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Tennis skills: the counter-forehand

Here's a quick look at the keys to grooving your counter-forehand

the-counter-forehand

What is the counter-forehand? It may sound a bit rough and ready, but it's a very common tennis stroke. You've probably even done it without really realising. It's not a technically difficult shot in itself, but it requires plenty of physical rigour.

WHEN?

The counter-forehand is an option when your opponent hits a very fast and powerful stroke.

When they're dominating a rally, opponents try to hit the ball harder and harder in an effort to finish the point.

What you're aiming for with a counter-forehand is to surprise your opponent when they hit one of their very powerful shots. It's a shot you play when the ball has been struck hard to the back of the court.

How?

Three important things to remember:

Positioning: It needs to be perfect, with feet very firmly on the ground and very close to the baseline.

Your stance should be open. Drive forward when hitting the ball. This will help control the flight of the ball.

Movement: If you're going to take your opponent by surprise, you need to get your shot away as quickly as you can, which means you need to get in position to hit it in as little time as possible.

Instead of the racket coming down from a high position, it needs to come through at hip level. The ball is coming hard at you, so you don't have as much time to prepare. You need to take it as early as you can to make the most of the power your opponent has put on it.

Tennis skills: the counter-forehand.

Watch the ball: It might seem like we're stating the obvious, but a lot of players forget to watch the ball on to the racket when making the stroke.

Watching the ball closely will help you get into position. It's something you should do with every shot.

It's a great shot to have in your locker but it requires a lot of discipline, anticipation and a great deal of focus to get it right.

Make sure you work on it before your next game. Happy practising!

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