"You fight great, but I'm a great fighter."
HI Hugh, I keep coming back to this post. I have been playing with lighter rackets as a I get older. But there is something off about it that I seem to not like. I am going to experiment with a heavier one to see if I can use gravity to generate more controlled power.
Basically,the ball flies on me and I think it is due to small changes in my racket face that happen because I cannot swing all the way through. It helps when the ball is coming fast but still sometimes I feel a lack of control.
Maybe I am just getting older and slower...
I really like your thoughts at the end when you said something about DelPo maybe having the blueprint on the forehand. He certainly uses a ferris wheel gravity drop on his forehand, with a completely neutral wrist in his set up. Then he simply supinates his shoulder/forearm with a relaxed wrist, crating his racquet lag just before contact. Tsitsipas has to me a very similar technique to Delpo on his forehand.
Could you assess Igor Andreev's forehand in terms of preparation and contact? And I'd love to know where would you put it in relation to top guys here.
I only ask because I remember his patient, unruffled composure on it during his slam matches with Federer. He seemed to be a righty Nadal, if not in technique, then in effect at least.
Mopped up those slices, broke down the Federer forehand with both depth and height, generated tremendous angles inside-out and cross, and was decent in counter-rushing defence off it as well, finding that short Deuce angle, perhaps even better at Nadal there—from what I've seen, he didn't offcentre/shank off that CCFH when pressured with pace as much as Nadal (though my viewing sample size is rather small: just his Fedal matches).
Watched Rublev in the Hamburg Open 2023. I think he has changed his forehand more towards the Modern Forehand. Do you think so?
Great article Hugh! I l just found your site and have loved going through all the content. I was wondering if you have any thoughts on Murray's forehand? It seems much more similar to a NextGen forehand than one of the greats (face inverted, etc.). He seems to be the one guy who has won majors in the last 20 years that doesn't fall into the great forehand list you provide above? Was he just great at everything else and thus able to protect it? Also, any thoughts on how he's developed the reputation of being such a clutch player late in his career despite the technical weaknesses?
Hugh, is Ivan Lendl too remote in the past to consider in this analysis? Obviously his forehand was a great weapon. To me he hits with a flexed wrist and the racquet head is closer to being parallel to ground that pointing to the sky - very much in line with the Next Gen features you suggest. I know smaller racquets, before poly strings…
Such a fantastic analysis! What are your thoughts on the "straight arm" vs "bent arm" forehand? It's brought up somewhat often during TV commentary, usually something along the lines of "Alcaraz/Player X has that same straight arm forehand as Federer and Nadal... he's following in the footsteps of the great" and in general extolling the virtues of the straight arm forehand. However this piece argues that the bent arm mechanic is superior (https://www.patcash.co.uk/2019/04/tennis-forehand-technique-straight-arm-vs-bent-arm/), because it gives you more margin for error and reduces risk of injury. I'd be curious to hear your take on this.
I'am loving this article series! Super interesting thoughts. You should team up with impactingtennis more :-) beacuse I think you can deepen the analysis by going into the racket specs aswell. If we take Rublev and Beretteni who struggles with the backhand they both play with a quite depolarized racket, a mgri-value close to 21. That could just be a fact that to have a world-class backhand you have to have a more polarized setup? You could have the best forehand in the world but if the backhand is lagging you will never get to the absolute top.
Very very good article on the forehand.
Incredible stuff. Usually I read tennis commentary on the internet and shake my head because there's so much bad info. Reading you, I feel like I'm actually learning a lot. Thank you.
Hi Hugh, really loved your three part series on forehands. Being someone who has watched many videos on forehand technique, I found the arguments you made very interesting. I do think it's a sign of the times that kids are taught using balls that are easier to learn with. Looking forward to more posts from you!
Alcaraz has the modern forehand plus he is technically as sound as anyone on both wings
What do u say?