Federer forehand code cracked

user92626

G.O.A.T.
We’ve heard it so many times, right? Oh you shouldn’t copy pros, only Federer can hit Federer forehand blah blah. I guess these guys just go silent when copying works!




Wow, the purple shirt guy is good. Look very much like Federer's style. Down the split step at opponent's hitting. And his hair is gray. There's hope for you, Curious.
 

ubercat

Professional
Compact take back helps hitting fast shots or moonballs on the rise. Otherwise I d have to actually do footwork :p
 

ballmachineguy

Professional
This is not fully correct at minimum. With proper shoulder position (full ESR) arm is propelled forward by torso rotation
There is a big difference between the torso bringing the racquet arm to contact and using the torso as the foundation for swinging the arm. How someone can look at Rafa’s or Fed’s forehands and compare them to Novak or Zverev and say it is just the way they take it back or whatever is confounding. Anyway, when you can mimic Rafa or Fed or Verdasco and hit the ball 90mph, I’ll listen to your explanation. It wasn’t until I did it the way that I explained it above that allowed me to get to that speed. Everything else including what you said was awkward.
 

Curious

Legend
Guys, I know some of you recommended me to hit like this black shirt guy.
So, this WTA forehand has a perfectly smooth uninterrupted loop all the way with absolutely zero racket flip unlike Federer’s. Ok, he’s clearly hitting much more cleanly than I do, but I know I didn’t hit cleanly with that style either.
I agree flip of the racket is a complicating factor but the size of this WTA loop/ the long path to contact is also a complicating factor. Anyway, interesting stuff indeed for curious minds.


 

Jay_The_Nomad

Professional
Good hitting session with the ball machine particularly the cross court bit where you were maintaining footwork intensity.

Obviously you were struggling with catching the ball cleanly in the middle of the string bed. But that could be due to not playing for a bit. But the stroke motion itself seems fine to me from the video; nice and smooth.

I suggest trying next session to hit edge on edge. On the take back, instead of having your racquet facing flat towards the ground and opening up as you begin the forward swing, try having your racquet face perpendicular to the ground.

Try this video. This might give you more consistency in hitting the ball cleanly. You don’t have to copy the entire Del Porto stroke. But just pay attention to the way his racquet tip falls edge first during the C swing.


I was a little rusty after 2 weeks of no hitting on court, felt pressure from TT crowd watching:p, wasn’t watching the ball properly, it was dark and blah and blah blah. A lot of balls go too long but I was told that it's a high level error lol!
Anyway guys, tennis strokes are really easy, but once you add moving to a moving ball it becomes rocket science all of a sudden. Let’s all focus on improving movement and balance.


 
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Fxanimator1

Hall of Fame
I was a little rusty after 2 weeks of no hitting on court, felt pressure from TT crowd watching:p, wasn’t watching the ball properly, it was dark and blah and blah blah. A lot of balls go too long but I was told that it's a high level error lol!
Anyway guys, tennis strokes are really easy, but once you add moving to a moving ball it becomes rocket science all of a sudden. Let’s all focus on improving movement and balance.


It really looks like you’re not deriving your power from the ground up. Your feet are moving, but they are not loading and unloading your body properly into the stroke, which makes it look like your hitting shoulder is providing any and all force into your forehand, rather than your body doing all the heavy lifting (so to speak).
 

Curious

Legend
I suggest trying next session to hit edge on edge. On the take back, instead of having your racquet facing flat towards the ground and opening up as you begin the forward swing, try having your racquet face perpendicular to the ground.

Try this video. This might give you more consistency in hitting the ball cleanly. You don’t have to copy the entire Del Porto stroke. But just pay attention to the way his racquet tip falls edge first during the C swing.
Yeah, that’s what my coach says too. Isn’t Agassi a great one between Fed and Del Potro by the way?
Anyway, I’ve just played 2 sets. My plan was to play one “normal”, one full S&V and one full MEP style. There wasn’t enough time for the last one. First set video uploading at the moment.
One thing I tried and noticed also today is that the GOAT stance for rec tennis is Monfils or Agut style! I know some get annoyed here when I make claims like this but I enjoy it!:p
Well, I played 2 long sets with zero double faults, how can I not claim??
 

Dragy

Legend
Smooth FH winners feel good, don’t they?)

I mean, why one needs to copy MEP if he can put away second serves with a FH, for example? Of course there are stronger opponents, stronger shots and serves, but you need to start somewhere!
 

Curious

Legend
Smooth FH winners feel good, don’t they?)

