The Modern Tennis Forehand

David Siegel
3 min readMay 22, 2021

I have been working on switching from a very old-school vertical racket-face forehand to a modern forehand, in which the racket face is closed and the wrist lags the shoulder turn.

The momentum initiated by the shoulder release lays the racket back naturally with no muscle power. What generates the racket-head speed is simply body mechanics as the torso unwinds the load.

In this series of videos you’ll learn the basic three-step technique:

  1. Unit turn
  2. Load and wait
  3. Lead with the left shoulder, drop the racket head below the ball, lag with the wrist, and turn the wrist over to generate topspin as you finish high


  • Using the semi-western grip, the racket faces the ground
  • The turn brings the racket and hand back
  • Most players’ weight is 90 percent off the ground at the point of contact
  • The wrist lag is very relaxed
  • The head of the racket drops below the ball as you release the hip and opposite shoulder and propel your body weight off the ground
  • The elbow is straight at the point of contact
  • Both feet are often off the ground at the point of contact
  • The hand is exactly at the height of the ball at contact
  • Centrifugal force brings the head of the racket over, giving topspin
  • The more relaxed, the better


A racket with a heavier head is better, because it produces more power from the lag. Many of today’s rackets are too light. I play with the “Djokovich” Head Graphene XT Speed MP racket and really appreciate the weight in the head, it hits much more solid shots than many other rackets, even at the net.

I also downsized my grip one size and find it’s much easier to hold the racket loosely.

Most people keep buying “fresh” pressurized balls, even though the balls are hardly worn. I use the PressureBall system to keep balls fresh. I have just started using it, but I recommend getting two units (no pump needed if you have a bike pump). Then you will buy a set of balls once a year, rather than once every few weeks. Pays for itself quickly. Order now — it takes about 3 weeks to ship from New Zealand. I hope they will find someone to stock and ship in the US so it doesn’t take so long — this product…

David Siegel

Provocateur, professional heretic, slayer of myths, speaker of truthiness to powerfulness, and defender of the Oxford comma.