Interesting forehand...

Curious

Legend
WTA.
Lays the racket back further behind the hand on take back plus zero flip of the racket.
But there are guys in ATP who hits like that, so what’s an ATP fh then?!
She is more ATP than Chardy, that for sure.:)
 
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Jake Speeed

Rookie
Smooth, and I like what I see so far.

She is old enough to have her "own style." And she does. A good thing actually, and she deserves it.

You do have to have a mindset for tournament play and that level of play for competition plus physical condition?

She has it!

Her body language and all around court performance tells me she is aggressive and loaded with confidence.

Without slow motion, or being on the court with her, the only thing I would change is her placement of the ball on her racket when she starts her service motion. My change would be to bring the ball hand closer to the throat of the racket when starting the service motion.

She has put extreme effort into her love for tennis. I enjoyed watching her play.

Congratulations.

JS
 

GuyClinch

Legend
WTA - textbook even. Nice forehand but its not hybrid or ATP or anything like that. WTA forehand goes around the body a bit more - and as such racquet goes behind her. But provides good pace and less spin - which is perfect for women who are not as strong as men. Contact point is closer so its not as bad as people think.

There is nothing wrong with WTA forehand - many 5.0 men hit with it - and some pro men do and have done in the past. Ian from essential tennis has that shot. It seems popular with people who are not as physically strong. Henin is the only female that springs to mind that hit with an ATP style. I suspect she lifted quite a bit and was much stronger then average in the upper body.

I kind of get annoyed with online teaching pros who pretend its not a valid shot and freak out when it goes behind the body. It clearly works great on the WTA.
 
Henin is the only female that springs to mind that hit with an ATP style.
I kind of get annoyed with online teaching pros who pretend its not a valid shot and freak out when it goes behind the body. It clearly works great on the WTA.
I see a bunch of girls with ATP forehands.

I don’t know if people act like it’s not valid. If you are trying to hit typical ATP forehand, you don’t want it to get behind you. The whole point of the development of the ATP forehand is its compactness. Who wants to be making that giant arm circle of the WTA forehand while running from outside the backhand doubles alley to outside the forehand alley? It’s not like there is some magical power advantage of the ATP over the WTA stroke.
 

Dragy

Hall of Fame
Absolutely WTA, by means of non- (barely) segmented swing primarily. Never gets to this position (chest already open, arm and racquet still lagging):


Some ladies, like Barty, have supinated backswing, but also that segmentation in forward swing. Which makes them much closer to ATP than typical WTA swing. Some have textbook ATP-style FH.
 
ATP or WTA?

What does it matter. Better question is.....

FOREHAND or Forehand? It's the same thing, if you strike the ball well, have great rhs and hit with good margin/spin. Isn't that the point of the shot?

She has a very smooth stroke, great take back and great positioning for every fh attempt. I can see a player like her gowing and becoming very strong in college tennis with her solid foundation. She can hit a variety of forehands with spin, drive and placement. Honestly thats all that matters as long as the technique is solid... which it is here.

I've still have what people call a "WTA Forehand" for most of my tennis playing career (including now) and I didn't even know that was a thing to label someone's forehand till this past summer.
 
WTA - textbook even. Nice forehand but its not hybrid or ATP or anything like that. WTA forehand goes around the body a bit more - and as such racquet goes behind her. But provides good pace and less spin - which is perfect for women who are not as strong as men. Contact point is closer so its not as bad as people think.

There is nothing wrong with WTA forehand - many 5.0 men hit with it - and some pro men do and have done in the past. Ian from essential tennis has that shot. It seems popular with people who are not as physically strong. Henin is the only female that springs to mind that hit with an ATP style. I suspect she lifted quite a bit and was much stronger then average in the upper body.

I kind of get annoyed with online teaching pros who pretend its not a valid shot and freak out when it goes behind the body. It clearly works great on the WTA.
Well said!
 

AnyPUG

Semi-Pro
ATP or WTA?
She can hit a variety of forehands with spin, drive and placement. Honestly thats all that matters as long as the technique is solid... which it is here.
But does she hit the ATP forehand which is a must to compete in ATP competitions? She will be at a distinct disadvantage when she competes in a tournament with a bunch of ATP players wielding the ATP forehand.
wait.... she is not going to compete in an ATP tournament, is she...
 

