Why inside out forehand?

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by New Daddy, May 4, 2013.

  1. New Daddy

    New Daddy Rookie

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    If your backhand is really good, is there still reason to hit inside out forehand at recreational level?

    My understanding of the merits of inside out forehand is that (1) forehand is more accurate and powerful than backhand for most people and (2) due to the trajectory of the racket, the ball will naturally have a left-to-right side spin, which will make the ball slide out even further out of the court.

    If (1) and/or (2) don't hold true, then is there still reason to hit inside out forehand, leaving yourself more vulnerable with wider open court on your end?

    For (1), do pro player who have comparable or even better backhand rely as often on inside out forehand? Serena Williams immediately comes to mind who has comparable or probably better backhand than backhand, and somehow I don't remember Serena run around her backhand often.

    For (2), the side spin factor may be of significance for pro players. But I rarely see recreational players put on much side spin on their forehands.

    So, if you backhand is comparable to your forehand and you can't generate effective side spin on ground strokes, is there still benefit that can justify the risk of inside out forehand?
     
    #1
  2. BHiC

    BHiC Rookie

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    The inside out forehand is used because it consists of a player's typically stronger shot (forehand) going to a player's typically weaker shot (backhand). The ball also travels over the low part of the net and generates greater margins than just going down the line.

    If you like to hit your backhand, then hit the backhand. Tennis is all about matching up your strengths to your opponents weaknesses so there is absolutely no reason to run around your better shot to hit your weaker shot and give up court positioning in the process.
     
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  3. rkelley

    rkelley Hall of Fame

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    Generally one can generate more topspin on the fh, so you can hit inside out fhs that kick up into your opponent's bh. A lot of players will have trouble hitting that high kicking ball off their bh, so you can hit relatively safe balls and force your opponent to deal with a ball that they don't like.

    The inside out fh also sets you up for an inside in fh winner dtl, which you're likely to get an opportunity to hit from the weak replies off his bh that you're forcing with your inside out fhs.

    This strategy can work an any level. You don't have to be hitting 80 mph fh's. If your opponent is bothered by your inside out fh more than your cc bh, and can't take you dtl, then do it.
     
    Last edited: May 4, 2013
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  4. MikeHitsHard93

    MikeHitsHard93 Hall of Fame

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    Take into consideration that when you hit a inside out forehand, you're giving them a whole open court to hit into. If your shot isn't good enough, it might make for an easy winner on their end. If you're gonna go for it, make it count.
     
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  5. NLBwell

    NLBwell Legend

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    Don't run around your stronger shot to hit your weaker shot!
     
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  6. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    All good points, but consider one more...
    If you run backwards to hit your inside out forehand, you stand the chance of hitting another forehand after your shot!
    Since you opened up the whole court for your opponent, he will have to be really pinpoint to volley or hit to your backhand, so you get to hit MORE FOREHANDS! :shock::shock::shock:
     
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  7. Phonco

    Phonco Rookie

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    I have a stronger backhand than my forehand, but sometimes I hit the inside-out forehand for the purpose of mind games and strategy. Sure you leave open court for your opponent to hit into, but that in and of itself can be an advantage.

    Your opponent will see open court and will be tempted to hit there, but at the same time you will expect your opponent to hit there, as that is the most reasonable shot. The opponent may then think to him/herself that the shot into the open court has to be good one since you are expecting a shot in that direction. However, does your opponent feel comfortable going down the line over the high part of the net, especially when trying to go for a 'better-than-normal' shot? It could coax them into a free error.

    On the other hand, your opponent may see the inside-out forehand and assume you'll be anticipating the open court shot. Thus, he/she may try to outsmart you by going behind you. However, the big drawback is that your opponent risks giving the ball right back to you. In which case, if that is your intention, you get a free shot to wherever you want and you don't even have to move.

    An inside-out forehand can give your opponent a lot to think about in such a short time. It may even psyche him or her out. The shot can potentially disrupt rhythm of the rally enough to swing the point in your favor.
     
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  8. JohnYandell

    JohnYandell Hall of Fame

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    The forehand inside in is usually less risky that the backhand down the line and allows you to attack or finish with your stronger shot--assuming it is.
     
