Types of Tennis Shots | An Overview Of The Different Strokes In Tennis

05 Mar 2019/

In tennis, there are all kinds of tennis pictures that can be utilized to maintain the ball in play. Whether or not you need to play competitively or simply for enjoyable, gaining a full understanding of the various kinds of tennis pictures could be useful and informative.

It could actually additionally present you a framework for understanding which strokes and tennis pictures you may need to work on. This fashion once you step out on the court docket with a pal or tennis teacher you may get probably the most out of your time.


The primary kind of tennis shot, and maybe mostly related to tennis, is the groundstroke. Groundstrokes are sometimes hit standing just a few toes from the baseline and are both hit as a forehand or a backhand.

Topspin Forehand and Backhands

The forehand and backhand are sometimes the very first strokes {that a} participant will likely be taught. A forehand is hit along with your dominant hand and arm (proper if you happen to’re right-handed and left if you happen to’re left-handed), whereas a backhand is hit both with two arms for a two-handed backhand or with one hand (nonetheless your dominant hand), for a one-handed backhand.

Forehands are hit with certainly one of three tennis grips: japanese, semi-western or western. Every grip has its benefits and downsides, nevertheless, as of late the semi-western forehand grip is the commonest.

A double handed backhand is usually held with the dominant hand holding a continental grip after which inserting your different hand above your dominant hand on the deal with. Whereas a one-handed backhand is often held with a reverse japanese grip.

A typical forehand and backhand are hit with topspin, the place the participant brushes up and excessive of a tennis ball to generate spin. Doing so permits gamers to hit the ball extra aggressively whereas guaranteeing that the ball drops again into the court docket.

In a traditional rally, a participant may hit just a few totally different variations of their forehand and backhand, similar to down the center of the court docket, crosscourt or down the road.

Flat Forehand and Backhand

A flat forehand or backhand is one through which the participant merely doesn’t apply a major quantity of topspin to their shot.

Gamers with an japanese forehand grip can often hit this shot extra successfully because the angle of their racquet is much less conducive to spin, whereas gamers with a semi-western or western grip can have a tough time “flattening out” the ball as a result of the angle of the tennis racquet is extra geared in the direction of producing topspin.

On the backhand aspect, most gamers often received’t have a lot bother flattening out the ball when hitting utilizing a one or two-handed backhand.

A flat forehand or backhand is often hit when a participant doesn’t need to give their opponent as a lot time to react. With a topspin groundstroke, the ball hits the court docket and bounces up and in the direction of your opponent, sometimes giving them extra time to react. Nevertheless, flat pictures with little topspin received’t bounce excessive, somewhat they’ll virtually skid throughout the court docket.

A flat groundstroke is often more difficult to hit whereas retaining the shot inside boundaries of the tennis court docket since there isn’t a lot topspin being utilized. In consequence, most gamers will hit flat groundstrokes sparingly.

Slice Forehand & Backhand

A slice forehand or backhand is actually the other of a topspin shot. Moderately than brushing up and over the tennis ball, a slice shot is hit by brushing beneath the tennis ball and creating backspin.

Each the forehand and backhand slice are hit with one hand, often with a continental grip or a slight variation of this grip bordering on an japanese grip.

The slice shot could be extremely efficient to rapidly change the tempo of a rally in an effort to throw your opponent off and is commonly hit as a defensive shot when the participant has little time to react, or when a participant is on the run.

Inside Out Forehand

An inside forehand is a well-liked tennis shot that happens when a participant runs round their backhand and hits a forehand cross-court. Usually, this shot is hit by a participant with a powerful forehand to take management of the purpose or by gamers who’ve a weaker backhand and would favor to hit a forehand.

Inside In Forehand

Much like an inside out forehand, a participant hits an inside in forehand once they run round their backhand. Nevertheless, as a substitute of hitting the forehand cross-court as you’ll with an inside out forehand, you hit the forehand down the road.


In tennis, a volley is a tennis shot that’s hit by the participant earlier than the ball bounces or hits the court docket whereas approaching the web or whereas on the internet. The primary objective of coming to the web and volleying is to take management of the purpose and permit your self to hit at extra of an angle, thus closing out the purpose.

Forehand & Backhand Volleys

Much like forehand groundstrokes, forehand volleys are hit along with your dominant hand to the suitable aspect of your physique if you happen to’re right-handed, and to the left aspect of your physique if you happen to’re left-handed.

Whereas backhand volleys are hit along with your dominant hand on the left aspect of your physique if you happen to’re right-handed, and the suitable aspect of your physique if you happen to’re left-handed.

With volleys, you’ll maintain a continental grip, which leads to a somewhat impartial racquet face to simply deflect balls again to your opponent. Any such grip helps make sure the ball could make it excessive of the web, whereas not sending it too lengthy and out of bounds.

In some instances, youth and newbie tennis gamers will likely be inspired to hit their backhand volley with two arms for higher assist.

