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  • Building A World Class One Hander: The Forward Swing

    Let's get your thoughts on Chris Lewitt's latest article on the one handed backhand: "Building A World Class One Hander: The Forward Swing"

  • #2
    On edge...slightly open.

    Originally posted by johnyandell View Post
    Let's get your thoughts on Chris Lewitt's latest article on the one handed backhand: "Building A World Class One Hander: The Forward Swing"
    I think it was Tony Trabert in the book Tennis Strokes & Strategies who said "The wrist on a backhand should be as firm as when carrying a suitcase" I guess that meant pretty firm.

    I just wonder, why allow the racket face be open in the backswing phase...why not on edge? Since it's going have to end up on edge or slightly closed anyway. Just curious if there is anything to be gained by allowing students have their racket slightly open? When I shadow stroke both methods, I notice when keeping the racket on edge, the supporting arm naturally pulls the racket closer to the body during the backswing phase; having it slightly open pulls the racket slightly away from the body and has a more natural, relaxed feeling...though these factors change when I play with different grip structures.

    I am curious about this because I take great pains to encourage students to keep their racket on edge (with no leeway). I usually manage to achieve this regardless of their grip; though I don't teach the more extreme grips as, working mostly with young children, I find extreme grips make them fall backwards on higher balls. Is the leeway you give on account of the different grips kids have...or just leeway because 10 degrees either way won't make any difference?

    Until recently I always advocated a two-hander should always have the racket on edge throughout all phases of the swing. Then Rick Macci (on a video here on Tennisplayer) inferred having the racket face closed during the backswing phase is desirable. He didn't state why. John suggested it raised the rear elbow and created a greater flip. It seems technique is an ever moving target for coaches.

    Interesting you encourage children to jump as they hit backhands. I am always fearful of encouraging this in case it kind of undoes much of my foregone work. I've always encouraged the leg drive but not to consciously jump. Maybe I will re-evaluate and give it a go. For coaches who have never taught jumping, it's feels a somewhat daring thing to encourage.

    I bought The Tennis Technique Bible as a result of these Tennisplayer articles, and I'm working my way through it at the moment. I'm finding it a great book so far.

    I most strongly recommend the book to anyone who hasn't read it.
    Last edited by stotty; 03-09-2014, 02:54 PM.
    Stotty

    Comment


    • #3
      No mention of the left (non-dominant) arm

      First, this is a fabulous piece. Hats off to Chris and the tennisplayer team. As a recreational player that has only recently returned to hitting my one-hander with topspin (now that I've finally committed to a full eastern backhand grip), this is fantastic stuff to internalize and visualize for my own game.

      I was really surprised that there was no discussion of the left/non-dominant arm. In addition the the use of the back leg to keep from opening up and remaining sideways, I have found that by taking my left hand back as the forward swing progresses, I am much less likely to open up. And if you look at most, if not all of the top pro one-handers, they seem to do this.

      I look forward to thoughts on this from others.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by bmonsour View Post
        First, this is a fabulous piece. Hats off to Chris and the tennisplayer team. As a recreational player that has only recently returned to hitting my one-hander with topspin (now that I've finally committed to a full eastern backhand grip), this is fantastic stuff to internalize and visualize for my own game.

        I was really surprised that there was no discussion of the left/non-dominant arm. In addition the the use of the back leg to keep from opening up and remaining sideways, I have found that by taking my left hand back as the forward swing progresses, I am much less likely to open up. And if you look at most, if not all of the top pro one-handers, they seem to do this.

        I look forward to thoughts on this from others.
        They do do that. And their shoulders also turn back more as they stride. Then it gets really interesting. Do they pull knob from their front hand toward the ball as hips rotate like those of a big league baseball player?

        Comment


        • #5
          Am Using Down Time to Learn Best Change from 2.5 to both Slant and Hammer Grips

          1) What the hell-- we may only go around once. Skunk tail is a "Get your house in order" move affording choice between these two 1htsbh shots.

          2) A new departure from Stanislas Wawrinka: He splays and ends on ball of front foot. But if one replaces flat and closed but with weight basically on front heel, one may or may not better complete the earlier begun hips rotation through use of good front arm extension. Recovery on a huge shot is apt to include a bit of pivot on that heel combined with step of back foot slightly to the side. But who often needs such a big swing?

