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The Underhand Serve

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  • johnyandell
    replied
    So the Tennis Channel did a study of Roger's backhand using shot spot data before and after the change to the larger racket. With the new racket he was making contact 2 feet closer to the net and also picked up something like 5-7 mph.

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  • stotty
    replied
    Originally posted by Error View Post

    Can you explain specifically why a larger head size would make taking balls earlier any easier? Also you can read technical articles that say the sweet spot does not actually get any bigger with a larger head size. I'm just making the point that that claim is that a bigger head automatically results in a some type of unfair advantage. When you think of Sampras's racket you can make the claim that since it had a smaller head Sampras had an unfair advantage using a racket that offered more control.

    This is all just an attempt to address the silly notion that somehow a racket is the reason a tennis player made it to the finals of 15 grand slams and won 8 of them.
    Just my personal experience, nothing more. I have no evidence that a larger head size increases the sweet spot, it just stands to reason it would do. I remember when I first tried the Prince 110 I found taking the ball earlier and playing half volleys much easier than with my Wilson Jack Kramer, which I was using at the time. I never made the switch back then because the Prince 110 was expensive and I was, at the time, quite poor.

    I think Pete's racket was perfect for him. It weighed a ton but he was physically very strong and could weald it like a twig. I felt it really helped his serve and gave it spin and weight. He hit a really heavy ball according to all his peers. Andre's racket was great for him for the reasons I stated in the previous post. These guys aren't stupid. They have a glut of rackets to choose from so just select the best one they can find for their style of play. It's that simple really.

    Great player Agassi. Not my cup of tea to watch unless he was playing Pete, but he was bloody good.

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  • Error
    replied
    Originally posted by stotty View Post


    Actually Agassi was the first player to really take advantage of the bigger head size. He started taking the ball consistently earlier than other players of his era. That tad extra head size with the bigger sweet spot made it that bit easier to take balls on the rise. It was a game-changing moment in our sport. Agassi was the first baseliner to truly take advantage of the bigger head size.
    Can you explain specifically why a larger head size would make taking balls earlier any easier? Also you can read technical articles that say the sweet spot does not actually get any bigger with a larger head size. I'm just making the point that that claim is that a bigger head automatically results in a some type of unfair advantage. When you think of Sampras's racket you can make the claim that since it had a smaller head Sampras had an unfair advantage using a racket that offered more control.

    This is all just an attempt to address the silly notion that somehow a racket is the reason a tennis player made it to the finals of 15 grand slams and won 8 of them.

    Leave a comment:


  • don_budge
    replied
    The Longing for Love and the Struggle for the Legal Tender...Jackson Browne. The Pretender.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ROK1-VvOQ0

    Originally posted by nytennisaddict View Post
    it's unclear to me why oversized racquets give an advantage to the underhand serve (this thread!)? :P
    It's unclear? jeffreycounts said this:

    Originally posted by jeffreycounts View Post
    Second, I will never forget Michael Chang pulling out that underhanded serve against Lendl at the French Open. A cramping David against an ice cold Goliath, that underhanded serve changed the match and certainly Chang's career as he went on to become the youngest men's champion in Grand Slam history.

    A real gem of an article. Fascinating history in there as well about this controversial shot, and a convincing take on how this shot has it's place, whether you feel it's a gimmick, unsportsmanlike, or not.
    Interesting how he viewed this shot to mention that it might be viewed as a gimmick or unsportsmanlike. Years ago there used to be a term "tennis etiquette" which was rather undefined yet anyone well versed in the sport of tennis would know what you were talking about. One of the basic tenants of the term was that "Thou shall not take undue advantage of your opponent".

    So to choose and start a thread about the "underhanded serve" is an interesting choice. Underhanded is an interesting word too. Ironically as you can see from the dictionary definition below that it has the connotation of being or acting in a secret or dishonest way. Underhand dealings...underhand serves. Get it?

    underhand
    adjective | ˈʌndəhand |
    1 acting or done in a secret or dishonest way: underhand dealings.
    2 another term for underarm: underhand bowling | [as adverb] : I served underhand.
    • with the palm of the hand upward or outward: an underhand grip.

    So I chose Micheal Chang and Andre Agassi as poster boys for oversized racquets.

