Saturday School: 10 tennis techniques you didnt know had a name

"Practice until you can't get it wrong"

How lucky do you consider yourself when you see a tennis player play a shot beyond usual!? A normal tennis rally can comprise of techniques like forehand, backhand, slice, smash and sometimes even a lob. But there are some shots other than the usual ones which you do see in a rally but are unable to name it. Here are 10 such usually unusual shots
1) Brutaliser
 The type of shot which every tennis player avoids to hit (in most cases). This is a shot wherein a tennis player fires a shot right at the body of the opponent. Usually done unintentionally, this shot can be fatal at times for the victim. Unsurprisingly, Djokovic and Nadal use this shot often when the opponent is at the net.


2) Bucharest Backfire
The Bucharest Backfire was a shot which was played by Ilie Nastase and perfected by Andre Agassi. Bud Collins named this shot after Ilie Nastase’s birth city. In modern times this shot is used frequently by many players. This shot is played in order to counter attack a lob. The player who receives the lob runs towards the ball (his back facing the opponent) and hits the shot over his shoulder. Roger Federer has hit many variations of this shot.
Here is a demonstration of the Bucharest Backfire:
3) Buggy Whip
A forehand is the most common shot played in tennis. It starts on your dominant hand and after the ball contacts the racket, the hand moves towards the opposite shoulder and ends the follow through. In a buggy whip, after the ball contacts the racquet, the dominant hand stays on the same shoulder. In some cases, the buggy whip is played in such a fashion that the forehand does involve the role of the opposite shoulder but it ends on the same shoulder as that of the dominant hand.
Maria Sharapova and Rafael Nadal are best examples of the buggy whip.
Image result for nadal forehand
 4) Cannonball
A high-speed serve with no sort of spin or slice on it is called a cannonball. John Isner, Ivo Karlovic, Marin Cilic, Milos Raonic are known for their cannonball serves in modern times.
5) Can Opener
It is a slice serve which lands at the intersection of the singles alley line and the service line at the opponents deuce court (for a left handed player it lands at the advantage court).
Image result for kick serve tennis
 6) Hail Mary
This is a lob shot which is higher than usual. The only time players use this shot is for defensive purposes.
 7) Ghost In The Net
This is a surprise movement from a player in order to surprise his opponent. When a player is busy retrieving a lob or any other shot, his opponent moves swiftly from the baseline to the net. The player usually does this in order to hit a volley/winner and gain command over the point. The Sneaky Attack by Roger (SABR) is one such example.
Image result for federer sabr
8) Junk Ball
A shot which is usually played by the players during a long rally in order to break the momentum of the rally. This shot is usually played with minimal pace and has no spin on it.
9) Gran Wily and Sabatweenie
These are the names of the tweeners named after Guillermo Vilas and Gabriela Sabatini. Both these players popularized the between the legs shot in the 1980s. Have a look at the Sabatweenie.
10) Sledgehammer
One of the most handsome looking shots in tennis is when players tend to hit winners down the line. A two-handed backhand winner down the line is termed as a sledgehammer.
Image result for two handed backhanded down the line
So the next time you see a tennis match, you know what to call that shot!


I’ll let the racquet do the talking
John McEnroe
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Hello tennis lovers, I am Balraj Shukla from Ahmedabad, India. My love for the sport is directed not only by viewing the current scenario but by tracing the steps back to the roots of the game we call Tennis. Upon reading my content I hope you further widen your perspective of the game by knowing things out of the box. Twitter and Facebook links mentioned will help you in contacting me for healthy discussions, questions, and analysis.

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