I mean, why one needs to copy MEP if he can put away second serves with a FH, for example? Of course there are stronger opponents, stronger shots and serves, but you need to start somewhere!
Yeah. That's a big if though.
By the way, I'm very intrigued by the idea of ditching the closed racket face drop as my coach keeps telling me and also @Jay_The_Nomad pointed out above. If I can keep the racket face not too open at contact by doing that I'm happy to make the change.
 

Dragy

Legend
Yeah. That's a big if though.
By the way, I'm very intrigued by the idea of ditching the closed racket face drop as my coach keeps telling me and also @Jay_The_Nomad pointed out above. If I can keep the racket face not too open at contact by doing that I'm happy to make the change.
I don’t think there’s any good reason for you to go that route. It actually elongates the preparation with no practical use. It’s useful for those who don’t get the “swivel” into drag position - so they have to preset it. It may be also applied for some cases:
- when you have ton of time on a sitter and want to flatten it out;
- when you use semi-coil, like 45 deg instead of 90, and you put your racquet behind the ball already “lagged”.

For basic rally situation I go with the following: you still want to produce a full swing when facing a fast, challenging ball. Tip-to-the-side (strings down or back is irrelevant!) takeback allows you to do this against more balls than tip-to-the-back fence style, that’s it.
 

Jay_The_Nomad

Professional
Yeah. That's a big if though.
By the way, I'm very intrigued by the idea of ditching the closed racket face drop as my coach keeps telling me and also @Jay_The_Nomad pointed out above. If I can keep the racket face not too open at contact by doing that I'm happy to make the change.
Yep. It’s better to stick to an edge to edge prep. You’ll get a little less racquet head speed, but you’ll get better consistency in terms of hitting the ball in the string bed cleanly.

Losing the extra racquet head speed from that extra whippiness from having the racquet face closed on the take back is not a big loss. You should be able to generate more than enough rhs for good topspin without.

But of course, if you do the take back edge on edge, the stroke will not look quite like Federer’s anymore. But if it’s affecting your ability to hit cleanly, you got to decide what’s more important.

Bear in mind the ability to hit cleanly is a hand eye coordination thing. And if a particular way isn’t really suitable for you, it’ll be an ongoing issue as you progress to higher levels of play and start seeing higher quality balls.
 

Curious

Legend
Yep. It’s better to stick to an edge to edge prep. You’ll get a little less racquet head speed, but you’ll get better consistency in terms of hitting the ball in the string bed cleanly.

Losing the extra racquet head speed from that extra whippiness from having the racquet face closed on the take back is not a big loss. You should be able to generate more than enough rhs for good topspin without.

But of course, if you do the take back edge on edge, the stroke will not look quite like Federer’s anymore. But if it’s affecting your ability to hit cleanly, you got to decide what’s more important.

Bear in mind the ability to hit cleanly is a hand eye coordination thing. And if a particular way isn’t really suitable for you, it’ll be an ongoing issue as you progress to higher levels of play and start seeing higher quality balls.
I agree with your points. I now feel I’ll most likely settle with the one between Federer and Del Potro: Agassi!
 

socallefty

Legend
I agree with your points. I now feel I’ll most likely settle with the one between Federer and Del Potro: Agassi!
Why don’t you stick some cone targets deep into the two corners and then try to hit FHs past them as hard as you can with as much spin as you can to keep them on court - have someone good drill with you or use a machine. Stick with the FH swing that helps you hit hard and keep it on the court consistently with better shot tolerance and pace than what you have today. Don’t videotape yourself during this process as you seem to be more distracted by video than helped by it. That’s how most good players developed their FH.

It seems unusual to want to videotape yourself twice a day (thrice on Sundays) and post it in public - you might want to see a therapist for that narcissism - I jest:)
 

curly_2350

New User
Nice videos. I think you need to forget about hitting winners full stop. Your strokes are nice, just need to totally focus on consistency for a while. You don’t need to hit any winners at all to beat Aussie suresh. You don’t need to hit anything hard or flat or close to the line. Solid topspin back the way it came, all day everyday. Aim at least 2 foot over the net and at least a metre from any line.
 