Half Volley

A half volley could be hit as each a forehand and a backhand and it’s often hit in comparable conditions {that a} volley can be hit, both as you strategy the web or whilst you’re on the internet.

In essence, a half volley is a shot the place you’ll be able to’t get to the ball to hit a volley earlier than it bounces and also you don’t have sufficient time to hit a full groundstroke. In consequence, you let the bounce after which rapidly block, or deflect, the ball again to the opposite aspect of the court docket.

Generally, it’s preferable to hit a volley whereas the ball is within the air or a groundstroke after the ball bounces. Nevertheless, there are invariably instances when you’ll be able to’t fairly get to the volley and don’t have time to set your self for a groundstroke, which makes the half volley a incredible choice.

Half volleys could be hit as a forehand or backhand utilizing a continental grip.


The serve is the shot that begins each level. A serve is hit from both the deuce court docket, standing to the suitable aspect of the middle mark when going through the web on the baseline or the advert court docket, standing to the left aspect of the middle mark.

In both case, a participant has two alternatives, the primary and second serve, to profitable hit the ball over the web and into the service field on the other aspect of the court docket.

Serves are hit utilizing a continental grip, which permits gamers to hit a wide range of differing kinds, together with flat, kick and slice serves.

Flat Serve

A flat serve is one that’s hit with little or no, if any, spin. The largest benefit of a flat serve is the flexibility to hit the ball with lots of tempo or velocity, which provides your opponent little or no time to react.

Attributable to the truth that little or no spin is utilized to the ball, flat serves are more durable to hit into the service field efficiently. In consequence, that is sometimes a shot that’s solely hit on a participant’s first serve to make sure they will hit a excessive proportion serve, similar to a kick serve, on the second serve.

Kick Serve

A kick serve is one the place you generate a major quantity of topspin by hitting up on the ball and snapping their wrist when making contact, which ensures the ball travels excessive over the web and subsequently drops into the service field because of the topspin.

The kick serve is a superb choice as a result of, by steady follow, most gamers can be taught to hit this shot within the court docket virtually each time. Along with consistency, the kick serve can also be a weapon for a lot of gamers who can generate sufficient spin on the ball, inflicting the ball to “kick” off the bottom when it lands within the service field.

An efficient kick serve sends the ball bouncing at a peak that’s properly above the peak that’s supreme for a forehand or backhand. Most gamers will sometimes need to return the ball when it bounces proper at about waist excessive, so something above this peak begins to turn into more difficult to hit.

In consequence, your opponent is both compelled to step ahead and return the ball rapidly off the bounce or to step again to provide themselves sufficient time to hit a return at a extra acceptable peak.

As a result of nature of the kick serve, it affords gamers with a somewhat excessive margin for error and is, subsequently, a quite common shot utilized by gamers on their second serve to make sure they get the ball in play to start out the purpose.

Slice Serve

A slice serve is a serve the place the periphery, the suitable aspect of the ball for right-handed gamers, and the left aspect of the ball for left-handed gamers, is struck to supply a aspect spin that skids when it hits the court docket and bounces within the course of the spin.

The slice serve could be an especially efficient serve, which is often hit out broad or into the physique of a participant. When hit out broad within the deuce court docket the participant is compelled off to the aspect of the court docket, thus opening up the court docket for a putaway shot.

When hit into the participant’s physique, a slice serve could make it extraordinarily tough to hit both a forehand or a backhand return, which might “freeze” a participant who’s both guessing which aspect you have been going to hit it to or couldn’t put together rapidly sufficient.

Return of Serve

A return is the tennis shot that’s hit off of your opponents serve. In consequence, the return is hit standing on the deuce (proper) aspect of the court docket, or advert (left) aspect of the court docket when going through the web.

The return can come in several types, nevertheless, it sometimes includes hitting a forehand or backhand off of your opponents serve. In consequence, this presents a novel set of challenges in that the ball is touring rapidly, typically leaving you with little time to react. As well as, it’s not at all times tremendous simple to learn the kind of serve being hit or the course through which your opponent goes to hit.

With the return of serve, preparation is vital, and in lots of instances, the aim is just to maintain the ball in play or neutralize the purpose, with out setting your opponent up for a simple put away shot.

Specialty Pictures

In tennis, there are fairly just a few specialty pictures, that are hit in particular conditions when the beforehand talked about pictures aren’t supreme or could also be exhausting to execute.

Method Shot

Because the title implies, the strategy shot is hit as you progress in the direction of or strategy the web. In consequence, this shot permits gamers to transition from the baseline to the web.

Method pictures could be hit as both a forehand or backhand, and so they’ll often happen when the opposing participant hits the ball quick within the court docket, permitting you to step in and transfer ahead and into the ball.

The strategy shot could be efficient because it places stress in your opponent, and if executed successfully, provides you the chance to take management of the purpose and shut it out whereas on the internet.

Passing Shot

The passing shot is one that’s hit when your opponent is on the internet and also you try and hit it previous them with out them touching the ball.

