The Windshield Wiper Forehand

The windshield wiper forehand is an important shot to learn once you’ve mastered the fundamentals of the forehand. It’s a “must have” shot if you want to advance past intermediate levels of play. The windshield wiper allows you to hit both with power and spin. Thus, this type of forehand allows you to be aggressive — it lets you pressure your opponent — while still being consistent.

The Windshield Wiper Forehand
This video answers the question: what exactly is a windshield wiper forehand and how do I hit it?

Introduction to the Windshield Wiper Forehand Progressions
The windshield wiper forehand progressions is a series we put together to help you learn how to hit the shot. It’s built off of the lessons in the forehand fundamentals and progressions sections of the website, so if you haven’t watched those videos yet make sure to check them out!

PROGRESSIONS

1 Swing and Follow Through
The first step of the windshield wiper forehand progressions is to learn how to swing up to the ball correctly.

2 Move Back
The second step of the progressions is to move back into no-man’s land and practice to motion while swinging a little bit harder.

3 The Full WW Motion
The third step of the progressions is to hit from the baseline using an entire windshield wiper motion.

  • Anonymous

    Hey, I just want to thank you for all these videos. They have definitely helped me get better at tennis. I have a question though. Obviously, the windshield wiper forehand should be hit with an eastern grip correct?(federer’s grip). Also, some guy taught me how to hit it before I watched this video and I realized that he had only taught me the basics which was just hitting it up and not completing the actual wiper action. What’s the difference. And lastly, I’ve gotten really good at the windshield wiper, but now it’s like I’ve totally forgotten how to hit a regular flat forehand. Please advice. Thanks.

  • Brad

    how do you do a windshield wiper forehand, and extend out into the court like the pros do with them? it would be more like a classic forehand follow through with the wiper tacked on to. like you said not to do. I see all the pros extend out during their follow through, but also the wiper. I can’t seem to get the hang of that, it always goes deep..

  • ZHANGXUEYIKE

    MOVE BACK

  • ZHANGXUEYIKE

    MOVE BACK

  • Dallas

    Is it possible to hit a WWF with an eastern grip. I’ve found that I have better variety with that grip as far as hitting with moderate topspin or hitting flat. But I seem to have a problem with the swing path/contact point with an eastern grip on the WWF motion.

  • Federer

    Federer does it, but there are certain things he does to ensure it works… there’s a subtle movement that does make his straight arm forehand — again, it’s not going to be locked, just as straight as a relaxed arm allows — possible and anyone could choose to do that instead of any other given swinging form without much problems. The question I still have in mind is whether or not this is what makes that later movement of a WWFH possible or if it may be achieved with a bent arm as well. I’ll check it out and I’ll expose my theory.

    Will does emphasize on big key elements and if they are all necessary and common, subtle items of execution enables a player to accomplish all of these things in one heap, to speak of a swing in that manner. He says that people do it in their own personal way, but he may have very roughly estimated the matter and, for all we know, some little things could enhance or lessen your capacity, as he says, of “executing the fundamentals” with excellence.

    If we work by dialectic and run through the evolution of the game, we can derive that there is a certain function attributed to the WWFH that couldn’t be accomplished with the classical swing path and, at least so does the facts propose, the equipment now enables a certain margin for contact. Due to the path of the WWFH, the probable contact zone of favourable answer — where the ball, if it doesn’t meet the optimal criterion to be projected, still follows a playable margin — is reduced in comparison to its former counterpart and this is likely to be a reason which explains why you wouldn’t see it with the small wooden frames; it would be simply too hard to accomplish properly and on a constant basis. Of course, all WWFH are not swung through the same vertical path as there is a constant ran through the system with many variables: you have many grips which all closest increasingly the racket face and that face must be perpendicular what so ever… as a result, you see the path being adjusted and becoming more and more vertical as the grip gets more extreme.

    Federer does perform that shot as he does not end-up on edge; play on words and say that it’s a combination of both techniques, but the fact remains that he doesn’t end-up on edge. He just happens to draw a squeezed rainbow with his forehand. And, I’d need to have further inputs and to reflect a little more about how the preparations impacts the swing in quality and about how it affects the pace/spin ratio before I can answer you properly… I understand your probable eagerness after 3 months and I’ll put up my hypothesis where I leave it tonight so you may search and try a bit on your side, but just know that I have not much to consider that idea to be right and clean, to speak so.

  • Federer

    For the most, your swing path should be a little more horizontal on an average basis than most players as you can imagine this grip leaves the racket head more opened. Federer manipulates his forearm during the back swing quite a lot more than most players to set up the positioning of the racket for the acceleration, so it’s kind of complicated to see what exactly in his adjustments end-up leaving the correct position to propel a WWFH.

