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SHERBY: Learn to be more versatile
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To be a versatile tennis player, you should learn all the shots available to you. Learn the drives, the volleys, drop shots, lobs, etc.

You should also learn the different spins. Topspin, or ovevspin, makes the ball curve downward. Underspin makes the ball hover longer in the air as it travels.

Topspin comes from brushing your strings low to high, up the back of the ball. On ground strokes, it’s easy to do if you begin your swing with the racket face lower than the intended point of contact. Most players discover that changing the forehand and backhand grips so that the heel of the hand is on the back plain of the racket handle facilitates topspin. It certainly enables the player to get the racket head lower that the ball.

Backspin comes from brushing slightly down and under the ball with a slightly open (tilted) racket face. You can orient the face this way by changing your grip to a continental, or hammer, grip. This puts the heel of the playing hand toward the top plain of the handle. Prepare your face slightly higher than the ball.

Change the grip to facilitate the spin. It’s difficult to make topspin with a continental grip and it’s difficult to make underspring with a werstern, or closed, grip.

Good players change grip constantly.

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