Tennis hitting: types and phases of hitting

Golpeo en el tenis

Hitting in tennis is one of the fundamental aspects that defines a player’s game. More than simply hitting the ball with the racket, hitting involves a precise combination of technique, power and tactics to achieve control and effectiveness on the court.

Since the times of the great champions, mastery of hitting has been a distinctive characteristic of the best tennis players in the world. Every shot, whether it’s a lightning cross-court forehand, a slice backhand, or an elegant net smash, requires a specific set of technical and tactical skills that are honed over years of practice and competition.

In this article, we explain the various aspects of hitting in tennis, from the basic fundamentals to the most advanced types of shots.

Phases of hitting in tennis

Understanding these phases and mastering them is essential to improve the technique and consistency in the tennis player’s game. Next, we will describe the main phases of hitting in tennis:

Kick preparation

This phase begins before the ball approaches the player. Here, the player positions himself properly on the court, adjusts his stance and grip on the racket, and visualizes the shot he plans to play. Preparation also involves quickly reading the ball’s trajectory and anticipating its arrival.

Approach to hitting

Once the ball is moving toward the player, the approach race toward the optimal position to hit it begins. The speed and direction of this run varies depending on the type of shot and the location of the ball on the court.

Positioning and adjustment of the shot

In this phase, the player makes final adjustments to his position and stance to put himself in the best possible position to hit the ball. This may involve small lateral steps or adjustments in distance from the ball to ensure optimal hitting.

Swing or hit

The swing phase is where the actual hitting movement is performed. This involves a controlled and fluid movement of the racket, which varies depending on the type of shot being played. During this phase, the player seeks to hit the ball with the appropriate part of the racket and with the correct technique to generate power and precision.

Contact with the ball

The moment of contact with the ball is crucial. The aim is to hit the ball in the precise place and time to generate the desired effect on the shot. This requires precise coordination between the movement of the racket and the trajectory of the ball.

Hit tracking

After contact with the ball, the player completes the stroke movement with proper follow-through. This involves continuing the movement of the racket forward and upward, which helps maintain balance and fluidity in the stroke.

Mastering each of these phases is essential to executing an effective tennis shot. Constant practice and attention to technical details can help improve consistency and accuracy in each shot, allowing the player to perform better on the court.

Types of hitting in tennis

Tennis requires a wide range of skills to be successful on the court. One of the most fascinating aspects of the game is the variety of strikes that players can deploy in different situations during a match. Below we present some of the most common types of hits in tennis:

Forehand or drive

The forehand is one of the most important basic strokes in tennis. It is executed with the dominant arm extended forward and a swing movement that propels the ball to the opposite side of the court. It is a fundamental shot to maintain pressure on the opponent and control the pace of the game.


The backhand is performed with the non-dominant arm crossing the body to hit the ball on the opposite side. It can be of two main types: one-handed backhand or two-handed backhand. Both require a specific technique and can be used for different tactical purposes during a match.


The serve is the blow that starts each point in tennis. It is executed from the baseline and its main objective is to start the point with an advantage for the player who performs it. There are several types of serves, each with its own characteristics and tactical variations. Some examples are the topspin serve, the slice serve, and the flat serve.


The volley is a hit performed near the net, usually in response to a short shot from the opponent. It is executed with a short and quick hitting movement, before the ball bounces off the ground. It is essential to take control of the network and finish points quickly.


The smash is a powerful overhead shot, usually in response to a lob or short ball near the net. It is executed with an upward motion to hit the ball downward with force and precision, often resulting in a winning point.

At STT Systems, we understand the importance of perfecting every movement, every shot, and that’s why we offer biomechanical capture solutions designed specifically for tennis. Whether you are a professional player, a dedicated coach or a tennis lover looking to improve your game, our solutions offer you tangible benefits.

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