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Top 5 Best Backhands of All Time and What We Can Learn From Their Technique

Everyone who has played tennis either recreationally or professionally knows the importance of having a solid backhand. Backhand is much harder to master than a forehand owing to the technical abilities that are required to perfect a backhand. This takes years of hard work and practice and does not happen overnight. If a player possesses a backhand which is inconsistent or not powerful, that player is likely to lose a lot of points as a reasonably good opponent will exploit this weakness. This is why it is vital that a player has to have a powerful and consistent backhand in his/her repertoire in order to succeed in tennis at a higher level. There are two ways in which a player can hit a backhand, it can either be single-handed or double-handed. When a player plays a single handed backhand, he/she uses only one arm (the dominant arm) to swing at the ball. A single-handed backhand is difficult to master, owing to the high level of technical ability required and arm strength as well. However, once a single-handed backhand is mastered it is more effective than a double-handed backhand. With the two-handed backhand, a player will use both arms to swing at the ball. This stroke is almost akin to a baseball swing, but not exactly. Most of the players on the professional tour (especially women) use the double-handed backhand in their tennis games.

In my opinion, the following five players have possessed the best backhands of all time:

 

5. Kei Nishikori

Japanese tennis sensation Kei Nishikori has been the top ranked Japanese player for over a decade now and is the best men’s tennis player to ever emerge from the island nation. He is comparatively shorter than most players on tour standing at just 5 feet 10 “. To counter his height disadvantage Nishikori has arguably the best footwork on tour, is extremely consistent and has outstanding movement on the tennis court which makes him one of the best counter punchers on tour. To add to this package Nishikori currently boasts one of the best two-handed backhands on tour at the moment. Nishikori generates very high racquet speed and top spin on his backhand which he usually hits very deep into the court, making it difficult for opponents to hit a winner off his backhand. He uses this technique to get a loose ball from the opponent and put away the next shot which has proven to be very effective over the years, hence resulting in Nishikori being a mainstay in the Top 10 for many years.

Kei Nishikori sets up his two-handed backhand in textbook fashion, and his body coils with the shoulders turned to the net in excess of 90 degrees. This allows him to hit with surprising power and plenty of spin, which for a short player is very important. Nishikori also exhibits a massive backswing with the racquet face pointing towards the net during the initial part of the swing, while following through he points his racquet face slightly towards the sky after which he has a slight rotation in the racquet head wherein it faces towards the ground which helps him generate immense power and spin. This is an extremely difficult art to master and the fact that Nishikori does this with such ease makes him more than worthy of a place in the top 5 best backhanders of all time. Also, an important point to note Nishikori hardly ever misses a backhand!

 

4. David Nalbandian

Ever wondered who is tennis’ greatest underachiever? It has to be former Argentinian world number 3 David Nalbandian. On his day, with his gifted talent and powerful groundstrokes he was capable of beating any player in the world. He along with David Ferrer are considered to be the greatest players to have never won a grand slam, although Nalbandian has reached the semi finals of all four grand slams which shows that he was an all court player. It was unfortunate that Nalbandian’s career was hampered with injuries and he was playing during the most competitive era of tennis with the likes of Roger Federer, Marat Safin, Lleyton Hewitt and many others competing during his era to name a few. Regardless of all this, during his time Nalbandian possessed in his repertoire one of the best double backhands on tour.

Nalbandian’s trademark shot is his double-handed backhand down-the-line, which was often regarded as one of the best double-handed backhands on the men’s tour. He often used it to set up a point, by either hitting a clean winner or forcing a weak return from the opponent. Nalbandian boasts a smooth, fluid and seamless motion while hitting his backhand, where there is no pause in the racquet during the take back, a problem which many recreational players face while hitting their backhand. Nalbandian chooses to use a fairly straight back take back, but one important key is that Nalbandian drops his racket head below the level of the ball seconds before he makes contact with the ball. Like on the forehand, dropping the racket head below the level of the ball is essential for generating topspin to increase the margin of safety on the shot. These facets make Nalbandian’s backhand one of the most effective and consistent backhands ever to be seen in the sport. Furthermore, he possessed a brilliant jump backhand which he used numerous times to drill a winner down the line. This further emphasizes the natural talent that he had as this shot is borderline impossible to hit accurately and Nalbandian made it look unbelievably easy!