    As he takes it back with arm just after leaving it from his non-hitting arm, by watching his thumb and racket face, we can see a very uncommon thing he does: the forearm pronates in a hyperbolic action directed outward and downward. That is, from the highest point of the take back, he has the racket come down and mostly parallel to the ground and, the so-called impossible action no one can copy starts there: because he pronates his forearm, he is compelled to let his arm extend and, just as with a double bent forehand, it stays in place. Here’s your secret to a straight arm forehand — not talent, not fancy training… no nothing. Just a method of preparation that anyone can implement just as well as any other method. Nadal does this, Federer does this and Verdasco does this… What differs from most people is that, at any cost, their thumbs are pointing down — even Roddick whose racket faces points the back fence has a thumb up all through the motion; if it points the fence here, it’s because the racket face is more closed than Federer’s eastern grip allows and it may curiously be just that which triggered his habit of over-turning his racket face and, subsequently, he had to extend his forearm to remain relaxed… That, I do not know.

    An other thing deriving from that extension is the supination which follows as soon as the forward swing starts. On every picture you can get of him around contact, you see the lesser tanned area of his arm right before contact and it shows in a funny manner that his forearm is not turn the other way around. Again, this is forced… I mean, he won’t hit the ball on the opposite side of string bed or with the frame! If you just set properly and swing, it will go without problem. It’s in this last portion of his swing that you see him coming in an upward path and starting to elevate his racket. From there… I am a bit lost; I can’t seem to find what exactly triggers the WW versus the classic finish as Sampras looks very similar to Federer right before contact; the notable difference between the WW and the classical follow-through is that in the later, the wrist relax toward the player and in the WW, the forearm pronates. I do suspect that there is a subtle difference in attacking angle in relation to the player’s body and of forearm muscles being tensed slightly differently, but it’s enough of a thing to allow more spin to be produced.

    To get your WW movement going, you need to find a nice contact point and there’s no way around it: you get it far in front. I really doubt that a bent arm forehand can accomplish that properly due the angle of the racket face; I mean, your wrist and elbow — everything is basically out of use, all at once. as you get it further in front, you get a greater ease at accomplishing these turning actions that, if they are not necessarily responsible for the matter of imparting energy at the first degree, may fairly be the second degree considerations actually allowing the other, bigger, movements to align and to relate to one another properly and fluently. Get an eye on how Federer does it; I do not mean to copy his idiosyncratic habits and movements, but rather to learn the basic of it, to gain an idea of how this movement is supposed to go on… it’s that he probably is the only player on the tour left with grip and no one before him tried a WW with that conservative racket holding method — just for that reason alone, he should become your number one example. And, to be certain you make the distinction between his and what would a semi-western grip bring, pick up Roddick and compare.

    You must find a way to come up and across to trace something like half a circle. Of course, you may squeeze it or lengthen it; the important thing is to avoid ending on edge and, if you get yourself far forward with that kind of swing path, you’re not likely to do that. It does take much time to do and I am really sorry that I can’t help you more than that.

  • Federer

    I forgot to say — or perhaps not — that all this thinking is due to this mind twisting motion Fed has… he’s has horizontal as you may imagine a pro to hit and he still puts wicked spin on a ball. Just thinking about it, it may fairly be just a last instant adjustment occurring in his swing to get the racket in place when he get it upward that creates all that spin and compels the WW forehand, without actually be the consequence of a moving forearm; as I said, the forearm movement may simply allows the rest to move properly while placing the racket head.

    If you have very high speed video of his forehand from a special angle, a point of view that makes his forearm and hand very clear just before impact and right after impact, watch how and when he starts moving upward: then, you’ll understand exactly why he’s not leading with a classical swing and once you answered the mystery of HIS forehand, you clearly understand how EVERY WW forehand are swung since he’s the small dot on a blank white page.

  • MTM PRO

    Re: When to start learning how to play like the Pro’s. Anytime! From the first time you pick up a racket, like at age 5. Oscar Wagner tells it like it is. It took me 15 years of teaching tennis the conventional method before I found this out. Check it out for yourself. Its profoundly simple. Re: the grip…..lay your racket at your feet…..pick it up…..that’s your grip for the WWFH. It really isn’t rocket science. 

  • t3nn1s

    how do you start off the swing for a windshield wiper forehand?

  • Bob

    Will!
    Thanks for all your terrific help to tennis players everywhere..
    My questions concerns the concept of “pulling” the handle of the racquet towards the ball during the “modern” forehand versus “swing” the racquet forward. I have tried both methods and these certainly feel quite different, but I am not sold on the “pulling” idea.Please tell me your thoughts on the subject.
    Thanks,
    Bob