How to Hit a Tennis Backhand

Many beginners think that the backhand ground stroke is a difficult one. However, once the footwork and basics of the stroke are mastered, it becomes a very natural shot and can be a very effective weapon.

Here are some points to remember for the backhand:

1. For the grip, the hand is placed at the top of the handle and the thumb placed either across the back of the handle or wrapped around it.
2. From the basic ready position, turn the upper body so that you are sideways to the net.
3. Take the racket back in a slight looping motion, so that it is about perpendicular to the net.
4. As you complete your backswing, bring the forward foot around in front of you and step towards the ball, keeping your weight on the back foot until you start the forward swing.
5. Use a firm grip and ensure that it is a strong grip as you come to hit the ball.
6.  Make contact with the ball just ahead of your forward hip.
7. Transfer your body weight as you hit so that all your body weight is on the front foot when contact with the ball is made.
8. Continue the follow through after the ball has been hit and let your rear foot come through as you finish the stroke.

The Championships - Wimbledon 2007 Day Nine

Sliced Backhand

The motion described above can be used for the sliced backhand. The racket head will be slightly open and the position of the racket remains high when coming forward to hit the ball. The swing path is from high to low.

Topspin Backhand

For this shot, the racket head is positioned in a more straight vertical position. After the loop back, the racket head is dropped low and the knees are bent as well. The swing path is from low to high.

Two-handed Backhand

For one-handed shots, the player has a choice of using slice (backspin) or topspin. For the two-handed shots, topspin is invariably used because slice is difficult to achieve. For that reason, the racket head will drop low and scrape the back of the ball from bottom to top, thus imparting topspin.

The Tennis Racket

The racket is the tool with which you perform, so you’ll need to select one that you feel very comfortable with and one that feels as much as possible like an extension of your arm and hand. Try to play with a few rackets before you buy, so that you have a good idea of its feel. Many retail shops will let you try out rackets before you buy.

Choosing a good quality racket, even if it means paying a little more. will help to protect yourself from injuries like tennis elbow.

Most standard adult rackets are about 69cm long, with head sizes of between 237 to 275 square cms. The advantage of using a racket with a large head is that the ‘sweet spot’ (i.e. the centre of the racket which propels the ball the the most) is larger. However, rackets with larger heads tend to be more difficult to quickly maneuver to the ball. Most of the professional players use rackets with smaller heads, so they can generate quicker racket speeds.

Tennis Racket

Lighter rackets can be easy to swing and therefore can be maneuvered quickly to the ball but they also may make it more difficult to control the ball when the shot is played, if the weight isn’t sufficient.

Most racket grips sizes are between 11.25 and 11.875cm. You should be able to fit your index finger into the gap between your thumb and the two middle fingers. If the grip is not large enough, you can increase its girth with overwrap tape.

The type of strings and their tension are also important. Most professional players use natural gut but these are rather expensive. Recreational players tend to use synthetic strings. Multi-filament strings have a softer feel when hitting the ball.

If you are experiencing pain in your arms when you hit the ball, try a slightly lower tension. On the other hand, if you are losing control of the ball too often, a higher tension may be required.

American Open Mens Preview

The American Open starts on the 26th August and the very best players will be trying to win the title. The men’s contest is extremely interesting. Nadal won the French, Djokovich the Australian and Murray Wimbledon. It could be argued that this will be the decider between the top three players.

Murray is the most recent winner and is the defending champion as well and so this could be seen as his title to lose. However, he could be coming down after the climax of winning the Grand Slam that he has always dreamed of winning and he may just not have the strength to pull it together for this one. The first few matches may give away some more clues as to how well the number three seed will be likely to do, but with Michael Llodra of France as his round one opponent, he could be up for a tough challenge from the start. Llodra is the number 49 in the world and the last three times they have met, he has won. Some might say things will not get tough until he meets Djokovich in the quarter finals, but as a professional, he would never assume that it will be easy to get there. He would have to potentially beat Berdych to get there.