 

3. Stanislas Wawrinka

The first one-hander to make it to this list is Swiss sensation Stanislas Wawrinka. For the majority of this decade, Wawrinka has been ranked in the top 10 which is a commendable feat considering the vast array of talent that has graced the men’s game. Within that time, he has managed to win 3 grand slams which is a creditable achievement. Wawrinka has one of the best single-handed backhands in the history of the game and generates unbelievable top spin and power. In addition to this, Wawrinka also has a solid forehand, a powerful serve and a decent volley game. More than his tennis prowess, Wawrinka is also well known for his fighting spirit and his mental strength on court, wherein he has won numerous tight matches and has come back from seemingly unwinnable positions numerous times in his illustrious career.

Wawrinka’s backhand drive motion is unique in certain aspects. While releasing the racquet to make contact with the ball, he turns his hip and body which allows him to open up his chest further to generate more acceleration and power on his stroke. More often than not, he contacts the ball at the 45-degree angle of the court which is considered to be the perfect contact point. He also is very good at transferring his weight while following through with his shot, which can be noticed while watching slow motion videos of his backhand which results in ferocious power. Wawrinka also has a very effective slice and has the ability to hit winners from anywhere on the court. He also deals with high loopy shots well on his backhand side, which most one handers struggle with. If you want a visual on just how well he can strike his backhand, take a look at his backhand down the line shot versus Novak Djokovic at the 2015 Roland-Garros Final.

 

2. Richard Gasquet

Probably the least high-profile player in this list is French stalwart Richard Gasquet. Big things were expected from Gasquet after he broke into the top 10 almost 13 years ago. However, he has been quite inconsistent over the years and has been in and out of the Top 20 over the years. This is largely due to his weak forehand and serve which top players exploit. He also loses a lot of matches from dominant positions and lacks the mental strength to handle high pressure situations. Furthermore, his movement has been questionable and has comparatively slow movement around the court compared to his counterparts. However, all these negatives aside there is nothing negative that can be said about his single-handed backhand which is arguably the best one hander on the men’s tour right now.

Gasquet is not a big built player like many others and yet manages to generate one of the most powerful backhands on tour. This is solely down to his technical ability and timing which he has mastered over the years. In preparation for the shot, Gasquet positions himself behind the ball and transfers his momentum forward in such a manner that all his weight is transferred on to his front foot as he strikes the ball in front of his body. Gasquet uses an eastern grip while striking his backhand which allows him to keep his racquet face closed upon contact thereby resulting in a lot of topspin being generated. Gasquet has an unusual take-back – the face of the racket is open as if he is preparing to slice the ball, adding disguise – but his fundamentals are spot on. He turns his shoulder and sets himself behind the ball. His backhand is technically different from Wawrinka, however is equally if not more effective. Hopefully he works on the other facets of his game and he can break into the top 10 once again!

 

1. Novak Djokovic

Does this man really need any introduction? 17 Time Grand Slam winner, Current World Number 1, best returner of serve the game of tennis has ever witnessed, unbelievable agility are just few of the superlatives one can use to describe the super human that is Novak Djokovic. He has been the best player in the world for the last five years after changing his diet and hasn’t looked back since. He has been ranked in the top 3 for the majority of the last 13 years, which not only shows his consistency but also his fitness to compete at the top level for such a long period of time. Novak is one of the few players that has solid ground strokes of both flanks. However, since backhand is technically a harder stroke to master his backhand is considered to be of a higher level. The only notable weakness in Novak’s game is his overhead, however this is a shot which is not hit very often in tennis and does not impact match outcomes. Novak has the best two-handed backhand that the game has ever seen, strongly owing to his ability to strike solid returns of his backhand which the majority of the players cannot do.

