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Interactive Forum July 2019: Downward Wrist Flex in Pro Forehands

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  • Interactive Forum July 2019: Downward Wrist Flex in Pro Forehands

    Downward Wrist Flex in Pro Forehands

    What is going on here? I first noticed the downward wrist flex in his forehand backswing when I filmed Francis Tiafoe in the juniors. Had to be a technical mistake, I thought at the time. Then Karen Khachanov burst on the scene, and he did it too only seemingly more extremely than Tiafoe.


    It goes to show that pro technique continues to evolve. But what does this downward flex actually do if anything? Is it an advance? An idiosyncrasy? Guess what Denis Shapovalov does it also.

    Who should try it? Should anyone teach it? Weigh in please!

    Last edited by johnyandell; 07-01-2019, 02:57 PM.

  • #2
    Downward Wrist Flex in Pro Forehands

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    • #3
      This downward flex is very interesting. Both these players have a pretty western grip(it looks like their heel pad is on the 4.5 to 5 bevel). This downward flex may work better with this type of grip, or this could just be a coincidence. This downward flex could help maybe with setting their wrist in a completely passive relaxed way, which is of course desired on top level forehands. If one really relaxes the wrist, the weight of the racquet head would put the racquet in this downward flex position.

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      • #4
        Remember Berasatequi? That plus an extreme western grip
        Regards, Phil

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        • #5
          Brian Gordon described it as a "pre-acceleration going into the flip". Seems to occur with players who raise their shoulder/elbows in the backswing in a modern ATP type forehand swing.

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          • #6
            Fognini has the downward flex in his prep and he has a very compact powerful forehand, as good as any except maybe Rafa and Fed.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by stroke View Post
              Fognini has the downward flex in his prep and he has a very compact powerful forehand, as good as any except maybe Rafa and Fed.
              I don't think Fognini has the downward flex. Looks like his wrist is neutral and the racket head is angled upward. Tiafoe and Khachanov have a downward wrist angle and the racket is parallel to the ground. But yes, he does have a very compact forehand.

              fognini.png
              Last edited by jeffreycounts; 07-07-2019, 07:38 PM.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by jeffreycounts View Post

                I don't think Fognini has the downward flex. Looks like his wrist is neutral and the racket head is angled upward. Tiafoe and Khachanov have a downward wrist angle and the racket is parallel to the ground. But yes, he does have a very compact forehand.

                fognini.png
                Looking at it again, I think you are right. His wrist is neutral in prep.

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                • #9
                  Jeff, check out Sam Querry forehand. I think he has some version of the downward tilt in his prep. It is not as pronounced as Karen and Francis, he does not kind of dangle the downward flex as they do, but to me he is doing it.

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