Looking for Advice on Forehand (VIDEO)

giantschwinn

Semi-Pro
Easy fix. Two things.
1. Hold your unit turn longer. You open up your shoulder a little too soon.
2. You are dropping your left hand...not catching the racquet. To fix this, physically hand the racquet to your left hand at the end of your swing.
 

baowow

Rookie

better forehand in 5 easy steps...these guys have some good videos. like everyone else said, work on the left arm staying up and unit turn.
 

Dragy

Legend
Hey mate,
I don’t think you are actually late timing wise. Meanwhile, the way you pull your arm to the left early through the swing slows racquet down and blocks you from hitting the ball in front and through. I suggest that you focus on past-contact through extension, like Thiem here (before wrapping around the shoulder):
1464883968003.jpg


You can start with light hitting where you actually “freeze” the extended finish. Than follow to your regular intensity swinging towards that position and through it.
The main goal is to not hesitate and not brake the forward swing until it gets to end of reach. Spin will come from rising arm path, racquet head rotation from below to above the hand and tilted racquet face - enough to shape the shot.

Add: PS you could possibly benefit from making your backswing a tad more compact, and “aligning” rather than power-creating. Watch Wawrinka to model. This might be crucial if you play faster courts, faster incoming shots, camping close to the baseline and loving fast exchanges. If you prefer to use more time to set up big cuts, you can keep your motion but maybe consider stepping couple of feet back when opponent hits comfortably.
 
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grzewas

Semi-Pro
Looking for some pointers on my forehand. I tend to hit the ball high and long. My guess is I'm often late to the ball and/or crowd it. Hoping to get a little more pace and work on the shape of the shot.

You are trying to copy so called "modern" forehand so you cant be surprised that the ball goes high and too long. This technique works only if you accelerate the racket above some speed. You cant do it so these errors are inevitable. The cure is simple. Hold the racket tighter. At once you will see that the balls will go down and not up.
 
you are mainly using your hip and waist force but not using shoulder enough, that's why you have bigger follow through. you can compare your video with any professional video.
solution: extend your right shoulder a little bit. try to to start with leg, then hip then waist, then send your right shoulder to front until you cannot extend.
i don't know if your back swing is best for you, you can try to adjust your back swing's elbow height and do your experiment. the best form for you should be: when you forward swing, you don't feel the racket is dragging and making any resistence. that way, your forward swing can start quickest. everyone may have different best form, you have to experiment and find yours, just like best contact point.
you should start with close stance and semi-open stance first, and make sure your contact at the end of your body forward motion.
to be honest, i have not figure out how open stance work, in the sense of most optimal form and contact point. my feeling is that in open stance, you don't have much leg driving but the remaining source of force are the same.
in any case, you shouldn't use arm's force, unless in defense.
 
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VacationTennis

Semi-Pro
You are stopping your torso rotation and finishing with your chest pointing forward on most shots, where you should be letting yourself continue to rotate until your right shoulder is pointing forward, generally. You are yanking upward all of a sudden with your arm to create that windshield wiper motion when it should be more naturally created by good torso rotation.

I think your pace and shape looks pretty darn good considering, you obviously can hit some shots. I would take some time to learn how to sort of throw the racket forward and focus less on that windshield motion - you already have that concept down you just need to let it happen naturally.

Your take back looks pro, but then there is a disconnect between that and the beginning of the forward swing.
 

Curious

G.O.A.T.
It’s a self-hugging motion! Too much across the body swing ie very little forward extension. So error prone because of that. Agassi says he wants his racket to move forward by at least 6 inches both before and after contact. Without that you have a very lower chance to hit the ball cleanly, as the racket swing path will be too steep around contact.
 

Chas Tennis

G.O.A.T.
Looking for some pointers on my forehand. I tend to hit the ball high and long. My guess is I'm often late to the ball and/or crowd it. Hoping to get a little more pace and work on the shape of the shot.


Compare strokes in this post. For single frame on Youtube use the period & comma keys. Always select the video with Alt + Left Mouse Click, otherwise the video starts playing. Compare to a pro impact and then step back frame-by-frame between your forehand and then his. If the frame rates are different then compare closest racket positions.