SystemicAnomaly

Talk Tennis Guru
@AnyPUG
ATP or WTA?

What does it matter. Better question is.....

FOREHAND or Forehand? It's the same thing, if you strike the ball well, have great rhs and hit with good margin/spin. Isn't that the point of the shot?

She has a very smooth stroke, great take back and great positioning for every fh attempt. I can see a player like her gowing and becoming very strong in college tennis with her solid foundation. She can hit a variety of forehands with spin, drive and placement. Honestly thats all that matters as long as the technique is solid... which it is here.

I've still have what people call a "WTA Forehand" for most of my tennis playing career (including now) and I didn't even know that was a thing to label someone's forehand till this past summer.
One significant feature of the so-called ATP Fh is a more compact backswing. The backswing does not break the coronal plane. This makes it more ideal for hitting deep balls and fast incoming balls.

Players with a large loop or a large backswing (one that breaks the coronal plane), will often have swing timing issues with fast / deep balls. They sometimes need to stand quite a bit behind the baseline to compensate for this. This often puts them more on the defensive.

Rafa shortened up his takeback, some years back, when he decided he wanted to excel on something other than clay courts. Serena still basically has a WTA Fh, but she did decrease the size of her takeback as she started to face more players who could hit the ball with a lot of pace.

Sloane Stevens has one of the most extreme take backs on the tour. She can produce a very powerful Fh with this. But, when she's a bit off, swing timing issues become evident. Sometimes it breaks down when she faces other players who hit deep and can put a lot of pace on the ball.
 

travlerajm

G.O.A.T.
But does she hit the ATP forehand which is a must to compete in ATP competitions? She will be at a distinct disadvantage when she competes in a tournament with a bunch of ATP players wielding the ATP forehand.
wait.... she is not going to compete in an ATP tournament, is she...
Are you saying that Robin Soderling’s and Fernando Gonzalez’s WTA-style forehands were at a disadvantage in ATP tournaments?
 

Dragy

Hall of Fame
One significant feature of the so-called ATP Fh is a more compact backswing. The backswing does not break the coronal plane. This makes it more ideal for hitting deep balls and fast incoming balls.
I would add - more compact backswing, faster stroke production without sacrificing RHS, hence power.
I'd also point out that ATP-style FH allows for latter commitment for the final swingpath, which allows not only to overall produce a shot in a shorter time, but also better play against tough balls, like already mentioned heavy ones taken on-the-rise (not half-volley).
 

SystemicAnomaly

Talk Tennis Guru
But does she hit the ATP forehand which is a must to compete in ATP competitions? She will be at a distinct disadvantage when she competes in a tournament with a bunch of ATP players wielding the ATP forehand.
wait.... she is not going to compete in an ATP tournament, is she...
Justine Henin was one of the first WTA players to use an ATP Fh to advantage. More recent players with an ATP Fh (or a hybrid Fh) include: Kasaktina, Sevastova, Sakkari, Martic, Rybarikova, Stosur, Mchale, Barty, Suarez Navarro, and Muguruza.
 

RiverRat

Rookie
I'm sure I don't have all of the proper terminology, for example, I'm not really sure what's meant by the flip. She has good, early preparation on the forehand and the windshield wiper motion at the end of the stroke, all good. What I notice lacking, is a full racket head drop that the best forehands seen to have. I used to lasso back in the day with a "C" shaped take back, but now start with the racket head vertical and merely drop it in the process of the take back and unit turn, which appears to be the modern interpretation of what we achieved with the "C." I'll look at what others have to say and see what I can learn.
 

GuyClinch

Legend
We can debate this all day - but..

1) For a slight person the WTA style develops more pace but less spin IMHO - this is why it dominates on the WTA tour.

When you use an ATP style you end with more spin and less pace. And for some people this is not a great trade off.

2) Swing length problem is greatly exaggerated by male players and some tennis pros.

How do I know swing length problem is exaggerated - well of course it works. WTA is dominated by WTA style forehands.

Another point is that the contact point is closer to the body. It's the total length of the swing that matters - and the WTA swing gets to the correct orientation earlier.
The other counterpoint is that the one hand backhand. Yes the one hand backhand goes WAY behind the body for many pros and the contact point is WAY in front of the body. And yet we hear very little about people needing to give it up at the pro level.

