Forehand Tip I Use The Buggy Whip Against The Slice
Would you like to learn a cool forehand tip to handle those low and slicing balls successfully?
I know many tennis players who struggle to deal with a low and slicing ball coming to their forehand. They are consistently mishitting this shot or dumping it straight into the net. Consequently, they get frustrated and lose confidence in their game. Today, I will reveal a simple forehand tip to help you handle these low and slicing balls effectively.
If you are playing against someone who has a good slice, they will not give you pace and the ball will come super low. Thus, it is very difficult to get under it, finish over the shoulder or across, and generate your own pace. That is why I highly recommend most of my tennis players to use what I call the buggy whip forehand.
This is a very versatile shot that can be deployed in different situations. For example, you can use it when returning serve (Serena Williams and Pete Sampras). Also, when you are forced to hit the ball on the run (Roger Federer or Novak Djokovic). Likewise, when you want to create more spin, angle on a crosscourt ball, or go down the line like Rafael Nadal.
Most top players use the buggy whip during a match. I was a big fan of using it on different types of shots. For instance, I hit it especially on balls where I felt a little late or off balanced on the forehand.
In this tennis article, I will discuss the grip and the two different types of finishes required to hit an effective buggy whip. Additionally, I will describe three specific game scenarios where you can use this powerful shot. Are you ready to get started?
Let’s do it!
Forehand Tip I The Grip
First, I will go over the different tennis grips that you can use on the buggy whip forehand. Let me start with those who have an eastern grip. I received many emails from coaches and players asking whether they can hit a buggy whip forehand with this grip. I believe you can and the best example is Pete Sampras, who arguably had one of the best forehands on the run.
Roger Federer is another player who has an eastern forehand and a fantastic buggy whip; thus, you can still use it. There is just a slightly different approach to it as your grip will determine how your buggy whip finish looks. When you run over, you will notice that the strings are facing more to the side fence. On the opposite, if you use a semi western grip, you will see that the strings are facing up. Likewise, your wrist will be kind of laid back a little bit and feel like more of a hook.
One of the masters keys to perfecting the buggy whip is to understand the different types of finishes that you can use. Many players see the buggy whip and finish on the same side of their body without having the proper extension first. Furthermore, they tend to brush quickly off of the ball. Consequently, they get discouraged from learning and practicing this shot on the tennis court.
If you look at a player like Nadal, you will see the incredible extension he has on his forehand before letting the racquet finish on the same side of his body. This “extension-circular” type of swing enables you to use what I call the “lasso” buggy whip finish. This is the type of forehand tip that can make a world of difference on your technique.
Unfortunately, recreational players do not use the “lasso” to finish the right way. Hence, the ball lands short causing your opponent to attack you. When you use the “lasso” buggy whip finish, you will focus on pure extension first. Then, you will concentrate on finishing high and over the shoulder.
Just as your hand is going in front of your head, you will let the racquet continue across your body. However, you will keep it moving so that it swings around and over your head as if you are using a lasso.
The arm and hand just relax naturally in a fluid manner until the racquet finishes above the dominant shoulder. Next time you are out on the court hitting the buggy whip forehand, make sure you follow this forehand tip. Remember to extend first before you come up and over the head with the “lasso” finish.
The Hook Finish
The reality is that you might be swinging across your body which keeps you from getting enough extension. Using the buggy whip “hook” finish can help you to get outside the ball and handle the low slice tennis ball. Hence, you will feel an amazing control that will make hitting this shot so much fun.
You can use the buggy whip finish to get the low ball to rise over the net and create enough spin to drop into play. This forehand tip will allow you to naturally create more topspin. You will get more lift on the ball, which is crucial when dealing with a low tennis slice ball.
Top players use this buggy whip finish because it is just easier to swing this way especially in stressful situations. For instance, Rafael Nadal loves using his buggy whip forehand to hit down the line, change directions and dominate his opponents from the baseline.
This buggy whip forehand tip can really help you to hit the ball with more topspin. Consequently, you will make more balls, take time away from your opponent, and increase the confidence in your tennis game.