Examine these points in the videos -

1) The line between your shoulders does not go back as far as Djokovic's. High level forehand is roughly 90 degrees back and then 90 degrees forward. Uppermost body turn adjusts angle and adds speed. Compare shoulders, hips, and arm and their angles and timing.

2) For a high level forehand, the line between the two shoulder turns back farther than the line between the two hips. This is called separation and allows the core muscles to turn the uppermost body.

3) The off arm on a high level forehand is held out, accelerated up to speed before the forward swing, still out and then pulled in with timing to help speed up the uppermost body turn. You can try it with a 1 lb dumbbell in your hand, moderate force, to feel how this motion speeds up you uppermost body turn. Ice skaters use the same principle but pull in two arms and one leg.

For high and long issues take videos from the side so that you can see how open your racket face is at impact.

List all the differences.

SEARCHCOMPARISON
 
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mionske

New User
Have been working on the forehand a bit more - trying to incorporate more of the off hand on the swing as well as additional shoulder rotation. My current problem right now is that a lot of these balls seem to being going 3-5 feet long despite having decent shape. Have at it. Tear me apart!
 

Chas Tennis

G.O.A.T.
Your racket face is neutral, neither open or closed, just before impact. ATP players will have the racket face closed about 5-10 degrees for top spin drives. Impact causes the racket face to tilt rapidly down if the ball is low or high if the ball is above the racket shaft center line. Study the colored lines later in the Djokovic article. Disregard racket head orientation after impact starts because of impact effects.

Djokovic forehand article with the perfect video frames to display how 'closed' the racket face is just before impact.

RF+v+ND+003.jpg


Search and find ATP forehand videos with side camera viewing perpendicular to the ball's trajectory at a point just before impact.

Select practice ball heights that are good, not low or high, and also observe the ways the players use to adjust for ball height. Compare the ATP player's trunk angles to yours from the side camera view. Use bent elbow forehands similar to yours.

Try to compare using the same camera angles and ball conditions.

Google: forehand compilation slow motion Youtube
 
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mionske

New User
@Chas Tennis I see exactly what you are saying in regards to racket face angle at contact. The article suggests elbow pronation occurs to help achieve the closed racket face and that grip variations have little to nothing to do with racket angle at contact. The closed racket face is something I have attempted in the past, but I believe I have tried to close the face by pronating my wrist right before contact which eventually causes me to violently jerk the racket across my body as opposed to a high natural follow through out front. Do you have any suggestions on drills or ways to focus on the elbow pronation? Seems like a difficult part of the body to control haha.
 
Wow. Your left arm was resurrected.
Stay sideways a little longer with your eyes fixed at the contact not following where your ball is going. This is one way to keep racket face closed.
 

Chas Tennis

G.O.A.T.
@Chas Tennis I see exactly what you are saying in regards to racket face angle at contact. The article suggests elbow pronation occurs to help achieve the closed racket face and that grip variations have little to nothing to do with racket angle at contact. The closed racket face is something I have attempted in the past, but I believe I have tried to close the face by pronating my wrist right before contact which eventually causes me to violently jerk the racket across my body as opposed to a high natural follow through out front. Do you have any suggestions on drills or ways to focus on the elbow pronation? Seems like a difficult part of the body to control haha.

Your forehand looks bent elbow.

Bent elbow forehands usually go with a Semi-Western grip. The Semi-Western grip itself adjusts the closed-open angle of the racket face for impact in a very straight forward way. Hold racket and try it. Copy Djokovic's grip at impact and adjust the racket face open or closed with the grip. I don't try to explain with words ISR together with a bent elbow because the forearm and racket move all over, you would have to study videos.

Federer and Nadal have a straight elbow forehand. Federer has a Eastern Forehand Grip. And it seems to me with a straight arm that either pronation or internal shoulder rotation (ISR) could cause lateral rise of the racket head at impact for top spin. If you see the elbow shadows show rotation of the upper arm, the wrist turn is ISR. If you don't, the wrist turn is pronation. Both ISR and pronation have the same effect on the wrist turn when the arm is near straight. It's mostly ISR for forehands as ISR is a strong motion driven by large muscles and pronation is a weaker forearm joint motion driven by small forearm muscles. Also, it is usually described for forehands as ISR. Try to disprove ISR with observations in favor of pronation to see what is true.