          3) I'm going to ask Mark Orr, the Grosse Pointe North High School baseball coach to keep miming his lefty home run swing for me. Every time he does it I see ten new things.

          4) If one's staple backhand shot is a double roll slice from the 2.5 Australian grip with air between handle and hand, and with no grip change involved whatsoever, and with adoption of a skunk tail too, the three shots taken together should deceive. It will take a subtle shaman to detect the small grip differences, but the set will be over and it will be time for new doubles partners.

          Oh yeah, left hand. Someone in another thread recently pointed out that left hand travels a lot farther through the behind the back part of the stroke. I see left hand now as a guide that never pushes or rolls over at contact thanks to the book LAU'S LAWS ON HITTING, and that goes for one hand backhands, two hand backhands, two hand one hand backhands, two-handed home runs in baseball and two hand one hand home runs in baseball per Barry Bonds.
          Last edited by bottle; 03-07-2014, 06:46 AM.

          Comment


          • #6
            Not everyone has to be exactly the same in the details of their topspin 1-handed backhands, in order to be excellent. Billie Jean King, Stan Wawrinka, Guillermo Vilas, Don Budge, Tony Trabert, Gustavo Kuerten all had great ones, but the details of how they executed their strokes differed.

            If you have a comparatively weak grip for the 1-handed topspin backhand, you are likely to have the strings open to the sky during the backswing loop, but you make adjustments with a rolling of the wrist & forearm as the racket travels forward.

            And many great 1-hand-topspin-backhand players have their strings closed to the ground, during the backswing. There is an interaction between the grip & the rest of the details of the stroke. There should be no rule that says the racket must be open, on edge, or closed, during the backswing. It is fine for a coach to make suggestions. It is always good to try something a little different if a student is struggling. But there should really be no hard & fast rule about where the strings face during the backswing loop.

            One thing that mindless coaches today emphasize is the stretching out of the free arm towards the back fence, in order to balance out the forward movement of the other hand on the racket. This results in the awkward motion that Sampras used to have on his backhand topspins. It is forced & unnatural. It detracts from power.

            Sure, the free hand naturally goes back, a little bit, but also points down somewhat, as in Wawrinka's backhand. (Just because someone in the profession gets a bright idea, such as "oh, the free hand should be stretched out for balance," does not mean that the rest of us should unquestioningly, automatically, totally accept that new, cool idea. There is no reason to force teaching something that happens naturally & perfectly.)

            The free hand is extremely important on the one-handed backhand. The great coach Peter Burwash devoted an entire chapter in a book about the use of the free hand. The free hand must stay on the neck or throat of the racket for a long time. It first helps change the grip properly, & sets the racket comparatively out front so the strings can track the incoming ball properly.

            My great old coach Peter Scott used to teach a rhythmical circle or loop of the racket, using both the racket hand & free hand. So a big part of the backswing is due to the free hand as well. The racket hand & free hand can work well together.

            In other posts in various threads here, I have written about a backhand punch, illegal in boxing, that is like an effective, powerful topspin backhand. The free hand should be on the racket neck or throat, then release the racket as the racket hand launches that backhand punch like a powerful catapult.

            If you run to the ball with the idea of reaching the racket out to the side, toward the sidelines, it is difficult to hit an effective 1-hand topspin backhand. You must get the feeling of getting behind the ball, so the stroke's power can go out on a straight line toward the other side of the net. I use an exaggerated drill to teach students to get behind the ball. I have right-handers run after a ball that I toss wide to their backhand side. I have those right-handers let the ball bounce once & then hit them in their right hip.

            That is an exaggeration, but it teaches the player to align oneself behind the ball, so that the impact point with the ball can be close to the body & way way out in front towards the net. There should be a right angle between the forearm & racket throat at impact point.

            The most important part of the forward swing is the impact point, & what exactly the strings do to the ball. However, where to place the strings on the ball, & how to put action on the ball are neglected details in the teaching of pro tennis & beginners' tennis in today's coaching.

            Comment


            • #7
              Thanks.

              Comment


              • #8
                The grip for this stroke can have the racket hand extremely behind the racket, like a hammer grip, or with thumb slanted across the back bevels of the racket grip (or with the thumb actually in line with the racket throat, at the back of the racket). Or the grip can have the hand extremely in front of the racket (e.g., Francois Durr). Federer, to my eyes, has the grip hand just slightly on the front side of the racket. John McEnroe uses a continental grip, on top of the racket -- hand neither behind nor ahead of the grip. (Most people don't realize the amazing angles that Johnny Mac can pull off with his topspin backhand.)

