Yesterday, the techniques and advantages of the modern forehand were presented. Many of the tennis professionals today build their game around their powerful forehand groundstroke. Roger Federer is not only known for his beautiful backhand strokes, but at times, running around his backhand to hit a forehand groundstroke. When a player chooses this option, their position is compromised because they have moved farther off the court. Therefore, they must hit a punishing shot so that the opponent cannot direct the ball wide to the forehand (open court). Players choose to hit an “inside out” to the opponent’s backhand or pull it down the same sideline. If an offensive shot is not possible, the player will hit a higher ball to give him/her time to recover into a better position on the court.
While watching the Australian Open, watch Roger and others run around their backhands. Check out the quick footwork and racquet preparation. Read if they hit the ball inside/out, down the line, or hit a recovery shot with higher trajectory. Did it pay off or did the opponent capitalize on their opponent’s vulnerable court position?
If your forehand is your weapon and/or your backhand is weaker, consider running around your backhand. Your opponent may grow frustrated if they can’t get you to hit a backhand!