The Forehand

Roger Federer hits an inside forehand.

When you hit the tennis ball on your dominant side (your right-hand side if you are right-handed), you are hitting a forehand. The forehand is often the shot that every tennis player develops first, but this also means that players often develop bad habits early on their forehand side. This section of contains videos that teach you the fundamental techniques that every pro uses to hit a forehand. We teach the forehand by breaking the shot down into easy-to-follow steps, using videos and pictures of the top pros on tour to illustrate what we’re talking about. We then move on to progressions, which are essentially a series of drills you can do to build yourself a fundamentally sound forehand. If you can master the fundamentals of the shot, you will be in position to turn your forehand into a major weapon. The “windshield-wiper” and “advanced” forehand sections will help you do this.

Forehand Fundamentals (START HERE)
In this section, we focus on the fundamentals of the forehand — the things that every single pro tennis player does every time they hit the shot. If you master the fundamental steps that we lay out in these videos you will be well on your way to possessing a powerful, consistent forehand.

Forehand Progressions
The progressions videos present a series of steps you can follow to build your forehand from scratch. In the Forehand Fundamentals section we showed you what every top player does the same when they hit the shot. However, simply knowing what the pros do doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll be able to hit the shot.

Windshield Wiper Forehand
The windshield wiper forehand is a shot you’ll see most pros using nowadays. This is a must-learn shot for intermediate players looking to take their forehands — and their games — to the next level. The windshield wiper allows you to hit with both power and spin, making it a consistent yet powerful weapon.

Advanced Forehand Technique
This section focuses on some of the more advanced techniques that pro tennis players use when hitting their forehands. We go into detail about the various elements of the forehand — really focus on the minutia — to help you better understand what’s going on over the course of the motion.

  • Fernando Barbosa

    Hi, Will!

    Because I’m learning English I can’t write too much. Just like to say I really love all videos and your explanations. I’m a beginner in tennis but I love this game.

    Thank you so much!

    Hugs from Belo Horizonte/Brasil!

    PS: Yesterday, Ferrero won Brasil Open.

  • Spencer

    Thanks Will, FYB is a game saver. I am having trouble hitting “weak” balls. I can bit balls that have pace, but when they’re hit to me softly or with a little lob, I am having trouble taking advantage of them and also hitting a lot of unforced errors. Do you have any suggestions?

  • http://www.fuzzyyellowballs.com/ Will Hamilton

    On short balls you should be hitting aggressively — but you need to get the ball in. You’re inside the baseline and you’ll be pressuring your opponent simply if you place the ball well — the ball is going to get to him faster than it would if you were hitting from behind the baseline. Force him to come up with the goods — a passing shot, for example. Most of the time it won’t happen.

  • Ferry

    What a wonderful tips and advice you gave in the video’s!
    You really made me realise the good and bad things in my game…. and I must admit, sice I’ve watched the video’s I recorded some of my own games and compared them towards the fundamentals. Afterwards I’ve trained to improve my fundamentals and, for real, I’ve gained 2 ranks within 3 months of training.

    Even the guys which i didn’t stand a change against 3 months ago have to accept a defeat against me now….

    FYB, Mucho Thanks !!

  • Smith9876

    there videos are really nice but could you add videos on how to play approach shots, means when you are approaching the net running and have to fir a backhand or forehand instead of volley??. in such a case the player has a chance to throw the ball out of the court

    thanks

  • KD Guest

    —sorry i didnt mean to like this comment. there should be a button called “????” what are u talking about, youre dissecting things that dont need to be. your problem in located in one word: PRESSURE. its tough but you have to be RELAXED during your swing. i cant imagine my neck being jerked around like that. hope this helps.—

  • Canadatennis

    Nice lessons. It seems like forehand slice has been missing… I think it’s an important shot.
    Thank you.

  • simonnn

    i use a western grip ; how can i hit my shots with more velocity and depth ?

  • Adonis

    for some reason when i return the ball…it dosen’t have the right sound when i return the ball with my racket…

  • Sorlor

    I’ve played tennis dickering between a semi-western and a (natural-feeling) full western for so many years…thinking that “true” tennis didn’t (or couldn’t) involve such EXTREME grips such as a full western despite playing on clay.

    The windshield-wiper section on this website took my otherwise “ping-pong” western forehand and showed me how to transfer this otherwise natural-feeling stroke to tennis: allowing me to throw or “release” the racquet head AT the ball: twice the pace/spin with half the effort.

    I already had “the stroke” …… FuzzyYellow let me out of the cage….showing me the “see the strings in front of you” way when the racquet passes in front of you — just after contact and just prior to finishing the follow through ….

    today: it “clicked”

    I once again have a “bomb”

    THANK YOU FYTB

  • Amr Emara

    I think my forehand is good and powerful but am struggling in putting more balls in the court especially in the matches may be am afraid to hit powerful.. i don’t know… Sometimes i hit tremendous strokes and sometimes i cant imagine i waste this dead ball in the middle of the court .

    I need tips to keep the ball in the rally and to make my ball in depth and how to finish these easy balls in the middle of the court consistently

  • Anonymous

    Hi Will, I love your advice, but can you answer a few questions for me?
    1. When hitting forehand, do I hit the ball as it drops or at its peak?
    2. How tight should I hold the raquet when going for a forehand hits?
    3. How can I keep the ball in when hitting a hard forehand shot. My shots never seem to get n the court.
    Thank You

  • Bigblond165

    the wierd thing is that i learned the back hand easier and im better at the back hand than the forhand because i ethier lose my grip and the racket turns in my hand or the ball goes skyy high….on the other hand my back hand iss freaking amazing!!!! i hadd like a 10 hitt rally with sombody that was on the highschool tennis team!!! and im only 12!

