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Tennis Strokes Forehand By Top Tennis Players

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Tennis Strokes Forehand by top male tennis players and female player is provided here in this article. On the top of this powerful forehand list is definitely none other that Roger Federer. It’s struck powerfully and has remarkable variety and adaptability. The second person to come on the list is Rafael Nadal. He has already etched his name near the top of the list of the best clay-court players the game has ever seen. But thanks to his monster Forehand, he’s a contender on all other surfaces as well. Third on my list is Andy Roddick having the same power in his Tennis Strokes Forehand as his serve. One and only lady in my list is Serena Williams.

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Tennis Strokes Forehand: Roger Federer Forehand

On the list of great tennis strokes forehand, Roger Federer’s should be near the top. It’s struck powerfully and has remarkable variety and adaptability. Of all the shots in his arsenal, it’s his forehand that he relies on most to win points. Whether he’s defending or attacking—as he’s doing in this sequence—Federer makes it all look effortless.

1. Federer is turning his shoulders as he’s moving to the ball. Notice how his left hand is on the racquet even though he’s well into his preparation. This forces him to turn his shoulders. Federer uses a semi-Western grip and he’s bringing his racquet back with the head cocked above the wrist. This will ensure a loop back-swing and good spin production. He’s moving diagonally forward, rather than straight to the side, so the ball doesn’t get away from him.

2. Federer brings his racquet back and his left hand comes off the throat but stays to his right side. That’s a big change from my day, when players such as Chris Evert had their non-dominant hand out front and pointing to the oncoming ball at this stage. Keeping your off hand on the same side as your racquet produces a fuller shoulder turn, which helps you get more racquet-head speed and a more powerful shot.

3. After taking a big stride to reach this point, Federer is now calculating the distance of his next step so the ball will be at the perfect point for contact. Although he’s preparing to hit a low ball, he’s taken his racquet back quite high. Federer’s left arm remains to the right side, still assisting in his shoulder turn. In this frame and the next one his rotation is so complete that you can see much of his back.

4. Federer is lowering his body with his legs (not bending at the waist) and starting to bring his racquet down. Notice how the racquet face is closed (the strings are facing down). This is due in part to his grip, but also because of the way he leads his backswing with his elbow, pronating his forearm. This type of take-back—another big change from the straight-back, straight-forward forehand of my day—allows you to produce tremendous racquet-head speed.

5. As he starts his forward swing, Federer begins to open his torso and bring his left arm around to the front of his body. The string bed is still facing the ground. The oncoming ball is low—you can tell because he’s looking down—but his head has barely moved throughout the sequence. Federer follows the ball by moving his eyes while keeping his head as still as possible.

6. Federer has opened up completely at this point and his body is facing his target. His racquet has come forward with tremendous speed and he’ll make contact at a point that’s even with his right foot. Notice how he keeps his left hand close to his body. Just as figure skaters pull their arms close to spin faster, Federer tucks in his left arm to help his upper body turn more quickly and to get more racquet-head speed. Here we also get a good look at his semi-Western grip.

7. Though he’s well past striking the ball, Federer’s eyes are still glued to the point of contact. This is one of the reasons Federer makes such consistent contact on his shots. His follow-through, which is to the side rather than extended out front, shows just how important rotation is in his forehand. In my era, ground strokes were more linear—straight back and straight forward.

8. The ball has been directed down the line and Federer is moving back toward the center of the court, probably with the intention of following this shot to the net if it isn’t an outright winner. He’s finished his tennis strokes forehand while maintaining his balance, which will allow him to make a smooth transition forward.

Tennis strokes forehand

Tennis Strokes Forehand: Roger Federer hitting forehands from the front perspective in slow motion. This video was shot during a practice session at the 2009 BNP Paribas Open.

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Tennis Strokes Forehand: Rafael Nadal Forehand

At the age of 20, Rafael Nadal, a two-time champion at Roland Garros, has already etched his name near the top of the list of the best clay-court players the game has ever seen. But thanks to his monster Tennis Strokes Forehand, he’s a contender on all other surfaces as well. Here’s how he generates so much power and spin with it.

1. Nadal’s preparation for his forehand is outstanding. Here you can see that he’s loaded and ready to go. His racquet is back, his shoulders are fully turned, his back is pretty straight— which I really like—and his legs are low and spaced well, giving him a wide base from which to hit. He’s using a full Western grip, which is great for generating topspin.

2. Nadal’s racquet is in virtually the same place as in the first frame, but he’s still adjusting his feet, leading me to think he may have gotten a bad bounce. Normally, I like to see continuous momentum with the racquet throughout the swing. Here it looks as if he might have checked his swing slightly. Even so, he’s doing a good job of getting his back leg almost behind the ball.

3. His base is set and his left leg is planted. The racquet head is starting to drop and you can see that the face is completely closed. This is common in today’s game. Nadal’s right shoulder is just now starting to come through the contact zone. His legs and back are in perfect position, and he’s low to the ball. I prefer to see a player get down with his legs like Nadal does rather than bend at the waist.

