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Technical Flaws in Pro
Two Handers: John Isner

John Yandell

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Does John Isner's backhand have a fatal, fundamental flaw?

If you watch John Isner play live or on TV you cannot help but see the difference in the shot quality between his forehand and his backhand. Occasionally he hits a two-hander that looks ok and seems solid or even effective but you frequently see him make horrendous errors, or see the stroke just disintegrate.

The high speed video makes it clear why. The reason is the most fundamental component of every stroke--grip. In Isner's case, the problem is his grip with his bottom, right hand.

Although Isner does shift his bottom hand upward from his forehand grip, he never makes it to even a mild backhand grip. Not even as far as his grip when he hits a one-handed slice.

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John Yandell is widely acknowledged as one of the leading videographers and students of the modern game of professional tennis. His high speed filming for Advanced Tennis and Tennisplayer have provided new visual resources that have changed the way the game is studied and understood by both players and coaches. He has done personal video analysis for hundreds of high level competitive players, including Justine Henin-Hardenne, Taylor Dent and John McEnroe, among others.

In addition to his role as Editor of Tennisplayer he is the author of the critically acclaimed book Visual Tennis. The John Yandell Tennis School is located in San Francisco, California.