American Open

However, assuming that Djokovich, the number one seed will get to the quarter finals may also be a big assumption. He will have to best Del Potro who won in 2010. Djokovich has looked in fine form, has not made any surprising mistakes or had any injuries, unlike the other top players. This means that he could be a massive threat.

That is not to dismiss number two seed, Rafa Nadal who gets what would be seen as easy first round match against Ryan Harrison the 97th in the world. However, although his injury comeback has looked almost miraculous, it does not mean he is yet up to top form. To make matters worse, he is set to play Federer in the semi-final and then Ferrer or Gasquet in the semi-finals if he gets that far.

It could be exciting stuff so you will need to place your bets now before you get so carried away with watching the matches that you forget! Who will you be placing your money on, one of the favourites or an outsider?

Betting on an upcoming tennis game

Certain sports today have become not only popular as spectator sports but they also are the focus of numerous sports bets. One sport that has become more popular on which to place sports bets is tennis. Throughout the year, many different high profile tennis events occur that are appealing for bettors. This would include events such as Wimbledon, the French Open and the Davis Cup. While bettors don’t have to be tennis fans, it does help to have some knowledge of tennis when betting your money.

The most obvious kind of bet to place on these tennis events would be which player will win a specific match as well as the overall tournament. Many bettors make the mistake when making this wager of reading the odds incorrectly. Prior to a match, the bookmaker will post the odds of each player to win. For example, a match between Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic may have odds posted with Nadal’s listed as 5/7 and Djokovic’s shown as 6/4. When betting on Nadal, every £7 bet would result in a profit of £5. Whereas a wager on Djokovic would mean a £4 bet would yield a profit of £6. In this scenario, Nadal is the favourite to win.

tennis game

Most people place their sports bets prior to the actual tennis match occurring which leaves them some time to experience other tennis related excitement at Lucky Nugget online slots. Here tennis fans can find slot machine games that have incorporated their favourite game into them. For example, one possible choice would be the Tennis Stars Slot Machine. The game has a total of 40 paylines on which players may place their wager. Another aspect of this game which appeals to the player is the broad range of wager denominations available, which go from .01 to 2000. The largest payout with this game is a lofty 500,000.

Return Of Serve – Get A Great Tennis Return

The return of serve is the second shot in any point, and once finely tuned with certain tips and techniques, a player will find that he has a chance at every point! A tennis players whole confidence and morale gets a boost from FREE points and once we cut out those missed or weaker tennis returns…

They will suddenly feel under a lot more pressure. Andre Agassi certainly put an enormous emphasis on the tennis return where he spent hours a day practicing his tennis returns! This ultimately achieved one of the most difficult players to beat in the world.

Preparation For Return of Serve

Know what you are to do before the opponent serves. Do not just react to whatever happens! You simply do not have enough time to hit a good tennis return like that. So, clarify with yourself exactly where to hit your tennis return when you step up to the line. For example, think… If it comes to my forehand I hit cross court, if it comes to my backhand I hit down the line. Players find this helps to reduce the element of surprise which comes with trying to return a good serve.

Andre Agassi

Tennis Return – Footwork and Swing

Ok, so when to split step? You should split step when your opponent has tossed the ball. That way when he makes contact with the ball, you land ready and balanced. Then next thing depends largely on your opponents serve.

If it is a first serve? Then a short take back will suffice and rather than swinging at the ball just move forwards. The serve has plenty of pace on it all ready! On top of this, if you swing at it then the chances of hitting the perfect contact point becomes minimal.

If it is a second serve? And you have time then move in on the return of serve. Split step, then step in a bit (with left leg if forehand) or (right leg if backhand) and put pressure on the opponent with your closed stance.

