I guess it’s old news now. Players as young as 25 are doing it, so it must be, right? To me, it looks revolutionary, but maybe it’s not. Maybe it’s just a refinement of what the best shotmakers and touch players have always done, an extension of their instinctive compensation for a physical constraint.
That carving. The reaching for the far outside surface of the ball and then the simple, straight follow through. Sure, it’s obvious now, but when I first saw it, I thought it was something extraordinary. I’d watched Graham Ryding and Jonathon Power working each other on that side of the court for hundreds of strokes, but I hadn’t really seen it.
Now, of course, it’s de rigeur, which means everything has shifted slightly. Footwork, upper body, head, free hand. It’s so much more open now, so much more about what your hand is doing than what your arm is doing. Honestly, it is finally starting to feel like my forehand!