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Tour Strokes: Mysteries of Medvedev's Forehand

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  • thehouseofren
    replied
    Great article! I love the individuality of technique as opposed to an atp or wta with homogenous looking strokes across the board. I have long felt that most important aspect of technique is athleticism. It the technique is executed in an athletic way and practiced enough the sky is the limit for the productivity of the stroke.

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  • jimlosaltos
    replied
    Originally posted by doctorhl View Post
    Does the open stance, late contact and subsequent ball speed due to a flat hit help Medvedev stop his opponents from anticipating his crosscourts with early body leans because that technique allows him to not reveal early shoulder/ hip turns and to hit slightly delayed down the line shots behind his opponent?
    I was wondering that myself. When Meddy leaves the back wall and gets to the baseline he seems to generate an inordinate amount of uncontested winners (not a real stat).

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  • doctorhl
    replied
    Does the open stance, late contact and subsequent ball speed due to a flat hit help Medvedev stop his opponents from anticipating his crosscourts with early body leans because that technique allows him to not reveal early shoulder/ hip turns and to hit slightly delayed down the line shots behind his opponent?

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  • stroke
    replied
    One more observation on the Medvedev forehand, he does not have any lag to speak of. The best forehands that produce effortless power and spin(Fed, Nadal, Fognini, Karatsev, Bash, Sinner, Tsitsipas, Sock, to name a few) get at least 90 degree angle(probably much more when they have time) between their forearm and racquet shaft at the deepest lag phase on their forehand(BG called it the transition point on the forehand). Medvedev looks like he gets maybe 30 degrees. The opposite of effortless power. His forehand looks painful to me. Florian Mayer type forehand.
    Last edited by stroke; 11-07-2021, 09:11 AM.

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  • don_budge
    replied
    Originally posted by johnyandell View Post
    Would love to get your thoughts on my latest article, "Tour Strokes: Mysteries of Medvedev's Forehand"
    The more I watch Daniil Medvedev the better this article gets. jeffreycounts' comment was white light. I watched some of Daniil play Alexander Medvedev and watched only him. Didn't take my eyes off of him from beginning to end of points. A real eye opener and it was like doing homework after reading the article. The issue of meeting the ball later certainly doesn't seem to have any effect on his ability to generate pace but I don't think that 90% of the time that speed is the main source of power in the Medvedev game. This was highlighted by the long rallies where he was content to push Zverev around the court with low penetrating shots as opposed to using heavy spin as his source of control. The thoughtful article more or less highlights that Medvedev is a different kind of cat in that he is not just whacking the ball around the court...he is using his noodle. This also applies to his serve. He can rev it up when he wants to but most of the time he seems to be sort of setting up "the batter" with a variety of deliveries and keeps him guessing. His forehand is designed to knock or rather keep the opponent off rather than to blow him off the court. When he does put some mustard on it...it has a multiplier effect. It sort of catches the opponent off guard...keeping him off balance. Zverev looked to be off balance most of the time.

    Medvedev made three errors off of his forehand which more or less validates my observations of his idea of power and control. Great timing on the article John. We get an even better look at it tonight under the pressure of the finals against the number one player in the world. This is the acid test. The question being...how does it hold up under pressure? It held up for sure last night...Djokovic is another kind of cat in the 'hood. But then again...so was Zverev. This is going to be very, very interesting. Thanks for the "food for thought". The acid test of a good tennis coach.

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  • stotty
    replied
    Originally posted by jimlosaltos View Post

    I've wondered as well. I suspect the biggest area of an early coach's impact is on the serve. Even Fed has said it is "about your first coach" and hard to change afterwards.

    As for the 10-15% difference made by the coach, at first blush that sounds small. But given the fine line between winning and losing atop the ATP, 10% could be huge!
    It's a loose, arbitrary figure. Some players you can help more than others (I am now talking about players of all levels). There are two negative scenarios all coaches want to avoid: being ineffective, or worse, sending a player backwards. Yes, coaches can send players backwards. Todd Martin sent Novak's serve temporarily backwards as I recall.

    More egotistically minded coaches tend to think the are responsible for everything positive that goes on in a player's development. I always like to bring them to task by getting to them consider their worst student and why is it they can hardly get a ball over the net after years of coaching. Hard for them to get round that one. The student brings a lot to the table the coach has zero control of, period. This is what I mean when I say it's mostly about the player.

    History has shown an abundance of great players who had very little coaching (Gonazales, Nastase) or if they did never took a blind bit of notice (Borg). I guess we shouldn't underestimate talented players' ability to coach themselves. It's a fantastic quality to have if a player possesses it.

    There is no doubt in my mind, however, that effective coaching can make a big difference and this is where coaches who know their stuff can really stand out.

    You look at servers like Kei and Zverev and you just have to believe that players of that ability could easily overcome their technical deficits with the help of a skilful coach.
    Last edited by stotty; 11-06-2021, 02:35 PM.

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  • jimlosaltos
    replied
    Originally posted by stotty View Post
    The article backs up my theory that it's mostly about the player and far less about the coach. A player of Medvedev's ability will likely reach the top flight either with or without a coach. Players like Medvedev and Borg can pretty much find their own way. You look at some players on the tour and you get the feeling a good few have succeeded despite coaching rather than because of it.

    It's hard to quantify the value of coaching in exact terms but it may contribute less than 15 percent to a player’s overall development versus what a player might have achieved if left to their own devices. This is not to diminish coaching. Even if the value of coaching were only 10%, it could still be an extremely important 10% if a coach knows his stuff.

