To Centre Court With Love

Be the next Roger Federer or Serena Williams with these tennis tips from Andover Girls Varsity Tennis. Lara Danovitch ’16 demonstrates proper tennis techniques, which are accompanied by in-depth descriptions written by her teammate and Phillipian Sports Writer Isabella Haegg ’16. We recommend you take on a nice serve and volley- approach to truly inspire fear into your opponent’s hearts.

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The forehand is one of the most played shots in tennis. A proper technique is essential to hitting the ball consistently and effectively. To set up for the shot, plant your feet so they’re almost parallel to the net. Turn your shoulders sideways with your dominant hand on the grip and your non-dominant hand on the throat of the racket for stability. Release your non-dominant from the racket and stretch that arm in front of you as you take your racket back in an arc formation. The path of the racket should form an inverted “C” before it makes contact with the ball. Make contact with the ball at hip level in front of your body, pushing off your outside leg and rotating your body to face the net. Your racket should swing from low to high – brushing underneath the ball, and travelling upward after contact. Follow through by rotating your wrist over the ball and extending your arm in the direction you want the ball to go, finishing with your racket across your body by your opposite shoulder. Keep a continuous speed throughout your entire swing to generate maximum momentum and power.


Most recreational players are too scared to come to the net, because they are not confident with their volleys. A strong net game is key to aggressive play, and the ultimate sign of dominance on the court. The forehand volley can close out many points in singles and doubles. The most common grip for volleys is a continental grip: achieved by holding the racket straight on like a hammer. Face the net in a ready position, with your feet at shoulder width and your knees bent. Keep your elbow parallel to the ground and slightly away from your body. As the ball approaches, turn your shoulders to the right and take your racket back slightly so it is still in your peripheral vision. Hit the ball in front of your body in a small “punch” motion from your shoulder. Make sure your racket head is above your wrist at all times. Transfer your weight forward as you step across with your non-dominant foot, and watch as your forehand volley shoots past your opponent for a winner!


The serve is arguably the most important shot in tennis. It sets the tone for the rest of the point, and can put the server in the driver’s seat. Have a good serve, and the game will be yours. To achieve a service weapon, stand so your dominant foot is parallel to the baseline, and your other foot is at a 45-degree angle. Grip your racket as if you’re shaking hands with it, extending your pointer finger on the handle to give you more control. Make sure your grip is loose – a looser grip will lead to an increase in racquet speed, giving you an extra boost of power on your serve. Toss the ball so that its maximum height is equal to the height of the racket with your arm outstretched – this is where contact should occur. After the toss, swing your arm back behind your head as if you are scratching your back, then reach up to hit the toss at its peak. At contact, focus on hitting up on the ball and accelerating forward, watching the ball the entire time. Keep your head up as you follow through on the ball into the court — this will improve your consistency and velocity.