Classic Low to High Forehand Still Viable?

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by UW_Husky88, Jul 27, 2013.

  1. UW_Husky88

    UW_Husky88 Rookie

    Sep 11, 2006
    Hi all,

    I'm a person who naturally hits with a ton of spin and as a result, I often end up hitting sitters or have trouble putting away balls due to my lack of pace. I was thinking about changing up my swing stroke from a windshield wiper finish to a more traditional, low to higher technique, but I'm wondering if this is still viable given how the game has changed. While this swing style will flatten my strokes out short-term, as I get better, I'm going to need to apply more spin and a WW forehand is obviously going to be vital given that a flatter/more aggressive game is kind of dying nowadays.

    So what do you all think? Should I make the switch or just change up my WW forehand to not be so upward somehow?
  2. anchorage

    anchorage Rookie

    Dec 29, 2007
    Obvious question; are you sure you're getting enough RHS?

    That's more likely to be the problem - shouldn't really be too much of an issue getting pace and spin given good head speed.
  3. JohnYandell

    JohnYandell Hall of Fame

    Jun 5, 2004
    Two factors to look at: the amount of body coil in the preparation and the amount of extension in the followthrough. Without a full turn--which is easy to develop at any level--you are leaving energy out of your stroke.

    At for extension, even at the pro level a player like Janowicz shows that you can hit through with the racket on edge with minimal wiper, crush the ball, and have plenty of spin.

    Rather than thinking low to high or windshield wiper think of it as a continuum.

    The key to pace is the arc of the forward swing. It needs to be relatively flat and approximate the flight path of the ball to maximize velocity.

    Especially on lower balls and more especially at the club level, brushing up the back while keeping the racket face vertical can give you plenty of spin for the situation.

    Answering higher, heavier, faster balls can require more wiper if you still want to hit with a fairly low arc say like Fed or Djok.

    But I see it all the time. I recently played some 4.5 men's league singles matches--a lot of guys at the 4.0 level and up think they have to spin the ball like Rafa. But there's a trade off depending on your natural racket head speed. The only thing worse than not having any topspin is having too much relative to your ball velocity. Then you end of hitting those short sitters and slower heavier balls into openings that shouldn't come back, but do.
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2013
  4. rkelley

    rkelley Hall of Fame

    Sep 28, 2010
    Good advice from above.

    Basically, fix the stroke you have, or more specifically the whatever aspects are incorrect. If you're not getting pace then you're doing something incorrectly. You don't have to change your whole stroke.
  5. TennisCJC

    TennisCJC Legend

    Apr 20, 2010
    yea, I would NOT change to a different follow-thru. The racket is moving in 3 directions on a FH: 1. an upward path, 2. an across path, and 3. and outward path. Sounds like you have too much up in your stroke and not enough out.

    My opinion is you should let your extension run out - fully extended the arm as you rotate core into contact - before you pronate the forearm into a WW follow-thru and NOT use the WW pronation early to pull the racket up. The only exception for this is when you are really late to contact and then you may have to pull up more severely and pronate sooner just to get the ball back. But, a normal rally stroke should have good extension as well as up and across movement of the racket head.

    Try hitting some forehands where your hitting elbow is pointing toward your opponents head at your finish. The butt of your racket will also be pointing at your opponent. Maybe try it on a wall or ball machine to get the feel. If your elbow is pointing at your opponent, you have fully rotated your core and likely not pronated early.
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2013

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