Hitting in the outer edges of the sweetspot?

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by Xfimpg, Sep 13, 2018.

  1. Xfimpg

    Xfimpg Professional

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    Has anyone ever noticed that when you make contact with the ball on the outer edges of the sweetspot, the tendency is to get more spin? My guess would be due to the squares getting larger as you approach the frame.
    For topspin, bottom of the racquet upon contact.
    For underspin, top of the racquet upon contact.

    Almost all of Roger's shots here seem to reflect that.



    or this one

     
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  2. nytennisaddict

    nytennisaddict Legend

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    i general, when i'm hitting well, i feel like i'm trying to make contact with the leading edge of my frame (but just missing). no idea where on the string bed it's actually hitting :p
    of course, when i'm not playing well, i actually do make contact with the frame, which makes for some dramatically hit balls over the fence, or 4 courts away.
     
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  3. dominikk1985

    dominikk1985 Legend

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    There was a guy who called himself tennissspeed in the internet. He had a pretty good description of the atp forehand and one of his things he believed was that hitting a ball below center creates more spin.

    I do not necessarily buy that, maybe it is even true but no way you can control that consistently. As far as I know POCs on string bed around sweeetspot are about evenly distributed, even if you could hit below center intentionally that would probably create a lot of frame hits.
     
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  4. Xfimpg

    Xfimpg Professional

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    RE: Tennisspeed - I've found that the contact point for more spin on the forehand is the tip of the racquet (12 oclock), however there is a reduction of power, which is completely logical as that is where the sweetspot surface is the smallest.

    At your next outting, try this; hit your slice backhand while focusing on the making contact at 3 oclock on the stringbed. This is the easiest shot of the bunch for this test.
    Let me know if you feel a little more bite to the ball, or even a bit more snapback on the strings if you have that kind of setup.

    CORRECTION: For the slice backhand test - 3 oclock for a lefty, 9 oclock for a righty.
     
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  5. nytennisaddict

    nytennisaddict Legend

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    yeah, i recall reading/hearing that... but to me i ignored, because i couldn't translate that into actionable tweak in my stroke.... bcause i never am trying to aim above/below center on the stringbed... probably because i'm not that good.
    to me that's something that might have been gleaned from high speed vid, but isn't really translatable to me, in terms of a change i can make in my stroke.
     
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  6. FiReFTW

    FiReFTW Hall of Fame

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    The shot is weaker for sure if u hit away from sweetspot.

    But i can see how hitting towards top could get a bit more spin, since its further away from the hinge so that part of the racquet (top) should be rotating up via pronation faster than if hit towards the bottom, i think at least.
     
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  7. Xfimpg

    Xfimpg Professional

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    I would also imagine that making ball contact on the outer edges of the sweetspot would be easier in a 100 sq in frame vs an 85 or a 90.
     
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  8. Shroud

    Shroud G.O.A.T.

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    85" racquets like the ps85 specialize in framed winners so your theory is sound
     
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  9. Dou

    Dou Rookie

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    over-thinking it maybe. especially at the recreation level where the ball doesn't come heavy.

    if the ball doesn't come heavy.. take golf for e.g, the ball just sits on the T... there is a 'gear effect', where off center hits produces spin that makes the ball curve back to the center... this is why the driver head is not flat, it's curved outward, so e.g. a ball hit on the toe will start to the right and curve back to the center.

    in pro tennis, the ball comes heavy loaded with spin... I think the pros are conditioned to know that if the ball hits the upper half it will open the face slightly and ball will 'climb up', causing the reply to float.... so they try to hit below the center so the racket head can 'cover' the ball and produce tight spin.
     
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  10. Dragy

    Dragy Professional

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    How you measured this? If it’s perception, I bet you just get weaker shot which flies slower but with more or less same spin. Dips down earlier and looks like more spin.
    Add: or racquet head twisting, a tad of which happens before the ball has left slightly affecting the shot height. To same effect - lower ball, seemingly more spin...
     
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  11. Dou

    Dou Rookie

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    want to mention - the gear effect can be put to use in serves... say the racket has 20 crosses, try to make contact with cross number 5 from the top, high enough but not too far from the center.... and compare that to contacting with cross number 10.... you will see a noticeable increase of top spin.

    this is because the contact makes the racket head bend backwards and the string bed 'gears' with the ball to produce extra topspin, and the 'bending backwards' is more severe if you hit with cross #5.
     
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  12. Shroud

    Shroud G.O.A.T.

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    Its hard to tell from the top vid but the bottom vid it looks like the normal spot in the middle of the racquet a bit above the middle. Look at the wear pattern in the stencil. Its in the top of the middle of the W
     
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  13. Shroud

    Shroud G.O.A.T.

