Here are some oddities (or rather, unconventionalities) of some of the top players on the ATP world tour. They are diverse in kind, ranging from a backhand effectively completely flat to a forehand that does not utilize the lower body whatsoever. These are the horror stories of genuine coaches – they inspire a severe negligence of the correct standards in tennis based on the same core rules which if not adhered to strictly will bring ruin. What are some of these unconventionalities, and by whom?
1) Nick Kyrgios’ flat backhand
There is something wrong with Nick Kyrgios’ backhand is there not? Why does he not carry out his stroke in a low-to-high-fashion? Does that not mean that he will struggle against most of the shots which when come in spin, are supposed to be returned with a spin? These assumptions are not entirely wrong, and in fact whoever advises you to hit a backhand that is not entirely flat deserves credit for suggesting you stick to the safe path. However, there is one factor which if overweight will be able to put such disadvantages in their place. It is the factor of timing. When do you time your ball contacts such that the effect of spin does not become too strong at the point of contact? As such there is nothing wrong with Kyrgios’ completely flat stroke – one other master of this returning-the-ball-on-the-rise-backhand is Murray, although his backhand is not as entirely flat as Krygios’ despite being much flatter than the average tennis player.
2) Alexander Dogopolov’s wild arm swings
Dogopolov sure does look wrong in every aspect of his tennis game. However, the one that is most particularly unsettling to look at, and ponder about, is his forehand technique. If we are not wrong, he seems to be using the speed of his forehand to prevent only by a bare margin his being overwhelmed by the weight of the balls that come towards him, as he does not use his lower body at all. We have all been there, before we became successfully programmed to hit the proper ground strokes. We attempt to muscle our way through the balls hit by a seasoned tennis player, only to find the weight of such balls too ‘rocky’ to bear with our plain and poor arms. So we relied using the momentum from our lower body, through bending the knees and the rotation about our hips. But maybe we don’t have to do that, if Dogopolov’s is the stuff of reality, as opposed to some optical illusion which will no doubt be the opium to the countless numbers of ‘amateurish strokers’ out there.
3) Monfils’ forehand which has a half follow-through
Monfils is one of the most incredible tennis athletes on the tour. What is more incredible in our opinion too is the technique of his forehand, and the results he has achieved in spite of such ‘impairment’. If you observe, his forehand does not have the usual follow-through pattern conventionally held to be an indispensable element of anyone’s game should they want to play at a level only then on which could they be deemed ‘tennis players’. The catch though, is that Monfils is extraordinarily strong in his upper body muscles, to enable to him to pull of such ‘impairment’.
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