What are the different tennis shots?
27 July 2020 • By - callumbrunning
What are the different tennis shots can I play?
The long wait for a sport to return was welcomed by all and it seems tennis has come out of lockdown looking stronger than ever. Despite there being no Wimbledon action gracing our courts and our screens, the sport of tennis has massively benefitted from being one of the first few sports to be allowed the re-open. Being classified as being one of the most COVID-secure sports to play right now.
So for many out there who may just be getting into tennis and perhaps looking for some guidance before harnessing their inner Federer on the court. We at Playfinder thought it would be a good idea to through what shots you can at least attempt to play in your first game of tennis. If you are still unsure on the markings on a tennis court click here.
First of all, the game cannot begin without a serve. It is arguably the most important shot in tennis, so be sure to get this one spot on or suffer a difficult return from your opponent. At the start of each point, one player must start with a serve. The most common way of performing this is through an overhead serve – it may be wise to stick to underarm to begin, to avoid any lost balls and double faults. In the professional game, the serve has been mastered to ‘serve’ as winning shot straight off the bat known as an ‘ace’. Most professionals serve the ball at around 100mph, applying a variety of topspin or sidespin.
The most common shot played in tennis is a ‘forehand’. Simply struck with a player’s most dominant hand, with the palm of the players hand facing the ball. For beginners, this is likely to be the easiest shot to master however some players prefer to play backhand, usually those more familiar with cricket, baseball or hockey. The forehand may be the easiest shot to play and potentially the most powerful asset in a tennis player’s armoury. Forehand grips can be broken down into three main categories – Eastern, Western and Continental. The main difference between them all being the angle of which the racquet faces the ball upon impact.
The backhand shot is widely regarded as the hardest shot in the book to master as a tennis player and is often the shot separates the good tennis players from the great ones. The backhand shot is played from the non-dominant side of a player’s body, singing the racquet away from the body with the back of the hand facing the ball. Many players, professional and amateurs alike, often place two hands on the racquet when playing backhand shot to produce more power through the swing. The likes of Roger Federer, Serena Williams and Andre Agassi are regarded as some of the best backhand players to play tennis. When mastered, the backhand can also be a great way to apply backspin to the ball.
The volley is arguably considered as one of the most aesthetically pleasing tennis shots especially in front of a crowd at centre court. The volley can be played in the air before the ball as bounced and is predominantly used closer to the net in order to generate more power and hopefully win the point. Used forehand or backhand, the volley is an affective weapon to put your opponent on the back foot. However, once you commit to it, there’s no going back!
The Lob shot
The lob shot is another one in the book that provides entertainment for the spectators. Seldom does the lob shot appear in a usual rally. But when it does, it certainly doesn’t fail to put you on the edge of your seat. For your opponent however, it is a different story. Watching the ball fly directly overhead and having to desperately sprint to the backline to save the point and some dignity is never an easy task. A player that enjoys getting close to the net can expect to be lobbed a few times in the game if their volleys don’t work out.
When watching the pros on the Wimbledon grass, it seems there is thousand ways that they manage to get the ball back over the net, time and time again. Year on year we see more seemingly outrageous new shots being added to tennis players armouries. Notably, in recent years, the drop shot has become a shot widely used by professional and amateur players, one that requires a delicate touch. One that never fills to amaze is the ‘Tweener’ shot. This one is used mostly when a player finds themselves with their back to play (perhaps running back from being lobbed) and hits the ball back between their own legs. The shot came to the surface in the 1970s but has more recently been a widely regarded recovery shot – and one that never seems possible!
So there’s a few you can work on when you next book out a visit to the tennis courts. With more and more tennis courts re-opening each day, click here to find a venue near you!