                The grip is one of the major determinants of the swing. All pieces of a good swing must fit together in an efficient motion. If you change one element, one detail of the swing, chances are that you might have to change other elements, so that all the elements fit together smoothly.

                The great Don Budge, to my eyes, had his hand slightly on the front side of the grip. (In other words, start with Continental grip, then shade it slightly forward.) Budge had a devastating backhand. He said the backhand was similar to swinging a baseball bat. I see in Budge a somewhat weak backhand grip, with strings a little open to the sky during the backswing. Budge did not compensate much by rolling his wrist or forearm too much. He used a topspin swing similar to players with stronger grips.

                The combination of Budge's weak grip with open strings, with the topspin motion, created for Budge a very fast, hard, flat, penetrating backhand that often could just be too much for opponents to return. I do not teach this motion, because for a lot of players, it creates inconsistency & loss of control. But it certainly worked for the great Budge. I have noticed some good local & regional players using the Budge-style motion, also. (I am a big believer, when you are having problems with a stroke, in fiddling around and exploring new things, so don't hesitate in giving this Budge method a try.)

                Here is a drill that can give you the feeling of the strength of a catapult on the forward motion of the topspin backhand. Say you want to project mud pies, or vegetable pot pies, at your enemy or opponent. Put the pie on your strings. Hold the tip of the racket at the end of the strings, way high on the racket. Pull the racket with your racket hand on the grip -- pull the butt of the handle towards your opponent. At the very last second, release your free hand from the racket tip, & release the pie with your powerful catapult motion.

                That is the same feeling that you should have as you blast your 1-hand topspin backhand. You will notice that the release point (letting go of the tip in order to release the pie) is not far behind the body. It is rather set forward, somewhat. It is a compact motion. For instance, Kuerten used to have a seemingly big motion on his backswing, but his release point was relatively compact. In other words, you should always be ready to lash your racket arm forward quickly to hit the ball, with that backhand punch motion that I talk about, in my post above. You should always have the racket ready to release that catapult quickly. (Yes, i remind you to think of the topspin backhand as a catapult or a backhand punch.)

                To learn an efficient topspin backhand motion, hit some tennis balls with a broom!! Don't use a push broom. Use the traditional straw broom. You will have to choke way up on the handle. Hit the ball tossed to you after it bounces 1 time. Hit the ball on the straw part of the broom. You will discover that the broom stick & your forearm should form the letter T. Right angles are important in the 1-hand topspin backhand.

                Using a broom to hit balls will teach you to position yourself behind the ball, & to have an impact point that is close to your body but well out in front of your body towards the net (in a line with your target). You will see the strong T form at impact. I even believe that this seemingly crazy broom drill could improve Roger Federer's already relatively good topspin backhand.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Fabulous, even amazing. Real insight into the Budge backhand-- such a mystery. Love the mudpie as well as the broom and the tiddly-winked volleys. But imagistic excellence of course doesn't answer the big question of whether one has the bones, joints, sinews, muscles, nerves and brain to do all of this stuff!
                  Last edited by bottle; 03-08-2014, 08:50 AM.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    The Bible...by Chris Lewit

                    Chris's book is great...full of good things. One of my favourites is a section called Hitting The Outside Edge of The Ball. Chris states hitting subtle sidespin on a topspin backhand makes the shot safer and leads the way for better angles...and many other things. This was a real nugget for me because it was something I had never considered, which is amazing considering how many times I had watched Nastase do just that...hit round the outside of the ball. Sometimes you knew things anyway but just need to be made conscious of them...life's weird like that. Thank Chris.

                    Another lovely excerpt from the book is this:

                    "Some coaches may not value aesthetics, but I have always considered myself an artist, and I like to build games that are mechanically correct—and that also look great. The more aesthetically pleasing games are generally better bio-mechanically anyway, so this is not just a superficial, vain request."

                    That was heartening to read and really rang true with me. It resonated strongly with something another poster wrote about the serve...better to finesse the serve than muscle it because it offers a greater range of tactical options.

