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Nice detail to notice, Meags. I definitely noted that in a set of three separate pictures of Henin, Gasquet and Kuerten someone posted on an old TW forum thread. He showed where the index knuckles were for each one, Henin being on bevel eight. I'll have to go find those pics...
Ah, yes. That's an excellent explanation there. Sometimes, I revert to the older backhand and line up the knuckles like Mac or Edberg. Definitely like a two hander line up.
I definitely did not find cocking the wrist makes for a weakened position against the force of the ball. In fact, it made hitting the ball very effortless. It would seem to be that way, but try it for yourself. Start at the point of contact with your arm straight and cocked. Then feed yourself the ball. You will find a wider and more horizontal swing path in order to arrive at this contact.
The brace of the whole arm is doing the work, powered at the shoulder instead of merely the rotating forearm/ elbowy motion of Fed.
I would venture to say I would much prefer either Gasquet's or Kuerten's backhand to Fed's or Haas'. More power, better spin, stronger on the high balls, unflappable under pressure and greater variety.
The video below at 0:41 shows the young 9 year old Gasquet on the cover of a French magazine hitting a backhand. His knuckles are cocked and aligned across the handle. Then there's footage of him as a junior hitting his backhand with his hand in the same position.
Guess the French teach their juniors to hold their backhand grips this way. Who knows? :)
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