibited by Emma & Leylah.

Kasatkina and a few other current WTA player are probably closer to an ATP Fh than the young 2021 USO women's finalists.

Not long ago I had composed a post that provided, in detail, why most females will likely not be able to fully implement a truly compact ATP Fh style. I also provided a couple of in-depth resources that delved into the physiological differences between most males & females:

 
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Dragy

Legend
This discussion is undying, of course … Judging ATP style as overall “compact” is misleading, in my opinion. There are lots of guys with rather huge windups, still textbook ATP-style.
Btw, this guy addressed it quite well:
 

5263

G.O.A.T.
This discussion is undying, of course … Judging ATP style as overall “compact” is misleading, in my opinion. There are lots of guys with rather huge windups, still textbook ATP-style.
Btw, this guy addressed it quite well:
could you say more about what he got right here?
 

5263

G.O.A.T.
Raducanu most definitely has a WTA style. You can see her distinct loop, low elbow, and the fact that she hits the ball like she's slapping it with the rotation of her body instead of whipping at it with her arm.

Emma seems to have shortened it up since those days.....I'm sure she still has some variations, but look at this one at 1:37

 

a12345

Professional
Raducanu most definitely has a WTA style. You can see her distinct loop, low elbow, and the fact that she hits the ball like she's slapping it with the rotation of her body instead of whipping at it with her arm.

In the first part of the atp forehand the body does drag the arm.

Then the arm comes through the trunk.

Raducanus take back and swing is not disimilar to Djokovic.

That video also appears to be 2 years old, but you can still see the segmentation of the arm. To see her current style watch the US open.
 

Dragy

Legend
could you say more about what he got right here?

General idea is to not use overly-compact hitched prep, like “put it there, then pull from there”. There’re situations when there’s no time and no way but to abbreviate the backswing. And you can still hit big from there using modern techniques. However, for better timing, flow and alignment it’s good to use high prep and initiate with drop to “find the ball”, and then inject the power.
 

SystemicAnomaly

Talk Tennis Guru
In the first part of the atp forehand the body does drag the arm.

Then the arm comes through the trunk.

Raducanus take back and swing is not disimilar to Djokovic.

That video also appears to be 2 years old, but you can still see the segmentation of the arm. To see her current style watch the US open.
IIRC, the stroke prep for both Leylah & Emma was often situational. On approach shots and some / many serve returns, the strokes were pretty compact. Less compact (hybrid?) on some other strokes.

Prep tended to be compact on deep balls (hitting the ball on the rise). Their 2-handed Bh strokes were somewhat similar to their Fh strokes. However, the prep / takeback was normally fuller (WTA or hybrid) than the Fh side
 

5263

G.O.A.T.

General idea is to not use overly-compact hitched prep, like “put it there, then pull from there”. There’re situations when there’s no time and no way but to abbreviate the backswing. And you can still hit big from there using modern techniques. However, for better timing, flow and alignment it’s good to use high prep and initiate with drop to “find the ball”, and then inject the power.
I see your point.
I just see this as a level of amplitude, not a right or wrong.
 

Fintft

Legend
Raducanu most definitely has a WTA style. You can see her distinct loop, low elbow, and the fact that she hits the ball like she's slapping it with the rotation of her body instead of whipping at it with her arm.

Nope, she was using ATP FH at USO.
 

Dragy

Legend
I see your point.
I just see this as a level of amplitude, not a right or wrong.
Yeah, but we are drifting from initial point. My fault, I better posted just couple of pro photos.

My point was that to describe primary feature of ATP FH as “compact” was neither precise nor helpful. Lots of shots are made with big amplitude of backswing.
 

Dragy

Legend


We should absolutely end the male/female line here and talk about techniques evolution. We could only make theories why WTA players massively adopted this later. But as of today, more tempo to the game, more angles, more on-the-rise hitting by young ladies. And more suitable techniques.

PS what I absolutely loved from Emma was outstanding utilization of lower body: she’s pushing of her legs in various situational patterns, lifting, pivoting, counter-swinging her legs to great efficiency of body use while making shots. Brilliant.
 
