high forehand - how high?

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by dozu, Jul 27, 2009.

  1. dozu

    dozu Banned

    Feb 19, 2004
    How high is the limit where you can still hit a forehand effectively? shoulder high?

    If something is above shoulder high, should you use footwork to adjust so you can hit it earlier/later so it's a bit lower?

    I struggle a bit on these especially if the incoming ball is loaded with spin... please help.

  2. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

    Dec 28, 2008
    East side of San Francisco Bay
    What is "effectively"... ?
    A hard underspin shot with low clearance and good placement might be effective...
    A topspin looper deep into the corner, and over the net man might be effective...
    A sliced angled drop shot from a foot over your head might be effective....
    Just what kind of shot do you consider "effective"?
  3. zebano

    zebano Semi-Pro

    Jun 12, 2007
    When I'm deep and get something above shoulder height I effectively moonball back and that works for me. It's not fun but it's way better than missing.
  4. fuzz nation

    fuzz nation G.O.A.T.

    Oct 20, 2006
    One alternative that I've tried for a ball that's head-height or a little above that is to get set up directly behind the ball and swipe across it with sort of an out-to-in windshield wiper. Contact happens up at the top of the arc of my swing. This shot sends it back deep with some pace and sidespin instead of topspin. Not as accurate as a typical hit on a ball down in my strike zone (I put it deep and down the middle), but the spin gives it more margin to land and it's a more deliberate hit than a moonball. You might want to experiment with it to see what it yields.

    Another way that I can deal with a high ball in that forehand side is to hit down through the ball with fh slice. I've had this shot pretty much forever and I can sting it rather well with a lot of accuracy. Since I'm comfortable with this shot, I can catch a higher ball on the rise off the court or make that high contact on a big bouncer after it has topped out. I think that this slice is very useful and can do more than just help with approaching the net. It's reliable for neutral rallies and it can be very well disguised when attacking a short sitter, too.
  5. Nellie

    Nellie Hall of Fame

    Oct 4, 2004
    Well, once it is above my head, I am hitting an overhead.
  6. myalterego

    myalterego Rookie

    Jun 25, 2009
    Generally, when it's above shoulder height, I kind of do an overhead slice.
  7. dozu

    dozu Banned

    Feb 19, 2004
    what kind of grip do you use to hit a forehand slice? it almost feels to me that a eastern backhand (!) grip is the best for this shot.
  8. Blake0

    Blake0 Hall of Fame

    Feb 17, 2009
    For me, my height limit i can hit the ball would be just a bit over shoulder height. I use a eastern forehand grip.

    One of my friends who has a western grip can hit head high forehands effectively.

    But I'd say the highest you should hit forehands would be shoulder height or maybe a tab bit higher. Ofcourse, when a ball is spinning up over your head you have to either catch it on the rise, let it drop and hit it late, or get ready to hit a smash :). (Well not ideally the 3rd option)
  9. smoothtennis

    smoothtennis Hall of Fame

    May 8, 2007
    Fort Worth, TX
    Fuzz - let me second exactly what you said. These two methods are exactly, and I mean exactly how I deal with balls over my shoulders. The sidespin outside-in heavy spin moonball - which has a great deal of margin for error while still putting lots of energy into the ball - or the forehand slice 'down' into the court. I use a continental grip for the FH slice, and of course, SW grip for the high sidespin swipe.

    I have also noticed this year, to really let my hips and 'back of shoulder' turn fully through the shot so the back of the shoulder is facing the ball direction at follow through - the ball has much more action, spin, and explosiveness off the court when it hits.

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