    I do feel some players are wired to play a certain way and trying to adapt their strokes to more optimal techniques will never pan out. As my predecessor once said to me, sometimes the best coaching you do is when you shut up and let them get on with it.
    I've wondered as well. I suspect the biggest area of an early coach's impact is on the serve. Even Fed has said it is "about your first coach" and hard to change afterwards.

    As for the 10-15% difference made by the coach, at first blush that sounds small. But given the fine line between winning and losing atop the ATP, 10% could be huge!

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  • don_budge
    replied
    Originally posted by johnyandell View Post
    Would love to get your thoughts on my latest article, "Tour Strokes: Mysteries of Medvedev's Forehand"
    Originally posted by jeffreycounts View Post
    So here's the question for me. If he's hitting the ball late (looks quite late to me and very close to the body) and he has practically no extension through the shot, how is he hitting the ball so hard?
    Originally posted by doctorhl View Post
    Wow! He is certainly is the poster boy for the danger of pigeon- holing a developing player’s strokes! It seems his open stance and lack of extension may have evolved because it allowed for quicker court coverage. That type of arm swing must require some unusual arm strength/ joint flexibility.
    Fascinating article johnyandell. So interesting and it definitely raises some interesting questions. Questions such as the one posed by jeffreycounts. What made it so interesting too, is that I watched Medvedev struggle against the diminutive left-handed French players last night some. I have nicknamed Daniil Medvedev "Mr. Pencil" and it is for a couple of different reasons. Number one...he looks like a pencil. Number two...he has definitely designed his own game. He is an enigma. A bit peculiar. I think this is reflected in his strokes. Nothing he does is ultra orthodox and that is part of his "charm". His style is unique and therefore it is hard to figure out with the boots on the ground. Once he draws you into a rally it doesn't necessarily go like you think it would.

    He does meet the ball late and with less spin as noted in the article. I would think that less spin might somehow help him to gain something of power in another sense. Control is power and control is made up of three elements...spin, speed and placement. I think that he picks up in the speed and placement departments with the less spin. He really threads the needle when he needs to. He came up with such a shot against Korda hit at full stretch to the forehand with Korda approaching. An amazing shot.

    Easy on the eyes? Well...beauty is in the eyes of the beholder. It certainly is far from classical in the respect it is missing elements of what you identify as indigene to more classical strokes...such a Roger Federer's. I think that is where some of the beauty of his strokes lie in that he defies conventional wisdom and he is really his own man out there. Anybody that can basically flip off the entire New York mob in the middle of the night at the U. S. Open has to be pretty damn sure of himself. It will be interesting to see how his career plays out going forwards. Seeing as he is running in the outside lane so to speak.

    But truly an excellent article. The contrast between your observations and what he was doing with the ball was just fascinating. I think I will read it again and watch a bit of his match against Alexander Zverev. It was a good choice to explore too. Because it is so different and in contrast to what the rest of the players are doing with their forehands. Good stuff...really good.

    Thanks John! Most interesting. A unique take on a unique stroke.
    Last edited by don_budge; 11-06-2021, 02:43 AM. Reason: for clarity's sake...

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  • stotty
    replied
    The article backs up my theory that it's mostly about the player and far less about the coach. A player of Medvedev's ability will likely reach the top flight either with or without a coach. Players like Medvedev and Borg can pretty much find their own way. You look at some players on the tour and you get the feeling a good few have succeeded despite coaching rather than because of it.

    It's hard to quantify the value of coaching in exact terms but it may contribute less than 15 percent to a player’s overall development versus what a player might have achieved if left to their own devices. This is not to diminish coaching. Even if the value of coaching were only 10%, it could still be an extremely important 10% if a coach knows his stuff.

    I do feel some players are wired to play a certain way and trying to adapt their strokes to more optimal techniques will never pan out. As my predecessor once said to me, sometimes the best coaching you do is when you shut up and let them get on with it.

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  • stroke
    replied
    Originally posted by johnyandell View Post
    No thanks I've had enough of him for awhile...
    Not easy on the eye.

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  • johnyandell
    replied
    No thanks I've had enough of him for awhile...

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  • jimlosaltos
    replied
    Perhaps John can analyze Meddy's net technique next? <g>

    I call this "The Split Grip, Two-Handed Shovel", aka The Croquet Mallet Shot.

    Personally, I view any succesful venture to the net as akin to how a pilot friend of mine explained landing a private plane:

    "Any landing you can walk away from is a good landing."

    Source Unk
    Last edited by jimlosaltos; 11-04-2021, 10:23 AM.

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  • doctorhl
    replied
    Wow! He is certainly is the poster boy for the danger of pigeon- holing a developing player’s strokes! It seems his open stance and lack of extension may have evolved because it allowed for quicker court coverage. That type of arm swing must require some unusual arm strength/ joint flexibility.

    Leave a comment:


  • jimlosaltos
    replied
    Originally posted by stroke View Post

    Karatsev I was thinking also. Also Fognini maybe.
    Good one. Certainly, Fogs has the hand speed.

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  • jeffreycounts
    replied
    So here's the question for me. If he's hitting the ball late (looks quite late to me and very close to the body) and he has practically no extension through the shot, how is he hitting the ball so hard?

    ​​​​​​​medvedev_contact.jpg



    Last edited by jeffreycounts; 11-03-2021, 02:33 PM.

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