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  9. vil

    vil Semi-Pro

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    Inside out forehand is good to have in your repertoire. I'm not talking about extreme situation where you run around your backhand to hit forehand but in normal rally, it helped me many times to wrong foot my opponent without him being able to detect it.
    Plus in extreme situations, like when you see pros doing it, the forehand has also a lot of side spin (outwards), which makes the ball to skid out of reach or can produce weak reply.
     
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  10. ramos77

    ramos77 Semi-Pro

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    cause it's awesome.
     
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  11. arche3

    arche3 Banned

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    yes it is way more epic to hit the inside out fh than a regular bh. more style points.
     
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  12. rkelley

    rkelley Hall of Fame

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    Style points count.
     
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  13. WildVolley

    WildVolley Legend

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    If your backhand is equally strong, then it makes more sense to maintain position and just hit a backhand. Djokovic and Gulbis, for example, have strong bhs and don't mind taking the high bh-ball cross court or DTL for a winner.

    If your fh is significantly better, or you can hit it with a lot more topspin, then running around might be the go-to move.
     
    #13
  14. Govnor

    Govnor Professional

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    Assuming their bh is their weaker stroke and your fh is your stronger, the inside out is a very powerful position to be in.

    At the rec level it simply doesn't matter that you're leaving the DTL shot wide open for your opponent because if you're hitting the shot you want to their weaker wing, they have very little opportunity to go DTL, or it's an all or nothing shot (nearly always nothing).
     
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  15. 2ndServe

    2ndServe Professional

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    This, also it's 100x easier to hit an offensive or neutral running forehand vs trying to hit a running backhand. The recovery foot is also easier after hitting a forehand. There is a reason the greatest players I've seen Sampras, Graf, Fed, Nadal, all decide to run around the backhand.
     
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  16. Govnor

    Govnor Professional

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    Interesting. Hadn't thought much about that, but you're totally correct there.
     
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  17. TheBoom

    TheBoom Hall of Fame

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    I use it sometimes when i get a slow enough ball to run around on my backhand side, when i get that shot i will either hit it inside out or down the line. I hit the inside out forehand probably 70% of the time and my down the line forehand the other 30%. Because I do this i get many free points when I hit down the line simply because my opponent expects an inside out forehand. Just a thought
     
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  18. NLBwell

    NLBwell Legend

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    All of these players have better forehands than backhands. The OP was asking about the situation where the backhand is the stronger shot, so these are not applicable.
     
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  19. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    I wonder, does ANY player actually have a better backhand than their forehand?
    They might say so, doesn't mean it's true.
    Gasquet runs around his backhand at times.
    Almagro runs around his backhand a little more often.
    Warinka runs around his backhand to hit forehands.
    Those guys seldom run around their forehands to hit backhands.
    In the past, Vilas often ran around his backhand to hit forehands.
    Kuerten also.
    Now while Rosewall seldom ran around avoiding his backhand, he didn't really favor his backhand, either.
    Because setup is more complex on most backhands, it's often easier to hit a forehand in stress situations.
     
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  20. 2ndServe

    2ndServe Professional

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    I agree with LeeD. What people think and what is actually happening are two very different things.

    People handle bad bounces, high balls, low balls, wide balls all better with their forehand (good players do and I'm sure bad players too, this isn't absolute but it's near 99.9%)

    I've actually never seen a high level player control the middle of the court with a backhand consistently. I've seen from rec, jr, hs, college, semi pro and pros dominate the middle of the court with a forehand.

    Hitting forehands allows you to control the point much easier and allows you to cover the court better. Novak's bh is great, probably better than anyone since Agassi. Watch a weak sitter come over, he has time to choose either side but is picking the forehand side 100% of the time. Same with Agassi, Gasquet, Almagro, any good player.

    So even if your bh is comparable to the fh it is best to hit the fh. You usually get more easy natural power, you can recover out of the shot and cover the court better, and you get more forward momentum should it be a forehand approach (the exception possible being a bh slice approach as you can get good forward momentum if done correctly).

