How To Hit Monster Topspin in Tennis
Hitting the ball with topspin is a fundamental part of improving your tennis game.
Topspin has become an ever more present part of the modern game of tennis, so much so that most racket and string manufactures offer products specifically designed to maximise it!
There are a number of major benefits to hitting the ball with topspin, so being able to generate monster topspin when you want to will really take your game to the next level!
You will be able to produce heavier shots, push your opponent back in the court and hit with more margin for error all at the same time.
However, there are a few key elements that go into hitting the ball with monster topspin.
It is not always the easiest thing to do either, especially if you are a player that generally hits the ball flatter to begin with.
Therefore, we will delve into some of the main factors that contribute towards generating a lot of topspin on your shots and help you start generating topspin like Rafa!
Why is Topspin so Important
Hitting the ball with topspin is one of the most fundamental areas in which a lot of recreational players can improve their games.
It is one thing being able to guide the ball into the court, but when you want to start adding power and control to your strokes you will need to hit with topspin.
The reason for this is that developing ground strokes that can be used to hit topspin will keep the ball in the court even when you are swinging the racket very quickly at the ball.
The act of hitting the ball with even a small amount of topspin will get the ball rising higher over the net, then the revolutions will bring it down quickly inside the court before it bounces up and towards your opponent in a more aggressive way than hitting flat.
This then means you can swing the racket even faster towards the ball, and if you are able to generate enough topspin, it is virtually impossible for the ball to go out.
This is why so many professional players hit the ball with heavy spin, as they can swing very aggressively at the ball and they can trust that it will almost certainly fall in the court, whilst kicking up against their opponent and pushing them back deep behind the baseline.
This can be used on groundstrokes or when hitting serves.
Hitting the ball with a lot of topspin when hitting ground strokes from the back of the court will give you a lot of margin for error, as the act of hitting from low to high and brushing the ball with your strikes will send the ball higher over the net than hitting the ball flat along a level flight path.
This means that even if you are off balance or in a defensive position you should be able to clear the net a lot more easily when hitting topspin than any other type of spin.
Additionally, the more topspin you are able to hit, the more the ball will jump off the playing surface.
This is because as the ball bounces the heavy spin makes the ball accelerate forwards and up towards your opponent.
This makes it very difficult to deal with as your opponent will have to either move far back or take the ball very early if they want to hit the ball at a comfortable height.
This will in turn lead to your opponent being forced into a defensive position in the court, or into an unforced error through mistiming their shot.
When hitting heavy topspin or kick serves, you have the opportunity to take some pace off of the ball but really take your opponent out of the court and open it up for your next shot into the space.
This is a very effective tactic on both first and second serves, which is why so many professional players hit their second serves in particular with monster topspin!
Therefore, the importance of hitting the ball with a lot of topspin is clear to see.
You give yourself more safety in the point by hitting the ball high over the net but also push your opponent back in the court, forcing them into a more defensive position.
But, how exactly can you take your game to the next level and hit monster topspin? Well, let’s find out!
How to Hit Monster Topspin
There are a number of things you can do to help you generate more topspin on the tennis court.
These are all important and should be seen as tips to help you improve your ability to hit more topspin individually.
But, combined together they create a lethal spin machine waiting to be unleashed!
Use your Legs
Now, whilst increasing your leg drive does not directly impact the amount of topspin you generate, it is a very important part of adding power and therefore racket head speed to your shots.
Bending your knees, using your hips and incorporating more rotation into your groundstrokes and serves will add more power to them.
This is because you will be using your whole body to generate power rather than just your arm or wrist.
You can therefore use this additional power from your leg drive and translate it into more topspin.
In order to do this, you need to make sure that during your swing your racket goes below the height of the ball.
This is a crucial part of developing enough topspin, since it is the act of hitting the ball from below its height and driving up that generates the spin in the first place.
Therefore, bending your knees and getting your racket below the height of the ball is a must.
Use your body also to step through your shots and add more power to them, whilst really brushing up the back of the ball to generate more spin.
This is a lethal due that will immediately add more power and spin to your game.
Remember, the more racket head speed you can generate, the more monster topspin you can produce!
Brush Up the Back of the Ball
The most important thing you need to do when looking to hit monster topsin is to brush up the back of the ball.
This is the actual element of the shot that generates the spin and the more you can do this, the more topspin you will be able to generate.
So, what does this actually mean?
Well, when we say brushing the ball, we mean that you want to feel as though you are using the strings to grip the ball and lift it up and over the net.
This feeling will generate more of a raspy, pinging sound from the string bed compared to more of a thudding sound that will occur when you hit the ball flat.
One of the easiest ways to make sure you are brushing up the back of the ball properly is to listen out for that sound and watch the ball after you hit it.
If the ball is going high over the net, hitting the court surface and then bouncing up higher than your usual flatter shot, then you know you are generating topspin.
In order to do this, you again need to make sure you start with your racket high, quickly drop it below the height of the ball and then accelerate up as fast as you can whilst brushing the ball through contact.
If you want to take things to the next level, try to think of your racket as a windscreen wiper, brushing water off the back of the tennis ball.
If you try and whip your racket through the contact point as quickly as you can, using your wrist to help, you will generate more racket head speed and some monster topspin!
Use the Right Grip
If you are looking to generate insane amounts of topspin, you will need the right grip for the job.
Some players may argue that going all the way round to a full western grip would be optimal, but the additional strain this can cause on the arm and the lack of versatility it creates are not worth the small amount of additional spin that even a strong western grip can generate.
With this in mind, you should focus on using a semi-western grip when looking to generate monster topspin.
This is because the racket will stay closed throughout your preparation, still be closed through contact and allow you to swing aggressively up the back of the ball worrying that your shot will fly out the back of the court!
The semi-western grip also allows you to hit topspin on low balls, even if you do have to bend down a bit lower for them!
Again, really focus on using your racket as a windscreen wiper to brush the ball as much as you can and generate more spin.
The faster you can whip up the back of the ball with this grip, the more topspin you will create.
Play with the Right Equipment
When you are looking to hit the ball with monster topspin, playing with more spin friendly equipment can definitely help you.
Using a racket and string combination that are set up for spin is a great way to improve your game without even adjusting your swing.
Of course, if your swings are not able to produce heavy topspin on their own, playing with a more spin friendly racket or string won’t be a magic formula.
However, they can definitely give you easier access to big topspin if you are struggling to generate it yourself.
For example, using a racket with an open string pattern such as 16×19 or less is a great way to generate more spin.
The larger gaps between the strings means they will move more easily and create more friction between your string bed and the ball.
This helps catch the ball and spit it out with monster topspin!
Also, using a rough polyester string in your racket will add even more friction to the ball and really get it kicking.
Combine these spin friendly allies with the tips we have mentioned above and you will be well on your way to generating some monster topspin on your shots!
Overall, there are a range of different benefits to generating a lot of topspin in your tennis game.
These include more margin for error, more aggressive shots and more control over where the ball will actually go.
Making sure you use as much of your body as possible to generate power will help you create more racket head speed when striking the ball.
This in turn helps you to create more spin by accelerating the racket up at the ball, which when combined with a closed grip and racket angle, will produce some monster topspin!
So, be sure to use your legs, play with the right grip and try out some more spin friendly rackets and strings next time you are out on the court and you will be hitting with a lot more topspin in no time!