                    I've learnt a lot today...a tremendous amount.
                    Stotty

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by licensedcoach View Post
                      Chris's book is great...full of good things. One of my favourites is a section called Hitting The Outside Edge of The Ball. Chris states hitting subtle sidespin on a topspin backhand makes the shot safer and leads the way for better angles...and many other things. This was a real nugget for me because it was something I had never considered, which is amazing considering how many times I had watched Nastase do just that...hit round the outside of the ball. Sometimes you knew things anyway but just need to be made conscious of them...life's weird like that. Thank Chris.

                      Another lovely excerpt from the book is this:

                      "Some coaches may not value aesthetics, but I have always considered myself an artist, and I like to build games that are mechanically correct—and that also look great.
                      The more aesthetically pleasing games are generally better bio-mechanically anyway, so this is not just a superficial, vain request."
                      That was heartening to read and really rang true with me. It resonated strongly with something another poster wrote about the serve...better to finesse the serve than muscle it because it offers a greater range of tactical options.

                      I've learnt a lot today...a tremendous amount.
                      Thanks for this, I like it.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by worldsbesttenniscoach View Post
                        The grip for this stroke can have the racket hand extremely behind the racket, like a hammer grip, or with thumb slanted across the back bevels of the racket grip (or with the thumb actually in line with the racket throat, at the back of the racket). Or the grip can have the hand extremely in front of the racket (e.g., Francois Durr). Federer, to my eyes, has the grip hand just slightly on the front side of the racket. John McEnroe uses a continental grip, on top of the racket -- hand neither behind nor ahead of the grip. (Most people don't realize the amazing angles that Johnny Mac can pull off with his topspin backhand.)

                        The grip is one of the major determinants of the swing. All pieces of a good swing must fit together in an efficient motion. If you change one element, one detail of the swing, chances are that you might have to change other elements, so that all the elements fit together smoothly.

                        The great Don Budge, to my eyes, had his hand slightly on the front side of the grip. (In other words, start with Continental grip, then shade it slightly forward.) Budge had a devastating backhand. He said the backhand was similar to swinging a baseball bat. I see in Budge a somewhat weak backhand grip, with strings a little open to the sky during the backswing. Budge did not compensate much by rolling his wrist or forearm too much. He used a topspin swing similar to players with stronger grips.

                        The combination of Budge's weak grip with open strings, with the topspin motion, created for Budge a very fast, hard, flat, penetrating backhand that often could just be too much for opponents to return. I do not teach this motion, because for a lot of players, it creates inconsistency & loss of control. But it certainly worked for the great Budge. I have noticed some good local & regional players using the Budge-style motion, also. (I am a big believer, when you are having problems with a stroke, in fiddling around and exploring new things, so don't hesitate in giving this Budge method a try.)

                        Here is a drill that can give you the feeling of the strength of a catapult on the forward motion of the topspin backhand. Say you want to project mud pies, or vegetable pot pies, at your enemy or opponent. Put the pie on your strings. Hold the tip of the racket at the end of the strings, way high on the racket. Pull the racket with your racket hand on the grip -- pull the butt of the handle towards your opponent. At the very last second, release your free hand from the racket tip, & release the pie with your powerful catapult motion.

                        That is the same feeling that you should have as you blast your 1-hand topspin backhand. You will notice that the release point (letting go of the tip in order to release the pie) is not far behind the body. It is rather set forward, somewhat. It is a compact motion. For instance, Kuerten used to have a seemingly big motion on his backswing, but his release point was relatively compact. In other words, you should always be ready to lash your racket arm forward quickly to hit the ball, with that backhand punch motion that I talk about, in my post above. You should always have the racket ready to release that catapult quickly. (Yes, i remind you to think of the topspin backhand as a catapult or a backhand punch.)

                        To learn an efficient topspin backhand motion, hit some tennis balls with a broom!! Don't use a push broom. Use the traditional straw broom. You will have to choke way up on the handle. Hit the ball tossed to you after it bounces 1 time. Hit the ball on the straw part of the broom. You will discover that the broom stick & your forearm should form the letter T. Right angles are important in the 1-hand topspin backhand.

                        Using a broom to hit balls will teach you to position yourself behind the ball, & to have an impact point that is close to your body but well out in front of your body towards the net (in a line with your target). You will see the strong T form at impact. I even believe that this seemingly crazy broom drill could improve Roger Federer's already relatively good topspin backhand.
                        This material is so exciting to me. After all, I'm just an old guy with bad arthritis. But that doesn't affect shot production. And I think a lot of old people have come up with good invention. Other old people probably think it would be sinful. (Or counter-productive, which I doubt.)

