16 June 2011


Some time ago we've already featured a rally with Adrian Grant and Aamir Atlas Khan as a demonstration of the difference of high and low-elbowed racket-preparation. This time I refer to the bellow rally mostly because of what Peter Barker is explaining in the commentary box. He is reproaching Grant's racket-preparation not in technical but rather in tactical terms. He is saying that instead of looking to keep the racket-head in front of him in search for a volley he immediately positions the racket backwards. I feel this point is very true and concerns not only Adrian but in general the old-school British attitude (except Matthew and Willstrop of course). How many times do we see mediocre cross-courts that the player lets pass himself to hit it then off the re-bounce from the back-wall. Looking for the volley does not mean looking for cheap winners, you are welcome to hit it deep if you feel it's not time to go short, but if you have the opportunity to volley a ball just do it, it will take away time from your opponent, which means less recovery for his body between two shots and more uncertainty about where the ball goes as from the 'T' where you volley you have definitely more options than from the back of the court. As the volley is often a reaction-shot, without time or necessity for a back-swing, a firm wrist will help the precision of your shot. Therefore - to follow Peter Barker's suggestions - it makes sense to keep the wrist already cocked when the racket is in front of you whilst you wait for your opponents shot.