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Clay lover

Hall of Fame
My understanding is that the ATP takeback is more side-on vs the WTA which faces the back fence. To get the racquet properly into the firing position, the player lowers the racquet into kind of a pat the dog, and then a 'flip' is employed, which makes use of the turning of the wrist to get the racquet head from pointing one way during the pat the dog to pointing the other way behind the body to facilitate the inside-out swing, whereas the WTA simply uses the arm to set the racquet back during the backswing and the racquet head and angle then remains relatively fixed before forward swing.

Nadal is like the poster child of the ATP forehand. So is Fed.

Hewitt's forehand is about as WTA as an ATP player gets. Notice he almost doesn't change the wrist angle at all during backswing.

But to me it's more like a spectrum. Some will incorporate a smaller flip than others.
 
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Dragy

Legend
My understanding is that the ATP takeback is more side-on vs the WTA which faces the back fence. To get the racquet properly into the firing position, the player lowers the racquet into kind of a pat the dog, and then a 'flip' is employed, which makes use of the turning of the wrist to get the racquet head from pointing one way during the pat the dog to pointing the other way behind the body to facilitate the inside-out swing, whereas the WTA simply uses the arm to set the racquet back during the backswing and the racquet head and angle then remains relatively fixed before forward swing.

Nadal is like the poster child of the ATP forehand. So is Fed.

Hewitt's forehand is about as WTA as an ATP player gets. Notice he almost doesn't change the wrist angle at all during backswing.

But to me it's more like a spectrum. Some will incorporate a smaller flip than others.
There’s more to it in my understanding. Key feature of “ATP” forehand is segmented acceleration, where it’s crucial to create efficient link in the shoulder and wrist to not withstand the torque of torso rotation, but to follow it as moment is passed up to the arm, hand and racquet head finally.

The “old type” WTA techniques relies on simultaneous action from body and arm, contracted chest and shoulder muscles (it already accepted laid back wrist which restricted acceleration in earlier, classic techniques). Hence it requires longer, slower acceleration.

Main advantage of modern segmented FH is ability to create RHS very rapidly, in brief timeframe. All what precedes is timing and aligning the swing, and creating potential energy by coiling, loading legs and (in some variations) setting body on the move.

Thanks to that feature player can:
- prepare and execute full power drives against fast incoming balls;
- commit to the swingpath later, closer to contact, as full effort power injection happens later, hence better adjust to ball bounces.

There are quite many players with hybrid techniques, where they either apply arguably excessive backswings before entering ultimately efficient acceleration phase (Barty, Krejcikova), or using compact backswings, but no segmentation in forward swing (Mannarino?).
 

Clay lover

Hall of Fame
There’s more to it in my understanding. Key feature of “ATP” forehand is segmented acceleration, where it’s crucial to create efficient link in the shoulder and wrist to not withstand the torque of torso rotation, but to follow it as moment is passed up to the arm, hand and racquet head finally.

The “old type” WTA techniques relies on simultaneous action from body and arm, contracted chest and shoulder muscles (it already accepted laid back wrist which restricted acceleration in earlier, classic techniques). Hence it requires longer, slower acceleration.

Main advantage of modern segmented FH is ability to create RHS very rapidly, in brief timeframe. All what precedes is timing and aligning the swing, and creating potential energy by coiling, loading legs and (in some variations) setting body on the move.

Thanks to that feature player can:
- prepare and execute full power drives against fast incoming balls;
- commit to the swingpath later, closer to contact, as full effort power injection happens later, hence better adjust to ball bounces.

There are quite many players with hybrid techniques, where they either apply arguably excessive backswings before entering ultimately efficient acceleration phase (Barty, Krejcikova), or using compact backswings, but no segmentation in forward swing (Mannarino?).
So basically an ATP forehand uses the body as a whip?
 

Dragy

Legend
So basically an ATP forehand uses the body as a whip?
In my opinion, whip analogy works only so good. Whip is quite uniform, flexible and passive. Human body is complex, has various joints and muscles to be used in proper sequence and combination, to achieve multiple objectives:
- RHS
- repeatability
- injury safety
- precision
- adjustment
- varied action on the ball (more/less spin, draw/fade spin)
- varied height over the net and ball speed.