No need to go for a winner on the line, one of the best tennis return strategies is to go to the center and therefore jam the opponent. If you miss, you will have still made them doubt their serve! Continue reading

Three Tips To Nail A Fast Serve

#1. Relax. Go to your happy place, think about being on the beach with a cocktail! In fact do whatever except “Trying to hit the fastest tennis serve.” It will tense too many muscles which impedes the swing speed. Don’t believe me?

Try snapping your wrist as hard as you can, tense your muscles and give it your all. How fast was it? Now, try relaxing your wrist… and snap it again. Hopefully, the latter is much quicker!

To improve tennis serve? It is not only the wrist, but the muscles ALL the way down your arm that can impede you swing speed! Learning to relax into your serve is VITAL for speed. Check out the learning to play tennis article for this approach to learning to play tennis.

#2. Rhythm. The best servers have rhythm. Rhythm is essential for consistency and improvement of your tennis serves. After all, if you are hitting serves with different rhythms, you are hitting different serves. Its like trying to improve several serves instead of just one. On top of this, a good rhythm can be used to your advantage in gaining YOUR fastest tennis serve!

If we watch a Andy Roddick serve. We will see that there rhythm transfers their weight from their front foot onto the back foot. Once all this weight that is loaded onto the back foot… It is exploded back forwards and into the serve at the striking point!

That is where the power comes from! BAM, a server that has learnt to do this, has just gained a couple hundred pounds of moving weight behind his serve and is gaining his fastest tennis serve. You can feel the ball knock you back a bit kind of like a tennis overhead … if you return it!

Practice using your weight effectively by rocking your weight back onto your back foot, and transferring it forwards and through into the court when you hit! The details are your personal serving style, everyone has different preferences.

#3. Technique. They have good technique. While this statement may not win any noble prizes for originality. The cold truth is that if there is some funky technique in your tennis serves, you are probably not letting yourself hit the ball to your full potential. As this is a very personal area, I suggest you get your tennis serves checked out by your local coach. However, here are the three most common technical errors. That through coaching and playing, I have seen many times. That once adjusted can allow you to improve tennis serve power and technique.

1) Lack of bending of the legs. Your upper body must be loose when serving. So where does the raw power come from?

The legs. You have to get low with your legs and explode, catapult, or push off upwards. Look at all the photos of the famous tennis players pros serving. They all bend their legs to a great extent.

2) Shoulder and arms not in line. By this I mean… When you toss your ball up and are waiting to hit it. Your left hand in the sky should run straight all the way down to where your right elbow bends.

3) Stance too open. Many people do not realize how closed the Pros really are… This creates power through rotation into the ball. Pete Sampras arguable one of the best servers ever lived, is a classic example of this. Andy Roddick Serve is another great example, but we have all ready mentioned that a little 🙂

Hope you have enjoyed the tennis how to serve fast page, feel free to look around other tennis strokes , tennis drills or any other pages on the site… you get the idea 🙂

The Lob

Definition

The stroke which sends the ball above the head of the net player. A high lofted ball which goes higher than the reach of the net player to land near the baseline.

Uses

The lob is an underestimated stroke used ineffectively by the majority of players. Matches could often be won by effective lobbing at the right time and are often lost through lobbing too infrequently and inaccurately.

1. In singles the lob is used to give the player time to recover correct court position when driven off the court. Also it is used to give the player time to recover her breath during a hard fought rally.

2. It is used as a point winner in singles, when the opponent is unable to run back and return the lob.

3. In doubles and singles it is used to drive the opponent back from the net.

4. In doubles the lob is used to mix up the team work of the opponents in addition to driving them from the net.

tennis Lob

Types Of Lobs

In general there are two types, the offensive and the defensive lob. The offensive lob is hit just out of reach of the opponent and does not give her time to run back and hit it on the first bounce. This lob is very difficult to accomplish successfully and is an advanced stroke, safe only in the hands of an expert. The defensive lob is hit very high, and the opponent may have time to go back and return it, but only if there is a goodly space behind the baseline. When there is little backcourt space the defensive lob is also a point winner. There is some question as to the fairness of lobbing in this situation, however. Continue reading

The Volley

Definition

The stroke used by a player at the net in which the ball is hit before it bounces. The volley is an aggressive hit which wins the point quickly because the opponent lacks time to return it accurately out of reach of the net player.

