The McEnroe forehand - anyone uses it?

acintya

Hall of Fame
#1
I have been playing tennis for some years but I always learned this modern forehand - this is the first time I tried the classic forehand and I was just shocked how easy it was to hit - and I was also consistent. I just dragged the racquet back like McEnroe without all of this new methods that people teach. I really liked this classic stroke. The only difference is, I was holding my racquet in a semi-western grip - but that also means i could hit harder and the shots went in.

Anyone still using this kind of forehand? Its so simple. I will try to mix it in whenever I can. The reaction time is faster and I have even more time to prepare - also higher bouncing balls I find easy to strike with this simple motion.

What do you think guys? Do we - rec. players (good or bad) really need the so called modern forehand?


I am very good at table tennis and this straight drag back without all this **** you got to learn (elbow up, racquet up, extend the arm, elbow down, do the federer whip motion on forehand etc. etc) makes everything so simple to me.
If you just compare this takeback and the modern forehand takeback and all that **** - this mcenroe forehand really looks so simple , and is a lot easier to master, or let me put it this way - with the mcenro method you can not do so much wrong......as with a modern forehand. or am I wrong?

Also look at his non dominant hand.......all this lessons on how you need to have it straight and in shoulder height --- really? do you really need it? McEnroe keeps it really low - its straight but not over extended ----- its more in a 45° angle. prove me wrong. I just want to simplify things as tennis can be a very confusing sport. OH man. in my opinion it is one of the harder sports to master - to master means --- that you can hit every stroke at least "semi-well" :)

well it may not be so aesthetically pleasing as some modern forehands but it could be maybe more efficient for somebody.
 
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Raul_SJ

Hall of Fame
#2
People say not to copy him. I'm guessing the forehand evolved due to the baseline game. Mac was a serve and volleyer. Rec players are gonna struggle trying to hit 20 shot rallies without the modern forehand swing path.
 
#3
I have been playing tennis for some years but I always learned this modern forehand - this is the first time I tried the classic forehand and I was just shocked how easy it was to hit - and I was also consistent. I just dragged the racquet back like McEnroe without all of this new methods that people teach. I really liked this classic stroke. The only difference is, I was holding my racquet in a semi-western grip...
Sounds like you are doing it all wrong then. Classic forehands are hit using continental or eastern fh grips.
 
#4
Sometimes when hitting on the wall I'll switch to continental grip forehands(though he's not quite conti I think) and the take back automatically becomes more like his for some reason.

I think you should pay the way you want to play. I personally worked hard fine tuning my eastern grip forehand and I finally like it. If you like conti then use conti.
 
#5
Sometimes when hitting on the wall I'll switch to continental grip forehands(though he's not quite conti I think) and the take back automatically becomes more like his for some reason.

I think you should pay the way you want to play. I personally worked hard fine tuning my eastern grip forehand and I finally like it. If you like conti then use conti.
He’s not using a continental grip though. He’s doing it with a semi western which would indicate that he’s doing something wrong.
 

Devil_dog

Hall of Fame
#6
True story: I idolized Mac during my junior years and also mimicked his forehand AND serve. It was an weird time... haha. That said, I had a conti grip and with a heavier stick (Max 200G), that sort of swing was easy to hit and generated rather good power. Spin was non-existent but I could hit flat like nobody's biz.

But then my game matured and evolved and I eventually learned from a pro my current, more or less, modern forehand style. I generate much more spin and can handle power better with my current FH with I hit with a semi to full western grip. But every now and then, I'll mix it up and hit like Mac. It's fun for a bit but it's a pain for me to hit FH with a conti grip and they go sailing.
 
#8
Please re-read my original post Mad Dog where I said NOT QUITE CONTI

Mac has said this many times.
Thought you were referring to the OP. OP said he’s hitting classic strokes like Mac using semi western grip and your post which I assumed was directed at him was to do what was natural. If SW feels natural for a classic stroke, I think he’s doing something wrong. That was my point.
 

acintya

Hall of Fame
#9
guys i know mac doesnt hit with a semi western grip. I said I am using his takeback style but then i hit with a semi western grip. WHERE is the problem!? how can someone say this is wrong? its the same move - only resulting in more spin because of a more closed racquet - because of the sw grip.
 
#10
guys i know mac doesnt hit with a semi western grip. I said I am using his takeback style but then i hit with a semi western grip. WHERE is the problem!? how can someone say this is wrong? its the same move - only resulting in more spin because of a more closed racquet - because of the sw grip.
Sorry. You said you tried the classic forehand. Pretty hard to hit a classic fh with a SW grip. If you said you tried the classic takeback and hit a semi western fh, no problem.

Tbh, I’m actually more concerned you will hurt yourself if you are hitting the fh wrong. Classic fh with a SW grip might mean you are hitting late which is often the cause of elbow and wrist injuries.
 

IowaGuy

Hall of Fame
#11
guys i know mac doesnt hit with a semi western grip. I said I am using his takeback style but then i hit with a semi western grip. WHERE is the problem!? how can someone say this is wrong? its the same move - only resulting in more spin because of a more closed racquet - because of the sw grip.
Mischa Zverev has one of the most compact take-backs in the ATP for his FH. You might enjoy watching some video of him, if you're looking to shorten your takeback...