It’s using parts in efficient sequence based on intention.
 

5263

G.O.A.T.
Yeah, but we are drifting from initial point. My fault, I better posted just couple of pro photos.

My point was that to describe primary feature of ATP FH as “compact” was neither precise nor helpful. Lots of shots are made with big amplitude of backswing.
I agree with your main point here and have argued it quite a bit with my partner (who is always saying compact or short for ATP). Both can be expanded or more compact as you state. But I do accept that it may be a bit "helpful" to think of the ATP as compact because I do think it has elements that make it easier to be more responsive to the incoming ball which many confuse with being more compact. So I can see how describing it as Compact can help to "sell" the technique when someone isn't as clear on all this.
 

ChaelAZ

G.O.A.T.
Raducanu most definitely has a WTA style. You can see her distinct loop, low elbow, and the fact that she hits the ball like she's slapping it with the rotation of her body instead of whipping at it with her arm.



Not what I see. Elements of what is called a WTA swing include:
  • Big/high take back
  • Breaks the plane and goes behind the body
  • Lag is most the time preset
  • Drops on edge
  • Leaves the racquet face open
Sloane is a really good example of what is called a WTA forehand


Elements of what is called an ATP swing include:
  • Shortened back swing
  • Drop on the same side (does not break beak behind)
  • Racquet face more closed, usually to the ground or to the side fence
  • Rotation creates lag (flip, hand, whatevs)
Sam has always been pretty exemplary in this.

 

nochuola

Rookie
I'm not a coach or sports scientist, but from my observations, there is highly likely an anatomical factor to why males and females tend toward the ATP and WTA forehand respectively. I say this because two of my friends (one male one female) just started taking tennis lessons together. They were given the same instructions, by the same instructor. After a few weeks, the guy's forehand resembled the ATP style forehand, while the girl had a pretty stereotypical WTA style forehand. This is also true of basically everyone in their class. They both have no previous tennis experiences, and both don't watch tennis, so I'm pretty sure they didn't model their form after pro players. The coach teaches a very old school, linear forehand like the ones you'd expect wooden era players use. Both of them think they are doing what the instructor demonstrated while they have completely different forms (neither of them actually do the linear stroke the instructor has). The most interesting part to me is, the guy is actually smaller, weaker and less athletic than the girl, so that throws a wrench in the strength difference argument. Also remember they are playing other beginner (of both genders) and mostly dinking and moonballing, so there hasn't been a chance for "higher pace" to mold the guy's technique yet. I also thought about maybe just peer influences, but my two friends are couples, and they mostly practice with each other, so if anything, they should've end up with the same style regardless of ATP or WTA. These are just my observations. I thought it would be interesting to share.
 

5263

G.O.A.T.
I'm not a coach or sports scientist, but from my observations, there is highly likely an anatomical factor to why males and females tend toward the ATP and WTA forehand respectively. I say this because two of my friends (one male one female) just started taking tennis lessons together. They were given the same instructions, by the same instructor. After a few weeks, the guy's forehand resembled the ATP style forehand, while the girl had a pretty stereotypical WTA style forehand. This is also true of basically everyone in their class. They both have no previous tennis experiences, and both don't watch tennis, so I'm pretty sure they didn't model their form after pro players. The coach teaches a very old school, linear forehand like the ones you'd expect wooden era players use. Both of them think they are doing what the instructor demonstrated while they have completely different forms (neither of them actually do the linear stroke the instructor has). The most interesting part to me is, the guy is actually smaller, weaker and less athletic than the girl, so that throws a wrench in the strength difference argument. Also remember they are playing other beginner (of both genders) and mostly dinking and moonballing, so there hasn't been a chance for "higher pace" to mold the guy's technique yet. I also thought about maybe just peer influences, but my two friends are couples, and they mostly practice with each other, so if anything, they should've end up with the same style regardless of ATP or WTA. These are just my observations. I thought it would be interesting to share.
this claim needs video evidence....we often hear about this or that WTA swing until we see it isn't....
 

