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Where Have All The Forehands Gone?

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Where Have All The Forehands Gone?

Post by ... on Thu May 05, 2016 7:35 am

I don't know if it's just me, but FH seems to be becoming an endangered species.

You know, the old-fashioned weapon FH a la Gonzo, Federer...the shot you can trust and carve point out with.
You go - boom! and the job's done!

Is it the strings technology and the spin that has killed it?

Is it the DBH and "rallying" tennis that has neutralised it?

Or is it the ball - big and heavy that rewards endless, safe muscling technique everyone seems to be adopting- hit as hard as you can, as long as you can...but safely!

How can it be that someone of Nishi's exquisite ball-striking tennis doesn't have a big FH?

What is going on?

Some young players like Rublev and Pouille, even Zverev can produce a lot of power with it, but that doesn't seem to help them much.

Their FHs look physically hard to sustain, though.

Verdasco's FH is very good, too.

I looked at today's draw and couldn't see a single decent FH.

Sad, isn't it?


Last edited by noleisthebest on Thu May 05, 2016 10:39 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Where Have All The Forehands Gone?

Post by luvsports! on Thu May 05, 2016 9:29 am

Well Kyrgios' fh is helping him to have a 8-13 record vs top 10 - that is impressive imo.


Last edited by luvsports! on Thu May 05, 2016 9:41 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Where Have All The Forehands Gone?

Post by Tenez on Fri May 06, 2016 7:42 am

I agree with the OP mentioning the relative drop in quality FH overall...but I disagree about Nishi's. He played some great FH in his final in Barca v Nadal.

Of course it is the spin and legs of his opponents. Federer having to swap his old deadly FH for a modern loopy one right at the peak of his career not to become a too regular victim of the Road runners is the proof agression doesn't pay.

I am not that impressed by Kygrios fh. But I need to see more of it.

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Re: Where Have All The Forehands Gone?

Post by ... on Fri May 06, 2016 10:40 am

Yes, Federer had that whip action..I think Dolgo is still using it.

Nishi can hit some fine FHs, but my point is that FH is reduced to a mere shot, almost an equal with the BH in modern tennis.

I suppose that is another big damage DBH did (helped with strings).

I noticed that some younger players are even changing the technique, evolving it, using the left arm to generate more pace.

Regarding Federer and FH in general, do you think the size of racquet has contributed towards its dwindling power and how much?

And should racquet manufacturing  be more regulated?

When you look at the size/weight of racquet over the decades, its grown in size and reduced in weight.

Yet the court dimensions and rules have all remained the same, though Nadal managed to "enlarge" time between the points one.

But players are also getting much taller and not to mention fitness and endurance.

Imagine Kyrgios playing with Laver's racquet....

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Re: Where Have All The Forehands Gone?

Post by Tenez on Fri May 06, 2016 12:46 pm

Yesterday I played versus a young serbian 14 who is trained at Wimbledon. He is a big Federer fan to the desolation of his mother (a Djoko fan).

His FH was unbelievable for such a short guy with thin arm.

I am sure they have better FH on the tour so my point is that we may have got used to fantastic shots, we are just left with the first impressions we made in the past.

This is the very reason I think people tend to believe players are declining. They are just left with the initial impressions.

Frankly if a Sampras came today, or a Safin, their serve and BH woudl not impress many, especially on those courts (remember how he lost to Basle in 2012 when Wimbleodn introduced teh larger balls)..yet when we think of a great serve, Sampras name will always comes first or thereabout. Because it marked our minds at the time.

The players who impress me nowadays are the likes of Nishi, Federer still and of course the Roadrunners as I find it absoletely incredible what they can achieve physically...thouhg much less impressed by their shots.

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Re: Where Have All The Forehands Gone?

Post by ... on Fri May 06, 2016 1:38 pm

Tenez wrote:Yesterday I played versus a young serbian 14 who is trained at Wimbledon.

On Tuesday I played with two girls from our first team who stumbled to club night.
Actually they didn't know it was club night and were hitting on an outside court so I invited them to play a Russian guy and me.
The Russian guy has Dolgo's talent but is a rec. Started late etc...
Anyway...both girls have been playing since the age of 5-6,  timing the ball  well, one of them had great DBH. Low net clearance, great pace, consistency, length, what you would expect from someone who trained and played 20-25 years.
But there was no flair, no feel for the game.
They loved Russian guy's sliced & whipped BHDTL which he "just hit".
Or my serve which died in the middle of the box. (which I also "just hit")

Everything they did was automatic.

Wrists were rigid.

When I sometimes look at juniors training - they are all exclusively hitting from the baseline...CC, CC and more CC...

And I think the pattern transfers to pro tour. Not many have the tennis gene.
Tenez wrote:He is a big Federer fan to the desolation of his mother (a Djoko fan).
Here we go again...
Ok, let me put this one to bed once and for all.

There are many Serbs who love Federer's tennis.
I am one of them.

To the extent that I will never switch or want to play with a DBH and will persevere with till I die.

You have to be nuts not to admire Federer's talent.

But, please allow us Serbs to be patriotic and proud of our Nole.
We have had hell for the last 25 years.

We have been on the receiving end of everything you loathe in your political views.

