Why doesn't Wawrinka learn to return properly?

zill

Professional
Instead of chipping back the return for the first serve why doesn't Wawrinka learn to return properly like how everyone else on the ATP tour does?

Also he stands a long way back to return the second serve. Wouldn't it be easier if he stands closer and return it on the rise?
 
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clout

Hall of Fame
It actually helps him against Novak since he’s keeping the ball low to the ground to begin the point, which forces Nole to hit a rally shot back to Stan rather than a shot that’s pulling Stan off the court and into a defensive position.

It backfires against Federer because Roger is one of the greatest low-ball hitters of all time (that sounds like a baseball phrase lol) and it horribly backfires against Nadal because chipping the ball back to Nadal, especially to his FH side, is virtually a way of committing suicide
 
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denoted

Rookie
Anyone who uses a one-handed BH with big grips on either side will have different return mechanics than a two-hander who mostly doesn't have to switch grips. Federer hits over the ball more on his returns because his grips aren't as extreme and he has better hand-eye coordination.
 

HipRotation

Hall of Fame
Yes like Novak or Roger for example.
Roger chips the backhand return, more so in his prime years. It was his go to move to chip it low to the server's backhand which worked great against people like Roddick but not so great against anyone who could hit a topspin backhand down low or is lefthanded.
 
It actually helps him against Novak since he’s keeping the ball low to the ground to begin the point, which forces Nole to hit a rally shot back to Stan rather than a shot that’s pulling Stan off the court and into a defensive position.

It backfires against Federer because Roger is one of the greatest low-ball hitters of all time (that sounds like a baseball phrase lol) and it horribly backfires against Nadal because chipping the ball back to Nadal, especially to his FH side, is virtually a way of committing suicide
That sums it up.
Thanks
 

UnderratedSlam

Hall of Fame
I have high expectations for Stan. His returns have been criticized. It's his biggest weakness so I am wondering why he doesn't improve on it. This is a serious thread.
A slam winner´s biggest weakness isn´t necessarily done in a weak way. If his returns were weak he´d never have won any slams.

Admittedly, if Rafa hadn´t gotten injured at AO14 who knows if lucky Stan would ever have won the others too...
 

yokied

Professional
This topic has been discussed by plenty of commentators who speak to players and coaches. I can't remember which match it was this year, one of the commentators discussed a conversation he had with Magnus Norman. It was revealed that Norman asked Stan to chip more balls back because Stan had been too aggressive and inconsistent on returns, not getting enough in and wasting a lot of points. It was considered crucial in the transformation into Stanimal and being committed to finding his best way to win the most points.

So chip returns are the highest evolution of Stan's return. He spent practically a whole career trying to return normally and look how that worked out for him.
 

Subway Tennis

Hall of Fame
Instead of chipping back the return for the first serve why doesn't Wawrinka learn to return properly like how everyone else on the ATP tour does?

Also he stands a long way back to return the second serve. Wouldn't it be easier if he stands closer and return it on the rise?
But he stands far back to return the second serve. It would be easier to return the second serve close to the baseline.
I have high expectations for Stan. His returns have been criticized. It's his biggest weakness so I am wondering why he doesn't improve on it. This is a serious thread.
Agree. He has a good chip return (often helped him get his teeth into Roddick service games) but he does over-use it. It feels like he doesn't have a plan b besides a neutralizing return. His return position often leaves him too deep to attack weak second serves.

He does need setup time for his long strokes but I'm surprised he hasn't worked out a way to improvise and have a slightly more aggressive return position, particularly on slow hard court against weak servers.
 

blablavla

Hall of Fame
This topic has been discussed by plenty of commentators who speak to players and coaches. I can't remember which match it was this year, one of the commentators discussed a conversation he had with Magnus Norman. It was revealed that Norman asked Stan to chip more balls back because Stan had been too aggressive and inconsistent on returns, not getting enough in and wasting a lot of points. It was considered crucial in the transformation into Stanimal and being committed to finding his best way to win the most points.