SystemicAnomaly

Talk Tennis Guru
Request: More white space (paragraph breaks) would be greatly appreciated. Some of us with aging eyes (or small screens) have an issue with a wall of text
I'm not a coach or sports scientist, but from my observations, there is highly likely an anatomical factor to why males and females tend toward the ATP and WTA forehand respectively. I say this because two of my friends (one male one female) just started taking tennis lessons together. They were given the same instructions, by the same instructor. After a few weeks, the guy's forehand resembled the ATP style forehand, while the girl had a pretty stereotypical WTA style forehand. This is also true of basically everyone in their class. They both have no previous tennis experiences, and both don't watch tennis, so I'm pretty sure they didn't model their form after pro players. The coach teaches a very old school, linear forehand like the ones you'd expect wooden era players use. Both of them think they are doing what the instructor demonstrated while they have completely different forms (neither of them actually do the linear stroke the instructor has). The most interesting part to me is, the guy is actually smaller, weaker and less athletic than the girl, so that throws a wrench in the strength difference argument. Also remember they are playing other beginner (of both genders) and mostly dinking and moonballing, so there hasn't been a chance for "higher pace" to mold the guy's technique yet. I also thought about maybe just peer influences, but my two friends are couples, and they mostly practice with each other, so if anything, they should've end up with the same style regardless of ATP or WTA. These are just my observations. I thought it would be interesting to share.
Insightful observations. I had been teaching a compact Fh to students since the late 90s. A majority of the females developed a fuller version than my male students. But none really ended up with a full-blown, extreme WTA Fh. They had develop something of a hybrid or a very conservative WTA takeback.

In general, there is a strength component to the differences between males and females. But power is often a greater factor than brute strength. Male athletes have a higher ratio of muscle mass to body weight, which allows for greater speed and acceleration.

Upper body strength & power relative to lower body is typically much lower for women than for men. There are numerous other physiological diffs between male athletes and female athletes as detailed below.


 

5263

G.O.A.T.
Request: More white space (paragraph breaks) would be greatly appreciated. Some of us with aging eyes (or small screens) have an issue with a wall of text

Insightful observations. I had been teaching a compact Fh to students since the late 90s. A majority of the females developed a fuller version than my male students. But none really ended up with a full-blown, extreme WTA Fh. They had develop something of a hybrid or a very conservative WTA takeback.

In general, there is a strength component to the differences between males and females. But power is often a greater factor than brute strength. Male athletes have a higher ratio of muscle mass to body weight, which allows for greater speed and acceleration.

Upper body strength & power relative to lower body is typically much lower for women than for men. There are numerous other physiological diffs between male athletes and female athletes as detailed below.


I do think a looseness or flexibility plays into this.
 

beltsman

Legend
I'm not a coach or sports scientist, but from my observations, there is highly likely an anatomical factor to why males and females tend toward the ATP and WTA forehand respectively. I say this because two of my friends (one male one female) just started taking tennis lessons together. They were given the same instructions, by the same instructor. After a few weeks, the guy's forehand resembled the ATP style forehand, while the girl had a pretty stereotypical WTA style forehand. This is also true of basically everyone in their class. They both have no previous tennis experiences, and both don't watch tennis, so I'm pretty sure they didn't model their form after pro players. The coach teaches a very old school, linear forehand like the ones you'd expect wooden era players use. Both of them think they are doing what the instructor demonstrated while they have completely different forms (neither of them actually do the linear stroke the instructor has). The most interesting part to me is, the guy is actually smaller, weaker and less athletic than the girl, so that throws a wrench in the strength difference argument. Also remember they are playing other beginner (of both genders) and mostly dinking and moonballing, so there hasn't been a chance for "higher pace" to mold the guy's technique yet. I also thought about maybe just peer influences, but my two friends are couples, and they mostly practice with each other, so if anything, they should've end up with the same style regardless of ATP or WTA. These are just my observations. I thought it would be interesting to share.
Is he actually weaker though or just apparently weaker? You don't see all the little muscles and core strength.
 

