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Old 05-29-2013, 07:31 AM   #1
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Default BH better than FH in ATP?

A logical continuation of the Paire's bad FH thread.

Does anyone else than Muzzalovah believe that in ATP there are BHs better than a FH in general terms?

If this is even 1% possible there would be players who would turn around their FH to play a BH (like Pironkova sometimes does in WTA, coz there it's an obvious difference).

No male player in top 100 would turn around his FH to play a BH.

I assume that Paire himself, who is the owner of possibly the worst FH in top 100 and at the same time the best BH, himself might play a BH out of a neutrally coming ball straight in the middle and he'd do it once in 10 times, so i think this is enough proof already to not develop further such discussion.

I would never even consider this being a base for discussion, but MTF never fails to amaze me and with Muzzalovah's reaction i thought we could have a short dissection of the subject.

Your opinion?
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Old 05-29-2013, 07:41 AM   #2
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Default Re: BH better than FH in ATP?

Better BH or not, but turning around to play BH on a ball in the middle is harder than FH - the motion is more complex.
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Old 05-29-2013, 07:48 AM   #3
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Default Re: BH better than FH in ATP?

It's hard to judge because forehands and backhands are used differently in any capacity, irrespective of the players' own strengths and weaknesses.

If you keep in mind these differences, then I think you can make an argument for some players with a superb backhand, or just a shitty forehand, who rely more on the former.


Also, a player's propensity to run around the shot shouldn't be the only determining factor, as it's inherently more natural to run around the backhand for a forehand than the opposite, and you're also predisposed to unique angles that way if we're talking about inside-out.
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Old 05-29-2013, 08:20 AM   #4
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Default Re: BH better than FH in ATP?

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Originally Posted by BackhandDTL View Post
It's hard to judge because forehands and backhands are used differently in any capacity, irrespective of the players' own strengths and weaknesses.

If you keep in mind these differences, then I think you can make an argument for some players with a superb backhand, or just a shitty forehand, who rely more on the former.


Also, a player's propensity to run around the shot shouldn't be the only determining factor, as it's inherently more natural to run around the backhand for a forehand than the opposite, and you're also predisposed to unique angles that way if we're talking about inside-out.
why so?

That's half of the discussion here, is it just because everyone is doing it, so even a player who'd have a clearly better BH than his FH would still prefer playing FHs and lose points, but not turn around it?

There is nothing natural about it, it is as it is simply because the FH is the stronger, more precise and more regular shot. Maybe it's been built in the player that way since a child, but it is a fact imo.

The actual illusion that makes some ppl even consider a BH would be better in general than a FH in ATP is because they instinctively compare the BH to other BHs and not to the FH itself.

Let's say we make a ranking of effectiveness, best score is 100%.

In general terms a normal ATP top 100 FH would be a 70-80, we'd have Fed's FH at 92, Rafa's around it (bit moire or bit less, whatever).

The BHs compared to the FH would range between 30 and 70. 70 would be Paire's BH f.e.

His FH looks horrible (bit compared to other FHs), while his BH looks fantastic (still, compared to other BHs) but they're equal at best in general terms.

That's the whole illusion
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Old 05-29-2013, 08:57 AM   #5
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Default Re: BH better than FH in ATP?

I've seen Benneteau run around a forehand to play a backhand :-)
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Old 05-29-2013, 09:10 AM   #6
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Default Re: BH better than FH in ATP?

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I've seen Benneteau run around a forehand to play a backhand :-)
it has happened indeed, also Paire himself has done that, but the fact it is considered exotic means it's far from often happening.
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Old 05-29-2013, 09:11 AM   #7
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Default Re: BH better than FH in ATP?

i can imagine now Burrow and Chinaski browsing through the thread and be like - damn, he's right again, can't bash him this time

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Old 05-29-2013, 09:28 AM   #8
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Default Re: BH better than FH in ATP?

