The Frame    

In older times the ball was addressed squarely with the strings.

In modern tennis you approach the ball with the racquet’s frame, the upper edge, starting from below the ball for topspin, the lower edge, starting from above for slice.

Tennis today is more of brushing, massaging, deflecting the ball.

Not only is contact longer in this fashion, it also elicits spins and more control.

Power is no longer the main consideration. Modern racquets and strings have great response and generate ball speed with a lesser effort than with the racquets of old.

Even further, when you are looking at the ball you are about to strike, having the edges in mind increases your awareness of the racquet angle, especially of the vertical angle that determines the height of your shot, linked to the amount of spin you want on the ball.

It is almost as if playing tennis with the hand. The fingers have feel, have awareness. The racquet has not, but you feel it in your hand.

Use the edges, feel them as if they were the index finger and the little finger of your hand.

Oscar Wegner,

Comments (2)
  1. Lucy Reply

    I had been taught by conventional coaches that the “sweet spot” center of the stringbed is the most desirable place to focus my attention, but thanks to your advice I have finally realized that by using the edges and hitting above or below the center I have much greater depth and directional control, spin and power. In the past I tended to open the racket face and hit long, but by getting a better feel for the edges on groundstrokes, volleys and serves my overall game has improved greatly. As usual, with this tip I am “unlearning” tennis and becoming a better player. Gracias, Maestro!

  2. Godfrey Wade Reply

    Great points gentlemen, why is it when teaching a beginner the brushing method(windshield wiper) it takes longer as oppose to the old method of approaching the ball with a square racket face.Also if I start the student with a square racket face approach[with much success]-inevitable switching back to the mtm is more difficult to conceive.

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