    There is also a hidden issue that as you progress levels your shot needs more penetration. It's sort of an x factor as it's not totally dependent on speed (though a significant portion is). Now if actually play tennis at all in a some what advanced level you'll soon realize that almost everyone penetrates the court better with their forehand and it's more magnified as you move up levels.
     
    Last edited: May 6, 2013
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  21. mightyrick

    mightyrick Hall of Fame

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    Who is this person at recreational level who has a comparable backhand to their forehand? I haven't met this person, yet. :)

    I know when I run around my backhand... I'm not 100% sure at that point which way I'm going (inside-in or inside-out). But I run around it in order to give me both options with the highest-percentage outcome. But many times, I'm looking to change the direction of the ball.

    I haven't met one recreational player who can more easily change the direction of the ball with their backhand as opposed to their forehand.
     
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  22. Relinquis

    Relinquis Hall of Fame

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    Gasquet runs around his forehand more than he runs around his backhand...

    Check out his match against Davydenko in the Qatar final earlier this year...
     
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  23. Power Player

    Power Player G.O.A.T.

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    Forehand is my weapon. Attacking the backhand with an inside out forehand wins me a lot of points. The only counter is a guy with a good DTL backhand, and even then he will need to be hitting it well.

    Also, the more you hit inside out, the more the opponent cheats to cover it - giving you the open CC forehand, which is extremely easy to hit once the opponent is caught leaning to the wrong side.
     
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  24. Lukhas

    Lukhas Legend

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    Benoit Paire runs around his forehand to hit backhands a lot. I think Santoro did too, but two handed on both sides.
     
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  25. New Daddy

    New Daddy Rookie

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    All one-handed backhand. Probably not coincidental, as they would have more trouble handling high bounce with their 1HBH.
     
    Last edited: May 6, 2013
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  26. New Daddy

    New Daddy Rookie

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    I agree that there are not many, but Serena definitely comes to mind as I mentioned in OP. In the middle of the court, she is as likely or even more likely to handle the ball with her backhand.
     
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  27. New Daddy

    New Daddy Rookie

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    I concede that you're probably right.
    But the impetus for my question was that a short Tennis Channel segment on inside out forehand (I think it was presented by Justin Gimelsteb) didn't provide any basis for the importance of inside out forehand. It starts by taking the importance of inside out forehand for granted and explains the footwork for it.

    Yes, if your forehand is so much more accurate and powerful than your backhand (a situation that can be magnified if you are 1HBH) to offset the risk of leaving more court, then I guess it would be a good tactic.
     
    Last edited: May 6, 2013
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  28. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    2 handers who run around their backhands when they get the chance...
    Djokovic
    Nadal
    Ferrer
    Delpo
    Soderling
    Tsonga
    Monfils
    Simon
    Murray
    need I list more?
    Serena is a girl. Do you wear jewelry to play tennis too?
     
    #28
  29. New Daddy

    New Daddy Rookie

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    Yes, Serena is a girl whose backhand can smother your forehand.
    What's this attitude? Are you dyslexic? It was an example of a player who probably has better backhand than forehand.
     
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  30. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Obviously, you don't watch tennis.
    Seldom do girls run around their backhand to hit forehands.
    Sam Stosur does, as does Petkovic, case in point.
     
    #30
  31. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Yes, Graf and AnkeHuber often ran around their backhands to hit forehands.
     
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  32. TheBoom

    TheBoom Hall of Fame

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    If you have time to hit an inside out forehand you are more than likely going to win that point because you are the one making the call where your positioned rather than your opponent. It shows dominance
     
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  33. TheBoom

    TheBoom Hall of Fame

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    I have only played one guy who never ran around his backhand to hit a forehand, he ran around his forehand to hit a backhand! It was trippy,his backhand was significantly better than his forehand but ive never seen anyone else attempt that
     
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  34. vil

    vil Semi-Pro

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    One more thing, You've got to be quick with your feet to get into position fast, otherwise it will be an improvised shot that may have no effect at all.
     
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  35. Cheetah

    Cheetah Hall of Fame

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    you don't have to be quick. just efficient.
    anticipation, split step, and 2 steps over that's it.
     