Types Of Volley

1. Concerning momentum

a. Aggressive volley.

1. A crisp stroke with definite swing, which sends the ball into the backcourt or alley near the feet of the opponent.

2. The flight of the ball is swiftly downward.

3. Definite body action assists the sharpness of the stroke.

b. The “stop” or “blocked” volley.

1. The racquet is held against the ball, deflecting it off to the side, or dropping it over the net.

2. There is no swing. The racquet is thrust out, or up, to catch the ball as it comes over the net.

3. Sometimes the racquet will “give” back at the contact, to counteract the force of the ball hitting the racquet.

Note – The stop volley is an immediate point winner, for it must place the ball where the opponent cannot possibly reach it.

tennis Volley

2. Concerning ball spin

a. The flat volley.

1. The ball is hit squarely by the racquet in a flat position, similarly to a nail being hit by a hammer.

2. No spin is placed on the ball so that it shoots to its destination like a bullet.

3. This volley is the swiftest and most effective. Continue reading

Footwork

Definition

“Footwork is the adjustment of the feet to place the body in position for activity.” Good footwork in tennis may be thought of as the action of the feet in placing the body in position to stroke the ball most efficiently.

Importance Of Footwork

In tennis the ball never comes in the same direction, at the same height, nor bounces in the same spot twice in succession. The player is never able to “take up his stance” as in golf, knowing that the ball will lie still until he hits it. A tennis player is busy taking up his stance all over the court during the entire game, and mobility is the watchword. The only times the player is motionless is in the waiting-for-service-position, watching to see which direction the ball is to take.

tennis Footwork

1. Good footwork aids power in a stroke because when the stance is correct, body action can be thrown into the stroke.
2. Good footwork allows the ball to be hit off the forward foot, at racquet’s reach from the body.
3. Good footwork insures perfect timing, so that the stroke is not hurried, and the weight shifts forward with the forward swing, to result in a more accurate direction of ball flight.

a. With a transfer of weight, the racquet swings in a flatter arc and can carry the ball forward in the desired direction for a longer distance than if the racquet swings in small arc.

1′. Without a transfer of weight forward, the flight of the ball is the tangent to a circle of which the racquet swing is a segment.

2′. With a transfer of weight, the ball flight is in continuation of the direction of the swing, the racquet sweeping the ball forward in that direction.
Rules Of Footwork

1. Body weight is carried on the balls of the feet at all times, ready for quick body action.
2. The knees are slightly flexed and never hyperextended or stiff.
3. Use small movements of the feet, for example, many little steps rather than a few large ones. Continue reading

The Serve

Definition

The stroke used to put the ball in play before each point of the game.

Purpose

To put the ball in play in such a way that the opponent will have difficulty returning the service. To achieve this the serve should have:

1. Placement

It should not only land deep in the service court but be placed to the disadvantage of the opponent.

2. Speed

The serve should be fast enough to prevent the opponent from placing the return to the disadvantage of the server.

3. Spin

A ball with spin is much harder to return accurately than one without any spin. Even a fast serve which bounces straight, without any spin on the ball, may be easy to return.

Because the player can plan the timing of the ball and swing, and the exact court position from which the serve is sent each time, he should develop a machine-like precision in his serve, which will insure the winning of the service game.

tennis serve

Various Types Of Serve

The serve is more or less an individual stroke which adapts itself to the type of player using it. However, every serve should have the three qualities mentioned above. They may be in different proportions according to what type of serve suits the individual player best.

1. The Top Slice Serve. This serve is fast, accurate, and causes the ball to spin from right to left with some top spin.
It is not difficult to learn, does not tire the player unduly, and is the most practical and universally used serve among topflite women players. Continue reading