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The Stroke

How to hit a reverse forehand.

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First popularized by Pete Sampras, this shot has been picked up by the likes of Maria Sharapova, Rafael Nadal, and Lindsay Davenport. Used when you’re late to the ball, it allows a player to create crosscourt angles without hitting long. Bill Mountford, the USTA National Tennis Center’s director of tennis, breaks it down.

Step one: Start your forehand normally, with arm up and behind you. Bring the racquet forward and crush the ball.

Step two: Instead of hitting across the front of your body and up, bring the racquet up and back— or in “reverse”—as if you’re tracing the letter C in the air.

Step three: Follow through until the racquet is well above where it started at the beginning of the stroke. Grunt for emphasis (see here).


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