A study of contact points
In the following clip you will see Berdych at the net working on his volleys and adjusting to many different shots hit at him. We will take a close look at the contact point through the magnifying glass tool.
A comfortable forehand volley
The first picture shows a classic forehand volley in which both hands remain close to each other forcing the torso sideways. Berdych shows a perfect execution of this shot. He takes a large cross over step with his left foot, keeps his torso erect, makes contact in front of the body and keeps the racquet head well above the wrist.
Getting out of the way!
This shot towards the right hip forces Berdych to pivot, turn and step back with his right leg to get out of the way of the ball. His contact point is slightly in front of the body and "smack" in the middle of the racquet. His eyes perfectly at contact.
The close up
The magnifying glass confirms the perfect contact point! The racquet is slightly open because in this situation Berdych will have to hit up on the ball to clear the net.
Tough shot to the body
A ball straight towards the chest is very challenging. For these type of shots using the backhand volley is always the best choice. Berdych has to jump to block this shot back, however, he manages to set the racquet head at the perfect angle and to contact the ball right in the middle.
a low backhand volley
This is an interesting look at a low backhand volley contact point. The magnifying glass shows a Berdych's grip is between an Eastern and a Contimental grip. His racquet head is slightly open and above his hand. His body is sideways and his knees bent.
Get out of the way!
A shot towards his right hip forces Berdych to turn the body and shift away from the shot in order to set the racquet in an optimal position to block the ball back. The contact point is on the side of the body - an emergency shot against a fast incoming body shot.
Getting away from the ball again
This is a very similar shot to the one described earlier. Berdych is forced do get out of the way by pivoting, turning and stepping back with his right leg behind the left leg. Ideally one always strives to step forward with the left leg but for shots into the body this is a good solution. The contact is very firm once again with the racquet head slightly open.
Quick reaction on a wide forehand volley
A fast ball forces Berdych to reach right to block a ball back. He uses no backswing and simply sets the racquet behind the incoming ball. The magnifying glass shows the racquet head in a perfect position to push the ball over.
Backhand drop shot volley
If you look at the video you will notice that Berdych finishes the rally with a drop shot, starting the swing way above the contact point and swinging down on it. The racquet head at contact is quite a bit more open.