Passing pictures are likely to put fairly a little bit of stress on you to make an important shot, which might drive many gamers to go for an excessive amount of. Nevertheless, executed properly and also you’ll put simply as a lot stress in your opponent whereas having the chance to depart your participant demoralized on the internet.


The lob can typically be hit in just a few totally different eventualities. First, as a participant approaches the web there’s a tendency for them to over shut, which merely means they’ve moved too near the web. To a sure extent getting nearer to the web permits gamers to chop off the angles their opponent can hit, which often makes it tougher so that you can cross them.

Nevertheless, by over closing your opponent presents you with the chance to lob them. A lob is just a forehand or backhand that’s hit properly excessive of your opponents head in order that it lands deep within the court docket in the direction of the baseline.

On this case, when you have sufficient preparation many gamers will decide to hit the lob with some quantity of topspin along with your typical forehand or backhand grip. In any other case, the continental grip is commonly used to ship the ball up over their opponents head.

Lobs could be a nice shot to hit in defensive eventualities. For instance, in case your opponent forces you off to the aspect of the court docket and you must chase down the ball then the lob could be a nice shot to maintain the ball in play.

Your opponent is more likely to shut the web on this scenario, so a excessive lob can purchase you a while to maneuver again into place on the court docket and in addition drive your opponent to hit not less than yet one more shot to shut out the purpose.

Equally, in case your opponent is on the internet and so they hit an aggressive shot in the direction of you it will probably typically be tough to react rapidly, so the lob could be a good way to rapidly block the ball again and preserve the ball in play, which additionally lets you put together for the following shot they hit.


The overhead is a shot in tennis that may sometimes be hit off of a lob. If you’re shifting in the direction of the web and placing stress in your opponent you’ll typically discover that they’ll hit a lob.

For the reason that lob is is often tough to execute, you’ll discover that lots of them find yourself proper over your head once you’re on the internet.

On this case, you’ll have the chance to hit an overhead, which is actually a barely modified model of your serve whilst you’re on the transfer on the internet.

Identical to a serve, overheads are hit utilizing the continental grip.

Drop shot

The drop shot is a extra superior shot that’s hit when your opponent is on the baseline. Drop pictures are tough to hit as a result of they typically require the aspect of shock and superior management over the ball, also known as “contact.”

One possible situation for a drop shot is if you happen to’re in a rally along with your opponent and you discover them a bit off steadiness after hitting certainly one of their pictures.

If you happen to acknowledge this you will decide to very fastidiously slice the ball again over the web with as little energy as doable to make sure it simply clears the web, and lands only some toes from the web, in order that your opponent doesn’t have time to dash ahead and put the ball again in play.

Chip and Cost

The chip and cost is a specialty return of serve the place you step into the court docket when returning the ball. Utilizing a continental grip you slice, or chip, the ball again to the other aspect of the court docket, whilst you concurrently transfer in the direction of the web to set your self up for a volley.

If executed properly the chip and cost could be a nice shot to rapidly put stress in your opponent proper after they serve and place your self to take management of the purpose on the internet.

Nevertheless, if executed poorly, the chip and cost may also set your opponent up for a simple passing shot.

Put Away

A putaway shot isn’t a selected technical type of a shot, somewhat an expression referred to once you’re at or shifting in the direction of the web and you’ve got the chance to ship the ball previous your opponent or out of their attain.

If you happen to hit an important strategy shot, pushing your opponent off to the aspect of the court docket, and so they hit a groundstroke proper again at you then you definately’ll need to “put away” the volley into the open court docket in order that they don’t have the chance to hit one more shot.


A winner is one other expression used to explain any shot that you simply hit efficiently into the other aspect of the court docket that your opponent can’t get to.

A profitable passing shot is a winner, an overhead that your opponent can’t get to is a winner and a forehand hit cross court docket or down the road that your opponent can’t fairly attain are additionally types of winners.


A tweener is one other tennis shot, which I’ve saved for final because it’s a kind of pictures that’s hit very sometimes and is often hit for leisure, somewhat than being a extremely efficient shot.

Usually a tweener is often thought of any shot hit in between the legs. Nevertheless, for my part, a real tweener is hit off of a tricky lob.

On this scenario, the participant is compelled to run the ball down whereas going through away from the web. So as to hit a tweener, the participant will let the ball bounce in entrance of themselves. Then, because the ball drops again in the direction of the court docket they step completely in entrance of the ball in order that it drops to a peak nearly at or beneath the peak of their knees to allow them to ship it flying by their legs and again over the opposite aspect of the court docket.

If it sounds exhausting, it’s, and few gamers can do it properly beneath stress, nevertheless, there have been some superb tweeners hit by professionals throughout competitors.

Have any questions concerning the totally different pictures in tennis? Be at liberty to tell us within the feedback beneath. We’d love to assist!

Photograph Credit score: Ludmilla

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