Flat v. Topspin Forehand - Nadal as a case study - Page 3 - MensTennisForums.com
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post #31 of 35 (permalink) Old 09-02-2012, 02:28 PM
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Re: Flat v. Topspin Forehand - Nadal as a case study

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Originally Posted by Burrow View Post
Nobody's telling him to change it, but there's a time and a place where the ability to flatten out the ball would be a massive asset to have, when right now, it appears that his most aggressive option is still a very top spin based shot.
Oh, he has the ability. But, whether he has the guts to pull the trigger on important points is the question here. He has won so much by pressuring his opponents to collapse and give him errors. It's actually a tough dilemma for him. "Do I pull the trigger and end the point here? It would be better but it only has a 60-70% success rate. Or should I rely on my legendary defense, that has been proven to work 90% of the time, and wait for him to give me a sitter or make the error?".

Me, personally, would go with the 90%. Say what you will about Nadal's game, one thing's for sure though, it works. Like a charm.
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post #32 of 35 (permalink) Old 09-02-2012, 02:49 PM
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Re: Flat v. Topspin Forehand - Nadal as a case study

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Oh, he has the ability. But, whether he has the guts to pull the trigger on important points is the question here. He has won so much by pressuring his opponents to collapse and give him errors. It's actually a tough dilemma for him. "Do I pull the trigger and end the point here? It would be better but it only has a 60-70% success rate. Or should I rely on my legendary defense, that has been proven to work 90% of the time, and wait for him to give me a sitter or make the error?".

Me, personally, would go with the 90%. Say what you will about Nadal's game, one thing's for sure though, it works. Like a charm.
Well, it didn't work against Djokovic in all of those lost slam finals and MS finals, did it? That's what I'm saying, it's those situations where a real offensive weapon like that could be a match changer. Yes, Nadal does possess a weapon in his forehand, but he's not winning points as efficiently as he could be if he developed the shot we're talking about. Hitting 4 pin point forehands out wide on the AD court with enough angle to Djokovic's backhand before only possibly leaving a short ball to the forehand side to make the shot down the line a point winner is far more gruelling physically and mentally as well as dependant than having the ability to crack one to either end the point or leave a mid court forehand, which Nadal specialises in. It's also something that cannot really be anticipated (and leaves your opponent with less of a rhythm) and if, somehow it is, is extremely difficult to work with.
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post #33 of 35 (permalink) Old 11-08-2016, 02:15 AM
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Re: Flat v. Topspin Forehand - Nadal as a case study

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It is possible to hit "flat" with a western grip. His technique has not changed.
It is possible to hit flat with a western grip. Although very hard. All you have to do would be square up your racket. In order to do this, it would cause some pressure on your wrist so I wouldn't recommend it. check out this video where I rip flat and spin forehands with the same semi western grip.

www.Kayvontennisacademy.com
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post #34 of 35 (permalink) Old 11-08-2016, 05:50 AM
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Re: Flat v. Topspin Forehand - Nadal as a case study

Bottom line is that if you want flat hitting to be more of a factor you'll have to get rid of Tiriac Tennis™ and go back to more fast lower-bouncing courts as well as get rid of poly.

Poly has been credited with putting the greatest premium on topspin. Have players play with natural gut, Zyex, and polyolefin only on surfaces like fescue grass and you'll see a lot more flat and slice.

The other thing that will reduce the importance of topspin somewhat is to reduce maximum racquet head size to midsize.

If you want to see the return of the McEnroe/Edberg/Navratilova continental grip then do the string change, bring back lots of grass courts, and go back to the "standard" racquet size in wood and steel (no graphite allowed). Borg was able to create significant topspin with a standard wood but most players went for much flatter shots because of the lower bounces on most courts.
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post #35 of 35 (permalink) Old 11-08-2016, 05:53 AM
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Re: Flat v. Topspin Forehand - Nadal as a case study

As for the idea that the eastern grip has less control, that's not true. It's harder to produce an efficient stroke with a western grip than with an eastern. This is why the eastern was long the first grip most players learned. The difference is that the more western grips are more useful for higher-bouncing surfaces and for returning heavy topspin.

Each of the three grip types has a certain type of control that it favors. The continental offers the most control for volleys, slice, and the lowest-bouncing shots. The eastern offers the most control for flat shots, slice, and moderate topspin. The semi-western offers the most control for moderately heavy topspin. The full western offers the most control for the heaviest topspin.

Once upon a time the forehand slice was a shot that many players used (mainly for "chip and charge"). Heavy topspin was a real rarity (e.g. Borg). Compare Borg's RPMs with Nadal's and there is no contest. The current equipment makes it easier to generate a lot more spin, even without tons of muscle.
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Last edited by superstition2; 11-08-2016 at 05:58 AM.
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