View Full Version : The Running Forehand/Backhand

09-22-2005, 02:38 PM
I hit with my tennis instructor quite often and he runs me like crazy when we play matches. He hits to the corners and i have trouble getting to the balls, but i can get to them. I need help on how to reconize where some one is hitting and even more how to hit on the run.


I watched Federer one time in slo mo and before he hits the ball hi sticks out this right leg bends and hits then his left leg crosses over and he slows and goes back to the middle of the court (this was a fh). Any thoughts

09-22-2005, 02:47 PM
Depending on how outstretched I am, I usually can use my right foot push-off to hit with some control, or if i'm really out there, I'll just use the reverse forehand to get it back.

For the backhand, I have no idea, I just slice it back.

09-22-2005, 04:14 PM
if you haven't seen this Sampras clip
go to the Sticky at the top of this forum, in my
Forehand issues
and look at his
Forehand in Motion

he's using a reverse FH there

09-22-2005, 04:15 PM
GrahamIsSuper's tutorial on how to hit on the run:

Step 1) Prepare early: watch the opponents racquet closely. Body language is usually very clear as to where the ball is going, so start cheating that way, and start getting your racquet back as early as possible so you wont be late

Step 2) Plant that foot! This advice is on the forhand. Make sure you plant your outside foot, a lot of people have a tendancy to run past their shot. Get there in time to set up properly

Step 3) Aim over the low part of the net! Why make a hard shot harder? Aim down the middle of the net (aka the lowest part) and hit with plenty of spin. Don't be afraid of hitting a less powerful shot as long as it lands deep.

Step 4) Play percentages! After hitting into the middle of the court, expect the down the line from better opponents. Get back to the middle quickly.

09-22-2005, 04:18 PM
Federer is able to hit the running FH from both closed and open stances (i.e. independently of which foot is ahead)

you should too:-)

09-22-2005, 04:38 PM
avoid being ran all over the court by hitting the balls deep. hit aggressive cross court exchanges. avoid hitting short down the middle, its pretty much asking to be run around if u hit a short ball.

if u DO get ran off court, hit a looper with top spin deep down the middle or cross court. aim for deep first, then direction if u can. depth is important.

09-22-2005, 05:56 PM
Federer is able to hit the running FH from both closed and open stances (i.e. independently of which foot is ahead)

you should too:-)

:D I was just making it easier for the sake of advice.

09-22-2005, 06:02 PM
donnyz that depends as to whether they have decided to close to the net as many advanced players would. if this is the case then i suggest either going for a low dipper over the net, topspin lob to give yourself time to get back into postion...or the ultimate risk shot in a flat one dtl...

09-22-2005, 09:26 PM
The reverse forehand is ideal in this situation. check for more info on it: lansdorp.com The racket goes over the same shoulder, you must hit it from an open stance and their is no weight transfer.

If you are right handed, and your dominant hand on your double-handed backhand is your left one, you could try releasing the right hand if you have to stretch out for a shot, so you hit a kind of forehand with your left arm.

09-22-2005, 09:54 PM
i had the same problem redtennis, but as i played other people, i found a solution to it (well sort of) well chances are...while both of you start and he feeds you the ball, you get it back to him in the center right? and then he hits either a cross court or inside out in the middle of the baseline...and you have to run...my tip is, whatever angle he makes, just return it at a steeper angle, so if he (from the baseline) hits a cross court shot, hit a Xcourt back to him except make it go in the corner of the service box, making him run, and chances are, if you're able to get it, you can hit it Xcourt to his backhand. my other tip is improve your fitness and running. That's what i am currently focusing on, off the courts. my general thought is that the faster you are, the faster you can get to a ball, thus the more balls you can hit w/o having your opponents hitting winners to your left and right....hope this helps

09-25-2005, 09:02 PM
check Hewitt's running FH here (after Federer):


09-26-2005, 12:52 AM
Alot of good advice dished up here. One of the most important things when on a defensive is to make sure you spin a deep shot giving you time to recover. Often times a well hit defensive shot hit high and deep with spin can put you back in the game, even on the offensive depending on your opponent.

If you can put in a more agressive shot on the run, more common types of agressive running shots for higher level players are jump/bounce turning open stance shots, reverse forehands, and down the line shots. The bounce turn is often the most effective to achieve power and angle. Many players hit jumping shots anyways on their forehand, especially westerners. Most commonly is to do a small prebounce then bounce into your shot pushing off your back leg in a more open stance shot. Federer's forehand is a good example of this. Sharapova does a jump turn reverse forehand alot especially when on the move. Sampras would jump into a reverse forehand as well, especially on agressive approach shots to maximize spin and pace while moving forward into the net. Sampras even had a jumping/bouncing 1h bh which was an amazing sight. That is certainly not for everyone but the bounce turn forhand is very doable for many people. The advantage of the bounce is to allow your body to turn using it's momentum to drive through a ball and also turning to give angles which would be much harder to power through on a standing approach. It also helps provide more topsin on a shot. Again this shot is often easier to do and better suited for westerners but anyone can do it. For westerners it becomes very easy to close the wrist over for cross court or open it up for inside out.

For backhands, running to the ball, you plant your lead foot (right foot for righty, left for lefty) with your weight coming forward, racquet back, all your weight goes on lead foot as you plant it, then bring your shoulders around through the BH. Early swing with wrist coming over early will get you cross court, keeping the shoulders closed a bit more hit down the line. As you finish your follow through your hips and back foot should swing around naturally FOLLOWING your arms and shoulders after the shot, not before.

The other way to approach the BH is if you are open stance. 1h backhands are more difficult to do on the move. For 2h an open stance approach like Venus Williams can really help give you direction and pace while on the run off your BH. The key to this is a strong push off your back/outside foot and a large shoulder rotation helping you drive through the shot. Same rule can be applied to a 1H BH but it's not as forgiving as 2H since you dont have the extra push of the off hand.

Whenever you play you should be watching your opponent at time of their ball contact. Shoulders often point to the direction of a shot, and so do hips. While some players may be very good at disguising and nesting shots, most telegraph their shots to some degree. Also note court positions of you and your opponent. If you are far in the duece court hitting cross corner and they are on the run, many won't have the power to push it cross court again so you can move back into the court more knowing that there will probably be a higher percentage of the ball going down the line or toward the middle. You also have to pay attention to what the player likes to do. Some situations the player may like to keep a cross court rally, they may like inside out shots on approach, They may be working your weaker backhand or forehand, they may want to run your to the other corner, while others may like to hit behind you if you are moving back to the middle. This all takes experience to get used to a predict. Just know what to look for.