Groundstroke Depth Matters in Tennis: Here’s Why

April 17, 2018

Picture of young man in a blue shirt holding a GAMMA tennis racquet. This picture is being used for a tennis blog about groundstroke depth.

Whether you’re new to tennis or a seasoned veteran of the sport, your best, most effective weapon on the court will be your ability to master your groundstroke depth.

Just as tennis is a physical sport, it’s also a sport that requires mental sharpness and the ability to think on your feet during each point. The game moves quickly – being in the ready position, prepared to make your next move will be the difference maker in your performance.

This leads us to the point of this blog…depth.

Adding depth to your shots is going to protect you from counterattacks by your opponent. The deeper in their court you’re able to send your shots, the better.

So, where exactly should you aim to place the ball?

There’s about 18 feet between the service line and baseline, which serves as your sweet spot – it’s where you want to aim. Once you’ve located your target, you’ll want to make sure that you add some height to your shot. This is the first key to success in mastering groundstroke depth. The goal is to play the ball so that that your shot goes about three feet over the net with enough speed that it carries over the service line and into the sweet spot that we mentioned before.

Once you have the height and speed nailed down, it’s time to focus on the spin of your ball.

There are two types of spin that you could add to your shot that’ll create different results. They are topspin and backspin:

Topspin – If you want to hit the ball with some extra speed, you’ll want to hit the ball with your racquet from low to high. This motion will send the ball on a downward trajectory at a quicker rate over the net.

Backspin – Otherwise known as a slice shot, this is a stroke that we’ve covered in the past. Adding backspin to your shot will help slow the pace of the rally and make it harder for your opponent to return your shot with topspin.

Remember that if you can master this technique, the back of the court will be your best friend during a match. Perfecting your groundstroke depth with the right amount of height, speed, and spin will better your odds of forcing your opponent into making an error and winning you the point. And, as former French Open champion Michael Chang once said, “Depth is king.”

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