Quantcast
nodot nodot
Turbo Tennis
August 2009 Article

Contact Ron Waite

Latest Turbo Tennis Article

Turbo Tennis Archives:
2003 - 2014
1996 - 2002

Tennis Server
HOME PAGE

Do You Want To Be A Better Tennis Player?

Then Sign Up For A Free Subscription to the Tennis Server INTERACTIVE
E-mail Newsletter!

You will join 25,000 other subscribers in receiving news of updates to the Tennis Server along with monthly tennis tips from tennis pro Tom Veneziano that won't be found on the web site.
 
Best of all, it is free!

Player Profiles:
 
Top Pros (Women)
tennis ball Serena Williams
tennis ball Maria Sharapova
tennis ball Simona Halep
tennis ball Petra Kvitova
tennis ball Ana Ivanovic
tennis ball Agnieszka Radwanska
tennis ball Eugenie Bouchard
tennis ball Caroline Wozniacki
tennis ball Angelique Kerber
tennis ball Dominika Cibulkova
 ... more profiles
 
Top Pros (Men)
tennis ball Novak Djokovic
tennis ball Roger Federer
tennis ball Rafael Nadal
tennis ball Stanislas Wawrinka
tennis ball Kei Nishikori
tennis ball Andy Murray
tennis ball Tomas Berdych
tennis ball Milos Raonic
tennis ball Marin Cilic
tennis ball David Ferrer
 ... more profiles
 
Tennis Features Icon TENNIS FEATURES:

BETWEEN THE LINES - Ray Bowers takes an analytical and sometimes controversial look at the ATP/WTA professional tour.
 
PRO TENNIS SHOWCASE - Tennis match reports and photography from around the world.
 
TURBO TENNIS - Ron Waite turbocharges your tennis game with tennis tips, strategic considerations, training and practice regimens, and mental mindsets and exercises.
 
TENNIS ANYONE? - USPTA Pro John Mills' quick player tip.
 
WILD CARDS - Each month a guest column by a new writer.
 
TENNIS SET - Jani Macari Pallis, Ph.D. looks at tennis science, engineering and technology.
 
MORTAL TENNIS - Greg Moran's tennis archive on how regular humans can play better tennis.
 
MENTAL EQUIPMENT - Explore the mental side of the game with Dr. John Murray.
 
TENNIS WARRIOR - Tom Veneziano's Tennis Warrior archive.
 
HARDSCRABBLE SCRAMBLE - USPTA pro Mike Whittington's player tip archive.
 
TENNIS EQUIPMENT TIPS.

Tennis Community Icon TENNIS COMMUNITY:


Tennis Book, DVD, and Video Index
 
Tennis Server Match Reports
 
Editor's Letter
 
Become a Tennis Server Sponsor

Explore The Tennis Net Icon EXPLORE THE TENNIS NET:

Pro Tennis Calendar & Event Links
 
Tennis News and Live Tennis Scores
 
Tennis Links on the Web
 
nodot
Turbo Tennis
 
Green Dot
 
Tennis Warehouse Logo
 
Green Dot

 
nodot
Finish What You Start!

Ron Waite Photo
Ron Waite, USPTR

Over the years, I have had the opportunity to visit many of the more prestigious tennis academies. These schools will have many young players seeking to raise their games to the pro level. Most will not make this goal, but they may find a path to a college scholarship. These academies are not inexpensive. So, the instruction needs to be very good!
 
Most players on both tours are groundstoke oriented in their game approach. The days of serve/volley players are not gone, but the ranks have thinned. So it is not surprising that the aforementioned academies spend much time on teaching solid groundstrokes, and helping to develop solid first and second serves. After all, these are the strokes most likely to be evident in the modern form of our wonderful game.
 
At all the academies that I have visited, there is one common denominator when it comes to stroke production: Finish each stroke fully, properly and consistently!
 
The emphasis upon the "finish" of each stroke is well founded in my opinion. We all have idiosyncrasies in our strokes. It is safe to say that, within reason, there is no single, correct way to hit each stroke. Each stroke begins with a grip. This grip will dictate much of what is needed to strike the ball effectively. Grip determines what stance is ideal, where the contact point is best made, and what stroke follow through (finish) is best.
 
The modern game encourages a shorter "backswing" on groundstrokes, and the Roddick-like serve is becoming more of a norm. (Andy does not really go through the traditional, drop racquet and create a circle motion.) Still, there are many players who take very long backswings and have the traditional service motion on both tours.
 
Given all of this, my column this month will address the appropriate or "ideal" finishes for the common groundstrokes and serves in the modern game.
 