Often ISR is present when the arm is straight and the wrist is observed to turn, but it is hard to separately observe the pronation with a straight arm. Use the proper names for joint motions so as not to be ambiguous in communication. You can Google the defined use of 'pronation' but the tennis term use, you can't. There are instructors with videos that still have the serve completely wrong and demonstrate forearm pronation correctly but do not realize that ISR mostly powers the serve. If you see shadows at the elbow rotating and the elbow is near straight, then ISR is turning the wrist, with maybe some pronation, maybe not. Concentrate on high speed video observations - and you will not be getting bad information that is out there about the tennis term pronation.
 
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Chas Tennis

G.O.A.T.
The projection angle of a ball is very important for the range on the ball. Projection angle is the angle of the ball's trajectory to the horizontal direction. If the projection angle is too high for the top spin to correct, the ball goes long.

You can take a protractor and estimate the projection angles for your forehands and the ATP player's forehands. (vertical poles in a video background may be a useful references for the vertical or horizontal directions).

Tilting the racket face closed lowers the projection angle. But the ball should cup into the strings so the racket is not simply like a plane surface.
 

Dragy

Legend
Your off-arm wasn’t your biggest issue. You send balls long because you have “scooping” motion, hitting balls from below with racquet face opening up. Forget over-the-shoulder finish for some time - thing about your target extension position. If the ball is knee-height, and you are not close to the net and in need to lift it over, you need to drive through it as your basic intent, with some degree of low-two-high. Come from just below the contact point, extend through just above contact point, say belly button height. Then let whatever finish happen on its own. This one is a bit higher, still notice how hand stays lower than the
D9NULeLWsAQgK0F.jpg


Now if you hit a chest-height ball, you extend at higher level and finish higher naturally... Unless you hit down at the ball - then it changes.

Here’re you, in comparison, pulling up and away from contact:
KSkpKJ1_d.webp
 
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mionske

New User
@Dragy Thanks for the feedback. Could you explain the difference between the scooping motion and the low-to-high motion? Is it just a matter of more horizontal extension rather than vertical?
 

Dragy

Legend
Scooping motion is like upward path of this thing:
b092a7123bf0cb0ea3883170c1de4729--water-wheels-appropriate-technology.jpg

It gets under the water, scoops it and carries up. With tennis racquet, your RF goes up opening from contact. It’s a way to make some shots, and they are rolling off the stringbed with some spin... but it’s limited and inconsistent.
In a drive topspin shot racquet head travels from somewhere before contact to somewhere after contact with more or less constant tilt. And with more or less constant “through” velocity - definitely not holding back. Want more careful shot? Start slower, but avoid decelerating (including pulling away) around contact.
If you film yourself from the back, your arm will be unseen behind your torso very soon after contact. Meanwhile, high level players will reach a full extension position with arm still to the outside, then curve/wrap around.

It’s simple to experience first:
- As you hit, slowly, extend your arm forward and outward past the ball, with racquet tip pointing over the net to the other side.
- Freeze there.
- See what happens with the ball struck on the way to that freeze position.
- Proceed with relaxing and finishing right after instantaneous semi-freeze, for more smooth shot.

Just try it, it’s perfect with hand feeds.

PS over-the-shoulder finish was suitable for strokes where you didn’t rotate your torso fully. A tad outdated. With more opening, hitting the ball in more forward and outward contact point, rushing to that position forces swing to collapse too early. Don’t force it.
 

mionske

New User
Here's an update. I've been able to incorporate the left hand a bit more in my stroke but as you will notice I'm still having trouble with at least two things:

1) Stroke is L shaped. Starts with unit turn with racket to the side, then in pauses in the back and then swings forward

2) I make contact late often at my side rather than out in front. This is especially true as the pace I'm receiving increases.

3) I lack effortless power...probably because of #1 & #2

Any pointers on addressing these issues and any others you may see?

 

Dragy

Legend
With no. 1, it’s not easy to pick and judge from a slow mo video. It may be ok, and it may look smoother when you drop lower below the ball.

The biggest issue is you seem to be afraid of hitting through that ball, instead decelerate and try to “glance” the ball. Have had overhitting issues? Don’t be afraid that ball goes long.

