Has Nadal abbrieviated his forehand?

Discussion in 'General Pro Player Discussion' started by Clay lover, Apr 20, 2009.

  1. Clay lover

    Clay lover Hall of Fame

    Nov 11, 2007
    When Nadal first came onto the scene he had a pretty high and long backswing and drives through the ball more often.
    Over his career he seems to have shortened his backswing (now he seems to just take the racquet down instead of pulling it back) and goes to his reverse finish more often. (Reverse finishes not in the video but you can observe this in matches)

    What do you guys think? I personally think it is to improve his recovery between shots so he can run down the next shot faster. Has it got anything to do with his improved success on hard courts?
  2. 35ft6

    35ft6 Legend

    Feb 18, 2005
    His forehand definitely looks different. Not sure when he made the change but the last month or so I've noticed that his motion looks more abbreviated than before, and this video makes me realize he closes his racket face way more than he used to. His forehand used to be more of a continuous motion and now there's a brief pause in the middle of his backswing, right before he swings forward to hit the ball, and during this pause, his racket face is completely closed. The closed face is a relatively new addition to the modern pro swing. I've tried it and it's amazing how much more power you can get by pronating through the forehand. But I would need a long time to make it a natural part of my swing, so my forehand is more like the old way, with the racket face very very slightly closed but more or less perpendicular to the ground as it moves forward.
  3. Nadal_Freak

    Nadal_Freak Banned

    Sep 6, 2006
    Harker Heights, Texas
    Yeah it has been a big improvement for him on faster surfaces. He can still wind up with a long shot but can abbreviate if needed.
  4. ty slothrop

    ty slothrop Semi-Pro

    Nov 5, 2004
    THere is no doubt about it. Uncle Toni has referenced it as a work in progress numerous times, and there was a lot of talk from his camp about abbreviating his forehand take-back last offseason. The idea is to help flatten the ball out and help him respond to quicker courts.
  5. jelle v

    jelle v Hall of Fame

    Aug 28, 2006
    The Netherlands
    Yes.. it was somewhere last year, second half or so, that I noticed it for the first time. I have the notion that it has effected his clay court forehand just a little bit (less spin, less bouncy). But then again, there has only been one clay court tournament.
  6. jules2

    jules2 New User

    Oct 3, 2007
    He's pronating his arm as he hits through the ball (a la Federer) more recently. It looks like he used to have a more traditional "modern" forehand in the older vid.

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