For awhile, it seemed like infinite baseline rallies with heavy topspin was the path to success. Hitting angled shots and endurance was key. It looks like some of top pros like Berdych and most recently, Federer, are going against that trend and style and hitting lower trajectory, deeper groundstrokes. In Federer's recent success at Dubai, it definitely looked like he was hitting deeper and flatter shots. His backhand has been getting attacked the past couple years and I think a lot of what made it attackable is that he would often get caught hitting a spinny shot near the service line. At Dubai, the deeper, more penetrating backhands not only hit more winners but allowed him to take control of more rallies or keep it more neutral. Can this apply to amateur tennis as well? Possibly. Why deeper targets? - The biggest cause of the ball slowing down is the collision with the surface of the court. Because the ball goes deeper, it will travel quicker over the baseline after the bounce. - Giving your opponent less time, means he'll be more likely to hit a shot back with less on it or be forced to move back. - Deeper location means that the opponent won't be able to step into the court to take the ball earlier to be more aggressive. - Deeper location also gives your opponent less angle to work with. - Hitting deeper on a consistent basis, also makes your dropshots more deadly. - By rushing your opponent with the deeper shots, your opponent is more likely to hit a shorter shot with less precise statement. Once you get this shot you can be more aggressive in trying for an angled winner or another deep shot and possibly end the point at the net. - on defensive shots hitting deep increases your chance of staying in the point since a lot of players don't try to end points at the net very often. - hitting deeper on approach shots buys you more time for volley and doesn't allow your opponent to take the ball early unless he hits a swinging volley, which is unlikely. ------ The risk is of course hitting long beyond the baseline, but with poly strings the spin can add a lot of safety and control. A more level swing path can also add accuracy.