I am not addressing volleys, in that, a really good volley is more of a blocking or "jabbing" (often referred to as punching) motion. Good volleys have little, if any, backswing, and they do not have much, if any, of a follow through to their finish. Indeed, Oscar Wegner (author of Play Better Tennis in Two Hours) shared with me some time back his insight about John McEnroe's superb volleys.
 
If you watch John hit a volley, he seems to bring the racquet back towards his body immediately after making impact with the ball. If you are a groundstroke-oriented player who has difficulty with her/his volleys, I strongly recommend that you practice this technique. It does work, and proves the theory that a follow through on volleys is not really necessary.
 

Train Harder. Train Smarter. Register Now. IMG Academies.
Train Harder. Train Smarter.
Register Now. IMG Academies.

 
This said, I will begin our discussion with forehand groundstrokes. In the modern game, there are two grips which are most commonly used for forehand groundstrokes: The semi-western grip and the full western grip.
 
(If you are confused about how I label grips, contact points and stances; refer to my previous column entitled The Grip: Picture Perfect. There are photos in this column that will help you determine what grip you are using, etc. In addition, I have an archived column entitled, Synchronized Strokes which explores the interdependence of grip, stance and contact point. This latter column has a link to a video I made that will give you quick and simple ways to get a particular grip.)
 
The eastern forehand grip (traditionally referred to as the "shake hands with the racquet grip" is still used by some pros. But, it is really a passe grip in the modern game. I do not recommend using this grip for forehand strokes. If it is your normal grip, I would suggest trying to change to the semi-western grip.
 
It is my belief that the semi-western grip is the ideal grip for forehands. It allows for easy generation of topspin, permits power and still can allow for grip changes necessary for backhands and volleys that are not so difficult to achieve. Many clay court players use the full western grip, which given the high bouncing balls produced on this surface makes perfect sense. However, changing grips to a backhand grip may be a bit time consuming and awkward. Either of these grips is well suited to the modern game. The full western grip is a bit severe in my opinion, but there are plenty of pros on both tours that use it.
 
Let's start with the proper finish for the semi-western forehand.
 
Using this grip, the ideal finish is where the racquet is brought upward and finishes over your non-dominant hand's shoulder. Below are some images from last year's Pilot Pen tournament that illustrate this semi-western's ideal finish.
 
Nicholas Mahut
Nicholas Mahut
 

Daniela Hantuchova
Daniela Hantuchova
 

Vince Spadea
Vince Spadea
 

Ivo Minar
Ivo Minar
 

If you look at these finishes, the racquet head is usually above and always behind the shoulder. If you use a semi-western grip, this is the ideal finish for a drive that is hit with pace and some topspin. If you use the full western grip, this finish is not really ideal, but is probably what is needed if you are attempting to hit your forehand flatter (less spin).
 
Increasingly, you will see more players on both tours that use what I call a windshield wiper finish for their forehand groundstrokes. This finish is really the ideal finish for the full western grip, but is useful for the semi-western grip when the player wants to impart more topspin.
 
In this follow through, the racquet head always finishes below the shoulder and somewhat in front of the body. To achieve this, a circular, windshield wiper-like motion is necessary. Here are some pics to illustrate this finish.
 
Anna Chakvetadze
Anna Chakvetadze
 

Donald Young
Donald Young
 

Mardy Fish
Mardy Fish
 

Fernando Verdasco
Fernando Verdasco
 

Either of these two finishes is fine, and will often be seen on both tours. Of course, there are times when one needs to scramble and stretch to simply put the racquet face on the ball when hitting a forehand. These emergency situations require a "squash shot" forehand, which is really a forehand slice. With these shots, one rarely can control the finish of the forehand stroke. Indeed to hit this forehand slice, you will probably need to switch to either a continental or eastern forehand grip. In either case the motion of the stroke is downward. Thus the finish is always low. Here are some illustrations of the forehand slice.
 
Tsvetana Prionkova
Tsvetana Prionkova
Tsvetana Prionkova
 

Another situation that may present itself when hitting a forehand occurs when trying to hit a topspin lob and/or impart lots of topspin to a forehand drive. In these situations, the racquet will always finish above the head, but sometime on the dominant hand's side of the body. The pictures that follow show this finish.
 
Patty Schnyder
Patty Schnyder
 

Mardy Fish
Mardy Fish
 

The two handed backhand is seemingly the most common backhand used in the modern game. Regardless of how one grips the racquet, there is one common finish for the two handed shot. The player should imagine that he/she is throwing a "sack of potatoes" over his/her shoulder. If you imagine this, you will automatically arrive at the ideal finish. The racquet head is always above and behind the dominant hand's shoulder. Here are some images of proper two handed finishes.
 