Curious

Legend
Nice videos. I think you need to forget about hitting winners full stop. Your strokes are nice, just need to totally focus on consistency for a while. You don’t need to hit any winners at all to beat Aussie suresh. You don’t need to hit anything hard or flat or close to the line. Solid topspin back the way it came, all day everyday. Aim at least 2 foot over the net and at least a metre from any line.
Agree. Although most forehands were in yesterday I wasn't quite happy about the shape of the balls with risky net clearance. I have to find a way to hit my groundstrokes with the same mentality as second serves: fast swing, a lot of spin for safe net clearance.
 

socallefty

Legend
I don’t recommend full swings during matches where the objective is to keep the ball in and win points. But when someone is doing drills and practices to improve especially before they have grooved their fundamental swings on both wings, I suggest swinging out freely with as much spacing from the ball as possible so that your arms are extended and you hit the ball as early as possible. It is easier to correct that swing to add topspin and consistency rather than the opposite - if someone is hitting slowly or bunting the ball in practice to just keep the ball on court, they make all kinds of micro-adjustments on every swing and never develop the muscle memory to learn one swing on both wings. Most adult rec players don’t have decent topspin and pace particularly on their BH because they have never practiced full swings with the intent to learn how to generate topspin.

This is not a pusher vs ball basher thread on playing matches - I advocate pushing to win until you learn above-average shot tolerance for your level when you can attempt to swing harder to targets closer to the lines. But, that’s not how you should practice and the last thing you should be thinking of is a breakdown of every individual component of your FH and BH when you haven’t even learned to hit the ball hard (above 60 mph or 100 kmph) with enough spin to keep it on court consistently off a ball machine feed or hand feed.
 

Curious

Legend
I don’t recommend full swings during matches where the objective is to keep the ball in and win points. But when someone is doing drills and practices to improve especially before they have grooved their fundamental swings on both wings, I suggest swinging out freely with as much spacing from the ball as possible so that your arms are extended and you hit the ball as early as possible. It is easier to correct that swing to add topspin and consistency rather than the opposite - if someone is hitting slowly or bunting the ball in practice to just keep the ball on court, they make all kinds of micro-adjustments on every swing and never develop the muscle memory to learn one swing on both wings. Most adult rec players don’t have decent topspin and pace particularly on their BH because they have never practiced full swings with the intent to learn how to generate topspin.

This is not a pusher vs ball basher thread on playing matches - I advocate pushing to win until you learn above-average shot tolerance for your level when you can attempt to swing harder to targets closer to the lines. But, that’s not how you should practice and the last thing you should be thinking of is a breakdown of every individual component of your FH and BH when you haven’t even learned to hit the ball hard (above 60 mph or 100 kmph) with enough spin to keep it on court consistently off a ball machine feed or hand feed.
I know what you mean.


 

Curious

Legend
Why don’t you stick some cone targets deep into the two corners and then try to hit FHs past them as hard as you can with as much spin as you can to keep them on court - have someone good drill with you or use a machine.
I'll try this today. I believe it's a myth that you need extreme grip for topspin, Federer being the proof. I'm still curious if I can do similar to what Thim does above but with Agassi forehand.
 

StringSnapper

Hall of Fame
Set 1. Not too bad. Not too many onforced errors at least.


incredibly good - what did you just win that 6-0? against the guy that used to beat you?

one thing i really liked was that you didn't over hit much in this match, and you didn't need to. you don't look like you're overplaying, or playing out of your limit

this new compact forehand lol, do you think we have the same looking forehand now? i thought i was watching myself hit. its looking more simpler, and you can hit winners without having to swing so hard. i think because its easier to time so you can hit on the rise and redirect pace. at least it looks like you're not swinging too hard, and from what i can tell it looks like you've got a more linear trajectory through the ball. it looks really good, more consistent and more damaging with less effort. How your fh feel that day from your perspective?

i think when it comes down to it - what we want is a consistent deep spinny ball. technique is just a means to achieve that, and can be achieved with all sorts of techniques, but some are easier (or simpler) than others. well done! don't change it! just get the 10,000 hours / reps now
 
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socallefty

Legend
I'll try this today. I believe that you need extreme grip for topspin is a myth, Federer being the proof. I'm still curious if I can do similar to what Thim does above but with Agassi forehand.
Don’t think about how you are hitting. Grip it (eastern or Sw is fine) and start ripping much harder than you usually hit with the idea to hit the ball into deep corners and still keep it in the court - you need heavy spin for that. The ball will fly out a lot and start making adjustments (more spacing, earlier take back, bending knee and transferring weight forward more, hitting the ball earlier in front, finishing high, starting swing lower, brushing through the ball contact etc.) to add more spin to keep the ball in. Don‘t let up on hitting hard and please don‘t tape yourself (start curing that addiction!). Also all adjustments should be related to adding spin like the examples above - don’t think ‘am I taking back or swinging like Federer, Agassi etc.’ as you are not thinking of the right things if that’s what you are thinking of. When you have made good progress after maybe a month, tape yourself and see how much you have improved. Hit the ball further and further away from you as you will hit harder the more extended your hands are - the biggest adjustment to learn an advanced swing is to have more spacing from the ball when you stop your feet.