You need to continue the outward swing well further past ball contact, to like here (notice elbow far forward from torso, not stuck back):
2xPUjzW.jpg
 

Dragy

Legend
Another alternative you may try is pushing your hitting side shoulder much more forward: visualize it as being almost reverse-sideways by contact; at meet the ball with laid back racquet pushed in front of you.

There still will be release/WW/extension, but closer to impact. Like Roger here:
9e80ce75cb2ad467233ba533987fcee2--tennis-serve-tennis-workout.jpg
 
I kind of think of the swing like I do a golf swing.

The lower body works more like a roundabout or carousel and provides the forward motion whilst the upper body works more like a ferris wheel and provides the upward motion and these blend together to give the swing it's appearance.

You can separate these motions out independantly in slomo shadow swing to get an idea of what I mean I.e do one motion first then the other and see how you finish.

I think you are our of sequence and need to work your lower body harder and earlier. Your slomo video shows it pretty clearly. Left side working better will help you there so good job on that change to your arm. Sort this out and your contact point should naturally get out more in front. I don't think I'm as efficient here as I could be and when fit will be working on ot myself.
 

Chas Tennis

G.O.A.T.
Here's an update. I've been able to incorporate the left hand a bit more in my stroke but as you will notice I'm still having trouble with at least two things:

1) Stroke is L shaped. Starts with unit turn with racket to the side, then in pauses in the back and then swings forward

2) I make contact late often at my side rather than out in front. This is especially true as the pace I'm receiving increases.

3) I lack effortless power...probably because of #1 & #2

Any pointers on addressing these issues and any others you may see?


The high level strokes are two phase strokes:
1) uppermost body turns
2) then Shoulder Joint
plus
3) the Scapulothoracic Joint is also involved. Search Scapulothoracic Projection & Scapulothoracic Retraction. (The Scapula with Shoulder on it slides around on the rib cage.)
4) the off arm can also affect the rotation rate of the uppermost body.
5) others

Speculation - there is a very strong learned tendency to have the racket face in the right direction for impact. If you are changing the amounts of 1)-5) above, it might be very difficult to override your old training that gets the face of the racket in the right direction at impact.

I suggest that you study Djokovic's forehand technique and observe the sub-motions listed. First notice the two phase - uppermost body turn followed by shoulder joint motion before impact.

Djokovic is very flexible so consider your back and what would be safe for you. Uppermost body turn uses trunk twisting (spine twisting).

WARNING - You seem very upright. Is that to compensate for back issues or some discomfort with your forehand? Djokovic has more forward tilt to his trunk. Do not copy motions until you know that they are safe for you.

Compare strokes single frame and one above the other in this post. To single frame on Youtube, stop video and use the period & comma keys. Always select the video holding down the ALT KEY and using left mouse click, otherwise the video starts playing. First go to impacts and then single frame back and forth comparing the most similar racket positions. List all differences that you see.

Differences:
1) Djokovic tilts more that you do to begin forward motion. (Comparisons should include matching incoming ball heights and similar camera angles.)
2) Foot positions............
3) Ball watching - you are looking way to the front of impact.
4) .....

I'll be glad to discuss the differences that you find.

To compare Youtubes on the forum - Find Youtubes and follow the above instructions. Vimeo's can single frame also.
 
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Jonesy

Legend
Looks like Medvedev but trying to hit topspin like Nadal. You are arming the forehand. Put your body into your shot, it will give you power.

Use a more horizontal stroke path to get drive, are you trying to exaggerate on the topspin aspect? Know there are more balanced ways to create topspin and drive the ball at the same time.
 

Fintft

G.O.A.T.
With no. 1, it’s not easy to pick and judge from a slow mo video. It may be ok, and it may look smoother when you drop lower below the ball.

The biggest issue is you seem to be afraid of hitting through that ball, instead decelerate and try to “glance” the ball. Have had overhitting issues? Don’t be afraid that ball goes long.

You need to continue the outward swing well further past ball contact, to like here (notice elbow far forward from torso, not stuck back):
2xPUjzW.jpg
Could it also be that OP's contact point is not in front of him?
 