                        Some time ago I noted the picture of Don Budge's backhand on the back cover of his autobiography. Looked like a continental to me! Nothing like what the tennis writers I had read had described, in other words.

                        I know from being a crew coach studying with other crew coaches at the U.S. Naval Academy how bad most coaches are in the eyesight department. And when it comes to tennis grips-- my God, how can anyone know anything. The distinctions are just too subtle for an ordinary person to see.

                        As a person whose entire tennis career is interspersed with attempts to "get" J. Donald Budge's backhand-- a really fun side hobby!-- I find it amazing that anybody would think that his grip was even to the right of continental, an Australian grip, in Ellsworth Vines' term.

                        What if it's true! What if it's not true! Who cares. The point is, this is something new to try, and that is one of the most enjoyable things possible in this sport.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by bmonsour View Post
                          First, this is a fabulous piece. Hats off to Chris and the tennisplayer team. As a recreational player that has only recently returned to hitting my one-hander with topspin (now that I've finally committed to a full eastern backhand grip), this is fantastic stuff to internalize and visualize for my own game.

                          I was really surprised that there was no discussion of the left/non-dominant arm. In addition the the use of the back leg to keep from opening up and remaining sideways, I have found that by taking my left hand back as the forward swing progresses, I am much less likely to open up. And if you look at most, if not all of the top pro one-handers, they seem to do this.

                          I look forward to thoughts on this from others.
                          Hello,

                          Emphasizing and teaching the use of the left/non-dominant arm for balance and to keep the shoulders closed is perfectly acceptable.

                          I will be back to answer this question and others in more depth soon.

                          Thank you for your responses.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Mudpies, Where Have You Been All My Life?

                            Originally posted by worldsbesttenniscoach View Post
                            Not everyone has to be exactly the same in the details of their topspin 1-handed backhands, in order to be excellent. Billie Jean King, Stan Wawrinka, Guillermo Vilas, Don Budge, Tony Trabert, Gustavo Kuerten all had great ones, but the details of how they executed their strokes differed.

                            If you have a comparatively weak grip for the 1-handed topspin backhand, you are likely to have the strings open to the sky during the backswing loop, but you make adjustments with a rolling of the wrist & forearm as the racket travels forward.

                            And many great 1-hand-topspin-backhand players have their strings closed to the ground, during the backswing. There is an interaction between the grip & the rest of the details of the stroke. There should be no rule that says the racket must be open, on edge, or closed, during the backswing. It is fine for a coach to make suggestions. It is always good to try something a little different if a student is struggling. But there should really be no hard & fast rule about where the strings face during the backswing loop.

                            One thing that mindless coaches today emphasize is the stretching out of the free arm towards the back fence, in order to balance out the forward movement of the other hand on the racket. This results in the awkward motion that Sampras used to have on his backhand topspins. It is forced & unnatural. It detracts from power.

                            Sure, the free hand naturally goes back, a little bit, but also points down somewhat, as in Wawrinka's backhand. (Just because someone in the profession gets a bright idea, such as "oh, the free hand should be stretched out for balance," does not mean that the rest of us should unquestioningly, automatically, totally accept that new, cool idea. There is no reason to force teaching something that happens naturally & perfectly.)

                            The free hand is extremely important on the one-handed backhand. The great coach Peter Burwash devoted an entire chapter in a book about the use of the free hand. The free hand must stay on the neck or throat of the racket for a long time. It first helps change the grip properly, & sets the racket comparatively out front so the strings can track the incoming ball properly.

                            My great old coach Peter Scott used to teach a rhythmical circle or loop of the racket, using both the racket hand & free hand. So a big part of the backswing is due to the free hand as well. The racket hand & free hand can work well together.

                            In other posts in various threads here, I have written about a backhand punch, illegal in boxing, that is like an effective, powerful topspin backhand. The free hand should be on the racket neck or throat, then release the racket as the racket hand launches that backhand punch like a powerful catapult.

                            If you run to the ball with the idea of reaching the racket out to the side, toward the sidelines, it is difficult to hit an effective 1-hand topspin backhand. You must get the feeling of getting behind the ball, so the stroke's power can go out on a straight line toward the other side of the net. I use an exaggerated drill to teach students to get behind the ball. I have right-handers run after a ball that I toss wide to their backhand side. I have those right-handers let the ball bounce once & then hit them in their right hip.