In short - totally tired of the "you can't hit WTA forehand because its too long and you will fail - and you can't handle that long swing!" This same player has a ohbh!. It's BS.

This doesn't mean ATP style hitting guys need to change - but if you hit with WTA style its still incredibly effective. It's all about execution and not really about style choice. Most of the teaching pros are men - so they teach the ATP forehand. Which is totally fine. But its not the only way.
 
We can debate this all day - but..

1) For a slight person the WTA style develops more pace but less spin IMHO - this is why it dominates on the WTA tour.

When you use an ATP style you end with more spin and less pace. And for some people this is not a great trade off.

2) Swing length problem is greatly exaggerated by male players and some tennis pros.

How do I know swing length problem is exaggerated - well of course it works. WTA is dominated by WTA style forehands.

Another point is that the contact point is closer to the body. It's the total length of the swing that matters - and the WTA swing gets to the correct orientation earlier.
The other counterpoint is that the one hand backhand. Yes the one hand backhand goes WAY behind the body for many pros and the contact point is WAY in front of the body. And yet we hear very little about people needing to give it up at the pro level.

In short - totally tired of the "you can't hit WTA forehand because its too long and you will fail - and you can't handle that long swing!" This same player has a ohbh!. It's BS.

This doesn't mean ATP style hitting guys need to change - but if you hit with WTA style its still incredibly effective. It's all about execution and not really about style choice. Most of the teaching pros are men - so they teach the ATP forehand. Which is totally fine. But its not the only way.
Very well said! I agree with all of it. Execution is key and definitely depends on the player and what works for them.

I'll add that overall racket weight may play a small factor and the flexibility/liveliness of the arm.
 

SystemicAnomaly

Talk Tennis Guru
Are you saying that Robin Soderling’s and Fernando Gonzalez’s WTA-style forehands were at a disadvantage in ATP tournaments?
DelPo was the real anomaly with his fairly large backswing. Seems he did equally well on harcourts as he did on clay IIRC. Robin fared better on clay than on fast surfaces (altho he had respectable results there). Fernando has his best win percentages at the slower AO and RG than at W and USO.
 
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AnyPUG

Semi-Pro
Are you saying that Robin Soderling’s and Fernando Gonzalez’s WTA-style forehands were at a disadvantage in ATP tournaments?
Soderling has a unique style of his own - neither ATP nor WTA. Gonzalez has a slightly bigger loop, but a lot closer to the classical ATP, and nowhere near WTA.
 

travlerajm

G.O.A.T.
DelPo was the real anomaly with his fairly large backswing. Seems he did equally well on harcourts as he did on clay IIRC. Robin fared better on clay than on fast surfaces (altho he had respectable results there). Fernando has his best win percentage is at the slower AO and RG than at W and USO.
Good point. Arguably the 3 most powerful forehand weapons in history were neutralized by faster surfaces because they couldn’t use them on full throttle setting to return fast serves.

Irobically, when I play a rec player with a huge flat forehand weapon, I like my chances much better on a slower surface.
 
We can debate this all day - but..

1) For a slight person the WTA style develops more pace but less spin IMHO - this is why it dominates on the WTA tour.

When you use an ATP style you end with more spin and less pace. And for some people this is not a great trade off.

2) Swing length problem is greatly exaggerated by male players and some tennis pros.

How do I know swing length problem is exaggerated - well of course it works. WTA is dominated by WTA style forehands.

Another point is that the contact point is closer to the body. It's the total length of the swing that matters - and the WTA swing gets to the correct orientation earlier.
The other counterpoint is that the one hand backhand. Yes the one hand backhand goes WAY behind the body for many pros and the contact point is WAY in front of the body. And yet we hear very little about people needing to give it up at the pro level.

In short - totally tired of the "you can't hit WTA forehand because its too long and you will fail - and you can't handle that long swing!" This same player has a ohbh!. It's BS.

This doesn't mean ATP style hitting guys need to change - but if you hit with WTA style its still incredibly effective. It's all about execution and not really about style choice. Most of the teaching pros are men - so they teach the ATP forehand. Which is totally fine. But its not the only way.
Interesting point. I don't think I've ever seen anyone compare the ATP/WTA forehand to a 1HBH to make this point. Very cool deduction.
 

