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Interactive Forum: November 2015: Jack Sock Forehand

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  • Interactive Forum: November 2015: Jack Sock Forehand

    Jack Sock Forehand

    So given all we know about the forehand, what can we say about Jack Sock's? As much spin or more than Nadal? Awkward, with wasted motion?

    What is going on with his left arm? Is this a racket flip on steroids? (Watch where that racket tip points!) What about that low finish but with all that extension? Is this the ATP forehand--version 2.0? Or an idiosyncratic motion that is Jack's and Jack’s alone?

    Last edited by johnyandell; 07-01-2016, 09:52 AM.

  • #2
    Quicktime version

    Jack Sock Forehand

    Last edited by johnyandell; 07-01-2016, 09:52 AM.


    • #3
      It's not for everyone.

      Had to ice my elbow and forearm after watching this. I only kid.

      it's "unique". He separates those hands earlier but so does Berdych. Unlike Berdych and many of the other top players however, his hands drift apart past shoulder width. Left hand is dangling all over the place.

      But getting past the aesthetics, the most important question...What does the bigger flip mean? What more does it create and what benefit, if any does it have for other players trying to improve their strokes and is it necessary for anyone not named Jack Sock?

      More questions than answers I know...
      But that's what makes tennis so great.

      Kyle LaCroix USPTA
      Boca Raton


      • #4
        OK I will bite the apple--what does it mean? It's not pretty to look at. But is that Jack that isn't pretty or the look of the swing? Could Roger make it look pretty? Is this the future?


        • #5
          Originally posted by ClassicStrokes View Post
          OK I will bite the apple--what does it mean? It's not pretty to look at. But is that Jack that isn't pretty or the look of the swing? Could Roger make it look pretty? Is this the future?
          If the shot is to have any future, Jack would probably have to make it into the top four. That would probably be the benchmark these days for reinvention. I don't think the shot will take off for the reasons already stated by the Jason Frausto in his thread related to Jack Sock's forehand.

          That doesn't make it bad shot by any stretch. It's an amazing shot that has worked great for Jack much of the time, plus it's different, gives us guys something different to look at.

          I find his unit turn looks slightly disjointed on some shots.

          It just goes to show there can be variations in the way players flip.


          • #6
            Yes Jack or some other pro player who finds this out about the increased flip or some junior player sitting in the stands at some tournament and who is watching Jack Sock. Or some crazy teaching pro. Or Jack Sock could be the Roscoe Tanner of the forehand. Some seemingly distinctive motion but one that goes against the normal grain.


            • #7
              Look in the first shot in the sequence where the inside of his elbow joint (the crease) is pointing at about the time of the left arm stretch and the racket tip is pointing a little forward of directly at the sideline. That rotates 180 degrees by the time he finishes the wiper.
              It's not that different from Nadal but is definitely rotated a little further forward or down:
              Compare to Fed. The crease is definitely pointed more up.

              So here is the theoretical question. From this position Sock appears to have the most external arm or backward arm rotation in the shoulder--at least until his arm and racket point straight back. But on most of these he does not continue the downward or backward rotation you see on some shots with all the players. Did we not catch Jack's--I don't know.

              Regardless is that portion of external rotation that we do see that is more extreme--what is that doing? Prestretching and loading something in the shoulder? You gotta think so but I can't say I know so.
              Last edited by johnyandell; 11-05-2015, 08:53 PM.


              • #8
                I could probably write a short story on this shot, and it still wouldn't contain any definitive answers!

                I don't think this is a superior way to hit the forehand, nor that it will ever be adopted/accepted as such, even is Sock gets to the top of the game. Some said Roddick's serve was the new way when he burst onto the scene, but despite a Slam and reaching World No.1, it hasn't been adopted by many players.

                My instinct says that the bigger flip, despite seeming to create more racket speed and the incredible spin rates, actually doesn't seem to be as efficient as a conventional flip and swing. Like Nadal, it appears to require a lot of work and effort to produce. It would need some Brian Gordon style analysis.

                I also wonder if the bigger flip would be harder to time the ball from, if a 'normal' player were to try and use it? How long does it take for Sock to go from the start of the flip to contact compared to other players?

                As for the left arm, it's like a classic beginner the way he takes it straight off the racket at the first opportunity! But then that left arm ends up very nearly grabbing the racket back before the stretch. It also has to be noted that Sock does also have a perfectly conventional left arm hold and release that he uses at times. Footage of it is out there, and I noticed him use the conventional option numerous times in the Stockholm final last month vs Berdych. I'm sure he probably isn't aware he has the 2 variations.

                Anyway, just a few of my thoughts. Interesting topic for sure!


                • #9
                  Been a while since I've posted, great to see the super topics still abide!!! Looking at his forehand action makes me wonder if he'll be on tour in five years of if his arm is going to give out!
                  Greg Lumb
                  InsideOut Tennis


                  • #10
                    Wait til you see December's...
                    Last edited by johnyandell; 12-06-2015, 12:15 PM.


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