My wife is consistently winning singles against seasoned computer-rated 3.5 USTA players and some self-rated 4.0 players within two years of learning tennis because that’s how I taught her and she hits with way more topspin (2HBH is even better than FH) than just about anybody at her level. Those are the only coaching credentials I have (also taught my son briefly), but it is worth trying, if all the micro-analysis and copying of pros hasn’t worked for many years.
 
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Curious

Legend
one thing i really liked was that you didn't over hit much in this match, and you didn't need to
this new compact forehand lol, do you think we have the same looking forehand now? its looking more simpler
Yeah biggest change i guess is that I've developed a constant self-awareness about bad shot selection, going for it unnecessarily. Whenever I do it now I just smile and say to myself ' lol you did it again' and I try to keep track of them. I'm gonna make that forehand even simpler now getting rid of the racket face down to the ground thing. Agassi is the model.
 

Curious

Legend
Don’t think about how you are hitting. Grip it (eastern or Sw is fine) and start ripping much harder than you usually hit with the idea to hit the ball into deep corners and still keep it in the court - you need heavy spin for that. The ball will fly out a lot and start making adjustments (more spacing, earlier take back, bending knee and transferring weight forward more, hitting the ball earlier, finishing high, starting swing lower, brushing through the ball contact etc.) to add more spin to keep the ball in. Don‘t let up on hitting hard and please don‘t tape yourself (start curing that addiction!). Also all adjustments should be related to adding spin like the examples above - don’t think ‘am I taking back or swinging like Federer, Agassi etc.’ as you are not thinking of the right things if that’s what you are thinking of. When you have made good progress after maybe a month, tape yourself and see how much you have improved.

My wife is consistently winning singles against seasoned computer-rated 3.5 USTA players and some self-rated 4.0 players within two years of learning tennis because that’s how I taught her and she hits with way more topspin (2HBH is even better than FH) than just about anybody at her level. Those are the only coaching credentials I have (also taught my son briefly), but it is worth trying, if all the micro-analysis and copying of pros hasn’t worked for many years.
Agreed with all. One thing though, can I just video this one, too? :D Because I want to hear what your feedback would be. But promise, I'll reduce camera time from now on!
 

Curious

Legend
That FH's looking pretty wicked! As you ramp up the consistency, you'll start leaving some of your hitting partners in the dust.
Thanks, mate. Too bad there wasn't much volleying to ask for your comments. Will try it again with a better returner next time. One bloody thing is still bothering me: running amok to the net! Just slow down when the opponent is about to hit, man! Gee!
 

socallefty

Legend
Agreed with all. One thing though, can I just video this one, too? :D Because I want to hear what your feedback would be. But promise, I'll reduce camera time from now on!
You don’t need any feedback on your first few sessions as they are ‘work in progress’ sessions. Start taping after you feel that you have made some progress in hitting much harder than usual and still keeping the ball in the court. Feedback at early stages is counter-productive - better for you to figure out yourself what works better. You have received enough coaching lessons online and in real life to be able to figure out on your own what seems to work better.
 

S&V-not_dead_yet

Talk Tennis Guru
Thanks, mate. Too bad there wasn't much volleying to ask for your comments. Will try it again with a better returner next time. One bloody thing is still bothering me: running amok to the net! Just slow down when the opponent is about to hit, man! Gee!
Good awareness: further away and balanced >> closer and unbalanced.

Give it time and a few hundred reps.
 

Digital Atheist

Professional
By the way, I'm very intrigued by the idea of ditching the closed racket face drop as my coach keeps telling me and also @Jay_The_Nomad pointed out above.
You're only just now intrigued? This is not new and we've been here before (including the Agassi suggestion). Maybe you have come full circle, but I sure hope this is only on single repeat and not an infinite loop.
 
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Curious

Legend
start ripping much harder than you usually hit with the idea to hit the ball into deep corners and still keep it in the court - you need heavy spin for that. The ball will fly out a lot and start making adjustments (more spacing, earlier take back, bending knee and transferring weight forward more, hitting the ball earlier in front, finishing high, starting swing lower, brushing through the ball contact etc.) to add more spin to keep the ball in.
Well, I felt at times that I was able to do what you're saying. Swing fast and fearless relying on topspin. Now it's quite clear as you can see that no matter which style you use, nothing is likely to work on a consistent basis unless you get the hang of positioning yourself ideally to hit the ball. And that means mostly legs but also sharp focus. The biggest part of the difficulty of this sport is really getting to the ball. You might say the machine is just feeding balls to where you are but a step back or forward, even a little too close or too far to the ball makes a big difference.