So chip returns are the highest evolution of Stan's return. He spent practically a whole career trying to return normally and look how that worked out for him.
not necessarily if at least one member of this forum thinks that it is his weakness :)
 

Raphael Nadal

Hall of Fame
I disagree with the notion that Stan only won AO14 due to Rafa’s injury. Stan was already up a set and a break before Rafa started hitting 80 mph first serves.
I noticed something was wrong with Rafa early in the 1st Set actually, because Rafa kept hitting balls far over the baseline continuously, very strange unforced errors that I've never seen before from him.
It was because he was standing very upright, unable to move his back properly :)

Rafa had stiffness early in the match, and pain later in the match, so he only served slow when the pain arrived and that slow serving made Wawrinka lose rhythm (also because Rafa wasn't putting any top spin on groundstrokes) and Rafa won the 3rd Set.....and then in the 4th Set Rafa's painkiller kicked in, and he served faster but Wawrinka found rhythm and won.

Wawrinka had played very close sets with Rafa in the past, so Rafa's back problem was easily enough to put Wawrinka over the top.
While Rafa's back problem clearly wasn't the only reason why Wawrinka won, I think there was a decent chance Rafa would have won if healthy, but either way it would have been close.....probably a 5-setter.
 
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Enga

Hall of Fame
I dont see a reason to put emphasis on "properly". Why cair about proper when 3 slams is better than none? Its wayy better to have some sort of oddity to your game that even if it doesnt work better technically, is consistent and forces opponents to adapt to you instead of you adapting to them.

Wawrinka's return has drawbacks for sure, but I dont suppose changing his return to being more proper would help his game at all. Evidence to the contrary suggests this is part of what makes him a special player capable of winning Slams. No one on tour plays like he does.
 

achapa8807

Semi-Pro
This topic has been discussed by plenty of commentators who speak to players and coaches. I can't remember which match it was this year, one of the commentators discussed a conversation he had with Magnus Norman. It was revealed that Norman asked Stan to chip more balls back because Stan had been too aggressive and inconsistent on returns, not getting enough in and wasting a lot of points. It was considered crucial in the transformation into Stanimal and being committed to finding his best way to win the most points.

So chip returns are the highest evolution of Stan's return. He spent practically a whole career trying to return normally and look at how that worked out for him.
It was discussed again at this year's Open. The commentators mentioned that Norman had changed Stan's approach from trying to blast everything to just getting the return in play. It's funny how some professional players' returns mirror those of junior players and vice versa. He still needs work at times but I think it works for him. Like others have mentioned, look at how many majors it has gotten him. There are some players who return "properly" and have ZERO majors.
 

Spanglish72

Rookie
Too big of a grip change from his forehand to backhand to return against 130 mile hour serves, so he basically splits the difference and bunts it back.

Why should he change it, if no one is serve and volleying against him?
 

terribleIVAN

Hall of Fame
Chipping worked damn well vs Fed at RG 2015.

It's his BH irregularity that's always been a problem for Stan. It's simply a very high risk shot and those at the very top know they just have to target it until it misfires.
 

Mike Sams

Legend
Instead of chipping back the return for the first serve why doesn't Wawrinka learn to return properly like how everyone else on the ATP tour does?

Also he stands a long way back to return the second serve. Wouldn't it be easier if he stands closer and return it on the rise?
Chipping it back helps put the ball into play for a neutral rally. Not always but many times. It's not a bad tactic.
 

UnderratedSlam

Hall of Fame
I disagree with the notion that Stan only won AO14 due to Rafa’s injury. Stan was already up a set and a break before Rafa started hitting 80 mph first serves.
You can disagree all you want, but check out their H2H before the injury.

Some fans struggle with the notion that some slams are decided by injury. That´s sports. Stan wasn´t a clutch player before he won his first slam, and we had a bestof5 there, so the notion that a set and a break were enough is naive.
 
You can disagree all you want, but check out their H2H before the injury.

Some fans struggle with the notion that some slams are decided by injury. That´s sports. Stan wasn´t a clutch player before he won his first slam, and we had a bestof5 there, so the notion that a set and a break were enough is naive.
Check out the H2H between Stan and Novak heading into the QF that year, or between Fed and Dimi at USO this year. While H2H is a good indicator of who is likeliest to win, it doesn’t guarantee a victory for the player leading said H2H. Stan played at a high level in the final up until Rafa’s injury, and he should be given credit for outplaying his opponent during that time.
 

ChaelAZ

Legend
Yes like Novak or Roger for example.

Rog chips a ton of returns back. Same with all the top players.