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Originally Posted by latso View Post
i can imagine now Burrow and Chinaski browsing through the thread and be like - damn, he's right again, can't bash him this time



I actually disagree with you here, but I can understand how you can come to your conclusion. I only disagree because your opinion seems to allow for no margin or reasoning.

There are players who often produce more winners off the forehand side but also produce more errors, whereas the backhand is more of a steady shot with less ups and downs. Which would you say is better? A shot which creates or a shot which remains stable? Berdych is a good example of this.

Then there are men like Marat Safin, who produced more winners off the backhand, who are more stable off the backhand and can use the wing with more creativity. There's no kind of discussion for this player. Particularly in post-2005 when his knee injury occurred, in 2007 his forehand was arguably the worst in the top 100.

It depends on the player and what criteria you use.
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Old 05-29-2013, 09:40 AM   #9
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Default Re: BH better than FH in ATP?

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why so?

That's half of the discussion here, is it just because everyone is doing it, so even a player who'd have a clearly better BH than his FH would still prefer playing FHs and lose points, but not turn around it?

There is nothing natural about it, it is as it is simply because the FH is the stronger, more precise and more regular shot. Maybe it's been built in the player that way since a child, but it is a fact imo.
Actually, biomechanically speaking, it's much more textile than the same shot from the backhand side. On the forehand, the hitting arm/shoulder goes back, encouraging rotation of the body through the swing, which makes the stroke much more fluid. On the backhand, whether one-handed or two-handed, you're inherently limited by the fact that your hitting arm has to go across and behind the body (shoulder stays forward), so weight transfer and foundation are more important to driving through the ball. These are more difficult to accomplish when moving around, and therefore away from the ball.

The principles about weight transfer and stability are some of the same reasons why you don't see open-stanced backhands as often as you do on a forehand (virtually all the time).

Here's a link on the bio-mechanics of either backhands:
http://www.itftennis.com/shared/medi...0_original.PDF


The other thing, though, you hit on the head. It's not taught as much, even for kids/juniors who favor backhands, and I can say that from the perspective of a player and a coach. One of the reasons for that is because of the angles possible with a forehand that aren't accessible to a backhand (again because of the stroke design).

Quote:
The actual illusion that makes some ppl even consider a BH would be better in general than a FH in ATP is because they instinctively compare the BH to other BHs and not to the FH itself.
Maybe.

The thing is, though, the forehand and backhand assume two very different roles for a typical player. The forehand is used much more proactively for various reasons, while the backhand is traditionally intended to endure more. To me, it's when the latter exceeds that mandate as a weapon that you can begin make an argument for superiority. Because a stable weapon beats a temperamental one every time, no matter how much more potential the latter should have.

Gasquet's backhand can reach over 100 MPH. He uses it as proactively (he hits inside-out BH's) as his forehand, and it's generally much more consistent and reliable. On what grounds is his forehand better?

Fish's forehand is rarely ever used as an offensive weapon, and it's much more prone to breaking down than his two-hander; ditto Cilic.

Even if we consider that their forehands are potentially greater, as you have insinuated, and I agree with that, at what point is that a reality for any of the players I just mentioned?
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I don't know who you are. I don't know what you want. If you're looking for attention, I can tell you I don't like you but what I do have are a very particular set of skills. Skills I have acquired over a very long career. Skills that make me a nightmare for people like you. If you stop posting that photo now, that will be the end of it. I will not look for you, I will not pursue you. But if you don't, I will look for you, I will find you and I will terminate your MTF account.

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Old 05-29-2013, 09:59 AM   #10
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Default Re: BH better than FH in ATP?

As a good player myself with a one handed backhand which is potentially better than my forehand - if a ball is coming to my backhand it is 10x easier to run around it and hit a good forehand than run around my forehand to hit a good backhand. This is because the footwork involved in running around a forehand to hit a 1hbh involves a lot more steps. Its possible if you are facing a slower ball but if its deep and with spin then its next to impossible to do and hit it well.
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Old 05-29-2013, 10:08 AM   #11
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Default Re: BH better than FH in ATP?

