Smash (tennis)

Smash (tennis)

An overhead smash in tennis is a shot that is hit above the head with a serve-like motion. A smash can usually be hit with great force relatively safely and is often a shot that ends the point. Most smashes are hit fairly near the net or in mid-court before the ball bounces, generally against lobs that have not been hit high enough or deep enough by the opponent. A player can also smash a very high ball from the "baseline", generally on the bounce, although this is often a less forceful smash.

"Smash" commonly refers to the forehand smash; backhand smashes are rarer and more difficult to execute, especially for beginners, since they are basically high backhand volleys generally hit at an awkward angle. Rod Laver and Jimmy Connors, both left-handers, were known for their very powerful backhand smashes.

Pete Sampras popularized the "jump smash", where he jumps and then hits the smash in mid-air. The regular smashing shot, along with the downward force of a falling body, make this type of smash nearly undefeatable. The shot is often also called a slam dunk, as in basketball.

Nowadays, many consider Roger Federer, Andy Roddick, and Andre Agassi to have the most consistent and effective smashes. Martina Hingis has a less powerful but very effective slice smash that she frequently uses.

In his 1979 autobiography Jack Kramer, who had a fine overhead himself, devotes a page to the best tennis strokes he had ever seen. He writes: "OVERHEAD—Schroeder just tops here, ahead of Rosewall and Newcombe.

External links

* [ Video: Tips for a good smash]

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