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The Three Forehand Finishes

Robert Lansdorp

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Hitting through, finishing down and across, and reversing--the 3 forehand finishes in the modern game.

Over the years, I've tried to learn from the players as well as teach them. I've tried to understand how the game has changed, and my teaching has changed to reflect that.

I have always believed in teaching players to hit through the ball. And I still do. The followthrough is what determines how the ball comes off the racket and therefore the pace and the spin. That's why I've always paid attention to how the player finishes the stroke.

To be a complete player in today's pro game, I think you need to develop three finishes. The first is the classic out front finish that I have always taught.

The second one is the "reverse" finish where the player reverses the path of the racket and finishes on the opposite side of the body and over the head. Pete Sampras made this finish famous with his running forehand, though it is now common in the pro game. I've written about both of these finishes in my previous articles. (Click Here.)

The new dominant finish in the pro game, downward and across the body.

The next finish is something new that I've gradually added in the last few years. This finish is the across the body or the downward finish. This is the finish so many of the top players now use. Roger Federer is the obvious example. The bald guys are the only ones who still followthrough high on every ball. In this article I'm going to talk about these finishes, how I learned about them, and how I incorporate them into my teaching.

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Robert Lansdorp is the legendary Southern California coach who has developed dozens of world class junior and professional players. Robert's players include 4 champions who have gone on to become number one in the world: Mara Sharapova, Pete Sampras, Lindsay Davenport, and Tracy Austin. In these articles, found exclusively on Tennisplayer, Robert share his views on what goes into the making of a champion, and how he developed the strokes of some of the best ball strikers in the history of tennis