Bring Back Foot Up
After you make hit the tennis ball, the next footwork step is relatively simple. What you need to do is get your lower and upper body back facing the net. If you hit with an open stance, it’s very easy, because you are already facing the net. However, if you hit with a neutral stance you need to bring your back foot around as you finish your follow through so that you are again facing the net. This is true for both your forehand and backhand groundstrokes. Make sure you do not rush to bring your back foot around because this could negatively impact your grounstroke mechanics.
Let’s look at some groundstrokes in action. First, at 1:00 in the video above, I hit a forehand with an open stance. As I make contact with the tennis ball, my upper and lower body are both facing the net and that makes it very simple (I don’t have to do anything!) to get myself facing the net. In the very next shot, I hit a neutral stance forehand and you can see that my feet are perpendicular to the baseline at the moment I make contact with the tennis ball. I follow through and then I bring my back foot up and around so that my feet are again parallel with the baseline. Finally, at 1:35 I go to hit a closed stance backhand. I move out to the ball, hit with a closed stance, and I again bring my back foot around so my body is facing the net.
After you have brought your back foot around, you have completed all the footwork involved in splitting, moving to the tennis ball, and hitting. You are now ready to recover back towards the center of the tennis court.