    Originally posted by don_budge View Post
    Michael Chang was the poster boy why oversized racquets should have been banned in the first place. He and Andre Agassi.
    In jeffeycounts example of Michael Chang pulling out the underhand serve against the great Ivan Lendl...that ploy of Chang's may have appeared to be rather "bush league". It may have showed a lack of respect or a lack of "tennis etiquette". Rightly or wrongly. But I wouldn't put it past Chang and in saying so I am certain that his conscience is clear that he did nothing wrong. Just as he thought nothing of his using the Prince 110 Graphite when his opponent was using 80 square inches of Adidas or whatever Lendl was calling it. Kneissl White Star? But I remember that back in 1989. I know what I was thinking too. I was thinking how unfair it was that Chang was using such a large racquet head compared that that of Lendl's. He was compensating for a lack of talent or ability by using the larger equipment. Even his lack of size. Tennis etiquette was not a consideration. It was within the rules to take undue advantage of your opponent.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BrV2CCWDwYM

    So if you connect the dots. If you can perhaps put yourself in Lendl's shoes...or McEnroe's...or Connors'...or Borg's...you just might be able to see how a discussion of underhand serves might lead to a discussion of other "underhanded" technique or strategy. If you really stretch your imagination you might just be able to understand how Michael Chang and Andre Agassi might be viewed as individuals who resort to taking undue advantage of their opponents. Borg quit rather than play with the oversized racquet. McEnroe was one of the last professionals to switch over in 1984. Connors oscillated back and forth...this guy was one of the toughest hombres in tennis history in spite of a rather "Momma's Boy" background. Ivan Lendl was just a super stud on the tour and he didn't switch until he was rather advanced in age in terms of his career...towards the end.

    The introduction and use of oversized racquets was certainly an underhanded ruling by the powers that be in the tennis world at the time. This was a time when respect for the game was at a rather high level but at the same time money was creating what it always creates. You've heard no doubt of the conflict of the soul "longing for love or the struggle for the legal tender" haven't you? Up until 1968 the Grand Slams were contested only by amateurs. They played for the love of the game. When those players that were brought up in those traditions carried over this idea of tennis etiquette for years afterwards the game went for the money. But in the end the game was sold out. This is what you have today. This isn't really tennis and it doesn't even really resemble the tennis the way it was meant to be played.

    Tennis metaphor's life in so many ways.
    Last edited by don_budge; 04-10-2019, 08:45 AM. Reason: for clarity's sake...

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  • stotty
    replied
    Originally posted by Error View Post


    The discussion isn't about Agassi or even oversized rackets, which were in use by pros well before Agassi was playing.. The issue is that there have been many rackets introduced throughout tennis history that were seen as giving players an advantage. In fact that's the whole point of new designs and technology. The T2000 was stronger and lighter than wood and sold like crazy.. is that the reason Jimmy Connors played so well? Of course not. Saying that an oversized head was the reason Agassi was competitive with Sampras is ridiculous. If oversized heads were a net gain every WTA and ATP player would be using them.
    My point, and nothing more, was I think Agassi was the first to truly take advantage of what a modern racket could do. All players have open access to any racket on the market. It's up to them what they use.

    Leave a comment:


  • Error
    replied
    Originally posted by stotty View Post

    Actually Agassi was the first player to really take advantage of the bigger head size. He started taking the ball consistently earlier than other players of his era. That tad extra head size with the bigger sweet spot made it that bit easier to take balls on the rise. It was a game-changing moment in our sport. Agassi was the first baseliner to truly take advantage of the bigger head size.

    The discussion isn't about Agassi or even oversized rackets, which were in use by pros well before Agassi was playing.. The issue is that there have been many rackets introduced throughout tennis history that were seen as giving players an advantage. In fact that's the whole point of new designs and technology. The T2000 was stronger and lighter than wood and sold like crazy.. is that the reason Jimmy Connors played so well? Of course not. Saying that an oversized head was the reason Agassi was competitive with Sampras is ridiculous. If oversized heads were a net gain every WTA and ATP player would be using them.

    Leave a comment:


  • stotty
    replied
    Originally posted by Error View Post
    This is a public forum, a place to express ourselves. Why would we we leave it at that?

    I understand your contention perfectly and now thanks to your reply I understand your point which was the point I suspected you were making but its so inconsistent that I thought I was missing something. I dont agree with your contention at all, You can't pick and choose a certain aspect of a racket and declare it an unfair advantage while pretending there are no disadvantages.. Well actually you can because you did but it's not a reasonable contention for all the reason I gave you. With a longer racket or a bigger head comes disadvantages that you ignore. In this example something most certainly is lost as something is gained. The pros and cons of OS rackets are well established.. And no I dont believe Andre's racket had a whole lot to do with his success vs Sampras or anyone else and Ive never heard anyone ever make such a nonsensical statement
    Actually Agassi was the first player to really take advantage of the bigger head size. He started taking the ball consistently earlier than other players of his era. That tad extra head size with the bigger sweet spot made it that bit easier to take balls on the rise. It was a game-changing moment in our sport. Agassi was the first baseliner to truly take advantage of the bigger head size.

    Leave a comment:


  • Error
    replied
    Oops

    Leave a comment:


  • Error
    replied
    Originally posted by don_budge View Post




    . Agassi was using 108 square against Pete Sampras' 85 square when they had their "big" rivalry. My contention is that it wouldn't have been much of a rivalry if Agassi was using the same sized racquet.