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  36. anubis

    anubis Hall of Fame

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    My forehand is way better than my backhand. Therefore, I take every opportunity to hit a forehand whenever possible, even if that means having to run around to the forehand side.

    I only hit backhands if that's my absolute only option. If an opponent gives me a bunch of short balls, I may never even have to hit a backhand, I can run around and hit a forehand just as efficiently.
     
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  37. Power Player

    Power Player G.O.A.T.

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    Thats poor tennis. You will need to develop a backhand if you want to get better.

    Running around every backhand exposes you rather fast to a decent player.
     
    #37
  38. mightyrick

    mightyrick Hall of Fame

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    ^ This.

    Not all forehands are created equal. People need to distinguish between their "regular forehand" and their "runaround forehand". Very few people have as good a runaround forehand as their regular forehand.
     
    Last edited: May 7, 2013
    #38
  39. Nellie

    Nellie Hall of Fame

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    I can change direction way better (to hit down the line) by running around my backhand to hit a forehand. I think that redirecting a crosscourt shot with the backhand requires me to intentially hit late, which takes away a lot of the pop on my 2 hander.
     
    #39
  40. arche3

    arche3 Banned

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    Nick bolleteri says run around the bh as often as possible. Hit as many fhs as u can
     
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  41. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    ..and post #6 is one of the main reasons....
     
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  42. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    If the Bh is better, it is likely better in many ways for you to say that. Hopefully
    it means you can do many of the things most do with Fhs, like hit on run, I/O,
    and I/I. If this is true, you should use your Bh when you can.

    For most the Fh is far better on the run and with varying contact points.
    Think how important that is. Having more Fh court is good since most can
    run good for that side. It makes more shots that come to you as a type of
    "inside ball" as well. Inside balls are good for attacking and changing directions!
    more Open Fh court means constricting the Bh court...so less Bhs on the run!
    Set up more to Bh side also gives you a better angle for moving in for attackable
    short balls to use the Fh. Most players don't attack well from the Bh side and
    will often give up pts instead of earning pts on short Bhs.

    The I/O Fh tactic is an enormous advantage to most players due to stacking
    and layering of several advantages such as the ones mentioned. :)
     
    Last edited: May 7, 2013
    #42
  43. Jay_The_Nomad

    Jay_The_Nomad Professional

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    Sometimes the backhand is a bigger weapon on,y because it is better than most other player's backhand. But the forehanmiss usually he stronger shot.
     
    #43
  44. anubis

    anubis Hall of Fame

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    It works fine at the 3.0 level. Perhaps someday if I ever get bumped up, I'll have to use my backhand more often... but my singles record so far this season is 6-2, so it seems to be working for me.
     
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  45. Power Player

    Power Player G.O.A.T.

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    If you are happy playing 3.0 tennis then stick with it.

    If you want to develop your game and get better, I'd work on the backhand.
     
    #45
  46. Frank Silbermann

    Frank Silbermann Professional

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    If you receive a weak ball only moderately placed to your backhand side, hitting a strong backhand cross-court instead of an inside-out forehand is fine IF you ALSO have the option of blasting a backhand down-the-line winner.

    Otherwise, the opponent can simply prepare for that strong cross-court backhand. If you run around it to hit your forehand, then your opponent doesn't know _which_ corner you're going to hit to. Even if you _usually_ go inside out, you still have the option of blasting it into his forehand corner if he prepares for the backhand too early.

    Being ambidextrous, at my low level of play I can hit with whichever side I please because my strokes are quite evenly balanced, and I am able to go inside out, down-the-line or cross-court equally well (or equally poorly) off either wing.
     
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  47. Lukhas

    Lukhas Legend

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    Well, why inside-out? Strong forehand to weak backhand, lower net, bigger spin. Unless your name is Gasquet, then you're better off using a cross-court/DTL backhand.
    How inside-out? Well, there's this way out of many ones...
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xTZt2qpVKdo

    Dimitrov does the same, only by slicing down the line to a rightie forehand, and finishing with an inside-in forehand.
     
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