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Down the Line Forehand


Hitting a down-the-line forehand in tennis requires proper technique, footwork, and timing. Here's a step-by-step guide to help you execute a down-the-line forehand effectively:

**1. Ready Position:

  • Start in a balanced and ready position with your feet shoulder-width apart. Bend your knees slightly and keep your weight on the balls of your feet.

**2. Grip:

  • Hold the racket with a continental grip or an eastern forehand grip, depending on your comfort and playing style. The continental grip is often recommended for hitting down-the-line shots.

**3. Split Step:

  • Anticipate your opponent's shot and perform a split step just before they make contact with the ball. This helps you stay light on your feet and ready to move quickly.

**4. Footwork:

  • Position yourself so that your non-dominant shoulder is pointing towards the net post. Pivot on your back foot and step forward with your front foot, aligning it with the net post. This positioning allows you to open up your body for the down-the-line shot.

**5. Takeback:

  • As the ball approaches, initiate your swing by turning your shoulders and bringing the racket back early. Keep the non-dominant hand on the racket handle for support.

**6. Swing Path:

  • Swing the racket in a slightly upward and forward motion, brushing the back of the ball with your strings. The key to a down-the-line shot is to close the racket face slightly, aiming for a more linear swing path.

**7. Contact Point:

  • Strive to make contact with the ball in front of your body, closer to the net than your usual contact point for cross-court shots. This forward contact point helps create a flatter trajectory, essential for hitting down the line.

**8. Follow Through:

  • Follow through across your body after making contact with the ball. The follow-through should be directed towards your target down the line. A correct follow-through helps control the direction and spin of your shot.

**9. Body Rotation:

  • Rotate your hips and shoulders through the shot to generate power and ensure proper body mechanics. The rotation helps transfer your body's energy into the shot.

**10. Recovery: - After hitting the down-the-line forehand, quickly recover to the center of the court. This prepares you for the next shot and helps maintain court coverage.


  • Practice footwork and positioning to ensure you're in the right spot to hit a down-the-line shot.
  • Focus on keeping the ball low over the net to make it more challenging for your opponent to return.
  • Experiment with grip adjustments and find the grip that feels comfortable for your down-the-line forehand.

Consistent practice and attention to technique are crucial for mastering the down-the-line forehand. Work on this shot during drills and match play to build confidence and improve your overall game. 

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