Being able to control topspin and trajectory on the forehand is crucial in today’s game. A great forehand is a versatile forehand!
The amount of spin on the ball is determined by the amount of upward motion you apply with your racket to the ball.
Which player will impart more spin? The player with the buttcap pointing diagonally upwards to the ball. The straighter the buttcap is to the ball, the flatter the shot will be.
Though, people argue that it is a hassle to constantly think how diagonally they have to point the buttcap so here’s an easier alternative: the type of follow through.
Djokovic is a prime example. He uses three follow-throughs on his forehands: by the shoulder, over the shoulder, and the reverse follow-through. He is probably the player on tour who employs three different follow-throughs on his forehand during a match the most.
By the shoulder
Djokovic’s by the shoulder follow through is normally used for more aggressive flat trajectory shots. He will often use this forehand on sitters, high balls, and balls he deems worth punishing.
Over the shoulder
Djokovic’s over the shoulder follow-through is typically used for a safer and more-spin net clearance shot. He tends to use this follow-through a lot when grinding out points. You will often see him go cross-court with this forehand. He can also create good angles with this shot.
Djokovic’s reverse follow-through is often used when he is late with the ball and/or when he is going for a lot of spin. This shot is very effective in creating sharp angles/heavy bouncing balls and is a very safe shot. However, this should not be your standard forehand rally ball because this shot is not as penetrating and will tend to give short balls to your opponent.
Each of these follow-throughs produces different effects on the ball. The ability to use all three will give you a variety of options with your forehand, allowing you to better construct points. Djokovic has improved a lot in this aspect of the forehand which is one of the things that has greatly attributed to his success in recent years.
Check out Djokovic’s matches: