Tennis Technique: Swing Path and Spin from Racquet Tip

Tennis Technique - Swing Path and Spin from Racquet Tip

This mini tennis lesson will describe the relationship of the swing path and the role of the racquet tip as it relates to spin. The two spins I focus on are the topspin drive and the underspin slice shots.

Topspin Drive

The topspin drive shot has a swing path coming from a lower position to a higher position as it relates to your hand. The racquet tip will also move in a similar motion where the tip of the racquet will fall below the butt end, and then finish with the tip above the butt end of the racquet. The racquet face will be slightly closed on contact.

Underspin Slice

The underspin slice shot is virtually opposite to that of the topspin drive; the hand will create a swing path coming from a higher position to a lower position. The tip of the racquet will start above the butt end of the racquet and subsequently finish below the butt end of the racquet. The racquet face will be slightly open on contact.

In review, the shape of your swing (with the hand) and the relationship of your racquet tip to the butt end of the racquet make a big difference in spin. To give the ball topspin, the hand must come from under the ball and the tip of the racquet will come from a lower position under the butt of the racquet to finishing with the tip above the butt of the racquet. The underspin slice is just the opposite with the hand falling from a higher position and the tip of the racquet starting above the butt and finishing below the butt of racquet.

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Written by Dustin Blackburn, Certified Tennis Professional at Elite Sports Club-West Brookfield

Dustin is a USPTA P2 certified teaching pro who has been teaching full time since 2012. He began teaching tennis his senior year in high school where he worked at the Waukesha Tennis Association for 5 years. Upon graduating from the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh with a degree in Physical Education, Dustin worked as a teaching pro at Lake Country Racquet and Athletic Club in Hartland, WI and then moved to be a Director of Tennis at Four Lakes Athletic Club in Elkhorn, WI. At the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh he was an Assistant coach for the women’s tennis team for three seasons under head coach Steve Francour. When Dustin is not on the court, he enjoys the great outdoors and spending time with family and friends.

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