4. Nadal is pulling the right side of his body around first, and his left side is dragging behind. This helps him load up more power until he’s ready to let his swing rip. He’s beginning to come up with his legs, but, contrary to what you might expect, his weight is shifting toward his back foot rather than to his front, the way tennis players are traditionally taught.

5. Here you clearly see one of the more unusual aspects of Nadal’s forehand. Typically, players who use a Western grip make contact close to their bodies and with a pronounced elbow bend. But Nadal strikes the ball with his left arm almost fully extended. Plus, he’s hitting the ball completely off his back foot, but his right side has come through and his upper body is open.

6. In this frame we can see how today’s forehand differs from the typical forehand of the 1970s and ’80s. Nadal and most pros these days have what I call a “windshield wiper” swing. This means that after he makes contact, Nadal swings his racquet across his body and flips it over, using the same motion as a windshield wiper. In the past, players typically extended through the hitting zone before following through to the other side of their bodies.

7. Another difference between today’s forehand and the one used in my era is that we were taught to follow through high and in the direction of our target and catch the racquet with our opposing hand. That’s not the case here; Nadal’s racquet has gone past his right hand and continues to wrap around his midsection. His weight has finally started to move to his right foot.

8. Amazingly, Nadal’s racquet has finished completely around his body. Look at the position of his right shoulder in the first photo and notice his left shoulder in this one. He was looking over his right shoulder at the beginning and ended looking over his left. This rotation is a great checkpoint for everyone, regardless of the forehand you use. If you can go shoulder to shoulder, you’ll ensure a full Tennis Strokes Forehand.

Rafael Nadal Forehand

Tennis Strokes Forehand: Rafael Nadal hitting forehands from the back perspective in HD (high definition). This video was taken during a practice session at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells.

Tennis Strokes Forehand: Andy Roddick Forehand

Andy Roddick has one of the biggest Tennis Strokes Forehand in men’s tennis. You may never hit as hard as he does, but by applying some of the technique that Andy uses, you can make your forehand a go-to shot.

Over the past 20 years, the technique used for hitting a Tennis Strokes Forehand has evolved. Advances in racquet technology and player conditioning have resulted in a more powerful stroke, and the positioning, footwork, and grips commonly used in the last generation have changed radically.

Before the mid-1970s, the emphasis was on hitting with an Eastern grip from a square stance and moving your body weight straight through the shot. Many of these principles still apply, but the players with big Tennis Strokes Forehand these days use a more Western grip, hit from open stances, and get more body rotation and weight transfer into the shot. If you want to see the personification of the modern forehand, look no further than defending U.S. Open champion Andy Roddick. When Roddick was a student in his early teens at the Evert Tennis Academy, he worked on developing the technique that years of practice and physical maturity have turned into a huge weapon. If you’re looking to get some extra zip on your forehand, or even if you’ve been playing for years and are happy with your stroke, emulating aspects of Roddick’s shot can potentially benefit your game. Let’s take a look at what makes his forehand so special.

1. Tennis Strokes Forehand: PREPARATION

Andy RoddickThe first thing Roddick does when he spots a potential forehand is to get his racquet back. When he makes this move, he tends to handcuff the throat with his left hand. It’s a bit of a style thing (you don’t have to squeeze the racquet), but it does help facilitate a full shoulder turn. At this point, the racquet face is slightly closed and above his shoulders in a cocked position. This will help him create a long, looping, and powerful swing with the racquet face brushing up through the shot.

As the ball approaches, Roddick will line it up with his back (right) leg and keep his left leg off to the side. His back foot is also turned out, which will allow his body to coil and then fire into the shot. This is basic open-stance footwork, and it’s effective because it creates an opportunity for Roddick to rotate his hips, trunk, and shoulders to produce momentum and power. And it’s also the best way to deal with his opponents’ pace and position himself for his next shot.

2. Tennis Strokes Forehand: LOADING PHASE

Andy RoddickAs Roddick plants his back leg, he stores up all the power he’ll unleash into the stroke. He bends his legs but doesn’t lean at the waist, giving himself a wide base with a low center of gravity. His hands separate as his left arm comes forward and the racquet continues back, which gives him the correct balance and posture. What’s important here is the full coiling of Roddick’s upper body and the flexing of his back leg. This builds a huge amount of energy in the large muscle groups of the legs, trunk, back, and shoulders. These constitute the “kinetic chain”; power is built from the ground up through the legs, hips, trunk, shoulders, arm, and finally the racquet. When Roddick uncoils all this stored energy, it gives him tremendous racquet-head speed.

3. Tennis Strokes Forehand: TAKING A STANCE:

The open stance is popular, but even today not every great forehand is hit from it. When players have more time and they’re near the center of the court, they may choose to square their stance and step into the ball. Or, if they’re moving up to return a low ball or hitting an approach shot, they might square up and step forward. While they can get very good linear momentum into these shots, the Andy Roddickdownside is that they don’t get nearly as much trunk rotation as they would from an open stance. Roddick’s versatile and powerful forehand enables him to produce effective shots from a variety of stances.

4. Tennis Strokes Forehand: CONTACT POINT

When Roddick swings, he practically launches himself at the ball. All the energy and rotational momentum he uses lifts him off the court. But Roddick still gets his body weight into the shot, adding forward momentum as well. His right leg is almost straight, as if he has jumped forward into the shot, but he keeps it flexed until the very moment he strikes the ball. Again, that puts extra energy into the stroke. If he straightens his back leg well before impact, he loses power.

As his body unwinds into contact, the racquet accelerates up and through the hitting zone. The extension he gets will give his shot pace and penetration, while the swing path of brushing up the back of the ball with such force rewards him with huge topspin. That’s where having a Western grip really helps (he doesn’t use a full Western, but it’s pretty close). It naturally closes the racquet face more than an Eastern forehand grip does, which permits Roddick to swing harder and apply more topspin.

5. Tennis Strokes Forehand: FOLLOW-THROUGH

Andy RoddickAfter contact, Roddick pronates his hitting arm so that the racquet ends up just above his opposite hip. On many of his forehands, his hitting elbow will actually be above the racquet. This may look odd to those of us who were taught to finish with the elbow high and the racquet over the opposite shoulder (which, from a developmental standpoint, I still believe is how everyone should start). The reason the racquet comes across his body instead of over the left shoulder is because Roddick comes over the ball with so much racquet-head speed that it’s natural for him to finish by his opposite hip. Most of the big forehands in professional tennis have a comparable follow-through.

At the completion of the stroke, you’ll see that Roddick’s right foot ends up even with or past his left foot. This is the best indicator of whether or not you’re getting linear momentum (body weight) into the shot from an open stance. When the back leg ends up ahead of the front leg, that shows good weight transfer. The right foot is also slightly turned in. During preparation it was turned out to facilitate his body turn; now it’s angled in, showing the complete rotation Roddick gets on his forehand. Getting the most of both his linear and rotational momentum is what gives Roddick such a devastating shot.

Roddick Forehand

Tennis Strokes Forehand: Andy Roddick forehands in slow motion from the 2009 BNP Paribas Open.

Tennis Strokes Forehand: Venus Williams Forehand

At times in the past, Venus Williams’ Tennis Strokes Forehand has failed her, but in this sequence she’s at her best. The four-time Wimbledon champion uses great footwork, superb balance, a good shoulder turn, and a long follow-through to confi dently put away this short ball.

1. Williams is in a very aggressive position here and has many options. This is a putaway shot, so she is using a closed stance, and her left and right arms are perfectly balanced around her upper body. I mean perfectly balanced. The racquet face is closed and slightly above her head, and because she’s well-positioned she has time for a long backswing. Williams can either bring the racquet head down and flatten out the shot, like Andre Agassi would have, or drop it lower and then brush up for topspin. Clearly, she’s not thinking about hitting another ball—this is it.

2. Again, Williams’ arms are ideally balanced. The ball is high, so she’s straightening her knees as she begins her swing. Her racquet head is now perpendicular to her body, and she’s going to hit this ball flat and hard. Notice the shoulder turn—that will be her main source of power. While Williams is in great position, a shot as flat as this one is dangerous because there’s no margin for error. If I were working with a 3.5 or 4.0 player here, I would have her close the face a little more and shorten her take-back for a higher-percentage shot.

3. People rarely think about the function of their nondominant arms. See how both of Williams’ elbows are bent? It’s not quite a perfect W, but again it illustrates her upper-body balance. The racquet head is just below the point of contact and her shoulders have rotated from perpendicular to the net to nearly parallel with it. Williams’ eyes remain on the ball and her wrist is firm, which is another good lesson for recreational players: Keep your wrist firm at contact.

4. When I examined the first three pictures here, I thought Williams was about to hit a typical inside-out forehand to her opponent’s backhand side. It turns out that she’s going crosscourt. Look at the way her racquet comes through the ball. For a long time, teaching pros talked about catching the racquet with the nondominant hand after your stroke, but in the modern game the frame follows through across the body.

5. Williams’ Tennis Strokes Forehand often goes sour in matches, but mechanically this one is a solid shot. She looks a lot like Roger Federer does on his Tennis Strokes Forehand. Her head has remained relatively still through the entire stroke. Look how you can draw a straight line from her chin to the toes of her left foot. It appears that this forehand will be a winner, but she’s keeping her eye on the ball just in case.

6. Right about now Williams knows she can relax because the ball isn’t coming back. But if you’re in this position, stay ready in case your opponent tracks the ball down. If you maintain your balance, you’ll be prepared to hit a putaway volley.

Serena Williams Forehand

Tennis Strokes Forehand: Serena Williams Slow motion close up forehand.

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