Tennis seems to evolve all the time. As a coach, you need to be always learning. The open stance is a more front on stance where the hips rotate but the feet do not form a line. This has been around since 2001 in my first couple of years of full time coaching where it was being considered an acceptable innovation or teaching method.
One great coach of the open stance and rotation based strokes is Oscar Wegner. I have since read and watched alot of Oscar Wegner. He is the founder of the Modern Tennis Method (MTM). I really like the way he teaches and he doesn’t add unneccesary instruction but easy, creative ways to track the ball and use angular momentum (rotation) to get the ball over.
Oscar is considered a bit radical in his conviction that footwork should not be taught but that it is an intuitive part of tracking and hitting the ball. I agree with most of what he preaches but I do still teach some footwork (both a neutral and open stance). My main emphasis with any footwork is to ensure that the player uses good rotation during the shot to ensure that the angular momentum is prolific and that a recovery step naturally occurs. Without rotation is is awkward to hit a modern forehand or two handed backhand. As Oscar Wegner says try shaking hands with the person in front of you standing side on. His point is that to try and hit the ball in front of us, we cannot be stuck side on to the ball.
Oscar has some great ideas in teaching an learning tennis and his ability to cut out the endless coaching instruction is what makes him a source that I constantly go back for inspiration. Coaching should be simple and impactful and make playing an enjoyable, discovery based experience.
What’s most interesting is that alot of footage from tennis years gone by show that the open stance (forehand at least) has been used for years gone by. However it wasn’t taught for a long time, except for by Oscar Wegner who was ahead of his time. Oscar also has alot of offer in all parts of the game and i would recommend to any player and definately every coach to study his methods.
He worked with Gustavo Kuertan and Richard Williams used his methods to teach Venus and Serena. Here is how he teaches his methods to a beginner and the differences to traditional instruction.
Scarborough Tennis Academy