Novak Djokovic Backhand technique is simple, yet flawless and smooth which allows him to generate both power and topspin from anywhere on the court. When dealing with pace Djokovic blocks and jabs the ball on his backhand but can also redirect and counter attack even when on the run. He also has the unique ability to hit a two-handed backhand on the slide which most top-level players struggle to do which sets him apart from the others. If we look at Djokovic’s backhand, we see the Serbian does not alter the level of the racket head throughout the duration of the take back. If he were to raise the level of the take back, he would be costing himself adequate time to finalize his swing. In contrast, if he were to lower the level of the racket head, he decreases the size of the circle and ultimately reduces the amount of spin and power he is able to impart upon the ball. Such a high level of mastery over the stroke puts him at number one on this list. This may be pushing it, but if Novak surpasses Roger Federer’s grand slam record he has to be considered the best player of all time doesn’t he?

 

Honorable Mentions

Nikolay Davydenko

 

Nikolas Almagro

 

Visualize Your Way To Become A Better Athlete And Tennis Player

“If my mind can conceive it, and my heart can believe it, then I can achieve it.”, a very famous quote by the great Muhammad Ali, and time to time we hear from many famous people that they bought their desires into reality by manifesting it through their visions and affirmations. So, what is manifestation? It is putting something into our physical reality through our thoughts, feelings, and beliefs. To conceive something in our mind we need to see it with clarity too through the eyes of our mind, and this process of generating mental imagery is called creative visualization. It is a way to stimulate or recreate a visual perception.
Visualization or mental rehearsal in sports is a great tool shared not only by great athletes or high performing people but most of us in our lives, be it personal or professional. Our brain is the master of our body but still most of the time we work hard neck down and forget that it all starts from our brain and the mind residing in it. What is the mind? It is the manifestation of thoughts, perception, emotion, determination, memory, and imagination that takes place within the brain.

I see this tool as a powerful way to increase my mental strength and push me toward achieving something. It drives my motivation and helps build self-confidence and determination in me.
So, is it all? We just need to create a mental image. NO!
A very important aspect of using creative visualization for manifesting our desired results is the feelings and beliefs associated with it. So, it is very important to see, feel, and believe. It is like drawing your favourite piece of art on a blank paper.

My way to Visualization

My way is quite simple, firstly I create the ambience of the room with the fragrance of essential oil to relax and support a clear vision of what I want to manifest. Let’s say, I want to win a match against the best player in the club. Now, I sit on a chair or the ground with a straight spine and eyes closed. I begin with deep breathing to calm my thoughts and focus to visualize and feel everything, even the little details from start to finish including the weather, colours, lines, my excitement and nervousness, everything that happens on a match day. I see myself entering the club and going through a ritual of warm-up before entering the court, then starting on-court warmup and finally playing the match. I envision myself hitting the ball with good positions, stances, racquet preparation and execution on the shots; moving around the court; following the ball trajectory and the location of my shots landing on the other side. While I am playing this match in my mind, I create the strategies to win points and recreate the situations which were hard to win – i.e. my opponent playing his best. It allows me to experience point play under pressure and replay the points from the past, the only difference in this mental rehearsal is I see myself winning those points and eventually the match at the end. I also feel the joy of winning the match and at last, once I am finished, I slowly open my eyes.

You can use this tool on daily basis for practice sessions where you are specifically working on a technique or tactic, or for anything else that you want in your life.

Affirmations to support your visualization – Visualization is also incomplete without mentioning positive affirmations because an element of how this tool works is the essence of the things taking place now and here. Using affirmations (short, powerful statements used in a positive way to consciously influence your thoughts) will enhance your visualization. It may feel senseless to do affirmations out loud if you are not feeling it, but what we speak we make it real. Just like when you visualize you create energy through a mental image with all its sensations, emotions, and feelings, you can also create higher vibes with the words you speak out loud. For affirmations be mindful of using positive words.