Do you have trouble dealing with balls that just land past the service line and in the transition area of the court? I have many tennis players who are struggling with this shot, and they just cannot figure it out. They tend to finish down the pocket and hit the ball in the net; as a result, they are losing confidence.
That is why I want to provide a quick solution for you. The way to do it is by using the buggy whip forehand and finishing higher to ensure you clear the net. You will see Rafael Nadal use this a lot when he gets that short ball in the middle of the court.
On the high put away forehand, you are going to use the back to front footwork pattern in the middle of the court. This will help you get up to the ball and use your body properly. Nadal does this all the time because it allows him to get enough spin and racquet head acceleration. As a result, he can get the ball to clear the net and jump off the court when it lands.
When you hit this buggy whip forehand, I want you to extend first before bringing the racquet all the way over your head. Try and get the ball at shoulder level and give the ball a rip when you use the buggy whip forehand finish.
In fact, you can employ these same principles for attacking a weak second serve when playing against the dreaded pusher. Next time you are on the court, try and hit the buggy whip forehand finish using the back to front footwork pattern on that short sitter type of ball.
There are many tennis tips from the pros that you can actually use even if you are a recreational player. Using the buggy whip forehand on the run is one of those tennis tips that you can implement into your game. The interesting thing is that the buggy whip forehand has been around for years.
If you go back and look at Pete Sampras play, you can watch him hammer buggy whip forehands especially when he was on the run. What I want you to realize is that the buggy whip forehand is a more natural way to swing the racquet when you are on the run.
I see many players try and swing across their bodies and dump the ball in the net or mishit it.
To figure out how to hit a buggy whip forehand, I want you to swing and finish high over your head. The key is to extend first and finish above your head more instead of flailing at the ball and finishing over your non-dominant shoulder.
This will help you lift the ball over the net, drive it deep into the court and get you the spin you need. Take a page out of the book of Sampras and Nadal, and try to hit a buggy whip forehand when you are on the dead run next time.
This is one of the forehand tips from the pros that really works. I can tell you I got to the top 100 in the world because I added this groundstroke to my game.
Many tennis players come to me because they have a hard time dealing with the low slice ball. They do not have control on it and tend to miss hit it often. That is why I consider that you should use the buggy whip finish against a slice tennis ball. Most players never think to use the buggy whip finish in this situation. However, it can really get you out of a lot of trouble.
Imagine your opponent slicing the ball to your forehand. The ball will skid through the court and you either feel rushed or late; thus, you do not get a clean hit on it. You may even miss hit the ball a little or chunk the ball into the net. You lose confidence in your forehand and wonder why you keep missing this “easy” shot.
Anytime the ball is really skidding fast, there is a tendency to be late on the contact. Well, if you use a buggy whip, you can actually get away with being late and hit the ball more to the side of the body. In fact, you do not have to catch it in front as much because you can let the ball come into you.
If I am playing someone who likes to slice the ball often, I will focus on holding the finish until the ball crosses the net. If it comes really fast, I will stop it sooner. On the other hand, if it comes slower, I can finish more. I really want you to practice this concept. It will not only help you against a low tennis slice ball, but also with your regular tennis forehand.
To sum up, you can hit your buggy whip forehand with either an eastern or semi western grip. Moreover, you can either use the lasso or hook up finish to ensure you get the proper extension after contact.
From a situational game perspective, you can employ the buggy whip as follows. First, when you are going to hit a forehand on the run. Second, when you are dealing with a low slice tennis ball. Finally, when you want to attack the short ball.
I hope you enjoyed this tennis article and learn how to hit the buggy whip forehand like the pros. Therefore, you can start using it more often to have more fun on the court and win more tennis matches.
By Jeff Salzenstein, Founder Tennis Evolution
Jeff is a former top 100 ATP player and USTA high performance coach committed to helping players and coaches all over the world improve.
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Great tip. I often use this finishing while responding to slice balls and I have to say it helps a lot.
Awesome, Marcin! it works really well:)
Thanks. Especially useful for me as I’m a lefty with a semi-western grip, and RH club players are always giving me this sort of ball…..thanks!
Yes, this should work great!