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Old Nov 1st, 2013, 08:22 PM   #1
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Serena's inside out forehand

What in the hell has happened to this shot over the years? Back in the day, it was a killer, and its decline started way before Patrick tweaked her forehand in general. I know Serena can be, and has been, lazy with her footwork, but even when she gets it right (and she puts in so much more effort of late), that shot doesn't really do much. Either it's shallow, or just not really powerful, or, often, both.

Is there something that can account for this?
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Old Nov 1st, 2013, 08:50 PM   #2
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Re: Serena's inside out forehand

I rarely see her hit that shot. Serena's all about crosscourt angles.
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Old Nov 1st, 2013, 08:56 PM   #3
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Re: Serena's inside out forehand

More so yeah, but she still attempts it pretty often. There are still a few (very few) occasions where it comes off perfectly, but more often that not, it doesn't help her.
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Old Nov 1st, 2013, 08:57 PM   #4
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Re: Serena's inside out forehand

Serena's bh has always been so effective that she's rarely needed to run around it and hit IO or OI. I think when she's done it in the past it's largely been out of conceit or finding herself out of position. I far prefer (and I think she does to) to see her ripping bhdtl or XC for winners. Her bh has been, arguably (as some would say her serve), the most stable shot of her career.

However, one shot that we used to see early in her career that we rarely get to see now is her inside out BACKHAND. Ocassionally, she used to run around her forehand and hit bh. Check out her '99 win against Hingis at the USO, you'll see a several of these - especially when she gets a short ball.

Of late, her forehand has been so stable and such a weapon that she hasn't had to do that either.
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Old Nov 1st, 2013, 08:58 PM   #5
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Re: Serena's inside out forehand

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Originally Posted by DOUBLEFIST View Post
Serena's bh has always been so effective that she's rarely needed to run around it and hit IO or OI. I think when she's done it in the past it's largely been out of conceit or finding herself out of position. I far prefer (and I think she does to) to see her ripping bhdtl or XC for winners. Her bh and been, arguably (as some would say her serve), the most stable shot of her career.

However, one shot that we used to see early in her career that we rarely get to see now is her inside out BACKHAND. Ocassionally, she used to run around her forehand and hit bh. Check out her '99 win against Hingis at the USO, you'll see a several of these - especially when she gets a short ball.

Of late, her forehand has been so stable and such a weapon that she hasn't had to do that either.
(Yeah, I really loved that shot. A general rarity, too, so it was really nice that it was part of her regular arsenal. Beautiful to watch.)
But she definitely gets into deliberate position for her IOF and often has done in the past. It's not that she really does it less now (not less that she's done thourghout her career), it's just that it's so much less potent than before, and I can't really see why.
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Old Nov 1st, 2013, 09:21 PM   #6
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Re: Serena's inside out forehand

She hit quite a few in Beijing (Wozniacki, Radwanksa, and Jankovic) and in Istanbul. Normally she goes for an outright winner with that shot off a short ball that central. You rally see her actively looking for an inside out forehand from a neutral point in a rally. The reason being is that her backhand is more consistently versatile of the ground. Because of the her open stance, it's hard for her opponents to read the direction of the ball and she can open the court with a short angle backhand crosscourt or inside out backhand or one down the line or just fire one deep crosscourt. Her game has been more about openning up space with angles and than playing high percentage shots into the open court. That's why it's mainly a crosscourt. I hope she continues to develop and add more heavy topspin on her forehand, especially for slow hardcourts. She used that tactic well in the Kvitova match really pushing Kvitova back in rallies. Against her biggest competition like Vika, Sharapova, Na, etc. She can really change pace by adding more air and heaviness to her ball and then attacking a short reply.
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Old Nov 2nd, 2013, 12:57 AM   #7
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Re: Serena's inside out forehand

That little jump she does when she hits it!!!
The ones in 03 Wimbledon cone to mind.
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Old Nov 2nd, 2013, 03:21 AM   #8
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Re: Serena's inside out forehand

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Originally Posted by wtennisphan View Post
She hit quite a few in Beijing (Wozniacki, Radwanksa, and Jankovic) and in Istanbul. Normally she goes for an outright winner with that shot off a short ball that central. You rally see her actively looking for an inside out forehand from a neutral point in a rally. The reason being is that her backhand is more consistently versatile of the ground. Because of the her open stance, it's hard for her opponents to read the direction of the ball and she can open the court with a short angle backhand crosscourt or inside out backhand or one down the line or just fire one deep crosscourt. Her game has been more about openning up space with angles and than playing high percentage shots into the open court. That's why it's mainly a crosscourt. I hope she continues to develop and add more heavy topspin on her forehand, especially for slow hardcourts. She used that tactic well in the Kvitova match really pushing Kvitova back in rallies. Against her biggest competition like Vika, Sharapova, Na, etc. She can really change pace by adding more air and heaviness to her ball and then attacking a short reply.
In that MM clay she played after Wimby, you could really see her working on making topspin a weapon and not just using it for margin. In that, she's truly influenced by Nadal.
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Old Nov 2nd, 2013, 03:24 AM   #9
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Re: Serena's inside out forehand

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Originally Posted by nemurenai View Post
(Yeah, I really loved that shot. A general rarity, too, so it was really nice that it was part of her regular arsenal. Beautiful to watch.)
But she definitely gets into deliberate position for her IOF and often has done in the past. It's not that she really does it less now (not less that she's done thourghout her career), it's just that it's so much less potent than before, and I can't really see why.
I don't think she's all that PURPOSEFUL about it. I think it's more or less something she does when she's presented with the opportunity. I think that if she was "looking" for it - trying to set it up - it would seem much more potent as it would be a consistent weapon. With the command of her backhand, she simply doesn't "need" the IO fh so much.
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Old Nov 2nd, 2013, 03:40 AM   #10
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Re: Serena's inside out forehand

Yeah, her backhand has always been steady and really didn't need to run around it, I agree her inside out forehand has no power unlike Venus who still hits it consistently hard

But you arr also right that it could be a factor of her footwork laziness, but really she doesn't really need it with that backhand
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Old Nov 2nd, 2013, 06:13 PM   #11
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Re: Serena's inside out forehand

That inside out forehand to save MP #3 against Sharapova in the 2005 AO SF

She saved two match points with FH winners, which was so delicious because the commentators were ragging on her FH technique the whole damn match.
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Old Nov 2nd, 2013, 07:18 PM   #12
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Re: Serena's inside out forehand

She does it on return a lot.
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Old Nov 21st, 2013, 12:36 AM   #13
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Re: Serena's inside out forehand

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She does it on return a lot.
Especially against Sharapova.
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Old Nov 24th, 2013, 04:04 AM   #14
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Re: Serena's inside out forehand

It's a mediocre shot in general. Inconsistent with finishing, doesn't flatten it out enough, indecisive about when to use it.
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Old Nov 24th, 2013, 12:52 PM   #15
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Re: Serena's inside out forehand

If she adds an inside out forehand her footwork would have to improve further and it would be a great plus for her. Even though she has a great backhand she could still add a weapon. Look at Djokovic on the men's tour, he really has improved his forehand inside out over the seasons. I hope she can add that as a weapon and mix it in with heavy deep top spin that lands right a few inches from the service line. It will push players back and allow her to dictate points.
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