Expectations – Lastly, have expectations. After all, there is no point in visualizing and not expecting the results. But don’t expect results to show up with you not putting any action. It will also depend on your perseverance to change your actions to support new habits to achieve your manifestation as it will require a new habit of thought, belief, and action. It is like updating your phones and computers to a new operating system where hardware doesn’t change but the software is all-new for better device performance. Time to time your trust and faith will be tested but if you keep a check on your actions and habits to align with your manifestation, it will ultimately happen. Remember, our actions become our habits and those habits become who we are.

To summarize, achieving something through the practice of visualization you need the following steps:

  1. Write precisely about what you want.
  2. Describe your vision in detail.
  3. Start to visualize, create emotions and feelings associated and do affirmations to boost your vision.
  4. Take daily actions to bring your vision to the physical world.
  5. Have courage and persist to achieve it.

Now go on, to practice this tool and play your best game with your toughest opponent in your mind and bring out the best of you.

Written By – Sonaal Asthana, Junior Development Coach @ Future Demand Tennis

The Journey of an Australian Open Ballkid

Ballkids is one of the coolest experiences I have ever had. You are quite literally up and close with all the players and amongst the action of the Australian Open like no other person. Even though I only made it in on my last eligible year, it was one of the best summer experiences I’ve ever had. This is a little bit of the process you go through:

At the Australian Open in Melbourne, the ages to be a ballkid is between 12-15 years of age. This means that kids who are 11 can try out the year before the tournament starts, as long as they turn 12 before January 1.

The first trial is usually around February – March and is done at a local tennis club/facility that you select when registering. During this trial, supervisors are looking at your ability to roll the ball, catch and throw the ball. If you are successful through the first round you will complete your second trial at Melbourne Park. If you move through trial 2 you will be invited into the ‘training squad’. This means that from around August – November you will complete four training sessions. In the training sessions, you complete drills to help with your rolling, throwing, catching, and general match flow on the court. After the four training sessions, you will find out if you have made it into the official squad and if successful YAY. You do one more training session and then begin real matches including December showdowns/playoffs through to the actual tournament.

During the tournaments, you will ballkid for 45 mins or an hour depending on how hot it is, and then be off for 45 mins/hour. Shifts will either be in the morning, arvo into the evening and or night. There are two positions as ballkid, the 2 net ballkids, and the 4 base ballkids. As a net ballkid, you are responsible for collecting any balls that hit the net or land in that general area and distributing them to base ballkids where required. Net ballkids also help with player service (such as giving them a cold towel) and a few other roles. Base ballkids are located at the back of the court in each corner, and are responsible for collect balls in their area, serving balls and towels to players. For the court to run smoothly all the ballkids must communicate with each other and work as a team. Ballkids are usually placed as a net or base ballkid depending on their height (taller kids are usually base ballkids, and shorter kids are usually at the net), however, it can always change, and it is important to be able to perform both roles if need be.

There are many benefits of being a ballkid besides being close up to the action. For kids, this is a great introduction to “working” in a professional environment, where kids can learn responsibility. It is also a great social environment where kids can meet many people and make friends. Ballkids is an awesome opportunity for kids to get involved in not only the Australian Open but many other tennis tournaments, and I would highly recommend it to anyone.

(Attached below is some further information about ballkids).
https://worldtennischallenge.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/Woolworths-Ballkids-Program-at-the-WTC-2017-Training-guide.pdf

How to Prepare for Your Weekly Tennis Match

To achieve that winning feeling from your weekly tennis match you need to be well organized beforehand.
Don’t rely on your parents for the following, as you need to take responsibility for your performance.