SystemicAnomaly

Talk Tennis Guru
We can debate this all day - but..

1) For a slight person the WTA style develops more pace but less spin IMHO - this is why it dominates on the WTA tour.

When you use an ATP style you end with more spin and less pace. And for some people this is not a great trade off.

2) Swing length problem is greatly exaggerated by male players and some tennis pros.

How do I know swing length problem is exaggerated - well of course it works. WTA is dominated by WTA style forehands.

Another point is that the contact point is closer to the body. It's the total length of the swing that matters - and the WTA swing gets to the correct orientation earlier.
The other counterpoint is that the one hand backhand. Yes the one hand backhand goes WAY behind the body for many pros and the contact point is WAY in front of the body. And yet we hear very little about people needing to give it up at the pro level.

In short - totally tired of the "you can't hit WTA forehand because its too long and you will fail - and you can't handle that long swing!" This same player has a ohbh!. It's BS.

This doesn't mean ATP style hitting guys need to change - but if you hit with WTA style its still incredibly effective. It's all about execution and not really about style choice. Most of the teaching pros are men - so they teach the ATP forehand. Which is totally fine. But its not the only way.
BS??? How many players out there these days with a 1hBh? Not very many. Even fewer WTA than ATP.

Sure the topspin 1hBh requires a early prep and early contact point. But much less uncoiling is required. 90° or so for contact on the Fh side since the Back shoulder needs to come around. For the 1hBh, the back shoulder does not need to come around as much. Maybe 30° to 45° of uncoil to contact the ball on the Bh side.

And if the ball is coming into quickly or too deep, it's a fairly simple matter to resort to a slice Bh. This should not take as much time to prep and execute as a WTA Fh (with a very generous takeback) would.

I teach my female students something of a hybrid Fh. A modified WTA Fh or a modified ATP Fh, if you will. No extreme backswings. We will work on learning to generate power with a compact swing. This enables them to deal more readily with half-volleys or any deep ball w/o having to retreat far behind the baseline. They can also move in easily to take short balls on the rise with a compact takeback. If serves or other balls are coming in faster than they had expected, they can use a more compact takeback to deal with it.

For rally balls or most of their Fh shots, their takeback will usually be less compact than a normal ATP Fh. But they do not need to take the racket back too much further back than their coronal plane in most cases. Using a moderate takeback, they are able to play more efficiently and, when appropriate, more aggressively (with less effort). Less defensive play.
 
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beltsman

Legend
True. Not less powerful. It just requires different mechanics to generate RHS. To my thinking, it as actually more efficient and is easier to time -- once you learn the prep & mechanics needed.
Yes, I believe it better utilizes the kinetic chain to produce power, and therefore actually generates more power form less muscle than WTA.
 

Dragy

Hall of Fame
WTA is dominated by WTA style forehands.
WTA has not converted yet, that’s it. Partially because the game tempo is less pushing to use compact swing. Partially because they’ve been stubbornly teaching girls to play “like women” as they “don’t have enough strength”. Very strongly because all sports have been very inertial with modeling everything after current successful (WTA for the case) pros.
These days we see more and more ladies with evolved techniques. It’s also evident with much better serving, by the way - higher quality of coaching for ladies in recent decades, at last.
 

RiverRat

Rookie
Perhaps I'm off-base, but it seems this woman minimizes one element of power by not dropping the racquet head, shake hands upward then turn the windshield wiper. How are those technical terms?
 

Dartagnan64

G.O.A.T.
Yes, I believe it better utilizes the kinetic chain to produce power, and therefore actually generates more power form less muscle than WTA.
Is there any evidence whatsoever that this is true? To me it offers equivalent power in a shorter time frame. Two of the biggest forehands on the WTA tour, Osaka and Williams, are both WTA style.

I think its largely preference and to a degree body habitus and flexibility. Women have more cubitus valgus at the elbows and greater joint flexibility so getting the racket behind them and generating power from there may be easier than trying to flip the racket like the ATP style forces
 

steve s

Professional
Great to see a young player with a solid volley. Wish I could use my left hand to help on the high backhand volley , the way she does.
 

ChaelAZ

Legend
ATP or WTA?

