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Interactive Forum July 2017: Agnieszka Radwanska Groundstrokes

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  • Interactive Forum July 2017: Agnieszka Radwanska Groundstrokes

    Agnieszka Radwanska Groundstrokes

    Letís face it, Agi Rad has some of the most unique or possibly bizarre groundstrokes in pro tennis, especially the extreme squatting versions where she takes the ball ultra early barely off the court surface using extreme, compressed followthroughs. When I had a chance to film her, I was curious to see what the high speed video would show. But I am not sure looking at it that I understand what I see. Someone out there in the Tennisplayer world, help!




  • #2
    Agnieszka Radwanska Groundstrokes

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    • #3
      Will have to try that forehand since it seems the exact opposite of what I am trying to do in my Beasley-bams and Ellie-bams-- extend arm gradually throughout the stroke.

      Will be interesting if someone discusses the pros and cons of scissoring arm, and how best to do it, with this as example or starting point in the talk.

      I know I would read that.

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      • #4
        Okay, nobody bites. So, Aggie extends arm high enough and far enough behind her bod that she then has time to scissor before the ball. The scissoring takes racket almost straight up for a bit of straight up topspin. How am I doing so far?

        The wipe or baton twirl thus is a catching of energy and nothing more, I guess, doesn't do anything to the ball since the spin has already been administered from the biceps muscle.

        Do I know that? Of course not. It's pure speculation especially since this is opposite from the way I am trying to hit the ball right now.

        But the straight up nature of the racket work imparting spin could explain why Aggie often finds herself sitting on the court in a way that almost nobody else ever does. She needs to get that low to make room for the little lift.

        And the racket during arm twirl doesn't seem very knifelike, isn't exactly on edge. This true observation or visual trick, whichever it is, makes me think what I think.

        And explains perhaps great consistency combined with junior pace.

        Yes, the ball goes fast enough. Any of the geezers I regularly play with would be overjoyed beyond belief to produce shots this fast. But Aggie doesn't hit through the ball with more weight than what her core provides.

        Thank you for the opportunity to speculate.

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        • #5
          I saw Radwanska play at Wimbledon on court 2 the year she reached the final against Serena. I cannot remember who she played and beat that day but I do remember thinking she was a bit underpowered but incredibly steady. Looking at the clip, she doesn't drive upwards with her legs like other players do, which may explain why she isn't the most powerful hitter on the women's tour. She was good to watch though. I am always intrigued how players with less power beat more powerful opponents. Radwanska does that rather well.
          Stotty

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          • #6
            My guess is her power source mainly comes from taking the ball ultra early. So her solution to this problem is to lower her center of gravity and remain balanced throughout her groundstroke. This would explain her squatting. She also appears to guide her shots instead of swinging through the ball freely like a Sharapova; but she doesn't need to do generate that much racquet-head speed due to the early hitting.

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            • #7
              Tob,
              I think what you posted makes total sense.

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              • #8
                Time Dimension

                There is a time dimension at work here, too, no? If Agi is hitting more in front than other players but has the same amount of time to get there, what does she do that is different?

                Straightens arm first to create racket head speed. Scissors arm second to create racket head speed. Administers spin to the ball with a wipe. The strings are wiping as they leave the ball.

                I would be amenable to this. It is not what I originally guessed so hoorah.

                Well, if this later guess is better, we will all have been part of a new kind of tennis discussion in which people work together to figure something out.

                That certainly beats one player saying one thing and another another to sound smarter.

                Worst of all, wherever it occurs, is a climate of incurious louts.

                The thing to do now is take the new idea to a court and try it.

                Why do this if you are a player who prides himself on hitting through the ball more than Agi?

                Because you could then have a new weapon to complement your other stroke.

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                • #9
                  Weight on Front Foot?

                  Just watch when Agi's right knee comes down.

                  Continuing experiments with forehands patterned on this one (see A New Year's Serve) make me think that Agi is a good example of Peter Burwash's old advice to transfer body weight first before you hit the ball.

                  The exhortative I used to use for carrying out this plan was "step press hit."

