A Perfect Connect
Another Connect 3 – Same but Different
Readers who started these pages at the beginning should know this by heart, but I’ll repeat it for brainwashing purposes:
Every good tennis stroke is defined by where racket strings meet the ball – each stroke needs a contact that’s perfect for each and every shape and purpose.
‘I think that last line might be a new one.’
And I’m still warming up – there’s already a drafted 50,000 word version of The Tennis Book that I haven’t tapped into yet.
Contact should always be some way forward of the body, or – more exactly – forward of the hitting shoulder: certainly never behind it. And Marat Safin shows one version of a forward connect in this image.
There are slight variations (usually for spin), but for a flat first serve – which is principally what we’re concerned with in these first pages – a contact at full stretch – or optimally extended – upwards is a good guide.
Like Marat, this image is a great example of both the height and forwardness of a serve – any idea who it is ? (without right-clicking)
For a flat first serve, a contact a touch to the right of your head is good, similar to Rafa in the image below.
Rafa, Javier Sanchez (for it is he) and Marat Safin each obey the Connect 3 Principle for a service contact point. However, you can see variants – Nadal in particular is making a connect fractionally away from his body (to the right, as we look) and the other two are contacting the ball further out front than Nadal.
These are subtleties for later, but thinking is good, so there’s no reason why beginners shouldn’t ponder why this is so?
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