What does it matter.
To me, it doesn't. I just enjoy the ensuing discussion. Usually there are some interesting fundamental points before it breaks down into some kind of chaos. I just happen to be going through some of the recent recruitment videos and found Laura's all-round game very nice and needed a reason to post it. :)
 
To me, it doesn't. I just enjoy the ensuing discussion. Usually there are some interesting fundamental points before it breaks down into some kind of chaos. I just happen to be going through some of the recent recruitment videos and found Laura's all-round game very nice and needed a reason to post it. :)
I think the chaos has begun.... very interesting points on this. There's a video I play in with TennisTroll in which two guys actually start becoming very rude to one another in the paragraph long comment rebuttals they give one another. Oll find it and send on here. Actual chaos on those comments
 

ChaelAZ

Legend
I think the chaos has begun.... very interesting points on this. There's a video I play in with TennisTroll in which two guys actually start becoming very rude to one another in the paragraph long comment rebuttals they give one another. Oll find it and send on here. Actual chaos on those comments
I've seen it a lot online. I have a YouTube channel, was an admin for a popular outdoor website, and a mod other forum as well. Good times.
 

beltsman

Legend
Is there any evidence whatsoever that this is true? To me it offers equivalent power in a shorter time frame. Two of the biggest forehands on the WTA tour, Osaka and Williams, are both WTA style.

I think its largely preference and to a degree body habitus and flexibility. Women have more cubitus valgus at the elbows and greater joint flexibility so getting the racket behind them and generating power from there may be easier than trying to flip the racket like the ATP style forces
More efficient power. Less muscle required for same power.
 

GuyClinch

Legend
WTA has not converted yet, that’s it. Partially because the game tempo is less pushing to use compact swing. Partially because they’ve been stubbornly teaching girls to play “like women” as they “don’t have enough strength”. Very strongly because all sports have been very inertial with modeling everything after current successful (WTA for the case) pros.
These days we see more and more ladies with evolved techniques. It’s also evident with much better serving, by the way - higher quality of coaching for ladies in recent decades, at last.

That's just the thing - we are not seeing any widescale change to the ATP style forehand on the women's tour. We have had this behind the body - no flip style vs. right side of the body style for AGES now and WTA tour has not changed. Again Henin was really the last woman to dominate with it and she is done and retired. What other #1 player on the WTA uses an ATP style?

Last I read only 10 players in the top 100 of the WTA use an ATP style. So lets stop pretending this is a change that is happening. It would have happened 20 years ago if it was.

And no teaching pros do not encourage it because they want them to hit like women, IMHO. The WTA style just comes more naturally to women just like the Federer flip came naturally to him or the Sock super flip came naturally to Sock. Here is the truth - its the PLAYERS that drive style - not the coaches. The top players are so talented that they get to dictate their own style.

Some coaches will "fix" some horrible mechanic. But the WTA style is not some horrible mechanic - its a perfectly valid way to hit a tennis ball for almost all levels. Men find the ATP style more natural and comfortable - but even there we have seen a few stand out players use it.
 

Dartagnan64

G.O.A.T.
More efficient power. Less muscle required for same power.
But WTA just uses time and length to generate the RHS so theoretically it could be using less muscle or equal amounts of muscle. Unless you had EMG needles in the muscles during the forward phase of each swing, you have no way of really proving which method uses more muscle power.
 

GuyClinch

Legend
I don't believe the ATP FH is less powerful or requires more strength, as some have said here.
You see rec players using something like it and it does not develop much power in some of them. If you watched the recent NYC vs. MEP match from tennis troll - that guy (NYC) had a compact take back but really lacked power with his forehand.

Just like on the serve the longer runway will generate more RHS speed. Some guys like Fed can really accelerate very quickly with the racquet but I haven't seen many women who can do this. Henin had a pretty big forehand for her size - but FWIW I think Serena still hit bigger ones with her longer WTA swing.. I suspect Henin was physically much stronger then the average WTA player as well.

Going back to the OHBH - again some people feel it is more powerful then a forehand. I don't really agree at least with most men. But the long swing of a Stan backhand is way more powerful then the abbreviated swings you see out of a lot of men - who don't get much shoulder turn and kind of poke the ball back. So one of the fixes you see with a OHBH is to lengthen the swing. You get the racquet peaking out behind you - traveling down and around - and meeting the ball out in front. Way longer swing with way more power..