Remember to:

  1. Wake up at least 90mins before your match, especially if your match commences at 8.30am.Our bodies take at least 1 hour to wake up so set your alarm the night before for a fun morning ahead.
  2. Eat a nutritious breakfast consisting of- cereal, toast, fruit, juice etc. Don`t rush out the door with no food eaten as your body’s blood sugar level will be low and you will have no energy for the match ahead.
  3. Do some light stretches at home (approx. 5 mins) to warm up and loosen your muscles so you’re ready for the match ahead.
  4. Pack your Tennis Bag with your racquet/s Water Bottle full of water, cap, towel, spare socks .Also a snack or fruit is helpful if your match is in the morning and you may play more than 3 sets.
  5. Have your shoelaces tied firmly BEFORE you enter the court so your movement, court speed is at its best.

If you are playing in a tournament for the entire day try to:-

Organize a light 30 min warm up hit at your local court nearby before travelling to the tournament venue.
This will relax your mind, warm up your muscles and help your footwork for the day ahead.
Also take a larger water bottle, more snacks and fruit in preparation for a longer day ahead and perhaps waiting between matches.
ENJOY your match as you are now well organized to have fun and win at tennis!

Why Your Child Should Transition Into Competition Tennis

Taking the leap from learning the game to playing the game competitively can be one of the biggest decisions and challenges for players to make – both junior or adult. There are a number of unanswered (and potentially scary) questions children and parents will want to be answered prior to making the jump into competitive play.

From a developmental and progression perspective I will always encourage a player to begin to challenge themselves by competiting for the following reasons:

  1. Competition tennis instantly adds an element of pressure to the strokes you are trying to execute as there is an end goal (to win the point).
  2. This pressure is an enormous positive for the player as it highlights the need to concentrate on every shot that is being executed. (Players can cruise through tennis lessons because they know even if they miss a shot or lose a
  3. point the lesson will continue all the way until the allotted time is over). This match pressure will help develop a more focussed approach to the players lessons result in accelerated stroke development.
  4. The heightened level of focus results in progress both technically and tactically.
  5. Competition tennis greatly helps to improve a player’s tactical knowledge of the game as they begin to learn numerous patterns of play to win points.
  6. Competition tennis is also a fantastic arena where a player can develop their mental approach to concepts such as winning and losing, dispute resolution, self-belief and positive/negative reinforcement.

Players Concerns

The most common concerns I hear before a player takes the next step into competition tennis are:

  1. I’m not good enough – if you can rally and get 5/10 serves in play you’re right to go!
  2. I’m going to lose every match – not necessarily as you’ll be grouped with players your standard.
  3. No one my standard plays competition – Competition standards range from entry-level players through to top section suburban players.
  4. I’m going to let my teammates/partner down as my level of play isn’t as strong as theirs – Every tennis player setting out on their competitive journey has to begin somewhere. Your focus when starting competition is to learn the game in a competitive environment not to have an expectation to win immediately.

To summarise, playing tennis competitively helps you to develop your skills much more rapidly, it teaches you to handle pressure, it can help with goal setting and working towards achieving those goals, it’s great for building self confidence and it gets you active amongst your local community.

A Coaches Perspective – What Does Tennis Mean to Me?

Hi there!
Coach Cal here,
So as you’re well aware, Future Demand Tennis has opened up a blog series and I thought I’d take this opportunity to look at tennis from a more mental perspective. To look at life on court through rose-tinted glasses if you will. Look at its emotional connection and things that have applied to life and tennis to not only make me a better player
but a better person.

I hope you’ll indulge me, and hopefully, whatever your age, whatever your standard and whatever your reason may be for playing this beautiful game, you can gain something from what I’ve experienced.

So for Numero Uno, I’m going for the question we all start with:
‘Why tennis? What makes tennis worth it?’

Well… I’m glad you asked…
(You most certainly didn’t ask but it’s my blog contribution so work with me here!)

Tennis is the chameleon of the sporting world. She’s the same game, but she blends into whatever environment you put her in.

(Also to address the actual question in your head, ‘why’s tennis a she?’… I was taught at a young age that all the most beautiful things in life were a woman. Who said chivalry is dead? However, I digress…)

Tennis is slightly different to your average chameleon however, she transforms those who enter her environment.
You could enter on the court a child picking up a racket for the first time, a seasoned veteran fresh off their 20th ITF title victory or some random who saw some person in a headband ‘grunt funny’ on tv and decided to give it a try to see if it was really necessary.