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    Stiffer string beds should be better than soft ones at countering heavy spin because there is less ball pocketing. Would be interested to see if players using higher tension have different contact points than ones using lower tensions. Say Sock vs. Monfils (think be strings tight but could be wrong). My hunch is that its too hard to time such things and even pros cant adjust for the ball “climbing up”.
     
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  14. Dragy

    Dragy Professional

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    I question this claim. If you ever played table tennis, you should always counter the spin, no matter how hard you swing. That is with the ball getting almost 0 deformation and very limited pocketing even with softer racquets. Now in tennis, shallow hits (like blocks) get pronounced reaction to spin. For example, dumping volleys against incoming slice shots into the net. Now swinging hard will send the ball according to your swing from both heavy topsin shot and a sitter (provided you hit the sweetspot). Incoming pace is a factor, more for stiffer frames, but the spin gets mostly neutralized by pocketing. As far as I understand.
     
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  15. Dou

    Dou Rookie

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    Shroud is likely correct.

    you can use pingpong as an extreme example... the incoming spin will affect the reply greatly on the rubber surface, whereas if you hit it with the non-rubbered side the incoming spin wont matter much.

    whatever the true effect is, the pros have 'priced in' all that so their own sweet spot may be slightly away from the true geometrical center of the racket face.
     
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  16. Shroud

    Shroud G.O.A.T.

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    When I was playing with 15lbs of tension on a 14/10 pattern you could feel the spin of the incoming ball as it sank deep into the stringbed. At 86/86 lbs in a 16/19 pattern I dont feel the incoming spin.
     
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  17. esgee48

    esgee48 Legend

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    It is extremely hard to learn to hit below the sweet spot. I think what we see is the ball coming in slightly above or at the sweet spot, but due to pocketing and racquet head swing path, you see the ball leaving the frame below the sweet spot. 3¢
     
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  18. Dragy

    Dragy Professional

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    Am not convinced. Rubber side of ping-pong racquet vs firm side have significantly different friction characteristics. Tennis balls tend to flatten out anyway. Deeper pocketing may add like 10% more ball surface involved (educated guess). Actually, pocketing is more about absorbing incoming energy and then returning that energy.

    @Shroud what you mean feeling the spin? I think only the rebound counts, not feel or perception.
     
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  19. Shroud

    Shroud G.O.A.T.

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    Well you could feel the ball spinning and coming to a stop in the stringbed. Remember it was 15lbs on a 14/10 pattern. Super open and super soft. Tons of pocketing and the ball ball really sank in.

    With the current setup at 86/86 its like hitting with a board. You cant tell what kind of spin is impacting the racquet outside of seeing the incoming ball. The sensation is just an impact.

    Personally I am skeptical of ones ability to feel the ball on the string and react but it was night and day and the launch angle was so radically different that the same stroke that got the ball deep with the low tension open racquet would hit the ground 3ft infront of me with a normally strung racquet.

    Edit. If you think of it, the soft string bed has less friction so the spin takes a bit longer to counteract.
     
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  20. Dragy

    Dragy Professional

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    I see, I personally would worry to "couteract" incoming spin if that significantly affected the stroke I produce, no matter how it felt. My experience is that unless you block the stroke softly it's your swing that rules - the ball pockets and deploys the way you swing with the spin you impart.
    Launch angle is a separate issue imho, once again subject of your swing mostly.
     
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  21. Shroud

    Shroud G.O.A.T.

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    To be clearer I wasnt doing anything to counteract the spin. That notion of feeling something on the strings and reacting to it is not something I think happens and is pretty easy to debunk

    I dont think the swing has a huge effect on the launch angle. The launch angle is built in. Its part of the racquet and stringbed. We can only adjust.

    Example after months of adjusting to the 15lbs strung racquet with every other cross string skipped, i could play pretty well and no one would see the adjustment my body made. But take the same stroke that was hitting the ball deep and in and then switch racquets. The same stroke that i hit the prior ball with sent the ball 3’ into the ground in front of me. If the swing was mostly responsible as you say that would not happen and we would be able to play points when strings break- yet we cant.

    IME that is because the string bed tension has the most affect on the launch angle. Its why the common rule of tighter for more control is correct. Less pocketing more interstring friction and less launch gives more control and precision.
     
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  22. Dragy

    Dragy Professional

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    Just to make it clear. Flat contact and brush up would have different "launch angles". Slice would "drag" the ball for more downward launch angle.

    Not actually arguing the built in thing. It is. But the occurence of the lauch is dependent on the swing.
     
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  23. Shroud

    Shroud G.O.A.T.

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    In my example its assumed the swing path was the same.
     
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  24. RetroSpin

    RetroSpin Hall of Fame

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    Very interesting issue. Gear effect is very well understood in golf, but virtually never mentioned in tennis.

    Gear effect?

     
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