ShinMezame

New User
Not what I see. Elements of what is called a WTA swing include:
  • Big/high take back
  • Breaks the plane and goes behind the body
  • Lag is most the time preset
  • Drops on edge
  • Leaves the racquet face open
Sloane is a really good example of what is called a WTA forehand


Elements of what is called an ATP swing include:
  • Shortened back swing
  • Drop on the same side (does not break beak behind)
  • Racquet face more closed, usually to the ground or to the side fence
  • Rotation creates lag (flip, hand, whatevs)
Sam has always been pretty exemplary in this.

Difference between ATP and WTA forehands does not depend on the backswing. You can hit an ATP forehand with a large backswing and a WTA forehand with a compact backswing, because that part is mostly style as we see clear examples of all different kinds of backswings on the tour. It's just much easier to hit an ATP forehand with compact and WTA with large backswing, but that's not the main required differentiator.

The differentiator is as Dragy put it:
There’s more to it in my understanding. Key feature of “ATP” forehand is segmented acceleration, where it’s crucial to create efficient link in the shoulder and wrist to not withstand the torque of torso rotation, but to follow it as moment is passed up to the arm, hand and racquet head finally.

The “old type” WTA techniques relies on simultaneous action from body and arm, contracted chest and shoulder muscles (it already accepted laid back wrist which restricted acceleration in earlier, classic techniques). Hence it requires longer, slower acceleration.
Basically the ATP swing has the body and torso rotation throwing the arm out freely forward, whereas the WTA swing accelerates the arm ALONG WITH the rotation of the hips and body, assisted by the collapsed low elbow keeping the arm and body more connected. Women gravitate towards the WTA style because of their larger hips (and less muscular shoulders which are required to keep that elbow higher in the preparation for segmentation). This also causes them to meet the ball closer to their body. You can see all this evident in Raducanu's swing. It was clearly different than Sakkari's forehand at the USO, which was what an actual ATP forehand looks like, so that should be proof enough.
 

ChaelAZ

G.O.A.T.
Difference between ATP and WTA forehands does not depend on the backswing. You can hit an ATP forehand with a large backswing and a WTA forehand with a compact backswing, because that part is mostly style as we see clear examples of all different kinds of backswings on the tour. It's just much easier to hit an ATP forehand with compact and WTA with large backswing, but that's not the main required differentiator.
Yeah, the reality is neither really depends on it, as there are all kinds of variations for both men and women with their swings. However, a characteristic anyone talking difference between what they call WTA or ATP is the difference in back swing or loop - the prototypical WTA swing with a larger back swing and loop, and the shorter back swing and drop for the ATP.
 

RajS

Semi-Pro
Men tend to contact more in front and further away from the body, women tend to contact more on the side and closer to the body, for whatever reason (anatomical?). Maybe that's why women's backswings are the way they are? From start of forward swing to contact, the racket head probably arcs through approximately the same distance in both cases? Just wondering idly...
 

Dolgopolov85

G.O.A.T.
In the first part of the atp forehand the body does drag the arm.

Then the arm comes through the trunk.

Raducanus take back and swing is not disimilar to Djokovic.

That video also appears to be 2 years old, but you can still see the segmentation of the arm. To see her current style watch the US open.
I think watching Raducanu at USO also suggests that you can't just implement the ATP forehand alone piecemeal. It goes along with its own footwork too, which in her case is quite different from a lot of WTA players. In comparison to Fernandez herself, for instance, Raducanu takes big strides and tries to stay low and maintain a wide base. This gives a much bigger radius for her hip to rotate through(and hence why she doesn't have to take the racquet back quite as much as a standard WTA FH). For every shot she hits, whether falling behind and creating space or on the rise, she is using her feet very purposefully to create a good position to hit the ball off. You don't see much of stand and deliver from her. I think it's almost the footwork more than the forehand style itself that makes her look very ATP. I would also argue that that is probably even more important to emulate than the FH style. As others have pointed out, Murray has a kind of hybrid takeback and Delpo/Soderling almost WTA. But even Delpo hits up massive topspin and isn't as leaky as WTA players trying to be aggressive. So the wide base is probably even more important than how far you take the racquet back. Also, whether you are letting the racquet drop is, again, probably more important than the style of takeback. The Kyrgios/Sock FH doesn't particularly look like the classic ATP FH either but it's closer to that than the WTA FH for this reason.
 
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