    I am content to leave it at that...or not.
    This is a public forum, a place to express ourselves. Why would we we leave it at that?

    I understand your contention perfectly and now thanks to your reply I understand your point which was the point I suspected you were making but its so inconsistent that I thought I was missing something. I dont agree with your contention at all, You can't pick and choose a certain aspect of a racket and declare it an unfair advantage while pretending there are no disadvantages.. Well actually you can because you did but it's not a reasonable contention for all the reason I gave you. With a longer racket or a bigger head comes disadvantages that you ignore. In this example something most certainly is lost as something is gained. The pros and cons of OS rackets are well established.. And no I dont believe Andre's racket had a whole lot to do with his success vs Sampras or anyone else and Ive never heard anyone ever make such a nonsensical statement
    Last edited by Error; 04-09-2019, 11:35 AM.

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  • nytennisaddict
    replied
    Originally posted by don_budge View Post

    Michael Chang was the poster boy why oversized racquets should have been banned in the first place. He and Andre Agassi.
    it's unclear to me why oversized racquets give an advantage to the underhand serve (this thread!)? :P

    Leave a comment:


  • don_budge
    replied
    Originally posted by Error View Post
    I dont understand your point.
    It is very clear...you do not understand my point. Many times it just comes down to just that. I cannot understand why you do not understand. It really isn't that complicated. After all...how many players are there on tour playing with standard sized wooden racquets. The last to do so was none other than Björn Borg when he attempted a "comeback" after a hiatus of some eight or nine years. And why would Borg do that? Not a single player on tour was using standard sized wood. To illustrate a point?

    More recently you only have to look to Roger Federer to realize what a significant impact his going to a 97 square inch racquet from the old antiquated 90 square inch racquet. He has virtually dominated the tour since. At the age of 38! Size does matter. Why are you referring to length? I am talking about area. I don't understand your point either.

    You actually defeat your own argument:

    Originally posted by Error View Post
    When you gain something you always lose something. If longer rackets offered an overall advantage every pro would be using them.
    "If longer racquets offered an advantage...". No professional tennis players use anything less than an oversized racquet. No middies even. You don't always gain something when you lose something. Only if both sides of the equation are equal. In a balanced equation. Which is my point. This is not what you call a balanced equation. There was something lost. For one thing tradition was cast to the wind and once you throw tradition to the wolves anything goes. What will fill the void? Anarchy? In this case...bigger racquets. Therefore you have changed the definition of tennis when you compare the modern game to the classic era. You cannot legitimately compare play or players for that matter.

    Michael Chang and Andre Agassi are the poster boys of the "Prince Era". But you may not agree, which to me is immaterial. At the same time you should come up with some logical progression of thought if you wish to refute my idea. Agassi was using 108 square against Pete Sampras' 85 square when they had their "big" rivalry. My contention is that it wouldn't have been much of a rivalry if Agassi was using the same sized racquet.

    I am content to leave it at that...or not.

    Leave a comment:


  • Error
    replied
    Originally posted by don_budge View Post

    Error...unfortunately in this case it is the only metric. Doesn't matter what she said...size matters.
    I dont understand your point. Size consists of more than just length. When you gain something you always lose something. If longer rackets offered an overall advantage every pro would be using them.

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  • don_budge
    replied
    Originally posted by Error View Post
    Its just one metric.
    Error...unfortunately in this case it is the only metric. Doesn't matter what she said...size matters.

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  • Error
    replied
    Originally posted by don_budge View Post

    Michael Chang was the poster boy why oversized racquets should have been banned in the first place. He and Andre Agassi.
    Why? I guess you see it as an unfair advantage? Its just one metric. Why not claim heavier rackets offer an unfair advantage? Or rackets with bigger beams? Or lighter rackets? Or less flexible rackets? Or aluminum rackets? Or metal rackets like Conner used? Or open patterns? Or graphite rackets? Or oversized rackets introduced well before
    Change and Agassi.

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  • nytennisaddict
    replied
    Originally posted by gzhpcu View Post
    If you do an underhand serve, I find you need to practice it, and hit it with a lot of sidespin so it exits the court. Not just push it in. Bahrami does this well.
    yeah, that's what i've been finding... so once i've "warmed up my serve", i typically serve 5 to one box, then switch
    1. "flat" T
    2. topslice out wide
    3. underhand
    4. kick or heavy slice.

    the "push" technique seems to be almost equally as "popular" on the tour than the sidespin version... probably because (a) easier to disguise (b) easier to keep low/short. seems the atp folks i see on yt, hitting sidespin have a tendency to hit it too deep, which is no bueno.

    Leave a comment:

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