Jurgen Melzer
Jurgen Melzer
 

Robbie Ginepri
Robbie Ginepri
 

Aleksandra Wozniak
Aleksandra Wozniak
 

Marion Bartoli
Marion Bartoli
 

When hitting a one handed backhand, you are either hitting a drive or a sliced shot. Each of these has a different finish. The one hand, backhand drive requires a finish where the racquet head is above her/his head and in front of her/his body or away from the body in the direction of the net). Let's look at some one handed, backhand drive finishes.
 
Amelie Mauresmo
Amelie Mauresmo
 

Luis Horna
Luis Horna
 

Dudi Sela
Dudi Sela
 

Nicholas Mahut
Nicholas Mahut
 

The one handed slice is a shot that every player needs in his/her arsenal. Even two handed players need to perfect the one handed sliced backhand. The motion of this stroke is downward. The racquet head finishes low and in front of the body. In some instances, the racquet head will end by moving upward a bit as it continues to move forward. But, this occurs long after contact has been made with the ball. Let's examine some one handed, sliced backhand finishes.
 
Amelie Mauresmo
Amelie Mauresmo
 

Jurgen Melzer
Jurgen Melzer
 

Luis Horna
Luis Horna
 

Patty Schnyder
Patty Schnyder
 

Before leaving groundstrokes, it should be noted that some players like Marion Bartoli, Jan-Michael Gambill and Monica Seles hit both a two handed backhand and a two handed forehand. The ideal finish on the two handed forehand is the same as that associated with the two handed backhand. However, it is usually a little more difficult to get the racquet head completely above and behind the shoulder because of the grips used. Here is a picture of Marion Bartoli hitting her two handed forehand. You can compare it to the picture of her above hitting the two handed backhand.
 
Marion Bartoli
Marion Bartoli
 

In the modern game, there are essentially two serves that are most commonly used: the flat serve and the kick serve. The flat serve is the norm for first serves and has its own unique finish. Generally, flat serves require a finish where the racquet crosses in front of the body ending with the racquet head on the non-dominant hand's side. Although it is not as commonly used today, the slice serve uses the same finish as the flat serve. Below are flat serve images.
 
Anna Chakvetadze
Anna Chakvetadze
 

Mardy Fish
Mardy Fish
 

Patty Schnyder
Patty Schnyder
 

Aleksandra Wozniak
Aleksandra Wozniak
 

The kick serve is the most common second serve on the tours. This serve has lots of topspin and a bit of sidespin. The net result is that the ball bounces very high and to one side. In hitting the kick serve, the finish has the racquet ending up on the same side of the body as the dominant hand. Here are some illustrations that show the kick serve finish.
 
Donald Young
Donald Young
 

Fernando Verdasco
Fernando Verdasco
 

Aleksandra Wozniak
Aleksandra Wozniak
 

Amelie Mauresmo
Amelie Mauresmo
 

Rarely do players really concentrate upon their stroke finishes. Yet, these are in many instructors' minds the single most important aspect of stroke production. If you can develop the proper finish for each stroke and execute it perfectly each time, the consistency of your shots will improve dramatically.
 
In no time, you will become a tennis overdog!
 

Green DotGreen DotGreen Dot

Turbo Tennis Archives:
1996 - 2002 | 2003 - 2014


If you have not already signed up to receive our free e-mail newsletter Tennis Server INTERACTIVE, you can sign up here. You will receive notification each month of changes at the Tennis Server and news of new columns posted on our site.

This column is copyrighted by Ron Waite, all rights reserved. Questions and comments about these columns can be directed to Ron by using this form.

Ron Waite is a certified USPTR tennis instructor who took up the game of tennis at the age of 39. Frustrated with conventional tennis methods of instruction and the confusing data available on how to learn the game, Ron has sought to sift fact from fiction. In his seven years of tennis, Ron has received USTA sectional ranking four years, has successfully coached several NCAA Division III men's and women's tennis teams to post season competition, and has competed in USTA National singles tournaments. Ron has trained at a number of tennis academies and with many of the game's leading instructors.

In addition to his full-time work as a professor at Albertus Magnus College, Ron photographs ATP tour events for a variety of organizations and publications. The name of his column, TurboTennis, stems from his methods to decrease the amount of time it takes to learn and master the game of tennis.


 

nodot
nodot
Google
Web tennisserver.com
nodot nodot
The Tennis Server
Ticket Exchange

Your Source for tickets to professional tennis & golf events.
 
