Sam Stosur Forehand
Sam Stosur is known for having a huge forehand. And many have noted that her straight arm configuration is more commonly found on the ATP tour.
I was sitting right next to Sam as she was practicing, and it really felt (and sounded) like she was ripping the cover off the ball.
In this clip, notice how her wrist stretches backwards as she starts to pull forwards. This is the “stretch shortening cycle” that creates a rubber band effect on the wrist tendons. If you focus on the butt cap of her racket you can see how it dramatically changes direction, first in a neutral position pointing at her body when her arm is back and then, as she pulls forward, the wrist stretches backwards, pointing at the right net post. On contact, her arm is straight. And on her finish she is “checking the time” on her watch – a result of the pronation and torque from the hand and forearm.
Finally notice how she initiates the pull of the racket. First she coils her upper body (left hand pointing straight across her body) and sinks down with her legs. Then she uncoils her torso and lifts upwards from her legs to initiate the stroke – with the arm lagging behind and getting pulled forward. (click here for more on the uncoil/lift motion)
Play the clip below and your can hear how “heavy” this forehand is. The sound the ball makes coming off the strings is tremendous.