The best of the best…

I thought I’d start to write and comment on some of the players’ great groundstrokes, volleys, serves and other small techincal brilliances. First up, I wanted to say something about today’s only active legend. Roger Federer. Which stroke? ForeHAND! This is his best, his attacking shot, his comfort zone, his technical perfection.

Something that bothers me with this man is the fact that he looks like this is the easiest thing on earth. Swinging that racket, faster than almost anyone, and hit that ball anywhere he wants to hit it. Something which is common among today’s good forehands is supporting the racket with the left hand until the upper body as turned against the net.
This clip starts when Federer has taken back his rakcet with both hands, leaving his shoulder under his head. This enables him to use his upper body rotation and shoulder rotation to generate a good head speed. So far, it’s nothing special really. The only thing that a lot of players don’t do, is to hold their head locked in the same position. During the whole clip, Federer is extreme in his ways of not moving his head, almost at all really. You can see how his body rotates, while his head is focused on the ball.
He holds a semi-western grip on the racket which I think is optimal in terms of being able to variate the shots. It also anables him to get that extra racket head speed and brush up the ball at a perfect timing. One reason why he gets so much out of it is that he can use his wrist with a lot of flexibility and whip it more than other players would. This is something that can’t be taught and is an example of talent and practice. It’s not unique, but it is one of the best.

Contact point is well in front of him, with his left hand still out in front of him. This is a big difference. I’m no expert, but a whole lot of other player with big forehands have a different kind of rotations which brings their right part of their body in front of their left part. This means that their whole body rotates more than Federer. Their left arms are also locked in against their body during contact points to anable a faster rotation it seems. Gasquet is a player who seems to intentionally put his left arm up against his chest to anable that full rotation. In the clip Federer has a very calm rotation with, like we are used to see him, NO facial expression whatsoever. Also annoying! Looks like a robot!
And lastly, his eyes are on the damn ball at all time. Except for when he has hit it, his eyes stay in the contact point for more than seems reasonable. But it seems like maybe everybody should try and apply this technique. Wouldn’t you try to copy the some of the elements of the greatest forhand on the tour?!
Personally I cannot find a flaw with this forehand….. 10/10 for Federer

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One Response to “The best of the best…”

  1. Rzaa Says:

    Wow! Perfect hit. What amazes me is how well he hits the ball even when you don’t expect it. His natural, no stress kinda movement must be helping him a lot with both groundstrokes. He has time to set up really well every time. I agree that he has one of the best forehands, but I think that hiss footwork is a big part of it.

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