Degeneration

Wed Sep 3, 2008

I automatically prefer tennis players with a one-handed backhand, as that’s how I play[ed]; but how do you choose when both hit that way (which is increasingly rare)? The five-set match between Djokovic and Robredo yesterday seemed to show the latter at a severe disadvantage because of his one-handed backhand, but I didn’t watch enough of it to be sure. And then there was Gonzalez v. Roddick last night.

The trade-off seemed to be, as I understood it from the tennis literature I used to read, that the one-handed backhand provided a more natural volley and slice, at the expense of a perhaps weaker return and more difficulty hitting the ball off the rise. Since almost no one plays a serve-and-volley game anymore, it surprises me that there as many one-handed backhands in the pro game as there are. Imitations of Federer probably result in most of the ones seen in the junior levels now (as did Sampras when I was in high school. I think I modeled mine on Edberg. Could either of them be successful in the current game with a continental grip on the forehand?)

Much has been made of the recent struggles of the LA Times, and today’s article on the FCC’s aggressive PR efforts in Wilmington, NC in support of the digital broadcast roll-out describes Wilmington as a “quaint seaside town” in the first paragraph.