NATO bombed the cr@p out of our capital (which happens to be my hometown), destroyed our economy, oil distilleries, bridges, polluted our nature with uranium depleted bombs, risen cancer rate by 300%. People dying like flies from consequences of it. Children, young adults...

In WW2 we had Croatians (who allied with Nazis) apply their 1/3 rule to exterminate Serbs living in Croatia: kill the third (in concentration camp, 700 000 people died), convert a third (to catholicism), explel a third.

Before that we had 500 years of Turks impaling us because we wouldn't convert to Islam.

So we love Nole because his a great defender. He is a defiant character, and when he wins it eases our pain a little.

I know it's not pretty and magical, but that's life...

Because that's what we did all through our history: defended aggressors.

You see him as Frankenstein, we see him as a raw warrior who won't roll over.
And the only player who stood up to Nadal.

So, yes, I have double standards when it comes to Nole, it's a bit more than tennis - shoot me for it!
And at the end of the day, that's what tennis symbolises: our fight with what life throws at us...every ball like every day brings a new challenge.

Tenez wrote:
His FH was unbelievable for such a short guy with thin arm.
Is he from Belgrade? I take it he doesn't play with a SBH.
Tenez wrote:
I am sure they have better FH on the tour so my point is that we may have got used to fantastic shots, we are just left with the first impressions we made in the past.

This is the very reason I think people tend to believe players are declining. They are just left with the initial impressions.

Frankly if a Sampras came today, or a Safin, their serve and BH woudl not impress many, especially on those courts (remember how he lost to Basle in 2012 when Wimbleodn introduced teh larger balls)..yet when we think of  a great serve, Sampras name will always comes first or thereabout. Because it marked our minds at the time.
Yes and no.
As I said in the first paragraph of this reply, thise shots do look faster and very accurate, plus angles etc...but behind them are not loose shoulders and intuitive tennis.

I would say it's mainly technology.

I am not putting them down, just missing the artistry.

Tenez wrote:The players who impress me nowadays are the likes of Nishi, Federer still and of course the Roadrunners as I find it absoletely incredible what they can achieve physically...thouhg much less impressed by their shots.

I now enjoy either battles or artistry, it doesn't exist in one player any more unfortunately (maybe still Fed, but I think he is finished).

I love watching Dolgo, Fognini and Brown when in flight. They make my heart full.

There are other nice players but these few are a golden dream.

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Re: Where Have All The Forehands Gone?

Post by legendkillar on Fri May 06, 2016 3:23 pm

Don't think the forehand is dead as such. So much of the game nowadays lends itself to safety in numbers. Play more low risk shots because the reward will be a UE. I find that most players are very reluctant and low in confidence to go for the lines.

I agree with Ten that some shots are associated with a handful of players because of memories. Etched in the minds.

The Soderling FH for me was the most unique I have seen in terms of technique. Might seem to others as a ball bludgeoner, but I am mesmerised by the technique and body shape.

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Re: Where Have All The Forehands Gone?

Post by Tenez on Fri May 06, 2016 3:46 pm

legendkillar wrote:
The Soderling FH for me was the most unique I have seen in terms of technique. Might seem to others as a ball bludgeoner, but I am mesmerised by the technique and body shape.

Yes it was similar to a compass swing like when we are trying to draw a circle with it...except that the pen was his racket. .

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Re: Where Have All The Forehands Gone?

Post by ... on Fri May 06, 2016 4:40 pm

legendkillar wrote:Don't think the forehand is dead as such. So much of the game nowadays lends itself to safety in numbers. Play more low risk shots because the reward will be a UE. I find that most players are very reluctant and low in confidence to go for the lines.

I agree with Ten that some shots are associated with a handful of players because of memories. Etched in the minds.

The Soderling FH for me was the most unique I have seen in terms of technique. Might seem to others as a ball bludgeoner, but I am mesmerised by the technique and body shape.


I actually don't associate shots from the past like that.

It's fairly easy to see good serve or FH in any era.

I suppose now, other factors have taken over and blunted the power of FH as a wielding weapon.

Too much baseline tennis has limited the variety.

But I blame the strings/spin most.

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Re: Where Have All The Forehands Gone?

Post by Tenez on Fri May 06, 2016 4:46 pm

noleisthebest wrote:But I blame the strings/spin most.

I think strings and spin have brought up an even more exciting dimension. One can more things now with the balls. It's not down to purely SVIng anymore....or endless soft baseline rallies..

The problem to me is the too professional approach to the game (fitness/doping/percentage tennis), and larger balls.

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Re: Where Have All The Forehands Gone?

Post by ... on Fri May 06, 2016 5:03 pm

Yes but it's strings that encouraged fitness. Imagine Nadal with Fed's 85" Prostaff.


But what are the chances of going back to smaller balls?
Look at what Babolat produced last year at RG...

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Re: Where Have All The Forehands Gone?

Post by Tenez on Fri May 06, 2016 6:01 pm

noleisthebest wrote:Yes but it's strings that encouraged fitness. Imagine Nadal with Fed's 85" Prostaff.


But what are the chances of going back to smaller balls?
Look at what Babolat produced last year at RG...

Strings emphasised the fitness side but strings are not responsible for doping.

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Re: Where Have All The Forehands Gone?

Post by Daniel on Thu Apr 06, 2017 4:49 pm

They're hiding from the "Neo Backhands".  Laugh

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