Is there a WTA player with a huge ATP forehand? I don't watch a ton of WTA stuff - just some. But sure seems to me that the WTA players do well with a WTA forehand. How many more years do we have to continue to have this difference before people will agree with that?

Simona Halep is #1 in the world and her swing is very WTA. I mean can you guys deny this?


Notice how the racquet goes well behind her and does not dip as low below the ball as on most ATP style forehands - which generate a ton more top..
 
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beltsman

Legend
But WTA just uses time and length to generate the RHS so theoretically it could be using less muscle or equal amounts of muscle. Unless you had EMG needles in the muscles during the forward phase of each swing, you have no way of really proving which method uses more muscle power.
Time and length needed due to lack of strength perhaps.
 

travlerajm

G.O.A.T.
I think what sometimes gets lost in the discussion is that at the pro level, accuracy and degree of pinpoint control when returning a heavy ball is more important to performance than power or length of swing.

A player like Andy Murray doesn’t hit the hardest, but his forehand is underrated because it is arguably the best in the game at maintaining accuracy and depth control when defending a heavy ball. Part of his success comes because his more “WTA-style” technique allows him to wield a 380sw racquet. I’m not sure he could use the same specs with a wristier flippier “ATP-style“ technique.

I don’t think it is coincidence that the current crop of 20-something ATP pros, who tend to use flippier wristy technique requiring lower swingweight racquets, is the worst generation relative to the previous one in history.
 
I just have to say....

You guys are all making extremely logical and valid points for the ATP and WTA style forehand. I agree with many that it's what works for which player and how the player develops their own style for the type of forehand that works for their game.

I've enjoyed reading this very cordial debate back and forth. Excellent facts and input!
 

Digital Atheist

Professional
But does she hit the ATP forehand which is a must to compete in ATP competitions? She will be at a distinct disadvantage when she competes in a tournament with a bunch of ATP players wielding the ATP forehand.
wait.... she is not going to compete in an ATP tournament, is she...
Just as long as the reverse never comes true!

The WTA versus ATP forehand debate will take some time to be resolved (if at all). Apparently there is some science to back up the Macci approach (Iirc Brian Gordon was involved) so I see why he wants everyone to hit in a way he believes to be optimal for everyone.

I don't know the stats on high level junior girls and what specific type of forehand they're being taught (if any), and without that data I don't know how any serious factual claims about coaching influence can be made either way. Anecdotally however, I'm with those who believe it is more natural for girls to hit that way (and young boys too). The difference seems to be that, as the boys age, they modify and shorten that forehand swing (Djokovic and Nadal for example) and the girls just optimise it. So maybe that is where the coaching influence comes in?

Biology is an argument for why men and women tend to hit differently (that segment starts at 1:30).


I'm sure there are objections to the above video and I'm not saying he is right, just offering an alternative perspective from those who claim the ATP style is optimal and everyone should learn it, even from a young age.

Is there a WTA player with a huge ATP forehand?
Iga Świątek has a beast of a forehand; heavy topspin with pace and margin. I heard various commentators during Roland Garros claim it to be the biggest shot in women's tennis at the moment (maybe we can put Serena's serve aside for a moment). Somewhat unique but it looks like a version of an ATP forehand (with an extreme grip) to me.

 

Digital Atheist

Professional
I don’t think it is coincidence that the current crop of 20-something ATP pros, who tend to use flippier wristy technique requiring lower swingweight racquets, is the worst generation relative to the previous one in history.
While that is a potentially valid argument the earlier generation(s) have 3 possible GOATS - Djokovic, Nadal, and Federer - all hitting a modern ATP forehand. Lower swingweights appear to be a trend, but is it really true they all have more wrist/flip than the 3 GOATS?
 

travlerajm

G.O.A.T.
While that is a potentially valid argument the earlier generation(s) have 3 possible GOATS - Djokovic, Nadal, and Federer - all hitting a modern ATP forehand. Lower swingweights appear to be a trend, but is it really true they all have more wrist/flip than the 3 GOATS?
I think the Big 3 killed the generation after them by setting an impossible example. Everyone copies their styles, when in my opinion the chances of evolving into the next all-time great would probably be higher by emulating simpler technique like the Lendl or Hewitt forehand.
 
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