Strokes and Shots

Tennis requires the technical ability to hit a variety of strokes, as well as the tactical knowledge of which shots to play when. This article covers the key tennis strokes that make up the foundation of the game, as well as some of the most tactically used tennis shots that can dictate the flow of a point.

Learn proper technique on serves, groundstrokes, volleys, and more. Then develop an understanding of court positioning and patterns to integrate smart shot selection. With solid fundamentals around both strokes and shots, you’ll be on your way to becoming a well-rounded tennis player.

Strokes and Shots

Groundstrokes – Hitting the Ball After the Bounce

Groundstrokes are swinging motions used to hit the ball after it bounces near the back of the court, beyond the service line. The two main groundstrokes are the forehand drive and the backhand drive. Proper technique like swinging through the ball and proper footwork are key for executing successful groundstrokes.

The Serve – Starting the Point

The serve starts each point in tennis. The server stands behind the baseline and must hit the ball diagonally over the net into the service box. The serving motion is a throwing action, with rules requiring contact with the ball before it bounces. Mastering rhythm, toss placement, and swing path takes practice.

Volleys – Hitting the Ball Before the Bounce

Volleys involve a short, punching swing motion to hit the ball before it bounces, usually near the net. Since modern groundstrokes are hit so hard, opportunities to volley can be rare, requiring quick reflexes and racket skills to execute properly by meeting the ball out in front of the body.

Shot Variety andcourt Positioning

Beyond basic stroke technique, players use a variety of shots that dictate court positioning and point construction by applying different ball trajectories, spins, and placements. Mastering shot selection and patterns is key to setting up offensive or defensive positions.

Down-the-Line Shot

Hitting the ball near the sideline, straight through from one side of the court to the other. Useful for hitting angle winners.

Passing Shot

Hitting the ball past an opponent who has approached the net, often landing in the open court area they vacated.

Approach Shot

An aggressive shot hit with intent to then follow to the net for a volley. Usually hit deep or with angle to pressure the opponent.

Drop Shot

A touch shot landing close behind the net using finesse, change of pace, and backspin to catch opponents off guard.

Chip & Charge

A backspin drop shot combo where the player follows their drop shot to the net to put away any weak reply.

The key is learning proper technique on groundstrokes, serve, and volleys, then mastering shot selection and patterns. Lessons can help develop an all-court skillset.

Similar Posts