Rafael Nadal “Buggy Whip” Forehand

Generate extra topspin by flinging your racquet head.

Almost all of Rafael Nadal’s forehands finish this way in order to create extra topspin. At first, Nadal’s forehand progression is the same as the regular forehand, but once his racquet makes contact with the ball, he flings his racquet head over his head, instead of finishing across his body.

  • This type of racquet follow-through resembles a cowboy swinging a lasso over his head.
  • Players normally use this type of follow-through when they are late in hitting a shot or when the player is stretched on the run and is unable to follow-through across the body.  However, Nadal will follow-through this way regardless of whether he hit the ball early or late.
  • Not recommended for  developing players because it is difficult to perform correctly.

(Click image to view larger)

Nadal grew up playing on clay courts which favor topspin players. As a result, his forehand evolved to this style of swinging.  Though difficult to execute well, Nadal’s “Buggy Whip” forehand has enabled him to win the French Open Clay Court title six times in the last seven years.


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