One of the most talented young players on the ATP. Nick Kyrgios big elbow spacing allows him to hit one of the hardest forehands in the world at the moment.

There are many factors that contribute to having a big forehand. Court positioning (footwork), stance, grip, racket head speed, topspin levels, leg drive and rotation. All of which can vary greatly between professional players. There is however one very important technical commonality between all big forehands and it comes down to a slight tweak in your elbow set up.

Fernando Gonzalez had a great career using one of the biggest forehands the game has seen. Prior to working with Larry Stefanki Fernando primarily used a slice backhand to cover his weak backhand and set up this monster forehand. Notice the elbow spacing on the set up.
Although Juan Martin Del Potro hits his forehands much flatter than the average pro (due to his eastern grip) he uses elbow spacing beautifully to create power on this wing.

Elbow seperation:

A major problem for juniors and recreational players on the forehand is that they become too cramped at the contact point of their forehand. This shortens their stroke as they rotate and results in them pulling off the ball before they can generate sufficient pace. Giving yourself more space between your elbow and your body on the forehand set up (until turn) will give you more space to swing through the ball as you rotate and will give you the ability to add MPH’s and RPM’s to your forehand.

Contact extension:

Extending your elbow and racket through contact will give you added power. As you can see from the photos below all of these pros are ripping their forehands. In some cases you will have to come across the ball or pull off it to add more spin and play a safer stroke, but when you are set to pull the trigger on a big forehand you need to extend!

Carlos Moya had one of the most iconic forehands of the 90’s. A great mentor to Rafael Nadal, Moya’s elbow spacing allowed great extension through contact.
Fernando Verdasco generates huge power from rotating and extending through his contact point.
Rafael Nadal. One of the biggest weapons of all time. Especially effective as a lefty. Nadal extension through contact more often than not ends the point.

Next time you hit the courts try using bigger elbow spacing for a bigger forehand. 

See you on the courts!

Joel Myers
USPTA Elite Professional
Tennis Director
Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego
Sheraton Hotel & Marina San Diego
(949) 485-8679

One Comment Add yours

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s