 
D

Deleted member 780836

Guest
Well, I felt at times that I was able to do what you're saying. Swing fast and fearless relying on topspin. Now it's quite clear as you can see that no matter which style you use, nothing is likely to work on a consistent basis unless you get the hang of positioning yourself ideally to hit the ball. And that means mostly legs but also sharp focus. The biggest part of the difficulty of this sport is really getting to the ball. You might say the machine is just feeding balls to where you are but a step back or forward, even a little too close or too far to the ball makes a big difference.


your swing path is too flat. If you're going to have full swings, you need more topspin, try to create shape. A good test to know if you got it: the ball should dip in and land in the court even when you take full swings.
 

Curious

Legend
your swing path is too flat. If you're going to have full swings, you need more topspin, try to create shape. A good test to know if you got it: the ball should dip in and land in the court even when you take full swings.
Drop the racket more/ swing more up?
 

socallefty

Legend
Hit the ball further and further away from you as you will hit harder the more extended your hands are - the biggest adjustment to learn an advanced swing is to have more spacing from the ball when you stop your feet.
When you don’t swing hard currently, your spacing today will be too close to the ball. Once you decide you want to hit harder, the biggest change is to move your feet and stop further away from the ball so that you can swing out freely with extended hands. Footwork and the resultant spacing largely decides whether it is a hard shot or not.
 
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AnyPUG

Professional
Well, I felt at times that I was able to do what you're saying. Swing fast and fearless relying on topspin. Now it's quite clear as you can see that no matter which style you use, nothing is likely to work on a consistent basis unless you get the hang of positioning yourself ideally to hit the ball. And that means mostly legs but also sharp focus. The biggest part of the difficulty of this sport is really getting to the ball. You might say the machine is just feeding balls to where you are but a step back or forward, even a little too close or too far to the ball makes a big difference.
Not sure if parking in the FH corner instead of recovering to the middle after every shot is a good idea. The shots are mostly about getting to the ball and still maintaining the proper structure.
Got to follow what this vid shows (the approach shot may not be possible if the ball machine is not programmable, but recovering to the middle is an absolute must)

 

ballmachineguy

Professional
I feel I’ll get there eventually. Inspired by many at the moment. Agassi, Federer, Djokovic...

Watch A Z in slow mo here. Notice how his elbow is still up until he decides to hit. His flip phase happens part way in to his forward swing which starts with elbow dropping, using gravity to gain momentum. You drop your elbow at the end of your backswing and have a short pause. Momentum has been killed. Flip happens as you start forward. For the most part, your backswing is a waste. Watch your forehand on the deep ball hit to you at 3:20 elapsed. You are forced to do it right on that one Just my 4 spiced rum drinks opinion.

 

Curious

Legend
Watch A Z in slow mo here. Notice how his elbow is still up until he decides to hit. His flip phase happens part way in to his forward swing which starts with elbow dropping, using gravity to gain momentum. You drop your elbow at the end of your backswing and have a short pause. Momentum has been killed. Flip happens as you start forward. For the most part, your backswing is a waste. Watch your forehand on the deep ball hit to you at 3:20 elapsed. You are forced to do it right on that one Just my 4 spiced rum drinks opinion.

Well, we can always talk about details but I’m pretty happy overall technique-wise. I’m more interested in what really matters: moving effectively to be in good position, balance, more clean hitting etc. Technique is not really rocket science. Applying it while moving to hit a moving ball, now that’s the real deal.
 

Curious

Legend
My friend that I’m hitting with in the video is a very smart good player.
This is what he says: ask only three questions to yourself and focus on them.
1. Am I hitting the sweet spot?
2. Am I balanced when I finish the stroke?
3. Am I producing a lot of topspin ?
 

zill

Hall of Fame
My friend that I’m hitting with in the video is a very smart good player.
This is what he says: ask only three questions to yourself and focus on them.
1. Am I hitting the sweet spot?
2. Am I balanced when I finish the stroke?
3. Am I producing a lot of topspin ?
But he forgot the most important question: am I hitting the ball inside the court which my opponent cannot take advantage of?!
 

zill

Hall of Fame
Still mostly pushy, not a true free swing. I'm just trying to keep the ball in at this stage.
Concentrate on brushing the ball from low to high with force/racquet head speed. With rpm and depth being more important than speed at this stage.
 
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