Sports & Gaming

Groundstrokes I

Serena Williams

Lesson time 13:00 min

Consistency is key in tennis. Experience the drills Serena’s father ran for her as a kid—drills she still runs every day as a pro.

Students give MasterClass an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars

Topics include: Form • Head Position • Turn Back, Reach, Head, Follow Through • Top Spin


Consistent ground strokes are fundamental to controlling a match. My backhand is a really good asset for me. When I play tennis, it's one of my favorite shots to hit. I love seeing a crisp winner off of it, and I love hitting it. I think when I was younger, I used to always hit backhand, so I just love it when I connect the ball at the right spot and at the right point. It's more unexpected on the backhand than on the forehand, because everyone's forehand is usually a little stronger and a little bigger, and I like it, because it's the unexpected. My forehand to my game is extremely important. The forehand can set you up for great positioning, enabling you to hit winners. [MUSIC PLAYING] You shift your body weight roughly the same way for the forehand and the backhand. Just to break it down a little bit, it's important to have your body weight going in the direction you're hitting the balls. So in my forehand, it's important to have a good turn, a good shoulder turn. I really turn really far. It might look like my racket's far back, but it's really more of my body weight, and that's what enables me to hit the ball harder, because I use a lot of my body weight. I'm not so much arm, and that's why I don't really have a lot of shoulder injuries-- knock on wood-- because I do use more body weight than arm. When I'm playing well, and I'm doing all the right things, I always have a really fast turn. That way, I'm able to get the ball back. I can see the ball faster, and I'm able to move a little better. Make sure you get the racket under the ball. If you look at all the top players and all the pros, we all have our racket here. Some players hit here. This is a recipe for disaster, because it's going to go flat, and you're going to miss a lot of shots. So it's important to drop your wrist and have the racket under the ball, and then stepping forward, you can just get your body weight through the ball. And it also adds a lot more power without having to use your arm and use your shoulder. So if you use your body weight, you have more weight in your body than you do in your shoulder. What makes a good follow-through is that whatever you do, make sure your elbow is high. That way, you can get a lot of lift over the net. If you have a long follow-through, you can see naturally your body weight goes through the shot. That is what makes, I think, a really forehand. [MUSIC PLAYING] It's so important to look at the ball and keep your head still. Obviously, there's some famous players who've made that really, really, really popular. And my dad always said growing up, keep your head down, keep your head down. That's something I've never really been able to do. Hopefully, my dad won't be too disappointed in me, but we grew up. He taught us to keep our head here. And I do that very well sometimes in practice, and maybe the first fe...

About the Instructor

Serena Williams, the world's #1 ranked women's tennis player and winner of 23 Grand Slam singles titles, teaches you tennis and reveals the secrets of her game. This is as close as you can get to a private lesson with one of the world's greatest tennis players.

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Serena Williams

Step up your game with two hours of the techniques, drills, and mental skills that made Serena the best in the world.

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