The Hitting Zone
and the Hitting Arm

Pat Cash

Federer makes contact at the edge of the hitting zone.

The "hitting zone" is the swing path or area where a player's racket can make contact with the tennis ball. How does this affect the hitting arm configuration—straight or bent?

Hitting the ball with a straight arm way out front of your body diminishes your hitting zone and leaves no room for error. Slightly miss timing your stroke, a minor error in judgement, a bad bounce, or a gust of wind is likely to cause a loss of control resulting in an error.

Take a look at the Roger Federer's forehand and notice how he can't really stretch further in any direction to make contact with the tennis ball.

As you can see, Federer is at the far limit of the hitting zone. If his timing or judgment is off by just a few centimeters the shot is likely to be weak or a mistake.

A Longer Hitting Zone

With a bent arm forehand on the other hand your hitting zone is much longer. Your forehand contact point can range from parallel to your body up to 2 feet in front without losing control.

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Pat Cash is an elite player in tennis history, having won more than 400 tour matches, and 19 singles and doubles titles over a 15 year career. In the early 1980's he was the number one junior player in the world, winning at both Wimbledon and the U.S.Open. In 1987 he won the men's singles title at Wimbledon defeating Mats Wilander, Jimmy Connors, and, in the final, Ivan Lendl, a match considered one of the greatest examples of attacking tennis ever played in a Grand Slam final. Today he continues to compete successful on the senior tour. We are thrilled to have Pat as a contributor to!

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