 
#13
I use that technique when I'm fiddling with my 200g/300i or any standard sized frames strung at low tension. Yes, he was my favorite player BITD and his sweeping/blocking style works well with this type of equipment. When I hit with a more modern frame, I use a longer looping swing.
 
#14
I use that technique when I'm fiddling with my 200g/300i or any standard sized frames strung at low tension. Yes, he was my favorite player BITD and his sweeping/blocking style works well with this type of equipment. When I hit with a more modern frame, I use a longer looping swing.
Have you recovered from your injuries?
 
#15
I did hit last Friday at the Fullerton tennis center. I think I'm about 60-70% recovered. Still sore. Can't hit overheads still, and can only hit 2nd serves.
 
#18
I've hit a couple of sessions with continental on both sides. But ever since I moved from EE to semi-western a couple of years, it feels awkward, so haven't done it. I do the occasional "slap on the run" forehand, push or slice forehand with a more old skool grip, but otherwise I play my SW forehand game (I can flatten it out but don't do it that much). When an opponent hits hard, I do shorten the backswing.

The very traditional forehand grips to me allow for better placement, so I feel. With my top spun SW, I can hit hard and play well, but I feel with a more eastern grip I was more able to really pin point my shots.
 
#19
True story: I idolized Mac during my junior years and also mimicked his forehand AND serve. It was an weird time... haha. That said, I had a conti grip and with a heavier stick (Max 200G), that sort of swing was easy to hit and generated rather good power. Spin was non-existent but I could hit flat like nobody's biz.

But then my game matured and evolved and I eventually learned from a pro my current, more or less, modern forehand style. I generate much more spin and can handle power better with my current FH with I hit with a semi to full western grip. But every now and then, I'll mix it up and hit like Mac. It's fun for a bit but it's a pain for me to hit FH with a conti grip and they go sailing.
I can testify that this is a "TRUE" statement!!!! :cool:
 
#21
Btw Macs forehand never really was the classic standard in tennis, even then it kinda was a unique shot. He was good with it and really better than any modern 5.0 player but his groundstroke technique wasn't really the reason, he was more successful despite them as it were unique strokes even to the time.

So emulating him and thinking this makes you play like him is really foolish.
 

mcs1970

Professional
#23
Ian plays a similar stroke (that video of his match with Kevin). Seems to be modfied conti but not quite Eastern.

Yes, the shot is ugly but JMac had great control and timing. Ian too was moving the ball around quite easily, even though his form too on the fh was funky. I guess rec players tend to focus more on the form than they should. Most here would be happy if they could hit like Ian was hitting in that match.

The real advantage for players using that grip is that they seem to have chosen that grip because it allows them to play all their desired strokes with minimal or no grip change.
 

Raul_SJ

Hall of Fame
#26
Ian plays a similar stroke (that video of his match with Kevin). Seems to be modfied conti but not quite Eastern.

Yes, the shot is ugly but JMac had great control and timing. Ian too was moving the ball around quite easily, even though his form too on the fh was funky. I guess rec players tend to focus more on the form than they should. Most here would be happy if they could hit like Ian was hitting in that match.

The real advantage for players using that grip is that they seem to have chosen that grip because it allows them to play all their desired strokes with minimal or no grip change.
in singles, you can approach with eastern/sw forehand grip and then come to the net and play out the point with conti grip. usually a volley.

in doubles, you get many more opportunities to hit forehand groundstrokes inside the service box. at this point, you must decide whether to hit conti forehands or go with the normal forehand grip. i think most coaches recommend hitting the conti forehand in this scenario.
 
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mcs1970

Professional
#27
But they would not be hitting like him, but much worse. That is why it is better to do the right thing.

Sometimes keeping it simple is the best advice. Sometimes learning 'proper' conventional technique is the best advice. All I'm saying is play and see what works for you. Especially when it comes to adults like OP. I have a modified conti grip and play all my strokes without a grip change. I realized that picking up late in life and not having enough time to devote to practice, doing this has been the best thing for my game. I don't overpower anyone (not that I ever did), but I'm so much more consistent now. Others should find out what works for them.
 
#28
in singles, you can approach with eastern/sw forehand grip and then come to the net and play out the point with conti grip. usually a volley.

in doubles, you get many more opportunities to hit forehand groundstrokes inside the service box. at this point, you must decide whether to hit conti forehands or go with the normal forehand grip. i think most coaches recommend hitting the conti forehand in this scenario.
I got into a debate about this with Maboob Khan on these boards many years ago. I'm sure some long-time TT'ers remember him. I hope he's doing well.
 

Raul_SJ

Hall of Fame
#29
I got into a debate about this with Maboob Khan on these boards many years ago. I'm sure some long-time TT'ers remember him. I hope he's doing well.
What was your position? I like the idea of going with the Conti forehand on the doubles exchanges close up at net. But I have a habit of switching to normal forehand grip.
 
#30
I was in favor of Continental forehand on the mid-court shots. Maboob was in favor of going with the player's standard groundstroke grip.
 
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