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Notes From Oscar
To find more data and to help your comprehension of his method go to
Oscar's Take On Federer and Nadal at Roland Garros
"Federer is more poised now than ever, like in the beginning of his ascent to number one, and, most likely because of Jose Higueras influence, has cut down on his unforced errors. His timing is much better lately, and he seems to have regained the confidence on his forehand. He also has had reasonably short matches, and must be in as good a shape as ever for the semifinals and final. Short of a terrible day on the court, he should get to the final and pose a formidable threat to Rafa Nadal. Rafa is playing fabulous, but tennis is an interesting sport, in which sometimes the difference, at the level of play of Nadal and Federer, is in a few important points, and many times in the outcome of the first set. Very telling will be the semifinal between Nadal and Djokovic. This will really tell us Nadal's form and Djokovic's talent. I cannot wait for these semifinals, this is exciting for this wonderful sport, where you have to get on the court and create every day. Nobody "has it". Nobody "is". They are what they "do" that particular day."
Originally Posted by Tennis Angel
THE LEADER in modern tennis teaching methodology.
Some Modern Tennis Basics From Oscar
1. Wait For The Bounce
Preparing early for a groundstroke will throw you off. You make up your mind too soon, without observing the ball all the way.
Instead of trying to predict what the ball will do, stalk it with your racquet, and make your final adjustments after the bounce of the ball.
From baseline to baseline, the ball slows down close to 60%. The longer you look at it without making up your mind, the more time you'll seem to have.
You'll be more natural, well coordinated, and experience much more feel. Tennis will become an easier sport to master, more fun than ever before.
2. The Finish
The finish is the most important mechanical part of the stroke. Study the top pros and you'll see where they finish on the forehand and backhand strokes, and you'll realize that they get there all the time.
In conventional tennis instruction you are taught on your forehand to follow the flight of the ball, pointing your finish towards the target. That type finish is stiff, unnatural, diminishes your power, and you'll hit the ball too flat.
Top players, since Bill Tilden, Fred Perry, Jack Kramer, Rod Laver, Bjorn Borg, John McEnroe, Pete Sampras, Andre Agassi, the William sisters, Carlos Moya, Andy Roddick and Roger Federer, Justine Hardene, and almost everyone at the top hit across the body on their forehands, bending the arm.
These insights will make your game easier, smoother, and effective. You won't be afraid of putting power behind your shots.
3. Racquet Angle
The major thing that determines the height and direction of the ball is the angle of the racquet. The swing has some effect on that, but not nearly as much, and body or feet position have nothing to do in that regard.
The success of the top players is due to their heightened awareness of the racquet position at impact time. Just a small angle variation, and the results vary quite dramatically.
With so much movement around the court, the position of the racquet is paramount and it needs to be developed at an early stage.
Learn to develop your memory as an athlete. Even what we call mechanics can be stored at an instinct level. Play tennis "with your hands".
Topspin is a natural way to get the ball in the court, especially when hitting it hard. At the professional game, because of the high speed of groundstrokes, it is a must. It is too risky to hit the ball flat and too close to the net. Even for beginners, topspin develops your game faster than a flat stroke, giving you a longer contact with the ball.
Andre Agassi, for example, is not a flat hitter, even though many times he has been described as such. Agassi hits his forehand at an average of 1,700 RPM. Andy Roddick's first serve rotates at close to 3,000 RPM. Roger Federer hits some groundstrokes with so much topspin that the ball has been known to bounce twice within a few yards. These guys are good because they started with topspin.
If you are a competition player, or just a plain beginner, topspin gives you several advantages. You cut on errors, you get more feel and control, you get confident and confuse your opponent, who has more difficulty in hitting with precision.
You'll have more wins and more fun!
5. Natural footwork
In conventional tennis teaching the first thing taught is that you need to position your body sideways, with the feet facing the sideline, then to step into the ball as you swing. This is totally unnatural, diverts too much attention to the feet, and kills hand-eye coordination.
The best way to learn is to focus only on what the hand and the racquet are doing, letting the body and the feet move naturally, the same way you walk around the house or you run after your dog.
The idea that you have to learn tennis "positions" is preposterous, because you learned to move and balance yourself early in life, in an instinctive way, and that is what you should be applying now.
The top professionals look so natural because they move naturally, with favorite reaching and balancing moves that are instinctive, not a product of thought. They feel their balance, and the body will help the stroke as much as possible, according to the situation. Most of them learned this from the beginning.
For more tips and information on Modern Tennis Methodology go to www.tennisteacher.com.
You may have seen the French Open final, which was a clearly disappointing performance by Roger Federer, and a superb one by Nadal.
I had an inkling that Roger was in big trouble right on the first game, after Roger made two mistakes on his forehand. Mary Carillo said that Roger's coach worked hard on his footwork going to his forehand side. That most likely affected his feel, thereby his confidence, to a great extent. Great expectations crushed by a misconception. This was stunning, but you can see how false data kills even the greatest. Here is a former tip on that regard:
Footwork In Tennis
Thinking of your feet can wreck your game.
I recommend natural footwork, which is simply moving instinctively and without thinking. By not putting attention on your feet , you can put all of your attention on your hands, on striking the ball, while your feet will move naturally and effectively.
There are 3 main actions in tennis:
The move, the hit, and the recovery towards the center.
The most important element of natural footwork is what you learned when you were two or three years old. The head moves first, and the feet just follow.
When you are near the ball, and you start facing it and the net, on the forehand side, anchor yourself on the outside foot, opening your stance. Same for the two-handed backhand. You'll feel balanced and more powerful. One-handed backhands are different, and you should review my book and DVDs for details.
As you hit a forehand across your body, let your racquet and your head lead you to the left. Lean towards the center, and your body will go there.
Why are the pros so fast? Because they run naturally, without thinking of which foot is moving. They follow the ball with their head, they stop with the outside foot (which is another natural thing), and they hit while starting to recover towards the center.
Use these natural moves and you'll reach the ball easily, and you'll hit it comfortable and balanced, in perfect sync.
well said angel. but can you expect results from higueras almost overnight? i remember it took awhile for him before former proteges chang and courier won their french titles.
Most things do not happen overnight, you are right! Higueras is a renowned player and coach. Interesting to consider that even the greats can get temporarily distracted. Can't wait to see if Federer's incredible focus on his hand and the ball returns at Wimbledon!
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