When returning serve on the AD court, Seppi sometimes gets around his forehand to hit a backhand I think the idea is to get to the centre of the court sooner and not leave a big gap on the court.
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Old 05-29-2013, 11:37 AM   #12
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Default Re: BH better than FH in ATP?

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Originally Posted by BackhandDTL View Post
Actually, biomechanically speaking, it's much more textile than the same shot from the backhand side. On the forehand, the hitting arm/shoulder goes back, encouraging rotation of the body through the swing, which makes the stroke much more fluid. On the backhand, whether one-handed or two-handed, you're inherently limited by the fact that your hitting arm has to go across and behind the body (shoulder stays forward), so weight transfer and foundation are more important to driving through the ball. These are more difficult to accomplish when moving around, and therefore away from the ball.

The principles about weight transfer and stability are some of the same reasons why you don't see open-stanced backhands as often as you do on a forehand (virtually all the time).

Here's a link on the bio-mechanics of either backhands:
http://www.itftennis.com/shared/medi...0_original.PDF


The other thing, though, you hit on the head. It's not taught as much, even for kids/juniors who favor backhands, and I can say that from the perspective of a player and a coach. One of the reasons for that is because of the angles possible with a forehand that aren't accessible to a backhand (again because of the stroke design).



Maybe.

The thing is, though, the forehand and backhand assume two very different roles for a typical player. The forehand is used much more proactively for various reasons, while the backhand is traditionally intended to endure more. To me, it's when the latter exceeds that mandate as a weapon that you can begin make an argument for superiority. Because a stable weapon beats a temperamental one every time, no matter how much more potential the latter should have.

Gasquet's backhand can reach over 100 MPH. He uses it as proactively (he hits inside-out BH's) as his forehand, and it's generally much more consistent and reliable. On what grounds is his forehand better?

Fish's forehand is rarely ever used as an offensive weapon, and it's much more prone to breaking down than his two-hander; ditto Cilic.

Even if we consider that their forehands are potentially greater, as you have insinuated, and I agree with that, at what point is that a reality for any of the players I just mentioned?
it's good points all over indeed.

About Gasquet i believe he, as any other player is more comfortable distributing the ball from the FH. Say it is a biomechanical reason (which is fair actually), it still is a reason.

The same reason (the biomechanical one) is perhaps the one defining the BH volley easier and more precise than the FH one.

At the end of the day, despite the reasons being mostly biomechanical and perhaps this being the base for kids to build usually their FH better with time, it is still a fact that one is better than the other, most feel more comfortable with it, as you said because the different rotation of the body, the different feet position (open stance vs closed one), etc.

But yeah, i agree with your points.
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Old 05-29-2013, 11:42 AM   #13
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Default Re: BH better than FH in ATP?

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I actually disagree with you here, but I can understand how you can come to your conclusion. I only disagree because your opinion seems to allow for no margin or reasoning.

There are players who often produce more winners off the forehand side but also produce more errors, whereas the backhand is more of a steady shot with less ups and downs. Which would you say is better? A shot which creates or a shot which remains stable? Berdych is a good example of this.

Then there are men like Marat Safin, who produced more winners off the backhand, who are more stable off the backhand and can use the wing with more creativity. There's no kind of discussion for this player. Particularly in post-2005 when his knee injury occurred, in 2007 his forehand was arguably the worst in the top 100.

It depends on the player and what criteria you use.
It does depend on the player ofc and on the period, etc., but using the BH more and with better results in building up the points together with finishing them off and making less mistakes is more often happening in the women side of tennis.

But BHDTL summed it up pretty well and i agree it's purely biomechanical, yet the result is still the same.

Even if we make a contest on pure speed, regularity, whatever you like - even Gasquet's FH would win over his BH, by perhaps a little margin, but still i think it would.

And he's together with Paire perhaps the most extremes examples.
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