Barclays ATP World Tour Finals Tennis Tickets 11/7-11/14
 
Davis Cup Finals: France vs Switzerland Tennis Tickets 11/21
 
Chris Evert Pro-Celeb Tennis Classic Tickets 11/22-11/23
 
2015 BNP Paribas Open Tickets Indian Wells 3/11-3/22
 
2015 Miami Open Tennis Tickets 3/23-4/5
 
2015 US Open Tennis Tickets 8/31-9/13
 

 

Tennis MindGame

 
Popular Tennis books:
 
Smart Tennis by John Murray
 
Winning Ugly: Mental Warfare in Tennis-Lessons from a Master by Brad Gilbert, Steve Jamison
 
The Best Tennis of Your Life: 50 Mental Strategies for Fearless Performance by Jeff Greenwald
 
The Inner Game of Tennis by W. Timothy Gallwey
 
Most Recent Articles:
 
December 15, 2014 Between The Lines: Player of the Year 2014 by Ray Bowers.
 
Tennis Warrior: The Racket-Back Myth by Tom Veneziano.
 
November 2014 Tennis Anyone: Coil by John Mills.
 
November 2014 Turbo Tennis: Double Your Pleasure by Ron Waite.
 
November 11, 2014 Between The Lines: Woman of the Year 2014 by Ray Bowers.
 
October 2014 Wild Cards: Roger Rolls Through 300; Serena Wins First Championship In Cincinnati by Vince Barr.
 
Tennis Warrior: Five Powerful Tennis Concepts by Tom Veneziano.
 
October 2014 Tennis Anyone: Why Can I Not Poach? by John Mills.
 
October 2014 Turbo Tennis: Momentum Revisited by Ron Waite.
 
August 2014 Wild Cards: The Tennis Round Table: Interviews With Jim Courier, Todd Martin & Mark Philippoussis in Arizona by Vince Barr.
 

 

 

 

 
 
Featured events in the Tennis Server Ticket Exchanges:
 
  Featured Tickets:
BNP Paribas Open Tickets Indian Wells CA Tennis Garden
Miami Open Tennis Tickets Miami Key Biscayne FL Crandon Park Center
 

  Featured Tickets:
Western & Southern Open Cincinnati Tennis Tickets Session 5 W&SFG Cincy Mason OH Lindner Family Center Financial Group Masters
Western & Southern Open Cincinnati Tennis Tickets Session 6 W&SFG Cincy Mason OH Lindner Family Center Financial Group Masters
Western & Southern Open Cincinnati Tennis Tickets Session 7 W&SFG Cincy Mason OH Lindner Family Center Financial Group Masters
Western & Southern Open Cincinnati Tennis Tickets Session 8 W&SFG Cincy Mason OH Lindner Family Center Financial Group Masters

  Featured Tickets:
US Open Tennis Tickets Men's Quarterfinals Session 21 New York City NYC NY Flushing Meadows Corona
US Open Tennis Tickets Men's Quarterfinals Session 20 New York City NYC NY Flushing Meadows Corona
US Open Tennis Tickets Men's Quarterfinals Session 19 New York City NYC NY Flushing Meadows Corona
US Open Tennis Tickets Session 18 Men's Fourth Round Women's Quarterfinals New York City NYC NY Flushing Meadows Corona
US Open Tennis Tickets Session 17 Men's Fourth Round Women's Quarterfinals New York City NYC NY Flushing Meadows Corona

  Featured Tickets:
Sony Open Tennis Session 5 Tickets Miami Men's Singles 1st Round Women's Singles 2nd Key Biscayne FL Crandon Park Center
Sony Open Tennis Session 6 Tickets Miami Men's Singles 1st Round Women's Singles 2nd Key Biscayne FL Crandon Park Center
Sony Open Tennis Session 7 Tickets Miami Men's & Women's Singles 2nd Round Key Biscayne FL Crandon Park Center
Sony Open Tennis Session 8 Tickets Miami Men's & Women's Singles 2nd Round Key Biscayne FL Crandon Park Center
Great American Beer Festival Tickets Denver CO Colorado Convention Center

  Featured Tickets:
US Open Tennis Tickets Session 2 Opening Round New York City NYC NY Flushing Meadows Corona
US Open Tennis Tickets Session 1 Opening Round New York City NYC NY Flushing Meadows Corona
US Open Tennis Tickets Grounds Admission Pass Flushing Meadows Corona New York NY National Tennis Center 8/26-9/9
Arthur Ashe Kids' Day Tickets Flushing Meadows Corona New York NY
Great American Beer Festival Tickets Denver CO Colorado Convention Center

 
 
"Tennis Server" is a registered trademark and "Tennis Server INTERACTIVE" is a trademark of Tennis Server. All original material and graphics on the Tennis Server are copyrighted 1994 - by Tennis Server and its sponsors and contributors. Please do not reproduce without permission.

 

Tennis Server
Cliff Kurtzman
Editor-in-chief
2323 Clear Lake City Boulevard
Suite 180-139
Houston, Texas 77062-8120
Phone: (281) 480-6300
Fax: (281) 480-7715
Online Contact Form
How to support Tennis Server as a Sponsor/Advertiser
Tennis Server Privacy Policy