You walk on the court, you are now a tennis player.
Congratulations.
No exceptions.

It can be a relaxing hit, a lesson, a match. She comes in many different colours.
Clay courts, grass courts, hard courts,
The concrete ya uncle had leftover on a job for some couple in Toorak that they clearly over-budgeted for.
Slap some lines and a net on that bad boy and you have a court.

World-class courts aren’t the only thing that can be supplemented though. Rackets aren’t always necessary either, ask the rather convenient ‘2 by 4’ I used every time my parents took my rackets for ‘not doing my homework.’

(In hindsight, was probably why I had great hand-eye coordination at such a young age… and also why that homework still remains unfinished)

Don’t even need friends. Just a wall and a ball and ya trusty plank of wood. This was especially convenient for me… little Cal had a hard time making friends.

But it didn’t matter.
I had already met the love of my life.
And she was the sweetest.
(Ohhhhh yeahhhh, I’m about to get really dramatic on ALLLLL OF Y’ALLLLLL)

Tennis, like most sports, became a retreat for me. It became my armour against the world, where the bad things would ricochet off of me. She was my protection from all the bad things around me.
Bad day?
Something as simple as a ball and a racket and my imagination could fix it.
Being bullied?
Who needs their understanding when I understood something as perfectly as I understood tennis.
Can’t seem to do anything right?
Who cares! I couldn’t do anything wrong on the court.

My front yard garage became Rod Laver arena and I became the greatest Australian player since the stadium’s namesake every time I asked my dad to move the car out the way, provided he wasn’t sound asleep, in which case we called rain delays and hoped that weather would pass (I.e. my dad would get off the couch).

Back then I was going for the all-time male record of 15 grand slams (jeez how that’s changed) and I was allllllways fighting back from 2 sets to love down in the final, carrying an injury because apparently I had to also be the biggest badass in history while I did it.

Tennis never judged, she never laughed at me and my imagination. She egged me on! She added to it with every off bounce, with every solid contact with every stroke of my racket I painted the picture of happiness, me, dripping in sweat, a smile as wide as the great Australian bite and a mother at the doorway calling me to dinner for what she always claimed to be ‘the hundredth time boy!’

Tennis was everything to me.
I loved her and she loved me.
And I didn’t need anything else.

Now I’m aware of everything that’s happening in the world, and at this time, tennis is so close and yet so far.

But you have a wall, you have a court. You have a game that will open it’s armed to you and embrace you as an equal.

So, dear reader, my fellow tennis player.
It doesn’t matter if it’s your first time with a racket or whether you have hand-shaped grooves moulded into the damn things grip.
You can still have her around.
You may not have the same experience with the beautiful game (no not football) that I do. But you have a golden opportunity to get acquainted again and again and again.
All it takes is a ball and a little imagination.

Times may be tough, but trust me, tennis will be there for you, just like she was for me.
She can be your friend, your ally, your safe harbour. And god do I love her for it.

So does that explain it?
So if you’ll explain it, it’s 9 o’clock and I’ve got a night session match… I had to keep Fed waiting…

Thank you for reading,
I hope to talk again soon.

Cal

How to Prepare for Your Tennis Lessons

To achieve the most benefit from your weekly tennis lesson you need to be well prepared beforehand.

Remember to:-

  1. Eat a nuturious, high energy snack, food at least 30 mins before you arrive at the courts.
  2. Your blood sugar level needs to be high so you can concentrate, have loads of energy to move well and give your best effort to your coach.
  3. Any fruit is best-I love bananas as they are easy to eat, taste great and are high in natural sugar.
    Also a sandwich, muffin or a small snack if coming from school is fine.
  4. Water bottle full of water is always needed even in winter as your body can dehydrate very quickly.
    Wear a cap all year for sun, wind, hair protection.
    Shoelaces tied firmly BEFORE you enter the court so your movement, court speed is at it`s best.