  • Nameerrabadi

    why you don’t ask roger how he hit forehand ground stroke.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Aaron-James-Zitello/586992986 Aaron James Zitello

    1 – hit the ball on it’s way up after the bounce – before the peak.
    2 – don’t hold it too tight, you’ll hurt yourself – you should be able to pull it out of your hand, but not turn it. this is where good grip comes in. also, if you notice it’s heavy, try adding some lead tape on the bottom of the raquet for weight distribution or under your grip (also will help with control) not a lot though, just a few cut strands of it.
    3 – try putting your weight on your back foot when hitting a forehand (bend that knee, and push off slightly as you swing) – it will force you to swing more out and up on the ball, creating larger topspin that will arc the ball more, rather than just flat pushing the ball over. start out hitting soft, rally soft until you get them all in, then slowly build up speed (for consistency). All pros do exactly the same thing, you can only get so good, who is the winner tho? the person with least amount of errors – the most consistent.

    hope this helps – and yes, Will and FYB is awesome!

  • Andrewdong2003

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  • Andrewdong2003

    wrqwer

  • Nole1996

    hi will! i have a question
    in the video you said the eastern fh have a natural contact height about waist height! does that mean that is harder to handle high ball than semi-western and western grip?

  • Kenny

    what grip do I use to add topspin on my forehand?

  • Juan Pablo Carrasco Ivich

    you are only thhinking on what does the follow through does directly on the ball, but you have to know that, your follow through influences in the backswing a lot, not directly, but a lot, and your backswing influences directly on the ball, so, a good follow through means a good backswing, and that means a good entire swing, that becomes in a good ball

  • Juan Pablo Carrasco Ivich

    Hi Will, i want to know how to hit a ball that just bounced and it is just near my feet,

    Thanks, I have learned a lot with FYB

  • Glenn De Block

    Hi Will,

    As of recent, my one-handed backhand has become my most consistent shot whereas before I could dominate the court with a heavy top-spin forehand and would usually go for an agressive slice on the backhand.
    I don’t know what I have changed but it seems I am spinning the ball a bit too much on the forehand side. The ball lands before or around the service line and bounces up slow and high.
    I don’t have the feeling I’ve changed my mechanics even though it feels more as if I’m stroking the ball more than hitting it.
    Your video on the windshield wiper forehand has helped me a bit but I can not seem to utilize that one on a consistent basis. I can only seem to wipe it when it comes at perfect height.
    I’m using Babolat Aerodrive with Babolat Pro Hurricane strings at 27 kg.
    Could you/anyone give me an analysis of what you think I should work on especially to be able to get that punch back into my forehand?

    Thanks a lot.

    Glenn

  • simonnnn

    hey, i do the windshield wiper movement but some balls stilt sail high, how can i fix this ? thnks

  • Lawrence from So Cal

    Hi Will, I need some advice about my tennis game. For sometime now, everytime I played against a player who have slow pace ground stroke. I seem to having some problem playing this guys. My techniques are sound but not great. But for some reason, I either hit it too hard or it goes into the net and if I try to slow my stroke down I’m still over hitting hit. Is this a technical problem or a strategic problem.

  • Callum_smellum

    Hi Will
    how do you hit the ball without it going over the fence?

  • Callum_smellum

    doe’s anyone else think the guy in the picture has a good bum

  • big fella

    my bums better

  • Juan Pablo Carrasco Ivich

    Hello, I think your problem is technical, if I were you, I’ll put more topspin to my stroke, so it could get down into the court, and not pass it over.
    I hope this helps

  • Juan Pablo Carrasco

    Hi, if this helps, I’ll tell you to put some topspin to the ball, so it would get down into the court, or practicing only putting it into the court without trying to destroy the ball in one shot

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  • haroon

    please send the 5 tips to improve the fore hand (which you mentioned on the youtube)my email id    haroonhafeez7@hotmail.com

  • Mudit

    anything for lefties western grip forehand?

  • Andy Porter

    hi, can you upload a video on novak djokovics forehand technique? it is a great swing motion and i’d like to learn it, and i can imagine a lot of other players would too.

  • Hussein

    Hi, can anybody please tell me Nadal’s forehand thanks. 

  • Tomg375

    Most of us are aware that the modern forehand is different than that of 20+ years ago. But exactly what are the advantages of and open verses closed stance and a looping verses straight back swing?

  • Kbnb2230

    when you do the windsheild wiper forehand, is throwing the racket the correct way for the followthrough

  • Shanemcgerty

    I dont know which 1 2use :(

  • Kanishq

    I use semi western grip and put some top spin on the ball but these days all my balls are hitting the rim if the racquet and are going long what should i do?

  • Piyush

    This is a really good website for anyone to start learning the fundamentals of tennis. I wonder why has the comments and discussions dried up in the last 2 years?
    Even most videos about matches are 2 years old.
    Are the coaches still active here?

    I would really love to see more and more analysis of present day matches and players by Will.

    Please do keep it up.

  • jon akpan

    i think you need to put some spin on the ball so that you can hit hard, keep the ball above the net and still in the court. practice should get you there… cheers

  • john akpan

    hello kanishq. semi western grip is quite an extreme grip that requires precise timing. this is because of the angle at which you strike the ball. keep your eyes on the ball and try to improve on timimg

  • khan

    Hello all! I have a forehand like rafa but the problem is I can’t get the pace. please tell me how can I hit the ball hard..

  • asjs

    You need to extend out your follow through while hitting the ball.