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November 2019: Ash Barty Backhand

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  • November 2019: Ash Barty Backhand

    Ash Barty Backhand

    How good is Ash Barty? When I started working through our new footage I intended to focus on her slice backhand. Might be the best ever in modern woman’s tennis. I counted a couple of her slices spinning at well over 3000rpms, about the same as the topspin on Nadal’s forehand. In form it’s similar to the top men like Federer.

    But then I saw her two-handed backhand drive. She’s the only pro woman we’ve ever filmed who hits with her top arm perfectly straight at contact, the so-called bent / straight configuration. Then I found a two-handed half volley that she hit with the rarest arm positioning in the game—straight / straight, like Nadal and Agassi.

    Tell us what you think of this footage!


    Last edited by johnyandell; 11-02-2019, 06:49 AM.

  • #2
    That two handed backhand is something else. Taking the ball that early has to put pressure on her opponents. This sequence of shots is mesmerizing.

    Comment


    • #3
      Great balance and smoothness. She keeps her head very still. Her slice seems very consistent. She even chooses to slice high balls which is a bit unusual.

      Comment


      • #4
        She has an outstanding slice backhand. Her two handed backhand is also very good. On her two handed backhand she keeps her arms away from her body which allows the arms and torso to work as one unit. In a sense, she bundles her arms and torso to create an ideal body swing. Jimmy Conners was a master of this technique.

        Norman Ashbrooke

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        • #5
          This is an interesting position to be in. Arms pulled forward. Wrist and racket pointed toward the ground. John talks about this position in his backhand wiper article (click here):

          BartyBackhand-poster.jpg
          Last edited by jeffreycounts; 11-03-2019, 03:13 PM.

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          • #6
            One hell of a wiper!

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by johnyandell View Post
              Ash Barty Backhand

              How good is Ash Barty? When I started working through our new footage I intended to focus on her slice backhand. Might be the best ever in modern woman’s tennis. I counted a couple of her slices spinning at well over 3000rpms, about the same as the topspin on Nadal’s forehand. In form it’s similar to the top men like Federer.

              But then I saw her two-handed backhand drive. She’s the only pro woman we’ve ever filmed who hits with her top arm perfectly straight at contact, the so-called bent / straight configuration. Then I found a two-handed half volley that she hit with the rarest arm positioning in the game—straight / straight, like Nadal and Agassi.

              Tell us what you think of this footage!


              Ah, yes!!! I was watching the WTA finals the other night and my wife asked me why I liked watching tennis so much. Earlier that day Djokovic and Shapo put me to sleep and I did not even bother watching the last few games.

              Later, I was tuning in to watch Ash Barty and told my wife that she was worth watching. She is like Justine/Steffi and the players from last century.

              I think she could definitely hit a one handed topspin backhand and be successful. John's observations confirm it. She hits with a straight arm and out in front just like a one hander would.

              And she can volley, hit real overheads (not just the pretend swinging ones), serves very, very well, and it all appears like she isn't doing anything. I saw her at the US Open live. A real treat!

              She is the conqueror of the big bash era.

              Thanks John for bringing an aesthetically pleasing (and effective) set of shots to our board!

              Comment


              • #8
                Wondering if the backhand technique with the straight arms may be a form of her cricket days when she actually quit tennis to play professional cricket, then giving tennis another chance. Thank goodness she did. What a game!

                Kyle LaCroix USPTA
                Boca Raton

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                • #9
                  Or maybe straight arm for backhand lended a helping hand for cricket! Just a thought as tennis came first?

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by chuahman View Post
                    Or maybe straight arm for backhand lended a helping hand for cricket! Just a thought as tennis came first?
                    YES!

                    Kyle LaCroix USPTA
                    Boca Raton

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      So rare that anyone comments on how few people hit a great two handed backhand like Nadal and Agassi. They are my role models on that shot and not many others come close. Barty is in there. Ellen

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by ellentennis View Post
                        So rare that anyone comments on how few people hit a great two handed backhand like Nadal and Agassi. They are my role models on that shot and not many others come close. Barty is in there. Ellen
                        So true. Everyone bangs on endlessly about the beauty of a one handed backhand yet never does anyone comment about the beauty of a two-hander, which it can be, beautiful that is.

                        You watch, if the game evolves so 90% of players become one handers again, you will then have people opining for lost beauty of the two-hander.

                        Personally, my favourite two-hander remains Jimmy Connors. Now that was a beauty.
                        Stotty

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