Be EARLY

Try to be 10 mins early for your lesson if possible so you can:-
Do a few easy stretches then perhaps a short walk around outside of courts to loosen and warm up your muscles.
ENJOY your lesson as you are now well prepared to have fun at tennis!

3 Essential Tips To Help You Hit A Great Forehand Volley

The Forehand Volley is technically the easiest shot in the game to learn yet I constantly see players in club land “overplaying” the shot by adding unnecessary elements to the stroke. Here are three easy, yet essential tips to follow when playing a Forehand Volley. Follow these and and your confidence when at net will improve dramatically.
Tip 1. Continental Grip
To find the Continental Grip (for right handed tennis players) the base knuckle of your Index Finger of your Right Hand is placed on top of bevel 2 on the racquets grip.

Tip 2. Turn
From your Ready Position, begin turning your shoulders to your right hand side of your body. The racquet will follow but must go no further than slightly in front of your right shoulder.

Tip 3. – Contact in Front of your Body
To make contact with the ball, move the racquet towards the on-coming ball ensuring that the racquet face (the strings) are directly behind the line of the ball. The bottom edge of the racquet will lead first and the contact point should always be in front of your body to the right hand side. Once contact is made the racquet continues its path through the line of the volley. Look to have the racquet strings pointing to the target when the stroke finishes.

4 Essential Tips to Help You Hit a Great Double Handed Backhand

A Double Handed Backhand is the most common of the two Backhands for people to begin learning the game with. Having two hands on the racquet provides more support for the player and the swing path is often a lot easier to learn than a Single Handed Backhand.
Whenever I’m teaching the Double Handed Backhand I’ll always refer back to these 4 Essential tips to help my player move forward in their development.

Tip 1. Double Handed Backhand Forehand Grip
To find the Double Handed Backhand Grip (for right handed tennis players) the base knuckle of your Index Finger of your Right Hand is placed top of bevel 2 on the racquets grip. The base knuckle of your Index Finger of your Left Hand is placed top of bevel 6 on the racquets grip (see video for bevel explanation).

Tip 2. Back Swing
From your Ready Position, begin your backswing by turning to your left and taking the racquet away from the ball to the same level as your pocket (see video for pocket level explanation) .

Tip 3. – Contact in Front of your Body
After the racquet drops below the height of the ball you will swing the racquet in a low-to-high motion making contact in front of your body with the strings square on to the ball.

Tip 4. – Elbows to your target
After contact in front of your body, continue a long swing out to your target and aim to finish the swing over the opposite shoulder with your dominant elbows pointing to your target.

I find these steps are an easy progression for players to follow especially those learning the game for the first time. These steps are also great for established players who are maybe having issues with their Double Handed Backhand and are able to take these tips to the practise court.

4 Essential Tips to Help You Hit a Great Forehand

I often see people who are new to tennis getting caught up in trying to nail every aspect of the stroke they are learning. More often than not this leads to frustration and none of those aspects ever really improving.
Whenever I’m teaching the Forehand I’ll always refer back to these 4 Essential tips to help my player move forward in their development.

Tip 1. Eastern Forehand Grip
To find the Eastern Forehand Grip the base knuckle of your dominant hand is placed on top of bevel 3 on the racquets grip (see video for bevel explanation)

Tip 2. Begin swing taking a “C” shape path with the racquet
From your Ready Position take the racquet away from the ball and create a “C” shape with your backswing.

Tip 3. – Contact in Front of your Body
After the racquet drops below the height of the ball you will swing the racquet in a low-to-high motion making contact in front of your body with the strings square on to the ball.

Tip 4. – Elbow to your target
After contact continue a long swing out to your target and aim to finish the swing over the opposite shoulder with your dominant elbow pointing to your target.

I find these steps are an easy progression for players to follow especially those learning the game for the first time. These steps are also great for established players who are maybe having issues with their Forehand and are able to take these tips to the practise court.