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Modern Forehand Overview
Borg Forehand Due to incredible advancements in racket technology, along with the "topspin revolution" initiated by Bjorn Borg, forehand technique has changed dramatically over the past two decades. Over the years players have improved upon Borg's forehand, culminating in a modern forehand that is both extraordinarly powerful as well as extremely consistent due to topspin.

Unlike the long, linear, even swinged strokes of the 70's (straight back backswing and finish with your racket pointing towards your target), modern technique lets you meet the ball well in front of your body, and then explosively lift and push the ball with your arm and shoulder and finish with a "windshield wiper" motion.

Here I will quickly outline the biggest changes in forehand technique:




1. Top players today use the semi-western grip (also called the "frying pan" grip) or a western grip to hit the ball. This puts more of your hand under the handle (knuckles facing the ground). By getting more of your hand under the handle, it allows you to lift the ball upward more powerfully with your arm. This hand position on the handle also lets you push more forcefully forward.

2. Top players today use a "double bend" hitting structure to lift the ball. This lets you push and lift the ball with your arm and shoulder in unison, which resembles a boxing punch/uppercut motion.

3. Top players today pull the racket, butt cap first, into the ball by pulling and lifting their arm to the ball as they rotate their torso into the ball. The racket lays back and gets "pulled through a slot" as they pull/lift the arm forward.

4. Top players today contact the ball very far in front of the body due to the pulling of the racket. Players from the 70's contacted the ball much later because the racket rotated around a lot sooner.

5. Top players rotate their torso into the ball.

6. Top players accelerate on contact by lifting their arm upward and shifting the weight of their arm into and through the ball.
7. After the push through and lift up the back of the ball, a windshield wiper motion occurs where the entire double bend structure rotates over and the wrist releases and the forearm prontates.
8. Top players use springing motions from the legs to establish rhythm and timing to their strokes.
9. Top players use use wide hitting stances for support and balance as they rotate their upper bodies into the ball.

 

   

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Here you can get a sense of what the modern forehand looks like. Notice how Serra pulls the racket, butt cap first, into the ball by lifting/pulling his arm forward as he rotates his torso into and through the ball. Then he accelerates on contact with his entire arm and shoulder, by lifting upward, and pushing forward, finishing it off with a "windshield wiper" motion. The modern forehand is powerful and explosive, with plenty of topspin.

Learn the Modern Forehand Today!

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