The French Flair Backhand Finish.



I like this concept alot, and have been working on it.

Any one have any other videos that explore this flair technique, maybe something more detailed?


Talk Tennis Guru
The conservative, conventional finish is what Vic Braden would often refer to as Air-the-Armpit.

I would generally teach this version to novice or low intermediate students who preferred to use a one-handed backhand. If they were inclined to employ more flair, I would show them something very similar to the Federer finish. I usually discourage the Stanimal or Gasquet variations because most players don't or can't perform them properly.

Mountain Ghost

This is NOT a "More Advanced" one-handed backhand. This is the follow through that EVERY begining student who takes lessons from a "QUALIFIED" 1HBH instructor should be taught.

The key point being to get the player ... from the VERY BEGINNING ... to mindfully keep the racquet face VERTICAL throughout the entire 1HBH stroke ... from Racquet-Back Position ... through the dominant arm unit Supinating Out ... to Contact ... to Follow-Through (across, up and) behind the dominant shoulder ... I.E. the racquet face vertical angle should not change ... making elevation control consistent even when timing or contact point are a bit off.

Those "methods" where the racquet face changes ... or aims up at the end ... should be avoided ... especially at the early stages of development.

~ MG
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The before finish is just an artifact of an era long ago, at least when used as an every shot follow through. It can still be a valuable tool to help hit DTL off a lower ball.


I like the it but it doesnt go far enough IMHO. Keep going dont stop the follow through...get enough rhs so its hard to stop.


check out ALmagros helicopter finish...he keeps going over the head. Gasquet has some like that too.



Any one have any other videos that explore this flair technique, maybe something more detailed?
I think this guy does a really good job of explaining it:

In short, in years prior guys typically would have the bottom part of the racket finish ahead of the racket (Lendl, Sampras etc) farther along in the stroke. Guys today tend to have the top to the racket come over the bottom much earlier.

BUT, I think that a lot of instructors are missing something when they try to explain this to folks. The swing path isn't all that different between now and the earlier topspin backhands with the "conventional finish". Take a look at the slow mo footage here, and slow down frame-by-frame and look at the racket when it's in the strike zone (right before and a few frames after contact):

Guess what? the guys who have the "windshield wiper finish" on the backhand side STILL have the underside of the racket ahead of the top then the ball is in the strike zone. And this makes perfect sense, because one of the single most important factors in hitting a tennis ball is to keep the racket face in as stable of a position as possible for as long as possible--so if you're a little early or a little late, you'll still have the same launch angle (yes, the racket often "rolls over" the ball right at contact on a forehand, but that's an effect of sticking the ball, not an intentional movement).

Likeways, the "flare finish" is an effect, not a cause. And I think sometimes rec players get the wrong message from this stuff. I see guys doing this exaggerated finish at the end, basically forcing their racket up and over the shoulder upon the finish, somehow thinking that this is going to do something (even the ball has long left the strings). All they're doing is giving themselves a shoulder injury...

The reason guys are using this finish has nothing to do with the finish, and everything to do with the preparation. They're taking the racket back higher than guys past, and generating more racket head speed with a bigger swing. The finish at the end just comes down to sheer momentum. Look at any of the "modern" one handers on a block shot, and they have a very conventional finish.

I also think that rec players who don't do any off-court training should be pretty careful mimicking Wawrinka here. I can see a Fernando Tatis Jr. situation happening to someone getting carried away trying to copy what they see on TV (different sport, but same motion) The extreme flexion at the end of some of these one-handed backhands is about the limit of what the shoulder can handle (see Tatis for what happens when it goes little too far...)