No Turn? No Stroke! (worth mentioning)
Once you’ve found a workable variation on the recommended grips (have a play around – you can add or subtract millimetres as per your requirements), the first thing to do when faced with a ball to your forehand side is find that grip.
Move though the images of Michael Chang in 1 thru 4.
First, Michael has clicked the racket into his forehand grip (assuming it wasn’t already there).
Second, he turns the shoulders so he is sideways to the oncoming ball.
Because it helps put distance between your racket head and the ball (see next section).
Also, when facing wider balls it prepares a player for a sprint along the baseline.
Jim Courier similarly turns sideways in this 4 framer, as he initiates a full turn of the shoulders and starts the racket head on its journey (see next section).
Mary Joe Fernandez likewise in the slides below, before she gives me a dirty look for shooting pictures of her in her pyjamas 🙂
In the below frame Ivan Lendl (to the right) shows the purest form of a full turn, as he is fully sideways to the net.
We’ll explore this and other variations on turning a little later.
For now, know that a turn (preferably with the legs, though always with the shoulders) is one of the first stages of… not so much development as understanding.