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Thread: Forehand blues

  1. #1

    Forehand blues

    Hi People,

    Have started playing tennis again after a good 10 years break. If memory serves me right, I had a powerful forehand which I used to set up to win me points.

    These days, the forehand is my weak side. Shots normally go long, lack topspin. Am forced to hit at slower speeds to keep the ball in court, making me a sitting duck all the time.

    I play with an Eastern forehand grip and all attempts to change the grip [probable issue] have come to nought.


  2. #2
    Unregistered Guest

    About your forehand

    Look, it is almost impossible to give you an advice that will be helpful without seeing you hit a forehand. Regarding your grip, the problem of an eastern grip is when you have to contact the ball higher than your hips. If you want to get used to a different grip, here is my advice:
    1. Realize that the more extreme the grip, the more you have to get under the ball and push up with your legs since you will naturally hit the ball with more spin.
    2. Make very small partial changes on your grip. Don't try to change from an eastern to a western all at once.
    3. The most important part of all. Start in smaller distances. Practice first against the wall or from the service line of the court, once you get used to that grip then move on to try to hit from the baseline.

    But remember that changing the grip will not be the answer to your forehand. You say you used to have a good forehand and now you cannot hit the same way so something else is going wrong, not the grip.
    Is your contact point correct? If it's not, are you hitting too late?
    Are getting under the ball? Are you hitting the ball on the rise?

    Anyways, 10 years is a long time. Give it some time. Tennis requires a lot of coordination. The pro players practice every day and sometimes even they feel they cannot hit the ball the way they used to.
    Do not torture yourself thinking of how you used to play. Start with what you have now and work to improve your strokes.

    Good luck

  3. #3
    Shots normally go long, lack topspin. Am forced to hit at slower speeds to keep the ball in court, making me a sitting duck all the time.
    Changing your grip just to get more topspin seems rather drastic.

    Who are you playing? If you play primarilly with one or a few opponents who hit with heavy topspin, THEIR heavy topspin could be your problem, not your forehand. To hit with topspin you must reverse any topspin on the incoming shot. Heavy incoming topspin can make that hard to do...out...long, because your shot came off your racket with underspin or flat instead of with topspin.

    There are several ways to deal with this. The first thing to try is a more vertical swing. You can also play deeper. Then you hit the ball on the descent of its bounce, when it's spinning slower. Also, then it's fallowing DOWNWARD into your upward-moving strings. That's better for topspin than hitting on the rise. But, keep in mind that playing deeper decreases your angle, makes you chase every shot farther, keeps you away from the net, and makes you easier to pass.

    The main thing is to swing low to high. Often players somehow acquire a big, looping backswing on the forehand. Instead of taking the racket back with its head held high (alongside your head), just take it straight down and back. Experiment with this more economical, compact backswing till you get rid of the extraneous motion and like the results.

    One common problem is wristiness. Many players think to get topspin by rolling the racket head over the ball at contact. The telltale sign of this is that the racket face is closed during the followthrough. Instead present a flat racket face to the ball. One way to make sure you do this is to take the racket back low and with the racket face closed, then swing upward -- WITHOUT CHANGING THE POSITION OF YOUR WRIST (imagine it's in a cast). If you do this, you cannot help but present a flat racket face to the ball with a swing that is tracking upward to produce topspin. Hard to picture, but try it. Pick up a racket and start with the face closed at the end of the backswing. Then watch as the racket face magically opens to be perfectly flat as you move the racket forward -- without any wrist action at all. The telltale sign of doing this right is that the racket face will be open on the follow-through.

    You can find a diagram that might help at

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    something i was always told was trying to make the forehand and get it in court doesnt mean slowing ur swing down and hitting it high slow and flat, brush the ball creating top spin bringing u a more consistant deep reliable shot. Its good when ur under pressure aswell

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