Introduction to Basic Tennis Shots

August 2016
Introduction to Tennis Shots

If your like most causal tennis players, you probably know a few or all of the basic tennis shots. However, you might, use these terms freely without really knowing what any of them mean!


Don’t worry, in this introduction you’ll improve your understanding of the basic tennis shots. So if you want to improve your tennis game, keep reading!



The Three Basic Tennis Shots

A shot in tennis is just how we describe the way in which we hit the ball. While there are a number of basic tennis shots, the game centres around three shots. The serve, this is the opening shot of the point. People spend a lifetime perfecting this!

We then have two groundstrokes. This is when the ball is hit after it has bounced. Depending on the direction of your racket in relation to your body, it’s either called a forehand or a backhand. So, that’s our three basic tennis shots.


Just remember, all shots that pass either over the net and land anywhere within the lines which make up the court are considered good. The only except is serves, which need to land inside the designated service box.



Serve Shots

A tennis serve, which is more formally called, a service, is the shot which starts the point. The most common serve is used is an overhead serve.


This serve is when you toss the tennis ball into the air over your head. Then as the ball fall back to the ground, with your arm fully stretched out, you hit the ball diagonally into the opposite service box without touching the net.


There are many different types of serve: a flat, a top-spin, an American twist (or kick), or a slice serve. While some servers are content to use the opening shot simply to initiate the point; advanced players often try to hit a winning shot with their serve. A winning serve that is not touched by the opponent is called an ace.



Forehand Shots

The forehand shot can be easily described as if you went to strike the ball without the racquet, you hit the ball with the palm of your hand. The opposite of this, and you’ve guessed it, is the backhand!


The forehand is widely considered the easiest shot to master, as it’s the most natural stroke.


When executing a forehand shot, there are a few popular ways to hold the racquet or what is known as the grip. The most widely used grips are the Continental, Eastern and Western. You might be wondering what’s the difference between them. Well, it’s to do with the angles which is created between your palm and racquet.


For a number of years in the 1902s, the small and apparently frail Bill Johnston, considered by many to have had the best forehand of all time, used a western grip. After the 20s, few top players used the western grip. However, as equipment changed radically, in the latter part of the 20th century, the western forehand made a strong comeback and is now used by many modern players.


Regardless of the grip used, most forehands are generally executed with one hand holding the racquet. Of course, there have been fine players with two-handed forehands. Today, many female and young players use the two-handed stroke today.



Backhand Shots

If a forehand shot is like hitting the ball with your palm, then a Backhand is the opposite. You’re swinging the racquet away from your body and in the direction of where the player wants the ball to go. Therefore your opponent see the back of your hand.


The backhand shot is generally considered more difficult to master than the forehand. And you can either use one or both hands – just like the forehand shot.


For most of the 20th Century players used one hand with either an eastern or a continental grip. However, today most players use both hands for the backhand shot, which allows for more power and control.


Players such as Venus Williams, Serena Williams, Maria Sharapova, and Andre Agassi have used this stroke to its highest potential to win many grandslams.



Other tennis Shots

There are many more shots, like volley and lob, but these are three basic tennis shots. Soon, we’ll cover more shots.