                            That is an exaggeration, but it teaches the player to align oneself behind the ball, so that the impact point with the ball can be close to the body & way way out in front towards the net. There should be a right angle between the forearm & racket throat at impact point.

                            The most important part of the forward swing is the impact point, & what exactly the strings do to the ball. However, where to place the strings on the ball, & how to put action on the ball are neglected details in the teaching of pro tennis & beginners' tennis in today's coaching.
                            I can't play. Have to find more substitutes for my scheduled days in the better old guy's league. Have a big hole in the front of my teeth. My periodontist and dental implant person meanwhile is sending goon squads throughout Detroit to round up cadavers to counter my bone loss-- he'll send the bill later. I hope we don't get caught. This is like the old Chicago world's fair where beautiful young women would suddenly disappear. Not that the goon squads are only targeting women. When people everywhere are walking around with pig valves in their hearts, one doesn't want to ask too many questions. Rats, squirrels, a few elephant tusks all could be contributing to the bone pile growing behind the Grosse Pointe Shores City Hall.

                            In the meantime I'm gearing up my mudpie topspin backhand one-handers in anticipation of my return to competition at a playing level one notch higher than when I left.

                            There is a moral to this story. If you don't call yourself World's Best Tennis Coach you don't become the world's best tennis coach.

                            Correspondingly, if you don't put a mudpie slingshot in your 1htsbh, you never will generate racket head speed sufficient for the task at hand. And you yourself have to do it. No one will help. In 500 articles on 1htsbh, has any writer ever mentioned the mudpies before?

                            "Won't work," I'm pretty sure that the famed teaching pro Arthur Zeddo would say. "With that weak grip you'll hit the ball right up to the rafters."

                            Not if I use a 10-degree roll combined with full mudpie slingshot that only at the last moment has formed a spring-loaded hammer with a perfect 90 degrees between arm and racket.

                            There won't have been any change of grip much less wrist, and 1htsbh will have started from exact same skunk tail as slice.
                            Last edited by bottle; 03-12-2014, 05:54 AM.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Sure, on the 1-handed topspin backhand, the free hand on the follow through can assist in balance. Perhaps I disagree with some comments here, but it's ok to disagree. Maybe I am wrong, but to my eye, the way Sampras used to awkwardly extend his free left hand towards the back fence on his follow through looked forced & unnatural. I think it detracted from the effectiveness of his stroke. Now, as a senior player, Sampras has improved his backhand: his free hand is back a little bit for balance, but not as far.....& also somewhat down as well, somewhat pointing to the ground.

                              I believe Sampras's motion as a senior is more natural, more effective, & more in line with the way great players have always hit their topspin backhands. If you look at the great topspins over the years, the players have their free arms somewhat back on the follow through, but also somewhat down, closer to the body than is often taught.

                              We as instructors might teach something (like extend the free arm straight back very far) that has some truth in it but is not totally true, & then kids might end up with forced, unnatural technique.

                              Also, another good drill in teaching the foreward movement of the topspin backhand is this: Imagine you hit a booming serve that your opponent barely returns, short in the court (halfway between net & service line). Imagine the ball is sitting up for you to blast a groundstroke winner. But in this drill, you must put the ball away with a 1-handed topspin backhand rather than with the usual topspin forehand.

                              I guarantee that if you practice hitting very short, easy balls (that sit up) with your topspin backhand, it will teach you to tighten up your swing & teach you compactness & leverage.

                              (By the way, this same drill can also improve your topspin forehand, your slice forehand, & slice backhand -- just decide on which stroke you want to practice. Pros today are not used to going forward to pounce on short balls with topspin forehands. They are used to letting the ball come to them. Actually, a slice forehand is often the best way to put away such a short ball, but pros today don't know how to hit a deep, skidding forehand slice. And this drill can teach you how to hit a firmer, harder slice backhand, similar to the great Rosewall's slice.) [warning -- this drill is harder than it sounds ( good feeder is required)]

                              Another way to learn a forward emphasis for the topspin 1-hand backhand (with a compact backswing, also) is to use the back of a chair as a backboard. My old great coach Peter Scott used to do this with a chair that sat in the pro shop.

                              Comment

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