Six of the common strokes or shots used in tennis are forehand, backhand, groundstrokes, service, service returns and volleys. Let’s start with the forehand.
Three of the basic types of forehand stokes are Forehand Drive (also known as the groundstoke), Top Spin and Open-stance Forehand Drive. According to Wikipedia, the forehand stroke is usually used as the major weapon of any professional tennis players.
Pete Sampras, Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, Fernando Verdasco, Ana Ivanovic, Justine Henin, Serena Williams, Steffi Graf and Maria Sharapova are some of the big names in ATP and WTA with remarkable forehands in play.
The Topspin is an above average forehand technique and it requires you to brush your racket upward and hit the ball underneath.
The Backhand Stroke allows you to bring your racket across your body, hitting the ball in reverse side. The three types of backhand strokes are: Double-handed backhand drive, Single-handed backhand drive and Sliced backhand.
Some of the notable players with best backhands on tour are Andy Murray, Marat Safin, Jelena Jankovic and Venus Williams.
If sliced backhand is used, a backspin is produced.
When the ball bounces once before it’s hit, it’s called a groundstoke (either a forehand or a backhand). Six of the many professionals known for their exceptional groundstrokes are Richard Gasquet, Roger Federer, David Nalbandian, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Justine Henin and Lindsay Davenport.
Next is the SERVE. Many professionals came short when it comes to service, considering this is the start and the most important shot in tennis. There are several types of serves: the flat, the slice, the topspin, the topspin/slice and the twist.
Serena Williams and Andy Roddick were the two of the best servers in the world. Strong serves produce an ace.
An ace is a type of serve that lands within the service box without being return. Two of greatest acers in ATP Circuit are Igor Karlovic and Andy Roddick.
FLAT SERVE “most often hit straight down the center, where the net is lowest.” TOPSPIN SERVE “travels slower and the contact point is directly over the server’s head or perhaps even a little behind it, requiring complex body mechanics.” SLICE SERVE “has little or no topspin on it, it cannot be aimed high over the net and has little margin for error.” TOPSPIN-SLICE SERVE “hit with a combination of both sidespin and topspin, imparted by brushing the back of the ball upward and rightward at about a 45 degree angle at contact.”
Service return is the shot your opponent must play upon the service. A player returns the ball by any of these strokes:
- Blocked Forehand- use this stroke if the serve is too powerful. Your goal is to punch the ball back over the net.
- Backhand Return- this stroke is used in taking back the need from the power of serve.
- Single-handed Backhand Return- useful for reaching wide and sliced serves.
The last common tennis stroke is the volley. A volley is the act of hitting the ball before it bounces on the ground. The goal of volley is to successfully redirect the ball to the other side of the court without hitting the net. There are six types of volleys:
- Forehand- works well when the volley is low
- Backhand- works well when played from a more side-on position
- High forehand- for reaching a high ball
- High backhand- done in good timing
- Low forehand- reaching low ball
- Low backhand- this gives you right amount of power to volley
Three of the players on tour known for its superior volley are Amelie Mauresmo, Roger Federer and Serena Williams.
Wait. I’ve noticed Roger Federer is all over the place. That means only one thing: this “Mighty-Leo” is truly one of the gigantic icons not only in tennis but to the sports industry, right? It’s hard to imagine the tennis circuit without him!