Ultimate ATP Forehand Analysis - Stage Two - Loop and Lag

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Ultimate ATP Forehand Analysis - Stage Two - Loop and Lag
Part two of our ATP Forehand Analysis series. The ATP tennis forehand is the modern-day, ideal tennis forehand. Download our FREE forehand guide here -
In this forehand lesson, Top Tennis Training coaches Simon Konov and Alex Slabinsky will analyze the ATP tennis forehand swings and the lag phase of top ATP players such as Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic, and many others.

When it comes to the ATP Tennis forehand, many players immediately think of Roger Federer's or Rafael Nadal's forehand. However, there are many different styles of the ATP forehand that are effective and work well for tennis players of all ages and abilities.
If you study the top ten ATP tennis players, each one will have a unique forehand to them. They all use the same fundamentals though, but they'll have a unique swing path that is different to the next one.

The Loop
The backswing that you choose to use on your tennis forehand will greatly impact your game. A bigger loop, similar to a Del Potro or Gonzalez, will give you more power but takes longer to execute and will require great timing to pull off.

Small vs Medium vs Big
A smaller loop will help you time the forehand contact point better. You won't be able to create as much racket head speed, since the swing path is much shorter. However, what you may lose in power, you'll gain in time and efficiency. Players who use a smaller loop include Fabio Fognini, Andy Murray and Matteo Berrettini. A smaller, more compact swing, will allow you to take the ball early, on the rise, which helps you take time away from your opponent.

A medium-size loop will give you the best of both worlds. You'll be able to create enough power, without sacrificing your timing and contact point.
Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Fernando Verdasco, and Grigor Dimitrov use this type of swing.

A big loop will help you generate more power, but you may struggle with timing. If you normally play on slower surfaces such as clay or high bouncing hard courts, this bigger loop can help you to attack those higher bouncing balls and you'll have the time to execute the bigger swing.
However, if you mainly play on faster courts such as grass or carpet, this big swing will most likely damage your game.
Juan Martin Del Potro and Fernando Gonzalez are two players that use this bigger swing.

Tennis Forehand Lag
One of the biggest differences with the modern ATP forehand compared to the older generations of forehands from the time of Borg, Lendl or even Agassi is the amount of racket lag the top players produce nowadays.
Roger Federer's wrist looks like it should snap when he gets into this phase of the ATP forehand.

What Is Wrist Lag on the Tennis Forehand?
If you watch any ATP-style forehand in slow motion, you'll see that once the player has started their swing towards the ball, the racket head will lag behind the grip and hand. The bottom of the tennis racket handle, the butt cap, will be pointing towards the oncoming ball.
Some players will create more lag on their forehand, this often comes down to the bent elbow vs the straight arm style.

Video Timeline:
00:00 - ATP Forehand Power Positions
00:57 - ATP vs WTA Forehand Differences
02:22 - 6 o'clock Power Position (Wawrinka style)
02:48 - Pat The Dog Forehand (Federer style)
06:45 - Compact ATP Forehand Swing (Fognini style)
10:03 - ATP Forehand Lag
13:17 - Can You Guess The Swing?

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