October 2, 2012 at 10:33 am Leave a comment

Last night, a pal was making fun of my ‘back curtain special’ when I try to put topspin on my forehand, but end up with the racquet face too open… so, i am dedicating this post to her.

First, a little definition for you beginners:

What exactly is topspin?

Topspin is the word used for forward rotation of the tennis ball. The tennis ball can rotate forward, backward or sideways. When hitting slice shots for example, players usually make the ball rotate backwards and sometimes also sideways. With topspin shots from the baseline the ball usually rotates just forward. Very rarely do players add additional sideways rotation to their topspin shots.

How do you create topspin (the real kind, not the back curtain kind)?

Topspin is created very simply through the strings brushing up the back of the ball.  This motion should be straight up and down in order to develop true topspin. Looking at high level players in super slow motion you will see that around contact the racket almost always moves straight up the back of the ball and forward depending on what type of ball they are hitting! And, no, there will be no video of Deb attempting topspin.

Check out this slow motion clip of Nadal creating topspin:

Bonus: Nadal’s backside (You’re welcome Dawn)


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