Why Santoro always slices his 2handed forehand?

Discussion in 'General Pro Player Discussion' started by ktncnttl, May 6, 2005.

  1. ktncnttl

    ktncnttl Rookie

    May 30, 2004
    I have only seen bits and pieces of his matches but I couldn't help but noticed that he sliced virtually all his forehands. Doesn't it kind of defeat the purpose of using the 2handed forehand? IMHO, the only merit of the 2handed forehand is ripping sharp-angled topspin or flat offensive shots from the baseline (aka Monica Seles.) Santoro certainly has the ability to do so with his 2handed backhand but somehow he chooses not to do so with his forehand and slices with it instead.

    First of all, slicing is not what the 2handed shot (back or forehand) is designed for by nature. It is like the serve, yeah, maybe you can do it with 2 hands but it is hard to imagine you can do it BETTER with 2hands. It is the mechanic involves that precludes using 2 hands from being better than using one.

    OK, lets just say Mr. Santoro really does slice better with 2 hands but still why not use the 2handed forehand for what it does best, ripping sharp-angled winners from the baseline. Santoro has sacrificed his already limited reach to hit the 2handed forehand and it is a shame not to make the best use of it.
  2. Max G.

    Max G. Legend

    Feb 18, 2004

    Not really. The purpose of any shot is to get over the net and into the court and to cause as much trouble to the opponent as possible. Santoro has found that when he hits his two-handed forehand with slice then it is more effective than when he hits it with topspin.

    And apparently Santoro finds that when he tries that, they're not as effective as his slices.

    Because off the backhand, he has that ability; off the forehand, he doesn't. His topspin forehand is weaker than his topspin backhand; I've seen him run around a mid-court ball to hit a backhand instead of a forehand when he wants to drive it.

    Now you're starting to sound a bit silly - "designed for by nature?" Shots weren't designed by nature, they were designed by men. And if you look at a slow-mo of Santoro's slice forehand, it actually looks very much like a left-handed one-handed slice backhand, the right hand comes off of the racquet midway through the stroke.

    Because he can't. His topspin forehand doesn't have the power that you seem to say it should. Yes, maybe it SHOULD - but it DOESN'T. It may have to do with his grips - I think he doesn't switch hands or something - but I'm not sure. But the bottom line is that his two-handed topspin forehand is NOT CAPABLE of "ripping sharp-angled winners from the baseline."

    Well, he does make the best use of it. If he tried to hit topspin, he would have a below-average-power forehand with limited reach. But he's found a way around his deficient forehand - and he's turned it into a stroke that, while not having much power, drives players up the wall. Frankly, it's amazing how much he has achieved without any sort of recognizeable weapon besides his speed - and he's done it by using his guile to make players shots hit exactly the shots they don't.

    I've seen Santoro hit topspin forehands occasionally. They're slow and loopy and not very effective except for dipping passing shots or for lobs, or maybe for putting away sitting ducks.

    And I think you'll agree that most players nowadays would have a LOT more trouble with a low, sliced ball (which they're not used to seeing) than with a moderate-to-low-paced loopy forehand, which they could just tee off on.

    I remember one interview with Fabrice Santoro - though this might be just anectotal and I'm paraphrasing it so it's not exact, the gist of it was:

    Interviewer: 'Fabrice, what does it feel like being one of the few players left that win with guile and touch instead just hitting the ball as hard as they can?'

    Santoro: 'Well, I hit the ball as hard as I can too... that's just not very hard.'
  3. AndrewD

    AndrewD Legend

    Dec 11, 2004
    Santoro did play somewhat differently when he first came on the tour. But, as the style has morphed into the baseline-basher he's realised that the best way to counter that type is to keep the ball low (a reason Henman has had some success on clay). He takes the pace off the ball, keeps it away from their hitting zone and frustrates the hell out of them. Basically, for all those students of the game or old enough to remember her, Santoro is the modern day, men's equivalent of Francois Durr. Very unorthodox, not a big hitter but incredibly effective.
  4. ClemsonTennis9

    ClemsonTennis9 Rookie

    Mar 18, 2004
    i saw one time when santoro was playing federer, that he was hitting his two handed forehand with topspin, that was the first and the last time i saw him do that.
  5. Aykhan Mammadov

    Aykhan Mammadov Hall of Fame

    Mar 12, 2004
    Baku, Azerbaijan
    Santoro is one of the greatest players of all times. He knows what he does. Yes, you have asked right question. Just example of Santoro proves that there is not necessity of spending so much energy with every stroke, that slices both from left and right have the same right to exist and be used, and what is more important - understanding and feeling of tennis is much more important than strength.
  6. paulfreda

    paulfreda Hall of Fame

    Oct 3, 2004
    Bangkok, Thailand
    C'mon now, get real

    Greatest players of all time ?????????//
    That is a bit of a stretch now isn't it ?
    Maybe one of the most unusual players; along with Francois Durr, Sanguinetti, and Mansour Bahrami.
    But one of the greatest ?
    No Way.

    Finesse and smarts will only get you so far.
    Certainly not to the top.
  7. sandiegotennisboy

    sandiegotennisboy Banned

    Jun 14, 2004

    err, yeah...he's right up there with pete, fed and agassi. ?!?!?!

    maybe one of the most entertaining, specially when he gives great quality players a lot of trouble. (fed, sometimes, i believe)...

    and i think he does this to give his opponents trouble. why hit a regular shot when you know your opponent feeds off it. i think even a recreational players would have the wits not to do that.
  8. dennis1188

    dennis1188 Semi-Pro

    Feb 19, 2004
    'He knows what he does', yet he says it, anyway!?!

    IMO Santoro, is interesting and a effective player, yes, but far from a 'great' professional player.
  9. Jonnyf

    Jonnyf Legend

    Feb 28, 2005
    Scotland ;-)
    Bourami Rocks !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

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