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Topspin In Tennis – What Is It?


What is topspin?  

Why do players hit the tennis ball with topspin?  

And how do I achieve this?  

These are common questions that new players to the game of tennis have.  Today lets take some time to answer these questions.

What is topspin?

Topspin is when the tennis ball rotates forward in the same direction that it is traveling. The force of this spin, also called the Magnus effect, causes the ball to be drawn back down into the court with more force than just gravity alone.

Why do players hit the tennis ball with topspin?

So why would a player want to impart topspin on a tennis ball? Since topspin causes the ball to be drawn back down into the court with more force, the trajectory of the shot is much different than a normal, flat tennis shot. As you can see, the trajectory of the ball hit with topspin can clear the net by a greater height and still drop into your opponents court earlier than a flat ball hit with no spin.

The topspin shot allows you to play with a greater margin of error. You can hit the ball much higher over the net without fear of hitting it too long.

tennis player

How do I hit a tennis ball with topspin?

Hopefully you now understand the benefits that can come from hitting a tennis ball with topspin. But how do you do it? In order to make a ball spin forward in the direction that it is traveling, you need to brush up against the back of the ball as you are swinging.

It is also helpful to have a tennis racquet or tennis strings that designed to generate more spin. Fore more information please visit

You may have heard more experienced players tell you to swing from low to high? That’s the general idea. You want to start your swing lower than where you will contact the ball and swing up and away.

This swing is somewhat similar to the motion that a windshield wiper makes on a car. You may also find that you will need to close the face of your tennis racquet a bit (from perpendicular) to get the correct angle with your new swing motion.

Final thoughts

If you are just starting out, it will definitely take some practice to get used to this way of swinging the racquet. Changing your swing will feel very unnatural at first. I would suggest taking a friend and a basket of tennis balls out to the court, and just practice your swing over and over.

Slow down your swing at first and just focus on getting the ball to rotate in the direction that you are hitting. Once you get the rotation down, you can work on adding some speed to your swing. Once you get used to swinging with topspin, it will become natural and you won’t even need to think about it! Remember, practice makes perfect!

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