Fintft

G.O.A.T.
IMHO it’s a consequence of slowing down and lack the f confidence to hit through
Not sure about that, b/c were he to try to hit the ball in front of him that he would have to "throw his body at the ball"/rotate hips and also might need to go thru 3-4 imaginary balls before coming over.
 

Dragy

Legend
Not sure about that, b/c were he to try to hit the ball in front of him that he would have to "throw his body at the ball"/rotate hips and also might need to go thru 3-4 imaginary balls before coming over.
If you still try to cut the ball too thin and afraid of hitting through (or just ingrained), hitting farther in front may be even worse. Some good things happen when you let the ball sink a bit deeper to the side, but with good spacing.

You definitely don’t want to reach more forward with just arm. It’s about rotating further to hit cleaner “fade” type of shot, or swinging more outward to “draw” the ball
 

Fintft

G.O.A.T.
If you still try to cut the ball too thin and afraid of hitting through (or just ingrained), hitting farther in front may be even worse. Some good things happen when you let the ball sink a bit deeper to the side, but with good spacing.

You definitely don’t want to reach more forward with just arm. It’s about rotating further to hit cleaner “fade” type of shot, or swinging more outward to “draw” the ball
We are saying the same thing with "rotating".
 

bnjkn

Professional
If you still try to cut the ball too thin and afraid of hitting through (or just ingrained), hitting farther in front may be even worse. Some good things happen when you let the ball sink a bit deeper to the side, but with good spacing.

You definitely don’t want to reach more forward with just arm. It’s about rotating further to hit cleaner “fade” type of shot, or swinging more outward to “draw” the ball
I don't know why we don't hear this more often and instead "hit in front" all the time. "Hit in front" has never worked well for me, probably because of the way I interpret and execute it, but I hear it all the time and it's confusing.
 

Dakota C

Rookie
I don't know why we don't hear this more often and instead "hit in front" all the time. "Hit in front" has never worked well for me, probably because of the way I interpret and execute it, but I hear it all the time and it's confusing.
My outlook is that 'late' contact is much closer to 'correct' contact than 'out in front'.
 

TennisCJC

Legend
Have been working on the forehand a bit more - trying to incorporate more of the off hand on the swing as well as additional shoulder rotation. My current problem right now is that a lot of these balls seem to being going 3-5 feet long despite having decent shape. Have at it. Tear me apart!

I only watched the 1st 2 feeds and I watched some of your other videos. My opinion, for what it's worth, is:

1. When you drop feed you drive thru with the hips, but when you play you seem to be more concerned with the arm and hands. I think number 1 source of improvement for you is learn to use the legs, hips and shoulders when you play. I think of loading into the back leg, getting a little bend in the knees and rotating into contact. The old saying "power comes from the ground" is valid as power comes from loading down into the legs and then rotation the body up and into contact.
2. That's a lot of info in this thread about whipping this or that but forget about it. You can crush a forehand with a compact swing that has a passive wrist AS LONG AS YOU ARE DRIVING WITH THE LEGS, HIPS AND SHOULDERS. An active wrist forehand is a recipe for spraying balls with an inconsistent stroke. In fact, it would be better to intentionally not use any wrist and work on using your body and weight transfer.
3. There are some very good comments about getting extension through contact and ensuring you racket face is level or ever so slightly closed at impact. I think Draggy gave this feedback and it is spot on. You can still hit up and get plenty of topspin while driving through the ball. Personally, I would avoid trying to invoke a wiper action at contact. On your best shots, you will transfer weight up and around to contact and extend to full extension before release the racket head and wiping around to nice relaxed finish. The wiper is more of a release mechanism that a way to apply topspin at contact.

Next time you practice, think of this.
1. load weight into back leg with a little knee bend
2. let the back hip lead and drive the stroke
3. the stroke is 2 phases: prep (simply rotate the shoulders to the side keeping both hands on the racket and lift the back elbow a wee bit), and all the rest of the stroke. All the rest of the stroke is a small C shape loop with the hand and it must be continuous once you break out of your prep position. No pauses, no hitches - just make the loop and don't stop until your follow through is complete.
4. think of hitting the lower half of the ball and driving up through 3 tennis balls, but keep the racket face level at impact. Get the feeling of your back hip driving your hitting arm out through full extension. You can smoke a forehand with weight transfer and extension and no whip is needed.

