Take the Racket Back
The second thing professional players do when hitting a forehand — once they’ve completed the pivot and shoulder turn — is take the tennis racket back with their hitting arm. Also, they extend their other, non-hitting arm across their body for balance and to help them judge the approaching ball.
Once you’ve completed the pivot and shoulder turn, take the tennis racket back with your hitting arm. Extend your non-hitting arm across your body. Make sure that it is about shoulder level and in-line with the baseline.
At 45 seconds into the video we have Oliver Akli on the FYB TV screen. Oliver is the former #1 player from Togo and currently is a high-performance coach at the Tennis Center at College Park. The video starts with Oliver at the completion of his pivot and shoulder turn. From this position, he takes the tennis racket all the way back with his hitting arm and he extends his other arm, his non-hitting arm, across his body. He keeps this arm about shoulder high and parallel with the baseline. That arm will help him stay balanced and judge the oncoming tennis ball, which is on the left-hand side of the screen.
1:15 in the video we have some pictures of Marat Safin. In the first picture we have Safin at the completion of his pivot and shoulder turn. His tennis racket has started to come back because he has turned his shoulders sideways, not because he’s used his arms yet. In the next picture from the side, he has released the tennis racket with his other arm and is in the process of extending that arm across his body. In the final picture from the front, Safin has taken the tennis racket all the way back by using his hitting arm. His other arm is extended across his body, shoulder high and in line with the baseline. From this position, his upper body preparationn is complete and he’s ready to swing forward and hit the tennis ball.