Back Swing vs.Loop
First let’s understand that on the forehand both the loop and straight back backs wings are correct. There are advantages for both and obviously some disadvantages too.
The main plus for the straight back is compactness of the swing. I’m a firm believer that the less body parts moving during a swing, the less causes for error. When using the straight back technique, think of the three Hs, Hip-Handle-Head, if the hip, handle and head of the racquet are in alignment on the backswing the stroke is compact and the head of the racquet will be below the oncoming ball to allow you to hit up the backside of the ball to generate topspin. Another plus for the straight back is when you are playing a particularly hard hitter, there will be less time to prepare due to the oncoming speed and the straight back backswing takes a shorter amount of time to get the racquet in the proper position.
Two disadvantages of the straight back are footwork and power. There is a lack of fluidity while swinging, which can cut down the head speed of the racquet, possibly resulting in a slight loss of power. The straight back swing generally dictates a closed stance which will force you to move your feet faster to get into position to hit correctly and recover back to the center of the court.
The loop backswing has been part of tennis for years and years, it has become more popular in the Modern tennis era. The advantages may be more power, condensed foot work and more control. The modern loop backswing is generally hit with the western grip, creating more spin which means more control. The power is generated by a continual swing that can form more of an arc which can give you more head speed, and if the western grip is being used, more wrist snap is needed to enhance the head speed at impact. The loop is hit more often in an open stance, so getting to the ball is faster as well as the recovery time.
Disadvantages might be errors due to form or lack of preparation time. The height of the top of your racquet head should not be higher than your eyes. Too high, and the swing will be too slow for hard hitting opponents and too difficult for balls lower than your knees. I’ve seen too many times players using the open stance forget that “open stance” is from the waist on down, a shoulder rotation is still needed to hit the shot correctly.
I suggest picking one that you’re comfortable with, and then try to learn the other. I play matches and use both when the oncoming shot dictates one or the other.
Good Luck-Have Fun!!
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