View Full Version : Topspin Forehand

06-05-2005, 12:07 PM
I have been playing tennis for a long time, but I just can't seem to hit a topspin forehand very well. I always seem to hit it into the net. Can anybody help?


06-05-2005, 12:12 PM
remember to drive through the ball AND brush up the ball

06-05-2005, 12:28 PM
Okay, Thanks Jonnyf!

06-05-2005, 12:32 PM
anytime anytime of course you should also wait for the more experienced people

06-05-2005, 12:34 PM
Oh, well you seem very helpful because you have responded to both of my threads and you helped. Thanks again!

06-05-2005, 12:39 PM
hey anytime happy to help enjoy your day

06-05-2005, 01:22 PM
What kind of grip do you use?

06-05-2005, 02:11 PM

06-05-2005, 02:17 PM

It might be quite difficult to hit a topspin forehand with this grip. Laver was one of the few pros to have achieved it (and with wood rackets), but would suggest you switch to eastern or semi-western if you want to hit it easier. I doubt you have Laver's forearm or wrist.

Kana Himezaki
06-05-2005, 02:30 PM
As other people have said, using a different grip may help a lot. Continental, partly due to no palm behind the racquet and whatever else, makes it hard to handle powerful balls and/or high balls. Laver, MacEnroe, plenty of people have used it, but they had almost impeccable timing. Not to mention almost everyone is loading their shots with topspin now.

I'd recommend working with an Eastern grip. Semi-Western even, over time.

And as Johnny said, brush up and EXTEND through the ball. A simple, low to high motion is perfect for depth, topspin, and lack of injury. Dip your racquet, get under the ball, then push up and through. Many people from reading that think they're going to smack the ball up and over the fence, but just try it.

06-07-2005, 01:12 AM
Kana, don't knock the continental until you try it. High balls definitely give me the most trouble, I aim to give myself more room and take the ball on the rise.

With regards to teh question, I'm not all that technical but I'll try to help. I can generate enough spin to keep the ball in the court by changing the position of my wrist so that the racquet face is on a slight angle downwards at contact, as opposed to being angled upwards if I played my continental forehand with a straight wrist. Following the racquet through over my shoulder creates some type of spin- I'm pretty sure it's a mixture of sidespin and topspin to be honest.

06-07-2005, 01:38 AM
I hold the racket very similar to Jim Courier (Western Grip), and to say that has helped would be an understatment. Push into the ball and slide the racket up while doing so.

06-07-2005, 03:49 AM
Although one can generate topspin with just about any grip, the SW and western grips are the easiest to hit topspin on a consistent basis. The racquet path, as mentioned by Kana, has to be from low to high - from beneath the ball to over it. I think the term "brush" is over-used and in many instances is confusing to the newer players. Bending the knees certainly is important to achieve this racquet path which should be in the neighborhood of a 30% incline up from start to finish - the greater the angle the more topspin created.

06-07-2005, 04:46 AM
I see three variables: racquet face angle, swing path angle and ball contact point. To correct your situation, I would first find a way to get the ball over the net with topspin, even if it means hitting the fence.

I would first concentrate on contact point. Although contact should be made at the "equator" of the ball, it may help you to aim for a point lower and lower below the equator until you're getting the ball well over the net on a clean hit. Once you get that down, you'll probably need to begin experimenting with your swing path by increasing the severity of angle of your swing path until the reduced forward vector and increased topspin keep your ball in the court. If you're like me, this will all feel quite unnatural at first. Remember, what felt natural resulted in a netted forehand, right? For me, I feel like I'm pointing the racquet straight down to the ground on my backswing -very strange feeling for someone who learned to play in the 1960's and 1970's.

If it give you any perspective, when I took one lesson on the forehand in an effort to modernize my stroke, I probably hit the first 30 balls into the net. Every time the pro would say, "hit lower on the ball". Finally, it clicked, but I felt like I was hitting the ball on the very bottom of the globe. I'm sure video analysis would show that I'm actually hitting the ball on the equator, but just with a distinct upward swing.

06-07-2005, 04:57 AM
RE your Continental grip

I used a continental grip for years. I was able to generate sufficient topspin on any low balls, generally say between knee and waist height. I could also generate good topspin on higher balls as long as I was in perfect position. (In case anyone doubts this, ask them what kind of grip they use for a topspin serve -Continental right!) In the process of trying to modernize my stroke, I'm finding that a true semi-western grip is just too awkward, but if I rotate it very slightly back so that it's a weak SW ( or strong Eastern), then I can get a lot of the benefit of the SW without feeling like I'm playing a different sport.

06-07-2005, 08:56 AM
henman uses hybrid (easter/Continental) and Jmac used Continental however notice the similarity

06-07-2005, 09:02 AM
henman uses hybrid (easter/Continental) and Jmac used Continental however notice the similarity
Good God Jonnyf!!! For a 13 year old you sure know very much!! I suppose it's Mum's Hagus and mash that fuels the young brilliant mind? :)

06-08-2005, 07:41 PM
I have been playing tennis for a long time, but I just can't seem to hit a topspin forehand very well. I always seem to hit it into the net. Can anybody help?


Topspin shots dip much faster than flat, so for this reason aim and hit at least a foot above the net. Don't even worry about your shots being sitting duck for your opponent at the net, because heavy topspin shots are very difficult to handle, even at the net.

06-08-2005, 07:49 PM
go borrow your friend Tennis magazine last month (nadal picture on the front page), they have an artickle how to hit topspin forehand and there were a few pictures too