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February 2015 Article

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The Open-Stance Forehand

John Mills Photo
John Mills, USPTA

The open-stance forehand with a semi-western grip has changed the game of tennis. It allows a player to create tremendous racket head speed, shorten the backswing and create both power and angle.
 
Three simple tips can really aid your success with this forehand. In each of these scenarios a high point of contact will be eye-level or higher. A medium point of contact will be balls hit between your eyes and your knees and a lower point of contact will be balls contacted below the knee level. Also, a high follow through will be one that finishes above and over the opposite shoulder. A medium follow through is one that finishes under your chest, framing under your chest with your racket arm. A low follow through will finish with the racket wrist finishing near the opposite pocket. For example, a right-hander would finish with the inside of his right wrist near his left pocket.
 
Tip #1: The lower the contact, the higher the finish
 
Tip #2: The more medium the point of contact, the more medium the finish
 
Tip #3: The higher the point of contact, the lower the finish
 
Many times you will see a player try to force the same follow-through regardless of the point of contact. Watch the Pros. See how they make these three simple adjustments. Their follow through is contingent on the height of the point of contact. The big difference between the modern open-stance, semi-western forehand and the traditional closed stance western grip is unbelievable.
 
Good luck on the courts!
 

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This column is copyrighted by John Mills, all rights reserved.

John Mills currently teaches tennis at the University of Houston, Clear Lake campus. John Mills' experience includes four years as head pro at the Windemere Racquet & Swim Club, where he was responsible for organization of all tennis activities at the club. John also played college tennis at the University of Houston and has spent 20 years teaching tennis at the Memorial Park Tennis Center, the Pasadena Racquet Club, and as the head pro at the Bay Area Racquet Club.


 

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