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View Full Version : Tracy Austin on Agnieszka Radwanska (attention - only to tennis connoisseurs)


TeamUla
Oct 28th, 2009, 05:24 PM
Agnieszka Radwanska’s Open Stance Backhand

Learn from a small player who has big-time strokes.

By Tracy Austin

http://www.tennis.com/uploadedImages/Your_Game/Instruction_Articles/Backhand/2009_10_27_radwankska1.jpg

Frame 1: Radwanska bends her knees as she moves to the ball.
Frame 3: Though Radwanska's feet are open, she rotates her shoulders back. Open stance doesn't mean "face the net."

1. Radwanska weighs just 123 pounds, but her strokes pack a punch because she has exceptional footwork, balance and technique. As the ball arrives, she takes small steps to her left and begins to take her racquet back for an open-stance backhand. Notice that Radwanska has a healthy flex in her knees, which allows her to arrive at the ball balanced. She keeps her hands at a comfortable distance from her body and her arms relaxed.

2. This is the ideal setup for an openstance two-hander. As Radwanska prepares to plant her back foot, her head and shoulders are perfectly aligned over her hips and feet. All of the parts of her body work together: Her shoulders turn, her arms take her racquet back, and her feet establish a firm base so she can propel herself into the shot. Once her back foot hits the ground, her hips and shoulders will start to uncoil and her weight will begin to shift forward.

3. The open-stance backhand requires some space between your feet. You must step out far enough with your back foot so you can drive through the ball without having to reach for it. But open stance doesn’t mean that the whole body is open, or facing the net. Radwanska’s shoulders and hips are rotated back and they start to uncoil together, which helps her produce power. She lowers the racquet head so she can brush up the back of the ball to create topspin.

http://www.tennis.com/uploadedImages/Your_Game/Instruction_Articles/Backhand/2009_10_27_radwankska2.jpg

Frame 4: The racquet face should be slightly closed at impact.
Frame 6: The proper finish allows Radwanska to recover toward the middle of the court for the next shot.


4. Radwanska pushes forward off her back foot and rotates into the shot. The racquet face is slightly closed and the ball is dead center on the strings. Her arms remain relaxed and her shoulders now face the net as she whips the racquet around. I love the position of her feet. A wide, firm base like this creates excellent balance and plenty of power.

5. This picture shows you how important Radwanska’s left hand is to her backhand. She drives through the ball and extends toward the target with her left hand, like she would with her right on the forehand. The height of her follow-through is perfect; rather than pulling off the ball and adding too much spin, she’s punishing it. Her body continues to rotate as she finishes her swing.

6. This is the perfect finish: Radwanska’s weight is going forward and she’s facing the middle of the court, where she’ll have to return to prepare for her next shot. Her knees remain relaxed and her opposite shoulder now points toward the net. You need that sort of rotation for a first-rate open-stance backhand.

http://www.tennis.com/yourgame/instructionarticles/backhand/backhand.aspx?id=190280

TeamUla
Oct 28th, 2009, 05:38 PM
Danish meatball and Belorussian howler can only dream some of their strokes can be called 'exemplary'. :lol:

Malva
Oct 28th, 2009, 06:54 PM
Very interesting. Thanks!

Sombrerero loco
Oct 28th, 2009, 06:59 PM
agnieszka is the best!but I like her forehand better than her backhand...

AndreConrad
Oct 28th, 2009, 06:59 PM
Cool analysis, thanks for posting it... I can learn something :yeah: (I can learn a lot :lol:)
The East-West insult wasn't necessary even if you don't enjoy the other players Martin

frenchie
Oct 28th, 2009, 07:23 PM
Agnieszka has a great timing on her shots

Matt.
Oct 28th, 2009, 07:27 PM
agnieszka is the best!but I like her forehand better than her backhand...

I definitely prefer her backhand. As Tracy wrote, her footwork is textbook and the stroke is all core, not arm. The biggest misconception many tennis players have with the open stance shot (on both wings) is that it means 'face the net and swing with your arm'. Instead, it simply means starting with the weight on the back foot and turning with the core so as the opposite foot rotates back (for a righty, clockwise for the backhand, counter-clockwise for the forehand). This is opposite to the 'closed stance' which starts in the exact same position, but the weight is on the front foot and the opposite leg swings forward into the net. Every shot, both open and closed, uses the core to swing with the arm as an extension following the body like a whip.

This leads me to Agnieszka's forehand. It sometimes becomes too 'muscled', in that her body stays still and the arm comes through and ends on the same side (think of Sharapova's 'running' forehand). However, this is not as often as people might think. As short of a backswing as her strokes may sometimes take, her body almost always rotates around her core as an axis. It's not that her forehand is technically incorrect; she simply muscles it on the rare occasion while her backhand is always picture-perfect.

Dunlop1
Oct 28th, 2009, 07:55 PM
Danish meatball and Belorussian howler can only dream some of their strokes can be called 'exemplary'. :lol:

Ummm, Caro (I assume this is your Danish meatball) has exemplary technique on her topspin backhand.

miffedmax
Oct 28th, 2009, 07:58 PM
Ummm, Caro (I assume this is your Danish meatball) has exemplary technique on her topspin backhand.

Yep. Caro doesn't go for a lot of winners (as if Aga does) but when she does, it's almost always from the backhand side.

Of course, sometimes both players mistime their backhands horribly, and it goes down the line, which as all followers of the banged bomber know, is a shot that does not actually exist. ;).

Sombrerero loco
Oct 28th, 2009, 07:59 PM
well, i think caroline has a good backhand but i prefer aga´s one...

justine schnyder
Oct 28th, 2009, 10:29 PM
nice analyzes :cool:

The Witch-king
Oct 29th, 2009, 12:49 PM
I always thought Tracy doesn't like open stance backhands. Whenever she is commentating on William's match she says "she hit that with an open stance" in this pained voice...

MyskinaManiac
Oct 29th, 2009, 12:59 PM
Her backhand is similar to Myskina's. Except, Nastya leaps ten foot in the air.

ZODIAC
Oct 29th, 2009, 01:11 PM
who cares what Tracy Austin has to say she is totally irrelevant,text book tennis will only get you so far.Modern day tennis is a combination of a lot of intangibles,she might have the best stroke in the world but if she doesnt have luck and mental strength on her side she will always be known as a potential Hingis.

Sombrerero loco
Oct 29th, 2009, 02:02 PM
hahaha being a potential Hingis is not quite bad....

AndreConrad
Oct 29th, 2009, 04:17 PM
who cares what Tracy Austin has to say she is totally irrelevant,text book tennis will only get you so far.Modern day tennis is a combination of a lot of intangibles,she might have the best stroke in the world but if she doesnt have luck and mental strength on her side she will always be known as a potential Hingis.
Do you offer any crystal balls for sale? I keep looking and never found one worth sh&$t :shrug:

davidmario
Oct 30th, 2009, 02:37 AM
open stance is what you teach nowadays. and radwanska's backhand is not fast at all. this is one bad example.

DOUBLEFIST
Oct 30th, 2009, 08:15 AM
Hardly any revelations in tracy's deconstruction.

The girls have been hitting with that open stance BH for a while now, and there are better one - more effective ones to choose from on the tour.

Привет
Oct 30th, 2009, 08:24 AM
I really enjoy reading Tracy's analyses. :cool:

Golovinjured.
Oct 30th, 2009, 08:28 AM
Cool, I always like to read analysis on a two-handed backhand as I have so much trouble with mine. :sobbing: