Simplest forehand techniques

ChaelAZ

Hall of Fame
#1
Sure, Thiem has one of the most explosive forehands on tour, but it takes time to setup and fitness to swing compared to some others. I was thinking about forehands that rec players could study and learn from that are simple and effective. Here are a few that I think exemplify that:

Stan Warwrinka
To me the most compact and easiest power compared to effort. Easy short takeback and drop, then simple rotation to get into the slot and make forward contact. And even with such a simple stroke he gets immense power, so I would say this could be a good template to learn for basics and build on for advnaced play.

For me, I would also say his serve is a good model for rec players as well. No deep knee bend needed, or hips deep in causing balance issues. Very upright and direct.


Misha Zverev
One of the simplest strokes on tour with no big whip or need to lay the wrist back deep. Very quick setup, snap, and forward contact. Very Fed like in form, but much simpler (not that Fed's stroke is complicated). Also a compact BH.


Tomic
Yeah, I don't like him, and I wouldn't promote his technique as the best way to do things, but if you wanna see what simplicity can be in a stroke watch his game on both wings. For the forehand there is very little flip, lag or snap, and the racquet face stays open more than almost any player, but he gets that forward contact point and decent pop overall. Very little to make the stroke late or off timing.




What others can you think of?
 

Dragy

Professional
#3
Do you have a definition of simpleness? Or you go by how it looks to you?
What about efficiency? Wawrinka’s stroke is powerful and adoptable, he hits all the spots with it. Misha’s? Not so much in my opinion. No putaway/troublemaking power.
 
#4
Everyone coming out to play at least has some sort of a FH where they can adequately play with their peers. The problem isn't that the FH stroke is hard to learn. The problem is people aren't interested in stepping up, moving beyond the group in which they're comfortable. Another thing is most rec players are adverse to hard work which is necessary for improvement. Evidence of this: preferred choice / existence of low intensity doubles.
 

ChaelAZ

Hall of Fame
#5
Do you have a definition of simpleness? Or you go by how it looks to you?
What about efficiency? Wawrinka’s stroke is powerful and adoptable, he hits all the spots with it. Misha’s? Not so much in my opinion. No putaway/troublemaking power.
Nothing about look. It is all about effciency, with the least moving part kinda technique. And it grades out pretty much like that. So Tomic is super simple, but has the least amount of power and putaway ability. Misha's would be next up with a little more power. I'd sneak Ferrer in between Misha and Stan here. And then Stan would be what I consider the best of the three in terms of efficiency and power.
 

IowaGuy

Hall of Fame
#6
Another thing is most rec players are adverse to hard work which is necessary for improvement. Evidence of this: preferred choice / existence of low intensity doubles.
Most rec players aren't looking for big improvement, just to get some exercise and social time.

Most middle-aged players I know fall into this category...
 

Dragy

Professional
#7
Before I started printing a wall of text, just an example of what I believe can be very effective for rec player with good weels and facing not that heavy incoming balls - so, not hitting most of the shots on the rise or with no time to prepare. Here we go (0:11):
 

ChaelAZ

Hall of Fame
#9
He was really born in the wrong era.

His compact strokes would have been much more effective on the fast grass/hard court/carpet of the 80's and 90's...
Agree. With that compact stroke, yeah...the face pace of grass would be easier. I would think Misha would be making better runs there now too. That is one of the reasons I would promote the simpler/compact strock like Misha or Tomic for rec players - there is very little to make a player late, and I see TONS of players with those huge backswings thinking that is where they make big power. Something I am working on myself.
 

Dragy

Professional
#10
Agree. With that compact stroke, yeah...the face pace of grass would be easier. I would think Misha would be making better runs there now too. That is one of the reasons I would promote the simpler/compact strock like Misha or Tomic for rec players - there is very little to make a player late, and I see TONS of players with those huge backswings thinking that is where they make big power. Something I am working on myself.
Funny enough my thoughts were right the opposite. Like "Ok it's trivial how you hit back faster shots. You get there, stick your racquet out to the side and try to meet the ball out in front while rotating your torso to face the net. Now what you do with a nothing ball is the question? Other than bunt-lob it back". And here's where you need smooth power you see in Garcia's stroke. Don't get the racquet behind the back - get it up and let it go down the hill, pass the bottom right below the contact height and guide through the ball.
Imagine a deep barely-backspin shot down the middle. It's a sitter, but what can you do to it with Misha's stroke? Or a deep roller which you fall back a couple of feet to hit? Now with smooth "rollercoaster" shot you easily send it high and spinny to the BH corner, for example.
 
#11
try this - put the hand out there in front of you and to the right, and don't move it... then just use the index base knuckle to push the racket into a windshield wiping motion... this 1-finger forehand will be good enough to beat most of the 4.0s.

can't be simpler that this. no back swing, no shoulder turn no leg drive no nothing else.. just 1 finger.
 

Curious

Hall of Fame
#12
try this - put the hand out there in front of you and to the right, and don't move it... then just use the index base knuckle to push the racket into a windshield wiping motion... this 1-finger forehand will be good enough to beat most of the 4.0s.

can't be simpler that this. no back swing, no shoulder turn no leg drive no nothing else.. just 1 finger.
You love attention more than tennis, don't you?!
 

Dragy

Professional
#19
Don't agree, her forehand is segmented and has a couple tention points. Neither simple in terms of "fewer things happening" nor as fluid and smooth as some other. Effective - yes, and still evolving (Simona has made her backswing more compact this year).
 

Dragy

Professional
#20
I couldn't find a good vid of his FH for some time (didn't want the one from 2014), and now here it is! Sasha Zverev (slowmo neutral stance at 0:20):
Now I don't call it simple, don't think looking for simplest is the way to go in this sport :cool: but he has one of the complete and clean motions with no exaggeration or weirdness.
 
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