Would hitting primarly spin shots benefit a shorter player than flat shots??

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by MisterM, Feb 12, 2012.

  1. MisterM

    MisterM New User

    Feb 9, 2012
    I'm short but not too short, 5'7". With a flat shot, there is less margin for error, especially with shorter players because the hitting angle down into the court is less than a taller player. I ask because it will effect which racket I will buy and stick to in the long run to benefit either hitting style.
  2. Chyeaah

    Chyeaah Professional

    Sep 23, 2011
    If your taller than the net you can hit flat. Just need to keep practising
  3. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

    Mar 31, 2008
    I say it's good for all players, but even better for shorter players.
  4. toly

    toly Hall of Fame

    Sep 2, 2010
    The higher ball, at the moment of contact, the less topspin you want. It has nothing to do with your height. :)
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2012
  5. Ducker

    Ducker Rookie

    Jun 1, 2010

    This is pretty common sense stuff. As a high level player you will need to learn both heavy topspin, and flat if you want to make it anywhere good.

    Try to master all of the shots you can, you want your playbook to be as big as possible so that you can draw upon them when you need them.

    Once you have developed a huge playbook and you can hit a large variety of shots you'll next need to learn WHEN to use each shot!
  6. BU-Tennis

    BU-Tennis Semi-Pro

    Jan 22, 2008
    West Virginia
    You can go very, very far in tennis with a simple rally stroke which you learn to place well, and more topspin based shots will make this more possible.

    Also, since you will be contacting balls a little higher than our taller counterparts, a more extreme grip will benefit you more than an eastern grip...and this grip will naturally allow you to hit with more spin rather than going flat.

    i would base my stroke around a SW grip and try hitting with more topspin rather than developing flat shots. So I am guessing you will probably be opting for a smaller grip size, larger headsize, and more headlight to create good whip through contact.
  7. Funbun

    Funbun Professional

    Aug 6, 2009
    You can hit spin with most player's racquets out in the market. It's a matter of your technique.

    Have you hit with a high level player? You'll realize how powerful and useful spin is, and how difficult it can be if you don't have spin yourself.
  8. Tebow

    Tebow New User

    Dec 11, 2010
    That's an easy one...Of course you should hit with lots of topspin
  9. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter G.O.A.T.

    Jun 10, 2010
    Your height isn't relevant. Everyone should hit heavy topspin with modern racquets, modern string and modern strokes. Evolve or perish.
  10. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

    Dec 28, 2008
    East side of San Francisco Bay
    Hit lots of spin, top or slice, if you want to run and defend.
    Hit flatter faster forcing shots if you want the other guy to run. Plain and simple.
  11. TennisCJC

    TennisCJC Legend

    Apr 20, 2010
    I think you want at least moderate topspin strokes to get the ball up over the net and down into the court. Short players can hit the ball quite hard. David Ferrer claims to be 5'10" but is more likely 5'9". He stands in close to the baseline and hits agressive topspin shots and does not hit the topspin loopers like Nadal. Davydenko was another small player who stood in and hit aggressive topspin. I am 5'9.5" (don't rob me of that 1/2 inch) and use this type of player as a model. I also mix in slice on the backhand and try to serve aggressively but with spin to get higher percentage in the court.

    Even at 5'7", I would discourage you from becoming a Nadal style crazy spinner. I think developing an all court game with moderate spin and the ability to attack and volley is better in the long run. Here's why:
    1. hitting crazy spin takes really good timing - more so than hitting moderate spin.
    2. Hitting moderate but significant spin allows you to hit thru the ball a bit more resulting in a cleaner, faster shot with a good margin of error as the topspin still brings the ball down. Use Djoko or Fed forehand as models as they extend more but still get net clearance and topspin.
    3. Learning to hit a variety - slice approach shots, volleys, overheads, etc... gives you more options to use against different styles.
    4. Variety is also critical in doubles as you end up having to hit more slices, lobs, volleys, an overheads in doubles.

    Yes, shorter players should develop spin but model it somewhere between say Agassi or Federer and not like Nadal. In fact, even taller players have to play with a fair degree of spin for safety. Sampras' serve had enormous ball rotation and he is well over 6'. Even Isner at 6'9" hits a bit of spin on his 1st serve and loads of spin on his 2nd serve.

    Sorry for the long response - short answer - yes, learn to spin it but don't go the crazy spinner route as it is too limiting.
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2012
  12. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

    Mar 31, 2008
    Really good post.
  13. dominikk1985

    dominikk1985 Legend

    Feb 11, 2011
    It also depends on the arm strength. nadal won a career slam and he hardly plays a straighter shot. so if you have a really fast arm (high RHS) you can afford to spin every ball heavily and still be very dangerous.

    but if you have a weaker arm those spin shots will be easy sitters for the opponent. so to get something on the ball you should hit flatter.

    that is the reason why women in the WTA tour hit the ball quite flat, they don't have the arm strength to hit spinny and still hard (make no mistake even girls like sharapova hit with a lot of topspin compared to average rec players but very straight compared to ATP pros).

    on the other hand you can only swing so fast flat (unless it is a shoulder high ball you smash down-even against an over net high ball usually you need some arc) that is why ATP pros swing with so much spin.

    so don't try to spin the ball artificially. only give so much spin on it that it lands about 6-7 feet inside the baseline if you hit it with nearly full power about 2-3 feet over the net (which is average ATP height). if you give even more spin you limit your power and depth and if if spin less you have to brace yourself which is not good either.
  14. dominikk1985

    dominikk1985 Legend

    Feb 11, 2011
    if you want to model yourself after a player go for rochus. he is only 5"5 or so and does not play like a retriever. he is fast but he can also play the net.

    as of now at age 31 he is still ranked 51 in the world.
  15. djarvik

    djarvik Rookie

    Jul 27, 2010

    I think he is an exception, not the rule. :) But nice one!

    I think you need not worry about how much spin per se. Just make sure you hit with a good clearance over the net and enough spin for the ball to come down into the court. If you are asking this type of question, then all the "moderate spin", "extreme spin", "flat" is simply not good answers for you.

    You said your shot is rather rather flat, right? ...in that case, the answer to the question "will you benefit from more spin" is yes.
  16. user92626

    user92626 Legend

    Jan 27, 2008
    In the world of recreational tennis, what's flat and what has a decent amount of topspin? 1foot net clearance vs 3ft?

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