I think it always make sense to work on your technique, but sometimes there are such big issues in your game that you need to change an entire stroke. Federer has not been in need of any dramatic changes, but constantly makes small tweaks to his game and has emerged in 2017 with a one-handed backhand that someone defeats belief. Just evidence what can happen if you’re focused on becoming a better player.
We all want to become better players, no matter what level we’re on. That is the beauty of sport and life – our constant search for improvement. But sometimes it’s not just about playing better tennis and achieving better results on court, but it’s also about preventing injury. This also goes for pro tennis players, players who have devoted their whole lives to the sport but still has ended up with a stroke or mechanism that hurts them physically or just when it comes to the scoreboard.
One of those players who decided to change his technique is 65-ranked Frenchman Adrian Mannarino who decided to change his forehand after getting pain in his left hand (read the tennis.com article). The specialists were confounded. Conclusion: He had to change his forehand grip and in so doing his entire swing and technique on that wing.
He did and has performed well this year and is in the fourth round of Miami Open after beating Borna Coric in a tight three-setter.
Another player who has changed his forehand is Latvian Ernests Gulbis, who was ranked as high as in the top ten in 2014, but has fallen to spot 172. I’m not sure what is ailing him, besides a pretty lousy confidence after all those losses, but one thing is clear. His forehand does not look the same as it did when he broke through. Just have a look at this bird-like preparation:
And here is the new Gulbis forehand. Still looks way to complex as a stroke if you ask me.
Just compare this with Fabio Fognini’s excellent and efficient technique.