Tennis Shots: The Forehand
The forehand is considered the easiest tennis shot to master, perhaps because it is the most natural one to hit. It involves holding the racket out from the body and striking forward, with your palm facing towards your opponent at the point of contact. The fact that it is considered to be easy to master does not make it a less dangerous shot – some of the best individual shots in the game are forehands, with the modern game featuring some particularly dangerous forehands including those of Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.
A well-judged forehand is particularly hard to counter because of the level of power and accuracy that can be contained in it. Most players will try to get opponents to hit to their forehand because it gives them a better chance of hitting a winner, and players are known to run further in order to “run around” their backhand, purely because they know that the forehand shot has a better chance of landing in court and potentially being a winning shot.
Great exponents of the forehand include the aforementioned Federer and Nadal, whose running forehand cross-court shot is considered unplayable on a good day. As well as these two, players like Ilie Nastase and Fred Perry were particularly good at hitting the forehand while among the female players Steffi Graf is considered to have been the best female player of the shot, earning her the nickname “Fraulein Forehand” as a result. The fastest forehand ever recorded was by the Frenchman Gael Monfils in 2007 at the Australian Open, measured at 118mph.