Attorney Nicholas Ellis is passionate about maintaining his health and fitness.
One of his favorite ways to do that is playing tennis. Tennis is a sport that is played using a racket and a ball that is hit over a net into the opposite court. It is played in singles or doubles format. Singles is played between two individuals and doubles between two teams of two players each.
During the course of a game of tennis there are various shots or strokes used by the players. The shots can be classified depending on when, how and where they are hit. As a volunteer tennis coach at the YMCA and a certified instructor with the U.S. Tennis Association, Attorney Nicholas Ellis has a great deal of knowledge and experience related to these different shots and techniques. Below, he describes the most common shots played in the game.
- Serve or service: A service or serve is the shot to start a point. The serve begins by tossing the tennis ball into the air with the free hand and hitting it with a fully stretched arm into the opponent’s court. The ball should land in the diagonally opposite box to the server, without touching the net. A valid service that goes past the opponent without being touched is known as an ‘ace’
- Forehand Stroke: A forehand is so called because when the ball is struck with the racket, the palm holding the racket is facing the ball. As it comes from the natural side of the player, it is perhaps the easiest stroke.
- Backhand Stroke: A backhand stroke is so called because it comes across your body, with the back of your hand that holds the racket, facing the ball. It is tougher than playing a forehand shot. This stroke can be done with either one hand or both hands together.
- Volley: A volley is executed inside the service line or at the net when the ball is still in the air, before bouncing onto the ground. There is also the half volley, which is executed just as the ball is rising after pitching on the ground. This is also generally executed at the net.
- Lob: A lob is used either as an offensive or defensive stroke, depending on the position of the players. This shot is hit by sending the ball into the opponent’s court at a considerable height. This is mostly used when the opponent is closer to the net.
- Drop shot: A drop shot is execute by gently tapping the ball into the opponent’s just over and close to the net, especially when the opponent is at the back of the court and unable to reach the ball.
- Passing shot: A passing shot is hit such that it travels to one side of the opponent’s court, away from his reach. This is employed especially if the opponent is at the net or approaching it.
- Top spin: The top spin shot gets the ball towards the ground really fast, giving the stroke maker a higher margin of error. This shot can thwart the designs of an opponent waiting at the net. It can also be used to send the ball searing to the opponent’s feet, making it difficult to return the ball.
These then, are the major shots or strokes used in a classic game of Tennis. To learn more about tennis and how the game is played, check out Attorney Nicholas Ellis on Quora.