You are doing most of the above on your drop feeds but with live ball, your k-chain from the body is breaking down. Go get the ball and don't let it jump at you. You want hip rotation forward on ever stroke unless it is a "defensive emergency stroke". Even on deep balls - stick that back leg in the ground and rotate forward. Early prep and then get rotation forward to contact on EVERY BALL YOU CAN.
 
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Alexrb

Professional
Thanks for the advice everybody. Can't stop seeing that dead left arm. What a tragedy...

It's crazy because from the thumbnail it looks like a Djoker forehand, but everything after the takeback looks arm-y/off balanced/awkward. I'm not a teacher, just literally wanted to comment that the take-back looks awesome.
 

mionske

New User
and the forehand saga continues...much happier with the extension Im finding on the forehand now. Take back is probably still too big and has a hitch. Could also bend knees more and get lower.

 

tendency

Rookie
Looking for some pointers on my forehand. I tend to hit the ball high and long. My guess is I'm often late to the ball and/or crowd it. Hoping to get a little more pace and work on the shape of the shot.


you're mainly 'arm-ing' the ball. Need to work on your body sequencing, it looks like you're starting the swing with the arm and not body rotation. also would help to have a slow motion vid.

try not to overthink it and get bogged down in technical minutae. let the body rotate to the left and then have the arm come through. one of my favorite vids that succinctly shows the process:


 
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ballmachineguy

Hall of Fame
and the forehand saga continues...much happier with the extension Im finding on the forehand now. Take back is probably still too big and has a hitch. Could also bend knees more and get lower.

The problem, as I see it, is in the pictures below. The first pic is just to show how high the unit turn and takeback are. The second pic is the “drop.” As you are trying to hit flat, hard shots, pic 2 is about as low as your drop gets. There isn’t even a ball to hit yet!

The drop and the upward motion of the arm to hit and finish in the “windshield wiper/turn the doorknob” action are one continuous accelerating motion. Down and immediately up. You can’t just hang there, paused in the middle, like in pic 2.

Sometime during the drop, depending on what level of verticality you need for the shot you are hitting, you drive the hitting shoulder toward contact (earlier in the drop for flatter shots, later for loopier).

As for “extension,” that is something that happens from a correct swing, not something you try and create. Don’t sweat it.

 

Dragy

Legend
working on getting that contact point out in front

You are doing it wrong, focus on making your right shoulder be slightly in front of left shoulder. Better less coiling, more open stance for this purpose, particularly practicing against the wall. Then you take it on the court for full coil FH.

Trying to meet the ball farther in front without getting torso open is harmful for your stroke.
 

mionske

New User
You are doing it wrong, focus on making your right shoulder be slightly in front of left shoulder. Better less coiling, more open stance for this purpose, particularly practicing against the wall. Then you take it on the court for full coil FH.

Trying to meet the ball farther in front without getting torso open is harmful for your stroke.
Thanks for the heads up. I'll give this drill a shot from a semi-open or fully open stance to see if I can get the dominant shoulder rotating farther ahead than the non-dominant shoulder.
 

mtommer

Hall of Fame
...Have at it....
With all due respect to the others that have already commented, go back and watch your original video. On your FH, yup, you're reacting late and you can see a lack of weight transfer from back to front. On your BH, waaaayyy better and it's why you hit a better quality shot. The only thing you should be focused on right now is reacting quicker on your fh side, getting that back foot weight shifting forward to your front foot as your swing transitions to going forward.
 

mionske

New User
You are doing it wrong, focus on making your right shoulder be slightly in front of left shoulder. Better less coiling, more open stance for this purpose, particularly practicing against the wall. Then you take it on the court for full coil FH.

Trying to meet the ball farther in front without getting torso open is harmful for your stroke.
Just in case you're bored AF on a Saturday night, you can watch this...haha. Having been working on the contact drill from a more open stance. Should I still be aiming for total pronation of the arm at this swing speed so I get that contact side of the string facing the opponent shortly after contact -- a la Tsitipas. Or is that something that happens more naturally on a rally ball with a faster swing speed? I know one of my big problems during rally balls is that I tend to pull away from the contact point and can have a very arm-centric swing.

 
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