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Player to Player: Generating Topspin

August 6, 2012 04:13 PM
Have a question? Receive advice from your fellow tennis players!
Real Tennis Players - Like You! - Asking For and Offering Advice on the Sport They Love  
Player to Player is USTA.com’s regular feature in which everyday tennis players are given a forum to ask advice on the sport they love – and their fellow players will dish out advice. We’ll post a number of the best responses we receive to our question of the week.
Player to Player:
This week's question from Andria:
What are the pros and cons of taking lessons either at a tennis club or with a private tennis coach? Are there aspects of being involved in a tennis club (teams, leagues, etc.) that benefit more than having a private coach?
Please share your thoughts by e-mailing Player@usta.com, and include your name and hometown.
Got a question of your own? Send that along, too!
Last week's question from Justin:
(Please note: There is no need to send additional responses to this question.)
I have been trying to generate more topspin on my shots instead of hitting flat balls all the time. Can someone recommend what kind of string to use on my racquet to help?
Player Responses:
Joe G., San Antonio, Texas

In order to produce topspin instead of  flat strokes all the time, first, you need someone who knows how to impart topspin and show you the basics. There are strings that are promoted to help produce topspin, but the strings alone will not help much unless you have the right technique.
Imagine a gate swinging back and forth. That is basically a flat stroke. Now think of an escalator going up from low to high. That is basically a topspin. I'm no teaching pro, but I hope you get the idea. Good luck!

Coach Leonard, Concord, Calif.

Being in the golf and tennis retail world for 20 years, I often will find similarities with explaining equipment. For example, golfers who seek a sand wedge that generates more spin for control, I give them two basic choices. A club whose grooves will generate more spin due to its bite or a forged model that will hold the ball longer and also put more rpms on the ball. Tennis strings for spin share the same attributes. Here are some of those strings:
Textured for more bite
Prince Top Spin
Babolat RPM Blast
Gamma Pro Spin
Wilson Spin Cycle
Soft for playability
Prince Premier
VS gut
Gamma Pro
Wilson NXT
Spin is not completely a result of the choice of string. The type of racquet frame can make an impact, too. The frame with a thinner crossbeam will allow the ball to sit longer on the strings than a wider beam. The slimmer frame will bend more as it makes contact with the ball. The most crucial factors for generating more spin are the type of grip and the path of the racquet. A continental grip is recommended for slicers. Semi-western and western grip is recommended the most for topspinners. The slice motion is high to low with an outside-to-inward racquet path. The topspin is the opposite. Low to high with an inside-to-outward motion. See your pro or coach about correct racquet path and what equipment will work best for you. Be aware that the strings won't be the sole answer. I've seen players use lead tape hoping that it will be their answer for more power. Remember, the string won't work without the swing. Best wishes.
*Please note that any advice given out in this forum should in no way be confused with actual medical advice. Before starting any new exercise regimen or altering your existing one, we strongly urge you to consult with your regular physician.
Click here for USTA.com's Player to Player Archive.


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