Not sure what you think proper is, but they all seem to do okay...I mean, for top 5 players in the world and all.
 

slal1984

Semi-Pro
It starts because he has a 1ohb. He chips to avoid hitting over a high ball (tons of mishits as its very difficult to time). This gives him a neutral position against most players vs trying to go over the ball and starting in a defensive position.

The grip change - its a lot harder/longer to change grips from backhand to forehand on the return of serve. He expects everyone to serve to his backhand, so every now and then when they serve to his forehand, he is caught off guard.

for a 1ohb to hit a high bouncing kick serve, he has to either step back and hit it on the way down or like fed on the way up. Since wawrinka has longer strokes than fed, its a lot harder for him to take the ball early.

Also i think it could be because of the grip. wawrinka is more western than fed on either side.
 
Instead of chipping back the return for the first serve why doesn't Wawrinka learn to return properly like how everyone else on the ATP tour does?

Also he stands a long way back to return the second serve. Wouldn't it be easier if he stands closer and return it on the rise?
I wonder why more pros don't chip the return back against big servers like Isner instead of swinging and swinging at returns and not getting them back in play.
 

crazyups

Professional
It starts because he has a 1ohb. He chips to avoid hitting over a high ball (tons of mishits as its very difficult to time). This gives him a neutral position against most players vs trying to go over the ball and starting in a defensive position.

The grip change - its a lot harder/longer to change grips from backhand to forehand on the return of serve. He expects everyone to serve to his backhand, so every now and then when they serve to his forehand, he is caught off guard.

for a 1ohb to hit a high bouncing kick serve, he has to either step back and hit it on the way down or like fed on the way up. Since wawrinka has longer strokes than fed, its a lot harder for him to take the ball early.

Also i think it could be because of the grip. wawrinka is more western than fed on either side.
If Wawrinka's grip was really more western than Fed, he could have done the Almagro return where he really doesn't change his grip that much except for a slight adjustment that is not difficult for Almagro. He would be hitting returns with the same side of the racquet. However, Almagro's grip is more western than Wawrinka's. I actually think Fed's grip is more western than Wawrinka's but not as western as Almagro's, Almagro's is a regular full eastern grip while Fed's is less of a hammer hold.
 

Tennisbg

Semi-Pro
Why don't I learn how to play like someone like Rosol?
Because I can't. I wish I could be that good but no, it did not work.
 

zill

Professional
This topic has been discussed by plenty of commentators who speak to players and coaches. I can't remember which match it was this year, one of the commentators discussed a conversation he had with Magnus Norman. It was revealed that Norman asked Stan to chip more balls back because Stan had been too aggressive and inconsistent on returns, not getting enough in and wasting a lot of points. It was considered crucial in the transformation into Stanimal and being committed to finding his best way to win the most points.

So chip returns are the highest evolution of Stan's return. He spent practically a whole career trying to return normally and look how that worked out for him.
very interesting!
 

UnderratedSlam

Hall of Fame
Check out the H2H between Stan and Novak heading into the QF that year, or between Fed and Dimi at USO this year. While H2H is a good indicator of who is likeliest to win, it doesn’t guarantee a victory for the player leading said H2H. Stan played at a high level in the final up until Rafa’s injury, and he should be given credit for outplaying his opponent during that time.
Gimme a break. RF and Dimitrov?

AGAIN you ignore injury as cause for defeat. Have you ever tried playing with an injury?

Yeah, I guess not.

RF was injured at the USO, that´s why he lost to his favourite pigeon. Stan was Nadal´s pigeon. Their H2H was a joke.
 
Gimme a break. RF and Dimitrov?

AGAIN you ignore injury as cause for defeat. Have you ever tried playing with an injury?

Yeah, I guess not.

RF was injured at the USO, that´s why he lost to his favourite pigeon. Stan was Nadal´s pigeon. Their H2H was a joke.
Actually, I have tried playing with an injury before. Many times. The Fed/Dimi comparison was made because Fed looked fine for at least 3 sets, maybe 4. Obviously the 5th wasn’t a high level, but Dimi hung in there with Fed for the majority of the match. Another match where the winning player hadn’t previously beaten his opponent, but was at the same level on that day. Stan was ahead against Rafa before Rafa’s level dropped significantly, so I don’t see any reason why Rafa would have beaten him considering the scoreline before Rafa was hitting 80 mph first serves.
 
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