                  There is no reason one can't have two basic kinds of forehand in the same repertoire: Ones in which weight transfer happens on the ball and ones in which weight transfer happens before the ball.
                  Last edited by bottle; 07-16-2017, 09:02 PM.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by bottle View Post
                    Okay, nobody bites. So, Aggie extends arm high enough and far enough behind her bod that she then has time to scissor before the ball. The scissoring takes racket almost straight up for a bit of straight up topspin. How am I doing so far?
                    This is John Escher speaking, Bottle's alter ego. And you are doing very badly. First off, you say that Agi's arm goes high, like Ivan Lendl or Nick Kyrgios. No, look more carefully. The racket is high but the elbow is low, like Roger Federer.

                    And you say that that the scissoring takes racket almost straight up. No it doesn't. Extension from the elbow takes racket back. Contraction from the elbow takes racket forward. Plus, vigorous rotation from the hips takes racket even farther forward and around than just that arm work would.

                    And "straight up topspin?" I don't think so, you moron, you jerk, you etc., etc.

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                    • #11
                      Okay, you have whupped up on yourself sufficiently much. When Agi's arm straightens behind her, it it is not even parallel to the court but is pointing down. And from there everything goes down more, more and more.

                      For players who have always wanted to get lower this is good.

                      But what about racket speed? Won't you have to revise your notions about that too?

                      How about for starters slow speed for arm extension behind you and moderate speed for arm contraction forward? The conclusion can be fast twirl.
                      Last edited by bottle; 07-18-2017, 05:21 AM.

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                      • #12
                        Options One and Two

                        I don't want to discuss the Agi-scissor so much as own it and use it as supplement to other shots.

                        Option one: Hit the ball on the cusp of scissoring and twirl and yet before the twirl.

                        Option two: Hit the ball on the cusp of scissoring and twirl and yet at the beginning of the twirl.

                        These alternatives, though close to one another, are very different and produce variations of action on the ball.

                        Further, both are hit near end of the early weight transfer. Is there overlap, i.e., residual weight still going through the ball? Probably, but certainly not full weight as in Beasley-bams, Ellie-bams, McEnruefuls and Federfores. (See A New Year's Serve for description of these shots.)

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by tobinlim View Post
                          My guess is her power source mainly comes from taking the ball ultra early. So her solution to this problem is to lower her center of gravity and remain balanced throughout her groundstroke. This would explain her squatting. She also appears to guide her shots instead of swinging through the ball freely like a Sharapova; but she doesn't need to generate that much racquet-head speed due to the early hitting.
                          Now I'm ready to listen better to this interpretation and try a long sweep of the court to the ball.

                          Backswing and twirl are fast. The court sweep between them is slow.

                          That is a painting, isn't it? A long narrow painting of a graceful girl using the whole frame.
                          Last edited by bottle; 07-20-2017, 10:09 AM.

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                          • #14
                            Very interesting strokes. It seems like this approach worked very well since she made it to the upper echelons of women's tennis. But I think it is built on taking time away from the opponent and moving them around. Against Serena this will not work well because she can just tee off on shots. If Agi were to take a bigger backswing then she would have less control but more power. Personally, I don't like the shortness of the forward swing. It seems gimmicky. But that gimmick has taken her a long way so who am I to judge.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by arturohernandez View Post
                              Very interesting strokes. It seems like this approach worked very well since she made it to the upper echelons of women's tennis. But I think it is built on taking time away from the opponent and moving them around. Against Serena this will not work well because she can just tee off on shots. If Agi were to take a bigger backswing then she would have less control but more power. Personally, I don't like the shortness of the forward swing. It seems gimmicky. But that gimmick has taken her a long way so who am I to judge.
                              But when you suggest a short backswing, I wonder if that is true. Because she extends arm from the elbow toward the rear fence. Isn't Berdych another one who extends arm then scissors it on the forward path before proceeding with whatever he does (klacr, I beg ignorance.) And as has already been pointed out, she makes contact way out front. The arm is way out front before she hits the ball in other words. She doesn't contact it further in toward body and then push it out there. Anyway, I just see this now as a very long sweep with a good degree of the weight transfer used up to get weight forward on the other foot as Peter Burwash used to advise for less power and more consistency.

                              Thanks for the reply. Dialogue helps.
                              Last edited by bottle; 07-21-2017, 03:03 AM.

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